Nothing about your dream kitchen should be ordinary—that includes your cabinets and shelves. Upgrading your cabinetry and shelving is crucial when taking your kitchen’s luxury and style to the next level.
The kitchen is probably the most frequented room in your home, and if you are feeling frustrated every time you walk into it because it feels like you just went back in time, then it is time for a kitchen remodel.
As a company that specializes in home remodeling and restoration, we have a unique perspective on style. Over the last 35 years we’ve enjoyed a front row seat, watching trendy colors, materials, and designs enter the scene, peak, and fade away.
While trends can be fun to ride, the problem is that they’re, well, trendy. And, unlike a pair of pants from the 1970s, you can’t exactly hide kitchen cabinets, flooring, or bathroom fixtures. When they aren’t cool anymore, you still have to face them every single day.
What’s the solution?
We are big believers in craftsmanship that flies right over the fickle weather of passing trends. You can make choices as you invest in your home that will truly be timeless, leaving you with superior function, beauty, and long-term value.
And, this is true perhaps most of all for the kitchen.
Truly Timeless Kitchen Features and Design
#1 Shaker Style Cabinets
The Shakers were interesting people in many ways, and exceptional craftsmen. They believed in simple, clean designs that offered no frills but rather let the natural beauty of the piece shine. Shaker style cabinetry does just that, offering a timeless simplicity and elegance. Nothing edgy, nothing trendy, but always gorgeous.
#2 Custom Cabinetry
It may cost more initially than prefabricated options, but custom cabinetry offers unparalleled value and function. A carpenter can help you maximize your space to its full potential, adding unique storage solutions, special designs, and options that adapt to any quirks that your kitchen may have. This is especially important in older homes where one size certainly does not fit all.
#3 Stone Countertops
Granite is of course the go-to option for many updated or custom kitchens, but it’s far from the only option. From soapstone to marble, copper to concrete, there are stunning materials available that each carry their own set of pros and cons (take a look here for a more in-depth look at these options!). A beautiful stone countertop in particular will really never lose its value and luster.
#4 Subway Tiles
There are numerous stunning options for backsplashes, but subway tile tenaciously hangs on as one of the top choices. This really is because it performs so well, adds style while still being neutral, and injects a gentle texture into the kitchen. If you want to mix things up a bit, ask about installing them in a herringbone pattern, or using an alternate grout color for extra contrast.
#5 Focus On Function
Sometimes trendy kitchens look phenomenal, but really aren’t designed well.
Kitchens absolutely must be designed with a focus on function, being ready to work and entertain. As you embark on the remodeling process, talk with your builder about how the space will be used, what kind of cooking you do, your appliance needs, and any other extra details that will elevate the design from awesome to spectacular. For a little inspiration, take a look at these kitchen features suggested by Better Homes & Gardens.
Remember, Quality Is King In Kitchen Design and Remodeling
We totally understand working within a budget, but a kitchen is the worst room for cutting corners. Quality shows, endures, and will pay you back over time, especially if or when you sell the home.
Enjoy the process, and here’s to a beautiful kitchen you can enjoy for decades to come!
With fall undeniably here, local homeowners are putting away their landscaping tools, covering the pool, turning the heat on (maybe for the first time), and getting ready to weather the winter.
Rather than hibernate, we have a better alternative. Why not take advantage of the season and wrap up a home remodeling project?
Why Is Winter the Right Time for Home Remodeling?
Many homeowners, maybe yourself included, think of home remodeling and improvement jobs as best left for spring. Warmer weather seems more conducive to that kind of work.The reality is, there are numerous solid reasons why winter is actually an ideal time to tackle these bigger projects. Let’s take a look!
#1 Scheduling Flexibility and Availability
Many contractors find themselves with a lighter schedule during the winter, especially when it comes to interior work. You can take advantage of this “off season” and enjoy the extra level of availability.
In some cases, permits and other building-related paperwork can be processed by your local government agencies faster as well. That’s always a bonus!
