Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas,                                        Happy Holidays,                                       
Happy Hanukkah

     I wish you and your family a wonderful holiday season. I look forward to the new year and what it might bring. Let us remember our friends and family that can't be with us this year. Take heart that they will always be with us in our hearts.

With Love Angie

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

      I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. May you have a wonderful holiday with your family and friends. Give thanks for all of the blessing that have come your way this year. Say a pray for those who can not join your table this Thanksgiving.

Sincerely Yours
Angie & family

Friday, November 11, 2011

What's in a Counter Top?

                  With so many choices today for counter tops, how do you decide what's right for you and your new space? Let's explore some of your options and discuss the pros and cons of these options.

    • Wide variety of colors, sizes, patterns and types of materials that tile can be made out of. Such as porcelain, ceramic, natural stone, glass
    • Tile is a good heat resistant material
    • Some types of tile are nonporous and some can stain easily if they are certain types of stones.
    • Tile can last a long tile and withstand a lot of heavy use.
    • If you grout with the basic grouts - you will have to maintain with sealers and cleaning. Some of the new grout products on the market with alleviate this by being non porous that won't stain and needs no sealing.
    • If you do tile for counter tops make sure the installer is experienced. Tops could end up not completely flat and level.
    • Price- you have the materials and the labor costs that have to be considered.
    • Can use as back splash
    • Lead time- depends on tile materials and installer availablity

Solid Surface-
    DuPont(TM) Corian® Colors for 2011
    • A wide variety of colors and patterns
    • No maintenance required - no sealing 
    • Stain restraint
    • Many colors, and patterns
    • Seamless
    • Under mount seamless sink
    • A variety of edge profiles 
    • Price- can vary depending on brand name
    • Must be installed by a professional 
    • Can use a back splash 
    • Long lasting material
    • Can Scratch- but also can buff out scratches
    • Sinks can be made of same material and integral
    • Lead time- 2-4 weeks from measure to install
Corian Solid Surface
Wilson Art

Granite/Marble/Stone -

    • A natural material, varies is size of slab and thickness of slab- Nature's artwork
    • Many colors, types of materials available
      • Granite- hardest of the stones
      • Marble - softer look than granite, smaller variety
      • Limestone - soft solid look
      • Soapstone - blue/gray or green/gray coloring 
      • Onyx- Softest of the stone
    • Price- wide spectrum of pricing
    • Requires maintenance - each type of stone the maintenance varies
    • Installed by professionals
    • Seams needed
    • Can be 2-6 CM thick counters 
    • Sinks Can be under mounted
    • Can use as back splash
    • You select the slabs that are used
    • Sealing required- some stones are softer than others, they can stain and scratch. It varies on the type of stone.
    • Long lasting material
    • Sinks can be made of same material 
    • Lead time 2-4 weeks from measure

Wood -

    • Wide variety of species, grains and colors
    • Thickness choices
    • Finish - top coat choices
    • Many Shapes and edge profiles to choose from
    • Can scratch, also can be sanded and restored
    • Wood is a natural material
    • Pricing- varies with edge profile and species, and grain choice
    • Maintenance required 
    • Installed by professionals 
    • Your home's environment can affect the wood 
    • Lead time- 2-6 weeks from measure 

Grothouse Lumber
Craft- Art

Quartz Materials-
    • A natural and man-made combination
    • Hardest material
    • Stain and  heat restraint
    • Color choices grow every year 
      • Colors, patterns
      • Some to reflect granite, marble, concrete
    • Hard to scratch
    • Pricing- varies by brand name
      • Some companies are now charging for the actual sq. ft. that's used, they are now pouring only what 's needed for each project. This has bought the price down
    • Seams are required 
    • No maintenance, no sealing required
    • Installed by professionals 
    • Can use as back splash
    • Sinks can be made of same material
    • Lead time- 2-4 weeks from measure 


Concrete/ Stainless Steel/ Copper/ Glass

  • Concrete
    • Can be many colors
    • Materials such as glass, mirror can be added
    • Price varies depending on how the concrete is made and treated
    • Installed by professionals is recommended
    • Can be hard to find in smaller metro areas
    • Can Stain, needs to be sealed
    • Some maintenance
    • Can crack and chip if not done properly
    • Can scratch
    • Sinks can be made of small material a
    • Lead time 2-3 weeks from measure

