The Kitchen Table vs. The Kitchen Island



A question that we get asked frequently regards the kitchen table versus the kitchen island. Does every kitchen need both? If the kitchen is large enough, we often times do include both which is ideal for those who simply cannot choose between them. If your kitchen is tight on space and you are stuck having to choose between the two, the decision can seem overwhelming. The answer will also differ depending on your lifestyle and how your family uses the space. While there are many things to consider, here are a couple of main points to get the thought process started.

The kitchen island typically becomes a space of gathering; whether it’s just the family making dinner together, or while you are hosting a holiday with many guests. The island is away from the cooking area, yet close enough to the action that the host can be included in the conversation while preparing appetizers and food. A table would be a more formal setting compared to the island and can be useful when trying to keep guests away from the prep area.

While a table may have more seating capacity compared to the typical island, the island will offer additional storage space. An island can also offer an opportunity for a prep sink to be introduced. Having a second sink can be a lifesaver when the main sink is filled with dishes after that wild Superbowl party and you need a space for the overflow of dishes and glasses. On the other hand, the kitchen table can be more comfortable for some to sit at and have a meal or conversation. Some households may have removed their formal dining table and turned the dining room into an additional living space. In this case, the kitchen table is necessary and essential for sit down meals.

There are many more factors to consider, but these few points can get you started. If you are considering a remodel and would like to discuss your options on the table vs the island we would be happy to speak with you in detail. Please visit our showroom during our business hours or give us a call at 781-239-9750 to make an appointment with one of our knowledgeable designers.


Transitional Design: What Exactly Is It?



If you have been researching design ideas for a new kitchen project then you most likely have come across the term ‘transitional design’. It is a design concept that is by far our most requested style when it comes to kitchen design. Transitional design is essentially traditional style mixed with just the right amount of contemporary flair. The combination of styles will deliver a timeless design that you will be able to enjoy for years to come.

Cabinetry color is one way to express a transitional design. Often times the color choice will be of a white/off-white, grey or an earthy tone such as beige or tan. It is also not unusual to see a mixture of colors; a white perimeter with a grey island can capture the transitional elements quite nicely and it can be very pleasing to the eye.

Simplistic door details are popular with transitional design. This can mean anything from a flush inset cabinet with a classic shaker doorstyle to something with a more traditional door bead. Keeping things minimalistic and streamlined in the design will result in an ideal transitional design. It is a wonderful concept for New Englanders who are often times trying to marry their classic style home with a sophisticated new kitchen. Transitional design can create a seamless link between both ends of the spectrum.

Hardware choice can play a large role as well, yet it’s often overlooked in the design process. You could easily pull a bit more contemporary, if that is your desire, by choosing a more modern knob or pull for the cabinetry. On the other hand, you could choose a warmer and more classic knob or pull and it will bring the design closer to the traditional style.

Whether you choose to head down the transitional avenue, or keep with a more traditional or modern style, we can be of great assistance when ironing out all of the details for your design. We would be more than happy to speak with you about all of the available options.
 

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Renovation Project with Before & After Images



Renovation Project with Before & After Photo’s

The project in the images below was a pretty major renovation/addition to a home. The client added onto the side of the house expanding the kitchen & living room areas in order to incorporate a garage below. The before and after shots are fantastic and show a dramatic change in the two major living spaces. The kitchen and living room were once separated by a wall and you had to walk around the stairs and through the foyer to get from one space to the next. Once that wall came down and the two spaces became one, it became an entertainers dream! Family functions and gatherings would be much more inclusive and the flow of the home works so much better now that the living spaces are on a more open plan.

1A

 

You can see major change in 1B these two photos. In the before photo, you can see the wall on the right that divided the living room and the kitchen which was completely removed. The far wall with the three windows was pushed out over the driveway to allow for more interior space. To give a good idea of placement, the new slider doors are positioned where the old sink used to be.

 

 

 

2A 2BThese two photos are taken from almost the same spot before & after the renovation. The stair location did not change; it was just opened up and highlighted in the new design. Again, a couple of walls were taken down which opened up the space incredibly. The cabinets with the wood top are the perfect location to take on some overflow from the kitchen. They provide an ideal location for a food serving area during a party or for a bar area where mixing drinks can be done outside of the busy kitchen. Adding a second trash and an under counter refrigerator assures that you will have everything that you need at a close proximity.

 

3A 3B

 

 

This angle shows the new flow for the kitchen versus the old flow. The original kitchen was sort of a dead end with only one interior doorway in. By removing the wall that was shared by living room the entire space becomes much more organic.

 

 

 

 

 

4A 4B

 

 

 

This last angle here is a shot of the original living room, and then showing how open it is now that the wall has been removed. The clients chose to have the fireplace squared off and it brings the two areas together, yet still defines the living room as its own space.

