How to Optimize Space in Your Kitchen

Historically, American family homes used to have large kitchens, but this trend is seamlessly shifting away. Open floor plans have become a new thing, and their various advantages range from letting in more sunlight to enlarging the feel of the room. On a contrary, open kitchen often implies losing an entire wall of cabinets, resulting in a challenge to provide sufficient storage.

One of the most common challenges kitchen remodelers face is how to optimize the space for a small yet practical kitchen area. It becomes a priority to combine style and functionality without making the area feel too crowded. The first trick is to visualize what designers call a ‘functionality triangle’, the three points of which are the center of the sink, the center of the cooktop, and the refrigerator. The rule of thumb is to have each leg of the triangle anywhere between 4 and 9 feet.

While configuring the best triangle, we also think about storage solutions. At this point, one size does not fit all. For instance, kitchen islands are extremely popular with our clients, but if space is limited, an island might only get in the way. Alternatively, we could install a custom U-shaped design or a kitchen peninsula to provide both storage and countertop space.

Here are a few additional tips on maximizing kitchen space:

  • The countertops, bar areas, and multifunctional islands can serve both as a work area and a dining area if you choose to keep them at a seat height rather than a bar stool height.
  • Consider investing in dual-purpose appliances, such as combination ovens and refrigerators that convert between fridge and freezer.
  • Pull-out pantries and roll-out countertops can give you a lot of freedom with organizing space depending on how you’re using it.
  • Look into non-standard, oversized cabinets. Some can extend from the countertops to the ceiling and provide ample storage for a small kitchen.
  • Organize in-cabinet storage with special trays and tray dividers.

To our professionals at Granite State Cabinetry, small space is not an obstacle for creating a great, functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen. If you’re looking for additional and personalized ideas on optimizing your kitchen space, reach out to us online. Or, call (603) 472-4080 and make an appointment to visit our showroom at 384 Route 101 Bedford, NH 03110.

Selecting the Right Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets are one of the most crucial elements of any kitchen. They are usually the focal point of the kitchen and the eyes are often drawn to the cabinets. Which is why having the right cabinets for your new kitchen is essential. There are a few steps to take to ensure you choose the best cabinets for your kitchen!

Budget

Budget should always be one of the first things to consider for any remodeling project. Before the project even begins, a detailed budget report should be created, and you can work with kitchen remodeling professionals to understand how much should be allocated towards cabinets. The set budget on the cabinets can help dictate exactly what kind of cabinets are in your price range. Effective budgeting can help you clearly outline your goals and will eliminate surprises!

Form and Build

Knowing exactly what kind of cabinets you want is a tall order but when working with professionals, they can help explain the differences in cabinet quality and design. One main variable between cabinets is whether they are framed or frameless. Framed cabinets have a wood frame that outlines the cabinet, and this is generally a more traditional design. Frameless cabinets are flat and do not have the frame, these cabinets give a more modern look to the kitchen. Cabinets can also come in stock, semi-custom, or custom. Stock cabinets are pre-made cabinets typically coming in set sizes and without any custom option. Semi-custom cabinets, while also are pre-made, have more custom options. Custom cabinets are 100% customizable and are built to order with whatever design or feature you choose. Of course, price is always a factor when deciding between the make and features of cabinets, as well as desired functionality of the cabinets. Certain cabinets have more storage space than others, so if storage is a major deciding factor for you, choose the cabinet models that offer optimal storage space.

Granite State Cabinetry has been installing and repairing kitchen cabinets for years. Let us help you choose the perfect cabinets for your new kitchen remodel, contact us today!

How to Create the Kitchen of Your Dreams!

Creating a new kitchen that fulfills each one of your goals and needs can seem like an impossible task, especially if you’re performing a complete remodel! There are so many aspects and subtle variables that must go into a new kitchen that it can be difficult to stay on top of everything. You may rush through certain parts of your kitchen that may seem less important. In order to create a kitchen that truly is a dream come true, there are a couple key things to keep in mind!

Plan with the Pros

Once you decide to go for it and start a kitchen remodel project, you may be eager to get started and start ripping your old kitchen apart. Slow your roll! Sure, it is a very exciting time and you may want to get started ASAP, especially if your old kitchen is in desperate need of renovations. Taking your time to effectively plan your new kitchen layout and design can make a world of difference.  You may have an idea of what you are looking for in your new kitchen but visiting a showroom or speaking with an expert can be extremely helpful. Working directly with kitchen design experts can help fill in the blanks for your kitchen ideas and introduce current trends while staying true to your design goals.

