10 Expert Kitchen Design Tips

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Are you interested in redesigning your kitchen but don’t know where to start? The kitchen remodeling process can seem overwhelming at first, but once you break it down, it becomes both fun and rewarding. Consider our list of 10 expert kitchen design tips to produce your dream kitchen.

When applying the following tips, make sure you keep a detailed journal of your decisions, budget, and vision. It’s easy to forget small details in the big picture, so write your plans down as you work through the following process.

1. Begin with the layout.

Every great remodeling project begins with the layout. Even if you can’t draw, try sketching your ideal kitchen layout. Keep the work triangle in mind, which refers to the 3 points between your sink, oven, and refrigerator. Everything in between those points is your workspace. Maximize your layout for storage, walking space, and statement pieces (like a high-quality kitchen island).

2. Integrate into the rest of the home.

Unlike a bedroom, which is typically distant and closed from the home’s living area, your kitchen should integrate into the rest of the home. After all, your kitchen plays a huge role when entertaining company, connecting with your family, and overall daily living. Ask yourself how well your current kitchen integrates into the dining area, living area, etc. What changes would you like to make to create a more open, inviting space?

3. Pay special attention to lighting.

High-quality, energy-efficient lighting makes all the difference in both cooking and entertaining. Always invest in more lighting, not less, and consider installing adjustable lighting for ambiance.

4. Choose materials based on both function and beauty.

The layout of your kitchen is extremely important, but so are the items you place inside. Carefully select countertops, backsplash, flooring, cabinetry, etc. based on both durability and design. Your kitchen storage and appliances should function efficiently and look great doing it.

5. Invest in a quality kitchen island.

Your kitchen island acts as your primary workspace, so consider what style best fits your needs. Do you want it to function as an extra eating area? Are you short on storage space and need maximum cabinetry? Would you like your sink or stovetop to be located on the island? Whatever you decide, plan ahead so as not to disrupt your layout.

6. Remember that cabinetry is key.

Though rarely the first consideration of any homeowner, your cabinetry possesses the power to make your kitchen look fresh and modern or old and outdated. The style draws the eye and helps tie the rest of the kitchen together. Additionally, because your cabinets carry so much weight, they should be made of durable wood.

7. Place appliances with maximum performance in mind.

It is generally a good idea to think through every possible problem when deciding where to place your appliances. For example, is your refrigerator placement going to block the natural walkway of the kitchen every time someone opens the door? If your oven is located far away from your kitchen window, it might be difficult to ventilate excess smoke. Carefully consider the optimal placement for each appliance before committing.

8. Think ahead regarding storage and counter space.

Likewise, consider how much storage and workspace you need before installing your cabinetry. If you only have a few dishes, it isn’t a big deal to cut back on cabinetry. However, if cooking and baking are full-time jobs to you, chances are high that you need the extra counter space.

9. Select a focal point when decorating.

Like your bedroom or living room, your kitchen needs a decorative focal point. A statement island, unique cabinetry, or even geometric flooring can all draw the eye and create a stunning focal point.

10. Don’t be afraid to call a professional.

Finally, make sure you call a professional for help with the big stuff. A full kitchen remodel is a huge undertaking made far easier with the help of an experienced designer and contractor.

Are You Looking for a Professional Kitchen Designer?

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.

Sophia Dolif - Caruso Family Charities

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Sarah Dolif is a single mom to two beautiful little girls: 6-yr-old Bella and 3-yr-old Sophia. Sophia was born with Holoprosencephaly, a rare disorder where the embryonic forebrain fails to sufficiently divide into two cerebral hemispheres. This results in severe skull and facial defects and can be life-threatening. Doctors don’t know what causes this genetic malfunction.

Sarah does her best to make ends meet but struggles under the pressures of medical care and everyday living expenses. Caruso Family Charities stepped in to help pay several bills, so she can feel a little less pressure and spend some time with the girls.

Upon meeting the family, Jerry was also concerned about Sophia’s sister Bella. Oftentimes, when a parent must focus so much time and attention to caring for a sick child, the healthy siblings suffer the loss of attention or play dates. Bella is lonely, as she gets very little interaction with others.

