The kitchen is one room where you can’t afford to have poor lighting. It’s not only a matter of design and atmosphere, but also a safety matter when it comes to handling sharp kitchenware. Rooms generally need three types of lighting: general lighting for overall illumination, task lighting and accent lighting. For the kitchen, you especially should evaluate the work areas and focus on how you can provide each spot with the light it needs. Consider adding lighting directly above all the main working areas, perhaps using pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants in areas where these enhance the lighting and beauty of the kitchen. Pendants look great above kitchen sinks, while a series of mini-pendants enhance the appearance and lighting of breakfast bars and kitchen islands. Also, install under-cabinet lighting as an additional way to ensure that the counters have sufficient lighting for common kitchen tasks. After all, the more light you have in the room, the better you can show off all of those amazing design elements you’ve added to the space.
One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of countertops. Consider all the kitchen activities that require a countertop, as well as appliances that are permanently located there. You might want to fit as much open horizontal surface areas in a kitchen as possible. This may be achieved by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen.
Taking over a kitchen design project on your own to save money is a common mistake that can waste more money, time and energy. There are some jobs where, for safety and quality work, a professional is not a whim. Kitchen designers know the latest trends, ideas and manufacturer’s details; help you identify your specific needs; and translate those details into an efficient plan according to your taste.
Experts refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity, and it requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink will see the most action and should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as your countertop workstations.
Sinks need to be installed in close proximity to the plumbing, but often kitchens are designed with the sinks installed right above the plumbing or in a poor location. Instead of making this kitchen design mistake, consider hiring a plumber to relocate the drains and the plumbing to accommodate the best placement for the sink.
Regardless of kitchen size or layout (L-shaped kitchen, galley, U-shaped or island style), the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should not be less than 10 feet nor greater than 25 feet. If the sum of the legs in the work triangle is too small, people will be tripping over each other and if too large, food preparation could be a very tiring task.
Although it’s not necessarily a mistake, choosing the latest kitchen designs and high-end equipment may not be the best of choices. The most stylish color of the season and trendy designs have a short half-life, and you may never get your return on large investments in the latest kitchenware.
A good layout is key to a successful bath remodel. Former Fine Homebuilding editor Scott Gibson explains why in this excerpt from his book, Bathroom Ideas that Work.
by Scott Gibson
A bathroom remodel can range from something as simple as upgrading a vanity or replacing a toilet to a complete overhaul, which includes the relocation of plumbing and electrical lines or even enlarging the room. Layout is a key consideration, not only because it has a major impact on what the remodeled space will be like, but also because it affects the overall scope and cost of the project.
There’s no better place to start than with the bathroom you already have. Its shortcomings as well as the features you’d like to preserve can be a guide to what you want in a new bathroom. You might be lacking storage for linens, feel cramped when there’s more than one person at the sink, or find there’s not enough room around the tub to towel off comfortably after a bath. On the other hand you might want to keep the vanity sink for storage or the tub/shower unit because you have three young kids. Whether you work with a design professional or devise your own room layout, a detailed scale drawing will help you spot problems and envision design solutions.
The second step is to make a list of your priorities. Each major fixture comes with its own set of requirements—for plumbing and wiring as well as how much floor space it should have. What’s at the top of your list? A whirlpool tub big enough for two? An oversize walk-in shower? A separate enclosure for the toilet or an enlarged vanity with two sinks? You may not be able to get everything, so rank your wish list to help make final decisions easier.
Planning on Paper
Drawing a new bathroom on an existing floor plan can help you visualize new possibilities. This existing 6-ft. by 9-ft. bathroom is in a mid-1970s Cape Cod. It includes a fiberglass tub/shower unit, a single-sink vanity, and a toilet. By moving one interior wall about a foot and shifting fixtures around, a much more pleasing bathroom is possible, as evidenced in the after floor plan.
