We are surrounded by technology at work, in our cars, and just about every aspect of our lives, including the kitchen.

Many of our clients want to take advantage of technological advancements explicitly developed for the kitchen as part of their remodel. We see personal home assistants and dedicated kitchen tablets trending upward in this arena. According to the 2019 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, 11 percent of homeowners are upgrading electronics as part of their kitchen remodel. The percentage of homeowners incorporating a personal home assistant such as Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa increased from 23 percent to 31 percent from 2017 to 2018. Dedicated kitchen tablets rose to 17 percent from 11 percent during the same period.

However, the most popular electronic upgrade for kitchens remains the television. Sixty percent of remodels included a TV in their new kitchens. Nearly half of kitchen remodels featured a docking or charging station. Manufacturers have upped their game when it comes to charging stations, incorporating them into drawers, in electrical switch plates and popping up from countertops. The ability to charge smartphones and tablets within a drawer helps to avoid countertop clutter and maintain clean lines.

Wireless or Bluetooth speakers were specified for 29 percent of new kitchens, according to the Houzz survey. That percentage actually decreased from the year before at 38 percent.

Kitchen faucets also are becoming technologically more sophisticated with features such as hands-free and touch operation, improved water efficiency, water filtration capability, Bluetooth applications and no-fingerprint finishes.

Refrigerators, ranges, cooktops, ovens and dishwashers are offering technological conveniences ranging from the ability to order groceries via Alexa and other personal assistants to blue tooth connectivity that allows homeowners to preheat an oven on their commute home via their smartphone. The Houzz survey found that 16 percent of homeowners upgraded appliances as part of their kitchen remodel and 11 percent picked appliances with color touchscreen displays. These displays offer a mind-boggling array of features. You can watch videos on YouTube, make video calls and use the touchscreen to control smart home devices through voice activation or touch screen and even search local restaurants. You can play music or watch a video while you cook and Google will save your place so you can check the recipe at any time. There are even displays that show you how to divide cakes into perfect portions for slicing.

What’s the right technology for your new kitchen? Give us a call at 401-463-1550  or visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI to determine how you can use emerging technology in your new kitchen to make your life easier, less stressful and more enjoyable.

It’s a new year, and that means, new trends in kitchen design!

A recent Whirlpool Corporation survey found that 52 percent of consumers believe they spend too much time cooking and 58 percent of consumers reported that they would like to spend less time doing laundry. Other findings in the Whirlpool survey include:

  • Nearly 75 percent of respondents are interested in smart appliances that will help reduce food waste.
  • 75 percent of respondents want smart appliances that can help manage water usage.
  • 78 percent of respondents want their smart appliances to save money.
  • 64 percent of respondents want appliances to reduce their utility costs.
  • 69 percent of respondents want appliances that can provide personalized service.

The Whirlpool survey reflects trends expected in 2019. New kitchens and baths will continue to offer the best of both form and function. We are seeing growing demand amongst our clientele for kitchens that are not only beautiful but will also contribute to a healthier lifestyle. On many clients’ wish lists are appliances that produce healthier food. That helps to explain the growing popularity of convection steam ovens or combination steam and microwaves that are often specified when space is at a premium.

Undercounter refrigerated drawers are another appliance that contributes to a healthier lifestyle. Many of our clients are attracted to refrigerated drawers to store fruits and vegetables, which promote healthier snacks and also can help reduce the time required for meal preparation, especially when the drawers are in an island.

Water filtration faucets and systems help assure that water used for cooking, drinking and bathing is chemical free.

Smart, connected appliances that include ovens, refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, clothes dryers and even coffee makers that can order pods on demand are popping up in kitchens nationwide with the goal to provide owners with more time and convenience.

Lighting is continuing to evolve through technological advancements and creative design applications. Given that the kitchen is the most important room in the home, a well-designed kitchen is a well-lit kitchen, providing layers of light for setting the mood, performing tasks and providing ambiance. In-drawer and cabinet lighting are expected to continue to increase in popularity, and the range of pendants, chandeliers and other fixtures provide a blank canvas for our customers to make unique design statements.

If you resolved this year to improve your health, enhance your lifestyle or reward yourself for the hard work that you put in every day, we could help you achieve those goals by designing a dream kitchen that exceeds your wildest expectations. Give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI to explore how you can make 2019 extraordinarily special for you and your family.

