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Quinton Trevino

Posted by & filed under Caruso Family Charities.

5-year-old Quinton Trevino was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia. He has undergone 6 months of very intensive chemotherapy and will need treatments for at least 3 more years. His mom Leslie can’t work because of the constant care needed for Quinton. Her husband Richard is a brick mason and has to miss work often because of hospital visits for his young son.

Their previous apartment had high levels of mold, which forced them to move once they received news of Quinton’s diagnosis. Caruso Family Charities caught them up with three months of rent and bills and they are grateful for this boost to their situation and feel confident about their situation. Quinton is doing as well as can be expected and he is a fighter. We are very hopeful for this sweet family.

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

8 Ways to Determine the Quality of a Cabinet Finish

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To determine the level of quality when choosing cabinets, focus on the basic components. High quality cabinets start with high quality materials and have solid construction and workmanship. What are the cabinet box, drawers and shelves made of and how are they assembled? What type of finish do they have and how is it applied? How many coatings are used? Makers of high quality cabinetry use a multi-step process of sanding, sealing, hand-wipe staining, finish coating of conversion varnish and baking in an oven.

8 Ways to Determine the Quality of a Cabinet Finish

While the idea of ‘quality’ is largely subjective, certain standards apply when it comes to cabinets. Here are some things to look for:

1. Plywood vs. particle board

Plywood is the stronger option. The best quality cabinets have plywood sides and backs. This ensures that they hold their shape during transportation and installation in your home, that they can support the weight of countertops and appliances, and they repel moisture. Plywood also holds screws, fasteners and glue better than particle board.

2. Full-height back panels

Full-height back panels add strength and prevent the cabinets from collapsing under the weight of heavy kitchenware. These panels also make the cabinets easier to install. The back panels should be made of heavy plywood.

3. Soft-close hinges and under-mount drawer glides

Good quality hinges will prevent doors from coming loose and sagging, as well as ensuring that the doors always close properly. The best hinges close doors slowly to avoid excessive wear and tear, can be adjusted in many directions and have a lifetime warranty. Quality drawer glides, or slides, provide smooth, silent action for many years. They hold a lot of weight without sagging or getting stuck.

4. Hardwood dovetail drawer boxes

Dovetail joints (sides that fit together with interlocking teeth) and plywood bottoms are industry standards of quality, strength and beauty. The glides are typically at least ⅝ inches thick. The bottom attaches to the sides with groove joints that are glued and nailed together.

5. I-beam construction

I-beams are ½ inch stretchers on the upper sides of the base cabinets. They provide strength and help the cabinets maintain their shape during transportation and installation.

6. Melamine interior

Melamine is a smooth, non-porous surface that is long-lasting and easy to clean. It can be applied to plywood, particle board and wood veneers.

7. Face Frames

A frame that the door attaches to, rather than the door attaching directly to the sides of the cabinet, is a sign of quality. The frame creates a more secure attachment for hinges, and adds strength and durability. The three styles of framed cabinets are partial overlay, full overlay and inset.

8. Lifetime warranty and industry certification

While a warranty does not necessarily equate to quality, a lifetime warranty shows that the manufacturer has confidence in its product. A lifetime limited warranty is a guarantee that the cabinet will function as expected for as long as the purchaser owns it, and allows for repair or replacement if the cabinet fails. Cabinets certified with ANSI/KCMA A161.1-201 2 meet the minimum quality requirements set by the American National Standard.

Flaws in Lower Quality Cabinets

The finish is often where poor quality is first evident. Telltale signs include:

  • Globs of stain in crevices.
  • Tiny dirt particles trapped under the finish.
  • Rougher areas to the touch where uniform sanding procedures were absent.
  • A murky look where the natural graining seems masked, a result of using a toner stain coat to blend the different wood pieces prior to the hand coat.

Ask your Design Consultant at Caruso Kitchens for the finishing steps in the cabinet line(s) that interest you. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver Metro Area.

Caruso Family Charities' Featured Story: Preston White

Posted by & filed under Caruso Family Charities.

The Jenna and Colonta White family was a little like the Brady Bunch. These two single parents met and fell in love. With five kids between them, they worked to raise their newly-blended family together while they planned their wedding. Life seemed hopeful – until the unthinkable happened.

