Maximize Your Remodeling Budget

Maximize your remodeling budget with these tips. Making your vision come to life without reconstructing your whole house is what we do. That’s why we say “Homes Reinvented”.

One of the things we specialize in is working to find the best solution for your home, and your budget. The thing is, every project should have a budget, and ‘budget’ isn’t a bad word. A budget is a price guideline to ensure that everyone arrives at the same destination. 

A budget can be a few hundred dollars to a hundred thousand. But usually its somewhere much more comfortably in the middle. 

What is a remodeling budget?

We all know what a budget is, it involves number and money, but what makes a remodeling budget different? And you can’t maximize your remodeling budget if you don’t have one right?

The budget you plan and set aside for remodeling should take into account multiple factors like:

  • What type of project you want done
  • What quality of materials you want to include
  • Is any of it going to be DIY
  • Does plumbing or electrical need to be moved
  • What are others being charged in your area

… and so on.

Renovated laundry room with dark cabinets and a farmhouse sink. A window looking out from over the sink lets in natural light, and the stacked charcoal gray washer and dryer bring the room together. This is a great way to maximize your budget while doing a remodel.

How do I make a remodeling budget?

One of the best ways to put together a budget is to look realistically at what you can spend. Or look at what you can borrow if you plan on a large scale remodel or renovation. Most contractors will have a threshold payment system setup. This is where you pay a deposit of some sort, and then pay pre-determined amounts at other milestones. 

Many contractors will offer an estimate where they will come out to your home. They will take measurements, photos, and talk through your vision with you. They then go back to their office and put everything through pricing and estimation systems that factor in all of the things you might not. Schedule your free estimate from Satin Touch today!

(Do waste percentage, 40-yard or 50-yard, tape and mud, or site preparation really mean anything to you? If they do great! But if not, you’re in the right place and hiring a contractor should be on your horizon.)

Having a contractor (or contractors) give you bids will help you get an idea of exactly how much this is going to cost. You should always keep in mind that changes might happen throughout the process, so keeping a little wiggle room in your budget, about 10-15% is recommended for when things come up that could not have been planned for. Once you’ve found a company you like and have a project within your budget, its time to get started.

If you’re wondering how much your kitchen remodeling should cost, the answer isn’t simple. And it’s going to vary state to state, city to city, and even company to company, so my best advice is to get some estimates and shop around a little bit.

And how do we stay within that budget?

If you’re going the DIY route, you will want to make sure you are keeping track of everything you buy and every penny you spend. This will help you ensure that you’re not going over budget, as well as having a carefully thought out plan. The other thing you will want to do with DIY remodeling projects is to plan to go over budget, and build that in. So earlier I mentioned 10-15%, but going the DIY route means you should follow the 

If that sounds like a lot of work that you’re not interested in, hiring a contractor who does all of that for you is a great option. It is quite literally their job to make sure things stay within budget for you and for them, plus they organize all of the appointments, inspections, and other mundane but important aspects of a great remodel. Maximizing your remodeling budget starts with having and keeping within your budget to begin with. 

I came here to read about maximizing my budget though, how do I do that?

There are many ways to maximize your remodeling budget, and here at Satin Touch, it’s one of our favorite things to do, and to talk about so let’s get into it. 

Plan your space wisely

When you get the idea that you want to remodel a part of your home, your probably head over to Pinterest, or Google to find some ideas an inspiration. But the likelihood that those spaces look and function just like yours is pretty low. Having inspiration and ideas is great, don’t skip this part! But make sure you are keeping your space in mind. Remember small changes can make a big impact.

In your kitchen try to keeping plumbing and electrical in the same places. Want to move or remove a wall? Are there outlets there that will need to be moved too?

Consider what is really important

Having a list of needs and wants ready to go when you set out is important. These will be different for every project too. One kitchen may need more overhead lighting and want extra counter space. While another might need a different cabinet layout and want more lighting. Your designer and contractor can help you decide which trade offs are worth it, and where it might be the right place to spend the extra money. 

Start planning early

It’s never too early to start thinking about your plans. If you want to remodel your kitchen in two years, spend a couple of weeks really paying attention. Look at things that work or could use some updating or ways that you could make your space more efficient for you. 

Let’s wrap it up

We talked making a budget, sticking to it, and maximizing your remodeling budget. From space planning to your top priorities and planning you should now have an idea of where to get started with your remodeling budget. 

Leave a comment below if you have any questions. 

 

Small Changes-Big Impact: How Doing Small Home Upgrades Can Make A Huge Difference

When it comes to home renovations, even some of the smallest changes can make a huge impact on the look and feel of your home. This means that doing small things like refreshing your paint choice, adding some lighting, or switching out carpet for vinyl planking can make your space feel more beautiful and functional, and have you ready to show it off. 

