farmhouse sink

Health and wellness are top of mind among homeowners in Southern New England, and many of our clients have expressed interest in creating healthier spaces in their homes. Key components of kitchens and baths that contribute to a healthier and more environmentally efficient home include:

  • Material quality
  • Airflow
  • Effective lighting
  • Thermal comfort
  • Comfortable movement throughout the space
  • Acoustical comfort

Cabinets, paints, hardware, countertops, floor and wall coverings and other materials you select for your new kitchen can contribute to a healthier space and lifestyle. We specify paints, glues, cabinets, and other materials with low to no volatile organic compounds for clients who want a more environmentally friendly and sustainable space. VOCs are chemicals found in many products used to build and maintain homes. Once the chemicals are in the home, they are released into the indoor air we breathe. Natural wood cabinets, stone countertops and glass backsplashes are all environmentally favorable.

A healthy kitchen needs adequate airflow and ventilation. The ability to provide fresh air and create cross-breezes from open windows or doors contributes to a healthier kitchen as does a properly sized vent hood or fan that meets your range and cooking style needs. Clients that want to be on the cutting edge may be intrigued by an interior garden that grows vertically, also known as a living wall. Another healthy kitchen option is to create indoor herb gardens or strategically locate herb planters. Living walls and interior plants help reduce stress, improve air quality, enhance creativity and absorb sound, among other benefits.

Healthy kitchen design also accounts for the way you and your family cook and eat. A healthier kitchen should contribute to a healthier lifestyle that includes the use and consumption of fresh ingredients from an outdoor garden, living wall, indoor plants and herbs. Refrigerated drawers near the stove can help to keep foodstuffs fresher for longer periods. Open shelving, glass containers, glass-front refrigerators and glass-front cabinets showcase foodstuffs and can encourage you and your family to consume more wholesome foods than processed packaged goods.

Lighting can make or break how your kitchen looks, feels and functions. Natural light from windows, doors, skylights and other sources contributes to health and well-being. The use of lighting controls, dimmers, switches and motion sensors can help boost your productivity and energy and enhance your sleep quality.

Thermal comfort is another crucial component of designing a healthy and environmentally friendly space. The use of smart thermostats, heated countertops and floors and a tight building envelope around a new kitchen keep the area toasty in winter and cool in the summer in an environmentally responsible way.

A new kitchen should allow all users to effectively and safely navigate the space. The three main areas of a kitchen referred to as the golden triangle comprises storage areas, including the refrigerator; the cleanup area, including the sink; and the cooking area, including the stove.  The sink should ideally be located between the refrigerator and the stove to ensure a comfortable and unencumbered traffic flow and efficient use of the space. Each leg of the triangle should be between four and nine feet, and the total distance of the triangle should be between 13 and 26 feet to promote safe and easy navigation throughout the space.

Comfort also is derived from clean lines and a sense of calm that results from uncluttered countertops and islands.

Acoustics are the final element of a well-designed healthy kitchen. Noisy dishwashers, appliance motors, clangy sink bottoms and surfaces that enhance sound disturb what otherwise is a peaceful kitchen. Eliminating unnecessary noises is part of a healthy design that homeowners in Southern New England welcome and deserve.

If you want to learn more about additional design elements and strategies to promote a healthier and more environmentally efficient space in your home, give us a call at 401-463-1550 or make an appointment with a designer.

Newport-Kitchen-Remodel-Custom-Shaker-Cabinets

Newport-Kitchen-Remodel-Large-Island

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

Contemporary Portsmouth KitchenIn 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 401-463-1550 or request a virtual appointment here and we will get started on making your dream kitchen a reality! RI Kitchen & Bath Design+Build serving Southern New England since 1989.

From the Designers at RI Kitchen & Bath DESIGN+BUILD

White kitchens continue to dominate the market in the Kitchen & Bath industry. Their popularity dates back to the early 1920s where some manufacturers only made white cabinets. Can you believe it?! 

Why we love them – they are light and airy, they can open up a kitchen space, and one thing is for sure, they will stand the test of time. You really can’t go wrong when choosing a white cabinet, as it will keep its value for years to come in your home. 

