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Willow Street Project

Design by

Beth Parker

Photographer

Libbie Holmes

 


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7 Benefits of An Open Concept Kitchen

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An open floor plan connects the kitchen, dining room, and living room area, creating continuous “great room” space for entertaining and family time.

Those who value continuity, airflow, and light in their home design will appreciate kitchen space that flows into adjacent rooms and allows maximum natural light.

If considering an open-concept floor plan, read our list of top benefits below to see if it might be a good fit!

1. Visible and inclusive

The optimal visibility provided by open-concept kitchens makes them more versatile. Rather than primarily being where you go to cook or clean up from meals, the kitchen can become part of any activities in the dining and living areas.

2. Encourages family bonding

Open-kitchen designs help reinforce the kitchen’s role as the heart of a home. While cooking and cleaning up, parents can carry on active conversations with kids doing homework at the dining table or relaxing in the living room.

Islands and long countertops with bar stools also provide informal gathering places where family members can talk and catch up during meal preparation or sit for a quick meal together.

3. Convenient entertaining

One of the primary reasons homeowners choose open-concept kitchens is because it lets them be more social with family and guests.

After smoothly transferring food from the kitchen to the dining area for dinner, you and your guests can easily move to the living room for after-dinner drinks or coffee and dessert.

Plus, you can carry on conversations throughout the evening as you tend to various needs without feeling rushed or like you’re abandoning your guests.

4. Increased flow and functionality

Have you tried carrying on a conversation with someone in the living room while cooking in the kitchen? Possible, yes; easy, no. But with an open-concept kitchen design, conversations flow freely between the different spaces.

Homeowners who choose open-concept kitchen plans also have more room to function. They can include multiples in the kitchen design – two islands, two sinks, two refrigerators, etc.- for easier entertaining or caring for a larger family.

5. Natural lighting and ventilation

Traditional kitchens usually don’t have much natural light, thanks to walls lined with cabinets and appliances. Artificial lighting can be harsher on the eyes and increases energy bills.

Open-concept kitchens enjoy the relative comfort and bright, cheery atmosphere created by natural lighting spilling over adjacent living spaces.

6. Custom storage possibilities

The visibility of an open-concept kitchen makes storage all the more critical. You want your kitchen to be as clean, neat, and inviting as your living room. That means clutter-free countertops.

To keep things tidy, homeowners often include custom cabinetry in their open-concept kitchen design to maximize storage space and organization. For example, adding pull-out shelving and deep drawers to lower cabinets provides easy access to small appliances, keeping them off the countertop when not in use.

7. It just looks and feels larger

Remove the walls, and the same kitchen space simply looks larger, making open-concept kitchens the perfect design for smaller homes or kitchens in larger homes that have a relatively small footprint.

Your open-concept kitchen starts here

Caruso Kitchens has been creating award-winning kitchens for Colorado homeowners for three decades. Our skillful designers will put their 150 years of combined experience to work helping you create the open-concept kitchen of your dreams. Located in Lakewood, Colorado, we proudly serve the entire Denver Metro Area. To schedule a no-obligation appointment, please contact us today.

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The Ristucci Project - 1

Design by

Taylor O’Connor

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The 94th Project

Design by

Jared Caruso

Photography

Libbie Martin Photography

 


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16 Kitchen Tips For The Holiday Marathon

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When asked to name their favorite time of year, people typically cite the holiday trifecta of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. We look forward to the associated family, friends, food, and entertaining traditions all year long.

But is your kitchen ready? Here are 16 tips to help you prepare for the festivities to come.

1. Deep-clean your kitchen

Your counters are spotless and the floor is super clean, but when was the last time you thoroughly cleaned your oven, microwave, fridge, freezer, and dishwasher, inside and out? While you’re at it, wipe down the cabinets too. Run all your oven mitts, hot pads, dishcloths, and washrags through the laundry.

2. Locate specialty cookware

Figure out where you’ve stored the turkey roaster, oversized pots, specialty casserole dishes, and similar pieces you rarely use outside the holiday season. Give them a good scrub and keep them nearby for the time being.

3. Prepare dishes and linens

Does your family use special dishes, silverware, cloth napkins, and the like for holiday meals? Check to see if they need cleaning, polishing, washing, or ironing.