As a home renovation company we do a lot of big changes, sure, but getting to see the absolutely amazing transformations that take shape within budget and a shorter timeline is one of our favorite things to do. 

Let’s take a look at some.

Brighten Up Your Space

With a new paint color, some overhead lighting, and a gorgeous focal point fireplace some small changes took this living room and made it a welcoming, comfortable place for this family to entertain and spend their evenings. Notice that the couches are the same, the rug is the same, and the window stayed right where it always was. This is what we call Small Changes-Big Impact. Brightening up a room with paint, lighting, and small changes can take a room that previously felt like somewhere you might dread bringing your family and friends, to the new place everyone wants to watch a movie marathon or host a family game night. 

"Before" Image of a living room remodel done on a home in Minnesota. "After" Image of a living room remodel in a home in Minnesota.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kitchen Update

I know what you’re thinking, is this even the same kitchen? There’s no way all of this is considered “small changes”!

It may look like tons and tons of work was done on this kitchen to get it to looks just like the homeowners wanted, and to be a more functional space, so let’s break it down. 

  • 1 wall got removed. Walls like this are often only for separation and really just require getting knocked down (the demolition is the fun part anyway)
  • New cabinets – one of the easiest ways to update your kitchen is new or painted cabinets. While these homeowners chose new cabinets, they could have easily gotten a similar look with just some white paint.
  • Island to peninsula.  It gives more working space in the kitchen and opens the space up for entertaining
  • Backsplash change out
  • New flooring

   

But wait those are some huge changes!

Not really, but they bring out the exact point that I am looking to make here. There was no massive re-design involved, no plumbing had to be moved, and the changes that were made, are things we do every single day in this business. Taking a kitchen and living area space and changing up floors, paint colors, cabinets, and lighting gave this space a huge upgrade and was exactly what the homeowners were looking for. Their space is more functional and looks amazing, and in their neighborhood making these changes gives them an opportunity to get some ROI (Return on Investment) should they decide to sell the home.  

Are you interested in getting big impact from small changes around your home? Visit www.satintouch.us/contact or call 763-954-0744 to schedule your free estimate today! 

Your Minnesota Home Flooring Guide – Choosing the Right Flooring for Minnesota Homes

This is the flooring guide for your Minnesota Home. New flooring can be a major upgrade for your home, and when you make an upgrade like that you want to make sure that you’re getting the best bang for your buck. When you pick out new flooring for your home it can be important to consider where you live. Here in Minnesota we experience some major temperature swings as well as extremely wet and dry conditions. 

Your floors are arguably the most hard working surface in your home, they take a beating, and are used all day, every day. Whether you’re walking into your entryway with snowy boots, padding around your basement in socks, or you have kids running around your living room choosing the right flooring for your home is more essential that you may have thought. 

Best Flooring For Minnesota Homes

Waterproof 

Consider a feature like the waterproof feature of some luxury vinyl plank, this is great for entryways, mudrooms, kitchens, and bathrooms. 

Looks

Comfort, safety, and durability should be the number one priority when it comes to picking out flooring, but we all know that looks are important. What’s great is that many flooring companies have thousands of different options for look, texture, pattern, and feel. Consider the look you want for your room when choosing your flooring, as it is one of the most visible pieces in a room. 

Cost

As with any project, cost is going to be a major factor, but remember what we said above, your flooring is one of, if not the most used thing in your home so this may be a place to splurge a little so it can last you as long as possible.

Types of Flooring for your Home

Hardwood Flooring

While this is one of the most costly types of floor you can put in your home, a well maintained hardwood floor can last decades, even centuries leaving you with a gorgeous, durable, base for your home. Hardwood flooring generally costs $5-$10 per square foot.

Laminate Flooring

This engineered product, a layer of veneer bonded to layers on plywood, uses an image of real wood or stone over a more cost effective material giving you the gorgeous look of wood or stone floors without the upkeep or cost. One thing to note is that while it looks amazing, some people may notice that it does not feel like true wood or stone. Laminate flooring generally costs between $3-$7 per square foot.

Vinyl Flooring

This is a rising trend and one of the most popular types of flooring we install at Satin Touch. With a range of pricing, and installation modes vinyl flooring is made up of a design layer, durable top layer, and cushion layers making this a fashionable, comfortable, and affordable choice. This type of flooring is also waterproof, making it a great choice for basements, kitchens, bathrooms, and more. Vinyl flooring generally costs between $2-$6 per square foot.

Carpet

With its popularity dwindling, carpet is still a great choice and the biggest flooring category in the U.S. Tufted carpet can come in many lengths, textures, colors, and vibes. Carpet is comfortable, warm, and cost-effective. It’s also easy to install, and is easy to maintain, even boasting stain resistant versions making regular vacuuming your only upkeep. Carpet usually costs between $3-$10 per square foot.