But… Are white cabinets on their way out of style? Our designers think it is safe to say the white cabinet will never go out of style, although we are seeing a lot of bold color choices for cabinets in recent years. Some new color trends include blues, blacks, grays, and greens. Check out some designer favorites here

How can you incorporate color into your kitchen? If you’d like to have white cabinets with a pop of another color, our designers suggest using white cabinets for your upper cabinets, and using a different color cabinet for either the island and/or lower cabinets. Not sure which look you want? When you enter the design and build process with RI Kitchen & Bath Design+Build, our designers will create a few sample looks digitally for you to customize and envision what your new kitchen, bathroom, or other space would look like. 

“It’s not that white goes away, it goes back and forth from warmer whites to cooler whites,” says designer Billie. She reports her clients more recently are choosing softer whites rather than bright whites. Designer Kingsley adds, “For me personally, I find that I almost always begin a discussion with a client looking to remodel a kitchen with the basic question; “Are you looking for white cabinetry or do you have other colors and finishes in mind?” White cabinets will continue to be the baseline of conversation for us to determine which direction the design will move into; simple and clean vs. bold and colorful and everything in between.

In conclusion, white isn’t necessarily on it’s way out but our designers find that people aren’t intimated by color, especially with the plethora of inspiration you can find on social media sites such as Instagram and Pinterest. There are endless options to choose from, including white! See some of our designs here

There is nothing more exciting and anticipated than a brand new kitchen when you’re a home chef! We find an increasing number of clients in Southern New England who are passionate cooks, skilled and capable of producing restaurant-quality dishes to the delight of their family and friends. We understand home chefs looking to create their dream kitchens require a design that responds to their needs, provides the flexibility they desire and offers the performance they expect. Appliance manufacturers understand these needs as well and are responding by creating Bluetooth connected appliances that offer professional kitchen performance and convenience and can perform multiple functions ranging from steam cooking and air frying to convection roasting and max broiling.

Appliances today are breaking new ground in design, style, options and performance. Homeowners are no longer limited to stainless steel, graphite, silver, black or white appliance colors. Appliance colors continue to expand to match cabinetry or specific color palettes. There also are more size options, which provide a skilled designer with a blank canvas that enables homeowners to make a personal design statement while at the same time provide the quality of space that a home chef wants and needs.

We understand the passion many of our clients bring to meal preparation, dining and sharing their love of food. While technology continues to embrace the kitchen industry, most passionate cooks are more interested in technological advances that contribute to performance as opposed to bells and whistles that add little to functionality. These might include speedier cooking options, recipe libraries and connected tutorials that help produce more consistent results. What’s exciting for anyone creating their dream kitchen are the options and ability to customize the kitchen to one’s exact needs. For instance, you can opt for in-home steam ovens, wood-fired pizza ovens, high-powered woks, sous vide incorporated into a cooktop and air fry capabilities in the oven.

The increased functionality also is appreciated by our clients who are living healthier lifestyles. They simply smile when they learn about steam ovens, air frying and sous vide options for their new kitchens.

What would you like to have in your new dream kitchen? Give us a call at  401-463-1550 or visit our Design Center at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, and let us walk you through the exciting new options that are available for gourmet cooking in your home.

HGTV, DIY and other home improvement television shows, social media sites and the Internet are a great source of remodeling inspiration. Unfortunately, they can also be a greater source of misinformation. Timelines and budgets are entirely unrealistic and often lead to frustration and disappointment. Viewers see the entire home renovated in seven weeks, and seven weeks is not a realistic timeframe to completely gut and rebuild a kitchen, yet alone re-do a whole house! The processes omitted on home improvement television are the time to select a designer, the design process itself, the development process and decision making. The October 2019 issue of House Beautiful recently offered a more realistic time frame:

Step 1: Research (3 to 18 months+)

Most of our clients in Southern New England spend months researching different styles, products and design concepts. We encourage this research because it helps to save time once you’re ready to move forward with your remodel. Create design boards on Pinterest or Houzz.com that identify the types of kitchens, layouts and products that you prefer.

Step 2: Select a Design Center and a Designer (1 to 2 months)

An essential service that you should expect from your Design Center and designer is to make order out of chaos by discussing your wants, needs, expectations and budget. Expect your Design Center and designer to narrow your product choices based on your needs, preferences and budget. This process takes time because there are lots of questions that need to be answered to help your designer better envision what you want and develop the perfect solutions for your project.

Step 3: Develop the Design (5 to 6 weeks)

Based on your input, a designer takes your ideas and expectations and uses them to develop drawings, plans, specifications, perspectives and elevations.

