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.

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Jared Caruso

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Caruso Family Charities' Featured Story: Jax Steinberg

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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

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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.

7 Kitchen Remodeling FAQs

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Now that you have decided to remodel your kitchen, you probably have a lot of questions about the remodeling process. Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we get from customers about kitchen remodeling.

7 Frequently Asked Questions About Kitchen Remodeling

1. How long does a kitchen remodeling project typically take from start to finish?

Since the amount of time a kitchen remodel takes depends primarily on the scope of the project, it is difficult to say exactly how long one will take. However, a well-planned project can reduce the time needed by weeks. Because of this, you will want to hire a contractor that works with you through all phases of the project, so you can avoid any problems.

2. What do I need to do to prepare for my kitchen renovation?

When preparing for your kitchen renovation, It’s a good idea to clear the kitchen of any personal belongings. It’s also recommended that you cover surrounding furniture to avoid dust and other stray particles from getting on them.

3. What are the stages of a kitchen remodel?

Typically a kitchen remodel will go through 4 phases: planning, design, installation, and finishing. Within each phase, there are a number of steps or tasks for you and your contractor.

  • Select your remodeler
  • Create your design
  • Order the materials
  • Get building approval
  • Demolition
  • Have the materials delivered
  • Electric Work
  • Plumbing Work
  • Flooring installation
  • Cabinet installation
  • Countertop template
  • Priming and then painting
  • Countertop installation
  • Finish plumbing
  • Appliance installation
  • Accessories installation
  • Door hardware installation
  • Finish electric
  • Touch up items

3. Do I need to have design ideas before I start the renovation process?

Before you start the kitchen renovation, you should have a pretty clear idea of what it is you want the finished product to look like. Look in magazines and search the internet for the style and materials that you want in your kitchen remodel so you can instruct your contractor accordingly.

4. What do costs include and how are coverages handled?

Ask your contractor and find out what your kitchen renovation costs will include and how the coverages are handled. Determine these so you know both what you’re paying for and why so you don’t end up losing money to something you didn’t want or need.

5. How do I finance a kitchen remodel?

There are plenty of options to finance your kitchen remodel. All you have to do is find the one right for you. You can use a home equity loan or line of credit. These can be used if you have built up equity in your home and often offer lower interest rates than alternatives. Other options are personal loans or low-interest credit cards.

6. What type of return on investment can I expect from remodeling my kitchen if I sell my home?

It’s no secret that remodeling your kitchen adds a lot in terms of home resale value. Any improvement you make can give your house more value but because the kitchen is such a focal point of your home it’s going to give you a great return on investment.

7. What types of cabinets do you offer with a kitchen remodel?

Finding out which cabinets are offered with a kitchen remodel is important as they are often a focal point of the design. Get cabinets that compliment your decor but are also functional and make the most out of your space. Companies can also offer custom cabinets that help you find exactly what you’re looking for leaving you with a kitchen you can be proud of!

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: Nash and Silas

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Nash Ogden is 5. He is a red-headed boy with a big heart and a ton of energy. But he misses his two siblings.

In the summer of 2012, the Ogdens welcomed Nash’s little sister, Dahlia Blue. Dahlia was born with terrible epilepsy that caused a multitude of medical and developmental issues. She was deaf, blind, unable to sit up walk or talk. The Ogden family moved to Denver from Durango to be closer to medical care and resources for Dahlia. In May of 2014, just shy of two years old, Dahlia passed away due to complications with her disease. We never knew the etiology of the epilepsy and she died without a diagnosis. Four days after Dahlia’s passing, the Ogdens learned they were going to have another baby. Courtney Ogden said, “We were nervous but the doctors were reassuring.”

On January 9, 2015 Silas River was born. Courtney said, “He was our first child without red hair, but he seemed healthy and we were so happy.” When he failed his newborn hearing screening, the Ogdens knew something was terribly wrong. In March, doctors confirmed Silas had the same neurological condition that had taken Dahlia.

During this devastating and heartbreaking time, the Ogdens put Silas into hospice care through Children’s Hospital. Then they met Jerry and Karen Caruso. Caruso family charities was able to help cover bills and expenses that were mounting.

“This money was more than a gift because it bought me time with my precious son during his very short time in my arms,” said Courtney.

“Before Dahlia’s birth, I worked as a full-time school teacher. As soon as she was born, I was no longer able to work, as I became the full-time caregiver for my child. My husband is an engineer and even with his job we were unable to pay all the medical bills. We qualified for little to no financial assistance programs. We were sent to collections for medical bills after our daughter died.”

Financially they felt destroyed by the medical system. “Taking care of a dying child is hard enough and then when you add the financial burden it becomes unbearable,” said Courtney.

“Because of the Caruso Family Charities, I was able to stop focusing on the financial burdens of what we were going through and focus on spending time with Silas. Once our bills were paid, we were able to buy a van to take Silas on some pretty awesome trips between hospital visits during his short time with us.”

On February 25, Silas joined his sister in heaven. Silas only lived for 13 short months, but the months were full of love, joy, and excitement. Silas traveled from Colorado to Minnesota, through South Dakota and to Mount Rushmore and the Badlands.

During Silas’s lifetime, Children’s hospital was able to do further genetic testing and found that Silas and Dahlia both suffered from a rare genetic disease with only about 40 reported cases.”This diagnosis, even though it did not give us a cure or treatment options, was a relief to my family,” said Courtney, “We finally had a name to this disease that had devastated our family.”