Tile

Tile floors have a wide array of options depending on your budget, style, and needs. Because of the material it is made from, ceramic or porcelain, the design possibilities are nearly endless. It is also extremely hard-wearing, and scratch and dent resistant. The biggest drawback is that it is difficult to install, so having a professional to do this may be great for your sanity. Tile generally costs between $4-$15 per square foot. 

How To Choose

How will you use the area you are flooring?

When choosing flooring for a specific room it’s important to consider the use of the room. Bathroom? Consider a waterproof flooring material like vinyl or tile. Bedroom? This is one area where carpet is almost always a winner. Kitchen? A cushioned vinyl or laminate is usually your best bet here.

How often is maintenance required?

The most resilient and versatile flooring mentioned above is hardwood, and its definitely worth the investment to have flooring that you can re-finish and change with the times of the home. There is some maintenance and careful cleaning involved though, so a less time-consuming option would be vinyl (I personally have luxury vinyl plank and carpet throughout my whole house, and it looks great!).

Do you still want some help?

That’s ok! And we’re here to answer any questions you have. Leave a comment below or send us an email. If you’re in Minnesota we would also love to get out and write up a free estimate for whatever project you need for your home. 

August Home Checklist – What To Do As You Wrap Up Summer

Laura Gaskill has an awesome list put together for us to transition from summer to the beginning of the school year. 

With the transition from summer to the beginning of a new school year (and maybe some back-to-work blues), August can feel like a sudden downshift. Stretch out these last days of summer by squeezing in a few more home projects, savoring simple pleasures and, when the time comes, preparing the house for fall. Pick from these to-dos to create your perfect August plan.

Things to Check Off Your List in an Hour or Less

1. Clean and store summer gear.

Once the last beach day is behind you, take the time to clean out the buckets, shovels and boogie boards so they’re fresh and clean for next year. Toss out cracked or broken toys, and shop end-of-season sales to replace items if needed.

2. Set up a shared family calendar.

Whether you choose a big paper wall calendar or a digital version, having one calendar to rule them all will be a big help come fall. Set up your preferred method now, and record important dates.

3. Clear the way for easy dinners.

A too-packed kitchen (and fridge and pantry) can make meal prep harder than it needs to be. Clear away clutter to create a clean workspace on the counter and remove expired, stale and unwanted food from the pantry, fridge and freezer. Donate unwanted and unexpired foods in their original packaging to a local food pantry.

4. Share your backyard harvest.

Have a glut of tomatoes, squash or other summer produce? Pack up a basket to share with your neighbors, or check the directory at Ample Harvest to locate a food pantry in your area that accepts surplus garden produce.

Tackle These Tasks Over a Weekend

5. Organize family photos.

Have photos from the year’s special moments? Take this opportunity to sort and organize them — back up digital photos with cloud-based storage, and make an album or a book of recent photos. If you would like to display some of your photos but are finding it difficult to choose, put them in a big collage instead or hang them from clothespins or bulldog clips on a wire.

6. Clean carpets and floors.

Sand and garden dirt tracked in over the summer can really take a toll on floors. Vacuum and mop floors, and have area rugs and carpeting professionally cleaned if needed.

7. Get organized for back to school (and work).

Consider what would make this fall run more smoothly for your family: a few extra hooks in the entryway to handle coats and bags? A better workspace or study area? If papers are a constant problem, take the time now to set up a simple filing system and an inbox for each family member.

8. Check emergency kits.

Emergency supplies don’t last forever. Open up your kit and check expiration dates on food and any medications; replace as needed. Don’t have an emergency kit yet? Make this the month you create one.

9. Organize closets.

Before making any new purchases, spend some time assessing what you already have in the closet: Try on clothing, fold and hang up any clothes on the floor, get rid of items you don’t wear and make a list of what you need. Doing this before shopping can help save money and prevent cluttering up your closet.

10. Schedule some relaxation time.

It can be surprisingly hard to relax and simply do nothing, even when you do have free time. I find that the key is not calling it “free time” at all: By planning to do nothing, you are actually giving yourself permission to fully relax. So what do you do during do-nothing time? Sipping from a mug of tea or tall glass of iced tea on the porch with a good book tops my list.

Maintenance and Extras to Budget for This Month

11. Clean and organize the garage.

If you haven’t cleaned out your garage in a while, it’s likely this project will take an entire weekend (or more), so plan accordingly. It helps to think ahead and find out where you can take items (donations, hazardous waste, things to sell) before starting, and get a dumpster if you think you will need it. And if you need help, consider hiring someone to assist you with part or all of the process. Wait until you’ve cleared away the clutter before purchasing new shelving or wall-mounted organizers. You’ll have a better idea of what you need once the decluttering is complete.

