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What’s the Best Backsplash Material?

What’s the Best Backsplash Material?

What's the Best Backsplash Material?

Backsplashes too often, unfortunately, don’t make it to the top of the priority list of homeowners in Michiana when renovating their kitchens. Backsplashes serve both functional and aesthetic purposes. They enable homeowners to protect walls from grease, water and foodstuffs while providing opportunities to make a unique design statement.

No one material is superior to other backsplash options. Material selection often depends on style preferences and ease of maintenance. Here are the pros and cons of different backsplash materials:

Glass (Slabs or Tile)

Pros:

  • Easy to clean
  • Resists heat and won’t be damaged from cooking
  • Endless options – almost every color scheme, style and design is available in glass
  • Customizable sizing
  • Enhances illumination because of glass’ ability to reflect light
  • On-trend

Cons:

  • Can be costly
  • Glass mosaics may not have long-term staying or stylistic power
  • May not be perceived as novel or unique

 

Natural Stone

Pros:

  • Timeless look
  • Unique – no two pieces of stone look the same
  • Cost-effective

Cons:

  • Requires more effort to clean
  • Some cleaning products could cause the stone to discolor
  • Stones are naturally porous, which causes them to absorb water and stains. Therefore,  stone needs to be resealed every two to three years or more often depending on the amount of cooking in your kitchen.
  • What you see may not be what you get. Because no two pieces of stone are the same, the sample you see in the showroom will vary slightly from the stone that is shipped.

 

What backsplash would enhance the look, feel and functionality of your new kitchen? Give us a call at (574) 533 – 0597 to discuss or make an appointment to visit us at 2423 Peddlers Village Rd
Goshen, IN 46528.

Minimize Your Kitchen Cleaning

Minimize Your Kitchen Cleaning

Cleanliness Is Next To Blog

The kitchen is the most important room in the home because it serves as a central hub for cooking, dining, entertaining, chatting, bill paying, internet-surfing, homework, etc. As the central hub and most used room in most homes, it is also the room that needs cleaning most often.

We always ask our clients how they plan to use their new kitchen and how often they prepare meals and entertain. We want to know if anyone in the home truly enjoys cooking and if there are any “foodies” or bakers in the family. We want to gain an understanding of how the kitchen will function and how often it will need cleaning.

Many homeowners in Michiana are dazzled by smart appliances, quartz and stone countertops, custom cabinetry, statement-making backsplashes, signature lighting, hands-free faucets, and jewelry-like hardware. But, they rarely consider how difficult or easy it is to clean and maintain these dazzling products.  Our experienced kitchen designers can direct you to the products that are both attractive and easy to clean.

 

Appliances

Homeowners who don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning their new kitchens should consider appliance surfaces that do not require special cleaning solutions. When looking at ranges, focus on the knobs to determine if there are areas where grease and foodstuffs can get lodged. Consider the spacing. Can you easily use a microfiber between knobs? If not, that range may not be the best choice for your new kitchen. Many of our clients who are avid cooks are attracted to induction cooktops because they are easy to clean and use.

Finishes also need to be considered. Stainless steel appliances are most popular for good reason. They are durable, complement almost any type of cabinet style and color and have long-term staying power. The downside to stainless steel finishes are fingerprints, smudges and the potential for scratches. Some manufacturers offer a smudge-proof option, and black stainless tends to hide fingerprints.

We almost always recommend self-cleaning ovens that use high heat to burn off residue. Steam ovens are also self-cleaning.

 

Cabinets

Flat-front cabinets are easier to clean than door and drawer fronts adorned with grooves and ridges.

 

Backsplashes

Tile is one of the most popular materials used for backsplashes. If you are concerned with kitchen cleaning, we recommend using larger tiles that minimize the amount of exposed grout. One of the friendliest materials when it comes to cleaning for backsplashes is glass. You can choose almost any color; there’s no grout, and using a standard household glass cleaner is all you will need.

 

Countertops

Stone, quartz, stainless steel and engineered quartz are durable, nonporous, stainproof and easy to clean.

 

Trash and Recycling

Most of our clients welcome trash and recycling containers in pull out cabinets underneath the sink or close to the sink where most clean-up occurs.

 

Open Shelves

Open shelves are increasingly popular because they are budget-friendly, make kitchen space look larger and enable homeowners to showcase collectibles and organize materials. The downside to open shelves is that they are exposed to dust and grime.

