Designing Your Kitchen, Consider Users and Intended Uses.

White Kitchen

Off white traditional Kitchen












When designing or redesigning your kitchen, it’s important to consider who will be using the space and for what purposes. Many of our clients want to make their new kitchens child friendly. For clients with younger children who will be active users of the kitchen we often recommend the following:

  • More storage below counter height
  • Pull out drawers inside of base cabinets
  • Undercounter refrigerators and beverage centers
  • Undercounter drawer microwave
  • Accessible pantries
  • Islands that double as places for homework or a separate island that is out of the way from cooking
  • Racks for dishes
  • Breakfast areas
  • Outlet charging stations in base cabinet drawers
  • Space to store small appliances under countertops such as toasters, blenders and other portable appliances
  • Touch open cabinets and drawers
  • Soft close drawers and cabinets
  • Seating with washable fabrics
  • Extra wide countertops because we know kids will often climb on the countertop
  • Countertops without or minimal overhangs because overhangs make it difficult for smaller children to reach the surface
  • Designated play areas in or off the kitchen (space permitting)
  • A separate dining area and table just for kids
  • Built-in shelves to store games, art supplies, books and other kid-centric items
  • Separate dishes, cutlery and cookware just for kids

Many of the recommendations we make with children in mind will work equally as well for adults. Plus, improving your kitchen provides the highest return on investment when you sell your home compared to other upgrades, according to a 2017 National Association of Realtors survey. Almost 50 percent of survey respondents said the primary reason for renovating their kitchen was improved functionality. Nine in 10 survey respondents said that their kitchen renovation made them happier in their home. That’s priceless.

If you would like to discuss how to make your kitchen remodel more child oriented, please give us a call at 630-214-9775 or visit our showroom at 2422 West Main St. Saint Charles, IL 60175.

Cabinetry Differences

  Most of our clients begin their kitchen remodel with cabinets. There is almost an unlimited number of choices that can meet any aesthetic and budget need. You may have already encountered industry nomenclature that describes cabinet options as stock, semi-custom and custom. Did you know that those terms refer to the different production methods employed to manufacture cabinets; the…

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Don’t Settle for Less, in your Kitchen

A well designed Kitchen is an organized kitchen. You should expect your kitchen designer to present creative options to maximize the look, feel and functionality of your kitchen space. A technique we often employ in our showroom is not to settle for the standard offerings from our manufacturer partners. A recent example was a client who had a smaller space. To help maximize the storage capacity for the new kitchen, we recommended deeper than normal upper cabinets. For this project, we knew that the client would not be happy with the standard 12- to 15-inch upper depth cabinets. Instead we specified 24-inch deep upper cabinets and 24-inch lower cabinets paired with a 25-inch countertop.

The reason why standard upper cabinets range in depth from 12 to 15 inches is to avoid encroaching on workspace. The key to using deeper upper cabinets is to avoid making the space appear to be smaller. This can be accomplished by the choice of color for upper cabinets, countertops, backsplashes and other surfaces, creative use of lighting and door style.

For a modern kitchen motif, we recommend white cabinets and lighter surfaces to provide a more open airy appearance. In one kitchen, we recently determined there was room for an island that we matched with counter-depth upper cabinets. The island served as the main work surface in the kitchen, allowing for a solid wall of cabinets for storage and a clean look. For transitional or traditional motifs, we offset the heaviness of counter-depth upper cabinets by using white and lighter colors for the countertops and backsplashes. Not only does this technique serve to soften the space, it also provides a balanced appearance.

Specifying bright under-cabinet lighting creates a focal point and will make the space appear airier. Another technique is to specify glass front doors for upper cabinets or combine upper cabinets with open shelves. Both options balance the heaviness of counter-depth uppers. In some kitchens, it makes sense to use a combination of upper cabinet depths that can be differentiated not only by size but also by using contrasting materials.

How much storage space you might need for you kitchen depends upon how you use your kitchen and how often it is used. That’s why we recommend to our clients to make a list of all of the equipment, cutlery, pots, pans, appliances, etc. that they want to store in their kitchen. We help our clients prioritize storage depending on use patterns. For example, if a client does not entertain frequently or are empty nesters, storing large roasting pans may make more sense for another room in the house other than the kitchen to enable the client to have immediate access to the items that they use most often.