12. Finish up outdoor projects.

Make use of the long August days to finish up any outdoor projects you started (or intended to start) over the summer, from cleaning the gutters to adding a new deck.

13. Check your home for signs of pests.

It’s not a pleasant subject, but being proactive when it comes to pests in and around your home is much better than trying to solve a pest problem that has gotten out of hand. The Environmental Protection Agency recommends taking preventive measures such as removing sources of food, water and shelter, and closing off places where pests can enter and hide. If you do need to use pesticides, choose the lowest-risk product first, and use according to the directions. If you hire a pest control pro, ask him or her to use bait, and crack and crevice control when possible; fogging should be a last resort.

 

Paring Down Your Kitchen While Your Prepare For A Remodel

One task you’ll likely face when embarking on a kitchen remodel will be packing and temporarily relocating your kitchen items. This is a great opportunity to edit your belongings and fill your new kitchen with only the things you love and need.

Patricia Lee recommends starting the decluttering and packing process as early as possible. You might be surprised by how much can be stored in a kitchen, even a small one. It might take a significant amount of time just to pull every item out of the cabinets, and then even more time to decide its fate.

Set Aside What You’ll Need During the Remodel

If you’ll be staying at your home while your kitchen is being remodeled, you might still want to have access to some everyday items, such as a coffee maker, a toaster, a microwave, basic utensils, dinnerware and cups.

You most likely will be hand-washing items if you don’t have access to a dishwasher, and you might even be washing them in a bathroom sink. Therefore, keep things simple: Consider keeping out only one, or at most two, of each necessary tableware item per person, cleaning between each use.

If you don’t want to fuss with washing, consider using recyclable or compostable disposables. Now would be an ideal time to use up any mismatched party plates, cups and napkins collected from past events.

Plan How You’ll Store Your Kitchen Contents During Construction

If your remodel time is expected to be short, such as two to three weeks, and you don’t mind the temporary imposition, you can store your kitchen contents in another room, such as the dining room, without much additional packaging.

If your remodel is anticipated to be longer than one month, then I recommend packing and storing items in moving boxes. This will keep your items clean and safe, and you can stack the boxes inconspicuously and out of the way.

Kitchen items can be heavy, so consider using only small and medium-size, heavy-duty boxes if possible. Packing paper also will be useful for wrapping delicate, fragile items like wineglasses and for filling in gaps in the boxes so things don’t jiggle and knock against one another. Remember to label your boxes so you won’t be opening mystery boxes when it’s time to unpack.

Purge and Pack by Category

To remain organized, try to work with one category at a time. Pull out items and lay them out on the counter so you can see everything you own and get a better sense of how much you actually need.

Dinnerware. If you have more than one set of dinnerware, use this time to lose any sets you aren’t using or don’t love anymore. In the sets you want to keep, check for chips and cracks and determine if those pieces are worth keeping and usable. Chips and cracked glaze that isn’t intentional can expose your food to the material under the glaze, which might or might not be food safe. Additionally, cracked glaze can potentially harbor bacteria if not sanitized properly.

Consider breaking up a set if there are pieces you never use. For example, if you always use your mugs instead of a cup and saucer, you might want to consider donating the latter.

If you have fine china that you aren’t using, consider what it means to you. If it has sentimental value and you don’t want to give it up, be sure to package and store it properly. You might want to store the china somewhere besides the kitchen and reserve your kitchen for everyday items.

If you aren’t using the china because you don’t like it, understand why you’re keeping it. If it makes more sense to relieve yourself of it, pass it along to someone who will appreciate it more.

Serveware and entertaining pieces. When my husband and I got married, we purchased and registered for serveware based on what we thought our entertaining needs would be. Lots of those reasons were theoretical and idealistic.

After a few years of marriage, we figured out our groove and what would and wouldn’t work for us. Evaluate how you entertain and be sure to edit out excess items that don’t support your hosting style.

Mugs and promotional cups. These can be surprisingly difficult to cull, since they usually reflect some kind of sentiment, such as a place where you’ve vacationed, a company you worked for, photos of loved ones or special events you’ve attended.

Ask yourself which mugs you actually love and use, and which ones you’re keeping just because they seem sentimental. If you collect series of mugs, you might want to consider minimizing your collection by selecting just your favorites.

Storage containers. Do you have many mismatched storage containers and a stockpile of takeout containers? Start by identifying which containers don’t have matching parts. Just like socks in a dryer, storage container mates often seem to disappear. Toss any containers or lids without a mate.

Many plastic takeout containers are designed for single use only and might not be food-safe for prolonged reuse. Look at the recycling code on the bottom of the container and research the plastic’s characteristics to determine if you feel comfortable reusing it. I recommend recycling any containers that are not designed for multiple uses.

