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 Design Center 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 Design Center 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 Design Center 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 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:, 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 Design Center 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 Design Center

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 Design Center 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 Design Center 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.

There are almost an unlimited number of factors to consider when selecting your backsplash. Here are a few tops to help assure you select the right materials for your backsplash to achieve the look and feel you want in your kitchen.

Color scheme

Colors used in the kitchen is a major factor in determining the type of backsplash. The color should complement the other design aspects of the kitchen. For some projects, a dash of bold color helps the backsplash become a focal point in the kitchen. Other clients that want a calmer feeling for their kitchens may opt for a white or light gray color scheme.

Colorful Backsplash


Material is just as important as color. Backsplashes can be used to make a dramatic personal design statement with mixed materials, wood, brick, tile, stone or almost anything that the imagination desires.

Blue and Yellow Backsplash

Cooking Styles

A third consideration is the amount and type of cooking that will take place in your kitchen. For our clients who are avid cooks, we suggest a stainless steel backslash or painted glass backsplash because they are easy to clean, plus glass and stainless steel can help round out the design of other components of the kitchen.

Stainless Steel Backsplash

Backsplash Height

The height of the backsplash is another factor that most do-it-yourselfers and nonprofessionals often don’t account for. Cabinet placement typically dictates the height of the backsplash. Some clients prefer having the backsplash end at the bottom of cabinets. Others like the backsplash material to come to the first shelf in an open or glass front cabinet. Some of our clients have extended the backsplash to the ceiling in areas where there are no cabinets to make the backsplash a focal point in the kitchen.


Shapes and Patterns

The shape and patterns of materials used for backsplash are additional considerations. If you plan to stay in your home for a long time period, we suggest that the shapes, colors and materials complement the other kitchen components, and also other décor in your home. However, if your time in your home is relatively short, you may want to make sure that the material and design are timeless that will serve as an asset in the future sale of your home. A subway tile backsplash is one example of a timeless material and design.

Patterned Backsplash

Other Materials in the Kitchen

Backsplashes should also complement and coordinate with countertop materials and colors. If you desire a patterned granite countertop, the backsplash that generally works best is one with a neutral color scheme. If you opt for a solid color quartz countertop, the backsplash can be more colorful.

How much should you budget for your backsplash? The cost depends on the amount and type of materials that you want. Subway tile is a cost-effective material but may not achieve the look of a stone backsplash or intricate tile. Custom colors are more costly than traditional off-the-shelf products. Mixing and matching materials is an effective way to stretch budget dollars.

Which backsplash shape, material, design and color will make your kitchen the envy of your friends and neighbors? Give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our Design Center at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI to help determine the best backsplash for your home.

Bathroom Renovation Image

Bathroom renovations are the second most popular home renovation project today. So, where do you begin? What’s your motivation behind wanting to remodel your bathroom? Renovating a bathroom adds value to the home, but value creation is only one of the reasons our clients renovate their bathrooms. They want to make a personal design statement. They want a refuge in their home that they can use to relax in a stress-free environment. They also crave and appreciate a stylish and beautiful space.

According to the 2016 Houzz Bathroom Trends Study, the hot trends in bath renovations include beautiful, stylish spaces, luxurious finishes, and big showers.

Nationally more than 50% of homeowners do not bathe in the tub in their master bath. If you are considering a bathroom renovation ask yourself if you replaced your existing tub, would you bathe in a new one? If the answer is no, you add both flexibility to your space and your budget to invest in other areas, such as a “power shower” – a hot new trend. The most popular “power shower” features that homeowners add during a renovation include:

  • Rainfall showerhead (54%)
  • Dual shower (21%)
  • Curbless shower (17%)
  • Body sprays (16%)
  • Footrest (13%)
  • Steam (2%)

Houzz data shows that 68% of homeowners renovating their master baths increase the size of their shower and 33% increased shower space by more than 50%. Showers have also become high-tech, offering options like mood lighting, built-in sound, digital controls, LED lighting built into showerheads and showerheads with speakers.

Beyond the shower, the most common flooring materials used in recently renovated master baths include ceramic or porcelain tile, followed by stone tile or slabs, painted wood, stained or unstained hardwood, vinyl and laminate.

Paint and ceramic/porcelain tile are the top choices for wall coverings followed by stone tile or slab, painted wood panels, stained or unstained hardwood and wallpaper.

Similar to showers, today’s toilets have also gone high-tech. Twenty percent of toilets installed in renovated baths have high-tech features such as:

  • Self-cleaning systems
  • Overflow protection
  • Motion-activated toilet seats
  • Built-in night lights
  • Heated seats
  • Automatic deodorizer
  • Hands-free flushing

Ready to consider a bathroom remodel? We welcome the opportunity to help you create a stylish and beautiful space in your home that you can enjoy every day. Give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our Design Center at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI to see how we can make your dream bath a reality.

Modern Kitchen

Modern design is an exciting hot trend that speaks to many of our clients that want bright open spaces. When we design a modern kitchen, our client benefits from our efforts by selecting meaningful fixtures, cabinets, appliances and other components in a strategic way that results in clean space with minimal clutter.

Modern design often calls for doing more with less. It requires observations and innovation and is an exciting option! Some characteristics of modern kitchen and bath design are listed below.  If any of these characteristics appeal to your style and dreams, give us a call at 401-463-1550 or visit our Design Center at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI 02888.

