Archive for the ‘Kitchens’ Category

Organize Your Kitchen Remodel Budget

If your kitchen is losing its luster, it may be time for a few refreshing changes, redecorating, or remodeling.

When people come into our showroom in the inital stages of considering a kitchen remodel, the biggest question they ask is “I haven’t done anything to my kitchen in years…what does something like that cost?”

Create a ballpark. Take the value of your home and budget 8-12% of this number if your kitchen remodel will not include cabinetry. If you are planning to include cabinetry, budget 12-18%. For example, if your home is valued at $275,000, plan to spend between $22,000-50,000.

Then, plan on breaking your “big picture” budget into managable pieces:

35% Cabinetry
Cabinetry makes up the bulk of your kitchen’s budget because it is the very backbone of both the design and functionality of your kitchen.
Spend More: Outfit your kitchen with an accessory package that meets your needs. Add baking sheet dividers, pull out trash and recycle bins, spice drawers or racks, etc. Upgrade your doors and drawers to include soft close. Finish off your look with upgraded hardware to tie in your design taste or style.
Spend Less: Utilize existing cabinetry. Consider refinishing existing doors. Or, integrate new cabinetry. Opt for fewer drawers. Utilize standard widths and depths as much as possible in your cabinetry layout. Minimize or eliminate accessories. Utilize standard hardware selections to avoid an upcharge.

9% Counters
What you spend on counter tops depends largely on the type of surface you wish to install. Today, most of our clients choose slab granite, marble, quartz, or another natural stone.
Spend More: Select a stone you fall in love with at the slab yard! Countertops can truly define an entire kitchen and give you and your designer a fun pallette to pull from. Selecting a honed or antiqued stone will increase your cost, but also give you a less standard look. Upgrade your standard edge to an ogee for a more traditional, polished appearance.
Spend Less: Select a “standard” granite that is more common and has a tighter grain to reduce your material cost. Or, consider Corian or laminate tops. Utilize a standard granite edge (such as an appliance edge or full bullnose). Eliminate radiused edges and opt for straight cuts instead.

15% Appliances
You can tailor your appliance budget based on how you use your kitchen and what kind of appliances you will need. Love a professional range? Plan to spend more. Just need a simple kitchen to reheat take out and cook occasionally? A basic appliance package will suit you just fine.
Spend More: Opt for professional appliances with integrated refrigeration and dishwasher. Add fun specialty appliances, like a drawer microwave, built in espresso machine, or a wall-plumbed coffee maker. Select from appliance finishes ranging from stainless to oil rubbed bronze, to every color of the rainbow!
Spend Less: Select a basic appliance package. Consider choosing a black or white finish rather than stainless. Maintaining the same appliance layout you had originally (if it was functional) will save you money in moving water and gas lines.

7% Electrical and Lighting
Why settle for a couple of poorly scaled, no-impact pendants over your island?! Choose lighting that really defines your space and add appropriate recessed and direcitonal lighting to make cooking a breeze. Take this opportunity to move your outlets either up or down so that your backsplash isn’t interupted. Switch out your device colors to better blend into your tile.

6% Wall tile
The intricacy and material you choose for your splash will make all the difference in how much of your budget it constitutes.
Spend More: Choose decorative listellos, liner bars, or accent tiles. Select a field tile that is porcelain or natural stone. Create an intricate design that lends interest to your splash and take advantage of the space above your range or sink. Opt for glass mosaic tile or slab on your entire splash.
Spend Less: Plan your design around a simple ceramic tile and use minimal decorative accents. Straight set your tile to avoid labor upcharges.

8% Flooring
Your flooring budget will rest on the material that you select.
Spend More: Opt for hardwood or tile. Setting your tile on the diagonal will increase your labor expenses.
Spend Less: Choose less expensive laminate or vinyl flooring.

20% Labor
You get what you pay for when it comes to labor!! Spend what it takes to ensure that what you’ve spent 80% of your budget on looks as good as it should!

Appliances to Get Excited About!

Thermador’s Column refrigeration system offers a fun, fresh solution to maximizing your space for all of your cooling needs. Available in 24 and 30 inch columns, the refrigerator and freezer units are separated to give you maximum flexibility in your kitchen design. And, with a wine refrigeration column, you can even address the specific cooling needs of your favorite bottle!

Subzero’s flush inset refrigerator is the only panel ready refrigerator that truly sits flush into your cabinetry, allowing you to achieve that furniture look.Kitchenaid’s drawer refrigerators are a fun option for your entertainment room or wet bar. Or, if you have a space, it’s a great solution for your kiddos to access their own snacks and drinks without your help.


Jenn Air’s Culinary Center oven will make even a timid cook a confident one. Simply push a few buttons to let the oven know what type of meat you’re cooking and how well done you’d like it. It will even give you a recipe!