Kitchen Trends 2019 RIKB

As we look forward to an exciting 2019, we want to share with the bath trends we expect to dominate in 2019:

  • Undercounter and console sinks for vanities are on trend.
  • White remains the dominant color for bathroom sinks.
  • 2019 is likely to bring sinks that incorporate more mixed metals such as copper or cast iron, hand-painted sinks or those with textures and patterns.
  • Matte black and warm brass will be trending faucet finishes in the coming year.
  • Skirted one-piece water closets will increase in popularity because they are easy to clean.
  • Self-cleaning toilets will grow in popularity as will toilets that feature integrated bidet functionality.
  • Free-standing system tubs that offer jets, whirlpool capabilities and heated surfaces.
  • Color and shape options for tubs will continue to grow and give homeowners the ability to truly customize their bath.
  • Wallpaper will gain traction as a means for homeowners to make personal design statements, especially in smaller spaces such as a powder room or foyer.
  • Open, curbless showers are expected to increase in popularity.
  • Mixed textures and finishes will expand the spectrum of visual interest in the bath exemplified by combinations such as matte black faucets and warm brass pendants.

Want to incorporate some of these trends in your bathroom. Visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI to learn more.

Natural brown and tan hues create a chicken wire pattern backsplash of hexagons

Tile can really make a unique and personal design statement. Tile manufacturers are offering some bold new patterns, textures, colors and shapes available. Here’s what’s trending in tile now:

Terracotta: Terracotta adds a natural rustic tone to kitchens and creates a warm comfortable feel. Available in a variety of colors and tones and with glazed or matte finishes, terracotta offers a similar shape and feel as subway tile but stands out for its subtle texture giving the appearance of a custom, high-quality design.

Botanical Motifs: Floral designs have been around as long as tile has been manufactured, however botanical is a new trend that reflects a recent focus on health and wellness and tropical modernism.

Blue and pale yellow on white, kitchen backsplash tile

Deconstructed: Deconstructed tile breakdown then reconfigure the shapes that move beyond traditional rectangular format of tiles.

Earth Tones: Drawing inspiration from natural elements, earth tone color schemes include sandy browns, clay and dirt; forest; moss; grass-like greens and gold tones mimicking the sun. Shades of blue tile that evoke the feel of the ocean also are on trend.

Natural brown and tan hues create a chicken wire pattern backsplash of hexagons

Cultural Inspirations: Thanks to advances in digital printing, manufacturers are producing ceramic slabs and tile that resemble oriental carpets and offer motifs more common to India, the Balkins, Greece, France and Italy.

gold and stone tiny tiles assembled in a mosaic pattern of Greek design

Innovative Marriages: New tiles fuse materials, looks and themes that results in a surreal imaginative interpretation of tile and a new blank palette for design. An example of this type of tile is a marble design fused with metallic veins to create a unique appearance.

Artistic: Tiles that offer the look and feel of hand-painted patterns, sketches and illustrations along with marble effects and watercolor designs are trending.

Pastel Colors: Shades of blush, lavender, sea green and pale yellow can be found in numerous types of floor and wall tiles. Pastel tiles create a light, soft calming.

Terrazzo: There are dozens of tile offerings ranging from cement to epoxy terrazzo, traditional to modern colors and glossy to matte finishes. Unlike natural terrazzo, ceramic tile versions will not become slippery or fade when used outdoors. Plus, ceramic tile that resembles Terrazzo offers a more durable, versatile and cost-effective alternative without compromising the aesthetic.

If you are interested in exploring tile options for a new backsplash, accent wall or floor covering, please give us a call at 401.463.1550 or visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

A kitchen with dark wood floors, white cabinets, simple and clean stainless steel finishes. The large island has white full-back seating for 6, and a black with white swirls marble counter-top.

A recent analysis of kitchen trends by one of the largest manufacturers of kitchen cabinets in North America offers some interesting insights to help you plan your kitchen remodel.

59% of kitchen renovations involve changing the kitchen’s footprint to be more open and to include other rooms in the home.
49% of kitchen remodels increase the kitchen size.
Islands continue to be among the most requested feature. The most popular uses of islands are as follows:

  • entertaining
  • seating
  • meal preparation

A kitchen with dark wood floors, white cabinets, simple and clean stainless steel finishes. The large island has white full-back seating for 6, and a black with white swirls marble counter-top.

The hottest kitchen technology trends include:

  • Designated charging stations in the kitchen
  • Integrated cabinet lighting
  • Smart appliances
  • Voice activated controls
  • Automated cabinet opening
  • Smart phone wireless controls

The top design motifs for 2018 are:

  • Contemporary
  • Transitional
  • Farmhouse
  • Industrial
  • Rustic

A kitchen with off-white to cream cabinets in a U with hardwood floors.

