03 | 20 | 2015
An Apron For Your Kitchen
Have you put any thought into what type of kitchen sink you want to install? Today there are many options to choose from.
In the Eighties, top mount sinks were about the only choice since most kitchens had laminate countertops. The Nineties brought out the Corian rage, everyone wanted a Corian countertop with an integral Corian sink for a seamless look. Another sink that began to take over the market was the under-mount stainless steel sink. The under-mount sink was possible with the new hard surfaces like Corian and the increase in granite countertop installations.
Today, the under-mount stainless steel sink is the leading choice for kitchens. Gaining popularity are the zero-radius sinks that have square corners instead of rounded corners. This style fits today’s contemporary kitchens and offer a more commercial look.
90 Degree Stainless Under-Mount Sink
Another style making a comeback is the apron front sink, also known as a farmer’s sink. These sinks are a favorite for traditional kitchens, especially here in New England. We really like the Kohler cast iron sinks with an enamel finish. They are as durable as they are beautiful. With popularity comes additional options! Kohler now has several styles to choose from in a variety of colors. Take a look at Kohler’s fun kitchen planner for some great ideas!
Kohler apron front sink
No matter what your style is, there’s a sink out there for you and we’d be happy to help you find it!
09 | 25 | 2014
Opening New Doors!
As the home building market heats up, we’ve established a new Builder Division with a dedicated professional design team to specifically cater to custom home builders. With over a decade of design, sales, and installation experience in the business-to-consumer market, we are renowned for competitive pricing and superior customer service – two very important aspects for a builder to consider when working with sub-contractors.
Custom home builders are often concerned about potential miscommunication between client and sub-contractor. Southcoast Kitchen Designs eliminates home builder fear and hesitation. We collaborate closely with both builder and client to develop an appropriate design that is within client budget and builder specifications. Communication is key, and everyone is kept in the loop every step along the way.
Southcoast Kitchen Designs works with a variety of materials suitable for every style and budget, ranging from granite, quartz and soapstone to solid surface and laminate countertops. We offer custom, semi-custom and stock cabinetry for the kitchen and bath.
In the planning stage of a custom home? We encourage you to visit the Plan Your Kitchen page of our website to view some of our cabinetry and counter design options.
Visit our showroom in Middleborough or give us call at 508-947-0585 to schedule a complimentary consultation. We look forward to meeting you.
Matt Arguin, Owner
Southcoast Kitchen Designs
08 | 29 | 2014
Case Study: North Dartmouth
In this home the client was looking to open up the space between the existing kitchen and the dining room. One of the concerns we had was how to handle the support for the load bearing wall. The goal was to tuck the beam up so the ceiling would transition smoothly from one room to the next. Based on the engineer we were able to find a suitable beam that would fit above the finished ceiling.
The client also had a few design requests to incorporate into the new kitchen. The first was a wall message center that would also hide the alarm keypad.
We also lengthened the island and added an open end book case. Underneath the book case is a hidden dog feeding station. This custom drawer opens up to allow pets to eat and drink, but can be closed to hide the bowls when entertaining.
The cabinetry is shaker style Cherry with a soapstone countertop. Some other items included in the remodel were a new garden window, microwave drawer in the island, stainless steel range hood, and a textured stainless steel backsplash.
We hope you enjoy this remodel as much as we enjoyed working on it!
07 | 30 | 2014
It’s Going To Take HOW Long?
Have you asked your kitchen designer how long it will take to complete your remodel?
With the recent uptick in new construction people are quickly finding out things will take longer than expected. The common theme amongst our circle of general contractors is that schedules are booked into November.
What does this mean for many homeowners? Well, if your planning to remodel your kitchen in Massachusetts for the holiday season you better get moving! It’s not to say you’re completely out of luck because some of our contractors can accommodate a simple remodel rather quickly. Major renovations however, will be more difficult to complete in a timely manner.
