Creating Space: No-Fail Kitchen Organizing Ideas

When you begin thinking about the kitchen of your dreams, one of the best things to do first is inventory everything already in your cabinets, drawers and pantry, on your countertops and elsewhere in the kitchen. It’s a good idea even if you’re not planning to remodel. Consider your cookware, bakeware, kitchen tools, storage containers, cutlery, knives, utensils, gadgets and countertop appliances and estimate frequency of use. Items that you never use should be tossed or donated. Items that you use infrequently or even as little as once a year (the large roasting pan for Thanksgiving turkey) can be relegated to upper cabinets or to other rooms in your home to open up the most accessible places for the utensils and equipment that you use most frequently.

Inventorying your kitchen every two to three years is a sure bet to make your kitchen more functional and enjoyable to use. Here are some tips that may help:

 

Glassware and Mugs

Do you have too many glasses in your kitchen? How often to you drink champagne – do you really need to store a dozen or half dozen flutes in the kitchen? Apply the same logic to coffee mugs. How many do you have in your kitchen, and how many do you really need?

You can create space by paring down the glassware and mugs that you store in your kitchen to those that you use on a weekly basis. Perhaps you can donate those that you don’t need and then store the others in another room of the house so that you can retrieve them for family affairs, dinner parties and when guests come to visit.

 

Dish Towels and Pot Holders

You need just one set of silicone potholders, and when it comes to dish towels, seven is the magic number. Getting rid of the dish towels and potholders you don’t need will create new space that can be repurposed.

 

Cabinets

Installing pull out drawers in cabinets is not difficult and can improve the functionality of your kitchen significantly by maximizing space for storage containers and food stuffs. It also helps prevent items that are at placed in the back of a drawer from being forgotten. If space is at a premium, consider hanging rails to store commonly used utensils, knives, pots, pans and even potted herbs. Alternatively, determine if your kitchen can accommodate a wall- or ceiling-mounted pot rack. Open shelving can also be a space saver and a venue for pots, pans, small appliances and other kitchen equipment.

 

Pantry and Refrigerator

Create space by using clear plastic containers and large mason jars to store dry goods such as pasta, rice and beans.

 

Drawers

There are great organizational dividers made for almost any type and size of drawer.

 

Countertops

Many kitchens’ effectiveness is compromised by having too many items on the countertop. It may make sense to store small appliances such as toasters and coffee makers on the countertop, but if you have a sandwich press or waffle iron another venue most likely is a better option. If you have limited drawer space, consider storing the utensils you use most often, such as spatulas, slotted and wooden spoons, ladles, etc., vertically in a canister.

 

There are numerous options available to help you better organize and enjoy your kitchen. If you are interested in taking advantage of the best kitchen organizational tools and strategies, give us a call at 208-658-8888 or visit our showroom at 1185 W. Grove St., Boise, ID 83704.

How to Prepare for a Bathroom Remodel

Remodeling baths is the ultimate opportunity to improve functionality, health, lifestyle and design. To help you prepare for a bathroom remodel, address the following questions with your designer or showroom professional.

Infrastructure: Can your existing plumbing system be modified to enhance the performance of your bath? For example, shower systems function considerably better if the supply line is ¾ of an inch versus ½ inch. Two-inch drains cost slightly more than a 1.5-inch drain, but reduce the possibility of clogging considerably. Can your new shower accommodate at 2-inch drain? Where are your supply lines located? If they run along an exterior wall and you live in a cold climate, can you move them to limit the possibility of freezing in winter?

Space: If you have limited space, especially in a master bath, determine if you need a tub. Too many of our clients believe that a tub is necessary to increase the resale value of their home. That’s not necessarily true. If none of your family members take baths, consider maximizing space by designing a bathroom with only a shower.

Selecting wall hung toilets and vanities also help to stretch space in a bath. Because the tank of a wall hung toilet is located behind the wall, less space is needed. The caveat is to assure your existing infrastructure can accommodate the drain and has the support to put the tank in the wall.

Storage: How much storage room do you need? Do you have space to recess medicine cabinets into the wall above the sink? If not, can your bath accommodate a medicine cabinet that can protrude from the wall four to five inches?

