The Unofficial “RULES” of Mixing it up in the Kitchen

The Unofficial “RULES” of Mixing it up in the Kitchen So many thoughts come to mind when you consider redoing your kitchen. Appliances, counters, tiles, faucets, cabinet style and of course color are all common decisions. These decisions can be extremely overwhelming. Years ago cabinets were aligned in a straight row and made of the same material. As kitchen design evolved, people began to vary the heights and widths of their cabinets to create a custom look. This mix-and- match approach also applies to the type of wood selected and the cabinet finish. It is becoming common to see two or three different wood species in one kitchen. I have compiled a few basic rules to think about when you are planning to “mix it up”.

Blocks of Color When trying to mix and match, think about which areas to highlight by using blocks of color. This is the most traditional way to mix wood in the kitchen. Use one wood on your main cabinets and then try a different wood on your island or on an area of built-in shelves. This will give you a very clean traditional look. Don’t go “Matchy Matchy” The idea of mixing woods is to create a visual pop in the kitchen. If the look is too symmetrical it will fall flat. Try to avoid picking a hard wood floor that is the same stain as the cabinets. If you are going with white cabinets then try a dark floor. If you are doing a butcher block top try not to match it with the floor or the cabinets.

Keep it Toned Mixing woods can create a great visual interest. Mixing tones will NOT. When choosing your colors always pair warm with warm and cool with cool. Mixing the two will not add to the visual interest it will make the room look “muddy” and flat. So stay in tone but vary your contrast.

Au Natural If you are looking to create a more modern mixed look try keeping parts of the kitchen natural. This creates a high contrast clean look. Clinton_July_20123If your upper cabinets are left neutral then try white on the lower cabinets and then a different wood for the floor. These of course are only a few of the “rules” that I recommend you keep in mind when planning your kitchen. Always try to decide on your style first. Are you going for sleek and modern or cozy and traditional. Research the style and colors of the cabinets that are recommended for the look you are trying to achieve. Choose your paint colors and coordinate your tones across the board. Try to create some texture by using interesting tiles and accent pieces. A kitchen is a large investment so above all take your time in the planning process so you are sure to achieve the “mixed up” look that you will love for years to come.

The resale value of a kitchen.

One of the biggest questions clients have when considering remodeling their kitchen is “What is the return on my investment?” In other words, if selling the home within the next few years is a possibility, is it worth redoing the kitchen and if I do, will it increase the value of the house once I am prepared to sell.  This question can be viewed in several different ways: from a cabinet salesperson’s point of view “absolutely- you should gut the kitchen and add a new one!”; from an everyday person’s point of view- it is a tough question.  I have come to a conclusion that it depends on a few variables, including the type of remodel, the nature of the housing market at the time you are considering selling and the cost of the project.

If you live in a residential area that has very dated kitchens and you are considering selling in the near future redoing the kitchen has a few advantages:

1.  You will get to enjoy the kitchen for the time that you are there.

2. Your house will stand out from the other, more dated homes on the market and WILL sell!

If you put a significant amount of money into the kitchen, will that be reflected in the final number you get for your house sale?  Maybe and maybe not.  Homeowners need to be careful that they are not pricing themselves out of the market with their renovation projects.  For instance, if houses in the neighborhood are selling for $300,000 and you decide to invest $100,000 in kitchen renovations to create your perfect “dream kitchen” you will likely not recoup that investment in a short period of time because you have significantly priced yourself out of the market. You will however, get to enjoy your “dream kitchen” while you are living, cooking and entertaining in your kitchen. Enjoying a space in your home is nearly as important as the return on the financial investment.

A kitchen remodel need not cost a hundred thousand dollars to lure in buyers, if that is the intention of the remodel. A few updates, such as new countertops, paint or a cabinet “face-lift” can have a significant (possibility as much as 80%) return on investment.

I have spoke to a few local realtors about this topic and they were torn about whether it was “worth it” to remodel a kitchen for the purpose of selling the home.  They did agree that it would “it will definitely make the house sell as opposed to not selling if the kitchen is dated.”

