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Westminster Spec Home

Design by

Erin Sweenie


Eclipse Cabinetry


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Posted by & filed under Kitchen Design, News.

5 Points Bungalow

Design by

Erin Sweenie


Dura Supreme Cabinetry


Kyle Jameson Photography


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Featured Story: Ammar Ndibasa

Posted by & filed under Caruso Family Charities.

2-year-old Ammar Ndibasa was diagnosed with infantile hepatic hemangioma, a tumor on the liver. Ammar did not respond well to treatment and was referred to Children’s Hospital Colorado for further treatment and a possible liver transplant. Ammar’s mother Margaret is his sole support and has had to take off from work to be at her son’s bedside. Caruso Family Charities was able to provide financial assistance to Margaret to help pay her monthly rent while Ammar was undergoing treatment for the tumor on his liver. Sadly, Ammar succumbed to this disease before a transplant could be arranged. Everyone at Caruso Family Charities extends their sincere condolences to Margaret Ndibasa on the passing of her son, Ammar.

If you or your company are looking for a local non-profit to support, please consider Caruso Family Charities.

The Top 7 Questions to Ask Kitchen Contractors About Remodeling

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When it comes to home improvement projects, kitchen renovations provide you with some of the highest returns on your investment. An updated kitchen ranks high on the list of items that a prospective buyer looks for and carries a high value for your home’s resale.

Apart from that, a kitchen renovation can improve the usability and comfort of your kitchen space.

Because of its importance, both for your daily living needs, and home value, choosing the right contractor for your kitchen renovation is very important. To make sure you are getting the best work possible, here are 7 questions to ask when vetting prospective kitchen contractors.

7 Questions to Ask Your Kitchen Contractor

1. Are you licensed and insured?

Ask if the contractor has a business license and insurance. Homeowner’s insurance may not cover damage to your home by a contractor. Request a copy of their insurance certificate and clarify if they will be subcontracting the work and if the subcontractors are insured.

2. Do you have a portfolio of work?

Most kitchen contractors will have a portfolio of past projects. By asking to see their portfolio, you can get a feel for the quality of work that they do. Remember, most portfolios contain what the contractor considers to be their “best” stuff.

3. Will you be subcontracting any of the work?

When you hire someone for a kitchen renovation, you naturally assume that they will be the one doing the work, but that is not always the case. For instance, if in the process of renovating the kitchen, electrical outlets may need to be moved and an electrician may need to be called in. Ask ahead of time if there will be a need for subcontractors.

4. Is your bid an estimate or a fixed price?

Don’t get blindsided by additional costs. Know ahead of time if the quote you are given is all-inclusive or if additional charges could be accrued. Oftentimes, a kitchen renovation bid is fixed with a caveat for damage or issues behind the walls or floors that cannot be seen until renovation starts.

5. What are my financing options?

Some kitchen remodelers offer financing options or can connect you with financing sources. Ask if they require an up-front deposit and what the payment schedule will be for the balance.

6. How long does a kitchen remodel take?

A kitchen renovation will disrupt your day-to-day life, but a contractor should be able to give you a timeline so you can plan. Ask how frequently they will work on your project and how long they think the remodel will take.

7. Are there any warranties or guarantees?

You can ask a contractor if they offer any type of warranty or guarantee. If they do, make sure to clarify if the warranty is all-inclusive or only covers the cost of materials. You will also want to know how long the warranty lasts and the process for filing a claim.

Are You Ready for a Kitchen Renovation?

For over 30 years, Caruso Kitchens has created thousands of award-winning dream kitchens for Colorado residents. With over 150 years of combined experience, our skillful designers will help you create the kitchen of your dreams. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an interview, call us today. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver Metro Area.

Caruso Family Charities' Featured Story: Afterburn Family

Posted by & filed under Caruso Family Charities.

After losing his wife to breast cancer in 2009, Donovan Arterburn became the main caregiver for his three youngest daughters diagnosed with Friedreich’s Ataxia (FA), a debilitating, life-shortening, degenerative neuromuscular disorder. Two of his daughters, Bellamy, 18 and Savannah, 17 live with him. Skylar, Savannah’s twin sister lives with her aunt and her sister Madison, 20, who take care of her in a separate home, as there is not enough room in Donovan’s small apartment to accommodate everyone.

The disease first made its appearance when the girls were six and has progressed to the point where they are now in wheelchairs. There are several side effects, including scoliosis. Donovan explained, “All three of my girls affected with this disease have had spinal fusion surgeries. Their backs were becoming hunched and it was affecting their circulatory and digestive systems.”