What size vanity would work best in your new bath? Consider opting for vanities with drawers instead of doors because they provide more flexibility and are easier to use and organize.

Installing a curbless shower and linear drain can eliminate the need to have a shower enclosure or an opening for a shower stall. Curbless showers also do not require a threshold, making shower access easier for those who may be aging in place or planning to do so and those who are mobility impaired. Curbless showers also offer a cool factor that can increase the value of your home.

The advantage of linear drains is that they only need to be pitched in one direction, giving you a blank canvas to select the size and composition of tile, stone or any other floor covering. Another advantage of linear drains is that they can be placed anywhere in the bath.

Lighting: Good lighting makes a bathroom more enjoyable, and bad lighting – just the opposite. Showroom professionals know how light interacts with material, users and tasks to help create a lighting program that meets your needs.

Can you use natural light in the bath to illuminate the space? We often look to capitalize on opportunities to place a window in the shower or other wall in the bath to allow for natural light.

Remodeling a bathroom, whether master suite or powder room, can bring years of happiness to you and your family. If you have questions about your existing bath and how it can be converted into a functional and aesthetic showpiece of your home, give us a call at 208-658-8888 or visit our showroom at 1185 W. Grove St., Boise, ID 83702.

Avoid Remodel Regret – Create Your Dream Kitchen

Regrets? Anyone who has ever remodeled a kitchen has certainly had a few. We recently surveyed our team to have them identify what they would put in their dream kitchens and help to prevent buyer’s remorse. Here’s what they said:

The first absolute must is custom cabinets. As the name suggests, custom cabinets provide a blank canvas to get whatever size, wood type, color and finish that you desire. Most custom cabinets are built to order on a project-by-project basis and enable you to make the best use of all of the spaces in your kitchen. You don’t have to worry about voids in difficult corners or having to use a filler between appliances and cabinets when you can install a pull-out storage container or wine cooler. Custom cabinets, unlike stock or even semi-custom options, create a unique look that can seamlessly integrate into islands and seating areas.

Secondly, our team’s dream kitchen features high-tech, smart appliances that make cooking easier and more enjoyable and food healthier. On our dream list is:

Convection ovens have been around for a while, enabling chefs to cook faster, more evenly and with less energy. Today’s combination convection steam ovens take convection cooking to the next level. Using steam to prepare meals retains more moisture and vitamins in your food, which makes your meal healthier for you and your family.

If you love to cook, you will appreciate a commercial-style gas range. If you love to entertain, two dishwashers will become your best friend. Consider combining a traditional dishwasher with a drawer model that can be used daily. Some models can limit cycles to one drawer only, enabling you to save water and avoid the temptation of letting dirty dishes sit for days until the appliance is full.

Technology has not bypassed kitchen appliances. Smart refrigerators can help keep track of your food and order groceries, offer customizable temperature settings that can turn an area of fridge into a freezer zone, feature touch screens, cameras that allow you to view contents without opening a door and multiple apps ranging from those that organize recipes to maintaining grocery lists.

Our dream kitchen features a wide, deep sink and a high-performing, touch faucet. The kitchen faucet is the most used appliance in the home, followed by the kitchen sink. Imagine a faucet that can be touch activated to start water flow when your hands are covered in dough! If you love to cook, you will truly appreciate a deep wide sink. Our dream kitchen also includes sink accessories such as soap dispensers, instant hots and colds and disposers.

Quartz countertops are a must for our dream kitchen. Quartz is comparable to granite and marble when it comes to look and performance however, it is not porous and won’t stain, making it easy to maintain and clean. There are an almost limitless number of colors, patterns and finishes, including Quartz that incorporates veins in interesting patterns to resemble marble and natural stone. Quartz also represents a lighter and thinner countertop option to natural stone, making it better suited to larger islands. Typical quartz slabs are the same thickness as granite, 3cm. However, Quartz is heavier than granite and much stronger, allowing for larger tops and longer overhangs.

Finally, our dream kitchen has ample storage. A great kitchen must not only look out of this world, it also must incorporate the best functionality that meets your needs. Other components of a dream kitchen may include statement-making islands, a focal point back splash, integrated drawer and cabinet lighting and head turning range hoods. Let us help you realize your dream kitchen by calling us at 208-658-8888 or visiting us at 1185 W. Grove St., Boise, ID 83702.