#2 Never Fear – Your Project Can Be Contained!
Are you concerned about paint fumes, dust, and other by-products of construction-related work? Expert building contractors have tools, techniques, and improved products available that make containment completely possible.
#3 Fight the Winter Blues!
Winters here in Westchester and Fairfield counties can be long and cold. A home remodeling project is a fun way to keep the season moving! And, when spring rolls around, you’ll be ahead of the game and ready to start the warmer months in style.
#4 Create the Extra Space You Need
Your project might involve updating an existing area (like a kitchen or bathroom remodeling project), but it also could involve creating a totally new and functional space. Basement finishing, for example, can add that life-improving square-footage you and your family need. It could be a game room, extra bedroom, in-law suite, family room, media space, master bathroom, etc…
#5 Inventory Availability
Have you ever tried to buy a specific ingredient at the supermarket right before a holiday? The shelves are typically empty! It’s always best to plan ahead and buy what you need before the aisles are stormed by shoppers.
The same holds true for home improvement and remodeling projects. The off-season yields more inventory in most cases, and can make sourcing items and materials much easier.
#6 Exterior Projects Might Be More Possible Than You Realize As Well!
We encourage you to talk to your local home building professional about all of your goals, even the exterior-related ones. Many homeowners assume a particular project can’t be completed until spring, but this sometimes isn’t the case. The possibilities for winter-time work are more expansive than you might realize.
Whether inside or out, few things are more satisfying and fun than working with an expert builder on improving your most important investment. And, winter is the time to get the project rolling!
Nearly every home building or remodeling project, no matter how large or complicated, starts in exactly the same way. It all begins with an idea; a spark of creative vision that says, “What if we…”
The next step is to align yourself with others who have the skills and talents needed to catch sight of your vision and begin crafting it into a reality.
Meet Our Clients
In the case of this Greenwich remodeling project, our clients have no shortage of creative vision. Working in the fashion design industry, an appreciation for style and unique blends of color and texture come naturally.
Their moment, that spark of creative vision, came when they decided to completely remodel this Greenwich property and turn it into their “dream home.” It would no longer just be a house, but a completely customized place that perfectly reflected their personality and met their needs. And, not just their needs, but also the needs of their two young children. While many custom homes are built with an emphasis on the “wow factor,” this house needed to offer the practicality that daily life as parents calls for.
The property is not just a show piece, but a home.
Planning This Incredible Greenwich Home Remodel
Our client supplied the overarching vision, working closely with well-known architect and designer Robert Couturier. We at Gerety Building & Restoration were invited to help with not only the design work in an aesthetic sense, but also to analyze the plans from a practical construction perspective. This is an area of specialty for us. We’re happy to not only provide design and architectural services, but also to work closely with a professional that our clients are already collaborating with.
In this case, we worked hard to determine how best to make the developing sketches and plans come to life. This included a thorough structural analysis, and we also invited an engineer to come and ensure that this new construction would endure.
“Once the infrastructure is built, we can move forward with confidence that the finished product will provide lasting results and stand the test of time.” -Keith Gerety
This analysis, collaboration, and planning was one of the most involved aspects of the entire project, but it laid the foundation for a build that was successful in every sense.
Exterior Building and Remodeling – A Breathtaking Welcome
We’ve all heard the term “curb appeal.” It refers to that feeling you get, whether positive or negative, as you pull up to a home, peer out the car window, and look around.
The curb appeal for this property is undeniably breathtaking.
We also built a section of the house that connects the children’s wings to the master bedroom
The colors, materials, details, and architectural lines come together to create a simultaneously stunning and warm style. It’s inviting and friendly while still offering more than you can absorb without a second and third look.
Creating a Beautiful, Custom Kitchen
No longer seen as a purely utilitarian room, today’s kitchen is often one of the most prized areas of the home. The potential for customization and letting your personality shine through is nearly limitless thanks to the unique combinations of colors, textures, and patterns that you can include in your design.
