Do you love gray walls in the kitchen? If so, you're not alone. The 2017 Houzz Kitchen Study tracked trends among renovating homeowners and revealed that contemporary styling and a gray and white color scheme led in popularity.
The entire study is fascinating, but we were particularly interested in the primary goals that homeowners had for their kitchen renovation. More than half wanted to create a space that "is more open to other rooms" and 36% simply wanted a bigger kitchen. Other highlights:
Quartz and granite run neck-and-neck as top countertop materials
Pantries have a very slight edge over kitchen islands as top built-in features
Hardwood and tile remain the leading kitchen floor choices
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, roughly one in 10 households undertook a kitchen remodel or replacement in 2015, with two-thirds of them hiring a professional to do the work. When a home is feeling dated, the kitchen is usually part of the problem.At Morse Constructions, kitchens are almost always a main part of our whole house renovations and top the list of single room makeovers.
Kitchens are hardworking spaces that typically also serve as the hub of the home. We want them to both look and work great, but how they should look and work is often very subjective. Design aesthetics are obviously a matter of personal taste, but the way we use our kitchens also varies. What is right for one of Morse's clients may not be right for another. For example, we have clients who entertain frequently and need lots of space for food prep and in-kitchen socializing. We also have clients who eat out a lot and really don't need much more than a bare bones kitchen.
When we sit down with new kitchen renovation clients, we ask questions such as:
How will you use your kitchen?
Do you entertain a lot?
What are your "must haves"? and so forth.
Many of these same questions are raised in an excellent article on Houzz called 5 Trade-offs to Consider When Remodeling Your Kitchen. Since even well-to-do homeowners rarely have unlimited budgets, the article addresses how to decide where to make compromises when creating a dream kitchen within a real-life budget. Just click any image in the slideshow below to view the whole article.
When our clients moved to their Belmont, MA home in 2012, they knew they wanted to update and improve the functionality and flow of their kitchen. They waited a year before scouring Houzz and Angie’s List in search of a reliable contractor to handle the renovation. “We had used contractors before when we lived in Boston and we were always frustrated when people didn’t show up and there were unexpected delays. A kitchen renovation is so disruptive that reliability was a priority in selecting a contractor,” explains the homeowner.
After meeting with a number of contractors, the couple selected Morse Constructions to both design and build the kitchen. “Morse’s bid was very detailed and well-thought-out. It gave us confidence that they would get the renovation done in a timely fashion – and they did,” says our client.
Morse improved the functionality and traffic flow in the kitchen by relocating a doorway to the mudroom and an adjacent room and expanding the opening into the dining room. Additionally, relocating appliances and adding an island resulted in a great cooking space. Four years after the renovation was completed, the homeowner still exclaims, “I love my kitchen so much!”
At the same time that the kitchen was remodeled, the homeowner asked Morse to add a first floor bath to an existing laundry room and to bring light into the adjacent family room. We took just enough space from the adjacent large room to create a full bath with plenty of room left for a laundry area. A spacious bay window replaced existing small casements in the adjacent family room, creating a light-filled space that doubles as a guest room for overnight visitors.
Our clients were so pleased with our work that they brought us back in 2016 to create finished space in the attic. Now, previously unfinished space is a private home office at one end and a treasured hang-out area for the homeowners’ two children at the other.
For now, our Belmont clients are done renovating, but they have been wonderful about recommending Morse Constructions. “I’ve been telling my friends, if you want great work done in a professional manner with reliable scheduling, Morse is an excellent choice,” sums up our client.
To see more photos of the Belmont project, please visit our photo gallery or our Houzz profile. If you would like to discuss a renovation project, we would love to speak with you. Please contact us today!
This week, we will be photographing a handful of recently completed projects, including three renovated kitchens. While we certainly do plenty of whole home renovations, kitchens are ofteny the focus for single room transformations. In Boston -- as in the country as a whole -- homeowners feel strongly about their kitchens. In fact, in the 2016 Houzz kitchen trends study, the leading reason for renovating a kitchen was because the homeowner "could no longer stand the old one." Simply put, poorly designed or outdated kitchens drive us nuts.
The Houzz survey found that homeowners value kitchen storage more than any other factor:
The survey also found that most homeowners (76%) change the style of their kitchen during renovation -- often moving to a transitional, contemporary or modern look.
For 2016, we're seeing a movement toward a cleaner feel with bold lines. For more information about 2016 kitchen trends, scroll through this slideshow. You can view the whole article on Houzz by clicking any of the images.
If you are ready to get started planning your own kitchen renovation, please contact us! In the meantime, we look forward to sharing new photos in the next few weeks of some of our most recent kitchen projects.
When we recently remodeled our own kitchen, it was a priority to incorporate a double oven because we frequently cook for guests. In the Somerville kitchen pictured below, the homeowners wanted to allocate space for their cookbook collection.
In this Back Bay kitchen, we added extensive wine storage for a couple who loves to entertain.
"Must have" kitchen amenities are in the eye of the beholder, but some are more popular than others. A recent article on Houzz.com provided a helpful look at the top 20 kitchen amenities according to Houzz readers. Just click any image to go to the Ideabook on Houzz or use the arrows at the bottom of each image to scroll through the slide show.
Kitchens were once workplaces designed to be hidden from living and entertaining areas. Today, parties often gravitate there.
Kitchens have undergone a transformation to become open, airy hubs of the home. Owners of older homes often put a kitchen renovation at the very top of their wish lists because their outdated spaces no longer support modern lifestyles or cooking/food prep technology.
