Why You Should Include an Island in Your Kitchen

If your kitchen is considered the center of your home, your kitchen island is the hub of activity. The first step in effective open-concept kitchen designs is the island and any of its amenities. However, not all islands work for all kitchens.

In order to decide whether an island will work in your kitchen, list out anything that would happen at the island. Would you have a stovetop on the island to open up your cooking and meal preparation space? Do you want to have bar stools so people can relax and eat at the counter? If you lack sufficient wall space on your counter, you can use an island as a home for built-in appliances, leaving more space on the walls for cabinets and shelving. Underneath the island can also prove to be a useful space, housing small refrigerators, wine storage, dishwashers and extra cabinet space. Most modern islands include electrical outlets in order to accommodate appliances and devices, as well as designated lighting overhead or inside built-in cabinets.

Space is another factor when considering an island addition. A standard island is at least four feet long by two to three feet wide., with a minimum of 36 inches of floor space between the island and the cabinets, dishwasher or sink so doors can open with enough space for comfortable seating. If you are looking for seating around your island, a fifteen-inch overhang is recommended for sufficient knee space. The type of seating you want affects the height of your island: counter stools come with a recommended height of 34 inches, and bar stools force an island up to 40 inches. If you are planning to incorporate a stovetop, dishwasher or sink, you need to account for pipes and ventilation.

If you are looking for advice on the right island for your kitchen, contact Granite State Cabinetry. Our team of seasoned professionals will be more than happy to help you design the kitchen of your dreams, from the main features to the minor details. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 603.472.4080.

How to Design a Restaurant Kitchen in Your Home

Restaurant kitchens tend to look more glamorous onscreen than they are, thanks to movie and TV magic. With the rise of reality TV shows taking place in the cooking world, viewers are now able to get an inside look at how restaurateurs design and run their kitchens, leading to an increase in open kitchen designs.

Function is always going to be the most important aspect of the kitchen. Many of these practical benefits can be carried over into your home kitchen, such as a worktable and open shelving. A worktable can be an island, peninsula or a separate table used for food preparation, making you work more efficiently between setups, and open shelves can be used to house decorative and practical items, such as plates and decanters. Most professional kitchens use a great amount of stainless steel because of its durability and stain resistant properties, which has led to an increase in availability of home stainless steel appliances. Oversized vent hoods over your oven allow your kitchen a more industrial feel, particularly in an open floor plan. Marble surfaces, popular among bakers, has also begun popping up across home countertops, islands and carts for dessert making.

For cooks who use their kitchen for serious cooking, a commercial-grade sink is recommended. These sinks come with separate compartments for every size pot, pan or bowl. Several manufacturers offer custom sinks made to your specific requirements. Commercial refrigerators with glass doors have also risen in popularity, allowing people who walk past to see the fridge’s contents without opening the door.

You can see a variety of kitchens anywhere onscreen, from HGTV to The Travel Channel or Food Network. The next time you see one, take note of what features you would like available in your home. Granite State Cabinetry will be more than happy to sit down with you to design your dream kitchen. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 603.472.4080.

 

Maintaining Your New Kitchen

You finally got your new kitchen, after months of saving. Everything is exactly the way you want it, and now you have to maintain your investment. Regular cleaning will maintain both the appearance and functionality of your new cabinets and appliances.

Your cabinets may be prone to grease buildup, depending on the amount of cooking that takes place in your kitchen. You should wipe down your cabinets at least every two weeks, or more based on activity level, using a damp, soft cloth and warm water. You can add mild dishwasher soap, baking soda or vinegar if wiping them down with water doesn’t appear to be enough. If you have wooden cabinets, wipe down in the direction of the grain to keep from developing smudges. Avoid using products that will damage your cabinets, such as bleach, nail polish remover, ammonia and scouring pads. These will damage any paint or stains and create scratches across your cabinets. You should also avoid leaving wet or damp dishcloths draped on your cabinet doors to maintain its finish and color.

In order to avoid sun damage, you should keep curtains on your kitchen windows to reduce the direct sunlight hitting your doors. Curtains can also help prevent heat damage from enough sunlight. When using the self-cleaning feature on your oven, remove the nearest cabinet doors and drawers to minimize risk of heat damage. You want your kitchen to look and work its best, and heat damage is not something people often think about.