The window and toilet locations stay the same to help minimize construction costs and allow other amenities: an oversized shower that takes the place of the tub unit, a double-sink vanity, body sprays in the shower, new lighting, and a radiant floor heating mat.
What does the plan give up? Not much. A small hall closet was eliminated and some plumbing changes were made, but they were relatively minor and not nearly as expensive as moving the toilet would have been.
Bathrooms are probably the most complex rooms in the house. They have a network of plumbing and electrical lines, so typically the more extensive the changes in layout, the higher the project’s cost will be. It may not seem like a big deal to move a toilet a couple of feet one way or the other, but relocating waste and vent lines is difficult and time consuming. Depending on how your house was originally built and where the bathroom is located, it may not be practical at all. Moving sink and shower drains is less daunting, but the job can still be difficult. The bottom line: If spending is a major concern, you’re better off working with an existing plumbing and wiring layout.
Another consideration is whether you’re willing to move a wall to gain more room. If there’s an adjacent closet or bedroom that doesn’t get much use, borrowing a few feet by relocating a non-bearing wall may mean a big payoff. In a house with a cramped second floor it may be possible to create a larger bathroom by adding a dormer.
Finally, you’ll have to consider whether to gut the room or simply patch the walls, floors, and ceiling. In general, you’re almost always better off tearing out and starting new. It will give your builder a chance to correct hidden problems and often makes the job go faster.
Creating a Layout
Bathrooms don’t have to be any particular size or shape to be successful. Part of the layout will hinge on how much room you have to work with, and part will depend on the plumbing fixtures and other room features you’ve identified as “must haves.” For example, if a large whirlpool tub is at the top of your priority list, the rest of the layout should be planned around this major fixture.
A key part of design is the relationship of various room features to each other: the distance from a toilet to an adjacent wall, for example, or the clearance between a toilet and tub. These planning guidelines can be expressed as either minimums that meet the local building code or as design recommendations, which are usually a bit more generous. Both numbers are important for planning. A bathroom designed for someone with physical limitations has its own set of guidelines.
Basics of Good Design
Every family’s needs and every house are a little different, so rather than simply copying a floor plan you’ve seen elsewhere and hoping it will work in your house, make use of design fundamentals to help you develop a floor plan that works for you.
These elements were developed by architect David Edrington, who credits A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander for many of the original ideas.
• Avoid layouts with more than one access door.• Create an entrance alcove for a bathroom off a hallway to provide an added measure of privacy.
• A well-shaped bathroom is in the shape of a square or a rectangle whose length is not more than twice its width.
• Good bathrooms have a clear central area where you can wash or dry off, with fixtures like the tub and toilet located in alcoves around the edges of the room.
• Natural light is important. If the room can have only one window, locate it so it illuminates what you see when you first enter the room.
• Use the “intimacy gradient” in designing a floor plan by locating the most private parts of the bathroom farthest from the door.
Does your home feel cluttered all the time? Cabinets may be the solution you have been looking for! Not only do they look good in any room, but they also offer excellent storage options. Follow these links for more information.
When it comes to kitchen cabinet materials, there are a lot of choices—learn more about the options available to you.
This article from the Huffington Post explores eight ways to get rid of clutter.
A clean, organized filing system is important for keeping your important documents in one place. For tips on how to simplify your filing system, head over to this page.
Is your home office still unorganized? Find some additional organization tips.
Are you thinking about remodeling your kitchen this summer? Take advantage of Fine Cabinetry’s experienced staff and technicians. At Bucks County’s Fine Cabinetry, we have a wide selection of finely-crafted, environmentally friendly cabinets and countertops suitable for your kitchen, bathroom, or any room in the house.
You’re in the midst of building a home or remodeling your kitchen, and the time has come to select the perfect kitchen cabinets. A set of kitchen cabinets can make or break the appearance of your kitchen, so it’s important to choose a durable, attractive, and affordable material. Read this guide and discover the different types of materialsyou can choose for your kitchen cabinets.