Mixing materials is another hot trend with 49% of designers stating that they believe mixing an opaque with a stain is a top 2018 trend.
Another hot trend is a contemporary look that mixes metals with traditional accent pieces.
Cherry and maple continue to dominate stained cabinet sales, but there is a growing trend for wood finishes that show more grain and character.

Trends on the watch list include:

  • Metal accents
  • Contrasting finishes
  • Walnut
  • Dramatic textures
  • Light filled spaces
  • Feminine influences
  • Greige tones

The leading cabinet enhancements are:

  • Wide/deeper drawers with organizers
  • Floating/open shelves
  • Built-in appliances
  • Integrated cabinet lighting
  • Built-in seating

To learn how you can capitalize on new technologies, storage solutions and the latest industry trends to help create a dream kitchen, please give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

An L shaped kitchen with an open concept to a reading nook and living area.

A kitchen remodel is a big undertaking. Before you begin we recommend you consider these areas for a successful experience.

Code compliance: Ask your design consultant about the different code requirements that must be met in order to produce the kitchen of your dreams. In many jurisdictions, codes will affect the size and type of range hood or fan and if you will need to update electrical connections or plumbing systems.

Balancing form and function: We always ask our customers how they would like their cabinets and drawers to open. To achieve a clean, minimalist look in contemporary applications, we may forego cabinet knobs and pulls, replacing them with touch latches that open simply by gently pressing on the door or drawer. Placing hardware on doors and drawers is more complicated than it appears and often depends on the size and type of cabinet selected. Hardware is the jewelry of the kitchen and should not be an afterthought. Cabinet hardware helps to create consistency and elegance. Additionally, one size or style rarely fits all applications. Depending on the style and size selected, some kitchens demand different cabinet hardware sizes and styles.

An L shaped kitchen with an open concept to a reading nook and living area.

Finishes: In addition to selecting countertops, backsplashes, appliances, faucets, flooring and paint, during the planning phase, your designer should also discuss the finishes that will achieve your desired look. Granite, stone and engineered quartz countertops can be polished or honed depending on look and feel that is desired. Honed finishes provide a softer, more organic feel while polished finishes offer a harder appearance. Honed finishes hide scratches better than polished finishes however, they tend to stain more easily than polished counterparts if they are not properly sealed. Learn about the finish options available on the materials that you select and how they impact the look you want to achieve.

Stainless or metallic appliances, sinks, faucets and architectural hardware offer multiple finish options. A brushed finish helps to hide water spots and fingerprints better than polished finishes. To achieve a warmer, softer look, consider brass or gold-tone finishes. Stainless and chrome finishes add more sparkle. We also often recommend to clients that they purchase all of their appliances from the same manufacturers to achieve a consistent look.

Sink options: There are different mounting options for sinks that impact look and feel. Farmhouse sinks typically are deeper than stainless steel under mounted or top mounted sinks. Farmhouse sinks are easier on the back because they bring the sink closer to the user.

Many of our clients who do not choose a farmhouse sink, opt for an under mount instead. Under mount sinks are fastened to the underside of the countertop. This method is used for solid surface countertops such as granite, quartz and engineered stone. The lip where the sink meets counter must be a finished edge. The faucet in this application typically is mounted to the countertop. We advise our customers to decide if:

  • the countertop should overhang the sink
  • it should be set back from the lip letting the sink show
  • the countertop should be flush with the side of the sink.

Based on the customer’s preference, we provide direction to the countertop fabricator.

Other mounting options are drop-in, flush mount or surface mounted. The choice of countertop material affects sink selection. Drop-in sinks have a lip that rests on the countertop surface with an integral rim. In the past, this was the traditional method of mounting sinks, especially on tile. This sink is literally dropped into a cutout in the countertop. Drop-in sinks are often cast iron ringed by a large, raised lip that rests on the countertop surface. Stainless steel drop-in sinks have much flatter lips. Typically, the faucet is mounted to the sink.

Flush mounted sinks are set into the counter and align evenly with the countertop
material (generally tile). These are referred to as a tile-in-flange. Only a few of our customers opt for a flush mounted sink.

Light floors contrasting dark cabinets in a kitchen. Has two large windows on either side of a large stove and decorative tiled back splash with a molding trimmed hood.