  • Stainless/Copper/ Metals 
    • A few finish choices, hammered, satin, brushed,
    • Other metals such copper 
    • Heat and stain restraint
    • Scratches
    • Can be made into many shapes
    • Edge profiles are limited, but new ways of fabrication are expanding this area
    • Must find a good fabricator, most won't install
    • Can be hard to find in smaller metro areas
    • Need separate installer 
    • Pricing - a custom quote is needed 
    • Lead time- 2-4 weeks from measure 

Stainless Tops

  • Glass/ Recycled Glass 
    • This is the newest material to take the counter top market by storm
    • Thickness can vary
    • Color can also play a interesting role
    • Can shaped 
    • Can scratch
    • No maintenance 
    • Sinks can be made of same material
    • Prices are considered on the high-end
    • Lead time- 6-12 weeks sometimes longer
    • Recycled Glass can be a shorter lead time 2-4 weeks from measure  
    • Can be lighted to highlight the top
    • Can be used form more than tops

Recycled Glass- Vetrazzo

                    Know the pros and cons of the materials you select. Some many choices, do your homework, write down the things you want from a counter top to help you determine what you want and need from your counter tops. So you can enjoy your counter tops for many years to come.

Sincerely Yours
Angie Keyes CKD

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What are you looking for in a refrigerator?

Miele Freezer/ Miele Refrigerator

Viking French Door

       Does this question ever get asked? Kind of silly question right? "A place to keep my food." Well, this question leads to many others.

Sub Zero Side-by-Side
         So do you know the answers to these questions? In addition here are a few more that you should ask yourself and be able to answer. Do you entertain? Is it formal or casual entertaining? You might need large platter storage. Maybe ice or extra beverage storage is needed. Another option is the looks of the refrigerator to consider. Choices include White, Black, Stainless Steel or cabinet panels.

       There are alot vendors to choose from and the prices range from $500 to $15,000. The prices vary depending on the size, depth and options you want. The smaller normal depth units are your least expensive. Starting at $500 and going up to $1,500. French doors also increase the cost in the normal depth to about $2,000-$2,500. The next price level takes you to cabinet or counter depth. They run $2,000 - $ 3,000. If you want a build-in they can go as high as $15,000 for 1 unit. Cabinet panels also add to the price of the unit.         
Sub Zero Integrated

          Then the options you want or need inside and outside the refrigerator come in to play. Inside options are many, here a few of them, air purifier, water purifier, led lighting, instant freeze, individualized temperature controlled spaces. The outside features include water/ice dispensers, TVs, panels - cabinet or stainless steel. A few vendors do offer other colors than black and white. Viking offers the largest variety of colors

Jenn Air Side-by-Side w/ water/ice and TV
Sub Zero BI Series
          The built-in or integrated appliances are at the top of the price point, but the choices they offer are amazing. You can do all refrigerator or all freezer. They have under counter options such as beverage centers, refrigerator/freezer drawer combinations. They built-ins offer the most choices for the integrated cabinet panel look. They can make the largest appliance disappear in the kitchen or put it front and center.

         On a personal note. I have owned both price points in refrigerators and this is what I have found. My food last longer in the higher priced unit. And I wasted or thrown away less food. Did you know that the average family throws away $750 a year in food gone bad? If you multiply that by 20 years, that's $15,000. My personal experience with several of these brands has given me the insight to tell you if you can invest in the more experience refrigerator, it will save you money in the long run. Appliances are an invest in your kitchen remodel. We typically only do these types of remodels once or twice in our lifetime. Make it count!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Suriving a remodel- Practical tips

Here are some common sense tips to surviving a remodel whether it's a kitchen, bath or other room.

