Back to Basics – Raw Materials in Kitchen Design

2019 is a year in which we see natural elements reclaiming kitchen remodeling trends. This year, there is a big trend towards more natural and raw materials used in the kitchen space. The use of clean, natural materials and colors creates a more calming and neutral space which evokes simple living and the spacious outdoors. Through Natural Design, you can create a space of calming natural elements without breaking the bank or losing functionality.

Wood and Stone

Going back to the basics of material design starts with the two most naturally evocative materials in the kitchen space; wood and stone. Natural wood brings a warmth and rustic quality to a space. Stone brings sturdiness and strength, while complimenting the warmth of wood with its own coolness. Blending the two materials together in a space brings together a sense of balance and harmony. Consider adding stone elements to the kitchen via the countertops or backsplash. Elements of wood can be added in a plethora of ways, but are most commonly seen in the flooring or cabinets.

Natural Lighting

Natural lighting is essential to crafting a space that feels natural and more open. The softer light captured through windows help brighten up the room, and can compliment the more neutral colors found in a natural kitchen design. Skylights or big windows can help fill the room with natural light and warmth. If you do not have large windows in your kitchen space, consider adding a mirror to help reflect light from your existing window and make greater use of the space. In addition to making the lighting in the room softer, the focus on natural lighting means that you can actually save money on electricity.

Neutral Colors

Shades of green, grays, off-whites, and soft browns help to create a softer, more neutral space. Lighter shades of greens and browns help emulate more natural elements. The lighter tones will also make better use of natural lighting.

Pewter Fixtures

Not only are pewter faucets very trendy right now, they are very natural looking. They lack the eye catching sheen of metal fixtures, allowing other elements of the room to become focal points. The natural grey of pewter allows for seamless integration into a naturally designed kitchen space.

Natural Drawer Pulls

More natural kitchens shy away from more traditionally metal accents, like drawer pulls and handles for cabinets. Alternatives include wood and even leather. Wooden knobs or handles are common place. Leather strappings can be a very unique touch to a kitchen space. Both wood and leather allow for a move towards a more organic feel.

To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.

Scandinavian Bathroom Design

Scandinavian design style combines simplicity and utility with comfort and function. Homes and rooms that follow this trend make use of clean lines, natural materials, and the use of whites and neutral colors. They are often highlighted with lots of natural light. For bathrooms, Scandi-style takes the simple and natural aspects of spa-like decor to an even more minimalist level.

Beautiful Wood Design

Scandinavian style makes great use of natural materials like wood and stone. Wooden vanities, floors, walls, and more add natural warmth and comfort. Woods like white pine, ash, and beech are often used in this design style. These are all lighter colored woods that blend well with the white hues and darker neutral tones used in Scandi design.

Natural Lighting

In traditional Scandinavian design, natural lighting is a key aspect. While this may not always be an option when upgrading an existing space, making use of whatever natural light can be helpful. Consider using mirrors to enhance natural light in bathrooms with small windows. For more heavy duty projects, you may want to consider making the window space bigger, or adding a skylight.

Neutral Colors

Scandinavian style color schemes follow a soft blending of whites with cool darks and neutral tones. Colors such as charcoal or blue-grey are commonplace. Beige, soft browns, and light greys can often help blend the divide between the darker colors and the white hues. Pops of color can often come in the form of houseplants or accents such as a vase or an area rug.

Simple Lines

Scandinavian design makes use of simple lines and basic geometric shapes. Rectangles and squares are common in the design space. In more modernized or American versions of the style, bathrooms can often make use of subway tiles on the wall, which make use of these basic shapes while keeping the motif of white color in the space. The use of wood in these spaces also adds to these lines, as the lines made by planks can add another depth of these simple shapes.

To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.

5 Reasons to Replace Your Dishwasher

Replacing or upgrading the dishwasher is one of the most common aspects of a kitchen remodel. Dishwashers can slowly become worse over time, and it is important to replace your dishwasher when your old one is starting to give you issues. Here are the top 5 reasons you should replace your dishwasher.

Dishes Coming Out Dirty

When your plates, bowls, and utensils are coming out dirty; it can be hard to trust that the dishwasher is doing a great job. Of course, there are many reasons why a dishwasher may not be cleaning properly, such as overloading it or using the wrong type of detergent. If you are seeing a lot of food spots, and you are loading the dishwasher properly, it may just be that your dishwasher isn’t performing as well as it should be.