If your family’s needs have changed — for instance, children have moved out — you might be able to reduce the quantity of containers needed. Also consider getting rid of any your kids have outgrown, such as too-small snack containers.

Small appliances and gadgets. So many appliances and gadgets claim to make prepping and cooking easier. Many of them work as advertised, but do they work for you? Review yours and give away any you don’t use. Try not to think about whether the item might be useful in the future; think more about whether it is useful to you now. Be sure you actually like using the item and not just the idea of using it.

Extras. Take stock of how many kitchen tools you have and how many you use and need. Review the condition of each item. Pare down the excesses and toss defective items such as melted spatulas, warped scissors and peeling nonstick pans.

Be Thoughtful About What You Keep

If you’re having trouble deciding what to keep and what to give up, think about your lifestyle now and what you can anticipate in the near future, and ask yourself which items are truly necessary or you feel passionately about. Assessing the age and number of family members in your home and the way you entertain can help guide some of your decisions as well.
 
When your remodel has been completed and it’s time to fill up your cabinets again, be thoughtful about where you place your items. The ones you use most often should take up prime spots and be easy to access. Think about your daily routines and be sure your kitchen setup supports that flow.

6 Quick Tips for Your Home Renovation

Renovating your home can be a costly and time-consuming process, but there are some simple DIY projects you can do that can make a big impact on the look and feel of your home. Here are six DIY tips for home renovations that are affordable and easy to do.

1) Paint your cabinets: Repainting cabinets is a budget-friendly way to give your kitchen or bathroom a fresh, updated look without the cost of replacing them. You can choose any color that complements your space and gives it a new feel. Make sure to clean and sand the surface before applying the paint to ensure it adheres properly.

DIY Tip #1, Paint your Cabinets

2) Install new hardware: Swapping out old hardware, such as handles and knobs, can make a big impact on the overall look of a room. Updating hardware is an easy DIY project that can be done in a few hours with a screwdriver and some hardware from your local home improvement store.

 

3) Add a backsplash: A new backsplash can add color and texture to a kitchen or bathroom without a major renovation. There are a variety of options available, from peel-and-stick tiles to traditional ceramic tiles, that can be easily installed by a DIYer.

 

4) Replace light fixtures: Updating outdated light fixtures can make a room feel more modern and stylish. You can replace old fixtures with new ones that fit your style and budget. Make sure to turn off the power before installing new fixtures and follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

 

5) Add a fresh coat of paint: A new coat of paint can transform a room and give it new life. Choose a color that complements your furniture and decor and gives the room a fresh, new feel. Make sure to prep the surface properly by cleaning, sanding, and priming before applying the paint.

 

6) Refinish hardwood floors: If you have hardwood floors that are in good condition but look dull or scratched, refinishing them can make them look like new. You can rent a floor sander from your local home improvement store and follow the manufacturer’s instructions to refinish your floors. This is a more time-consuming DIY project, but the results can be stunning.

 

These six DIY tips for home renovations are affordable and easy to do, and they can make a big impact on the look and feel of your home. With a little time and effort, you can transform your space into a beautiful and updated living area.

Kitchen Design Trends in 2023 (Home Design Trends Part 1)

Mitchell Parker rounded up a list of design trends. Here are the first 12 of 35 where we take a look at kitchen trends. Look for bathroom trends in part 2.

They say change is the only constant in life. Lately that notion feels all too true. But in an ever-changing world, many people are seeking stability — and joy — right at home. And in turn, a lot of homeowners are emerging from the last couple of trying years with renewed vigor for creating lively homes full of color, pattern, texture and optimism.

To capture some of that energy, we’ve gathered 35 home design and remodeling trends that homeowners and pros are excited about for the coming year. See if any inspire a change to your own home. And from now on, maybe we can put a positive spin on change and just call it progress.

1. Modern Rustic Style

A few themes weave throughout these 2023 design trends. Among them are the use of natural materials and a general feeling of warmth. You’ll find both in a modern rustic style we’re seeing show up in kitchens.

Think natural wood cabinets and other wood details paired with natural stone countertops and backsplashes, with a few modern elements thrown in.

2. Elegant Farmhouse Style

Another style showing up in kitchens is a more elegant take on the modern-farmhouse style that’s been popular in recent years. You’ll find many of the same elements, such as Shaker-style cabinets, apron-front sinks and furniture-style islands and cabinets. But you’ll also notice the use of dramatic cabinet colors, oversize range hoods and slab stone backsplashes.

3. Modern Spanish Style

Meanwhile, an updated approach to Spanish style is also taking hold.  Terra-cotta floor tile, an arched range hood with a hand-painted terra cotta tile backsplash and a custom island with an end-grain walnut butcher block counter and spindle leg detail update old-world style with a contemporary twist.