4. Clear your countertops

Before baking and cooking can begin, clear the clutter. If you don’t have a lot of storage space in your kitchen, move the mail, paperwork, non-seasonal decorations, and more to another room for the duration.

5. Check your oven temperature

Holidays involve lots of baking and roasting. Using an oven thermometer, check the accuracy of your oven settings and adjust as needed. If you can’t adjust them, try to get the unit serviced before the holidays, or note the differences so you can adjust accordingly. For example, if a 350oF setting produces a 340oF temperature, make a note to adjust either temperature settings or cooking times manually.

6. Sharpen those knives

Check your carving knives and sharpen them as needed. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to artfully carve a ham or turkey with a dull knife.

7. Discard stale and expired food

Holiday ingredients and prepared foods take up lots of room. There’s no better time to clean out your pantry, fridge, and freezer and discard anything that has expired, gone stale, dried out, or experienced freezer burn.

8. Take stock of your spice rack

Certain spices may not be used frequently outside of the holiday season, or at least not in the quantities needed for the holidays. In other words, you may not realize that you are almost out of a particular spice or that your existing stock is so old that it’s likely lost potency.

9. Move staples to airtight containers

Chances are, you use staples like flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and similar ingredients far more at this time of year than otherwise. If you haven’t already, consider transferring dry staples like these to air-tight canisters or storage containers for ease of access that’s usually less messy, too.

10. Stock up on essentials

Avoid last-minute, mad dashes to the store by ensuring you have plenty of aluminum foil, plastic wrap, dishwasher detergent, dish soap, and garbage bags in stock – disposable plates, cups, and utensils, too, if you use those.

11. Got leftovers?

Even if you don’t typically have leftovers, chances are high that you will have plenty during the holidays. It’s time to tackle those food storage containers and throw out any damaged or no longer have matching lids.

12. Add cooler space

If you feel like you may need more chilled space despite cleaning out your fridge, get a large cooler to the station in your pantry or utility room for easily-sealed items that need to be kept cool, like cold salads, dips, cut-up vegetables, or canned and bottled drinks.

13. Check on seating

Do you have enough seats to accommodate the couple of unexpected guests that always seem to pop up during the holidays? In addition to installing the dining table leaf, gather up barstools for the counter or break out a card table and chairs to ensure everyone will have a place to sit.

14. Create your meal plan and cooking schedule

Plan your menus and determine what can be prepared in advance. For example, chopping vegetables the day before and keeping them in sealed containers in the refrigerator can free up valuable time to spend with friends and family on the holiday itself.

15. Add some festive touches

A little orange and gold at Thanksgiving, red and green at Christmas, or gold, silver, and white at New Year’s help you and your guests get into the holiday spirit. Check department stores and dollar stores for inexpensive, seasonally themed decorations, such as kitchen towels and spoon rests.

16. Consider a kitchen remodel

If going through this list has made you wish a few things were different about your kitchen, call Caruso Kitchens to talk about kitchen remodeling. Depending on the work involved, there may still be time to pursue a quick project before you host that holiday gathering.

Is it time for your dream kitchen?

Caruso Kitchens has been creating award-winning kitchens for Colorado homeowners for three decades. Our skillful designers will put their 150 years of combined experience to work, helping you create the kitchen of your dreams. Located in Lakewood, Colorado, we proudly serve the entire Denver Metro Area. To schedule a no-obligation appointment, contact us today.

Posted by & filed under Kitchen Design, News.

Design by

Taylor O’Connor

 


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Posted by & filed under Basement Design, Bathroom Design, Kitchen Design, News.

Design by

Jared Caruso

Interior Decorator

Kimberly Timmons Interiors

Photography

Kylie Fitts Photography

 


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What are Kitchen Cabinets Made of (and What Are the Best Materials)?

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The kitchen cabinets you choose will have a huge impact on both the functionality and the aesthetics of your kitchen. That’s why it’s important to do some research to make sure you find the right cabinets.

This article should make that easier for you to do. Keep reading to learn what kitchen cabinets are made of and which materials are best.

What are Kitchen Cabinets Made of?

Hardwood

Hardwood is one of the most popular choices for kitchen cabinets today. It’s durable, beautiful, and available in many different colors and styles. The only major downside is that hardwood kitchen cabinets are also typically the most expensive kind that you can find.

Plywood

Plywood is made out of thin layers of wood that are stacked on top of one another and glued together. In cabinet applications, it’s a super versatile material, which resists moisture and has a lot of built-in strength.