Quick & Easy Bathroom Remodel Ideas

A bathroom remodeling project does not necessarily have to involve a complete overhaul of the space. Sometimes, all you require is an injection of simple and creative ideas to achieve what you are looking for. By replacing or upgrading certain aspects of your bathroom, you can give it the facelift it deserves without going through the trouble of finding contractors and busting through your budget ceiling. The next time you feel the need for a bathroom remodel, consider the following quick and easy tips to positively transform the outlook of your bath without doing too much.

A Fresh Theme

Changing the theme of your bath will instantly breathe a sense of life into it. There is a variety of approaches you can use to achieve this once you have chosen the subject of new theme you want for the bathroom space. For instance, if you are looking to have an artistic theme, what you can do is to simply blend in a mix of colors, shapes, and patterns to achieve this. Look for simple yet intricate pieces of artwork like vases, beads, and virtually anything artistic to install at strategic sections of your bathroom. Finding the right balance for these new additions will definitely boost the style of your shower space.

Add Storage Cabinets

Adding storage facilities will not only give your bath a fresh and updated look but will also improve its visual appeal. They help to declutter the area and make it more spacious by storing your toiletries like shampoo and body wash in an organized way. Find spaces near the mirror, tub, and sink to position these built-ins. Install cabinets that have pull-out drawers to help you sort items more easily so that you don’t have to keep on misplacing them. You can also add floating wall shelves and wall mounted baskets at different areas of your space to maximize the storage.

Install Accent Tiles

Replacing the flooring material is another viable idea for any simple bathroom remodel project. Instead of the dull and boring tiles you have in the bath, substitute them with accent tiles that are cheap and quite easy to install. Choose a tile color that will nicely fit in the general design of your shower space and compliment the different colors in the shower. Accent tiles are perfect for small spaces and promise to enhance the décor in your bath.

Recessed Lighting

Recessed lighting is a nice and affordable way to boost the appearance of your bath. They produce an even illumination on all sections of the room and make for a cozy and subtle atmosphere. Place the new lighting fixtures near mirrors, bathtubs, shower, and artworks to make them more visible. Choose LED bulbs because they will help to minimize your energy costs and won’t heat up your bathroom.

Update Bathroom Textiles

Replace the old shower curtains, floor mats, and towels with new ones to make your bath more decorative. Look for matching towels with bright colors and intricate designs that will blend in well with your shower curtains and floor mat. Fold the towels and arrange them neatly on the countertops and storage racks for the room to be nicely organized.

Best Indoor Houseplants

Decorating with indoor houseplants will bring a breath of life to your home. Finding the right space for some lush plant-life will help improve air quality and add pops of green into every room. When shopping for houseplants, it is important to consider how much light and watering the plants require for proper growth. Likewise, knowing which plants will work best based on your desire of responsibility when caring for them will help guide your decision. Below is a list, organized by lighting and care requirements, of the best indoor plant options.

High Light
The Aloe Vera plant is one of the easiest plants to care for when exposed to proper lighting. These succulents are known for their capacity to produce fresh air, and beyond lots of bright, direct sunlight, they require minimal watering. Furthermore, the leaves of an aloe plant can be used for therapeutic purposes. Breaking these thick blades will reveal an interior, soothing gel that can be used to moisturize skin and to heal burns and other wounds. Along with aloe vera, cacti, bromeliads, agave, and other succulents make great indoor plants as they require minimal watering and attention. Most plants under this category will tell you when they need watering, as their leaves will become less turgid and softer to the touch. These plants also work well when placed or potted in proximity to each other, and they are available in different height ranges and textures, which combine to create eye-catching design effects.

Medium Light
For medium lighting conditions, the most non-temperamental plants that require only occasional, routine watering fall under the category of hanging plants. English Ivy is a perfect example of this kind of indoor plant. Ivy plants can be hung from windows in hanging planters or used decoratively on window sills and end tables provided that they receive regular exposure to natural sunlight and are protected from direct heat. Ivies thrive in slightly dry soil conditions with plenty of drainage. This means that you only need to occasionally monitor them for watering. As these plants grow, they can add a cottage-like aesthetic to your home, cascading out of their planters with dramatic effect. If you do not like the look of ivy plants, Spider Plants are another option that you can choose for medium light conditions. They received their name because their long, thin, variegated blades emerge in a spider-like formation from a central rosette at the base of the plant. These plants require only moderate watering and indirect sunlight, and can easily add some greenery to any room provided the proper conditions.