There are things that can be done to minimize grime buildup while cooking. Using an exhaust fan built into your stove keeps grease from splattering onto nearby cabinets. Spills, splatters and other messes should be cleaned as soon as possible as to not damage finishes or leave stains. Following these tips can maintain your new kitchen for years to come. If you are looking to remodel, Granite State Cabinetry has been providing Southern NH residents with professional kitchen design advice for years, listening to your needs and budgetary needs. Give us a call today at 603.472.4080 or request a free quote!

 

Choosing a Kitchen Backsplash

Picking out a kitchen backsplash is a time-consuming process with a multitude of factors to consider, from color and material to height and kitchen activity. How noticeable do you want it to be? How much do you cook?

What colors are used throughout your kitchen? Your backsplash should complement the rest of the room. If you are looking for your kitchen to be a calm, serene center of your home, decorated with neutral greys and browns, a bright red backsplash might not be what you’re looking for. If you have a mostly light kitchen that could use a splash of color, something bold might be more appropriate.

Material is another key factor in determining the right backsplash for your home. Almost anything can be used in a backsplash, such as wood, brick or tile. If you are someone who cooks often and adventurously, a glass or stainless steel backsplash would be easier to clean and could complement your appliances or the colors of your cabinets and countertops. Design is another factor. Do you want your backsplash to match your personality or do you want to keep it timeless to assist in a potential future sale? Neutral patterns and colors may help your home if you’re looking to move in the near future, but if you’re looking for a kitchen to love for the long haul, pick a pattern that suits your home’s personality. Have your backsplash take up a wall if you’re placing it away from cabinets, or place it behind floating shelves.

Your budget will also be a factor. Different materials and colors will vary in price. For instance, subway tile is more affordable than brick or elaborate stone, but may not be available in custom colors or the design you are looking for. If you are looking to cut corners, you may consider mixing and matching material in the pattern you want for your kitchen.

Looking for inspiration for your ideal kitchen? The kitchen designers at Granite State Cabinetry offer Southern NH residents with professional kitchen design advice. Offering top brands in cabinets, countertops and hardware, Granite State Cabinetry will help you design the ideal kitchen for you. Contact us at (603) 472-4080 or request a free quote from us today!

Will Dark Floors Be Popular This Year?

Neutral wood flooring has become an outdated trend as homeowners are now turning to bold looks. It’s not only dark floors that will be popular this year, in fact, we can expect to see a whole spectrum of colors.

Dark Wood Floors

Paired with white cabinetry and light countertops, dark stained wood floors create an absolutely eye-catching kitchen. However, dark floors can make the room look smaller so if you have an open floor plan, this would be the perfect space to incorporate dark hardwood floors. In the upcoming years, we’ll be seeing more espresso brown and black wood.

Blonde Wood Floors

As we’ve discussed in past blogs, bamboo flooring is certainly trending. Light colors are ideal for small kitchens as they brighten up the room and make the kitchen appear open. Blonde wood floors also hide dust better so you don’t need to worry about sweeping everyday.

Gray Wood Floors

Gray hardwood floors actually started popping up in homes several years ago and we don’t see them going out of style anytime soon. Gray wood floors are starting to outrank red, warm tones because they showcase natural grains and grooves of the wood.

Extreme Grain

Choose a wood floor whose texture guides your eyes to the floor. A light wood with dark knots creates a charming rustic look. Some homeowners adore wire brushing or hand scraping to add a bit of texture to their floors. Keep in mind that a heavily-textured floor collects dust so you’ll need to be cleaning fairly often.

Hardwood Designs

While some people prefer nearly invisible lines on their hardwood floors, others are moving in another direction with geometric hardwood designs. Contrasting colors of hardwood are positioned in a herringbone style, usually in the direction you want a person’s eye to follow. If designs are too overwhelming, hardwood can be placed diagonally.

Granite State Cabinetry provides Southern NH residents with professional kitchen design advice. We have been in the industry for years and know how to design a kitchen that is both functional and elegant. Our staff listens to your needs and works within your budget to provide you with a kitchen that is affordable and up-to-date. Give us a call today at 603.472.4080!

 

 

Why Homeowners Fall in Love with Espresso Cabinets

While white cabinetry remains the #1 choice for homeowners, espresso kitchen cabinets are increasing in popularity. The deep brown beautifully complements the classic whites, blues and green hues. Espresso cabinets truly bring warmth to the kitchen, transforming it from a functional space to a cozy hangout area.