4. Warm and Soft Palettes

While some homeowners are desiring more bold color in their kitchens, many are looking for warm and soft styles that elicit a restful, relaxing atmosphere. To do that, designers are embracing greige or off-white cabinets, light woods, subtle patterns and warm bronze and brass finishes.

5. Natural Materials

Natural materials are always in style, but lately they seem to have hit a high point in popularity. In particular, homeowners are installing quartzite and other natural stone countertops, as well as marble tile and wood cabinets and vanities, especially white oak. Some designers say the surge of interest in natural materials is a result of some homeowners rethinking man-made materials like engineered quartz that have dominated homes in recent years and instead gravitating to natural materials that add character and authenticity to a space.

6. Blue Features

White and gray are by far the most popular colors used in kitchens. But when homeowners stray from that palette, they often choose blue. In fact, when a homeowner chooses to go with an island color that contrasts with the surrounding cabinets, more than a quarter (26%) will select blue, according to Houzz research.

7. Green Cabinets

In addition to blue, green is quickly gaining favor in kitchens, especially for cabinets. Both light and dark greens work well with wood details and brass finishes, creating a warm, rich look.

8. Wood Cabinets

Wood cabinets are trending along with the surge in natural materials. White oak seems to be dominating the choices, but walnut is also popular.

9. Creative Island Seating

Casual seating is just one of many appeals of a kitchen island. While the traditional seating arrangement has typically been a row of stools on one side facing the cooking area, some homeowners are seeking alternative setups to accommodate a variety of needs, such as the ability to sit face to face with guests or sit at a standard dining table height. As a result, we’re seeing a lot of islands with creative seating arrangements, such as two-tiered designs with seating for 10 and dropped-down or raised-up areas for various needs.

10. Commercial-Style Faucets

Many home chefs are gravitating to commercial-style kitchen features to better tackle cooking tasks. In response, many faucet brands have launched new commercial-style faucet lines that blend industrial and modern looks.

11. Workstation Sinks

Workstation sinks are also part of the drift toward commercial-style features. These have been around for many years now, but manufacturers have caught up to the demand and now offer all kinds of sizes, styles and accessories for things like chopping, straining, drying and other functions.

12. Induction Cooktops

It seems these days everyone knows someone who’s jumped on the induction cooktop bandwagon. For the uninitiated, this method uses electricity to heat pots and pans directly through magnetic induction. These cooktops work with many types of pots and pans — such as stainless steel, cast iron and porcelain enamel on metal — but they don’t work on all, so you might have to replace some of your cookware. If a magnet sticks firmly on the bottom of a pot or pan, the piece will work with induction.

7 Ways to Make Your Living Room Sociable

Jo Simmons shares 7 tips to make your living room more sociable.

Living rooms can sometimes be overlooked now that so much of our at-home socializing takes place around a table in an open-plan kitchen space, but nothing beats being able to sit comfortably with friends and family, to talk, enjoy a drink or watch a movie.

Comfort is key to creating a relaxed, sociable living space, so concentrate on getting the style and position of the seating right, then build up from there, adding fun touches, handy side tables and just the right lighting.

1. Provide Different Types of Seating

 

If sociable means entertaining friends and family of all ages, work in more than one seating type. While squishy sofas may suit those who want to kick off their shoes and snuggle down, older visitors may prefer the support of an upright chair. Children may prefer floor cushions or stools.

2. Light a Fire

 

Humans have gathered around fires for millennia, to eat, talk, warm up and feel safe. Lighting one in your living room produces the same sense of sociability and comfort.

3. Face Each Other

Sofas that face each other, rather than a TV, promote conversation. Make sure they’re positioned close enough together that you and your guest aren’t shouting at each other across the divide.

Just because you’re squeezing in two sofas doesn’t mean you need to scrimp on size either. In this room, Beth Dadswell of Imperfect Interiors positioned two sizable couches opposite each other, then replaced an ottoman with a glass coffee table to make the rest of the space feel lighter.

4. Provide Several Surfaces

Tables on which you can pop a mug, glass or bowl of snacks are essential to a sociable living space.

5. Consider a Corner Sofa

Nothing says sociable like a corner couch. This flexible, space-efficient form of seating works particularly well for big families with modest living rooms. It provides a large expanse of comfy seating, which encourages teens to lounge and toddlers to get cozy.

To make this type of seating even more functional, consider a coffee table that can doubles as a footstool. The extra surface will provide even more opportunities for everyone to stretch out.

6. Get the Lighting Right

A sociable living room needs lighting that creates a warm atmosphere, but without being too dim. You want to be able to see your guests, after all. Weave in a flexible mix of lamps and ceiling lights to create a soft, layered look.