The disadvantages to remodeling the kitchen –

1.  I am putting a lot of money into a place that I am considering selling and cannot enjoy.

2.  What if the potential buyer loves the house but hates my taste in kitchens and doesn’t buy the house because of the kitchen?

Yes, you will be investing money into a home that you won’t live in for very long, but you will enjoy the new kitchen for awhile.  Remodeling the kitchen will attract many homebuyers into your home, the right buyer will eventually come through and will love your taste in kitchens.

Final thoughts: why not live in a kitchen that you love at least for a little while before you sell and maybe take ideas from this kitchen remodel and figure out what you do and don’t want in your next home purchase, remodel or custom build.

Recent Bathroom Renovation

CWPCC recently completed an entire bathroom renovation. The renovation was on an original builder’s grade bathroom. Builder’s shortcuts all over!!! CWPCC managed the entire project using high quality labor and achieved the client’s goal to freshen up the space while working within the constraint of the client’s budget. The client was estatic when she arrived home to see her new bathroom.

We started the process by removing all of the white tile and the fixtures. Inside the shower was gutted, all of the tile on the wall and floor was removed as well as the bench seat. Additional plumbing was added to the shower to accommodate the additional fixtures the client requested. The existing tub was in good condition so the homeowner decided rather than to replace it, just to retile the surround and CWPCC added custom touches to her design by adding chair rail and diagonal tile on the facade of the tub. The client chose to use large 20×20 tiles for the floor which created a more open feel to the room. The floor was finished off with matching tile base moulding. All of the existing builder’s grade lighting fixtures were replaced in the room with fixtures that complimented the room’s design. Final touches included a fresh coat of paint on the walls and trim, new door hardware at the french doors, and frameless glass shower door.

The client was prepared to completely replace the cabinetry in the bathroom as well. After careful inspection, it was recommended by CWPCC to reuse the existing shell of cabinetry and only add new doors and drawer fronts as well as a finished end panel. Not only was the cabinetry in good condition but it would be a savings to the homeowner that she would be able to spend elsewhere in the bathroom. In addition to using the existing cabinetry, CWPCC was able to add a 3 drawer vanity cabinet into a void that was otherwise useless and create a significant amount of storage space. (See before photo) Above the vanity the homeowner requested not to have full mirrors on the wall which is a common practice in a standard builder’s grade home. However, she did not want to try to find mirrors that worked with her fixtures and size limitations. CWPCC was able to accommodate her by building custom mirrors finished to match the cabinet doors and fronts. We created the mirrors by setting a 1/8″ mirror inside the same style recessed panel door to create the custom mirror look that she was looking for.

Overall the client was very pleased with our work and our cleanliness on the job.

Check out the before and after photos to really appreciate the dramatic change in this space.

Recent Kitchen Renovation Bridgewater, NJ

Check out our photos from a recent kitchen renovation in Bridgewater, NJ.  The clients were limited on what they could install because of the layout of the kitchen. They had a few details that were a must for us to consider when redesigning the layout.
Overall we extended the length of the cabinetry on the sink elevation by several inches creating enough room to be able to add a lazy susan cabinet in the corner as well as center the sink in the window. We moved the stove over slightly to get it out of the corner to accommodate the corner cabinet and added a diagonal upper glass door cabinet to act as a focal point. On the opposite wall elevation the layout remains the same however we were able to achieve more storage space in the pantry closet by adding a set of rollout cabinets.
Overall the clients were very happy with the job and the time frame of the job. From demo to completion of the job including template and installation of the stone tops as well as tile backsplash, the job time frame was 2 weeks.

Simple Changes

Sometimes it is the simple subtle changes to a kitchen that can give the whole kitchen an entirely new look.   I recently had a customer who did not want to redo they entire kitchen but wanted to change the look.  CWPCC changed a few of their upper cabinet doors from a raised panel door to a semi frosted glass.  This drastically changed the appearance of the kitchen and got rid of “the wall of cabinets” bringing new life to the kitchen.  Check out the before and after photos.