Step 4: Product Selection (4 to 5 weeks)

You should expect your designer to develop a realistic budget and to direct you to products and techniques that represent the best value for your available funds. During this phase, your designer does a deep dive into the details that make all the difference, finalizing material choices and sources and finalizing organization and storage plans.

Step 4: Fabrication and Delivery (2 to 5 months)

The time frame to source and obtain products depends on your design and product selection. Custom-made cabinets take longer to fabricate and deliver than stock cabinets. You should expect your designer to provide a detailed timeframe for sourcing and obtaining products. Product sourcing should begin before demolition.

Step 5: Demolition and Installation (1 to 9 months)

The overall timeline really does depend on the scope of your project. If the design calls for moving electrical, plumbing, ductwork, structural systems, adding additional space, installing new windows and/or doors, the timeframe will take longer than simply replacing what currently exists. Your designer should not only provide a realistic timeline but also offer guidance for creating a make-shift kitchen during the renovation process. The design and product selection should be finalized before demolition begins. Making changes mid-course not only will expand the time necessary to complete the renovation, but changes will also adversely affect your budget.

Step 6: Adding the Finishing Touches (1 week)

This step involves installing window coverings, hanging art on the wall, placing your favorite keepsakes on open shelving and smiling every time you cross the threshold of your brand new dream kitchen.

If you would like to discuss a realistic timeframe for your new kitchen remodel, please give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our Design Center at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

A well-sized and properly positioned vanity can make or break a bathroom’s look, feel and functionality. The key factors to consider when selecting a vanity include:

  • style and aesthetic preferences
  • the materials used to make the vanity
  • countertop material
  • desired number of sinks/bowls
  • placement
  • storage space required
  • existing infrastructure and available space

When selecting a bath vanity for the master bath, powder room or any other bathroom, the pieces should complement your home’s existing décor. While there is a benefit to adding an occasional piece or accent that contrasts stylistically, putting a modern European vanity in the powder room of a Victorian home would seem awfully out of place.

Vanities made specifically for bathrooms account for fixtures and plumbing, and they are crafted with moist environments in mind. The height of the vanity influences plumbing fixtures needed to meet your goals. For example, vanities that are less than 34 inches tall are best suited for a vessel-style sink.

Another critical factor in selecting a vanity is the finish used to seal and decorate the cabinet. Finish refers both to the process used to seal the wood and the materials used to change the appearance of the wood. Finishes used to seal bath vanities can withstand moist and humid environments.

The countertop selected for the bath needs to account for functional and practical considerations. Bathroom countertops come into contact with nail polish remover, cosmetics, toothpaste, shaving cream, hygiene products, hairdryers, curling irons and more! Many bath products can damage a countertop that is not appropriately sealed or not made to withstand abuses that occur in the daily use of the bathroom.

Aesthetically, we advise our clients to choose a countertop before selecting tile or other floor and wall covering materials. It’s generally easier to match surfacing materials, e.g., tile, stone, wood, to a unique countertop material or design than the other way around. The goal is to select materials that compliment, as opposed to compete, with one another.

Most Rhode Island Kitchen & Bath clients select a vanity that features two bowls. With two bowls, those using the bath have their own space. Separate grooming stations make it easy for multiple people to prepare for the day at the same time. However, in bathrooms where space is at a premium, a double bowl vanity might not be possible. You don’t want to order a vanity that blocks doors or limits movement if the cabinet drawers and doors are open.

A well-designed bathroom is an organized bathroom. To maximize the efficiency of a bath, identify the products and accessories that you use daily, e.g., curling iron, hairdryer and cosmetics. This exercise helps you determine what needs to be stored and identify possible storage locations inside and outside of the vanity cabinet.

The existing infrastructure also can influence the type of vanity you select and its placement. If you want to replace what exists in the same location, selecting a vanity of similar size should not create issues. However, if you need to reconfigure plumbing, electrical and ventilation, that could add to construction costs if not accounted for in the initial planning phases.

If you’d like additional information on how to select the perfect vanity for your bath, call our Design Center at 401-463-1550 or visit us at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

Keys to Selecting the Perfect Vanity

Contemporary, modern styling continues to grow in popularity amongst our clients. Is a modern motif right for your new bath? It is if you love clean lines, geometric shapes, basic, neutral colors, minimal decorations, natural materials and uncluttered space.