7. Install Sliding Doors

In this home, Nick Taylor of IMBY3 Architecture & Design designed sliding barn doors between the kitchen and living space. When closed, the living room feels cozy and intimate. …

 

Where Our Designers Would Spend and Save On A Kitchen

Your kitchen is one of the most used spaces in your home. From three meals a day, to holiday baking, and all year entertaining you’re sure to use this space pretty often. 

That’s why we put together a list of places where it’s recommended to spend or save to make your kitchen remodel as cost effective and useful as possible. 

Spend: Appliances

In one of the most used rooms in your house, your kitchen appliances are sure to be some of the most used things in that room. Having good quality appliances that will look beautiful and last long enough that you won’t just spend all of the money you saved in repairs. 

Energy efficient appliances can also help you save on your energy bill, saving you more money in the long term. 

There are also some other considerations when choosing appliances. For example, if your home has an open floor plan a loud dishwasher could really put a damper on your TV time, family time, and even when you’re entertaining. 

Buying a cheap fridge could be loud enough to notice it, and cost more in repairs over time than what you spent to buy it.

One splurge that has been a rising star is an instant hot water dispenser. This energy efficient luxury comes with a safety handle to prevent burns while making cooking, cleaning, and tea making a whole lot easier.

Save: Reclaiming and Recycling

A top tip to save some money is by finding places where you could use reclaimed or recycled materials in your kitchen. One example is using reclaimed countertops. One family used old school lab tables made from iroko wood, an African hard wood, that they livened up to create beautiful wooden countertops. Paired with stone or quartz counters if needed these could be a great addition to your kitchen, not to mention a conversation piece. 

You could also save by buying stone remnants. These are pieces of stone usually left over from larger jobs that are a great way to save on having a gorgeous stone island, or bar top. 

Preowned cabinets are another way to save and often they need just a little TLC to be brought back to life. On the flip side of this if your cabinets, countertops, and appliances are still in good condition you could be the person providing some of these money saving recycled materials while adding a little more to your own renovation budget.

Spend: Durable Materials

Going for reclaimed items just isn’t some homeowners style. And that’s perfectly fine! Whether going new or used finding materials that are durable and easy to maintain is worth the extra cost that may come up front. 

Using things like stone remnants for smaller projects, or hard wood can really make a difference when it comes to the life and longevity of the materials you are investing in. 

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, going for solid wood is without a doubt a worthwhile investment. These will stand the test of time, won’t begin to look out of date, and won’t need to be replaced in just a few years. A good quality solid wood kitchen can last over thirty years, even through the trend and color changes we’ve been seeing so often. 

Save: Strategic Planning

Strategic planning is essential to being able to achieve some of the “spends” you may want to include in your kitchen renovation. Things like getting all of your new appliances at one time (including in your utility room) can save of delivery charges. 

You can also opt for wider cabinets which, while being more efficient are also cheaper by the linear foot. 

This also comes down to measurements and purchasing to ensure you’re not buying more than you need.

A knowledgeable designer will help guide you through choices like these to suit what you are looking to accomplish. They know the right questions to ask and how to properly measure for things like cabinets, counter tops, flooring, and appliances.

Spend: Good Design

Remodeling your kitchen is a huge deal, and can be intimidating to start. It’s always a good idea to consult with a designer, even to get some help with planning. And taking the stress off of your shoulders is exactly what design-build firms like Satin Touch, Inc. are for. 

 

10 Kitchen Trends to Watch in 2023

Trends come and go, but if you see something you love take it and run! Mitchell Parker gives us some awesome insight on the trends coming to kitchens in 2023.

When remodeling a kitchen, it’s helpful to know which choices are popular among other homeowners, even if you end up diverging from the crowd. A look at the just-released 2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study offers a good jumping-off point for making those decisions. Here you’ll find useful details on homeowner preferences for the scope and size of a kitchen, its look and feel, and common products and features.

1. Layout Changes Continue to Lead

When it comes to major kitchen remodeling changes, transforming the layout tops the list for homeowners (45%), followed by upgrading systems (41%) and modifying walls (36%).

2. Many Kitchens Are Increasing in Size

Meanwhile, many kitchens are getting larger. More than a quarter of homeowners (27%) make their kitchen somewhat larger as part of a remodel. And 6% of homeowners end up with a significantly larger kitchen, increasing the size by more than 50%.

A slight majority of kitchens (51%) are 200 square feet or more. More than a third (35%) are between 100 and 199 square feet, and about 1 in 7 (14%) are less than 100 square feet.

3. Open Kitchens Appeal

Speaking of open spaces, many homeowners once again are seeking kitchens that are open to interior spaces (40%, up from 38% in 2022) and open to outdoor spaces (20%, up from 18% in 2022).

Designing a kitchen without a wall separating it from other interior spaces remains the most popular choice (61%), though the option decreased in popularity by 4 percentage points year over year.