 

 

 

Rangetop

 

 

This image is a close up view of the range and hood, because… well, I like it! I hope that you enjoyed our tour of a home before and after a kitchen renovation. If you would like to see more, please give us a call or stop into our showroom during our business hours.


Granite, marble and quartz countertops:
What’s the difference?



During the planning stage of a kitchen remodel, we are often asked about the properties associated with the different types of countertop materials. Choosing the right countertops depends on your needs and taste. In this post we’ll compare granite versus marble versus quartz to help guide you through your next kitchen remodeling decision.

Granite, marble and quartz countertops: What’s the difference?

Granite
Granite is a natural stone, therefore each piece is one of a kind. There is also a wide variety of colors and tones to choose from. Granite will need to be sealed once installed in order to protect against staining. Frequency of sealing will be determined by how porous the material is. Lighter granite tends to be more porous so those colors can be more susceptible to staining. Granite can hold up very well to heat and it is highly resistant to scratching.

Marble
Marble is another natural stone and just like granite, each piece extracted will be completely original. It’s a very traditional selection and the look is typically organic veining on each slab. The veining can vary depending on the type of marble. Some have several thick & striking veins on each slab, where other types of marble have lighter veins that seem to merge and blend in with the background. Each of these looks will make quite a statement when used in a kitchen. Marble will stand up very well to heat. It will be more susceptible staining and the surface could potentially etch if exposed to acidic foods such as lemon juice. It is possible to have the stains removed every so often if they get bad over the years.

Man-Made Stone
There are several types of man-made stones, the most popular being quartz. Depending on the brand of quartz, some of the selections can appear manufactured; while some have mastered the natural look, which can be quite appealing. Most brands can withstand some heat, but not as much as natural stone. Quartz materials will be quite durable and hold up well against staining. Many people confused quartz with quartzite. Quartzite is a natural material and the qualities can differ depending on the exact type of quartzite. It’s best to get a sample of the actual product that you wish to use and try to scratch/stain/etch the surface with basic items from your kitchen to test its durability.

Learn more about kitchen design and cabinets.


Inside the cabinet: Storage ideas for kitchen cabinet interiors



Most of the focus of a kitchen design goes into choosing everything from the cabinet color to flooring materials to countertop choices, but cabinet drawer interiors often get overlooked. Custom cabinet design doesn’t need to end with the hardware. There are several advantages of custom kitchen cabinet interiors that add practical accessories, bins, storage racks, and drawers. Unique and well-built storage solutions will automatically improve the usability and organization of your kitchen. With so many creative storage solutions from pull-out shelving to spice storage, the possibilities are endless.

Custom kitchen storage idea

Pull out shelves in a bottom cabinet are a great way to organize pots and pans eliminating the need to crouch down and crawl inside the cabinet to find what you need. The top shelf is a handy place to store lids.

Cutlery divider

Make the most of your drawer space with custom-made utensil organization. Unlike pre-made silverware trays, custom organization makes the most of the entire drawer space putting an end to useless gaps and spaces where pre-made trays fall short.

pull out spice rack

Pull-out storage next to the cooking range is a convenient place for spices and other items for easy access while cooking. The open sides allow for easy visibility.

Hidden trash barrels in kitchen

This double bin pull-out is a must-have for hiding unsightly trash and recycling bins.

kitchen storage baskets

Under the counter baskets add texture to a kitchen design and help to give the space warmth. This is a great spot to store anything from root vegetables to linens and is a favorite addition to kitchen islands.

Hideaway storage is key to keeping a kitchen looking well organized and clean. Creative drawer and cabinet storage can revolutionize your kitchen experience entirely. Other ideas include a cookie sheet drawer with vertical spacers, an appliance “garage,” or dish drawer.

We’d love to know: What cabinet storage addition has been a lifesaver in your kitchen?


Timeless design: white kitchen cabinets for the win



White kitchen cabinets are stealing the show as the top requested color in recent years. They’re bright, fresh, and coordinate beautifully with any decor. The classic look and universal appeal of white painted cabinets make them increasingly popular, but most importantly, they withstand the test of time.

Often times it’s easy to date a natural wood kitchen, even if it’s only a few years old. No matter how beautiful or well-crafted, stains and wood styles come and go quickly. But quality kitchen designs with white cabinets can be ageless—decor notwithstanding.

Below are photos of a project we completed in Sudbury, MA in 2016.

Compare this with a kitchen design a decade earlier in Brookline, MA.

White is the ultimate neutral color. Accents like light fixtures, hardware, and decor can really shine against a white kitchen. White cabinets also allow flexibility to rotate styles easily as trends and styles change without the need for an entire remodel. Just replace a few fixtures and accents, swap out some decor, and it’s like an overhaul without the price tag.

So if you’re looking to brighten up your space, or want to make your remodel last for years to come, consider white cabinets—you won’t regret it.

Review our gallery for more examples of white kitchen cabinets.