The Dishes Aren’t Hot

If you are opening the dishwasher to lukewarm or even cold plates right after the load is done, you have a big problem on your hands. Hot water is crucial to a well functioning dishwasher. It not only helps get rid of food particles, but the hot water helps sanitize and kill harmful bacteria. If your dishwasher isn’t heating up water properly, then your dishes aren’t being properly cleaned.

Poor Drainage

There should never be a pool of water still in the dishwasher when the cycle is over. If there is a pool of water in the dishwasher, your drainage system might be clogged or damaged. While a clog might be cleared; it could be a sign of larger issues. If the issue persists, you may need to replace your dishwasher.

Poorly Closing Doors

The door on your dishwasher is vital to how the dishwasher operates. If there is poor sealing, water will leak all over the place. If the door can not close properly, the dishwasher may not be able to start up at all. A repair may be able to fix these issues; but leakage can warp the dishwasher and eventually require a replacement.

It’s 10 Years Old

Dishwashers companies are constantly making upgrades to their models. A dishwasher made 10 years ago is most likely not as efficient as one made today. Older models often use up more energy, waste more water, and take much longer to clean dishes. Not to mention all the wear and tear over the years. If your dishwasher is getting up there in age, there might not be much a repairman can do.

To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.

Basement Bathroom Design

When adding a bathroom to the basement, or upgrading a pre-existing bathroom, there are a few important considerations to make. There is a lot of unique and interesting choices that you can add to a basement bathroom to make it feel more comfortable.

Lighting

Bathrooms in basements often have to work with limited or no natural light to create a beautiful space. If your basement bathroom has a window, it is likely a small one near the ceiling, close to the ground outside. In the event that you have a window, do not put the mirror on the same wall as it. You will want the mirror to reflect more of the natural light in the room, and brighten up the space. If you do not have a window, consider adding lights to the vanity in addition to the ceiling fixture. If you want the room to feature darker colors, consider using lighting fixtures with yellow bulbs, which can make the space feel more homey and natural.

Full or Half Bath

When designing a bathroom for the basement; you need to consider both the space available, and the plumbing. If you have the available space and fixtures to add a tub or shower; then you may want to consider these options. Standing showers require the least amount of space. They can often be implemented into bathrooms that otherwise wouldn’t be able to fit a bathtub. Creating a full bath in the basement can be a good way to boost the value of the home. For those looking to live in the home or a long time, adding an extra shower can be a great way to avoid showering conflicts on busy mornings.

Flooring

Proper flooring in a basement bathroom is vital to a successful renovation. It is a good idea to avoid concrete or tile flooring if you do not have radiant floor heat in the bathroom. These flooring options can be very cold in the morning, and especially when used in the basement. Vinyl and linoleum are sturdy and relatively water resistant. They are not as cold or as hard to walk on. Vinyl or linoleum sheets are better than tiles of the same materials in a bathroom space, because there is less space for water to seep through.

To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.

Wooden Kitchen Countertops

While wooden cabinetry has been a staple of kitchen design for decades, wood is quickly growing in popularity as a countertop option. Traditionally the countertop of choice for bars and butcher shops; this design choice is growing in popularity for homes. Wood is lighter than most other countertop options, and often costs less to repair.

Adding Warmth to the Kitchen

Many homeowners are moving away from stainless steel appliances because they make the kitchen seem colder. One way to incorporate warmth into a kitchen is by using wooden countertops. The natural colors of butcher block style countertops elevates the space by giving it a warmer, more natural look.

Plenty of Design Options

Wood comes in a variety of different grains and colors; based on the type of tree the wood was taken from. This means that there are plenty of exciting options for your counterspace. Some options include classic oak, deep maple wood, strong cherry wood, or rich walnut. There are also a number of more exotic woods for a kitchen space, such as zebrawood, rosewood, or iroko. Less expensive wood, like birch or beech can cost as low as $12 per square foot. More exotic or expensive woods can cost about $200 per square foot.

