Tag Archives: kitchen design

5 Kitchen Design “Must Haves” for Holiday Entertaining

We asked some of the region’s best hosts for their favorite kitchen design ideas for holiday entertaining.  Significant planning is required for flawless, memorable parties for guests and hosts alike. Having a kitchen that is designed to support guest interaction, food prep, storage and serving top the list.

1) Practical Design Layout – Open floor plan concepts offer sight lines that connect the kitchen to dining and serving areas so hosts can still enjoy their guests while preparing foods.

Open floor plan kitchen
Open floor plan kitchen

2) Ample Work Areas – Have you ever noticed how everyone wants to gather in the kitchen? A large island is a host’s work-horse that adds essential space for food prep and serving. Island stools offer guests seating while keeping them away from kitchen traffic and congestion and the danger of hot dishes and pans coming out of the oven.

Kitchen island with seating
Kitchen island with seating

3) Attractive Built-Ins– Buffets, sideboards and strategically placed cabinetry can be built-in to offer room for laying out a spread of utensils, plates, appetizers and desserts with plenty of room for decorations and the personal touches that make a space inviting. Glass fronted cabinetry offers a pretty place to display china.

Custom cabinetry
Custom cabinetry

4) Themed Organization –Design your kitchen to create serving “stations” such as a coffee station, breakfast bar, or cocktail bar that corral items by theme – specific utensils, serving ware, stemware, barware, small appliances and ingredients for convenient all-in-one access. Below is a whole room designed for a client who loves to enjoy their impressive collection of wines with their guests.

Wine cellar
Wine cellar

5) Butler’s Pantry – A butler’s pantry keeps the mess out of sight and allows hosts more room to store larger sheet pans, serving trays, or seasonal china instead of having to pack it up and haul it out for each use. It’s also a great place to store canned goods and other pantry staples and provides more utility space for mixers and other large appliances. Budget permitting you could even include a second dishwasher and/or a utility sink to wash dishes and prepare cut floral arrangements!

Butlers Pantry
Butlers Pantry

With virtually endless options, designing a kitchen can be a daunting process to undertake on your own. With years of experience and hundreds of happy clients served, our certified kitchen and bath designers can help you bring your ideas to life with less stress. Whether you are looking for the latest top-of-the-line trends and features or you need value engineered options, from concept to build, we will guide you in selecting the right countertops, cabinetry, appliances, and finishes to create a practical and beautiful kitchen. Call us today to schedule a no-cost consultation (410) 643-4040, or feel free to drop-in at your convenience – we are open 8:00 am -4pm Monday- Friday.

Tips for Designing the Best Outdoor Kitchen

11949438_910185912379855_6409190968605643571_nThe most efficient outdoor kitchens are ones that are just as functional as indoor kitchens. Some outdoor kitchens can be very simple; only having the essentials.

However, some outdoor kitchens require a professional designer for assistance in design and installation. Regardless if you choose to hire a professional or not, here are things to keep in mind when designing your outdoor kitchen.

  1. Select low-maintenance materials and equipment
    Be sure the materials you choose are designed to withstand the elements (extreme heat, snow, heavy rain and wind) and are easy to clean and maintain. Known for its durability, high quality stainless steel is a popular choice because it is easy to clean, corrosion-resistant and durable. The products you choose will need to be able to withstand temperature changes, as well as be waterproof.
  2. Extend your living space
    Installing an outdoor kitchens provides you with a place to cook and entertain your family and friends. Be sure to plan for shade and shelter in case of rain, as well as to make things more comfortable in the hot summer months. You can incorporate an umbrella in seating areas or a pergola to provide more shade. Many homeowners are even installing outdoor ceiling fans to provide more comfort during the hot days of summer. Also consider incorporating a fire pit to create a warm spot for the cooler evenings and months.
  3. Add well placed lighting
    Adding outdoor lighting can help your outdoor space be more inviting for your guests, truly making this retreat an extension of your living space. It will also help make food prep and cooking easier and much safer. If you have incorporated a pergola in your design, a light can be installed from the ceiling. You can also consider installing light fixtures behind the work space or incorporating pole lights. Lighting not only extends your time outside, but provides safety for walkways, cooking areas and staircases.
  4. Choose your location wisely
    There are several factors that need to be considered when choosing a location for your outdoor kitchen. You’ll want to assure smoke from the grill doesn’t go back into your home. With this in mind be sure to put the grill in a place that is a proper distance from your home. Another consideration is whether or not the view from inside your home is important to you and your family. If so, consider putting the outside kitchen at an angle so the view isn’t blocked. It’s also imperative to consider the other areas of your yard that are already established. Do you have children or pets? The hot grill shouldn’t be placed next to children’s play equipment or an area your pet is prone to play in. Finally, consider placing the outdoor kitchen in close proximity to your indoor kitchen. Sometimes there are occasions when you may need to use both kitchens simultaneously. It also makes hauling everything from the indoor kitchen outside, and back inside again much easier.
  5. Choose reliable appliances
    The appliances you choose to have outside will need to be even more durable than the ones that are normally used for inside kitchens. Stainless steel and ceramic appliances are durable and require low maintenance.