We have built many wonderful, modern kitchens in old homes (including our own). Many of the factors that give old homes character can create some unique challenges. Just a few of the special considerations include: • Out of level floors and walls that are not plumb • Framing members making it difficult to accommodate venting • Inadequate insulation, plumbing and electrical systems • Very low or very high ceiling heights • Unusual floor plans
Here’s how we met those challenges in a recent renovation for a family of four living in an 1850 home in Arlington, Massachusetts.
The kitchen was part of a wing that was separated from the main home. The room was quite small with numerous doors and openings breaking up the floor plan. Storage was very limited.
Before Kitchen Floor Plan
Our client wanted an open layout to unite the dining room and kitchen, as well as the front and back of the home. The family wanted the look of the kitchen to be consistent with the rest of the house.
Space previously allocated to a basement stairway and back pantry was incorporated into the kitchen. The new kitchen straddles a new addition and the existing home, creating an interesting challenge.
Modern framing sizes are different from those used a century ago. A new addition must adhere to current framing requirements. This means that the kitchen would have a different ceiling heights in different parts of the space unless we were clever with design. Instead of meeting in the middle of the kitchen, where the old and new sections of the house abutted, we decided to drop the existing ceiling down 2”, where the flooring surface changed in the foyer of the existing house. This way, ceiling height and flooring made a logical transition at the same place.
These shots were taken while we were finishing the kitchen and don’t fully capture the island with ample seating or pocket doors to the living room, but we hope they give you a sense of the finished space (professional photography will be coming soon!). We used traditional 6/6 (number and pattern of the lites) windows; a farmer’s sink; classic white cabinetry; Cambrian Black Antiqued Granite countertops and a Montauk Black Slate floor “runner” between the island and sink counter. These features help us to maintain the traditional comfort and character found throughout their home.
Our clients were happy to report the addition and renovation exceeded their expectations and fully met their goals: to build a home that fits with their current lifestyle with the traditional look and feel of the past.
Coming soon! Paul and Karen Morse’s personal story of their traditional to modern transformation.
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) released the results of its 2014 Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Survey in early February. Here are the major trends that the survey revealed:
• Contemporary will be the fastest growing kitchen style in 2014, with 62 percent of respondents saying it’s on the upswing after ending 2013 in second place. Transitional maintained a very small lead as the number one look for kitchens. Shaker styling is a solid third due in part to its versatility, lending itself to traditional or contemporary.
• More than half (56 percent) of respondents included accessible and/or universal design and easy-maintenance features in their kitchens, and demand is expected to continue.
• Two-thirds of NKBA kitchen designers incorporated docking and/or charging stations in their kitchens, as well as a desk or home office area. Some 56 percent included a flat-screen TV in their kitchen projects. These trends show no signs of powering down.
• Outdoor kitchens continue to be popular, with 43 percent of respondents designing them in 2013 and 41 percent expecting an increase in 2014.
• 63 percent of respondents specified energy-saving appliances in 2013, and 60 percent expect to see more demand this year. Almost 40 percent of designers specified water-saving kitchen faucets in 2013, and 47 percent see the market expanding in 2014.
• Furniture-type pieces were specified in kitchens by eight out of 10 respondents in 2013 and 56 percent expect to do more in 2014.
• Approximately 70 percent of respondents see quartz countertops increasing in 2014. Almost a quarter of respondents specified countertops with recycled materials and 40 percent expect to do more in 2014.
• Wood, the most specified flooring in 2013, will grow even more popular in 2014.
• Glass, now number three for backsplashes, is predicted to grow in popularity in 2014.
• Satin nickel, now the most popular faucet finish, is expected to continue to flourish in 2014, as will polished chrome.
• Stainless steel is the most popular sink material with porcelain enamel a distant second. Granite composite, now number three, is expected to grow in popularity in 2014.
Kitchen Features in Demand:
• Induction cooktops
• Steam ovens
• French-door refrigerators
• Bottom freezer refrigerators
• Touch-activated faucets
• Electronic (no touch) faucets
• LED lighting
Trendspotting: A Place for Pets
Dozens of NKBA members reported that they created kitchens with features to accommodate cats and dogs, from day beds to feeding stations, litter box cabinets to doggy faucets.
• Highly ornamented Tuscan and Provincial looks
• Distressed and/or glazed finishes
• Country/rustic styles
• Electric cooktops
• Porcelain enamel sinks
If you are planning to renovate your kitchen in Spring or Summer 2014, now is the time to start planning. Please contact us if we may help you with your project.
Colonial era kitchens often featured a sturdy work table for food prep. Those kitchen tables were the ancestors of today's kitchen islands. Kitchen islands as we know them -- with storage beneath and eating or food preparation space on top -- really began to gain favor in the 1970s. Now they are such a popular feature in homes that they are included as a "must have" in many kitchen remodeling projects.
Kitchen islands are a wonderful way to add counter space, storage and a place for family and guests to casually congregate. However, there are alternatives if your kitchen is too small to accommodate an island, the island hinders traffic flow, or you simply want a different look.
In this Cambridge kitchen, the homeowner used a table to create a wonderful, light, playful look in a smaller space.
We were delighted to see a recent article on Houzz.com that looks at alternatives to kitchen islands. We've shared "6 Ways to Rethink the Kitchen Island" by Houzz contributor Laura Gaskill in the photo gallery below. To view the whole article on Houzz, simply click any of the photos. To move through the photo gallery, use the arrows in the bottom, left-hand corner of each picture.
You stand for longer periods of time in the kitchen than in any other area of the house, yet the kitchen often has the least resilient flooring. The result? Achy backs and tired joints.
Tile, natural stone and polished concrete may be relatively easy to maintain and look great, but they can take a toll on the body. Houzz recently posted an excellent article on joint-friendly kitchen flooring options. We are pleased to share it below.
Use the scroll bar to access the arrows to see the images as a sidebar, or click any caption or image to review the full article on Houzz.