“I cannot ever thank the Caruso Family and Caruso Family Charities enough,” said Courtney, “The kindness and generosity of this charity are unmatched. I feel so honored to share my story, as I want everyone to know how their donations help real families dealing with real life problems that are devastating. Know that your donation can help take the stress of a family like mine and give them what they deserve. Time with their sick loved one.”

“Not a day goes by that I don’t miss my sweet angels. But as I look back on the pictures and treasure the memories, I am so thankful to have had the time to create the memories. The time was especially beneficial to my son Nash, who missing his siblings every day.”

When donating to charities, you have a lot of choices. But with Caruso Family Charities, the money you donate goes straight to the moms and dads who so desperately need the help. Jerry meets the families and gets to know what their needs are; he is also able to deliver quickly which is so important when your child is living with a life-limiting illness.” Courtney said, “Please share my story. We are real people living in unreal circumstances, thank you so very much for listening and thank you for everything you do for the Caruso Family Charities.”

We wish to thank Courtney Ogden for sharing her story and photos of her beautiful children at our Comedy Night fundraiser this year.

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

The Pros & Cons of 5 Kitchen Island Styles

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When most people think about their dream kitchen, the island typically isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. However, your kitchen island plays an important role in both the style and the functionality of your kitchen design. It is important to select the island that best fits your home so that you can fully enjoy your time in the kitchen. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of 5 unique kitchen island styles.

1. Galley

A galley island serves as more than mere counter space. Typically, a galley is utilized for both appliances and storage, with an installed sink, dishwasher, or stovetop burners often making an appearance. Although relatively basic and streamlined, the galley offers a straightforward functionality that fits virtually every kitchen in both size and style. This island is versatile, acting as a table, workspace, or storage area.

If the galley island possesses any flaws, it’s that many homeowners consider it to be boring. The shape is not particularly eye-catching. However, with the proper countertop materials and cabinetry design, your galley island can add a lot of style to your kitchen.

Kitchen Island: Galley

2. L-Shaped

Think of the L-shaped island as the sectional sofa in your kitchen. It offers plenty of counter space, plenty of storage space, and an eye-pleasing shape that makes a large kitchen look quite nice. The extra counter space makes an L-shaped island excellent for entertaining, as you can place countless platters of food for serving. Additionally, you can draw up plenty of bar stools to the counter for casual breakfasts or late-night snacks.

The primary disadvantage of an L-shaped island is that its size and shape can overcrowd a small kitchen. L-shaped kitchens typically work best in larger, more open kitchens with plenty of walking space. Additionally, the large corner tends to eliminate storage accessibility.

Kitchen Island: L-Shaped

3. Circular

If you have the room to spare, a circular kitchen island offers a fun alternative to the straightforward galley. These islands come in both full-moon and half-moon shapes and offer an abundance of counter space. Often, the curved edge stretches out longer than the cabinet base, allowing you to pull chairs around the edge as a permanent seating arrangement. The visual effect of a circular island is unique and striking without sacrificing any counter or storage space.

Working your way around the circular layout can be a little inconvenient at times. Additionally, the curved cabinet space makes it a little difficult to store appliances with straight edges. However, not every circular island features curved cabinetry; some simply offer a curved countertop on top of a standard rectangular cabinet.

Kitchen Island: Circular Kitchen Island: Circular

4. Multi-Level

A multi-level island combines a higher counter intended for dining with a lower counter intended for working. The higher counter works great for casual dining or as a place for kids to do their homework. Additionally, the stacked counters are visually appealing and make an attractive statement in a modern kitchen.

The primary drawback of a multi-level island is its loss of versatility. While it’s true that you can use the eating area for working, reaching between the two levels is a little inconvenient.

Kitchen Island: Multi-Level

5. Furniture Style

Finally, a furniture-style kitchen island combines a beautiful, graceful design with the standard island workspace. This type of island often resembles a side table or even a full dining table. Rather than the standard cabinets and shelves, a furniture-style island might offer one open shelf on the bottom for baskets, pans, or books. This type of island is essentially all workspace and eating space and does not typically feature a sink or stove.

While a furniture-style kitchen island is beautiful and makes any kitchen look stately and elegant, it does carry a disadvantage in its lack of storage space. However, if you already have plenty of storage space in your regular cabinets and pantry, consider the beauty and stylistic element of a furniture-style island.

Kitchen Island: Furniture Style

Do You Have More Questions?

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: Chanelle Billot

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Chanelle Billot is a beautiful 4-yr-old girl who was diagnosed with Retina Blasphoma, a cancer of the eye. Her parents Mikki and Anthony exhausted their savings to try to save her eye. But when the tumor began to grow into her brain doctors had to remove her eye. Insurance doesn’t cover her prosthetic eye, since it’s considered cosmetic.

Every year she will have to undergo this painful $4,000 surgery to replace the prosthetic until she’s 25.

Fiori d’Italia, a close partner of Caruso Family Charities, stepped up to help at their Bocce Ball Tournament on April 23. They donated all the money raised to help Chanelle and all the lovely auction items were gifted to the family as well.

Very special thanks to Micky’s Top Sirloin for not just hosting but donating the venue and the food proceeds. Micky’s helped us reach our goal of raising enough money to cover the surgery. Give him your business.

Fiori d’Italia (flowers of Italy) is a non-political, non-sectarian organization formed to learn and promote our Italian heritage while socializing and having fun.

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

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