Low Light
Last, for low lighting conditions, one of the best options and least finicky house plants is the Snake Plant. Snake Plants can start off as small table-top plants, but they can also grow and be purchased as large floor plants. Snake Plants are one of the best plants for bedrooms because they thrive in even the lowest of lighting conditions, and they are especially effective at filtering air at night. They live best in a free-draining soil mix in pots with plenty of drainage. You should allow their soil to dry completely before watering them, and they require even less water during the winter months. Please take note that if you have cats or dogs, these may not be the best option because their leaves, if ingested, are toxic to animals. Other great options for low light plants include mosses, begonias, and even mint, all of which thrive when lighting is minimal.

Depending upon your lighting conditions, the above options for indoor plants are all easy to care for when given the proper living environment. Whether your home provides bursts of bright, natural sunlight throughout the day or you live underneath deep shade with minimal sun exposure, these plants will add bursts of color and personality to your home. Even better, you’ll get hands-on experience in developing your green thumb!

Trending Style: Wet Bath

Recent trends embracing minimalism and integrating conservative usage of space have been serving as inspiration for modern design trends. Wet baths or wet rooms is a trending design choice for bathrooms in homes looking to add some contemporary flair. Essentially, these rooms are carefully crafted bathrooms that are specially designed with fixtures, furniture, and lighting that are designed to tolerate prolonged exposure to moisture. This style of bathroom can be created with a separate partition for the shower and bath, or they can be designed to combine all bathroom essentials into one efficient space. The end result is a spacious, spa-like feel that promotes relaxation and emphasizes efficient use of space.

What makes a wet room an interesting choice for bathroom spaces is that they can be implemented in bathrooms scaling from small to large. Tiny homes, recreational vehicles, traditional family homes, and even high-end hotels can take inspiration from wet bath styling. Of course, in a tiny home or a recreational vehicle, emphasis is placed on efficiency. Wet rooms of this type can be built within a very small square footage, and they typically combine toilet, shower, bath and sink tucked away into one compact closet.

However, master baths in homes and larger bathrooms in luxury hotels can take inspiration from these efficiency bathrooms and transform them into lavish spa-like retreats. In these settings, careful choices, both in construction and design, must be made in order to properly implement this style of bathroom.

When designing a luxury wet bath, proper construction is of utmost importance. First, the floor must be leveled with a gradient in order for water to appropriately flow to the center of the wet room for proper drainage. In many cases, the door to the room must be elevated, or the floor must designed with a dip in order to avoid water from leaking out in the case of a clog. Furthermore, wet rooms must be completely waterproofed from floor to ceiling in addition to the materials selected for both lighting and fixtures. Some wet rooms will use a glass divider in order to separate the bath and shower, the “wet” area, from the toilet and sink, the “dry” area. While the level of construction may seem complicated, wet baths offer an exotic space to relax and unwind in your own home. In hotels, wet baths can be listed as an additional amenity available for guests to enjoy a spa-like escape during their stay.

In summary, wet baths are a unique way to meld the concepts of both functionality and design into one unique bathroom. They offer a sleek, airy feel, and when implemented properly, they have several benefits. In smaller spaces, they effectively implement all of the necessities of a fully functional bathroom in one compact design. Another advantage is that wet rooms are easier to clean as you will need fewer textiles in the bathroom. Also, surfaces will be easier to scrub due to their uniformity. Though the initial costs and construction necessary to convert your bathroom to a wetroom may seem overwhelming, many people who invest in creating these unique bathroom retreats are ultimately satisfied with this renovation choice. Their homes not only feature a posh, relaxing getaway, but they increase also increase the value and thus resale potential of their homes through this renovation project.

