We get to design a lot of cool spaces for our clients and kitchen design may be one of my favorites. As a former cook at The Virginian restaurant I learned the value of an efficient kitchen with all the right tools. It is so much easier to make delicious food if you have a kitchen that is easy to cook in that does not tire you out walking too much and has the right amount of counter space to prep and serve. We have designed a lot of different kitchens over the years and I went looking for photos this morning of some of my favorites. Some are renovations and some are all new spaces, but all have a special quality to them.
They all are highly functional spaces as well as aesthetically beautiful.
Some are all new spaces.
They all are special to the home design and to us.
So yes, we design kitchens too, as well as additions, renovation, new construction……
Whether you are trying to tackle a kitchen renovation or building your dream house, the selection process can be daunting. Our interior designer, Maggie, has provided a breakdown of the 7 most common kitchen countertop options available to help make that process a little less overwhelming.
Granite For some time, granite has not only been the leading choice in countertops but is also the first to mind for many with its natural beauty to define any space. Coming in nearly 3,000 different color variations, there is sure to be a style to appeal to everyone – but maybe not to everyone’s budget. While the cost for granite has come down in recent years as the demand increased and more engineered options became available, it is still considered a very expensive material due to the fact it is a natural material and its labor costs.
Soapstone Soapstone is sometimes put into the granite category because it is another natural stone, but it really should be seen as an alternative for all its other wonderful characteristics. Coming in a traditionally dark, even color that can vary from gray, green, blue, and black with a satin finish that accents both historic and modern homes beautifully. It has been growing in popularity because of its flexibility.
Marble This natural stone is considered more temperamental than its counterparts granite and soapstone due to its porousness and fragility. Once it is scratched or stained, the repairs are difficult. If used in the right locations, such as a baking island, marble can really elevate a kitchen’s luxurious feel.
Quartz The countertops are usually about 93% quartz particles mixed with resins to create the slabs we are familiar with. Due to this, it can mimic the dramatic veining and other natural occurrences that are loved in marble and granite while also being nonporous and scratch, stain, and heat resistant. The latest trends have included integrated quartz sinks and blending recycled glass particles into the resins.
Solid Surface Solid Surface is a completely manmade option made from a blend of acrylic particles and resins pressed together into sheets. The appearance can be a deterrent for some because of the lack of elegant veining the natural options provide, but for those that do not mind speckles, they can browse the wide array of colors and patterns solid surface has to offer. Now considered one of the mid-tier options for the countertop solutions expense-wise, solid surface can look great in all kitchens.
Also in the manmade category, we have laminates which are plastic-coated synthetics that are easy to clean laminated to a piece of particleboard (MDF). The great thing about the laminate option is that there are literally thousands of colors, patterns, and styles to pick from now that there is a resurgence in demand for the product. It can be found in pre-formed segments that are ready to use or can be custom fabricated.
Wood or Butcher Block
Coming in several different varieties that provide a warm and cozy connection back to nature, wood countertops can be fairly expensive and potentially problematic from bacteria build-up if not properly maintained. They are relatively easy to clean but must be oiled and sealed regularly. It is another great option as an accent counter such as on an island or used with rustic or farmhouse-themed kitchens.
With so many spending more time at home these past weeks (again thank you to all those not able to stay home because they are working to save lives and / or keep our communities running) have you found your kitchen needs an upgrade? We have done lots of renovations over the years to create places for cooking, baking, gathering, building relationships, and bonding with family and friends. The kitchen is almost always the heart of a home where activity brings people together.
Taking this kitchen from plain to magnificent was one of my favorite projects we have ever done. The existing kitchen was renovated into a formal dining room and an addition was added that was bright and open for the kitchen and family room. The space certainly became a place for family to enjoy one another and the gathering space for guests.
Understanding the goals for the “life you want to live” is the first step for designing a solution like this one. As an architect I have been trained to hear your goals and translate them through spatial solutions that provide the framework to achieve those goals. If you are thinking that your home does not facilitate the life you want to live, give us a call. We would love to work with you to create your dream home through a dream renovation.
One of the most common renovation projects done in existing homes are the kitchens. It provides a 92.9% return on investment on average according to Remodeling Magazine. It is often a gathering place for the entire family. The kitchen has become the hub of the home. So many older homes still have the kitchen closed off from the rest of the house. The most common goal is to “open it up” to the living space so that “we can all be together and nobody is stuck away from the rest of the family.”
So what should you consider before taking on the kitchen renovation? Where should you begin? We strongly encourage you to contact an interior designer that does not sell cabinets or come with a preconceived bias in the solution they will provide. An interior designer will look at the space, hear your goals, and provide design solutions that meet your budget. Give Rebecca a call at the office with questions.
There are many options for your kitchen countertop, but all seem to have pros and cons making this a hard decision. So which one should you use in your new kitchen? Which one is right for you? Here are some pros and cons of commonly used kitchen countertops to help you make your decision.
Cost range: $75 – $150 psf
-versatile in design/colors, wide range of color from almost pure white with slight marbling to charcoal gray with nearly solid color, very non-porous, doesn’t require sealing, stain resistant, easy to clean with just soap and water, doesn’t harbor bacteria, chips/scratches can be easily sanded/buffed out
-soft/easy to scratch, high price
Cost range: $95 – $150 psf
-wide range of color/movement, scratch resistant, high quality, hard surface, heat-resistant,
-porous, needs to be resealed often, stains easily when not sealed properly/frequently enough, crack or chip when something heavy is dropped on it, high price
Cost range: $125 – $250 psf
-beauty, wide variety in color and movement, heat-resistant