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Considering a kitchen renovation? It’s not just about the wood selection or pretty handles. Learn a little 101 as we dive into your many renovation choices.
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of renovations, be it kitchen, bathroom or even your closet. There are so many options, it’s hard to know where to start. Lee Ann Carter, owner of Carter’s Cabinet Shop, is well aware of how overwhelming it can be when you first start a project.
Carter’s father started the business back in 1953 (then called Carter’s Craft Shop); the family lived upstairs with their shop on the first floor. Today, they manufacture all their cabinets, working closely with clients as designs come together for their dream rooms. While they do some commercial work for businesses and schools, homes are the bulk of their clientele. It’s also worth noting that while most of us go straight to the idea of kitchen renovations, you can also consider work for your bathrooms and closets for a nice upgrade.
“If you’re going to redo any room, you need to know why,” Carter says. “Is it for yourself or resale? I meet with clients and get to know them before visiting their home to take measurements and get an idea of design layout. I’m able to think about things the client might not even realize. If you’re shorter, those tall cabinets probably aren’t the best idea for you!”
Carter is a designer and is considerate of her clients’ needs and wants. For her, it’s all about functionality of the design, as opposed to paint colors (for that, she recommends hiring a decorator). After an initial meeting, she visits the client’s home to get an idea of layout and measurements. She notes that it’s incredibly important to already know your included appliances.
“I can’t do anything until I know what appliances you want. Everything is different for measurements, so you want to have details in place before you even get started.”
When it comes to trends, Carter is certainly seeing a lot in terms of outdoor kitchens, and not just for summer outdoor entertaining. Many are adding overhead shades they can roll out, opening up their outdoor kitchens like a cabana. With people grilling out more, they’re even adding exterior sinks for ease, and those Dekton countertops are great for outdoors.
For design, Carter says many clients are opting for two-tone looks, a trend she suspects will stick around for a few years. They might want stained wood for cabinets and a granite island, or bright colors mixed with subtler hues. She also adds she’s seeing people add small upgrades to their bathroom vanities, putting electrical outlets in drawers or inside cabinet doors so their hairdryers and other appliances are within easy reach.
See? We told you the options are limitless. Let’s dive a little deeper into a few specific parts of the renovation process.
All of Carter’s cabinets are soft-close and full extension, which is becoming more of the standard, but still feels like a luxury. When you’re cooking or perhaps getting ready for work in your walk-in closet, it’s nice not to get distracted by drawers slamming shut!
Full extension drawers should hold weight, with a good glide. Perhaps you include adjustable shelves, as the renovation is hopefully for life and you won’t have to redo anything a few years later. Carter highly recommends hiring installers who know what they’re doing; not exactly a DIY project you want to risk.
Not only do you have to think about heights and wood types and colors, but then there’s the glass and hardware to consider. Frosty glass means you can barely make out the interior; seedy glass, on the other hand, has texture and gives an illusion of what’s inside.
Since you already know by this point about your appliances, remember that your cabinets have to be built around your sink and refrigerator, too. (Did you know you can match your cabinet décor to hide that stainless steel ‘fridge?) Carter sees many clients turning to the larger farm sinks, though the everyday undermounts (with two separate sinks) are still popular as well.
There are several kinds of drawers, with most clients wanting true dovetail, full extension drawers. With metal sides and the ability to hold over 100 pounds of weight, your drawers can hold more than just the silverware these days. Carter is a big fan of installing full drawers that contain pots and pans, keeping them out of sight and out of the way.
In addition, you can add accessories to the insides of the drawers for better organization. Some pieces hold silverware or you can even organize your entire spice collection! In addition, Carter meets many clients who now keep their dishes in base cabinets instead of wall cabinets. Not only does this emphasize scenery (maybe your windows overlook the mountains or you want to avoid feeling closed off), but it’s convenient. Perhaps you’re on the shorter side or your children help out with setting the tables and cleaning up–dishes in your base cabinets allow greater ease.
Carter also enjoys installing cutting boards within drawers. With just one movement, your sturdy cutting board is there when you need it, and more importantly, hidden when you don’t. This method is great for those who stay organized or need more counter space but don’t have the room.