Caruso Family Charities helped with expenses but also by enrolling Bella in dance lessons in May. In just these summer months, she has blossomed into a fantastic tap dancer and has gotten rave reviews from her teacher, Stephanie Parker. Her first dance recital was August 20th, and Bella’s new friends Jerry and Karen Caruso were there.

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

Sophia Dolif - Caruso Family Charities

Sophia Dolif - Caruso Family Charities

5 Benefits of Engineered Stone Countertops

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Whether you are remodeling your entire kitchen or simply making a few updates, consider the importance of your countertops. Not only should they be beautiful, but they should also be functional. Enter engineered stone countertops! What exactly is engineered stone, and what are its advantages? Let’s talk about 5 benefits of engineered stone countertops.

What Are Engineered Stone Countertops?

First things first: what is the primary difference between engineered stone and natural stone? While natural quarried stone is durable and sturdy, its porousness poses a serious problem to kitchens. Quarried stone soaks up moisture, making it susceptible to staining and crumbling unless sealed annually.

In contrast, engineered stone mixes quartz with resin, forming a tightly-packed, moisture-resistant material. Additionally, granite and marble can be used. Long-lasting and durable, engineered stone offers resistance to stain and chipping without excess sealing.

What Are the Benefits of Engineered Stone Countertops?

So, should you include engineered stone countertops in your kitchen renovation? Homeowners who make the switch to engineered stone countertops notice the following 5 benefits.

1. Easy Cleaning and Maintenance

The smooth, slick surface of engineered stone makes cleanup easy. Your countertop will not soak up food, drink, or cleaner. Instead, wipe everything off neatly without worrying about drying it. There is no need to use a special cleaner on engineered stone.

2. Long-Lasting Durability

Engineered stone is specifically designed to be durable, even against nicks and scratches from wayward knives. While we certainly do not recommend taking a steak knife to your counter, you can count on it to resist scratches during daily situations. Likewise, engineered stone stands up well against weight and dings from kitchen objects.

3. Difficult-to-Stain Surfaces

Spilled wine? No problem. A leak in your coffee pot? Don’t worry about it. Again, the engineered stone does not share the porousness of natural stone, meaning stains rarely occur. Nor does liquid cause long-term damage to the inside of the countertops.

4. Resistance to Heat

Additionally, the high percentage of quartz within engineered stone protects the countertops from heat. While natural stone is slightly more heat-resistant (due to the lack of resin), engineered stone does a great job as well.

5. Many Styles to Choose From

Amazingly, you don’t have to sacrifice style for functionality. With the right kitchen designers and renovation company, you can choose from countless colors and styles of engineered stone. This allows you to fit the theme and style of your kitchen as well as your overall home. Finish your kitchen remodel with counters that you love!

How Can Caruso Kitchens Help?

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.

Sunny Montoya - Caruso Family Charities

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Sunny Montoya seems like any adorable 3-year-old girl. But 18 months ago, she started eating dirt, sand and rocks…and lost interest in food. Her mom took her to the doctor to make sure she was ok. Sunny was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia. This is a medical condition in which blood lacks sufficient, healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen to the body’s tissues and muscles. When there is insufficient iron in the blood, the body is unable to get adequate oxygenation. Symptoms include fatigue, shortness of breath, increased bruising and an irregular heartbeat.

In 2015, Sunny was referred to a hematologist at the Children’s Hospital Colorado. At the time, the family had catastrophic insurance coverage so they paid for the majority of Sunny’s medical care out of pocket until they were eligible for coverage through Sunny’s father’s employer. Sunny was transferred to Dr. John Van Doorninck of Rocky Mountain Pediatric Hematology & Oncology in January of 2016. Additionally, as her anemia had worsened, the decision was made for Sunny to undergo surgery for a port placement to receive weekly iron infusions. She has received 16 infusions to help increase her iron levels, which seemed to work. But after she was transitioned to oral medication, her levels dropped significantly and she may need to return to infusions.