When packing up your space.
1.     Clean out stuff you don't want or need anymore
o    Sort into to categories - trash and give away/garage sale
2.     Pack dry goods in clear bins - easier to see
o    If bath room - toiletries are easier to find as well in clean bins
3.     Pack cooking utensils in clean bins as well - easier to see where things are
o    Use the size bins for items will also make things easier

 Use space that's available to your best advantage
1.     Laundry rooms - if large enough they make great short-term kitchen space
o    The laundry sink doubles as your kitchen or bath sink
o    If you have some counter space in your laundry- this helps as well
§  Maybe you can set up a small table to help add some counter space
o    If your laundry will not work try a dining area
§  Set an extra table along a wall if you have the space
§  Move your dining table w/ chairs and turn into a small banquet area- this way you can still use to have meals if need be
§  Use wash bins for a sink - like if you were camping
Make use of certain appliances
1.     Move Frig to another area that so it can be plugged and used.
2.     Any electrical grills and/or frying pans, griddles, crock pots, outdoor grills, toaster, toaster oven and microwaves - take advantage and plan your meals to co-inside with recipes for these appliances - this way you’re not eating out the entire remodel.
o    Eating out can get old & expensive
o    A home cooked meal is a comfort factors to most families- especially if you have small children
o    Pre-cook meals and freeze them
Grocery planning food and dishes
1.     Plastic ware - so dish washing only becomes cooking utensils and pans
o    Throw items help with clean up duties
2.     Buy groceries accordingly to what appliances you will be using.
o    Try to plan meals for a longer period than you normally do
o    Also the grocery deli has many pre-made meals that can help out as well
3.     Here are a few meals that you can do
o    Chili - crock pot
o    Pizza breads - if you have the toaster oven
o    Salads, fruits
o    Roasts & stews - crock pot
o    Soups- crock pot
o    Breakfast foods - the griddles & toasters make this easier
§  Pancakes, eggs, bacon, BLTs, toast
§  Hamburgers, hot dogs
4.     Just keep it simple
1.     Remove all small items and pictures
2.     Take down draperies and in adjacent areas
3.     Make your sure the remodeling area is closed off with plastic, whether you or your contractor do this
o    Dust will find its way into everything, this you can't control - accept it
o    Clean furnace filters
o    Either you or the contractor vacuum job site daily
o    A clean job site make the project less of an eye sore and much safer for the entire family
1.     Keep pets safe during this time
o    Close off construction site best you can
o    Keep out of installers, sub contractors way
§  This is for their safety as well as the pets
o    It's a change in everybody’s routine including your pets
§  So show them where their food, bed and toys are being moved to if this is the case
Patience is a virtue
1.     Remember the big picture - this is a short amount of time
2.     Things will go wrong - keep it into perspective
o    It's not about how it happened, it's about what we are doing about it and how we can make it work to our advantage
o    Trust those you are working with to know they will make it right and they know what they are doing
3.     Planning - don't leave this stage out
4.     If you're not sure this is a project you can handle yourself- then you're best bet is to hire the right company. Don't bite off more than you can chew!
5.     Again remember what it's going to be like when finished - keep the faith!
1.     Try to stick to your budget- remember changes after the project has started are more costly than making decisions at the planning stage.
2.     Have a plan
o    If you can't do it or are unsure about how to lay things out- then hire the right professional - THIS WILL SAME YOU MONEY! Mistakes can be very costly
o    Start your project once all decisions have been made and all materials have been ordered.
o     Make sure there are not lead-time problems with any materials you have selected.
o    Stopping to wait for materials is problematic - the job slows down or even comes to an halt, this creates more problems - both with materials and timing for sub contractors who have scheduled time for when they need to perforce their work, remember you are probably not their only client on the schedule.
3.     Have a slush fund for the unexpected
4.     Be honest with yourself and if you're working with someone be up front and give them a budget and parameters to work within that you know are workable for you - one of the biggest mistakes people make is not being clear on what the budget needs to be. Being unrealistic in this area can make the whole experience go from good to bad.
5.     Communication is Key to any project undertaking.
        We have all heard the horror stories, we seldom hear about the good projects. But trust me they are out there and many projects do come in on time and on budget. I keep coming back to this old saying “You get what you pay for" If you are doing this project by yourself I wish you the best of luck, stick to your goals and plans and you will be fine. If you’re going to hire someone- trust that who you hire will do a good job. Do your homework and things will work out find. Either way you decide to go. Happy Remodeling! 

Sincerely Yours
Angie Keyes CKD

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Interesting thoughts on the independent kitchen/bath design industry

      Today I read an article in Modenus Blog. I want to share this article with you. Not only is wonderfully written but it reflects exactly what I feel is happening to our industry. Here is the link to the blog post.  Darren Morgan is the author of this article. Thank you Darren for sharing your insight.

