DC Kitchen Remodeling: Tips to Ensure You Get the Most Out of Your Kitchen this Spring

Spring season in D.C. is a time of rejuvenation. It is also a time in which many homeowners begin working on projects to spruce up their space so they can improve their quality of life and time spent home with loved ones.

Below are several tips to ensure you have an appropriately designed DC kitchen so you can truly maximize your space and get the most out of your home.

Do you have adequate space in your kitchen?

There are many important aspects to consider with a functional kitchen. Take for instance the placement of your refrigerator, sink, and cooking areas, and the placement of your countertop areas. A poorly designed kitchen will prevent you from using your kitchen appropriately, and it can even result in accidents.

If you feel like your kitchen doesn’t have adequate space, then why not open up your kitchen to your living or dining area?

You can take advantage of removing load bearing walls and re-supporting the structure in a different way. This is an ideal way of opening up your kitchen space and can greatly improve the way it functions. This will also make your kitchen and your living space look bigger than it actually is and accommodate more people in both areas at the same time.

Is there a proper traffic flow in your kitchen?

A poorly designed kitchen space can also impact your traffic flow. If you have more than one person in charge of cooking, or you like entertaining guests in the kitchen, then having a narrow walking space can cause a traffic jam.

The ideal width of a kitchen walkway is usually three feet but varies depending on a number of factors. If you are considering an island or peninsula in your kitchen, you should think about the size and placement of this feature as this can contribute to a narrow walkway and bad traffic flow if not designed correctly.

The location of doorways around your kitchen also dictates how traffic will flow through the space. A poorly located door can direct traffic right through a critical kitchen prep area, which will interrupt you while cooking or tidying up. Lastly, it is important to consider the arrangement of your kitchen appliances, tools, cabinets, workstations, cookware, and others to create proper traffic flow in your kitchen.

How about efficiency?

Have you ever had a hard time working on a meal because your kitchen design was outdated? Dated, malfunctioning products or an outdated kitchen scheme will cause you to be inefficient with your meal preps, which can create a stressful situation and make you want to work and entertain less in your kitchen.

Implementing more modern features, maximizing the function of your cabinets, and designing specific work zones will help you be more efficient in your kitchen. Modern appliances are also easier to manage and use, giving you more time to spend entertaining your family and friends rather than laboring all day in the kitchen.

Have you considered the location of your kitchen?

Easy access to other rooms, such as a porch or a deck is ideal for your kitchen. Having an outdoor grill off the kitchen makes it simple to add healthy grilled options to your warm weather dinner routine. Additionally, your family and guests will surely enjoy dining on freshly cooked meals al fresco with the freshness of spring in the air.

If this is not possible, but you still want to bring in some fresh air, try getting your kitchen rearranged to have access to bigger windows without compromising the function of your kitchen.

What is the island’s function in your kitchen?

Many kitchen designs have islands, and these kitchen islands are not just about being pretty. Some homeowners want to have the convenience of enjoying a meal inside the kitchen or creating a gathering space for family or entertaining. Other times, the primary goal of an island is incorporating a different workspace or enhancing the prep area.

If you want to use the island for eating or seating, it is imperative that if this is in conjunction with a primary work area that appropriate space considerations are taken into account. This is especially important if you have a cooking surface in your island for the safety of a seated individual. As mentioned earlier, you must also consider whether you have enough clear floor space to allow for proper traffic when incorporating a kitchen island. Having a kitchen island can be an elegant way to add storage and function to your kitchen, but it doesn’t always mean you need and can have one.

What colors should you use?

Trying out new colors for the kitchen is a great idea, especially as we now enter the spring season. This year, there are a few trends in color schemes that can bring spring inside your kitchen. Greenery and jewel tones which focus on natural colors of nature can be refreshing and eye-popping, especially in the kitchen.

Two-toned cabinets can change your kitchen’s ambiance dramatically. If you have a small kitchen, using shades of white or other light colors can make the whole room brighter and bigger.

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DC Home Remodeling: Spring Temperatures and 2017 Design Trends to Consider

If you reside in the D.C. area, then you know winter temperatures weren’t predicted accurately by our groundhog friend, Punxsutawney Phil. The first day of spring is Monday, March 20, and spring-like temperatures are here already (minus the snow from the other day). This means spring cleaning and home projects are soon to be underway.

Instead of waiting until spring to release our home design trends for you to consider with your upcoming interior home design and remodeling projects, we figured it would make better sense to go ahead and release some insights now. So without further ado, here are some popular trends in 2017 for you to consider:

The Colors of 2017

The Color of Nature

The beauty and colors of nature can put anyone in a good mood, especially inside your home. One current trend that is stunning in the modern household is the wood element as it provides a feeling of getting closer to nature. Panatone also named “Greenery” as their 2017 Color of the Year, is a vibrant and refreshing shade of green reminiscent of lush foliage. A great way to incorporate this dramatic color into your home is through the addition of potted plants in your décor.

Jewels Tones are big for 2017

The colors from jewels tend to capture the attention of many designers as well as homeowners. The saturated and bold colors of jewel tones, from emerald green to sapphire blue, is perfect for accents in home furnishings and art pieces.

Taupe or Shadow

Whether you prefer the drama of “Shadow” as Benjamin Moore does, or a softer version such as “Poised Taupe” by Sherwin Williams, these trendy purple shades for 2017 will surely bring class and warmth to your space. Neutral yet impactful, when combined with other colors, they give joie de vivre (enjoyment of life) inside your home. A departure from 2016’s Color of the Year, “Simply White”, these new neutrals further demonstrate that 2017 is all about color!