Remember how we said that one of our client’s goals was to create a blend of beauty and function throughout their home? This kitchen really exemplifies that. Yes, the gleaming countertops and bright, clean look are stunning, but this is also a place where snacks will be prepared for the kids, or friends can gather and chat while the meal finishes cooking.
So Much Is Great About This Great Room
One of the major highlights of the home is the great room. As we mentioned above, the homeowners wanted a place where they could easily entertain and enjoy time with visiting friends. Their other goal was to have a space where they could feature their artwork. This phenomenal room meets both these needs, and does so in style.
Tall ceilings, exquisite trim, endless natural light, and the central fireplace all work together to make this a functional, beautiful great room.
From Teak to Italian Marble, These Bathrooms Can’t Be Missed
While this complete, top-to-bottom home remodel had many complexities and moving parts, acquiring the materials for the bathrooms was actually one of the most demanding aspects of the work we did.
To show you exactly why this was, let’s start in the master bath.
The gorgeous material you see above is marble. And, not just any marble, but hand-selected Italian marble chosen by a fabricator that we sent over to Italy. Once custom-fabricated and in place, it creates a smooth, classy interior that really is unlike any other.
One of the guest bathrooms has another very unique and beautiful material incorporated into the design.
Can you spot it?
If the rich flooring jumped out at you, you have a good eye. Although, you still get points for noticing any of the other eye-catching features. This guest bath has a lot of wonderful details to soak in, including:
Custom floating vanity
Arabescato Corchia marble countertop
The shower ceiling, bench, and walls are also made of Arabescato Corchia marble tiles
The shower floor consists of honed mosaic tiles made from limestone
The flooring in particular, however, is worth highlighting. It’s made from teak, a wood that you often hear in association with boating. Wood flooring in bathrooms is generally frowned upon, but because of teak’s dense, water-resistant nature, it gets along beautifully with wet environments.
This Greenwich Remodel Was a Pleasure!
Because this remodel involved the entire house, we wish we could take you on a complete walk-through. There’s something to see around every corner, from the children’s wing with its bedrooms, bathrooms and playrooms, right to the beautiful new turrets. Every inch was carefully planned to maximize style and function.
This project took 18 months to complete, from conceptualization to the finished product. We truly enjoyed this experience and appreciate being entrusted with such an incredible home transformation.
If we can help answer any questions you might have regarding home building, remodeling, and design, why not contact us at Gerety Building & Restoration? This is what we love to do, and we make sure our passion shines through every detail.
They collect your mail, hold your keys (although you may forget you put them there), and support countless cooking triumphs… and failures. They’re spilled on, leaned on, and relied on, from breakfast through supper.
You could say your counters are the strong, silent type.
If you have ever tackled a kitchen remodeling project, you know that suddenly countertops call for more attention than you maybe have ever given them before. There are seemingly endless materials, styles, and colors to choose from, ranging from quiet and unassuming to packed with natural character and unpredictable patterns. In fact, there are a huge number of popular kitchen features to decide on and evaluate in general, adding to the complexity of the process.
You also might start experiencing another common part of the remodeling process: “helpful” advice from friends. If you don’t keep firm footing you can easily get washed away in a flood of tips and stories, all tinted with their unique experiences and situation.
Advice is great (in small doses), but the simple truth is that you need to make your countertop choice on your own. It all comes to down to your needs, taste, budget, and interest in maintenance. We’d like to take you on a quick tour of a few of your options, and offer what we hope are helpful considerations.
Our goal isn’t to be just another voice in the crowd, but rather to help you cut through the noise and find what will work best for you.
Popular Countertop Materials
First, let’s zoom out a little and enjoy a bird’s-eye view of your options. After that, we’ll zoom back in and take a closer look at a few of the most popular countertops being used in today’s kitchens.
Granite has become synonymous with the idea of quality countertops, and an immediate feature of interest for home builders, buyers, and renters alike. Let’s take a closer look at this popular option.