  • Clean lines
  • Bright open spaces
  • Minimalistic
  • Streamlined appliances
  • Genuinely curated objects that personalize a space
  • The intersection of form and function
  • Purposeful and aesthetically driven
  • Simple, authentic, uncomplicated and timeless
  • Everything you need and not more
  • Understated elegance
  • Neutral color palettes
  • A room that is tactile, fresh, alluring and inviting
  • Functional and stylish
  • Combining materials, textures and styles to produce a comfortable room that is both polished and finely curated
  • Open-minded and curious
  • Authentic and optimistic
  • Chic without the appearance of effort
  • Curious, courageous and confident
  • New ideas, materials, textures that inspire
Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen RemodelTo help you prepare to renovate your kitchen, reduce your anxiety and familiarize yourself with a kitchen makeover process, RIKB typically uses a five-step approach to any kitchen remodel. You’ll quickly realize that we’re obsessed with every detail.

Step 1 is the initial meeting in our Design Center. Our expert design consultants want to get to know you, what you like, what you want and what you need. We want to understand your lifestyle, the number of family members who use the kitchen and to what degree, how much you cook and entertain, your appliance preferences, shopping habits, storage needs, timelines, investment and budget. We’ll review our process, tell you about our experience, the services we provide and what we do to make a remodel less stressful and more enjoyable. At this time, we’ll also schedule an at-home visit to measure, photograph and review conceptual ideas.

Step 2 is a visit to your home. We’ll start by measuring the space and reviewing your décor to help assure that the recommended style and materials will blend with the architectural details of your home. We’ll review your storage preferences and the types of appliances you need. This is a critical step because we can’t design space unless we know the size of the appliances you want. At this point we will discuss design concepts with you and establish a working budget.

Step 3 is a meeting in the Design Center. Here, we’ll present you with design concepts and review the scope of work we created based on the space, needs, desires and budgets discussed. We’ll work with you to adjust the scope based upon your needs. Our Project Development Agreement will outline selected concepts and budget, so you can move forward with design and product selections. We’ll present cabinet quality that matches your budget, storage features, countertop, lighting, molding details and hardware options. After you make your selections, we will discuss revisions that may be necessary based on the options you choose.

Step 4 is a meeting to review the design revisions and confirm details. We will go over a revised time line for when cabinets need to be ordered, the length of time for demolition and installation. Your concepts are transformed into detailed plans as we guide you through the myriad of product choices to truly customize your space. Explore everything from cabinetry, and countertops, to plumbing fixtures, flooring, lighting, accessories and more. Construction documents are finalized and then the fun begins!

Step 5 is building your new kitchen. At our Pre-Construction Meeting, you’ll be introduced to your professional installation team. We’ll review every detail with you so we’re all on the same page. All materials are ordered, received and inspected at our facility and then our team is ready to install! We will confirm the lead times involved, communicate to you adjustments to the construction timeline if any, and maintain a constant line of communication during installation to ensure that work is progressing smoothly and you are receiving the quality you expect and deserve.

We are confident that you’ll love our process almost as much as your new kitchen. If you have questions or would like additional information, please call us at 401-463-1550 or visit our Design Center 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI 02888.

Beige Tiled Backsplash

At RIKB, we use tile and stone for backsplashes in a number of the kitchens that we design. However, backsplash creativity has been ramped up several notches lately. Our clients are often thrilled when we help them make distinctive design statements with nontraditional backsplash materials.  Here are a few unique options for you to consider:

Paint: Using a contrasting paint color as a backsplash is a simple and extremely cost-effective option. Use a bold bright color that pops against the rest of the kitchen. We also play with different finishes, specifying glossy for the backsplash contrasted by a matte on the walls ceiling.

Chalkboard: It’s cost-effective and can add a lot of fun to your space. Write a recipe on the wall in front of your stove or cooktop, keep a running grocery list, to-do list or a simple inspirational quote!

Wood: Another cost-effective backsplash material that can exude an aura of warmth and a rustic feel. Often, we’ll recommend this when our clients have not opted for a wood or laminate floor. Wood offers a blank canvas and can be placed horizontally, vertically or in a zigzag pattern.

Wine corks: Oenophiles consider using wine corks as your backsplash. Using wine corks as the backsplash behind a wine refrigerator in your kitchen just shouts cool.

Wallpaper: Often times wallpaper as a backsplash material isn’t considered, but it can really set a kitchen apart. Make a bold statement with a bright patterned wall paper. Alternatively, use a simple stripe or polka dot paper for a more subtle look.

Artwork: Artwork won’t cover all of the backslash space, but using framed pictures is a creative, easy and cost-effective way to make a distinctive design statement.

Red Tree Artwork Backsplash

Buttons: Buttons are most appropriate for a mid-century modern or a vintage type of home. It’s a conversation starter and allows you to play with multiple colors. Best paired with neutral colored cabinets and countertops.

Beige Tile Stove Backsplash

These creative options help our clients consider alternatives to traditional tile and stone, which also remain very popular. Let us know if you would like us to help you explore different backsplashes for your new kitchen. Call our Design Center at 401-463-1550 or visit us at 139 Jefferson Boulevard, Warwick, RI.