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Beth Parker

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Atelier Interior Design


S. Brenner Photography


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Caruso Family Charities' Featured Family: Dane the Swimmer

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Dane Cuesta is a 12-year-old boy who loves to swim but his favorite pastime was put on hold after his Lung transplant in 2018, which his body rejected. He currently requires twice-monthly Photopheresis, which is a procedure where blood is removed, treated and returned to his body in order to stabilize his progression toward lung transplant failure. Dane will need this treatment until his second lung transplant. Meanwhile, he has to have a long-term indwelling catheter, which prevents him from swimming, as it cannot get wet.

Dane’s mother, Angie, found a company in England that makes custom drysuits that will cover up Dane’s medical equipment and will allow him to swim again, drastically improving his quality of life. Unfortunately, Dane’s parents have fallen on hard times and could not afford to get Dane a custom drysuit. Dane’s medical team at Children’s Hospital Colorado knew how much this would mean to Dane and they contacted Caruso Family Charities for help.

Caruso Family Charities was not only able to buy Dane his custom drysuit but also paid 4 months of rent for Dane’s family.  This significant donation has given Dane’s parents some breathing room and allowed them to focus on caring for Dane and his other siblings.

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What's Your Kitchen Style? Take This Quiz to Find Out

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The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. It’s often referred to as the “heart of your home.” So, when it comes time to remodel, you want the kitchen to reflect your personality and style and still work well with the architecture of your home. To help you determine which style of kitchen might best suit you, here are some questions to consider.

10 Questions to Ask Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

1. Which of these looks appeals to you most?

  • A bright, open space with lots of sunshine
  • An old-fashioned homey feel
  • Modern technology and appliances
  • Bright, flashy, pops of color

 2. What is your preferred countertop material?

  • Granite
  • Wood
  • Concrete
  • Laminate

3. In your remodeled kitchen, which of these would you consider the ultimate “dream?”

  • A fireplace with a wood-fired pizza oven
  • Stainless steel commercial stove with 9 burners
  • A bar that comfortably seats eight
  • Cabinets on every wall with built-in organizers

4. What is the biggest challenge you face in your current kitchen?

  • Lack of cabinet space
  • Does not “flow” well
  • It looks old and dated
  • Not big enough

5. Which colors do you prefer in a kitchen?

  • Black, white, and other neutrals
  • Greens and browns
  • Pastel yellows or blues
  • Red

6. What is the primary purpose of your kitchen?

  • A gathering place for family
  • Entertainment space for friends
  • Cooking only
  • A place to keep snacks – what’s cooking?

7. If you had to describe your kitchen personality, what would you consider yourself?

  • Homebody – you like to stay in and eat a home-cooked meal while watching a movie.
  • Hospitable – you like to entertain and often cook for large groups of people.
  • Practical – there are hungry mouths to feed and dinner needs to be ready fast.
  • Gourmet – your dream job is to be the top chef at a 5-star restaurant.

8. Why do you want to remodel your kitchen?

  • It will improve the resale value of your home.
  • You spend most of your time there and want to make it “your space.”
  • It’s too hard to get anything done – the layout just doesn’t work well.
  • The Harvest Gold appliances clash with the Art Deco decor, and the vinyl is peeling off the countertops.

9. If you were given $5000 to spend on your kitchen, what would you buy?

  • High-tech “smart” appliances
  • Granite countertops
  • Updated cabinets
  • New flooring

10. What is stopping you from remodeling your kitchen?

  • You don’t know where to start.
  • You’re afraid it will be too expensive.
  • You don’t know what you want.
  • You’re afraid of getting in over your head.

Taking the First Steps Toward Your New Kitchen

Now that you’ve had a chance to think through some of your preferences, you will have a better idea of what you might want for your kitchen. The questions above were designed to make you think about your kitchen’s purpose, your motivation, and your likes and dislikes. No quiz can ever “define” your style, because you are unique, and your needs are individual to you.

If you’ve been dreaming of a new kitchen, then the first step is to contact a reputable kitchen designer. They can help you set a budget and show you options you may not have considered.

Understanding the Interview Process

If you aren’t sure what a reputable kitchen designer looks like, keep the following points in mind. Your kitchen designer should do all this and more, making your satisfaction their priority.

  • Define project scope
  • Assess your personal needs and wants
  • Discuss your likes and dislikes
  • Review and analyze cost/investment
  • Determine schedule, challenges and preparation
  • Determine best way and with whom to communicate
  • Explore potential design solutions
  • Introduce design retainer
  • Assign homework to both the client and the designer

Make sure you plan for life without a kitchen. It’s amazing how many people forget that during a kitchen remodel, they won’t have access to everything they’re used to having access to. You can discuss this with your kitchen designer also.

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 – What We Do and How Our Process Works

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


There are organizations that help kids and families on a long-term basis, but they require more processing time. Some families need help now. Caruso Family Charities helps bridge the gap. We pull families back from the brink by helping with the immediate need immediately. We personally visit each family to assess the situation and then we help solve the problem, whether it’s keeping a family in a home for a 3-month span until other resources can be enacted, or helping a stranded mother get her child to chemo treatments. Our help is personal and it’s as real as it gets.