Style – Granite has earned its place as a countertop frontrunner for good reason. It’s stunning, timeless, and can find a happy home within a wide variety of kitchen styles. It also offers character, meaning that it has a story to tell in every natural swirl and color explosion across its surface.
Price – We’ve put this in the “PROS” category because pricing is highly-dependent on the color of the stone, the thickness of the slab, how rare its qualities are, and seasonal considerations. Talking with your remodeling professional about your specific goals and needs is the best way to determine if it is the right material for your budget.
Longevity – With care, this is a choice that can last a lifetime.
ROI (Return On Investment) – Granite counters are a quality feature that adds tremendous “wow factor” to your home. Investments in kitchens and bathrooms offer high ROI, making this a material choice that will likely pay you back someday.
Natural Look – Let’s take one of the benefits listed above and turn it around. Because of its natural qualities and aesthetic, there is a lack of predictability with granite. If you are looking for a consistent, uniform finish, granite likely is not the right option for you.
Maintenance – Because it is a natural material, it does require light maintenance. This typically includes regular cleaning and sealing it 1-2 times per year.
Delicacy – Granite may last virtually forever, but that doesn’t mean it is indestructible. You will need to be cautious of scratches, harsh cleaners, staining, and contact with high-temperatures (such as a hot pan being placed on the counter).
Marble counters are not quite as common as granite, especially in the kitchen, but they are a well-loved option.
Beauty – Marble goes beyond “style” and steps into a world of true beauty. Available in a stunning array of colors and patterns, it offers a soft, timeless elegance, and adds an air of class to any space.
Unique – Every slab is different, so your counter is guaranteed to be one of a kind.
Withstands Heat – Unlike granite, marble is capable of withstanding a tremendous amount of heat without experiencing surface damage.
Price – While this may be more of a consideration for some than others, the price is still substantial.
Staining – As cold and hard as marble may seem to be, it actually is porous. This means that it is very susceptible to stains, absorbing liquids that are left standing on the surface.
Durability – Marble just isn’t cut out for life in an active kitchen. It can be chipped, cracked, and scratched fairly easily, making it less than ideal for most homes. This is why it is primarily used in bathrooms, or in display areas like a mantel over a fireplace.
Pros and Cons of Engineered Quartz Kitchen Counters
Engineered quartz is made from ground, natural quartz, bound together by resin. In recent years it has received huge recognition, making it a heavy contender in the countertop popularity contest. Let’s take a closer look at some of its benefits and drawbacks.
Price – While certainly not a cheap option, manufactured quartz is cheaper than high-end granite and marble.
Style – Because it is an engineered material, it is available in a nearly limitless array of styles. You can definitely find the look you’re looking for.
Strength – It is stronger than marble and granite, offering a high level of durability.
Low-Maintenance – It never needs to be sealed, and it’s scratch and stain resistant.
Quartz does not handle intense heat well.
Because of its incredible weight, installation can be a tricky process. Also, you need a building or remodeling professional to ensure that your home can handle the load, especially if your counters are on a second floor.
While beautiful, it does not quite have the recognition and “wow factor” that granite does.
Circling back to a naturally-occurring material, let’s talk for a minute about soapstone. This smooth, rich, quarried stone is becoming more and more popular for a few distinct reasons.
Style – Character abounds in this almost silky stone, and that character only develops as the surface grows older.
Heat-Resistant – A hot pan won’t scare a soapstone counter.
Low-Maintenance – Non-porous, durable, and water-resistant.
Resistant to Bacteria Growth – What’s not to love about that?
Lasts Nearly Forever
The surface can be scratched, but it’s possible to buff the damage out with sandpaper.
Limited color options
So, How Do You Pick the Right Kitchen Countertop?
Having so many options is both a blessing and a curse. It can be difficult to narrow it down, and to keep on track with your goals when that specific slab of marble starts to call your name.
Just like it’s a bad idea to grocery shop when you’re hungry, it can be a bad idea to shop for counters without a specific plan in place and a determination to stick to that plan.