Don’t Forget Functionality

While we all may want the most attractive kitchen in the neighborhood, don’t neglect functionality! Don’t splurge on the newest appliance that will best match your cabinets but may not meet your functional goals. Don’t go with the modern lights that offer little illumination and will make cooking a hassle in the dark! Work with the designer to choose a kitchen that will look great and fulfill all of your kitchen needs! There are thousands of combinations to choose from and the functionality of your kitchen has no need to suffer!

The kitchen is the headquarters of any home, from family gatherings to hosted parties, the kitchen is where it all happens. Planning a new kitchen remodel can seem like a lot but take your time and meet with the experts to fully plan and prepare for the kitchen of your dreams! Contact Granite State Cabinetry to discuss kitchen remodel ideas or visit our showroom today!

How to Keep Stainless Steel In Pristine Condition

Stainless steel is one of the most common materials used for kitchens appliances, and for good reason, stainless steel is extremely durable and not to mention it looks great in the kitchen. It adds a modern and sophisticated aesthetic that only stainless steel can provide. Unfortunately, stainless steel actually is not all that stainless, water stains and greasy fingerprints can stick out like a sore thumb on the shiny surface of the steel and take away from its gleam. The steel can begin to rust if dirty sections of it go uncleaned but luckily, Granite State Cabinetry has a couple cleaning tips to keep your stainless steel from getting dirty and help maintain that shine!

How to Clean Stainless Steel

The smooth sleek surface of stainless steel makes it very simple to clean, you just need to use the right cleaning products that are tough enough to get rid of those nasty grease spots and fingerprint stains. Most of the products that work great on stainless steel are common household items too!

Dish Soap and Mineral Oil

Use a microfiber cloth to clean your stainless surfaces. Apply dish soap to the cloth to clean, and then polish by applying a small amount of mineral or baby oil to a second cloth and polish the surface along the grain.

Club Soda

Apply club soda directly to the stainless surface, wipe in the direction of the grain and then remove residue with a microfiber cloth.

Glass Cleaner

Glass cleaner is a very effective way to remove fingerprints. Simply spray a microfiber cloth and apply in a circular motion to remove fingerprints and then wipe dry. The fingerprints should be gone, and the steel should be good as new!

Commercial Cleaners

There are commercial cleaners made specifically for stainless steel that can be used to remove stains and scratches and are very effective. Commercial cleaners can be very expensive though, so we recommend the DIY cleaning methods before breaking out the big guns.

You can follow these cleaning tips to keep your stainless-steel appliances looking good as new! Try to clean them every few weeks to get the optimal shine. Contact Granite State Cabinetry for more kitchen cleaning tips or to talk to us about a remodeling project!

Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

Renovating your kitchen or bathroom can be a very exciting time, especially if you’re upgrading to a much more modern style than you had before. A successful renovation can completely revitalize the style and taste of the room, while hopefully maintaining or upgrading the functionality as well. When remodeling a kitchen, for example, it can be easy to follow certain trends that are in right now, but trends are just that, trends, and they often don’t stand the test of time. You can take a look at our blog about preparing for the future when it comes to remodeling because a lot of the same concepts apply when avoiding buyer’s remorse after a remodeling project is complete.

We mention trends because when people are remodeling their kitchen they often ask what is popular right now and tend to go with that option. While trends are popular for a reason, they also tend to go out of style for a reason. At Granite State Cabinetry, we do not want you to walk into your kitchen or bathroom one day and say, “What in the world was I thinking?”. Everyone has bought a product or item that they regretted soon after the purchase, we do not want that to happen with your remodeling project because believe us, it has happened before. A remodeling project is a high involvement purchase, so that means there is no room for error and no time for buyer’s remorse.

The true way to avoid buyer’s remorse for a remodeling project is to phase out any trend or style that is popular at the moment and focus on what you like. It is your space and if you’re remodeling, then it may be your space for a long time. Granite State Cabinetry works with you to develop a design and style that is unique to you and will showcase your own creativity rather than copy a trend. If you create a design that is uniquely you, that you truly love, then you will never have that “What was I thinking moment”. You can be proud of your new kitchen or bath and be confident that your remodeling project was well worth it!

For help creating a kitchen or bathroom design that you can be proud to call your own, and won’t regret in the future, contact Granite State Cabinetry today!

Open Floor Plan for your Kitchen?