Five Favorite Kitchen Faucets

Kitchen sinks see more action than just about any other home appliance. From cooking tasks and providing drinking water to hand washing and cleaning up, the sink is a hub of kitchen activity. Remodelers should take care to select a faucet that matches the kitchen's aesthetic while standing up to daily cooking and cleaning. To help, here are our five favorite kitchen faucets that combine design and practicality:

1. Grohe Blue Chilled & Sparkling Starter Kit - Best for bubbles

Small pleasures can revolutionize the daily grind. This faucet gives kitchens a luxurious upgrade with chilled, filtered sparking water straight from the tap. Three settings (still, medium, and full sparkling) ensure the perfect refreshment for any thirst, and separate internal streams for filtered and non-filtered water efficiently manage all types of kitchen tasks.

2. Elkay Avado Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet - Standout design

This model's sleek aesthetic makes it a perfect choice for modern kitchen arrangements. The minimalist single-handle design hides a convenient pull-down sprayer and a 360° swing spout that allow for easy cleanup. Not sure if modern style suits your taste? Our guide to identify your interior design style will help you find the perfect look for your home.

3. Briso Artesso® Single Handle Articulating Kitchen Faucet with SmartTouch® Technology - Advanced technology

Sure to impress gadget lovers, this high-tech faucet boasts a tap on/off feature and an LED light to indicate water temperature. Combine these with a magnetic docking system and a two-function spray and steam wand, and you have a state-of-the-art appliance. The original, industrial design brings a futuristic touch to modernize your kitchen space.

4. Blanco Alta Compact™ Pull-Out Dual 1.8 Silgranit - Best compact faucet

Made for those who prefer subtlety to sky-high culinary faucets, this design exists in a range of neutral colors that blend discreetly into your kitchen's aesthetic. Shorter faucets also work well with inward opening windows and other potential obstructions. And, since functionality is still key, this faucet features a 120° swivel and a water-reducing flow rate.

5. Aquabrass Downton Dual stream mode kitchen faucet with side spray - Vintage glamor

This nostalic design radiates shabby chic elegance, providing all of the charm of an old-fashioned kitchen without sacrificing on practicality. Despite its vintage exterior, this faucet remains a top functional choice with two stream modes (spray and aerated) and 360° spout rotation.

For more kitchen sinks, kitchen faucets, and other inspiration, see our complete list of products and services.

Home Remodeling FAQs

Every year in America, homeowners spend more than $150 billion on home repairs and improvements. Some homeowners want to incorporate 2018's hottest trends into their home design. Others are hoping to raise the value of their property. No matter what your reason for remodeling your home is, one thing is certain; you're going to have questions. Here are some answers to a few of the most common questions about remodeling.

 

Will renovating raise our home's value?

Your home is an investment, and renovations are a great way to increase the value of that investment. There are several factors that determine how much value a renovation adds to a property. Consider the age of existing finishes, the value of homes in your neighborhood and current design trends before agreeing to a lengthy and expensive renovation.

 

Which projects have the largest returns?

Some renovations have huge returns, while others aren't worth the time or expense.

 

Renovations That Increase Property Value

Kitchen Upgrades.

Green Technology.

Bathroom Upgrades.

Hardwood Flooring

 

How long does the average renovation take?

Every situation is different. We've listed the expected duration of common renovation projects, but you should still discuss the timeline with a contractor before a renovation begins.

 

What should I do to prepare for a renovation?

Being prepared can help a renovation get off to a great start.

 

How can I save money during a home renovation?

Set a budget that includes a contingency fund for unexpected costs. Map out the renovation process with your contractor, and be very clear about how much you're willing to spend. If the renovation requires a lot of demolition work, consider doing the demo yourself. Donate old fixtures and building materials instead of trashing them. Not only will you save money on garbage dump fees, but you'll also get a charitable tax credit.

Building VS Remodeling: The Pros & Cons

Every homeowner has a vision of what the perfect home looks like. When you moved into your current home, you probably felt like it was the perfect fit for you and your family. Over time, it can start feeling cramped, or maybe you'll get tired of the same outdated finishes. Eventually, you'll be asking yourself: Should I build a new home or remodel?

 

Remodeling

Whether you're planning to remodel your current home, or you've always dreamed of restoring the worst house in a great neighborhood, there are pros and cons to consider before deciding.

Pros

Create Exactly What You Want

The best part about taking on a home renovation is that you get to pick the flooring, countertops, tile, lighting and cabinets.

Location, Location, Location

Homes in need of renovation are often found in established neighborhoods. Think larger lots, with mature landscaping.

