Island Breeze

Written by Mark IV Friday, 06 December 2019 10:04 am

You can’t watch a home improvement television show kitchen renovation without seeing an island become the focal point of the new space. Kitchen islands are one of our clients’ most requested features and for good reason. Islands serve multiple purposes as preparation areas, desks, dining tables, serving spaces and more. When our clients request an island, our starting point is to determine if their space is sufficient. Then we identify the best dimensions and orientation. Factors that we consider when planning an island include users and their age, desired uses, seating needs, room shape and dimensions, traffic flow and window locations.

Most kitchens are rectangular. Typically, in rectangular kitchens, we are likely to specify a rectangular-shaped island. If your kitchen is not rectangular, there are an endless array of island shapes and sizes that are viable. L-shaped kitchens may be best served with an L-shaped island. We’ve designed round, oval and curved islands.

Realistic Guidelines for Budgeting for a New Kitchen

Written by Mark IV Tuesday, 03 December 2019 9:47 am

We advise all of our clients in Abington, PA that home improvement television and websites are excellent sources of inspiration. While many great ideas, concepts and products are available on HGTV, DYI, Angie’s List, Houzz.com and the like, regrettably, those platforms are also the source of misinformation that creates unrealistic expectations when it comes to both timeline and budget.

Home improvement television does not produce documentaries. HGTV and others are in the entertainment business. That’s why there is a familiar pattern for each episode. There are homeowners who want to improve their lives by renovating their entire home or specific rooms. There is no mention of selecting designers and products or reviewing designs. The budgets quoted typically do not account for design services or labor. That’s why many homeowners in Montgomery County, PA don’t develop realistic budgets or timelines for their projects.

Keys to Designing a More Beautiful and Functional Bath

Written by Mark IV Friday, 22 November 2019 11:00 am

Space is a premium in most bathrooms that we remodel in Montgomery County, PA, and it’s essential to create realistic expectations for how to best use space. In tighter spaces, often is it not realistic or practical to include both a separate shower stall and a dedicated space for a tub. Some bathrooms would look crowded with a double vanity and double sinks. When thinking about a bath remodel consider the area and how much room you and your family need to maneuver after a shower or bath to prepare for the day or a night on the town.

In addition to adequate storage solutions, another functional criterion to consider when planning a new bath includes cleaning. The legs or base of the furniture placed in front of the baseboard might create a gap between the wall and the cabinet. This may not be a concern aesthetically, but it does create a challenge to clean the gap space. The issue may be addressed if the furniture has a solid base that can be notched around the baseboard to eliminate the gap or notch the baseboard to dead end into the base of the cabinet.

How to Avoid Surprises During Your Kitchen Renovation

Written by Mark IV Thursday, 14 November 2019 9:32 am

Almost all of our clients in Montgomery County spend months researching options for their new kitchen before making an appointment to visit our showroom. Most of the initial decisions made during the planning stages of a fabulous new kitchen involve the type, color, design and material for cabinetry, countertops, hardware, sinks, faucets and appliances. However, other more subtle decisions need to be made to obtain the kitchen of your dreams and avoid unpleasant surprises.

You should expect your kitchen designer to understand local building codes and explain how code compliance will affect your kitchen remodel. We had a client who simply wanted to replace a range only to find that the project was not so simple. The old appliance configuration was not up to current code. Replacing the range also required replacing the ventilation system and electrical configuration. Make sure that you ask about code requirements and actions you might have to take to ensure compliance. 

Secrets to Great Bathroom Storage

Written by Mark IV Friday, 08 November 2019 9:03 am

Bathrooms serve multiple utilitarian and personal purposes. Increasingly, homeowners in Abington, PA are designing their baths to serve as an in-home luxury spa where they can recharge their mind, body and spirit and wash away the stresses of the day. A key to creating a personal refuge is to take advantage of creative storage solutions and strategies that make your bath not only beautiful but wonderfully organized.

Step one: Pick your products judiciously. A well-designed bath is an organized bath. Countertops littered with makeup, toothpaste, grooming materials, hairdryers and curling irons make the bathroom looked unorganized, cluttered and frenetic. One of the first things we suggest to our clients in Jenkintown, PA is to inventory the products that they use most often in the bath. This exercise helps us design a space that can accommodate their needs without compromising the look, feel and functionality of the space. Closed storage is almost always the preferred option, but in space challenged baths, we also use open shelving systems that enable our clients to display their favorite or most frequently used items.

Painted Vs. Stained Cabinets

Written by Mark IV Thursday, 31 October 2019 2:19 pm

Finish often dictates the look, feel and performance of kitchen cabinets. Paint and stain are the two types of finishes applied to almost every cabinet. They are substantially different and offer unique bites of the apple. Which is better? There is no better per se. Selecting paint versus stain is a matter of personal preference.

Homeowners in Montgomery County, PA that prefer a sleeker finish, with clean lines and a smooth service like paint. Another advantage of paint is that it offers a much broader range of color options. There are not a lot, if any, stains that can provide the same look as blue, gray, yellow, red, teal or other colored paints. A significant difference in paint and stain is how it reacts to a wood surface. Paint covers the wood, whereas stain soaks into a wood surface, and this makes paint more flexible and more customizable.

Keys to Selecting the Perfect Vanity

Written by Mark IV Friday, 25 October 2019 8:51 am

A well-sized and properly positioned vanity can make or break a bath’s look, feel and functionality. The key factors to consider when selecting a vanity include:

  • style and aesthetic preferences
  • the materials used to make the vanity
  • countertop material
  • desired number of sinks/bowls
  • placement
  • storage space required
  • existing infrastructure and available space

Vanities made specifically for bathrooms account for fixtures and plumbing, and they are crafted with moist environments in mind. The height of the vanity influences plumbing fixtures needed to meet your goals. For example, vanities that are less than 34 inches tall are best suited for a vessel-style sink.

The Pros and Cons for Open Shelves in the Kitchen

Written by Mark IV Monday, 11 March 2019 7:56 am

Open shelving has become an increasingly popular design feature among our clients because they provide a combination of an aesthetic focal point with superb functionality. Open shelves offer a look with universal appeal. Open shelves enable homeowners to showcase a dramatic backsplash, display dishes, pottery, sculptures, plants, herbs, and dishware and glassware, among numerous other options. Plus, open shelves provide home chefs with the functionality to access their favorite cooking tools within arm’s reach. So, what’ the downside? Open shelves limit storage and can contribute to a cluttered look and feel.

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