Tag Archives: cabinets

Does Your Kitchen Need a Facelift?

 

 

Before
Before

How many times have you walked into your kitchen and thought: “My kitchen really needs a facelift?”  I can’t tell you the number of times I hear from friends who share this dilemma. The problem is that they aren’t quite ready for a complete renovation or a brand new kitchen.  They simply want to breathe new life into a dated kitchen, whether ultimately to sell the house or to stretch the life of the kitchen for a few more years.

So, how do you make an impact when refreshing your tired kitchen?  Start first with the cabinets.  If they are sound and in good shape, consider having them professionally painted.  Techniques differ amongst painters — some brush the paint on, while others spray, so be sure to ask your painter about his process.  The prep work takes the most time and is a vital component of a great paint job, so make sure that you’re hiring a meticulous, professional painter with great references since this won’t be an insignificant amount of money.

If your countertops are in good shape and aren’t dated, consider yourself lucky!  Replacing countertops is most-definitely an option, but will certainly impact your costs, especially if your budget is tight.  And if you’re replacing your countertop, this would be a good time to switch out your faucet for a newer model, and your sink for an undermount (if you don’t already have one).

While changing out a dated tiled backsplash for something more current will require demolition and repair to the sheetrock, this is a change that will have tremendous impact.  Make sure to hire a good tile installer who knows how to remove the old tile, repair the wall behind and install new tile.  The process will take several days, but the wow-factor will be big.

Changing out your cabinet hardware will also go a long way towards making your kitchen look fresh.  If you currently have cabinet knobs and want to change to bar pulls, now is the time to do so since the painter can easily fill the holes.  Just remember:  you’ll need to hire someone to measure and re-drill holes for the new hardware once the cabinet paint has cured.  Alternatively, if you want to keep it simple and manage your costs, opt to keep the same type of hardware you currently have (i.e.: knobs or bar pulls) and just replace with a different style and/or finish.  No need to patch and re-drill holes.

Finally, a great way to make a big statement is to replace your lighting.  Does the light fixture over your kitchen table appear dated?  Do the pendants over your island look like they are stuck in the ’80s?  Lighting is often overlooked and is such an integral part of any space, and updating it can be literally transformative.  For some reason, people are often reluctant to change out light fixtures, when in fact this is one of the most impactful changes you can make in any space — give it a try!

Clearly even a facelift in your kitchen isn’t for the faint of heart, but if you’re willing to live through both the mess and the frustration of being displaced for a few weeks, these changes will certainly have a big impact on your space.  Any good designer can guide you through the process and manage all of the details to help you with your update.  It’s up to you to decide if it’s worth it!

 

 

After

 

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After
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Construction Notes

 

Cabinet Delivery Day

Progress on the Calvary Church project continues to move along at a great pace.  Coordinating all of the subcontractors and city inspectors requires careful planning and great patience since certain tasks can’t be started until others are completed.  To date, demolition is complete, electrical and plumbing work has begun and the cabinets have arrived.

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What’s particularly exciting about this job is that our custom cabinets have been designed with a celtic cross detail carved into the doors that matches exactly to a detail found on many pews in the church.  Preserving the integrity of the church’s beautiful architectural features and overall design aesthetic is an integral part of my job, and this detail is just one example of how we are achieving that goal.

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Construction is often a tedious process which requires a tremendous attention to detail.  Throughout the duration of a project many decisions have to be made, and sometimes it’s tough to know the right answer.  What’s important to know is that often times there are multiple ways to solve a problem.  For example, if a subcontractor tells you that what you have requested can’t be done, and you don’t like the solution that’s been offered, it’s always a good idea to ask for an alternative.  You’d be surprised to learn that many times there are multiple solutions — you simply have to ask, and sometimes you even have to stand your ground until a better solution can be considered.  In this particular situation, wiring for the electrical fixtures was extremely complicated since the walls of the church are almost two feet thick and made of stone and plaster.  As a result, most of the wiring can’t be located behind the walls, so many  fixtures in the church are surface-mounted.  One of the greatest challenges was in trying to install the switches for the light fixtures in an accessible location.  Luckily, with the help of a skilled electrician we were able to layout the fixtures and their switches in a way that not only would satisfy the occupants of the room but also wouldn’t make it necessary to cut into my cabinets in order to do so!

We have a tight timeline that we’re following so that this space is ready for use within the next several weeks.  Follow along as progress continues (and the pictures get better!).

 

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Design Elements: Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Have you ever considered using mirrors in your kitchen?  While adding a mirror to a space to achieve a particular effect is certainly not a new trend in design, it’s one that is often overlooked as a tool in kitchen design.  Adding a mirrored backsplash to your kitchen is a great way to reflect light (or possibly a terrific view), as in this kitchen designed by Fairfield County architects Brooks & Falotico.   Not only does the mirror reflect the light, but it also adds a slightly contemporary flair to the space, and the coolness of the material compliments the warmth of the beautiful wood island.

In this elegant bar, tucked away in a family room designed by Sutro Architects (and photographed by Aaron Leitz Photography), the mirrored backsplash gives the illusion that this small interior space is much larger than it truly is.  If I had a bar like this, I think I would leave the door open, too!

This mirrored kitchen island, photographed by Pia Ulin, certainly makes a design statement!  The tension that is created when the sleek, modern cabinets and mirrored finish on the island are juxtaposed with the more traditional architectural features as seen in the windows and doors and the herringbone floor, makes this kitchen so interesting!

So, whether you choose to make a big impact, such as the one made by this mirrored island, or a small statement with a framed mirror hanging on the wall, why not try to add a mirror to your kitchen to see how it changes the space?

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