Espresso kitchen cabinets balance out any over-the-top décor you may have to beautifully blend contemporary and traditional flair. Whether you’re trying to balance out vibrant blues on your kitchen stools or break up the dull white tiles on your floor, espresso cabinets provide warmth and charm to any kitchen.

If you aren’t ready for a total kitchen overhaul, you can quickly stain your cabinets. Opt for solid wood with an espresso finish or a metallic finish. Espresso finishes easily blend with any style of kitchen. Distressed espresso cabinets are perfect for those seeking an antique look. Shaker-style cabinets come in espresso finishes and work brilliantly for those who want a modern, clean looking kitchen.

Looking for a mix of contemporary and classic? Add some deep reds to your kitchen for a relaxed look and add some nickel-plated hardware along with glass fronts. This design transforms your kitchen into a contemporary, classic charm. You can also pair your cabinets with a traditional style door for a sophisticated look. Whatever the case may be, espresso cabinets fit with any style kitchen.

The kitchen designers at Granite State Cabinetry offer Southern NH residents with professional kitchen design advice. Offering the best brands in the industry such as Plain & Fancy, Omega, Medallion, Cabico and Dynasty, we ensure our clients receive both beautiful and functional kitchens.

Top Kitchen Floor Ideas in 2017

If you’re considering remodeling your kitchen, there are plenty of materials for flooring but choosing the right one can be a tricky process. You’ll want something that is both affordable and timeless so you don’t need to worry about installing new floors years later.

Bamboo

While bamboo has certainly been a popular floor trend in the past, the array of colors and styles has rapidly grown in recent years. Strand-woven bamboo uses inner fibers making them twice as durable as standard bamboo. This material now comes in wide-plank styles to give the illusion of hardwood floors.

Reclaimed Wood

If you’re looking for the “hand-hewn” look, reclaimed wood is the best option. Since this is factory finished wood, it can easily withstand moisture fluctuations than standard wood flooring.

Large-Format Tile

There has been an explosive amount of sizes, shapes, materials and patterns when it comes to the world of tile. Large-format tiles have grown in popularity, coming in sizes of 12” x 24” and 36” x 36”; these stray away from the typical 12” x 12” tiles. One of the major benefits of having such large sized tiles is that there is more tile surface and less grout.

Cork

Cork is a perfect insulator and is significantly more comfortable to walk on than regular hardwood. New factory finishes have been produced, leaving cork extremely durable and coming in a wide variety of colors. However, cork can be damaged by moisture and will fade if exposed to sunlight.

American Hardwood

American hardwood is still going strong! When it comes to cork and bamboo, the materials need to be shipped from other parts of the world but hardwoods can be bought from forests in the U.S. It’s quite easy to purchase oak, hickory, maple, and heart pine.

Concrete

Concrete is no longer associated with swanky New York penthouses. Now, concrete can be seen in all types of homes and there is a multitude of colors and finishes available. The surface is hard, however, so it’s not too comfortable to walk on.

Ready for new flooring in your Southern NH kitchen? Contact Granite State Cabinetry to get in touch with one of our expert designers. Fill out our contact form or give us a call at 603.472.4080.

How to Design the Perfect Cottage Kitchen

You may not have that fairytale cottage that you’ve been desiring since childhood but there are plenty of ways to transform your home’s interior into a cottage-like atmosphere.

Using exposed cabinetry and incorporating vintage lighting is the first trick to attaining your cottage kitchen. One of the trademarks is open shelving that showcase vintage, floral designed plates. Show off your vintage china collection by distressing the wood on your open shelving.

A quintessential cottage isn’t complete without off-white cabinetry and handmade accessories. Hardwood floors running through the kitchen will really make the light cabinetry pop. Don’t have enough storage? Wicker baskets are a fabulous accessory to complete any cottage-style kitchen.

If you want a real whimsical kitchen, chandeliers are a nice touch above the dining room table. Bamboo lattice-back dining chairs are absolutely breathtaking as well. Cottage style kitchens don’t need to mimic a rural landscape, often times, homeowners opt for a seaside cottage kitchen. Incorporate light green paint and some nautical touches such as seashells, lighthouse fixtures and anchor printed fixtures.