Savannah suffered problems with her digestive system and Bellamy had heart and breathing problems. She still has severe concentric hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Their doctor advised that their life expectancy ranges between 20 to 25 years of age. “They are very intelligent, beautiful well-mannered, wonderful children. I love them very muc,” added Donovan.

As his 600 sf apartment is not handicap accessible, Donovan leaves their wheelchairs in his car because they don’t fit through the hallways. Whenever they have a medical appointment or Savannah goes to school, he has to physically carry his daughters out to his car and then put them in their wheelchairs. This also involves taking Savannah and her wheelchair to the bus stop to get a ride to the Denver School of Arts where she is studying stagecraft and design. Bellamy is enrolled in college where she is studying behavioral science in an online program through Red Rocks Community College.

Caruso Family Charities was contacted when Donovan’s car required major repairs and had been deemed unsafe to drive. This was a major concern for Donovan, as he didn’t have thousands of dollars to pay for the necessary repairs.

Generous supporters of Caruso Family Charities came to the rescue of the Arterburn family, donating funds to purchase an SUV for them. Through other gracious friends of CFC, Jerry was also able to locate a nearly new Ford Excursion that could accommodate the entire family including the three wheelchairs.

When presented with keys to the SUV, Donovan thanked Jerry, saying, “We’re so very appreciative and feel so very fortunate to have been introduced to Caruso Family Charities. They are a wonderful, wonderful group of people. Jerry is an amazing person. He’s easy to fall in love with.”

Jerry said, “We couldn’t do our good work without the generosity of our donors and are so thankful for everyone’s donations on behalf of the Arterburn family as well as the many other families who need our help.”

The Pros & Cons of Stained vs. Painted Cabinets

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So you just finished a kitchen or bathroom remodel and all that’s left to do is to put a finish on the cabinetry. The problem is you aren’t sure whether or not you want the cabinets stained or painted! This decision is something a lot of people find themselves unsure about as there are pros and cons to both. Let’s look at stained vs. painted cabinets and decide what is right for you.

Stained Cabinets


  • Versatility
    A wide variety of different styles are available when you choose to stain your cabinets. Natural or rustic looks are difficult to achieve with paint. This means that if you’re going for a certain theme then stained cabinets will have a good chance of providing what you’re looking for.

  • Showcases Hardwood
    If you’re looking for something that doesn’t detract from the wood then stained cabinetry is the way to go. Since the stain is thinner than paint it can seep into the surface helping that natural look from the wood shine through.

  • Minimal Long-term Maintenance
    A kitchen remodel is already quite expensive so you may find yourself dreading the touch-up required to keep your cabinets looking their best. Thankfully stained cabinets require minimal long-term maintenance meaning they will maintain their great look even after years of use.

  • Less Expensive
    Staining your cabinetry is far less expensive than painting it. The stains themselves come at an affordable price while also being easy to replace due to the fact that they’re easier to replicate than other paints.


  • Fewer Color Options
    Stains are better suited for numerous styles and types of hardwood, however, the color selection is noticeably smaller than that of paint.

  • Highlights Unsightly Grains
    While stains can bring out the beauty of wood they also bring out the blemishes too. Imperfections that could normally be covered up by paint are now at the forefront of your view so tread carefully when deciding which finish is right for you.

  • MDF and Stains are Not Good Together
    While staining is cheaper than painting, the wood in which you need to put it on is more expensive. This means there is a higher upfront investment in the cabinet’s material.

  • Dark Stains don’t Hide Dust Well
    Dust is a big problem for stained cabinets. It shows up easily on the darker stains and requires more upkeep in order to keep them looking good.

Painted Cabinets


  • Variety / More Color Options
    Now that you finished your bathroom remodel you may be wanting to increase the appeal with a bright contrast between multiple colors. Paint offers much more in terms of variety than stained cabinets do, meaning you’ll have a much higher chance of finding that shade you’re looking for if you choose to paint.

  • Contemporary Style / Clean Aesthetic
    If you prefer a smooth flawless finish over the more characteristic stained cabinets then painting is the way to go. The clean aesthetic offered by a solid white or gray is a great option for anyone looking for that elegant design.

  • Hidden Grains
    Not everyone loves that grainy look offered by staining. If you find you prefer to keep those wood knots hidden then a thick coat of paint is your solution.
  • Opportunity to Save
    Unlike staining, you can paint the more standard medium-density fiberboard (MDF). This can save you money as the hardwood associated with staining tends to run at a higher price.


  • Hidden Grain
    While some people don’t like it there are many people who feel that the grain of the cabinets adds to their character. If you’re looking for something more visually interesting then covering the grain may not be the way to go.