Countertop profiles: Countertops also have a dramatic effect on the look and feel of a kitchen. Other questions to ask include what shape or style should you use for the edge of your countertops. Rectangular edges, often referred to as eased edges, help to create clean lines and are often specified for contemporary kitchens. Those who want a traditional look and feel may opt for more ornate countertop profiles such as a bullnose or demi-bullnose. These are rounded edges. Edge choice also is affected by material. Consumers that opt for laminate are better served using an ease edge because rounded edges don’t look natural and it is nearly impossible to align seams.

Toe kicks: Most people erroneously believe that toe kicks need to match cabinets. That may be the case in a number of kitchens, but in white kitchens you may want to consider another color. Consumers with white toe kicks are often frustrated by the amount of maintenance required to clean them. In many white kitchens, we recommend matching the toe kick color to appliances or countertops.

What other questions do you need to ask and answer to ensure a successful outcome? Please give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI and we will be happy to assist.

The kitchen and home footprint are contracting as a rule and open floor plans are becoming the norm. We love to design open floor plan kitchens, but an open floor often means losing a wall of cabinets, which makes it a challenge to provide ample storage.

When space is an issue, we work to ensure that the finished product is both functional and aesthetically wowing. For functionality, we envision an imaginary straight line drawn from the center of the sink, to the center of the cooktop, to the center of the refrigerator and finally back to the sink. In the trade, this is referred to as the work triangle. As a rule of thumb, no leg of the triangle should be less than 4 feet or more than 9 feet. Concurrent in configuring the best triangle, we also think about storage solutions.

Open Floor Plan

Islands are enormously popular with our clients, but they are not always the best solution, especially if space is limited because they can make it difficult to maneuver in the space. Alternatives to islands include u-shaped designs or peninsulas to provide both storage and countertop space. We also use multitasking principles and products to maximize the effectiveness of the kitchen when space is at a premium. This can be accomplished by:

  • Keeping countertops at seat height instead of bar stool height to enable the countertop to serve dual purposes of a dining area and work area
  • Specifying appliances that serve dual roles such as refrigerators that have the ability to convert between fridge and freezer or combination ovens that can function as a convection, conventional and speed
  • Creating bar areas that can be used for organization and entertaining
  • Specifying multifunctional islands that serve as dining and work areas
  • Installing pullout pantries or cabinets that serve as pantries
  • Using nonstandard sized cabinets
  • Extending cabinets to the ceiling and countertops
  • Hanging pot racks from the ceiling
  • Taking advantage of in-cabinet storage solutions such as vertical tray dividers, roll out shelves and trays
  • Specifying smaller or alternative appliances, e.g., columnar refrigerators or refrigerator or a speed oven in lieu of microwave

Don’t believe that a small space can’t make for a great, functional and aesthetically pleasing kitchen. If you would like additional ideas for making the best use of your kitchen space, please call us at 401-463-1550 or make an appointment to visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

Open Kitchen Floor Plan

Today, successful bathroom design focuses on creating a personal oasis to provide an escape from the outside world. It is a space that you can call your own, devoid of texts and tweets, to literally wash away the stresses of the day. The bath is a haven where families can make unique design statements and enjoy spa-like experiences in their homes.

Many of our clients are inspired by their travels. They stay at hotels, resorts and spas that spark their imagination and as a result, they ask themselves, “why can’t we create a similar a place of wellness in our home?” You can! Many of the baths that we design feature jetted, soaking, air or combination tubs, steam showers, showers with multiple spray heads, music, aroma and color therapies.

The trend toward outfitting bathrooms with beautiful furniture reflects the changing dynamic of baths, especially the master bath. The master bathroom has become a refuge from the hectic pace of daily life. The bath is a place where individual family members can steal a few minutes to relax and rejuvenate.

modern bathroom with glass enclosure

Bathrooms can include sofas, comfy chairs, benches and other pieces that extend the living area into the bath. Wood tones add warmth and serve to contrast white ceramic and acrylic surfaces of tubs, basins and water closets. With this transformation, the standard white vanity has given way to elegant and expertly crafted furniture pieces that create the look and feel of stress-free luxury. Many of our clients don’t want to fill their bath with built-in cabinets and countertops. Instead they opt for freestanding étagères, cabinets, armoires, wall-hung vanities, seating areas and storage pieces.

Function is another critical factor. A beautiful bathroom is an organized bathroom. Our clients don’t have time to search for their favorite tube of lipstick or wait for their curling iron to heat up. That’s why we specify bath furniture with storage solutions and convenience features that include interior adjustable shelving, pullout trays, interior lighting, hairdryer/curling iron holders, interior electric receptacles, USB port charging stations and drawer dividers.

refined bathroom with classic clawfoot tub

In larger baths, many of our customers enjoy separate spaces with different vanity types, and styles and heights for individual grooming stations. In these circumstances, there are opportunities to distinguish two spaces by installing mirrors, sconces and other types of lighting. A common practice to help separate space in the bath is to use wall mirrors, armoires, étagères, ceiling-hung mirrors or a wall of mirrors.