Last year, their 6-yr-old son Preston was hit by a car. After 11 weeks at Children’s Hospital, his life was saved but he was left permanently disabled with severe brain injuries. He’ll never walk or talk again and is fed through a tube. His mom Jenna, a nurse, has had to stay home to care for Preston.

The wedding was postponed until last summer, but because they married, they lost much of their needed support. “We lost food stamps and child support during the month of August,” wrote Jenna, “We renewed our lease and the rent has increased. We can use any help we can get.”

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How Much Space is Needed to Install a Kitchen Island?

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The center kitchen island has become an essential in today’s homes and is often a major consideration in any remodel. An island is practical for food prep and other tasks, and functions equally well as a cozy gathering spot for guests or a place for kids to do homework. When planning the island that is right for your needs consider the size, placement, height and lighting. Your kitchen designer can help you determine what will work best.

Why Build a Kitchen Island?

Islands are practical, functional and become the very heart of the kitchen. Because they are accessible from all sides they accommodate a variety of uses, adding workspace, storage and seating. They allow others to gather and still be separate from whomever is cooking. Similarly, the cook no longer needs to be isolated from the rest of the family or from guests. Islands can also be beautiful. They have the look and feel of furniture and create a focal point in open floor plan kitchens.

Factors to Consider

Appliance Layout

The “work triangle” determines the optimal location for easy access to the cooktop, sink and refrigerator and movement among all three points. Ideally, the distance between any two points is four to nine feet, with the triangle’s sides totaling 13 to 26 feet. Make sure to allow space for unimpeded access when appliance doors are open.


Incorporating drawers, shelves and other storage features, such as a pull-out drawer for trash, adds to the island’s functionality and versatility. Balance storage needs with convenience when adding a sink, cooktop or other built-in appliance that reduces the interior space.

Food Prep and Serving

Islands are ideal for food prep and serving. If you wish to have a cooktop on the island, be sure to allow enough uncluttered counter space next to it and install a downdraft fan or vent hood. Choose a rugged, heat-resistant countertop material, such as sealed stone, stainless steel or tile.

Breakfast Bar

This feature encourages gathering in the kitchen, both for family meals and while entertaining guests. The bar height should accommodate standard bar stools or the height of whatever stools you’ll be using. Allow enough space for three to four people to sit comfortably and enough clearance for access around the stools when people are sitting in them.

Size & Placement

To accommodate comfortable and safe movement throughout the kitchen, the island should have a minimum clearance of 36 inches on all sides. This means that the kitchen itself must be at least eight feet deep and more than 12 feet long. Consider the space needed to open and access appliances, drawers and doors. To be useful and practical, an island should be a minimum of four feet long and just over two feet deep.

What Can You Do if You Don’t Have Room for a Kitchen Island?

Even if you have a smaller kitchen, you can enjoy some of the benefits of an island with these creative solutions.


A peninsula offers many of the benefits of an island, including seating, prep space and storage, with a smaller overall footprint. This is possible because the need for clearance on the fourth side is eliminated. Peninsulas can be an equally stylish and practical solution in a smaller space.

Movable Island

An island with locking wheels can provide a food prep area and storage with the flexibility that comes with being impermanent. When necessary, it’s placement can be adjusted or it can be removed from the room entirely.

Caruso Kitchens is ready to assist with all your kitchen design needs and questions. Contact us today. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado and serve the entire Denver Metro Area.

Featured Family: Jacob Bain

Posted by & filed under Caruso Family Charities.

Remodeling contractor Steven Bain and his wife Lauren work hard to care for their four young children: Breanna 7, Lukas 6, Jacob 3, and Noah 18 months. In February of this year, 3-yr-old Jacob was diagnosed with Acute Lymphatic Leukemia. Since then, their lives have been turned upside down. Steven’s capacity to work has been greatly diminished with numerous trips to the hospital and Lauren’s job has been made so much more difficult with 3 other small children to care for.

Their families have been there for them to help with the kids, but are unable to provide financial support. With many trips to see his son in the hospital, Steven has had to limit the number of remodeling jobs he can take. This is what happens to so many of our families. Life is going smoothly until tragedy strikes and bills mount quickly.