You should also keep in mind the time it will take you to decide on a kitchen layout, cabinet style, finish, and counter tops. Typically it takes about a month for most homeowners to make these decisions. From then you have anywhere between 1-6 weeks for the cabinets to be ready for delivery. That time greatly depends on the quality of cabinets you select. Stock cabinetry will be in the 1-2 week time frame while custom will be in the 5-6 week range.
All of these steps will determine when your remodeling project will be ready so start planning early!
For more information or to schedule a free consultation with a designer you may contact us at email@example.com
07 | 01 | 2014
Tech meets countertops
The countertop industry has finally caught up with technology!
Wouldn’t it be nice to place your cell phone and tablet on the countertop right next to your keys and then wake up the next morning with fully charged devices?
Well, now you can with a new LG HiMacs countertop! The LG HiMacs Tech Top will create a seamless wireless charging station that is invisible to all of your guests.
Take a look at the link for more information or stop by our showroom for more details!
06 | 01 | 2014
Are you planning a DIY kitchen remodel? For the handy homeowner it can save a lot of money. Following are some tips to help your DIY kitchen remodel move along smoothly.
The most important part of any project is proper planning. Many kitchen design showrooms offer free design services if you purchase cabinetry from them. Alternatively, there are some designers that will produce designs for a fee so that you may shop around for the best cabinet prices. Either way, it’s in your best interest to have a professional do the design since they know how to best utilize your space while avoiding pitfalls. Once the design is complete you will have printed plans and elevation views for the installation.
You should prepare the room for the new cabinets by removing the old cabinetry and repairing the walls. It’s also a good idea to put the first coat of paint before the cabinets go in to reduce the need to cut in around the new cabinets. We do not recommend doing any electrical, plumbing or extensive construction yourself unless you are properly trained and licensed to do so.
Once your cabinets arrive you should be sure they are all accounted. I typically separate the wall cabinets from the base cabinets. If you take them out of the boxes you should cut the label off of the box and keep it inside the cabinet. You will need the nomenclature on the tag to know where they belong in the plan.
Next you want to find the high spot on the floor. This is where you will mark a level line for the base cabinets (usually at 34 1/2″ from the floor, but can be 35″ with some cabinets). You should also mark out where the appliances belong.
Finding the level line for the wall cabinets can be tricky. You will need to take into account the height of tall cabinets if there are any. If so, that will be what decides where the top of the wall cabinets should end. If there are no tall cabinets limiting you the goal would be to have about 18″ of space between the bottom of the wall cabinets and the countertop. You will want to keep in mind the crown moulding if you’ve selected any. The height of the crown moulding will be important if you are placing crown right up to the ceiling. This is where you might want to raise or lower the wall cabinet level line to allow the crown to meet the ceiling.
Many people ask me if they should install the wall cabinets first or the base cabinets. It’s a personal decision as both have their advantage. Installing the wall cabinets first will be a bit easier because you won’t have to reach over the base cabinets to do so. However, if you are not careful the base cabinets and especially your appliances might not end up in line or in the right spot.
I prefer to install the base cabinets first. To do so I install any corner cabinets first, then the sink base cabinet if it is to be centered on a window or opening. From there you can install the remainder of the base cabinets. Tall cabinets should be installed along with the base cabinets.
By installing the base cabinets first you will be in great shape to locate the wall cabinets. Typically I will just place a plumb line from the base cabinets below to correctly place the wall cabinets that flank the stove & refrigerator. From there the rest of the wall cabinets should end up right where they need to be. One area to look out for would be the window(s). You will want to have equal space on each side of the opening so plan accordingly.
Once you have installed all of the cabinets you might find areas with spaces. These would be also be reflected in the plans if you’ve installed everything properly. You would eliminate these by using fillers. The goal is to have no fillers but sometimes it is unavoidable based on the space available.
The final touches would be any crown molding and the hardware. Installing crown molding is a bit of an art, but if you have a miter saw you can do it. A good trick is to place the molding upside down on the saw as it would be installed. Since it would not be flat on the saw you should clamp a wood stop down to prevent the molding from sliding down while cutting. If set properly you can make your cuts by just adjusting the miter to the degree needed. This will eliminate the need for a compound miter saw.