  • Rent / Mortgage: 50%
  • Medical Bills: 20%
  • Transportation: 15%
  • Utilities: 10%
  • Other: 5%


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9 Tips to Prepare for a Kitchen Renovation Project

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Homeowners who begin a kitchen remodel are faced with a number of decisions. They must choose a contractor, countertops, color, tile, appliances, and every little detail down to drawer pulls. It’s common, when faced with all those decisions, to forget about planning for day-to-day life during construction. You can bet that the kids will still be asking, “What’s for dinner?” and nobody wants to forgo that morning cup of coffee.

Preparing for a Kitchen Renovation

Here are some helpful tips on how you can meet the needs of your family during your kitchen renovation project.

1. Set up a temporary kitchen in another room.

Ideally, the room will have close access to a sink. You can move the refrigerator and cook with a microwave, slow cooker, InstaPot, electric skillet, toaster oven, etc. If the weather allows, you can also cook outside.

2. Make use of the dining room.

If you have a formal dining room, consider using it for everyday use during the renovation. For homes without a dining room, set up a table in a lesser-used space such as a finished basement. It’s best if the area is not too far from your makeshift kitchen. During the summer, you can always eat outside on the patio.

3. Use paper plates.

Chances are good that you won’t have access to a dishwasher during your kitchen makeover. Washing dishes by hand can be cumbersome if you don’t have access to a large sink. Using paper plates and plastic utensils for a couple of weeks will greatly reduce the time and stress of cleanup.

4. Increase your budget for “eating out.”

Consider eating out, rather than at home. Keep in mind that you will not want to eat fast-food for every meal, so it would be best to budget for one or two sit-down restaurants.

5. Prepare for disruption.

Despite preparations by you, your designer, and your general contractor, the project will produce noise and dust. Mentally preparing yourself for this will hopefully decrease the level of annoyance.

6. Expect minor delays.

When the walls start coming down, things that were hidden often come to light. For instance, you may not have known that the pipe under the floor had developed a slow leak. It’s better to fix those types of problems before they become bigger ones. However, these unforeseen issues can cause delays.

7. Cushion your budget.

The same hidden problems that can delay your renovation will probably cost money to fix. Allow room in your budget for the unexpected.

8. Stay focused on the result and not the process.

It’s hard to envision your new kitchen when all you can see is bare wood and tarps. Keep the renderings of your project handy, and when you get discouraged, focus on the goal. In a relatively short time, the mess will be behind you and you will have the kitchen of your dreams.

9. Get the best contractor for your kitchen renovation!

Why Do You Need a Good Contractor?

Your designer and general contractor are the ones spearheading your renovation. Make sure you thoroughly vet their credentials and examine their previous work. Pay close attention to comments on their personal service, attention to detail, their reviews, and their longevity.

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.

Long Engineering Donates $20,000 to Caruso Family Charities

Posted by & filed under Caruso Family Charities.

After seeing the impact Caruso Family Charities had on one of its employee’s lives, Long Building Technologies hosted a Golf Tournament and donated $20,000 to Caruso Family Charities. This significant donation will allow Caruso Family Charities to help even more struggling Colorado families who have a child suffering from a life-threatening illness.

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Posted by & filed under Kitchen Design, News.

Design by

Kim Foutz


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10 Interior Designer Tips for a Gorgeous Kitchen

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Once you’ve made the decision to remodel your kitchen, you may need some help sorting through the various elements of interior design. Here are 10 tips that can help you start the process, even before you’ve hired a design professional.

1. Determine Your Style

To help determine and articulate your style, look to other areas in your life where design influences your choices, such as your wardrobe. Think about how do you want a space to feel. Remember places you’ve been that have made you feel comfortable and at ease — other homes, hotels, restaurants, etc.  Pictures of places and rooms can invoke those feelings as well. Even language can help. What words would you use to describe your ideal space? Elegant or playful. Traditional or modern. Formal or casual.

2. Figure Out What You Don’t Like

Identifying what you dislike can be as important as knowing what you like in terms of narrowing options. Anything that carries a negative association to a past experience or triggers an unpleasant memory is to be avoided. These types of emotional responses are very personal, but define our preferences. Other dislikes might concern comfort issues. For example, if you are short, you may not like very high cabinets that are difficult to reach.

3. Put Function First

The tried-and-true kitchen design formula for the greatest efficiency and ease is to have the sink, refrigerator and the stove in a triangle with no more than 6 feet between each, regardless of the shape of the space.

4. Make Room for Storage

Consider what you need to store and how you prefer to access it. Avoid wasted space by having cabinets go to the ceiling. Include deep drawers for appliances to keep them handy but out of sight when they aren’t being used. There are many exciting storage innovations. Choose the ones that best fit your needs and budget.