By choosing the right appliances and materials, considering the location of your outdoor kitchen and your families needs, you can extend your living space and provide an all inclusive spot to entertain. Depending on the size of the space that you have available, it may be best to call in a professional for advice and suggestions.

Your Guide to the most Popular Kitchen Countertop Materials

Get details and costs on top counter materials to help you narrow down the choices for your kitchen

Choosing  a kitchen counter is no easy task with so many available choices. Since this surface area takes up a large amount of the kitchen, it ends up having an impact on many of the other choices you have to make when remodeling or designing a kitchen.

Below are some of the most popular counter top materials, and the pros and cons of each.

Clark-18Soapstone Kitchen Counters
This material is resistant to stains, chemicals and bacteria, and is a durable and natural choice for a kitchen. Although it is considered to be on the expensive side at $80 to $100 per square foot, it is considered to be a lifetime investment.

Granite Kitchen Counters
Granite has always been one of the most popular choices for kitchen counters. With plenty of character, including unique grains, colors and customizable finishes, it is also considered to be extremely durable. It  can cost as low as $50 per square foot but prices can go up quickly with more exotic slabs and difficult installations.

Copper Kitchen Counters
Although it is not a common choice it is surprisingly easy to clean and maintain. This is considered  a “living” surface, as it reacts to different substances, creating a blend of matte reds, browns and greens. It costs at a minimum $100-per-square-foot.

Engineered Quartz Kitchen CountersDSC00338
Engineered quartz comes in just about every shade possible, so it is perfect for anyone who wants a unique or custom look. This product combines ground quartz, resin and pigments for a very durable result. It is pricey at $95 to $105 per square foot.

Tile Kitchen Counters
This is one of the more affordable choices starting at $30 per square foot. Available in stone or ceramic, it is extremely durable and is one of the few choices that is completely DIY.  Maintenance can be difficult, but choosing a darker grout can ease this burden.

Zinc Kitchen Counters
Although not a popular choice in modern times, this metal has a warmth that has made it stick around for many years. The tone of this metal darkens with time, adding patina. Its antimicrobial properties make it a smart choice for a cooking space. This material starts at $100 per square foot.

Houzz.com
Houzz.com

Recycled Paper-Based Counters
This ecofriendly choice has surprising durability considering it is made entirely of paper.  It is typically mixed with resins and pigments and looks very similar to soapstone, and averages between $40-80 per square foot.

Plastic Laminate Kitchen Counters
This option can work with most designs because it has so many customizable edges and finishes. One of the cheaper options it ranges from $8-20 per square foot. It’s one downfall is that it is not very durable and may need to be touched up or replaced more often then some of the other choices.

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houzz.com

Recycled Glass and Cement Kitchen Counters
One of the more pricey options starts at $100 per square foot, but is growing in popularity because of the unique combination of glass and cement.  This option is ecofriendly, durable and customizable.

Stainless Steel Kitchen Counters
This choice is nonstaining, heat resistant and easy to clean, and is a top choice for chefs. Starting at $80 to $90 per square foot installed means it’s more affordable than most stone counters, too.

Solid-Surface Kitchen Counters
Although not very popular, this miracle material has the ability to imitate just about any look without the same maintenance or price tag. Prices range from $50 to $100 per square foot, depending on the manufacturer.

Wood Kitchen Counters
A personal favorite, this option offers a unique, warm and long lasting countertop. The cost varies depending on the type of wood you choose, but one of the most popular choices, a butcher block, tend to range from $30 to $85 per square foot.

NEW HOUSE
314designstudio.com

Marble Kitchen Counters
Marble counters are always in style offering a classic look however it tends to scratch and stain easily. Marble is known more for the patina it develops, than for its durability. The cost typically ranges from $70 to $100 per square foot.

Concrete Kitchen Counters
Pigments, stains and dyes can create concrete counters with color and visual texture, making them fairly easy to customize . With the right sealer, a concrete counter can be well worth its cost — averaging between $100 to $150.

Source Houzz.com