Here are a few helpful questions to ask yourself:
What is my budget? – Stay as true to this figure as possible.
What are my priorities? – It may be that you can afford a pricier counter, but that might mean that your budget needs to be cut down somewhere else. Is your countertop worth it?
Is this your “forever home”? – If you’re planning to sell in a couple of years, investing in a more marketable option that increases home value might not be a bad idea.
Are you willing to maintain a counter? – Options like granite or wood that require occasional sealing and care may be attractive, but they are a commitment.
How much use does your kitchen experience? – If you are an avid cook, a more decorative option like marble is definitely not right for you. If, on the other hand, your counters won’t hold much more than a coffee pot and a take-out box, a more fragile stone might be completely appropriate.
How busy is your home? – If there is a high level of wear and tear, picking a more durable, scratch-resistant surface would be a wise choice.
The key is to look down the road, evaluating your long-term needs rather than simply picking a material because of its beauty. That can be more easily said than done, but it is important!
Align Yourself with a Trustworthy Building and Remodeling Professional
Our last suggestion is to work with people you trust. Find a professional who can you help you navigate your options, and is really interested in actively discussing your needs.
If you live in the Westchester County, NY, or Fairfield County, CT, area, we hope that you might reach out to us at Gerety Building and Restoration. It would be a pleasure to serve you!
When you think of kitchen building and remodeling, what comes to mind? If you’re like most homeowners, visions of counters, textured backsplashes, deep sinks, storage space, and stunning cabinetry dance in your head. Those are all definitely important and add to the function and “wow factor” of the design.
We would also encourage you, though, to consider another crucial component in the creation of a functional, stylish kitchen. Ready for it?
Now that summer is here, it is the perfect time for you to start planning and executing your home remodeling projects. There are so many ways you can improve upon the structure and appearance of your home. If you take some time to assess your home’s condition, you may find that there are some things that need to be addressed from the winter. No matter what projects you ultimately decide to start, make sure you do your homework so that you hire the best and most qualified professionals for the job.
While you may be all too eager to get started with your home remodeling projects, you need to realize that if you are on a budget, you need to be careful. Things can quickly become expensive if you don’t select the right contractor that will do the job right the first time around. In fact, instead of rushing to get things done, start doing some research on what needs to be done. Even if you plan on hiring professionals, it doesn’t hurt for you to learn about the different materials that can be used. Keep in mind that you should not sacrifice any professionals’ credentials and experience in hopes of saving money. When it comes to your home, you need to remember that it is an investment and you don’t want anyone who is not properly qualified or licensed to work on it.
If you are going to use contractors for your home remodeling projects, keep in mind that even though you aren’t doing any of the construction, you still have control over what is done. Don’t hire anyone that makes you feel intimidated or uneasy. You need to hire professionals that are open to communication and respect what you say. They will make sure that you are included every step of the way towards your project’s completion. They will respect your wishes and any preferences you have. If you have any questions or concerns, you should be able to present them and the contractors should respond and resolve any issues you may have.
Before any work can begin on your property, you and your contractors need to come to a legal agreement about the work that is going to be performed. This agreement needs to be drawn up in the form of a contract. Everything pertaining to your home remodeling project needs to be included. Payment schedules, fees agreed upon, who is responsible for purchasing supplies, how much you are going to be charged for supplies and when your project is expected to be completed are some of the things that need to be included in your contract. Once you have worked out the details of the contract and it meets everyone’s approval, all involved parties can sign it so work on your project can begin.
The kitchen is the heart of most homes. If you love to cook and entertain, you probably spend a lot of time in the kitchen. This is the room where families and friends gather most often, especially if you like to entertain and cook at the same time. Why would you want to spend all that time in a drab, outdated room that lacks space, warmth, and modern design?
While there may be high initial costs, high end kitchens allow for function, great design, and will actually add value to your home. Working with a designer to figure out a plan that will suit your current needs, as well as meet any future needs, is the best way to do a high end remodel. They will steer you in the right direction in order to help you meet those current needs and contemplate what the next homeowner may find useful or off-putting should you sell your home in the future.