 Modenus interior design blog  

    Below are a few responses from designers around the world that I noted as having interesting points to make.

Brendan Watson • "In my experience the very best Design comes 'through' the designer, not from the designer.
The best Design expresses *itself * to the eye of the beholder with little need for superfluous commentary or promotion.
The best Designers understand that talent and ability are not *dependent* on recognition, awards and celebrity status, though these may well follow.
The best kitchen design practice is a collaborative and cooperative enterprise of which Design is just one (significant) component. Project management, for example, is a very significant component and also has to be intelligently 'designed'.
The client,her aspirations and expectations, are at the heart of this, not the designer."    

 pete walker        
"If it were easy, everyone would be doing it...people who fail to research the road ahead of them will likely find bandits or natural disasters to navigate."

"Design = thoroughly researched intent. People who believe they can go to Home Depot or equal on a Saturday and have a kitchen installed by Monday deserve what they get."

"We as designers need to focus on our own practices or businesses instead of complaining about what these people do...they weren't ever our clients in the first place. Complaining about others' business models is...not focusing on our own."

"Be great at what you do. Run an organized, systematic business, in an honest way. Don't plan on becoming a millionaire, this isn't the business for that. Enjoy your life as a result of the gratification that comes from helping your client achieve their goals."

"Remember they cannot ever pay enough for what you do for them: what you do is permanent; the money they pay you disappears all too soon."

Ann Porter                                           

"I am a sole proprietor. I offer kitchen and bath designs but I opened a boutique showroom not too long ago because I feel it's important for customers to touch and feel the cabinetry so they better understand what it is they are getting."

"I've noticed a new trend of manufacturers selling directly to builders and while this may be a nice opportunity for people who only offer design services, it does nothing to promote the value of a kitchen and bath designer. If K&B designers only work under contractors I fear their value (and compensation) will mostly likely fall to the level of a draftsman working behind the scenes."
"So spot on! Well said, well done. This needs to be shown and discussed to everyone in our industry. It's been slow, yet it's been extremely quick at the same time. The Internet, the economy, the influx of knockoff cheap imports have all help erode our industry at a momentous pace. Manufacturers who do not defend their products from massively discounted Internet sales are aiding & abetting and will soon see the demand for their products vanish. No matter how cheaply they are sold. Designers and Showrooms are being barraged at every corner and I sincerely feel it has to begin from the Manufacturers policies and then having the backbone as a industry enforce them. A very few manufacturers really get it. Some see the writing on the wall as they overlooked it but now see large wholesalers importing their own lines and cutting their products back, They don't know what to do. They know they need to get back to basics, get back to the party with the ones who brought them. But they're afraid and don't kn ow how. They made their bed and are trying to figure out what next? As designers and Independent Showroom operators, we must work together. The large Wholesalers and Manufacturers who choose to bypass us all are not our allies, not our friends. Their greed is so large a appetite it cannot stop, only consume. The quotes I've heard from our "friends" would shock you, they do not care who they sell to. Period! So don't be fooled that they are "really interested" in your input, your voice. If they are supporting the giants that are all bypassing you the Designer, you the Showroom operator, then ask "why am I supporting their cause, because of their name?" Support the Manufacturers and Showrooms who really do look out for your interests, who really do want to help. Don't let them devalue the services and knowledge you provide by taking away all of your tools and selling on price."
          All of these designer have wonderful points in the responses. I feel our industry must find a new path. The economy has changed and our industry needs to change with it. We can not simply keep doing business the same way expecting different results. Just changing employees is not the answer either. The change must be a the core of the business. How do we want to define our industry? The successful designers and companies have looked deeper and adjusted the way they do business. And as a Independent designer I feel we must change or get left behind.
Sincerely Yours
Angie Keyes CKD

Sunday, June 12, 2011

How to choose the right range for you.

            With so many choices for appliances in today's market place how do you decide? I find this subject gets confusing with so many choices. So, I tell clients to make a list of what's important to them and how they work in the kitchen. Are you a gourmet cook or do cook from a box or a jar or are you a professional chef? When I tell clients I'm the latter they think this is funny since I design kitchens for a living.