The family is now facing extreme financial distress associated with Sunny’s medical care. Sunny’s father Carlos works as a project manager for a plumbing and mechanical company. Carrie, Sunny’s mother, stays at home to care for Sunny and her two siblings, 7 and 10 years old. Unfortunately, Sunny isn’t the only family member with a chronic hematology condition. Carlos also has a blood disorder and is treated monthly for polycythemia.

The Montoyas are in medical debt and are hoping to get onto a Medicaid Buy-in insurance plan, to better cover their family. But the program won’t retroactively cover the expenses already incurred. Caruso Family Charities has been asked to provide support as they continue to seek the medical care that Sunny requires.

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

9 Reasons Why Spring is the Best Time for a Kitchen Renovation

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As spring dawns and warmer months are on the horizon, you might be feeling the itch to renovate and remodel. Fortunately, spring is the best time to invest in a kitchen remodel, so if you are feeling like a change, now is the time! Let’s take a closer look at the factors that affect your springtime kitchen renovation.

What Makes Spring the Best Time for a Kitchen Renovation?

Now, keep in mind that there is never a “bad” time for a kitchen renovation. However, several things occur during the springtime that makes the process run a little more smoothly. Advantages of renovating your kitchen in the spring include the following.

1. Extra Daylight

As the days grow longer, workdays grow easier. Much of renovation work requires good, natural lighting. The extra sunlight speeds up the renovation process. Additionally, if you are including lots of windows in your design, the extra daylight helps you see how the light falls.

2. Better Weather

One of the biggest delays of home projects (even indoor ones!) is the weather. Weather often affects the contractor’s ability to get materials or travel to your home. With milder weather on a daily basis, you are less likely to run into building delays.

3. Summer Parties Pending

Get-togethers might look a little different this year thanks to COVID, but it’s still nice to have a hosting space available. Particularly if you spend a lot of time cooking during the summer, the spring is an excellent time to finish updating appliances and workspaces.

4. Kids in School

Again, whether or not your kids meet in-person for school depends on COVID, but generally speaking, kids are away from home during the spring. With fewer people underfoot, it’s easier to carry loads in and out of the house, make loud noises, and keep the project on course.

With the dawning of a new year edging towards spring, new trends and designs become available. If you like to keep your kitchen looking modern, the spring season is a great time to apply new trends.

6. Spring Energy and Creativity

With the budding of life and the warming of the weather, most people seem to experience a new spark of creativity and motivation. While much of this energy is channeled into spring cleaning, it can also be channeled into renovation projects. Tackle the kitchen while your productivity is high.

7. Spring Sales

Additionally, many hardware and appliance stores run sales on their equipment during the spring. Because so many people begin tackling warmer weather projects, it makes it easier to track down good deals on supplies.

8. Tax Return

As an added bonus, springtime brings everyone’s favorite financial boost: tax return season. If you are looking for something to use your tax return on, a kitchen renovation project makes the perfect prospect.

9. Busy Housing Market (Increase Your Home’s Value!)

Did you know that spring is the busiest home selling and home buying season of the year? Reinventing your kitchen can significantly add to your home’s resale value, making it an excellent investment.

Ready to Build Your Dream Kitchen?

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.

Mollie Browning - Caruso Family Charities

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Baby Mollie was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma in March 2016, the day after she turned 9 months old. After a series of tests and biopsies, it was found to be stage IV metastatic and categorized as intermediate risk. She began treatment immediately and has gone through four rounds of chemotherapy. While she was undergoing treatment, her dad Lee and mom Rebecca decided Rebecca would take a leave from work to care for her.

In July they got the results of her latest scans and bone marrow biopsies and her progress was remarkable…her parents were told that her metastases were clear and the primary tumor in her abdomen had decreased in size enough that she wouldn’t need additional rounds of chemo. They continue monthly tests and scans as directed to ensure she is continuing to improve and remain hopeful. Mollie is now a happy and active 14-month-old and she loves to play with her big sister Lila, who is four.

Caruso Family Charities is assisting the family with expenses in the interim.

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

Cabinet Hardware Options

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There are many Cabinet hardware options, so many in fact, it may be hard to decide. Often referred to as the kitchen’s jewelry, it must coordinate, function, and enrich the design. However, knobs and pulls also shield your cabinet’s finish as you are not transferring oil and dirt to the cabinet fronts.

