Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Mind Games Make This Kitchen Grow

How many room-enlarging tricks can you see?
Once in a while, things just need to be freshened up. That’s exactly what these Perico Bay Club owners thought after living 13 years with the kitchen they inherited from the previous owner. No big remodeling project - just some practical tweaks and a cosmetic shift to match the taste and style they are drawn to. A big concern was the tiny feel of the condo kitchen – it needed to grow, but there was no real room to increase the space.

The 'before' shot #1
The dated 90’s-era cabinets were out, replaced with a warmer, more contemporary look that suited these full-time residents. In a compact kitchen, a lot of planning needs to go into the storage capabilities. Tweaking the sink configuration allowed for accessible storage in the corner, and deep drawers now accommodate pots and pans for easy retrieval.

The 'before' shot #2
Incorporating half of the existing laundry closet into the kitchen was the only real space we added. Their stacked laundry unit allowed us to simply reframe the existing closet and move the pantry storage into the kitchen proper.

Believe it or not, there are visual tricks when it comes to small spaces – take a look at the new slide-in range. Eliminating the bulky controls of the old model lightens up the cooking area and gives the appearance of more space. Black Whirlpool appliances (courtesy of Rice’s Appliances) nod more in the contemporary direction, even though one might think white appliances would make the space feel lighter.

Keeping the horizontal surfaces as light as possible will fool the eye into seeing a larger room. Luckily, we had a great tile floor that accomplished that illusion quite nicely. In turn, the lighter floor allowed the homeowner to add some warmth and dimension in her other finish choices. You can always afford to do darker finishes on the vertical surfaces of a small space, as long you keep the horizontal surfaces light.

Adding some height to the upper cabinets not only increased the usable storage space even further, but it accomplished another visual trick: pushing the ceiling farther away. Cabinetry taken to the ceiling gives the feel of a higher ceiling because your eyes will always stop at the top of the cabinets. If there’s space between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling, your brain registers that void as a lower ceiling. Taller cabinets = higher ceiling. Simple.

And how do you make the fridge seem smaller? By making the things around it bigger, of course. Creating a refrigerator alcove in matching cabinetry reduces the perceived mass of the appliance and adds needed storage space at the same time. Perfect: real and perceived benefits at the same time.

So the next time someone tells you that mind games aren’t a good thing, you’ll know better. You just need the right games.
The three S's: Style, Size, and Storage

Monday, March 5, 2012

Spa Treatment

Escape the pressures of the world
Work, kids, traffic, deadlines, in-laws, hassles. No matter what form it takes for you, everyone gets stressed out. If you’re like me, it happens a little too often. Vacations are great stress relievers, but with so much responsibility, how do you find the time to get away often enough?

Contemporary Getaway
The best solution is to create a private oasis just a few steps from your own bedroom. A soaking tub, relaxing music, soft lighting, and tranquil surroundings can work wonders on your mood in just a few minutes. The best part is you don’t have to make reservations! That was the motivation behind StarMark’s new line of Spa Vanities.

Country Retreat
No matter your tastes, you can customize this new line of vanities to suit your personal style. Elegant to Comfy; Urban to Traditional; the choices are yours. StarMark’s full line of doorstyles is at your disposal. Eleven different leg shapes empowers your individuality. And if you just can’t find what you are looking for in StarMark’s 600+ standard finishes, they are more than happy to finish your new spa vanity in any custom color you wish.

Fresh Aire
 And what’s a spa renovation without a little financial stress-reliever? Right now (and for a limited time), you can order StarMark’s line of Spa Vanities for 20% OFF their regular price! (Believe me, 20% OFF doesn’t come around often in the kitchen & bath business).

So start on the path to your own relaxing retreat. Call or e-mail us today. Peace and serenity awaits.