The Kitchen

The Two-toned Craze

Two-toned themes have maintained popularity in kitchens. Most two-toned kitchens use rich wood finishes combined with lighter hues of white or cream. However, grays, blues, and even navy are making a presence especially when tempered with or with luxurious champagne bronze or brass tones. These color combinations let the whole kitchen look well designed, rich, and fabulous.

Everything Clean and Simple

One popular trend with kitchen designs today is a simpler and clean look. Many homeowners, for instance, prefer to have cabinets with simpler door designs such as a slab or shaker profile. The simpler door style goes hand and hand with the more dramatic trending kitchen tones of 2017.

Quartz on the Countertop

Tiles on your kitchen counter or mainstream granite colors can give your kitchen an outdated feel. Although some homeowners still prefer granite countertops for both their kitchen and bath, quartz composites are starting to get more attention. Quartz has the same durability as that of granite but because it is a manmade product, it lends itself beautifully to contemporary or transitional designs. Plus, quartz countertops are non-porous, so sealing is not needed.

Essential Cooking Wares

Technology in the kitchen is catching up, which means you better be ready for more modern cooking tops and other appliances inside your kitchen. Induction cooktops are gaining popularity, especially when gas cooking is not an option. Built-in microwave drawers that save space with a modern appearance is also a great idea for the kitchen.

The Bathroom

Closer to Nature in Contemporary Style

Contemporary style with a touch of nature is now in. Whether it is your sink, tub surrounds, shelves or linens, the touch of nature with neutral wood and greenery colors is a 2017 trend. Most of these designs can be seen in spas where people go to aide in relaxation, and this trend has slowly dominated in the residential sector. The modern twist of nature-inspired bathrooms can easily attract homeowners because of its relaxing qualities.

The Tile Styles

Geometric tiles are getting more attention, creating a more artistic and unexpected twist from your classic square or subway tile inside the bathroom. Another style getting attention is Moroccan inspired tiles or encaustic cement tiles which feature different lines, shapes, and patterns. If you are not into attention grabbing patterns, then classic subway tiles with a contrasting grout may come as a better choice for you.

Contemporary Fixtures, Cabinets, and Sinks

Many homeowners want a contemporary style integrated with their whole interior design. Most of the contemporary fixtures, cabinets, and sinks are simple, easy to maintain and simply stunning. Undermount sinks are a staple in contemporary bathroom designs, and the greenery trend is also incorporated well on contemporary fixtures, cabinets, and tiles by using neutral colors and adding wooden elements in the design.

The Technology for Your Home

A Smart House in the Palm of Your Hands

Your whole home can slowly become easier to maintain and control with the help of cool new apps. Want to have a warm bath ready? Tap your iPhone. Want to have the lights dim during the night, or the air conditioning on a steady temperature during the day? Set it up on your smartphone, so you don’t have to come home with rooms that are too hot or too cold.

We hope you found these insights helpful as you embark on your home design and remodeling projects. If you are in the market for a free home design consultation, then don’t hesitate to contact us.

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DC Kitchen Remodeling Tips Load Bearing Walls and GFCI Circuits

Here at Finesse Design Remodeling, we want every household in D.C. to have gorgeous and functional spaces, and this should also be true for your DC Kitchen Remodeling. For the next few weeks we will talk about important factors to consider when remodeling your kitchen. Without further ado, here are this week’s tips:

Brian Bielski

Partner at Finesse Design Remodeling

We recently posted a video where we talked about removing load bearing walls. And we want to qualify that when we do so, we’re re-supporting the structure in a different way. First of all, before we talk about how that is done, we need to know what a load bearing wall is.

In a residential situation, a load bearing wall is a wall that’s supporting the structure above, whether via floor or roof and there are several ways that you can do that. Sometimes load bearing walls are wood. We have 2×4’s, and 2×6 studs and they are supporting the floor load above or roof above. How do you remove a section of wall in opening up your kitchen to your dining room?

If you are dealing with wood structure framing, you can do that by sizing appropriate wood beams. It could be double 2×10’s, double 2×12’s, LVL’s (laminated veneer lumber) – these are designed to support high weight loads from above. And our engineer helps us decide what size beams that we have to put in place to support the span that we open up.

If we are doing a brick wall, which is a lot of jobs we do in DC Kitchen Remodeling, we take out the entire back of the house. How do we do that? There’s a method called stitching and in stitching what we do is we punch through the wall and we support it temporarily with support legs down to the floor which is supported down in the foundation. Then we take a big steel i-beam and we put it up there while we have to remove the brick.

If you are adding something like a French door, you can do two angle irons where you’re moving one side of the brick, putting in one angle iron then removing the other side of the brick and putting in that angle iron. These are the several ways of how we take out load bearing walls and putting in complementary support from what we removed.

Elizabeth Mitchel

Partner at Finesse Design Remodeling

Another important element to consider in your upcoming DC Kitchen Remodeling is the placement of the outlets. Code requires that all of your outlets in your kitchen be GFCI protected which means “ground-fault circuit interrupters”.

What this means is that the outlet is protected in case an appliance is plugged in and it falls in the water. There will not be any issue of electric shock being that the power is cut off to the outlet at the intersection of this. This being an important safety measure, you want to make sure that all the outlets are GFCI, but also code requires that you have these outlets every four feet in your kitchen.  And when you are taking into account your sink, it needs to be within two feet of the center of that sink.

So what if you are planning a new backsplash and you have some beautiful tiles picked out and you don’t want to have outlets interrupting that new pattern or tile material?

What we recommend to our clients is using plug molding. This is a strip of outlets that are GFCI protected and looks a lot like a surge protector. We mount these to the underside of your wall cabinets. This way, you are meeting the code requirement of an outlet every four feet but you have nothing interrupting your beautiful new backsplash.

We hope these DC Kitchen Remodeling tips help you!

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