When you combine furniture with fixtures it results in an enhanced use of space and integrates the new bath with other rooms in the home. If you’re interested in discussing a bathroom renovation for your home, please give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

As designers, we’ve witnessed the transformation of kitchens from the place where meals are prepared to the epicenter of the home. Designs have become grander, space has become larger, and the look and feel has become more personal because the kitchen has been transformed into a place of pride that is intended to project a personal statement of style. Many of our clients want their new kitchen to serve multiple functions ­– central gathering place, meal preparation area and entertainment center among other roles. We often suggest open-concept floor plans, where the kitchen flows through to other living spaces such as family room or dining room, to create a more communal, connected and multifunctional space.

open concept living room and kitcheb

©Jamie Harrington-Image Ten Photography. All Rights Reserved.

According to a recent Houzz.com study, open-concept plans are featured in more than 70% of kitchen renovations [pdf]. Open-concept floor plans offer a good solution for small-space living. Knocking down walls to open up small homes is a popular way of creating a feeling of space. An open floor plan can also promote indoor-outdoor living. Imagine increased natural lighting streaming into your home and a kitchen that seamlessly opens out to covered patio for alfresco dining.

open concept dining room and kitchen

©Jamie Harrington-Image Ten Photography. All Rights Reserved.

Of course, open concepts are not limited to kitchen footprint and design. Many of our clients favor open shelving to display cookware, art, vessels and mementos. Open shelving works well with glass front, interior lit cabinets that provide the look and feel of an open, airy, spacious and welcoming room that you want to spend a lot of time in.

The decision to remodel a kitchen or bath is not a spur of the moment epiphany. Most of our clients spend considerable time researching options and imagining their new space. They find inspiration from various sources: Houzz.com, magazines, a friend’s recent remodel, home improvement television shows, and more! However, the journey from concept to completion is rarely as easy as what is depicted on TV. As much as we would like a remodel to take only a few days, in reality, the process can take 4-6 months.

Step 1: Dream

Start your kitchen remodel by identifying the features and benefits, looks and feelings that you want to achieve. Visit internet resources such as Houzz and Pinterest, or pick up magazines like Décor or Architectural Digest to collect ideas. When presented with the challenge of coordinating color schemes, textures and looks that you want to achieve, a professional designer can help you develop a plan that pulls it all together. A good designer will help you achieve the functionality you are looking for while reflecting your own personal style.

Step 2: Establish Priorities

Establishing priorities is essential in developing a realistic budget for your project. This is an area where a professional showroom consultant can be a trusted advisor. We help our clients determine renovation budgets that are not only realistic, but also remain aligned with their goals. How much should you budget? That depends on the nature and scope of your renovation. In our area, a minor kitchen remodel averages just over $20,000. This might include cabinet re-facing, sink replacement, installation of a tile backsplash and a fresh coat of paint. A more complete renovation including semi-custom cabinets, hardwood floors, granite counters and higher-end appliances averages over $60,000*. You can spend more than $100,000 on a complete overhaul with structural changes, custom cabinets, stone countertops, top-of-the-line appliances, etc. So you choose at what level you would like to be.


Step 3: Visit a Professional Showroom

When selecting a company to partner with, make sure that they are experienced with the type of renovation that you want. Ensure that the installation crews and subcontractors involved in the project are licensed and insured and that they have a performance record of staying within timeframes and budgets. Ask for references to determine the quality and level of service that a showroom provides. Also when you do move forward with a professional, be sure that terms, conditions and payment obligations are detailed in a written and signed contract.

Step 4: Have Realistic Expectations

There is no such thing as a typical or problem-free kitchen renovation. Full-scale renovations are likely to leave you without a functioning kitchen for an extended time period. Our design team offers guidance for creating temporary kitchens or cooking areas that eliminate the need to eat out or order take out for every meal. In addition, renovations are messy, so ask your designer what steps they take to minimize dust, dirt and other unpleasant aspects of the renovation process.

Ready to consider a kitchen remodel? We welcome the opportunity to help you create a kitchen that you can enjoy every day. Give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our showroom at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI to see how we can make your dream kitchen a reality.

*NOTE:  Budget numbers are from Remodeling Magazine’s 2017 Cost vs Value report.