           Recently I have been expanding my culinary talents and I'm enjoying learning new ways to cook. And this has given me new insight on how to choose the right range. I have been working on my sauce cooking as I have always enjoyed them in the restaurants. With this practice I have learned more about how the functions of the range and how they are more important to certain types of cooks and not to others.

Cooking - when we think of this we think of the range. So let's expore your options.
  • Professional styles ranges - such as Wolf, Viking, Dacor, Bertazzoni
  • Semi- professional ranges - such as Jenn-Air, Electrolux, Kitchen- Aid
  • Standard Ranges- such as LG, GE, Maytag
  • Other -  English Aga, French  LaCorne

            There other brands to explore but these I feel are the major players in the full range options. What are the differences? Well lets start with looks it's the first thing most of us think about when deciding on a range. then move on to the other features.

    • Stainless steel or a color?
      • Stainless has the professional look whether you buy the standard or professional style
      • Colors- usually black or white- Viking, Bertazzoni are a few professional ranges that has more colors options.
    • Options - Models types:
      • Professional ranges come in larger sizes and have more features available as you increase the size of the range. 30",36, 48,60
      • Standard range usually only comes in one size-  30" is the standard.
      • Gas or electric?
      • Slide in/ drop in or free standing (slide in/ drop in- standard range vendors only)
      • Others like the Europeans vendors come is odd sizes and gas or electric styles
                Second we look at functions available on the models, here is where things get complicated. There so many choices and features available. And these are a few things to think about.
    • All gas - all vendors make a model
    • All electric - Standard ranges mostly
    • Dual fuel - gas/electric combination - professional ranges and some standard range vendors

    Other options are in the oven section of the range:
    • Self cleaning
    • Meat probe
    • Dehydrating
    • Convection
    • 1 or 2 ovens - depends on size of range
    Options for the top section of the range:
    • Gas or electric
    • Grill or griddle
    • French top- only available on the professional ranges - even then only a few vendors.
    • Simmer features
    • Wok options
    So you need to ask yourself what type of cook are you?
    • Professional chef
    • Gourmet - includes sauce cooking
    • Scratch
    • Baker
    • Box/jar
            This should help you decide on which model and features you want in a range. Looks do play are part in the choice so make a note on which vendors you prefer Then compare the type of options that the range offers and finally compare the pricing of the ranges your interested in. Each price point offers something for every type of cook. We did not get into the oven and cook top options in this post, but the same principals apply. Good luck in your search for the right range. I hope this was helpful.

    Sincerely Yours
    Angie Keyes CKD

      Wednesday, May 18, 2011

      Why Designing?

      I was asked recently why I do design. My answer is simple I love working with my clients to create functional spaces. My feeling is function first then beauty. I enjoy trying to find ways for my clients to have a space that they will love to use for many years.

      I'm a trouble shooting, I solve problems. I enjoy the thought process behind designing kitchens, baths or any room in the home. I like the challenge of trying to take my clients dreams and making come to life for them to enjoy. I can visualize what the space can become, and I like making my clients see what's possible. I'm all about details, I like figuring out how the pieces go together to create the whole space. I like being the engineer behind the design and seeing how I can create the space my clients envisioned.

      My clients have become family and friends to me. I take their projects very seriously and enjoy getting to know them and how their families function in the space they want to create. I truly enjoy this career I have carved out for myself. I’m very proud of the work I have accomplished with my clients, as it is a team effort with every project I take on.

      Sincerely Yours
      Angie Keyes CKD

      Tuesday, April 26, 2011

      Drama Class

      This is an article that I want to share with you. It's about a project I did awhile ago thought you would enjoy see it.

      Individual accent

      This is an article that was done some time ago, but I thought I would share with you.

      Gather Round

      This is a wet bar project I did a few years ago. I thought I would share it you.

      Bathing Beauty

      I thought I would share one of my favorite bathroom projects. I'm very proud of this project not only for the award that it won, but I truly enjoyed the client and had alot of fun and it was a challenge to make the clients' dreaam to to life.