The first step is to understand your cabinet hardware options:

Cabinet Knobs

You will find knobs in different shapes, Round knobs square, T-shape, and even other more severe forms. Round knobs are the most comfortable to grab, making them easier to pull.

Knobs are simple to install as they are typically attached to the cabinet door or drawer front with a single screw.

We do not recommend knobs for heavy drawers, as a single knob in the center will add unnecessary stress.

Cabinet Knobs

Cabinet Pulls

Pulls are a great choice for homes with weak or arthritic hands as they are easier to use.  They also will protect your cabinet finish as they reduce the amount of contact with your hands.

Unlike knobs, which have only one screw attachment, cabinet pulls need to be attached to the cabinet with two or more screws. When using all pulls, we suggest using horizontal for drawers and vertical for doors.

Another positive is that pulls are available in a broader selection of designs than knobs.

Cabinet Pulls

Cup and Bin Pulls

Bin pulls, also known as cup handles because of their semi-circular or semi-elliptical shape, are prevalent in farmhouse style homes.

They have a cupped shape that allows your fingers to slide into from underneath.

Bin pulls function best on drawers and pullouts, and they tend to look best installed centered and running horizontally.

Cup and Bin Pulls

Finger Pulls

Finger pulls are trending in modern kitchen design as they look streamlined in clean-lined, minimalist kitchens.

They attach to the back/top of each door/drawer and wrap around to create a lip that can be griped with a curved finger, like a cup pull but broader with a cleaner shape.

Finger Pulls

Latch Pulls

Latch pulls generally serve as a style statement as they provide an old-world appeal and work well in farmhouse-inspired kitchens.

As their name suggests, they latch shut, and depending on the latching mechanism; they can take a bit more effort to open than a typical pull. They may prove useful as a child safety lock or a deterrent for intelligent pets.

Since Latch pulls consist of two pieces, they need a cabinet style that is flush to the frame so the two parts can correctly align.

Latch Pulls

A knob, Pull, Latch: What Cabinet Hardware Options are Best for Your Kitchen?

There are no strict rules to follow. It is a matter of preference and performance.

It is a common practice to put knobs on the upper cabinets and pulls on the lower. Since pulls allow the whole hand to grab instead of only your fingertips, it is more comfortable. Pulls are almost always used on drawers as they tend to be heavy with pots, pans, dishes, etc. Pulls are more of a contemporary look, but you will also see them in traditional kitchens with a conventional pull style.

Finger pulls are not usually used with other cabinet styles because they appear in modern, minimalist kitchens. We suggest using a consistent width or size to match each cabinet.

It works well to combine Latch pulls with knobs for most doors as they are simpler to open.

Get the Scale Right

Selecting the right scale of hardware can be stressful, especially if you are mixing styles.  If the cabinet hardware style you are mixing looks similar, it can create a mismatched look instead of intentionally coordinated. To avoid this issue, make sure when mixing multiple styles that they are different in scale.

Consider The Other Metals In The Room

As we mentioned earlier, cabinet hardware is the kitchen’s bling, so you do not need to match the finish to the rest of your kitchen. When done correctly, mixing metals, materials, and finishes create a more layered, curated, and designed look.

Consider brushed nickel or champagne gold for your cabinet hardware for a superb combination of metals if you have chrome faucets. Keep in mind that the “finish” isn’t just the material but also the texture or shine level.  Brushed brass and satin brass both have gold tones, but they look different because they have different surface textures and shine levels. Black pulls look great with stainless appliances if you do not care for silver pulls.

Narrow Down Your Cabinet Style First

The style of cabinet hardware you pick will depend significantly on your kitchen design and the cabinet door style. Traditionally styled cabinets with more elaborate fronts call for traditional hardware. While, cabinets with simple or flat faces look best with minimal, sleek knobs and pulls. Some ultra-modern cabinets do not need any hardware as they have grooves on the edges of the door or open by push latches.

When evaluating your cabinet hardware options, your first consideration should be functional and if it is comfortable in your hand.  When in doubt, keep it simple. You will see classic round knobs and rectangular drawers in many stunning kitchens.

