How To Reclaim Your Kitchen In 3 Easy Steps

How To Reclaim Your Kitchen In 3 Easy Steps

The kitchen, the Heart of the Home, where everyone wants to hang out and have fun.   But are we really doing that?  Our lives are crazy busy between work and carpooling, after school activities, and evening meetings.  There’s barely time left in our week to shop for food.  Who has time to cook it?  Wouldn’t you love to go back to a simpler time?  A time when we were all together as a family making memories in the kitchen? Wouldn’t you love to learn how to reclaim your kitchen in 3 easy steps?

I love this video produced by Subzero/Wolf.  It’s a perfect explanation of how we wandered out of the kitchen and into “fast food land.”  Isn’t it time you reclaimed your kitchen?  Enjoy the video!

Video Courtesy of Subzero/Wolf

Reclaim Your Kitchen In 3 Easy Steps:

  1. Plan your meals even if it’s only one meal a week.  The next week add another meal.  Set a time to eat.  Set the table.  But most of all just cook!
  2. Celebrate the goodness of fresh food and how healthy it is.  Not to mention the money you’ll save on dining out!
  3. Cook together!!!

If you’re dreaming of your own Heart of the Home Kitchen and don’t know where to start,  we’re here to help.    Just leave your name and email in the box on the right to receive our free report 5 Secrets To Your Spectacular Kitchen or Bath.

The Heart of Your Home–The Kitchen

I want you imagine, just for a moment…that your kitchen is not just a place where meals are made and dishes are washed.  It’s a place where memories are made.

What would it be like…if instead of running to close the door to your kitchen when friends stopped by, you couldn’t wait to show them the best room in your house?  A room that’s the heart of your home, where people WANT to congregate.  A room where everyone is always laughing and happy.  A room where you’re proud to entertain family and friends.  Does this sound like the kitchen you have right now? 

Everyone who’s ever hosted a gathering in their home can tell you, that no matter the size or shape, your kitchen is ALWAYS going to be the place to hang out.  And in some kitchens it can become pretty crowded…and warm!  So what allows one kitchen to pull off the perfect gathering while others just don’t work as well?  Here are a few ideas to get you thinking about creating a kitchen that is truly the heart of the home, the “center of everything”.

A Heart of the Home Kitchen might have:

1.An open flow into the family room or dining room

kitchen island

2. Island for prepping and serving food, especially during a party

serving food

3. Stools at the island


4. Enough walk space between cabinets and/or island (36”-48”)

walk space

5. Homework space for the kids
6. A place to sit and have a conversation
7. Uncluttered spaces: a place for everything
8. A message center for charging devices and message taking
9. A place to feed pets
10. Medicine storage
11. Table space for eating, talking, or playing games

table space

12. A prep sink so others can help with meals
13. A desk for paying bills, searching for recipes, collecting purses and keys

Your Design Homework:

  • Using the list above, check off the items that you already have in place in your kitchen.
  • Of the items you don’t have, ask yourself if they’re really important to you.
  • If they are, make a plan to include them in your next home makeover project. Remember that some items on the list can serve more than one purpose…a table can serve you for eating meals, doing homework, having coffee with friends, etc.

Though some items on the list might require a higher budget than others, remember that you can start from where you are with the little things.  When you’re happy and excited to entertain family and friends, and your home reflects

Remodeling Your Kitchen: A Happy Thought or One That Fills You with Dread?

fan deck and blueprint

Whenever I hear women talking about remodeling your kitchen, it’s usually a conversation filled with animated excitement. They talk about the new appliances they’re going to buy, the colors they’ll use, and the beautiful cabinets filled with every convenience.

But every once in a while, the “remodeling your kitchen” talk turns to the horror stories they’ve heard from friends about remodels gone bad. They bring up things like project budgets that have gone way beyond what they planned for. They worry about all the chaos and clutter that they’ll have to deal with. And worst of all, they agonize over the lengthy process and whether they can even stand to do it.  Does this ring a bell with you?

Remodeling projects don’t need to end this way.  It should be a fun and exciting time for you.  Now, I’m not saying that it will all go perfectly.  But I am saying that I’m passionate about helping you have a successful kitchen remodel.  It’s what I love to do!

But I can’t do that if I don’t know what your biggest concerns are.  You know, the things that fill you with dread, and might even keep you from starting your project. So please take a minute to complete this poll I’ve created, and then look forward to making memories in your own dream kitchen!


Top 10 Kitchen Tips to Love it Now….Sell it Later

top 10Through all the years of designing kitchens and baths, the number one request is “How can I update my kitchen without doing a full blown renovation”?

At first the immediate need was to fix it up as inexpensively as possible so that the homeowner could put it on the market to sell.  You see, the economy was booming.  Clients were excited to cash in on the fast home sales and increased value. Remember those days?  But then, the economy crashed.  No one was doing anything…except sitting tight.