 

What materials, finishes, appliances and surfaces require the least maintenance?  Give us a call at 574-533-0597 or make an appointment to visit our showroom and we can offer guidance to create the kitchen of your dreams that is also easy to clean.

Can Your New Kitchen Accommodate an Island?

Can Your New Kitchen Accommodate an Island?

Island In The Kitchen

Islands are among the most requested features in the kitchens we design. Islands serve multiple purposes: providing a palate for meal preparation, dining, working, a place to do homework and a storage facility. When homeowners request an island, we determine if there is sufficient space, and if not, we recommend alternatives that can provide similar functionality.

In smaller spaces, we can custom design an island to fit the space. Common features may include shallower depths, custom cabinetry and custom height. There is no standard specification that is required to custom design an island. Islands in a kitchen must provide enough space for families to maneuver effortlessly and safely throughout the space. The size, shape and location of the island depend first and foremost on the size of the room and who will use the kitchen and for what purposes. The space between the island and cabinetry is called the clearance zone. The National Kitchen & Bath Association suggests a clearance zone of 42 to 48 inches. If that is not possible, we have designed kitchens with clearance zones of 39 inches. The key is to ensure that base cabinets and appliance doors can open unencumbered. There should be a least three feet between an open door and the island to provide safe travel throughout the kitchen.

The clearance zone and size of the island are also affected by the number of users. If there are only two family members who live in the home, smaller islands and clearances are possible. The rule of thumb in sizing and configuring islands is to factor the homeowners’ functionality and aesthetic dreams into the space’s potential clearance. The bottom line is that islands need to be proportionate to the space.

Island Alternatives

Some kitchens may not be able to accommodate an island. That does not mean you need to compromise the functionality that an island can offer. Reconfiguring a kitchen space to allow for an open floor plan or physically extending the kitchen space are viable options. Rolling islands are another alternative. We partner with wonderful manufacturers who can custom create a butcher block on wheels.

Peninsulas are another popular alternative to islands. The difference between an island and a peninsula is an island has four sides, and a peninsula is fixed to a wall and only offers three sides. Peninsulas offer an extra yard of space.

Can an island or peninsula work in your dream kitchen? We have templates that you can use to measure your space. Give us a call at (574) 533 – 0597 or make an appointment to visit us at 2423 Peddlers Village Rd, Goshen, IN 46528, here and help make your dream kitchen a reality.

Five Must-Haves For A Great Bathroom

Five Must-Haves For A Great Bathroom

Bathrooms, especially the master bath, can serve as an in-home spa where homeowners in Michiana can spend a few minutes of every day just to themselves, devoid of texts and tweets, to recharge their batteries and wash away the stresses of the day. Functionality, efficiency and beauty are givens in today’s new bathrooms. To create a bathroom that meets your unique needs, consider the following features as must-haves.

 

Natural Light

Homeowners should make windows, skylights or even glass doors requirements for any renovation. Natural light makes a space more welcoming. It also has therapeutic benefits that include boosting vitamin D that helps prevent bone loss and reduces the risk of heart disease, weight gain and various cancers, according to healthline. Plus, natural light puts people in a better mood and improves sleep. That’s why we consider natural light a must for any renovation.

Curbless Shower

Linear drains make curbless showers an accessible option for almost everyone’s home. Curbless showers provide homeowners with a blank canvas. The shower space does not need to be enclosed and can help make a smaller space more functional, appear larger and more aesthetically pleasing. Curbless showers do not require a threshold, making shower access easier for those who are mobility-impaired and those who may be aging in place or planning to do so. In curbless showers with linear drains, floor covering only needs to be pitched in one direction. This provides homeowners with unlimited options when selecting the size and composition of their floorcovering. Another advantage is that linear drains do not limit customers to 4 by 4-inch tile or stone.

Sightlines

A bathroom should not be the first thing you see when you enter a home, walk into a bedroom or leave a kitchen or dining room. If possible, do not position a bathroom in a location with direct sightlines from the kitchen, living room or dining room.

Water Closet Location

The same sightline principle that applies to other rooms in the home applies to the location of the toilet in the bathroom. The water closet should not be the first fixture that you see when entering the bath. Space permitting, we often recommend a separate enclosure for the water closet. Not only does it take the toilet out of a line of sight, but it also provides users with privacy.