When opening a kitchen to outdoor spaces, homeowners most often go with double doors or a row of doors (46%).

Changes to kitchen layouts are common too. Nearly half of homeowners (45%) redo their kitchen layout. L-shaped (40%) and U-shaped (31%) kitchens are the most popular styles. Fewer homeowners select a galley layout (11%) or single-wall setup (8%).

4. Islands Remain Popular

The majority of remodeling homeowners (55%) either add an island or upgrade an existing one. More than a third (37%) have no island and a relatively small portion of homeowners (8%) keep their island as is.

When it comes to upgraded islands, the most popular storage options are drawers (79%) and cabinets with doors (79%). Less popular are open shelves (14%), though that share rose 3 percentage points year over year. Only 1% of homeowners choose no storage for their upgraded island.

As for size and shape, the vast majority of homeowners create an island that’s 6 feet or longer (74%) and in a rectangular or square shape (82%).

Nearly half of homeowners (46%) choose an island color that contrasts with the main cabinets. Top contrasting island colors are blue (24%), gray (15%), black (12%), medium-tone wood (12%) and dark wood (11%, a 5-point increase year over year).

5. Style Makeovers Are Still Widespread

More than 4 in 5 homeowners (83%) change the style of their kitchen when remodeling. Transitional remains the top style choice (23%), though the share of homeowners choosing it is down 2 points year over year.

Modern style (14%) has overtaken contemporary (12%) as the second-most popular choice. And more than 1 in 10 homeowners choose a farmhouse or traditional style.

6. Demand for Gray Walls Fades Again

White has long been a popular wall color choice in kitchens, but it’s increasingly the dominant selection. More than a third of homeowners (35%) go with white walls, a 3-point increase year over year. White also dominates backsplash color. More than 2 out of 5 homeowners (41%) choose a white backsplash. And, as mentioned in a previous article on the 2023 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Study, about the same amount of homeowners (40%) choose white cabinets.

Gray, long the second-most popular wall color choice, falls further out of favor with less than a quarter of homeowners (24%) choosing the color, down 4 points year over year, the fourth consecutive year of decline.

When it comes to appliances, it’s hard to top stainless steel. The finish is by far the favorite, with three-quarters (74%) of homeowners choosing it.

7. Multicolored Countertops Fall Further Out of Favor

Most remodeling homeowners (90%) upgrade their countertops in a kitchen remodel.

Again, white dominates among preferences and increasingly so (41% in 2023, compared with 39% in 2022 and 33% in 2021).

Meanwhile, the popularity of multicolored countertops has steadily declined (19% in 2023, from 24% in 2022 and 26% in 2021).

Among homeowners who are upgrading an island, one-fourth (25%) choose a countertop color that contrasts with the perimeter countertop color. The most commonly chosen island countertop colors to contrast with a perimeter countertop are white (29%), medium-tone wood (16%), black (11%, up 4 points year over year) and gray (11%).

The most popular countertop material remains engineered quartz (36%), though the choice dropped 6 points year over year. Other common material choices are granite (23%), butcher block or wood slab (10%), quartzite (8%) and marble (5%).

One-quarter of remodeling homeowners (25%) contrast their island countertop material with the surrounding countertop material. The top contrasting countertop material choice is butcher block or wood slab (31%).

8. Ceramic and Porcelain Tile Top Backsplash Choices

A large majority of homeowners (84%) upgrade their backsplash during a kitchen remodel. Tile is the top choice (85%) and ceramic or porcelain is the top material (67%).

A common remodeling decision homeowners face is where to stop their backsplash. Fully covering the area from the countertop to the cabinets or range hood is the most popular option (61%), though it declined in popularity by 5 percentage points year over year. Partial coverage ticked up 2 points to 21% in the same period.

About 1 in 10 homeowners (11%) fully cover the area up to the ceiling, while 4% choose to partially cover the area.

As mentioned earlier, white is the most common backsplash color choice (41%), followed by multicolored (16%, down 4 points) and gray (12%).

 

9. Loads of Dishwashers

A majority of homeowners (53%) upgrade all of their appliances during a kitchen remodel. About a third (32%) upgrade some.

The most commonly upgraded appliances are the dishwasher (75%, up 4 points year over year), refrigerator (75%), microwave (72%), range (63%), range hood (59%) and garbage disposal (52%).

The majority of homeowners select new appliances based on functionality (64%) and quality (63%). But look and feel (54%), as well as energy efficiency (22%), are also important.

10. Vinyl Again Trails Hardwood for Flooring

A majority of homeowners (67%) upgrade their flooring during a kitchen remodel. One-fourth of homeowners choose stained or unstained hardwood, consistent with last year.

Vinyl or resilient flooring is also popular (22%), as are ceramic or porcelain tile (19%) and engineered wood (15%).