Flash forward to today.  We’re finally ready to invest a little and update our homes.  But I’m finding that homeowners are more interested in enjoying their investment for a few years, and then trying to sell.  Their ROI, for the present, is enjoyment!  Some will stay a year or two and others still aren’t quite sure.

But before you make any type of investment in your kitchen, you need to take a good, unbiased look at the space and ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the space plan working for you and your work habits?
  • Are the cabinets in good condition?
  • Will you REALLY love the cabinets enough after you paint them?

Asking yourself these questions is extremely important.  Adding new granite countertops to worn out cabinets is a waste of your money.  If you even think that you might want new cabinets a year from now….WAIT UNTIL YOU CAN AFFORD IT!!!!  Countertops cannot be taken off  to install new cabinets.   But, if you’re comfortable with your answers, then it’s time to move forward with some updates that will let you love your kitchen again.

1.  Replace the countertop with a new surface.  This also morphs into a new sink, faucet, and sometimes, garbage disposer.

2.  Paint your cabinets a fun color.  I especially love painting oak cabinets because the grain of the wood comes through.

3.  Change the cabinet hardware.  If you’re painting the cabinets you don’t need to worry about making sure you replace with the same size hardware.  You can even add a knob in place of a pull.

4.  Paint your walls and trim, especially if you still have the typical  80’s floral wallpaper and dark wood trim.  This will really brighten the space.

5.  Add roll out shelves to the inside of all base cabinets.  This will make life much easier!

6.  Change your backsplash to something neutral and calming or fun and colorful.

7.  Take care of clutter inside your drawers by adding dividers.

8.  Look for lower price point cabinets to make the big change.  They won’t have as many bells and whistles or modification options, but will get you a new look and a new plan at a reasonable cost.

9. Change the lighting.  Remember, though, that the popcorn ceiling might need to be fixed.  But buyers don’t want that or the fluorescent box in the ceiling.

10. New appliances with up-to-date technology like Energy Star rating and excellent food preservation.

Design Homework:

Take a personal assessment of your kitchen to see how you can implement some of these tips to update your space.

If you’ve enjoyed reading these tips, and would like to learn more, leave your name and email in the box at the right.  Every week I send design tips, trends, and the latest product information for your kitchen, bath, and…more!


Who’s Coming to Dinner? How to Welcome Guests of All Ages

You’ve finally taken the big leap and invited your entire family, and a few choice friends, to Thanksgiving dinner.  The menu is planned, food items have been assigned, and now you have a few minutes to focus on how to accommodate everyone.

Where will they sit?  Who will be able to squeeze into the kitchen to help?  What about the “after dinner football” time?  Suddenly, you remember that there will be toddlers, great grandparents, and every age in between.  And you panic…just a little.

Welcome to your first introduction to Visitability – designing and arranging homes to welcome visitors of all ages, sizes, and capabilities. Since every home has a center of activity, and it’s usually the kitchen and the rooms just beyond, we’re fairly certain that this is where your guests will be congregating for the day.  So let’s focus here with a checklist to follow, and make this a fun, memorable, and thankful day for all!

A Family Meal

Where will everyone sit during dinner?

  • Do you have enough chairs for everyone?
  • Most dining room tables with 2 extensions will seat 12 crowded, and 10 comfortably.  If an older relative will be joining you, comfortable is better.  Their chair should be out of the traffic flow, but easily accessible in case they need to get up a time or two.
  • Toddlers in high chairs or booster seats need to be seated next to someone who can supervise them.
  • Do you need folding tables?  Where will you place them?  Will it become the dreaded “kid’s table?”
  • Will the food be served buffet style or family style?  Remember that passing heavy turkey platters might be too heavy for little ones and for some of our older guests.
  • Have you inspected your house for loose area rugs that might be a hazard for running preschoolers, or anyone else who is hustling to the dining room with platters of food.

Kitchen time:

  • Everyone of all ages and abilities wants to feel useful, or at least join in the conversation while the meal is prepared.
  • Step stools for a pre-schooler to reach the counter and sink let’s them feel so special!  It’s a great idea for those of us too short to reach the top shelf.
  • Stools at the counter are a thoughtful touch so that anyone can rest while chopping vegetables for the salad.
  • A chair at the kitchen table is also a way for other older guests to feel like they’re a part of the activitiy, and still help with the meal.
  • If you have ways to vary your counter heights for helpers with bad backs or legs, you’re on the way to being the perfect hostess.  Kitchen tables are low enough to roll out pie crust in comfort.  Bar counters are great for serving food, but sometimes too high for school age children.

Remember that age isn’t the only thing to consider when you think about accommodating your guests.  Last year, my husband’s planned knee surgery meant that he needed to prop his leg during dinner and after.  Rugs needed to be removed so that his walker wouldn’t catch the edges and trip him.  This year, my friend had emergency surgery and will need a really comfortable chair to sit it during dinner.  And I know she’ll want to join in the conversation while we cook.

Visitability is definitely something we all need to be aware of during the holidays.  How can you modify your home this holiday season?