Size

You don’t need to have the biggest bath in the neighborhood to have the best performing bath for your family’s needs. You can create an exceptional bath in a relatively small space. We know how to specify products that make smaller spaces appear larger. We know how to create in-home spas with multi-functional shower systems, therapies that can relax tired muscles, rejuvenate skin tone and contribute to your health and wellbeing. Size may be a challenge but never an obstacle to creating the bath of your dreams.

If you would like to discuss how a new bathroom can make your life better and more enjoyable, give us a call at (574) 533-0597 or send us a contact form.

A Planning Primer for Your Renovation

A Planning Primer for Your Renovation

Our phones have been ringing off the hook! Since our neighbors in Michiana have been spending more time in their homes, they realize that they would like to improve what currently exists. If you are interested in a new kitchen or bath, you can make planning for your renovation a lot easier by developing a wish list of everything that you want to then create a preliminary budget.

A word of caution about budgeting: don’t rely on home improvement television as a valid source. While HGTV, DIY and other networks and shows are great sources of inspiration, their timetables and budgets do not resemble reality. They often don’t include time for planning, permitting or the cost of labor.

Your wish list and budget need to align. If they don’t, you’re likely to be disappointed. Our showroom professionals help homeowners develop realistic expectations and budgets every day.

Here are several factors that can increase budgets:

  • Relocating appliances, sinks and faucets likely will result in having to move existing plumbing, electrical and gas lines and ductwork.
  • Commercial grade appliances are more expensive options.
  • Bluetooth enabled and smart appliances are generally more expensive than conventional appliances.
  • Opening up a kitchen space to another room may require structural improvements.
  • Moving walls, gas, water and electrical lines and ductwork often require code upgrades.
  • Adding windows, doors or skylights.
  • Creating new space by extending your kitchen outdoors or into another room.
  • Selecting custom cabinets.
  • Natural stone and engineered quartz countertops have higher price tags than other countertop options.
  • Starting demolition before finalizing plans, drawings and orders.
  • Changing plans after construction begins.

Making a wish list helps to focus and your priorities. We specialize in helping homeowners prioritize their wish lists and offer alternatives if specific wants don’t match available budgets. We also encourage our clients to create idea books on Pinterest and Houzz.com to better understand the look and feel that they want to achieve. Idea boards also help us to identify value-creating opportunities and options to lower costs without compromising look or performance.

After planning for your renovation, if you are ready to start renovating your home, please give us a call at 574-533-0597 or contact us through our website to arrange an appointment in our showroom at 2423 Peddlers Village Rd, Goshen, IN 46528.

Mid-Year Design Trends

Mid-Year Design Trends

We’ve entered the second half of 2020 and want to share the design trends that stood out during the first half of the year in Michiana.

Split finishes are in vogue in everything from plumbing fixtures and appliances to door and cabinet hardware. We’ve seen ear-to-ear smiles when we present combination black and gold finishes to our clients. Specifying gold refrigerator pulls on a matte black refrigerator creates a dramatic and refined focal point in any kitchen. We also have had an extremely positive reception pairing black and silver tones in all design motifs – traditional, transitional and contemporary.

Mixed materials is another trend in new kitchens and baths. Combining metal, stone, wood and glass are on point for many homeowners and builders. Imagine an island that features an engineered stone top contrasted with two-tone wood paneling and a matte black sink with gold-finished faucet. Simply gorgeous.

Similar to mixing materials is specifying contrasting colors. Different colored upper and lower cabinets continue to gain in popularity.

Functional furniture is also making a new home in kitchens and baths. Homeowners in Michiana warmly respond to suggestions for desk space, separate storage cabinetry and pantries, open shelving and other solutions that are more reminiscent of furniture found in other places in the home than traditional kitchen cabinetry.

White kitchen cabinetry continues to rank as the number one preference in homes. However, we see white trending in other materials and fixtures beyond cabinetry. White finished appliances, split chrome and white faucetry and split white toned lighting make for a dramatic statement in any kitchen. Other trending colors for finishes in kitchens and baths include champagne, bronze, gray, gold and black.

Your new kitchen has to look out-of-this-world and serve multiple purposes and functions, spanning from the space where meals are prepared to a central gathering place for family and friends. A well-designed kitchen combines stylish aesthetics with durable and functional finishes and materials.

How can you capitalize on new design trends to create the kitchen or bath of your dreams? Give us a call at (574) 533-0597 or contact us to make an appointment to visit our showroom.