  • Higher Costs (paint is more expensive than stain)
    Painting cabinets isn’t the most budget-friendly way to finish them. Depending on the size of your kitchen you can spend hundreds or even thousands more than you would with alternatives. Determine how much you’re willing to spend after a kitchen or bathroom remodel and decide if painting is worth the price tag.

  • Maintenance Issues
    Paint is prone to chipping and deterioration over time. Even without extended use scratches aren’t uncommon and are difficult to fix.

  • Colors may be difficult to replicate.
    Paint touch-ups can be tricky. If you don’t know what color you used then replicating it can be a long and tedious process.

  • Dark paints don’t hide dust well.
    Just like stained cabinets, darker paints fail to hide dust as it stands out easily on the surface of the cabinet. This can be annoying to some homeowners and can turn maintenance of your cabinets into a nuisance.

Are You Ready for a Professional Remodel?

For over 30 years, Caruso Kitchens has created thousands of award-winning dream kitchens for Colorado residents. With over 150 years of combined experience, our skillful designers will help you create the kitchen of your dreams. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an interview, call us today. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver Metro Area.

Posted by & filed under Kitchen Design, News.

Design by

Jared Caruso

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Caruso Family Charities' Featured Story: Jax Steinberg

Posted by & filed under Caruso Family Charities.


When Jerry met Eric and Jillian Steinberg, they had two sons, Gage, 3 and baby Jax, 16 months. At 33 days old, Jax was diagnosed with Cockayne Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that involves progressive multi-system degeneration characterized by premature aging. He received medical care at Children’s Hospital Colorado. At birth Jax underwent cataract surgery. At 10 months old Jax became deaf and was placed on a feeding tube.

As Jax’s health continued to deteriorate, he family’s financial well-being crumbled too. One of their two vehicles was out of commission so Caruso Family Charities got it repaired. CFC also helped pay their last month’s rent so they could move in with Eric’s parents. They were down to one income and dealing with household bills and medical expenses for baby Jax, CFC also helped pay some mounting bills.

“The relief of having the bills paid was unimaginable,” Jillian shared.

Tragically, Jax developed a respiratory infection at 16 months old and succumbed to the virus.

Jerry Caruso attended baby Jax’s funeral in Evergreen. Jillian and Eric released two doves at the end of the service to symbolize a guardian angel leading Jax to heaven.

The dove pair disappeared over the mountains because they are trained to fly home. But suddenly the doves reappeared and circled back over everyone at Jax’s funeral for one last fly over. Jillian said, “It was really moving.”

Jillian wishes to thank all of Caruso Family Charity’s supporters. “When you’re thinking about making a donation to a charity, your biggest question is where the money goes – if it’s actually being used the way it’s intended.

There are charities that help with the medical needs of the child, but a charity that recognizes that mom and dad are struggling and knows what we’re going through is one in a million. Caruso Family Charities helped us so that we could put our focus on Jax,” she said.

She added, “The feeling of not being able to provide for your child is the hardest thing. Actually the hardest was admitting it and asking Jerry for help. But without a hesitation he said, ‘done!’ And there was a check in the mail that afternoon. Remarkable. It was the greatest gift that we received through the whole process.”

Thanks to our generous supporters, Caruso Family Charities was able to help the Steinberg family with their financial difficulties while Jax was alive and help pay for baby Jax’s funeral.

How to Set Up a Temporary Kitchen While Renovating

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A kitchen remodel is a great investment and is well worth the wait, however; losing access to your kitchen for any amount of time is bound to be an inconvenience to you. You could eat takeout every night but that is both bad for your health and your wallet. Alternatively, you could go with the better option which is setting up a temporary kitchen. Having one is not only a great way to save money but it also helps maintain a sense of normality in your home life while the kitchen is being worked on.

How to Set Up a Temporary Kitchen While Renovating

How you set up a temporary kitchen and what you need varies from person to person but here are the basics you need for some semblance of a normal routine.

Prep meals prior to renovation (freeze in bulk)

Freezing meals ahead of time in case you ever get tired of making meals from scratch in your temporary kitchen is a sure-fire way to both save time and stay fed. Grab some Tupperware containers and prepare some chili, lasagna, or anything else you may want to eat down the line!

Pack up all but the essentials

Because you won’t have much space in your temporary kitchen it’s important that you only keep out what you need. This also gives you an opportunity to clean out your kitchen and get rid of that built-up clutter that often goes ignored.

Select a location for your temporary kitchen (Make sure there is running water and storage)

When choosing a space to cook during your kitchen remodel it’s imperative that you pick one with water. It’s preferable to work in a space that isn’t dusty or that work is going on nearby as you don’t want to cook in a messy environment.