Kitchen Aid’s induction cooktop will get you out of the kitchen sooner and help make your kitchen a safe place for your kids to be. Induction cooktops work with a magnetic connection to your cookware. They sense when a pan is on the surface. When removed from the heating element, the heat immediately goes away, so you can run your hand over the surface immediately–great for curious kids. They also boil water in a seconds rather than minutes, getting you through the dinner prep rush and to the table with your family sooner!
Check out all of these at our favorite appliance center, Specialty Appliance. Their knowledgeable team of professional appliance specialists will help you put together the perfect package for your kitchen–at competitive prices! Tell us which of these appliances you wish you had, and we’ll enter you to win a $100 gift card for Specialty Appliance!

Resolve to…Finally Have the Storage You Need!

This is the time of year where everyone starts to think about storage…and how their home is lacking in this department. As you tackle areas that include cabinetry, consider how you live in a space. Ask your designer to really walk through your space with you and talk about how you use it and what you need it to do. Tell your designer what is frustrating about your current kitchen and what you covet about your friends’ kitchens (admit it, you do!).
Eheart carries several different cabinetry lines, our most custom being our own line, Eheart Essentials. This locally made, high quality frameless cabinet eliminates cabinet boxes, providing 10-15% more storage than a traditional framed cabinet. Highly customizable, this line also includes the option to add built in storage in a myriad of ways. Take a peek at a few:
Muffin tins, sheet pans, and cookie trays finally find an organized home in a simple cabinet with vertical dividers. 
When you tour a home that is on the market, one of the thing people tend to notice is that it has so much counter space.  You’ve been fooled.  Everything was off of the counters–a simple way to make even a small kitchen spacious.  This knife drawer eliminates the need for your knife block to be on the counter and can even include a removable cutting board.
A pantry pull out takes advantage of as little as nine inches of cabinet space and offers tremendous storage.
Stand mixers…everybody has one, no one knows where to put it!  How about a lift, which allows you to use your mixer without even removing it from the lift surface.  When you’re done, simply lower the lift back into the base cabinet it is stored in!
Pot and pan storage becomes a breeze by utilizing deep drawers instead of awkward to access cabinets.  Pegs divide the pans and give each pot a home.
Spice drawers allow you to see what you have on hand with just a single glance.  Place one by your cooktop for all of your cooking spices and one near your baking center for all of your baking spices!
Come on in to one of our three kitchen vignettes, fully outfitted with storage for every budget!

Invite: Morning Coffee with a Girlfriend

Image Courtesy: House Beautiful
When Starbucks came on the scene less than a decade ago, it created a wonderful atmosphere to grab an hour with a girlfriend you never get enough time with over a delicious, albeit overpriced, coffee drink.
Why not enjoy that at home?  As formal living and dining rooms phase out of modern floor plans, kitchens are becoming large enough for a seating area.  Don’t limit yourself to an eat-in kitchen set up.  Consider comfy, upholstered seating instead.  It will be a perfect place to catch up with a friend, or to page through cookbooks when you can’t decide what to make for dinner, or to catch a moment of silence while you simmer and don’t stir constantly.
You can create a space like one of these, right in your very own kitchen!

Image Courtesy: Daniels Design
Image Courtesy: Better Homes and Gardens
Image Courtesy: Food Network Television

Upgrade your standard drip coffee pot to an espresso machine.  Fill a clear glass jar with homemade biscotti.  It keeps well for a couple of weeks, and makes a delicious (and beautiful) accompaniment to a cup of coffee.

Favorites: Soapstone

I often catch myself dreaming of my ‘some day kitchen’ which will no doubt have Soapstone countertops! As a designer I know what I like, the only catch is, I like a little of everything! Throw in a slice of Modern, a hand full of Colorado Rustic, a dash of Old World and of course a little bit of Classic Traditional and you have me! Soapstone is my key element that makes it all come together! So if you are a little hodgepodge like me or you are just one of any of those – Soapstone can help make your look complete. Dark Blue-Gray and Green-Gray are the main colors you find in Soapstone. The pictures below are of raw soapstone that haven’t been treated with mineral oil yet, which enhances and darkens the colors.
Green Iron Satin Soapstone & Original Green Soapstone
Soapstone Select Satin & Honed (Regular)
Traditional: Soapstone countertops. Raised panel white cabinets, and a warm wood floor. White bead board as your backsplash or my forever timeless classic 3″ x 6″ subway.
Here are a few more beautiful kitchens with Soapstone countertops. All good collaborations of rustic, contemporary, and craftsmen.
Treated with mineral oil, true Soapstone can be a non-porous, heat resistant, low maintenance countertop you will only fall more and more in love with. With age, natural patina only makes the stone more beautiful. Soapstone is easier to fabricate as well making it versatile….
Generally seen in white porcelain or cast iron, Farm style sinks are another timeless classic of mine. Integrate that with Soapstone and you just can’t go wrong! Is Soapstone one of your favorites now?!