5. Start Fresh (Don’t Reuse Appliances from the “old” Kitchen)

Reusing appliances or cabinets may seem like a way to save money but they are hard to incorporate into a remodel and will keep your kitchen from looking fresh and new. Work with your kitchen designer to find ways to stay within budget that won’t impact the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve.

6. Think About Proportion and Scale

Proportion and scale are key to any successful design. Consider all the activities that need to be accommodated in your kitchen and how people will move through the space to do what they need to do. Are there multiple cooks who like to work together? Are kids doing homework? How does the family prefer to eat together? How much space should be devoted to a center island or would a table and chairs make more sense? Consider the balance of the various elements and how they are distributed within the space.

7. Power

Think about how you use the space and where it makes sense to have electric outlets, light switches and power strips. Where will you use small appliances and will you need access to a computer, tablet, television or sound system? Make sure relocated appliances have access to electricity, water, gas lines and ventilation as needed.

8. Sample Your Paint

When choosing paint colors for the kitchen, consider the mood you are trying to create — light and airy, warm and cozy, formal or casual. Consider how the different finish choices work together, but also how they will look against the surrounding rooms. Sample actual paint colors on your walls so you can observe them in natural light at different times of day as well as how they look at night. The outside environment can impact how wall colors look as well by creating reflections. Even if you’ve decided on white walls, white paint can have different color undertones.

9. Mix High and Low Price Points

This is where your kitchen design professional can help you balance your budget with your priorities. Top of the line everything rarely makes sense and more expensive isn’t always better. Your designer can advise you on where it makes sense to splurge and where it is wise to cut back.

10. Don’t Forget Lighting

Overhead lights are not typically sufficient in a kitchen because when the light comes from behind it casts shadows on the work area. Under cabinet lighting positions the light in front of you and shines directly on countertops.

Caruso Kitchen will make the planning and execution of your kitchen remodel as enjoyable and satisfying as possible. Contact us today for a consultation. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.

Posted by & filed under Kitchen Design, News.

Design by

Susie Killion

In Partnership with

Renee Augustine at Studio R Design


Libbie Martin

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5 Requirements for Accessible Kitchen Design

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Accessible kitchen design is an important consideration when investing in a remodel. While initially intended for the elderly or people with disabilities, accessible design features often make sense in any home. With our aging population, such enhancements can increase the resale value of your home when it’s time to sell, or allow you to stay in your home longer. Features like accessible kitchen cabinets or wider doors and hallways accommodate all family members, whether they have a disability or not.

1. Doorways & Halls (Clearance)

Add a few extra inches between the edge of the countertops and the kitchen island as well as around the refrigerator and oven when the doors are open to allow enough space for wheelchairs to freely move around or for someone using a walker or crutches. A pass-through kitchen should be 40″ wide, and a U-shaped kitchen should be 60″ wide. Doorways should be at least 36″ wide, but 42″ is preferable. Swing-clear hinges create a clear opening.

2. Counters (Workspace)

Include a 30″-wide section of unobstructed counterspace, knee and toe clearance. Countertops are typically 3″ high; a height of 34″ makes them accessible. Adjustable countertops should range from 28″ to 36″.  Pullout shelves can also provide accessible workspace.

3. Sink

The sink must be unobstructed and located 28″ to 34″ above the floor. Choose a brand and style that meet rigorous ADA constraints to ensure compliance. Open space beneath the sink are wheelchair- and walker-accessible. Pipes underneath should be insulated and enclosed, and positioned toward the back of the sink. Installing the faucet on the side, rather than the back, and choosing a single lever handle makes it easier to reach and operate.

4. Cabinets

Pull-out shelves bring the cabinet contents you, rather than needing to crouch down or stand on a step ladder. Pull-out spice racks, trash drawers, and pantries and appliances make it easy to access all the necessities in the kitchen.

5. Appliances

Consider visiting a showroom to try out accessible appliances. If that is not an option, shop with a supplier who will allow you to return any appliances that aren’t a good fit. A separate oven and cooktop make both accessible. Look for stove controls toward the front of the stove and staggered burners, so there is no need to reach across a hot burner. Oven doors that open to the side make it easier for someone in a wheelchair to get closer. French doors are another option that make ovens easier to access than one big, heavy door. Refrigerators with freezer drawers on the bottom make it easier to access the freezer. Controls that feature raised buttons, dials with directional indicators or touch pads can make operating appliances easier and safer.

Other Considerations:

  • Electrical outlets:
    Place electrical outlets lower, but no lower that 15″ off the floor.

  • Lighting:
    Glare-free lighting and adequate task lighting increase visibility and create a safe cooking environment. Place the lighting controls at all entrances so there is no need to navigate in the dark and lights can be turned on and off on from every access point.

  • Movable workspaces:
    A base cabinet on wheels can be used for transporting hot dishes from countertop to table or to create a moveable workspace area based on the needs of the activity.

Contact Caruso Kitchens for more information on accessible kitchens. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.