Even though high end kitchen remodels will cost more than your average do it yourself modifications, the knowledge that everything will be done properly and with care is priceless. When a buyer walks through a home that is for sale, a nice, modern kitchen is usually one of the top things on their list of must-haves. In other words, your kitchen remodel will definitely bring high returns and pay for itself as the value of your home increases over the years.
Even when working with a designer, a high end kitchen remodel does not have to empty your pockets completely. There are many ways to ensure that your money is spent and stretched while still assuring the best quality of workmanship, design, and products.
Some things to consider when remodeling a kitchen are custom cabinetry, contemporary lighting and task lighting, ample workspace and storage, and modern, appealing and energy-efficient appliances. Choose pieces that are both aesthetically pleasing and functional. A lot of people look for stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, and lots of storage.
When choosing a designer to help you with your kitchen remodel, do some research and find the one whose tastes fall in line with your own. Each and every piece of the remodel must be planned and approved, and you want to choose a designer who will not butt heads with you over details. You need a team who will work together to get the work finished in a timely manner.
With spring around the corner, now is the perfect time to start planning your home renovation projects. Take the next several weeks to analyze, research, and evaluate your current home to find out what you really want and need. This will save you from wasted time and potentially costly mistake down the road.
Whether it’s that gourmet kitchen you’ve been dreaming about, the outdated master bathroom you’ve been putting off, or the new bedroom addition you desperately need, winter is for planning and spring is for building.
Following this five-step approach will take the stress and anxiety out of the home renovation process, at the same time saving you valuable time and money.
1. Dream It!
Assess Your Situation: Taking a realistic look at your current situation will make all the difference between a good home renovation project and a great one! What problems need to be solved? Walk through your home room by room and take great notes along the way.
Inspiration File: Educate yourself on the materials, finishes and appliances that are available to you. Check out the design magazines and the plethora of home design shows to gather ideas that inspire you in some way. You’ll see a pattern beginning to emerge.
Wish List: Creating your wish list will influence the overall concept and design that you ultimately want your home to reflect. Gathering all of this information will help you determine the overall scope of your project.
2. Plan It!
Budget and Financing: If you plan on staying in your home for ten years or more, then budget what you can to create the home of your dreams. Be realistic, as your lenders will let you know exactly how much you’re qualified to borrow.
Professionals: Hiring the right design professionals will definitely save you valuable time and money, and eliminate any planning mistakes down the road. Pre-planning is undoubtedly the biggest money saver!
The Contract: Once you’ve committed to a licensed contractor review the bid and contract line by line and make sure that the scope of your project is documented throughout. If you’re unclear on a item, ask for clarification.
3. Design It!
Floor Plan: Designing the floor plan is where you begin to see your dream
take shape. Try to visualize this space three dimensionally.
Details: Whatever your style, focusing on the details will set your space apart from the rest and will provide you with a true reflection of your
Shopping: Selecting the perfect materials, finishes, appliances and fixtures
is what will infuse the detail and character into your project. Take your
plans, samples and photos with you on every single shopping trip. You never know what you’ll find.
4. Do It!
Demolition: This is chaos at its best. If you want to release some deep seeded aggression now’s the time to grab a hammer and crowbar and help the demo crew. I highly recommend it!
Construction: The most exciting phase of the renovation process. This is where you begin to see all the pieces of the puzzle come together. Attending weekly site meetings and following an agenda will keep your project
Coping with Construction: Be realistic and plan for delays. It will reduce the level of stress and anxiety you could potentially feel. Be flexible.
Even if your stipulated a clean up clause in your contract, hire your own cleaning crew to come in just before you move back in. Just remember though – it will take weeks for the dust to settle.
Moving Back In:
It’s all behind you and you’ve made it through the renovation process relatively unscathed. Now roll up your sleeves and put your personal signature on everything. Invite some family and friends over for that dinner party you’ve wanted to host – and start living the dream.
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