Caruso Family Charities is relieving some of the financial stress for this young family. The couple is working hard to maintain normalcy for their other three children so they don’t feel the stress of the many mounting pressures. Jacob has at least three years of intense chemotherapy ahead.

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

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10 Kitchen Trends That Can Raise the Value of Your Home

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The kitchen is often considered the heart of a home and, not surprisingly, a report stated that 80 percent of homeowners consider it one of their top three most important spaces. While many people value an updated kitchen, the cost versus the ROI of a kitchen remodel is a major consideration. An experienced kitchen designer can help homeowners make the right choices for their lifestyle and budget.

Depending on your needs and budget, a minor kitchen remodel — one that doesn’t involve gutting the space, changing the layout or moving walls —may make sense. This would include replacing appliances, updating cabinet fronts and hardware, new countertops, fresh paint and new flooring.

A midrange major kitchen remodel is more extensive and likely requires moving walls or relocating appliances, fixtures and cabinets to improve functionality. Other possibilities at this level are an island addition, semi-custom wood cabinets, new energy-efficient appliances, as well as new flooring and paint.

On the high end, an upscale major kitchen remodel would include higher quality finishes, such as custom cabinetry and stone countertops, and high-end appliances with extras such as water filtration.

A kitchen renovation will most likely have a positive impact on the value of your home. When choosing what to invest in, carefully consider how to maximize your ROI while keeping in line with your home’s value.

1.  High Quality Cabinets

Younger buyers in particular are embracing white custom or semi-custom cabinets. Two-tone cabinets, white and gray or white and blue, are also popular, as are neutral tones paired with wood finishes.

2. An Island

A well-placed center island continues to be a selling point. In-island sinks are in, while island cooktops are not. The key is for the island to work well with the flow of the larger space.

3. A Walk-in Pantry

As more people shop for groceries in bulk from warehouse stores, accessible and organized storage is crucial. Pantry storage specifically for cutlery and gadgets is another sought-after feature.

4. Quartz or Granite Countertops

Both quartz and granite have resulted in significant boosts to home value, with quartz slightly higher. These popular countertop choices have been linked to faster home sales compared to homes with laminate or other less desirable materials.

5. New(er) High-end Appliances

Homebuyers appreciate newer appliances, knowing they won’t need to be replaced soon. Greater energy efficiency as well as special features make high-end appliances attractive to current homeowners as well as to prospective buyers.

6. Open Layouts

Floor plans that allow the kitchen to blend seamlessly into other areas within the home and even with outdoor spaces have become a staple in home design. Removing walls to create that openness may be worthwhile.

7. New Flooring

Kitchen flooring should be durable and practical, but it is also a key design element that must work with the other materials, textures and colors in the room. Popular options include stone, tile, cork, wood, laminate and vinyl.

8. Fresh Paint

Paint is an economical way to renew an older kitchen with a fresh, clean feel.

9. Glass Tile or Subway Tile Backsplash

The classic appeal of these options contributes to higher selling prices and less time on the market, compared to kitchens with more intricate backsplash designs.

10. Upgraded Lighting

Under-cabinet LED lighting, task lighting and ambience lighting enhance the look, feel and functionality of the kitchen.

Contact Caruso Kitchens today for help with all your kitchen design needs. We are located in Lakewood and serve the entire Denver Metro Area.

Featured Family: Aaliyah Morrow

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Natalie Morrow is a single mom to daughters Aaliyah, age 12 and Amiya, 7. When she was 5, Aaliyah was diagnosed with a large brain tumor that left her blind and unable to walk. The tumor has also caused Diabetes Insipidus, an uncommon disorder that causes an imbalance of water in her body. This imbalance leads to intense thirst even after drinking fluids (polydipsia), and excretion of large amounts of urine (polyuria). Natalie has to quit work to care for her daughters full-time.

They need regular trips to school and doctor appointments but they have no car, so they’ve had to depend on Lyft.

Caruso Family Charities provided six months of rent and dance lessons for younger sister Amiya. In a remarkably sweet twist, the very same day, another generous family called to donate a car, which was happily given to this family.

“I’m always amazed when our generous CFC community steps in to help these families,” said Jerry Caruso, founder of Caruso Family Charities, “But sometimes it borders on the miraculous.”

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

What is the Difference Between Stock, Semi-Custom, and Custom Cabinets?