The kitchen is no longer a room to cook, eat, and leave, it has evolved into a place where family and friends gather and socialize. The kitchen has become the social room in the house, and kitchen designs have been adapted to accommodate that trend. Kitchens are the heart of the home, a central gathering place for families and guests. Kitchen designs have become larger yet more personal. The open floor plan is all the rage!

Open Floor Design

Kitchens should no longer be blocked off as a single room; your kitchen should be the epicenter of your home and an open floor plan would show that. An open floor concept would create a larger kitchen that flows directly into other rooms and spaces of the house such as the living room or dining room. This can create a more connected household and can enhance social interactions and gatherings. A connected kitchen and dining room allows for guests to sit at the table chatting while hosts may be preparing a meal, but they can still socialize because of the open floor plan.

Gaining Popularity

According to a study by Houzz, open-concept plans are featured in the majority of kitchen renovations. These open concepts are a perfect solution for smaller living spaces, they open more room and the open concept provides a perceived feeling of more space. Open floor plans also allow for more natural light within your home.

Benefits for Parents

The open floor design can help parents keep an eye on the kids. While you’re in the kitchen preparing dinner or entertaining guests, your kids may be running around causing all sorts of raucous. Thanks to the open floor plan though, you’ll be able to keep an eye on them while staying put in the kitchen.

If you’re interested in an open concept kitchen, contact the professionals at Granite State Cabinetry today to discuss your new kitchen design!

Planning for the Future

When deciding on a new kitchen or bathroom design, you want a design that will last. Not just quality products; but a design, color scheme, and overall feel that will last through the ages and not become a dated bathroom or kitchen that you’d be embarrassed for guests to see. There are so many generic designs that have proven to be timeless but if you want to be creative and adventurous while remaining on the forefront of bath and kitchen designs, consider these options which will never outdate your new project.

High Tech Appliances

You may already be aware of smart fridges and other advanced appliances and although they may not be popular yet (due to cost), it is a trend that has been on the rise. It’s no secret that everything is advancing in technology, and appliances are no exception. Consumers will eventually expect all their appliances to be connected and available to access via smartphone, tablet, etc. It will be a world where forgetting to preheat the oven will be obsolete, where cooking directions and recipes may be accessible by a countertop screen. It is the future of kitchens, and a trend that will undoubtedly continue to rise in the coming years.

Going Green

Along with high tech appliances, energy efficient appliances are also a growing demand. Kitchen appliances, toilets, shower heads; consumers are becoming more and more interested in environmentally friendly and sustainable products for their households.

An ageless kitchen is a timeless one.

As people get older they may find it more difficult to perform certain tasks in the kitchen. Perhaps reaching the corner cabinet, or even standing at the counter. People are living longer and staying in the same place so a kitchen that is easily accessible for all ages may help you in the long run. Adjustable countertops and cabinets as well as more focused lighting are only a few ways you will still be able to use your kitchen like a pro in your later years!

Most important room in the house.

The kitchen is quite often the room where family and guests gather to socialize. This is an aspect of the kitchen that can be taken advantage of by incorporating the kitchen as a more open space, connected to other rooms with wide doorways. The kitchen should not be a separate room, this would negate socialization. Many kitchens already have this type of layout, but it is a design that will continue to be popular.

If you have kitchen design questions or want to turn your kitchen into a timeless classic, contact the bath and kitchen experts at Granite State Cabinetry today!

How to Budget for Your Bathroom Project

When starting a new project, it is always necessary to create a budget plan. Unfortunately, during every project, there always seems to be a hidden factor that will add to the budget, you don’t know what’s behind walls, underneath floors or above ceilings until you start the demolition and reconstruction process.

Consider Age

Before you start any home remodeling project consider how old your home is and when the last time it was renovated. Homes that are 20 to 50 or more years old may not have the electrical, mechanical or plumbing infrastructure that meets current day codes.

We always encourage adding a contingency to your budget for the unexpected. The best thing that can happen is that you don’t have to spend it or better yet you can use those funds to upgrade quality and increase value.

Splurge on What You Use

If you have a certain area of your project that you know you will be using all the time, consider putting a little extra into that. Get higher quality products because it will be worth it if they are put to good use. If you love to cook, for example, splurge on a professional range made for the home, and quality appliances. The kitchen faucet and sink are the most used appliance in the home. Do you really want to cut corners on those items? Cabinets fall into the same category, you use them every day and they can also bring additional value to your home. Storage is another investment that yields generous benefits not only from a functional perspective but also for resale value because it makes cooking, cleaning and using your kitchen a lot easier.