A clean-lined, uncluttered bathroom has become increasingly viable thanks to technological advances in shower drains. Channel drains enable homeowners in Southern New England to create an open floor plan bath. Imagine having a shower area without a shower enclosure or curb that you have to step over to enter the space. Not only does this technology enable designers to make the most use of the bath’s space, it also enables clients to age in place easily and gracefully. An open floor plan bath is a great option, especially when space is at a premium. It’s a win-win for everyone.

The components that we typically specify for a contemporary space include:

  • Wall-mounted, flat panel vanities and water closets
  • Unadorned, clean lined faucets and shower systems
  • Free standing geometric shaped tubs
  • Minimal cabinet hardware
  • Clean-lined bath accessories that include towel bars, robe hooks and toilet tissue holders
  • Undermounted, rounded or square shaped sinks
  • Geometric shaped stone, tile or quartz for countertops and floor and wallcoverings

White typically is the dominate color for a contemporary bath. White does not have to result in a sterile or stark look. We often contrast a dominate white palate with black elements. One of the hottest finishes trending right now is black matte for faucets, showerheads and accessories. Neutral color palates are also popular in contemporary baths. Think of gray, beige, mushroom and taupe. Another option for contemporary vanities is to specify light wood tones.

Clients that gravitate toward a modern look often add contrast to their contemporary baths through pops of bright accent colors in their towels (canary yellow or fire engine red), small accents in floor and wall coverings or with seating.

Frameless mirrors with integrated lighting are a standard-bearer for today’s modern bathroom. The shape of the mirror is critical to achieving a clean, minimalist look. Contemporary bath mirrors are often round, rectangular, triangular or other geometric shapes.

Is a contemporary, modern bath right for you? Give us a call to find out or visit our Design Center at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI and let us show you how you can create the bath of your dreams.

The ability to convert dreams into reality is the number one reason why homeowners undertake a renovation project, found a recent survey of homeowners conducted by Houzz.com. Of those, nearly half undertook a renovation project in 2018.

The reasons for all types of renovation projects parallel the reasons our clients in southern New England decide to renovate their homes. The other major reasons for renovating in 2018 (and likely in 2019) include:

  • Desire to customize a recently purchased home
  • Correcting damage due to home age, pests and lack of functionality
  • Adapting to recent lifestyle changes
  • Preparing home for sale to increase value
  • Addressing damage from a natural disaster

Nearly half of survey respondents opted to renovate their existing home as opposed to purchase new. The primary reasons included the ability to make a distinct and personal design statement by capitalizing on the opportunity to customize features and design and a desire to stay in their existing neighborhoods.

The goals of renovation are not surprising. Almost all of our clients remodel to improve the look, feel and functionality of their homes. Another major reason is to increase the value of the home, and the best return on investment in home renovations is a new kitchen. Kitchen renovations provide a 92.9% return on investment, according to Remodeler magazine. A bathroom remodel that includes replacing the toilet, tub and light fixtures, plus adding a double-sink, tiling the floor and hanging wallpaper can result in a $1.71 increase in home value for every dollar spent, according to Zillow.

The top challenges homeowners face are finding the right service providers, staying on budget and finding the right products. The reason why homeowners have a difficult time finding the right service providers and products is that the Internet is both our friend and foe. While the Internet provides access to every product and service that you could ever need for a remodel project, the amount of information available online can be overwhelming, is often incorrect, is likely to cause analysis paralysis, contributes to unrealistic expectations and elevates stress levels. That’s why a professional kitchen and bath Design Center is your greatest asset. Design Center professionals specialize in making order out of chaos.

The reasons why staying on budget is so difficult is due to not having a well-crafted and complete plan. Another reason why estimating and sticking to a budget is difficult for most homeowners is that home improvement television is not a documentary but entertainment. Both budgets and timetables do not reflect reality and costs almost never include labor expenses.

If your kitchen, bath, laundry room, basement, closets or other areas of your home no longer meet your desires, needs or preferences, give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our Design Center at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI. We will show you how you too can turn your dreams into realities!