The information here should be a good baseline for you to feel comfortable installing cabinets, however, your designer will be your best resource. They will be able to answer any specific questions regarding your layout. Don’t be afraid to pick their brains and ask a lot of questions because it will benefit you both in the long run. Your designer will want your installation to go smoothly as well. They would rather see you get it right the first time than to have you come back in needing replacement cabinets or parts!
Feel free to contact us if you are interested in remodeling your own kitchen in Eastern Massachusetts or Rhode Island, we’d love to help!
04 | 24 | 2014
If you’re planning a kitchen remodel one of the decisions you will need to make is what countertop surface to select. There are many options out there for you to consider such as wood, laminate, solid surface, stone or quartz.
The leader by far right now is still natural granite. The second most popular choice is quartz, such as Silestone. Quartz countertops are man made using a combination of about 93% natural quartz and the remaining composition is a polymer to bind the quartz together to form a nonporous surface.
Today I want to talk about natural soapstone as a countertop surface. Soapstone has been a countertop choice for at least 100 years and likely longer. Soapstone has a softer feel than granite due to its high talc content. It’s also very durable and stain resistant. There’s no need to seal Soapstone and you need not worry about acidic food or cleaners. Lemons and tomatoes can etch the surface of granite but this isn’t the case with soapstone. That’s the reason soapstone has been the countertop preference in science labs. Soapstone is a softer material than granite so scratches will occur. This adds to the natural beauty of the tops but if it’s bothersome you can easily sand them away with fine sandpaper.
There are many varieties of soapstone. The base color is typically gray with veins of colors running through such as white, green, or blue. The color will be enhanced over time with everyday use however, you can speed up the process by treating the tops with food grade mineral oil. The mineral oil will create a deep charcoal gray base and will make the other colors pop.
Please feel free to contact us if you would like some more information to help you decide on the perfect surface!
03 | 01 | 2014
Full Access Cabinetry
Full access cabinetry, also called frameless cabinetry, has arrived at Southcoast Kitchen Designs!
I’m sure this will generate many questions for anyone out there planning a kitchen remodel. So today I will do my best to offer you the key points regarding our new offering. Let me start first with the different types of cabinet door configurations.
If you have a kitchen that was installed in the 80’s you probably have a standard overlay door. With this style the doors and drawer fronts sit against the wood frame (face frame) of the cabinet. The doors and fronts are smaller so the face frame is mostly visible as you look at the cabinets.
Another type of construction is the inset door. I’ve written a blog about a year ago discussing the inset style. With inset cabinetry the doors and drawer fronts are cut to fit within the openings of the face frame, instead of sitting against the face frame.
Next there is the full overlay door style. This type of cabinet has been the most popular in recent years, with inset running close behind. Full overlay means the doors and drawer fronts sit against the frame and they are large enough to cover just about all of the face frame. If this is the type of kitchen cabinetry you are interested in you’ll love full access cabinetry!
Similar to the full overlay style, full access cabinetry has door and drawer fronts that extend just about to the edges of the cabinet boxes. The concept of full access cabinetry has been around for many years. During the 90’s it was popular in office cabinetry. At that time the buzz word was European cabinetry. The reason it was popular in that setting is the same reason it is gaining ground in residential kitchen cabinetry today. By manufacturing a cabinet without the face frame you save the cost of the hardwood needed to create the frames. With the increasing costs in lumber this can result in a fair savings. For most people looking to remodel on a leaner budget the savings would be reason enough to consider a frameless cabinet. You might be surprised to hear the advantages do not stop there.
The term full access cabinetry describes the biggest functional advantage to a frameless cabinet. By eliminating the frame you have no interior width restrictions when using the shelves. A framed cabinet encroaches on the front opening of the box. Without the frame you have “full access”. In addition the drawer boxes can be made at wider widths since they have no frame to clear. On average your drawers will be 1 1/2″ wider than they would be on framed cabinets.
So if you’re looking to save some money on your kitchen remodel and you prefer a full overlay look, I’d imagine you’d find a way to use the space that comes with a full access cabinet!