Saving Opportunities

Always be on the lookout for saving opportunities during a big project. You can often repurpose certain items from other parts of your home. Save money without sacrificing quality or functionality!

If you’d like additional guidance to establish your budget and priorities for your kitchen renovation or remodeling project, contact Granite State Cabinetry today!

How to Furnish Your New Bathroom

When designing a new bathroom, or finishing up a remodeling project, furnishing your bathroom may not even cross your mind. Bathroom furniture has become mainstream though, it doesn’t have to be just your living room showing off beautiful furniture!

Bath Furniture

The bathroom furniture trend initially started as designers and homeowners converted antique cabinets, armoires, and étagères into bath furniture. From there it was almost an experimental period. Which furniture would work best in a moist environment, and would serve as useful storage? Bath industry manufacturers responded by producing furniture specifically for the bath environment. This furniture addressed not only the moist conditions but also functional concerns that account for storage requirements, supplies, traps, drains!

Evolution of Bath Furniture

Bath furniture designs and ideas have come a long way since the original cabinets and armoires. Homeowners and bathroom designers have gotten more creative and explorative in their furnishings. Designing bathrooms with sofas, comfy chairs, benches and other pieces that extend the living area into the bath. Wood tones add warmth and serve to contrast white ceramic and acrylic surfaces of tubs, basins and water closets. With this transformation, the standard white vanity has given way to elegant and expertly crafted furniture pieces that create the look and feel of luxury.

The increased popularity of bath furniture also corresponds to the growing size of the bathroom. In the last two decades, the size of the master bath has climbed by an average 180 square feet. Today, in larger homes master baths can exceed 300 square feet! Giving room for furniture that could have never fit before!

Organization

Function is another critical factor. Bath furniture manufacturers offer storage solutions and convenience features that include interior adjustable shelving, pullout trays, interior lighting, hairdryer/curling iron holders, interior electric receptacles, USB port charging stations and drawer dividers. You won’t be cramming all your toiletries in one drawer, or panicking trying to find those elusive nail clippers. With functional bathroom furniture, your bathroom organization will be impeccable.

Adding furniture to your bathroom is a growing trend that serves many purposes. Giving your bathroom an elegant style as well as help keep you organized. If you’re interested in taking part in this trend, contact Granite State Cabinetry today to discuss your project!

Selecting the Right Grout

Not many people consider grout as a factor when deciding on a new kitchen design. This is understandable, as grout does not play a major role in the appeal of the kitchen itself. However, grout is something to keep in mind because choosing the right grout can accent other features of the kitchen while choosing the wrong grout can stick out like a sore thumb.

If you have a white tile backsplash, for example, you may be considering a simple white grout to match. However, the white on white creates a boring look which does not please the eye, not to mention white grout gets dirty quickly and can be a pain to clean. Once it gets dirty, it can create a patchy gray coloration which will not charm the rest of the area. Popular grout colors to compliment white tile are typically a soft gray. Soft gray provides a slight contrast on the white tile which offers a classic, clean look.

Color Scheme

Another popular trend with white tiles is to pair them with darker grout colors to create a look that makes the tile a focal point of the kitchen. The thin dark layer of grout around the bright white tiles really makes them stand out in the room. The same pattern can be used for dark tiles as well. Lighter colored grout serves to contrast the tile perfectly and form an attractive arrangement.

Light gray or darker grout is the most common but in some instances colored grout is the way to go. Often when dealing with colored tiles, a colored grout can be used to compliment the tile color. Typically, a softer shade of the same tile color can be used for grout. This pattern creates a generic flow and avoids bold color patterns which may not match. Using white or light grout with colored tiles also can help to soften the space between the tiles and provide cleaner lines. If you’re choosing brightly colored tiles, we would pair that with a white grout.

The color of the tile is just one variable to consider when choosing the right grout. The finish of the tile is another consideration when specifying grout. The material of the tile can also affect the perception of the tile. White grout should be paired with glossy tile, creating a lighter appearance.

Of course, paying attention to surrounding color schemes and the overall pattern of the room itself will also affect the decision of what grout to use. Understanding the effect grout can have on a new kitchen or bath project is essential to putting the finishing touches on the perfect project. If you have a question about what grout may work best for your new kitchen or bath, contact Granite State Cabinetry today!

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