      Thursday, April 21, 2011

      A diary of a small kitchen part 2

      Copyright- 2011 DesignWorks -Kitchen & Bath
      All rights reserved
            The second step in this process is taking the clients wants, needs and incorporating them into the design. Here is a drawing of what is going to be proposed for the new kitchen layout. We have moved the range to a new location giving each side of the range a nice landing area. The client wanted a wood hood that could be a focal point of the new kitchen. The sink is staying in this same location, but the dishwasher is changing sides. A microwave drawer will sit on the other side of the sink. The refrigerator gets a new home as a standalone furniture piece that reminds the client of an old ice box.
            In keeping with the style of this 1930’s home the client decided to go with and inset door style in a white paint. The refrigerator will be in a medium tone walnut. Here a few elevations that shows the new location of appliances. This kitchen before was not functional, now the new layout gives the homeowner more function and a 2 cook space if needed when family come home to visit. The clients had a vision for the space, but were unsure of exactly what could be done. The designer looked at the space as a blank slate and made the adjustment to the layout so the cook had designated areas to prep, clean and cook. There is one more area that needs addressing which is not shown in the elevations, and that is a built-in hutch that is original to the home. Once the designer and client make the final decisions how they want to incorporate this in the new look we will show you the final look chosen.

      Copyright - 2011 DesignWorks - Kitchen & Bath
      All rights reserved

           Now the next phrase is to finalize all of the product selections and move into the ordering phrase. With the cabinetry materials and appliances selected the client and designer will move to the smaller details, such as counter top material, splash, sink, faucet, and hardware. If you remember the floors are remaining as they are hardwood that will be refinished in a darker, brown color that will work better with the walnut stain of the refrigerator.
          Part 3 will document the demo and install of this project in the coming months. If you have any questions about this process, I would be happy to answer them. Anyone going through this process right now, I would love to hear about your experience. Maybe the next person can learn from others going through this process. I hope this helps people considering a project or someone that's in the process and just needs reassurance that the end result will be worth it. Good Luck!

      Sincerely Yours
      Angie Keyes CKD

      Thursday, April 7, 2011

      Want a Better Working Kitchen?

              When I start a project with a client I gather a great deal information.  This makes guiding the client though the design process move smoothly. I have found over the years that a check list or survey really helps both the client and myself, decide what the scope of the project should be. Then once we have a direction I can guide the client to the next stage of the process. Here is a check list I ask clients starting a kitchen project.
      1. Do you have appropriate landing space next to or adjacent to appliances?
      2. Is there sufficient counter space for you to spread out and work?
      3. Do appliances doors interfere with walk ways or other appliances?
      4. Do you have sufficient storage? 
      5. Does the traffic flow work for you and your family?
      6. Are walkways wide enough?
      7. How do you cook? Do you bake?
      8. Where do you do prep work? Who does the prep work?
      9. Is a second sink for prep needed?
      10. How do you clean?
      11. How do you shop?
      12. Who uses the kitchen? 1 or more cooks?
      13. What type of appliances are you considering?
      14. Do use the kitchen for other activities?
      15. Do you need seating in the kitchen?
      16. Do you need  a family friendly space?
      17. Do you entertain? formal or casual?
      18. How many small appliances do you have and where do you storage them now?
      19. Do you have enough pantry storage?
      20. What do you like about the existing space?
      21. What do you want to change?
      22. What style and materials are you considering?
      23. Do you have any pictures of things you like?
             These questions are just a sample of information gathered by your designer, that will help you get the kitchen that will work for you! Make the most of your kitchen and you will enjoy your space for years to come!


      Tuesday, April 5, 2011

      Budget Blunders- How to Avoid- Part 1

            The first blunder most consumers make is cabinetry. Cabinetry is the foundation of your kitchen. They need to last and stand the test of time. Inexpensive materials will look at great and seem to operate the same, but they will not hold up over time and use.

             How do you determine what your needs are when selecting cabinetry? Well, in depends on who's doing the looking. The men out there tend to look for options and features. A guy after my own heart, because I personal look at function first then the looks, probably my inner engineer speaking to me. Women usually look at door style and color first. Of course there are always the exceptions out there but this has been my experience.

            Look for the options and door styles and colors that appeal to you. There are many different cabinetry companies to choose from and in many different price points. Just be sure that when you compare them, you compare apples to apples for a fair comparison. This means options they offer, colors, finishes, and construction of the boxes and drawers. Some offer standard features and some are upgrades.

      Grabill Cabintery
         Here are to rooms that feature this cabinet line.