Maintenance and Repair

Wood can be maintained well with care. There are a number of oils or polishes made for woods, depending on if it is finished or not. Many of these products you may already use if you have wooden furniture in your home. More exotic woods may require more sensitive care. Any damage, such as scratches or nicks in the wood, can be sanded out or refinished.
Even butcher block style countertops are rarely used directly in meal prep today. Using a wooden countertop like any other, with cutting boards, is important to maintaining an undamaged counter space.

Strong Yet Soft

Wood can be a very strong countertop material, and yet its soft nature can provide a lot of benefits too. Unlike stone or quartz, it is less likely to chip or break dishes dropped on it. Wooden countertops are also great for noise reduction, limiting clatter when plates or glasses are placed on them. Even smaller appliances; such as blenders or food processors are quieter on top of wood than most other options.

To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.

Is a Gas or Electric Stove Right for Your Home

Ever wonder the difference between a gas stove and an electric stove? The decision between the two can make or break your kitchen. Lucky for you the professionals at Dream Kitchens and Baths SI are here to help you through the process.

Gas Stoves

Many people love traditional gas stoves due to the effectiveness and visual fulfillment of a flame. One pro of using a gas stove is the effectiveness of a flame cooking your food. The spreading of the flame around the bottom of a pot or pan leads to a more even and efficient cooking experience. The overall cost of having a gas stove is also much lower if your home already has a gas line through your kitchen, however if you do not, the installation of one may be a little pricey.

Electric Stoves

One of the biggest pros of owning an electric stove is the sleek and modern design. Most will have a smooth top to make it look modern and hip for a new era kitchen. They also are extremely easy to clean due to the fact that it is not several parts like a gas stove, instead it is just one easy wipe-down surface.
Even though an electric stove may look a little nicer, sometimes they are not as efficient. They are known to cook food much slower and sometimes less evenly if you stray from the hot spot, which is easy to lose due to the lack of a visual heat source such as a flame. They take longer to heat up and do not get quite as hot as a gas stove. Another con of owning an electric stove is the ability to lose use of it in a power outage.
An electric stove is much more convenient for beginners who want easy cleaning and low cost. However, for those who enjoy cooking; the effectiveness and visual appeal of a gas stove may be the right choice for your home.
To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.

Small Bathroom Remodeling

New York is one of the most cramped cities in the United states. Whether is small houses or small apartments, chances are you have a small bathroom. Your bathroom isn’t not a lost cause just because it lacks the surface area and possibilities of a larger bathroom. Even for the smallest of bathrooms or washrooms the possibilities are endless.

How to Make Smaller Seem Bigger

The first thing most people think when it comes to remodeling a small space is “How can I make it seem larger?” Well there’s quite a few answers. Something to make the room seem larger is the installation of a window or skylight. Adding one of these will help bring in natural light seeming to expand the room beyond your cramped walls.
Under sink storage could also work wonders for saving space. Using a wall mounted floating countertop with empty space underneath will leave you room to use fashionable under counter storage without the bulky look of a bathroom cabinet. This makes the room seem open and less cramped.

Small Decorations Big Difference

A trendy bathroom wouldn’t be complete without subtle decorations and accents. The addition of towel bars can help bring color throughout your bathroom in an organized fashion. You also may want to use woven baskets for storage as they give your bathroom a natural pop and go great with the natural lighting created by the skylight. Lastly the addition of small picture frames and maybe a small end table can make your small bathroom feel more like home

To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.

5 Ways to Reinvent the Galley Kitchen

Galley kitchens are a staple of apartments and homes alike in New York. Galley kitchens often allow for a full kitchen space to be compact and space-saving across 2 walls. Below, we will discuss 5 ways to upgrade and reinvent your galley kitchen.

Mirrored Backsplash

Adding a mirrored backsplash to one side of your galley kitchen will make the space feel bigger, and make better use of natural light in the space. Be sure to only mirror one side. Doing both will create a disorienting mise en abyme effect that can be actually make the space feel recursive. Instead, try to follow up with a light colored backsplash on the other side, which will further help reflect light.

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights along the length of the galley can add area light and spacing, while the style of the fixtures can add character and elevate the space. Making good use of pendant lights in a galley kitchen can ensure that the whole place is well-lit. Mix with undermount lights for even more illumination.

Specialty Drawers

We have discussed drawers that function as refrigerators, freezers, trash compartments, warming trays and more; in a number of other articles on this website. Drawers such as these can allow you to (with enough storage space) forgo large and bulky refrigerators that can overwhelm a smaller galley kitchen space. Making effective use of these inventive storage options can allow you to save space by cutting back on traditional appliances.