If you are considering a new kitchen or a remodel and want to know how you can most effectively use the space that you have, please give us a call at 630-214-9775 or visit our showroom at 2422 West Main St. Saint Charles, IL 60175

Too Much Misinformation Makes for Unrealistic Expectations

How much will it cost to renovate a kitchen, is the number one question we are asked by visitors to our showroom. It is a difficult question to answer because the cost of a kitchen remodel depends on a number of unknowns.
Unknowns are one of the reasons why many homeowners have a difficult time determining on their own the cost of a kitchen remodel, or the information that they have gathered independently may not be complete or accurate. This is due to the fact that there is so much misinformation on the Internet that it’s almost impossible to match goals with resources realistically without the assistance of a kitchen professional. You can go online and one “expert” claims that the average price of a kitchen remodel is $21,000 and another “expert” will write that the average cost of a mid-range renovation is $63,000 while a third will tell you that an upscale full renovation will be around $125,000. Compounding the misinformation problem are reality television shows that generally do not account for the cost of labor in their budget estimates and have timetables that are only achievable on reality television. As a result, many homeowners have expectations based on unreliable and unrealistic information by the time they enter the showroom. If you are scratching your head, you are not alone.
Equally misleading are percentage estimates for different product categories that abound online such as 30 percent of the cost of a new kitchens is cabinetry. The cost of cabinetry and the percentage of a budget it represents is determined by multiple factors. There are too many variables to use online resources to estimate product and project costs. It is similar to trying to estimate the cost of a new car without knowing the model, the make and special features.
Too much information is another challenge facing many of our clients that want to build a new kitchen or bath. If you search on for a new farmhouse sink, for example, more than 77,000 options are presented. Which one will work best for your needs? That depends again on a number of factors that are not readily known.
We create value for our customers by knowing the right questions to ask to determine needs, wants and desires. If you would like to take advantage of our expertise to make your new kitchen or bath exceed your expectations, please give us a call at 630-214-9775 or visit our showroom at 2422 West Main St. St. Charles, IL 60175.

Help Selecting Kitchen Cabinetry



Selecting kitchen cabinets is one of the most important decisions to make when planning a kitchen renovation. We find that there are four factors that homeowners, Remodelers& Builders need to consider when selecting kitchen cabinets:

Form (look)


Cabinets are usually the largest expense in a kitchen renovation, representing approximately 50% of the cost of a kitchen remodeling, according to industry surveys. Cabinet budgets are affected by a number of factors. The type of drawers, finishes, and options selected will affect costs. We work with every client to help assure that the budget is sufficient to minimize surprises and to help achieve their goals.

Factors Affecting Cabinet Quality:

There are three types of cabinets offered from a kitchen and bath showroom:

Stock (good)
Semi-Custom (better)
Custom (best)

Stock cabinets are pre-manufactured in set sizes, usually in 3-inch increments. Stock cabinets do not have many custom features or options and come in a limited range of styles.

Semi-custom cabinets also are pre-manufactured but generally offer more sizes and options than stock counterparts.

Custom cabinets are built to order without restriction on size, features, finishes or materials.

Another factor influencing quality and price are the materials used to manufacturer kitchen cabinets. These include particle board, medium density fiberboard (MDF), plywood, solid wood and laminate/melamine which is laid over a substrate. Particle board is the lowest quality material, and we do not often recommend it because particle board is not moisture resistant.

Additionally, quality is influenced by the type of construction techniques used to manufacture the cabinet and the durability of the finish which we explain the differences during the selection process.


A well-designed kitchen is an organized kitchen. A great first step to create an organized kitchen is to write down everything you like and don’t like about your existing kitchen. Most semi-custom and all custom lines provide an array of storage and organizational options for most commonly used kitchen items from food to cutlery.


There are two types of cabinets: framed and frameless. Framed cabinets have a wood frame that outlines the front of the cabinet box. Hinges and door runners attach to the frame.

Frameless cabinets don’t have a frame. Hinges and door runners attach to the inside walls of the cabinet box. There are benefits to both cabinet types. Frameless cabinets provide more storage area and generally are associated with modern design motifs. Framed cabinets are typically associated with more traditional or transitional designs.

If you would like additional guidance on the factors that influence a kitchen cabinet’s style, cost, durability, and functionality, please give us a call at 630-214-9775 or visit our showroom at 2422 West Main St. St. Charles, IL.

Kitchen and Bath Industry Show 2017

We are attending The Kitchen and Bath Industry Show and The International Builders Show in Orlando this week. We have found new products from almost every vendor but here are a few new plumbing products from our preferred vendor Danze. Black finishes are becoming increasing popular and the first photo is the Mid-Town Lav faucet in the black finish followed by polished nickel finish. Also pictured are two new Kitchen faucet series The Foodie and Selene, then the redesigned Opulence.











Our Process Steps Involved in a Kitchen Renovation

        To help you better prepare to renovate your kitchen, reduce your anxiety and familiarize yourself with the remodel process, our showroom typically uses a five-step approach to a kitchen renovation. Step 1 is the initial meeting in our showroom. We want to get to know you, what you like (and what you dislike about your present kitchen),…

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