For those who desire a modern spin on a cottage kitchen, make use of exposed cabinets, vintage light fixtures and bright accent colors. Make sure the walls are neutral to make the bright colors pop! Don’t forget about the farmhouse sink as these are typically included in cottage kitchens. You don’t always need white sinks, however, use a pastel color such as vapor green.

Including cottage icons in your design is key and it adds a little something extra to the classic cottage style look. Consider installing beaded boards, moldings and schoolhouse lights. You don’t always need new appliances when updating your kitchen, especially for cottage kitchens. Use refurbished appliances and an antique table for a “lived-in” feel.

Call the team at Granite State Cabinetry at 603.472.4080 to get in touch with one of our expert designers! We have years of experience providing clients with professional kitchen designs.

How to Get the Most Bang for Your Buck When Selling Your Home

The host of HGTV’s Income Property, Scott McGillivary dishes out about what will truly raise your home’s resale value – a brand new kitchen. Not only has McGillivary hosted Income Property for the past nine years but he has been selling homes for the past 16 years as well.

According to McGillivary, homeowners often renovate prior to selling and it’s a “good idea because if you do the right investments, you are going to make the most return on your investments.”

At Granite State Cabinetry, we’ll work with you to renovate your kitchen and remain within your budget. Whether you need minor improvements such as a new floor or cabinet hardware or you’d like a major renovation, our Southern NH kitchen designers are ready to help.

While many people desire a full kitchen remodel, switching out appliances is the best way to see a return on investment. McGillivrary recently stated that a lack of planning is the largest mistake homeowners make when renovating their kitchens. It’s crucial that you have a tight plan and that you set aside a 20% cost contingency in case any unexpected issues occur.

The team at Granite State Cabinetry is more than happy to provide an assessment of where you’ll receive the most value when renovating. Give us a call at 603.472.4080 to get your kitchen remodeled and increase your home’s resale value. Whether you need cabinetry, countertops or flooring, we have everything you need to create your dream kitchen.

Use Technology to Spruce Up Your Kitchen

Technology sure can make our day-to-day tasks much simpler but did you ever consider how new gadgets and gizmos can be incorporated into our kitchens?

Smart Refrigerators

If you’ve ever spent an hour staring at a sticky note trying to come up with a grocery list, you might benefit from a smart refrigerator. These fridges monitor grocery lists, let you order food online, watch videos, follow recipes and more. Food is even preserved longer due to the temperature automatically adjusting to how often the door is open and closed.

Smart Ovens

Another smart purchase is a smart oven! These ovens will adjust your cooking time and temperature based on the level of doneness and the type of pan used. Set the cooking temp. from your smart phone so when you get home, your meal is done. Have you ever needed to adjust your oven but your hands are covered in grease? Luckily, the smart oven is controlled by voice command. You can also set the oven to bake for an hour, broil for a few minutes or just keep your food warm for 15 minutes. There are a few models on the market that even let you watch TV or use the Internet while cooking.

Smart Dishwashers

By using a smart dishwasher, homeowners can turn their dishwasher on or off via their smart phone. These genius appliances also automatically order detergent refills and a smart thermostat can be utilized to adjust the temperature for the heat that the appliance might generate.

Smart Lighting

Through the use of smart lighting, your smart phone will create various ambiances by selecting the proper color, tone and amount of light. Your lightbulb will even flash when you receive a new email or text!

Amazon Echo

From two-day shipping to movie rentals and original series, Amazon is making some major advancements. Amazon’s Echo is a new smart home assistant to turns on the coffee marker for you, tells you the news headlines and plays for your music so you can start the day off right! Not to mention, this little gadget will turn your lights on and off for you.

Bluetooth & WiFi Dinner Plate

Featuring mini cameras and weight sensors, these nifty dinner plates help with portion control by sending you an alert if you eat too much. You can also monitor each meal and connect it to FitBit. A smart fork can also be useful, also measuring your food intake and flashing when you eat too much.

Other Smart Appliances:

  • Smart decanters – Collects info about various winemakers so you can speed up the maturing process.
  • Smart frying pan – Indicates its own cooking temperature.
  • Egg tracker – Scans eggs in the refrigerator so you can see which eggs are older.

If you’d like to have your kitchen remodeled in Southern New Hampshire, give us a call at 603.472.4080. Our award-winning kitchen designers are at the ready to provide homeowners with beautiful kitchens!

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