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Are you trying to decide what cabinet type is perfect for your kitchen remodel? Before making any definite choices, it is important to evaluate each option and understand the differences between stock, semi-custom, and custom cabinets.

Understanding the Difference Between Types of Cabinet

Each cabinet type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the perfect choice will vary from homeowner to homeowner. Let’s take a closer look at each cabinet type.

Stock Cabinets

If you are in the middle of a kitchen remodel on an older home, you likely have stock cabinets in your existing kitchen. Stock cabinets are mass-produced, standard-built cabinets that are ready-made upon installation. While you do not get an opportunity to customize stock cabinets, they are the most affordable option as well as the quickest.

Semi-Custom Cabinets

While “semi-custom” might sound like an oxymoron, this cabinet type simply allows for some flexibility when purchasing stock cabinets. For example, semi-custom cabinets can be changed to fit your wood preference, finish, cabinet depth, etc. While you may not get exactly what you want as far as personal design goes, they allow you to make small changes without the price tag of fully custom cabinets.

Custom Cabinets

In and of themselves, custom cabinets are the ideal cabinet type. They are built-to-order specifically for your home, and you can customize them down to every last detail. The catch is that they are also the most expensive option, and they take some time to build.

Which Cabinet Type is Right for Your Kitchen?

Custom cabinets are not for everyone. After all, if a more affordable option works just as well for what you want and need, it makes more sense to save the money. Choosing the right cabinet type for your home is all about evaluating your personal needs. It is helpful to take the following factors into consideration.

1. Storage Space

How much cabinet space do you need or want? Will a stock cabinet fit the bill? If you can obtain the right measurements with stock or semi-custom cabinets, custom cabinets might not feel necessary to you.

2. Kitchen Use

Consider how much time you spend in the kitchen. If you love to cook and spend a lot of time staring at those walls, it might be important for you to add a little flair.

3. House Style or Theme

Naturally, your kitchen should complement the rest of your home, whether in matching style or tasteful contrast. Look at the big picture and decide which cabinet type will help you achieve stylistic solidarity.

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.

Featured Family: Brady the Brave

Posted by & filed under Caruso Family Charities.

When Eileen Attar was pregnant with her second child in 2016, she felt that this one was different. “After a healthy pregnancy, my husband Chris and I welcomed Brady into the world. Moments after he arrived, we noticed something was terribly wrong: Brady’s feet were raw and missing skin. After two weeks in the NICU and a heartbreaking diagnosis of RDEB, we brought Brady home.”

Epidermolysis Bullosa is a group of life-threatening genetic disorders that affect the body’s largest organ: the skin. Individuals with EB lack critical proteins that bind the skin’s two layers together. Without these proteins, the skin tears apart, blisters, and shears off leading to severe pain, disfigurement and wounds that may never heal.

“We were overwhelmed,” said Chris, “Not just by the daily tasks required to keep him safe, but by the effort it took to get the resources we needed. Home health agencies had rarely cared for a person with EB, and the fact that Brady was an infant made them even more hesitant. Our private insurance company would not cover wound care supplies that cost upwards of $8,000 a month. These bandages would be Brady’s only form of treatment and without them, he would not survive. We realized quickly that we weren’t the only people who hadn’t heard of EB, but it’s rarity also meant that our path forward would require constant education, and through that, it would hopefully lead us to properly and exceptionally care for Brady.​”



Brady is now two and a half and his spirit continues to keep him smiling and laughing each day. He loves hummus, tomato basil soup, and anything that involves his older brother Leo and black lab, Clementine. He works diligently with physical and occupational therapy three days a week. Perhaps most profoundly, Brady is learning to stand and hopefully soon walk on his tender, fragile, and often still wounded feet.

“Our family keeps high hopes that Brady will be able to do most of the things that ‘normal’ children can do,” said Eileen, “EBRP is working diligently to fund the research and clinical trials needed to improve Brady’s quality of life and give him the chance to just ‘be a kid.’ Treatment would mean Brady could walk and possibly even run! We will not give up and we are grateful for all who believe that together we will heal EB.”

On Oct 21, 2018 Caruso Family Charities awarded $10,000 to EB Research Partnership in Brady’s name in the hopes of finding a cure for this terrible disease. Learn more about EB Research Partnership.

Featured Family: Brady the Brave