About the Author

 

Marina DagenaisMeet the Design Matchmaker

Since 2003, Marina Dagenais has found the perfect professional for homeowners and their projects. Marina represents a pool of interior designers with talent, capabilities, and experience, setting them above others.

Her complimentary matching service saves clients tons of time and headaches by quickly pairing them to the right design pros.
DesignerPremier.com / 303.916.9515/ Marina@DesignerPremier.com

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Beaver Creek Project -1

Design by

Kim Foutz

Cabinetry

Wynnbrooke

Wood Species

Rustic Beech

 


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Caruso Family Charities' Featured Story: Patrick Fox

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Caruso Family Charities' Featured Story: Patrick FoxPatrick is a 7-year-old boy who was diagnosed with childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in November 2013. ALL is a type of cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many immature lymphocytes (a type of white blood cell). Leukemia may affect red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. He receives treatment at Rocky Mountain Hospital for Children, which will continue until November.

He has a younger brother Brady, who is four. His mother Emily is a social worker at Banner Health and his father Terry just started his own business in acupuncture.

Patrick receives chemotherapy 1-2 times a month. The experience has been difficult on the entire family and recently, Brady commenced play therapy due to his struggle to cope with Patrick’s cancer. The entire family has benefitted from therapy, however the cost is high and added to this are the typical burdens that cancer places (e.g. transportation, cost of insurance, etc.)

Caruso Family Charities is assisting with mortgage to allow the family to support their emotional needs by attending counseling to help them cope with the diagnosis and implications.

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

10 Ways to Make a Small Kitchen Look Spacious

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Your kitchen plays an important role in the dynamic of your home. After all, everyone loves a good meal, and there’s something comforting about cooking in a beautiful, organized, spacious kitchen. Even if you don’t have a lot of space to work with, you can still use the area to its full advantage. Here are 10 ways to make a small kitchen look bigger.

Ways to Make a Small Kitchen Look Spacious

Generally speaking, a room appears smaller because of the way it is set up. There are numerous ways to trick the eye into thinking a space is bigger than it actually is. You can maximize space in your kitchen by taking the following steps.

1. Use light colors.

Did you know that light, neutral colors can make a small space appear far more open? Bright neutrals have come into style over the last several years and are particularly beautiful in kitchens.

2. Avoid strong visual contrasts.

Sharp contrasts between colors and patterns tend to draw the eye to one place, making a room appear more cramped. Keeping everything in the same color family prevents that from occurring.

3. Use accent lighting.

Examples of accent lighting include candlelight, cabinet lighting, extra overhead lighting, etc. During the day, natural light does its job, but during the evening, accent lightning really helps brighten things up.

4. Opt for taller cabinets.

Not only do taller cabinets draw the eye upward instead of outward, but they also utilize extra wall space and increase your storage. The more storage you have, the less clutter there is to make the kitchen appear smaller.

5. Eliminate clutter.

Along the same lines, it is important to eliminate clutter as much as possible. Extra items on counters and in cabinets reduce elbow room and lend a cramped feeling to the kitchen. In order to reduce clutter, try to have a specific place for everything and everything in its place.

6. Use reflective materials.

A decorative mirror or reflective wall tiles also increase the spacious feel of a kitchen. This is a decorating trick that has long been used by interior designers. It is simple, but it works!

7. Install glass doors.

Glass doors leading to your cabinets or pantry also trick the eye into thinking the kitchen is spacious. Just make sure you keep your cabinets and pantry organized!

8. Allow plenty of natural light.

If your kitchen does not already have windows or a skylight (in the case of a one-story home), consider renovating and putting one in. Natural light instantly brightens up an area and makes it appear more spacious.

9. Borrow space.

Depending on your home’s layout, you can borrow space from other areas. For instance, if your kitchen is walled in, consider turning that wall into a half-wall so that the room feels less closed off.

10. Hire a great designer that will bring it all together.

Ultimately, a great designer is one of the easiest ways to maximize your kitchen space and functionality. Colors, materials, cookware, flooring, etc. all play a huge role in your kitchen’s “feel,” and a great designer will bring each factor together in a beautiful way.

How Can Caruso Kitchens Help?

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.