Set up a prep space

Next, you should set up a prep space that you can use easily. You can simply use a folding table or two as replacements for countertops. These will give you a space to work on as well as place small appliances.

Plan your meals

Knowing what you can cook and how you’re going to cook it ahead of time will save you a lot of headaches. A temporary kitchen won’t be able to do everything a normal kitchen can so having a clear idea of how you’re going to work around that through planning is a great way to make it through your kitchen remodel.

Set-up seating

Create a dining space for you and your family. This will help normalize the temporary kitchen while also giving you extra space to work if you need it.

3 Ways to Cook Your Meals

1. Grilling

Grilling is going to be your best friend if you’re renovating your kitchen during the summer. Due to the fact that most everything will be prepared outside you won’t even have to worry about your kitchen remodel getting in the way.

2. Microwaving

Not everyone loves microwaving but it is a fast and easy method to prepare your food which is ideal considering the situation. Reheating leftovers, boiling pasta, etc. The options are endless with a microwave so don’t be afraid to use it.

3. Camp Stove

A camp stove is a great investment. A one-plate option with a small canister attachment is more than enough to cook you most foods.

Most Important! Create order and a routine.

If you want to get through a kitchen remodel seamlessly then one of the most important things you can do is maintain order through a routine. Knowing what you’re gonna cook and how will keep the stress away.

Are You Ready for a Professional Remodel?

For over 30 years, Caruso Kitchens has created thousands of award-winning dream kitchens for Colorado residents. With over 150 years of combined experience, our skillful designers will help you create the kitchen of your dreams. If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an interview, call us today. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver Metro Area.

Caruso Family Charities' Featured Story: Ian Maddox

Posted by & filed under Caruso Family Charities.

The Devastation of Sanfilippo Syndrome

Shelly Maddox has two children, Ian and Tesla. Ian suffers from Sanfilippo syndrome, a debilitating terminal illness that has left him confined to a wheelchair. Because there are only a handful of specialists in the U.S. who are familiar with Ian’s disease, and one of them is at Children’s Hospital Colorado, Shelly had to move her family from Amarillo, TX to Denver. She left behind the support network of family and friends to give Ian the specialized treatment he desperately needs.

Shelly was a guest speaker at this year’s Comedy Night fundraiser. She shared with us that she is literally a million dollars in debt due to Ian’s illness. One example of the staggering medical costs was when Ian needed a new tire for his wheelchair and the cost of it was as much as a tire for a car. As a single parent, it is a struggle for her to pay for the high rent in Denver, but she is able to be five minutes away from Children’s Hospital with a first-floor apartment, so she counts herself lucky. The move has been especially difficult for 8-year-old Tesla, who is shy and has been picked on at school. Caruso Family Charities stepped in and helped this deserving family with payment of several months’ rent and unpaid bills, as well as Tae Kwan Do lessons for Tesla, so she can gain confidence. She loves horses and animals, and wants to be a veterinarian someday.

Thanks to the support of our wonderful donors, this family has been shown that there are truly charitable people in Colorado who are here to help them in their time of great need.

Shelly said, “It isn’t difficult because you love your child and you would do just about anything to see them succeed, to flourish, and to live.”

She has accepted that her son may die and she will need funeral expenses.

Shelly told us, “Caruso Family Charity has helped restore my faith in humanity, to have a breath of fresh air, and to remind me that our future as a family is important. Your generosity will one day help us move on from what this awful disease can do.”

About Sanfilippo syndrome

Sanfilippo syndrome is a progressive disorder, however, the rate at which the children deteriorate varies from one individual to another. The change seen in children with Sanfilippo syndrome occurs most often very gradually, but the disorder tends to have three main stages:

In stage 1, it is noticed that the child starts to lag behind and develops difficult behavior. In stage 2, the child may become extremely active, restless, and often have very difficult behavior. Some children have sleep disturbances. Many like to chew on their hands, clothes, or other accessible items. Language and understanding will gradually become lost. Some children never become toilet trained and those who do will eventually lose the ability. In stage 3, the child will begin to slow down. They have more difficulty when walking or running and fall often, eventually losing the ability to walk altogether.

The current life expectancy for children with Sanfilippo syndrome is 14 to 20 years. However, parents remain hopeful in that researchers are actively working on a cure to save the lives of children with this disease. At the present time, there is no cure for Sanfilippo syndrome. Enzyme replacement therapy and gene therapy are the two treatments that researchers have been focusing on to eventually cure Sanfilippo syndrome and other MPS diseases. There are a number of research institutions around the world working on finding a cure for MPS diseases.