Spread Out the Kitchen Triangle

The “Kitchen Triangle” refers to the paths you walk between the 3 most vital parts of the kitchen; the stove, fridge, and sink. Keeping some reasonable distance between the 3 will make the kitchen feel larger and allow for more than one person to operate in the kitchen effectively. Appliances should be evenly distributed throughout the length of the galley kitchen. It is also important to make it a triangle. Do not put all 3 on one side of the galley. A galley often works best with the stove and fridge on the same side; with the sink, and possibly a dishwasher, on the opposite side.

Invest in a Range Hood

Galley kitchens, especially those in more cramped living spaces can get very hot, very fast. Adding a range hood to your kitchen can help you minimize that heat buildup. Range hoods come in all sorts of sizes. Pick one that can effectively fit in the space while providing the proper ventilation.

To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.

Walk-In Baths

We have all heard of walk-in showers, but walk-in tubs? Walk-in bathtubs provide a safer way to enter a bathtub, and offer a built-in seat that allows for easy use and comfort. These special tubs are great for aging in place, or for upgrading your parent’s existing bathroom space. Walk-in tubs are also great for handicapped individuals.
Walk-in tubs feature a door similar to a car, with rubber and magnets to be watertight. These doors offer a low-entry point, which reduces the tripping hazards associated with a traditional tub. Most Walk-in tubs are about waist height, offering a sturdy platform for toiletries that is within reach. Many models feature handrails and even hydrotherapy jets.
Walk-in tubs take up less floor space than a traditional tub. The taller nature of this style of tub means that you will be more fully immersed in the water. There are also models that double as showers.
One of the few major downsides of the walk-in tubs is that you have to sit in the tub as it fills or drains. These tubs can take 8 to 15 minutes to fill; as opposed to a traditional tub that can take about 5-10 minutes to fill. Draining the water away will take about the same amount of time for both styles of tubs, but you do have to stay in a walk-in tub until the water drains out.
Traditional tubs can vary in size, but will use about 42-80 gallons of water per bath. Most models of walk-in tubs will fill up at about 50 gallons. This means that you can be using up less water per bath vs a bigger tub.
To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.

Kitchen Trends to Avoid When Selling Your Home

    There are a lot of different ways to design your kitchen space; to fit whatever style you like. But when selling your home, it is best to avoid funky options, or changes that can reduce the value of the space. This article will look at some common kitchen mistakes homeowners make that can actually ruin a home sale. Most potential buyers want a kitchen space that doesn’t require renovation as soon as they move in. 

Mixing Metals

    There are many different types of metal fixtures for a kitchen space; from stainless steel or brass, to copper or pewter. When upgrading your kitchen space, avoid mixing the metals used in the space. Mixed metals are often too eclectic for potential buyers. 

Fake Open Shelving

    Some homeowners will try to imitate open shelving by removing their cabinet doors. This is not a good idea. Cabinets with doors are not designed in the same way as open shelves. This often makes the space look cheaper. Additionally, If proper care is not put into the removal of the doors, the cabinets themselves can look damaged or shoddy. 

Fake Wood Cabinets

    Vinyl that looks like wood can be a fine choice for flooring in a kitchen, but wood vinyl should not be used for cabinetry. They often look cheap and can detract from the overall value of your kitchen. These “fake wood” materials can sometimes come with more maintenance and repairs than a sturdy wood cabinet. Vinyl can not support as much weight as wood. When it comes to your kitchen cabinets, invest in the best materials possible.

Multiple Colors with Appliances

    Appliance companies have been diversifying the colors they make models in for years. Now your kitchen can have a red oven, a blue dishwasher, and a yellow toaster. But it really shouldn’t. Much like mixing metals, it can be easy to go overboard with these color choices. It is often best to pick simple colors, like black, white, or stainless steel for these appliances. If you do want to add a pop of color in this way, do it with only one or two appliances; and make sure they are the same color. A lot of colors in the kitchen can seem random or chaotic; and can be a turn-off for buyers.

To discuss bathroom or kitchen remodeling options that would be best for your home please contact us at (718) 273-6233 or visit our showroom at 711 Port Richmond Ave., Staten Island, NY 10302.