           This cabinet company offers a few different levels of pricing. You will find that usually is the case. What's nice about that is you can mix the levels to customize them to your own budget and still achieve the style and features that are important to you.

             This line also carries many different finishes and styles. Again each cabinet line offers their take on a style and finish along with the options they offer. This particle company falls into the semi-custom to full custom offerings. As I said before just make sure you do an honest comparison between the cabinetry you are looking at. This is an investment in your kitchen or bath project and one that needs to stand the test of time.

      Good Luck in your shopping.
      Sincerely Yours
           Angie Keyes CKD

      Tuesday, March 29, 2011



      These are a  few bathrooms I would like to share.

      Thursday, March 24, 2011

      Budget - My thoughts on the subject

      Budget – My thoughts on the subject.
      1. Take 10- 25% of your home value.
        • 10% if it's a minor cosmetic change.
        • 15-20% if more than the first.
        • 20-25% if it's a major change.
      2. Don't think that materials and services are less expensive due to economy.
        • Suppliers have cut back on production.
        • Retailers have adjusted their inventory to account for the change in demand.
        • I'm several cases thing had increased. With gas prices this high, shipping products has increased.
      3. Compare apples to apples.
        • When getting quotes make sure everyone has the same information.
        • Cabinet companies have many different levels - make sure they are the same quality that you are comparing.
      4. Have photos of rooms and products that you like.
        • This helps the designer focus in on what it is that you want.
        • Products, colors, help the designer determine where that designer needs to take you to achieve the desired end result.
      5. Stone or Quartz counter tops.
        • Edge profiles can increase the budget.
        • Color of stone can also increase the budget.
      6. Appliances- Is there a different? My answer is YES!
        • If you can spend more in this area you won't be disappointed
        • The professional ranges, refrigerators, and dishwashers are worth it. They cook and preserve food better. The dishwashers clean better and are quieter.
        • Ask people you know that might have these upper end appliances.
        • They way you use these appliances will save you money in the long run, they are meant to last.
        • You will save money on food.
      7. Be realistic and flexible on the timetable for your project and how the process works.
        • It's never the same as a TV show; they show the stages not the time involved to get the work done. They make it look like it takes no time at all. Remember that is TV land.
        • Living without a kitchen or if it's the only bath is difficult. So be ready.
        • Make preparations for eating, cooking and bathroom needs.
        • Cooking outside, use plastic and paper dishes, maybe you need to move out for a few days while demo is in process or plumbing is being disconnected.
      8. Beware of the lowest bidder.
        • Remember that old saying "You get what you pay for"
        • Make sure everything in accounted for. Make sure the bid is complete.
        • Changes can and will happen, so make they are addresses quickly.
        • Check references, talk with past clients
        • For example not all tile setters use the same installation process.

      Sincerely Yours
      Angie Keyes CKD

      Sunday, March 13, 2011

      Upgrading kitchen cabinets

                 One other question this article made me think about is: Do consumers think about just upgrading their cabinets? I guess I'm under the impression that today's consumers are more educated and informed than this article suggests. Maybe I'm wrong. I've known clients who bought a refrigerator and had it delivered and discovered it would not fit the existing opening. But this was years ago, before the Internet was a major source of information.

               So are you under the impression that you can just upgrade your cabinets? If so my questions for you are the following:
      1. What about the existing counter tops? Do you re-install them? Do you know if you even can do that?
      2. And if you have to remove them to replace cabinetry what about the sink and faucet? Do you reuse the old ones? Of course that is if it comes out in any shape to re-use.
      3. Do you have tile splash? Will that also have to come out if cabinetry is being replaced?
      4. Or how about the built-in ovens or microwaves? Don't they need to taken out?
      5. What about that Frig?
      6.  Do these items need to be addressed?
             My common sense says yes they have to be addressed, so when I read this article suggesting that kitchen cabinet upgrading is just about the cabinets I began to wonder if the consumer really thinks this way ?
            Another item in the article mentioned was measurements that you should bring with you. All I could think about was a client brought me something on a napkin once. I have had clients, over the years  that brought me measurements, but very few that I could actually understand and read. The few that I could read and understand, so that I could  use them to do a sketch had an engineering background. But all measurements should be checked by the person installing them,  and double checked, so mistakes can be avoided.

      To all consumers out there I wish you good luck on your design projects.