Nothing gives your kitchen a traditional feel quite like wood cabinets. Most homeowners choose maple, though cherry, oak, and hickory are also very popular. If you’re working with a tight budget, then you may want to choose wood veneers for the same effect, but at a lower price.
A combination of pressed wood, resin, and paper, melamine is a versatile material that comes in a wide variety of colors. Melamine cabinets are much less expensive than wood cabinets but may scratch more easily.
If you have a beautiful set of dishes and glasses that you’d like to display, then glass cabinets are for you. Glass cabinets can also brighten up your kitchen, reflecting natural and artificial light.
To give your kitchen a modern, elegant look, choose stainless steel cabinets. They’re easy to clean and resistant to damage caused by condensation. If you like the idea of metal cabinets, but are looking for a warm, inviting choice, then you might consider the warm glow of copper.
Are you thinking about remodeling your kitchen this summer? Take advantage of Fine Cabinetry’s experienced staff and technicians. At Bucks County’s Fine Cabinetry, LLC, we have a wide selection of finely-crafted, environmentally friendly cabinets and countertops suitable for your kitchen, bathroom, or any room in the house.
The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the house. When guests are over, everyone clusters in and around the kitchen, leaning on kitchen counters and snacking on food found in the kitchen cabinets. People also spend a lot of time in the kitchen preparing and cleaning up after meals. It is no surprise that many people want a kitchen remodel more than any other room in the home. But how do you design a kitchen that you or a future buyer will be happy with for many years? Here are a few things to consider:
1. Start by looking at kitchen remodeling photos. The photos will inspire ideas and demonstrate what’s possible in kitchen cabinet design, counter tops, and appliance configurations. Focus on photos of kitchens that are close to the same size as your own, keeping in mind square footage as well as ceiling height. The kitchen remodel of a 500 square foot kitchen can be much more elaborate than a 100 to 200 square foot kitchen.
2. Examine the space and lighting of your kitchen. Proper lighting and arrangements give the illusion of more space, which is what you want in your kitchen. If your kitchen is smaller, then you’ll likely want to be sure to make good use of lighting and smart kitchen cabinet design to make the most of your space. A kitchen doesn’t have to be enormous, but you can create the illusion of a larger space.
3. After seeing other kitchen designs and examining your own space and lighting, you can start designing. Think about how each element from your inspiration affects the space and light of your room. Dark kitchen cabinets may look elegant in a big kitchen, but can make a smaller kitchen feel closed in. Go over samples with a professional interior designer or kitchen cabinet designer for help making smart choices for your kitchen remodel.
Kitchens and bathrooms are ideal places for cabinets, but why stop there? Cabinets can improve any room in your home that needs a bit of added style and storage space. Here are three places in your home that will especially benefit from new cabinetry.
Cabinets could be a welcome addition to any rec room or family room, especially if you have kids. How many times have you asked your kids to put away their toys? With cabinetry along the edge of your rec room, cleaning up will be a breeze. You’ll also find cabinets to be an ideal place for movies, games, books or other fun family items.
If you’re like most Americans, then you probably have a garage full of expensive and dangerous equipment. Instead of leaving your hammers, pesticides and nails precariously out in the open, you might consider stowing them out of reach of children in a new set of cabinets. Installing cabinets is also a great first step toward organizing your garage.
If you’re planning on entertaining guests, then you might consider installing a home bar for great get-togethers. To complete the look, install cabinets for storage of bottles of liquor, shakers, cocktail mixers and more. Bar cabinetry is similar to kitchen and bathroom cabinetry—once you get the desired look in mind, all you have to do is call a professional to design and install a set of beautiful cabinets.
If you’d like to install cabinets in your rec room, garage, home bar, or any other room in your house, then contact us at Fine Cabinetry. For over 50 years, we’ve provided the Philadelphia area with thousands of beautiful, high-quality cabinets. We’re eager to lend our expertise to your remodeling project