Plywood isn’t as strong or as beautiful as hardwood. But it’s cheaper and offers moisture resistance, which hardwood doesn’t. It’s a good middle-ground between hardwood and some of the weaker, more affordable materials covered below.

Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF)

Many cabinets from IKEA are made out of MDF. This is made out of small sawdust fibers that are bound together with a chemical agent that makes them dense. MDF is affordable and super easy to paint. But it’s prone to swelling when not properly sealed and isn’t strong enough for many applications.

Wood Veneer (Finishes)

Wood veneer is a thin layer of hardwood that’s applied over the top of a cabinet to change its appearance. This lets you get the high-quality look that you want in your kitchen without necessarily having to pay for 100% hardwood kitchen cabinets.

But appearance is the only benefit you get with this option. The strength and durability of your cabinets will be dependent upon the material that’s underneath the veneer.

Particleboard

Particleboard is an engineered wood product that involves binding recycled wood products together into sheets. It’s a super affordable material that can be sturdy and durable if you purchase a high-quality option. But it’s prone to sagging and warping since it’s not moisture-friendly.

Other Materials

Other materials are less common in kitchen cabinets, but you may see options that are made out of laminate and thermofoil.

  • Laminate cabinets are made out of three resin-saturated layers, which you can use to give your cabinets a new appearance – similar to wood veneer. This can be a good choice if you’re looking to spice your kitchen up with uniquely-designed cabinets.
  • Thermofoil is another finish that’s similar to wood veneer. It closely resembles the look of real wood but at a more budget-friendly price point.

What is the best material for high-quality cabinets?

If you want the best of the best, then hardwood and plywood are the way to go.

Hardwood creates beautiful, long-lasting cabinets that will withstand the stresses that you put them through over time. Plywood kitchen cabinets are also very durable and can make a great aesthetic addition to many different types of kitchens.

If you’re willing to spend a lot to get the best-looking cabinets, then go with hardwood. But if you want a cost-effective alternative that will still get the job done, plywood is a great backup option.

Which cabinet materials should be avoided?

Particleboard is typically something you should stay away from for kitchen cabinets. It’s weak, not resistant to moisture, and isn’t durable enough to last for very long – especially in a busy kitchen. If you go with particleboard, you could have to replace it very quickly.

Caruso Kitchens Can Build Your Dream Kitchen Cabinets

Caruso Kitchens proudly offers semi-custom and full-custom furniture-grade cabinetry and storage units for any residential application. From kitchens and baths to entertainment centers and home offices, from wet/dry bars and computer armoires to children’s playrooms and libraries, we are your single source for highly functional, attractive storage for every room in your home.

Caruso represents 8 distinct cabinet manufacturers that meet any budget. We offer abundant choices in an unlimited array of finishes, door styles, and wood species — including hardwoods, veneers, and exotic woods — as well as a seemingly endless choice of colors.

But don’t take our word for it. Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver Metro Area.

Caruso Family Charities: FAQ

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Caruso Family Charities is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to assisting families who have a child, adolescent or young adult being treated in Colorado for a life-threatening disease or life-altering event. Through our Funding Families program, our mission is to relieve some financial pressures, such as rent, insurance payments, energy bills, co-pays or gas, so the family may focus on caring for their sick child.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes, Caruso Family Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all donations are tax-deductible minus any goods or services received. Our Tax-ID number is 20-5904999.

Can I make a donation through my donor-advised fund?
No, not at this time. Caruso Family Charities is in the process of transitioning from a private foundation to a public foundation. Once the IRS approves this transition, you will be able to donate to us through a donor-advised fund. We will be sure to let our donors know when this approval has happened.

What percent of my donation goes to the families in need?

Caruso Family Charities has one employee and no brick and mortar, so a large portion of your donation goes directly to the families in need. We estimate over 92% of all donations go directly towards helping families.

What volunteer opportunities are available?

Caruso Family Charities needs volunteers to help at our fundraising events, including but not limited to our Golf Tournament, Cafe Jordano, Automezzi, and the Light Up The Night Gala.

We are also always looking for volunteers to serve on auction/sponsorship committees. These committees help us secure auction items and sponsors for our fundraising events.

We don’t have any volunteer opportunities working directly with the families at this time.

Visit the Caruso Family Charities website to learn more.