You Can't Put A Value on Character

There are certain features in older homes that can't be recreated in new builds. Choosing an older house makes it easier to find a home that matches your personality.

Cons

Hidden Costs

Faulty wiring, asbestos, leaky roofs, foundation problems and damaged pipes are just some of the problems that might become apparent during a renovation.

The Timeline

Inspections and unexpected problems can easily turn a six-week renovation into a six-month renovation.

Living in A Construction Zone

Are you concerned about breathing in plaster dust? What about intermittent water and power outages? Living in a house that's being renovated is not for the faint of heart.

 

Building

You've worked hard, saved money and researched the best builders in your area. Before you break ground on a new home, consider these pros and cons.

Pros

Brand New Everything

Every feature in your new home will be brand new.

Warranties Cover Major Repairs

A good warranty gives homeowners peace of mind.

Energy Efficiency

It is much easier to insulate a home while it's being built. You'll also be able to choose energy efficient appliances and electronics. Consider adding a solar roof to your building plan to save money and the environment.

Cons

Waiting to Move In

It can take as many as 16 months to build a custom home. Where will your family stay in the meantime? Can you afford to pay rent, a mortgage and the expenses for two properties at the same time?

Every House Looks the Same

Homebuyers often use the phrase "cookie cutter" when describing new builds. Home builders tend to use basic materials and bland finishes to appeal to more buyers. If you're looking for a home with character, a new build may not be your best option.

Say Goodbye to Your Budget

Custom finishes, fences, decks and landscaping are usually not included when you're building a new home.

Should You Stay or Should You Go

Every situation is different, and there are so many factors that will play a part in your final decision. Just remember, there is no right or wrong choice, and any house can be made into a home.

5 Benefits of Using a Home Designer

When it comes time to remodel your home or just update one or two rooms in the home, you may try to handle it yourself. While that may save you the expense of hiring a professional, you may end up paying for it in other ways. Before you decide to tackle any project by yourself, consider the benefits of hiring an experienced home designer to assist you.

You Will Save More Than You'll Spend

One of the biggest advantages to hiring a home designer is that it will save you money. Yes, there is the added fee of paying for the designer's services, but that won't compare to the money you'll save. Designing your home yourself will likely involve a trial and error process that can generate more than a few costly mistakes. That will be avoided with a professional, who already has the expertise to know what will and what won't work.

You'll Be Able to Stick to Your Budget Better

Left to your own devices, you'll likely pay more for supplies and buy unnecessary items, which will end up derailing your budget. Conversely, an experienced home designer knows where to go for resources and how to get the best deals. He or she may also know some great money-saving hacks and tricks that will help you get the look you want, but at a fraction of the cost. All of this will help you stick to your prearranged budget without compromising on quality.

More Detailed Planning is Possible

Today, home designers know how to utilize technology to maximize the quality of service they provide to their clients. This includes using 3D rendering to create a digital recreation of the planned redesign. This helps the client see how the finished changes will look and also helps contractors identify any structural problems that may arise on site. Additionally, some home designers now use augmented and virtual reality, so the client can see the remodeled living space to scale. Wearing a headpiece, they can tour the rooms and see the remodeled appearance, before spending a dime on the project.

You Won't Have to Worry About Finding Good Contractors

Handling your redesign project on your own will include spending precious hours hunting down quality professionals, such as general contractors, electricians, plumbers, etc. However, when working with a home designer, they will already have a trusted team of skilled workers with whom they regularly work. This means saving you time and it usually means getting the work done for a lower labor cost.

You'll Be Assured of Getting What You Want

Even if you worked out your plans meticulously, conflicts over the construction process may arise and you may feel as though your wishes aren't being respected. Working with a home designer, however, means you'll have a liaison. The designer knows how to communicate with contractors and has the knowledge to understand any good reasons they may have for deviating from the plans. This means you'll have a more positive experience and will be more satisfied with the finished design.

While it may be tempting to cut corners and attempt your redesign without help, you may soon find that you're spending more than you intended. Even if you have already begun to remodel your home, consulting a home designer now can save you more money down the road. In the end, the expertise of a home designer can improve the quality of the remodel and make the home more marketable when it's time to sell.