If you would like to learn more about what we have to offer please visit the contact page where you can schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our talented designers!
01 | 05 | 2014
Ice Belongs Outside (or In Your Freezer)
It’s official, winter has arrived in full force here in New England! This morning it was 2 degrees in Boston, -8 in Plymouth, and a bone chilling -11 in Taunton!
I bet you noticed every draft in your home last night, and I’m sure there were some in the kitchen and bathrooms. Drafts are not only uncomfortable but they could lead to frozen pipes. These frozen pipes may thaw over the next couple of days leaving you with a burst pipe and water damage. Some signs of a frozen pipe would be a slow running faucet, a faucet that does not work at all, or ice surrounding a pipe in the cabinet or basement. If this has happened to you call a plumber right away. Leave the cabinet doors open to circulate the heat into the cabinet, run the faucet at a trickle if you are able to, and try to isolate the faucet by turning off the supply lines if possible. This will limit the water damage should the pipe burst. Do not attempt to thaw the pipes with a torch or heat gun because you may cause a fire that can go undetected in a wall.
If you just have a drafty kitchen or bathroom without the frozen pipes, there is still hope, especially if you are planning a kitchen or bathroom remodel. For instance, while the wall is open you can insulate or re-insulate the exterior walls. You can also insulate around the wiring and pipes. This is code now, but depending on the age of your home it may not have been done. Windows and doors are also drafty areas. Replacing the existing windows and doors with new energy efficient units will pay dividends later.
Perhaps your room simply requires more radiators or vents than it currently has. If you have room along the walls you could add more, however, if the space is tight you can always add a toe-kick heater. Alternatively, you could go with my favorite heat source, radiant floor heating. Using radiant floor heating with your hardwood or tile floor has a few advantages. First, you’ll have warm feet! Also, radiant floor heating is perfect if you want to free up some wall space by removing those long radiators you may have now. Not ready to make the switch now? That’s okay, you can plan ahead by adding the radiant floor tubing before installing a new floor. With the tubing in place it will be a breeze to connect later!
Would you like more ideas? Feel free to contact us anytime to discuss your options for a beautiful new and toasty warm kitchen.
12 | 13 | 2013
Tis the season!
The holiday season is in full swing and there’s nothing better than celebrating with your family in New England!
This is the time of year where we use our kitchens the most. We’re cooking and baking and there never seems to be enough room or appliances to do everything. Many homes in Massachusetts lack the space needed for today’s cook. It’s no surprise, since colonial New England homes only had pantry areas with the cooking being done in a fireplace or on a wood stove. We feel your pain so here are some thoughts on what you can do now to prepare for the perfect kitchen next holiday season!
Take good notes!
When you are cooking and baking you should see where the bottleneck is. Do you have enough counter space? Most cooks use the countertop between the sink and stove for preparation. Perhaps adding more space would do the trick, or maybe just free up some space by moving items to new locations, such as the toaster oven or microwave.
Is one oven not enough? Maybe a double oven would do the trick, or if you are a serious cook you may opt for three ovens. A warming drawer might be perfect to keep food prepared earlier in the day nice and warm for party time.
Where are your mixers, bowls, pots or pans? Do you have to walk all over the kitchen to find them? Are they stored away all year waiting for this moment? Keep track of items you use the most and also where in the kitchen you use them. This way they can be relocated when you decide to remodel. The correct placement of these items will make food preparations much more efficient.
It’s party time!
So everything is cooked, baked, and ready to go! Good for you! Where does it all go? Is your kitchen set up ideal for placing your buffet? Maybe a nice center island will help the flow, especially if you don’t have one now. Consider the flow of traffic around the kitchen. Do you have a peninsula that creates a tight walkway at the end? Switching to a center island set up would create a more natural flow for you and your guests!
With these notes you will see exactly what you like about your current kitchen and also what you don’t like. Everyone works around their kitchen differently so only you know what works and what doesn’t. Gathering all this information now will help your kitchen designer to see exactly what you need in a new kitchen layout.
We hope these tips are helpful. Please stay safe and enjoy the holidays with your family and friends!