Newport White Kitchen Remodel

If you’re like most homeowners here in Rhode Island, you spend a great deal of time in your kitchen, and in that time you’re not just cooking, eating and cleaning up. A compelling study by the Research Institute for Cooking & Kitchen Intelligence reports that nearly 20 percent of homeowners spend an average of three hours per day in the kitchen. The RICKI study confirms what we have known for a long time at RIKB – homeowners use their kitchen for a vast array of activities that have nothing to do with a kitchen’s traditional role. Instead, our clients are asking us to design kitchens that serve as a multifunctional space to listen to music, share quality time with family and friends, watch television, stream videos, care for pets, pay bills, read, play games, study, work and more.

The amount of time that homeowners spend in the kitchen is expected to continue to increase. Technological advances are transforming the kitchen from an independent living space into a hyper-connected, multipurpose hub for cooking, eating, entertaining, relaxing and working from home.

As the kitchen’s role continues to evolve, there is a new emphasis on design, and it’s becoming increasingly valuable to work with professionals who understand how to transform a traditional kitchen space into an area that accommodates a diverse array of nontraditional kitchen functions. As Eliot Sefrin, publisher emeritus of Kitchen & Bath Design News, points out, “A growing number of kitchens are occupying larger, more open footprints. ‘Smart’ features are being built into cabinetry, appliances, countertops and other kitchen components.” Smart kitchen lighting, hardware, virtual assistants and other products are coming to market to address consumer demand for Wi-Fi/Bluetooth capabilities. Manufacturers are bringing to market creative solutions to incorporate docking stations for smart devices into cabinets, drawers, countertops and other spaces. Appliances also offer smart options and Bluetooth connectivity that enable remote operation and are synched with digital assistants.

Your kitchen is the hub of your home, you and your family spend a lot of time in that space. It’s essential that it is arranged in a manner that best suits your lifestyle and needs. If you want to discuss your dream kitchen of tomorrow, please call our Design Center at 401-463-1550 or visit our Design Center at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

Rhode Island Blue Kitchen

We’ve been designing and installing dream kitchens for our clients since 1989. We’ve found that there are several key components essential to creating this space that too often are not given enough consideration. These elements include: lighting, seating, and organization/storage.

LIGHTING:
Good lighting can make a new kitchen more enjoyable and can make or break how a new kitchen looks, feels and functions. It is equally as important as cabinets, countertops, appliances, backsplashes, flooring, sinks and faucets.

Effective lighting illuminates a space in layers using different components and strategies to paint the final picture. Layers of light contribute not only to the functionality of the kitchen but also to its design and beauty. Kitchens require ambient, task and accent lighting. Simply placing flush-mounted fixtures in the center of your ceiling can provide functional light, but it may do little to beautify the space, create a mood or evoke favorable emotional responses.

  • AMBIENT LIGHTING: The goal of ambient lighting is to provide soft, general illumination without necessarily drawing attention to the light source. Ambient lighting will provide enough light for safe navigation, cooking and washing dishes and helps to define the space.
  • TASK LIGHTING: This helps to illuminate the activities that take place in the kitchen and provide light to prep, cook, bake, read recipes, easily find ingredients, watch television or do homework. Recent technological advances enable designers to integrate task lighting into drawers and cabinets by installing LED strip lighting or puck lights. LED lights are often installed under wall mounted cabinets to illuminate countertops.
  • ACCENT LIGHTING:  Subtle light, used to help keep the kitchen from looking ordinary or bland by highlighting open shelving, artwork, architectural details or other objects. Light fixtures that provide light and shadows can make the space more inviting and comfortable. These may include track lights, recessed adjustable fixtures and spotlights. A focused beam of light directed at a plant or highlighting a work of art, or a spotlight placed behind a plant and pointed upward through the leaves creates shadows on the wall that can make a kitchen more attractive.

SEATING:
Most homeowners want to have an abundance of seating in their new kitchens to entertain friends and family and to use the kitchen for additional purposes such as preparing meals, cleaning up, doing homework, bill paying, reading, relaxing and working from home. That’s why islands have become so popular. They serve multiple functions in addition to serving as a focal point.

ORGANIZATION/STORAGE:
A great kitchen must not only look out of this world, but it also must incorporate the best functionality that meets your needs. There is a vast array of storage and organizational tools ranging from drawer and cabinet organizers to pull out drawers and pantries that provide a place for all of your kitchen utensils, small appliances, plates and glassware, cookware and pots and pans.

What elements are necessary to make your dream kitchen a reality? Find out by calling us at 401-463-1550 or visit our Design Center at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.

Kitchen