Kitchen Remodeling:
A Go-To Guide


Of every room in the home, it seems the kitchen has evolved the most.

Once relegated to merely food preparation and cleanup, kitchens have become centralized meeting areas, places to hang out and watch television, and creativity labs for the chef in everyone. It’s not unusual to walk into a home with comfy, relaxed seating that’s close to a digitally enhanced refrigerator, deluxe coffee bar featuring the latest gadgets, or a gas range with intricately designed hammered copper.

And it’s all because of home life changes. More than ever, homeowners turn to the kitchen for more than a snack; they want a haven from the hubbub that feels like paradise.

Unless the kitchen you’re looking at has undergone a recent upgrade, it’s more than likely in need of a pick-me-up — pronto. How else can a family truly maximize a kitchen area than to have it function exactly as needed for their crazy schedules?

ProSource Wholesale® has pooled its expertise and scoured the latest kitchen trends to present what’s hot, what’s not, and what’s necessary. If you’ve been looking for a one-stop guidebook to plan a kitchen oasis, you’ll feel right at home as you learn what needs to be done to boost a kitchen’s social status.

 



ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - serving up a smarter kitchen

 

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Eating Up the Latest Kitchen Interior Design Trends

It’s no secret that boxy, hide-in-the-corner kitchens — although still available in historic homes — are no longer status quo. Instead, people want kitchens to be front and center. Consequently, nearly half of homeowners who renovate kitchens opt to bump them out, at least a little; 59 percent simply knock down walls to expose the kitchen to the living room, dining area, den, and other rooms in the home.

By opening kitchens, your clients can make entertaining and socializing easier. Rather than being hidden from sight, the dinner party host can mix and mingle with guests and family while mixing and mingling ingredients. Similarly, family members can reconnect after busy days or sit back and relax at a beautifully crafted kitchen island rather than standing awkwardly in an uncomfortable, messy galley kitchen.

 

Aside from getting bigger, kitchens are improving their smarts. Sure, cell phones aren’t always acceptable during meals, but busy bakers want handy places to store and charge devices. In addition, many cooks appreciate voice-activated controls and touch-free appliances. What isn’t cooler or more convenient for on-the-go families than upscale refrigerators able to send messages about grocery needs?

Keep in mind, though, that the trend in kitchens isn’t to construct a place of jumbled high-tech products; it’s to focus on a place that matches the homeowner’s design taste while remaining efficient.



ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - latest kitchen interior design trends



 
ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - latest kitchen design trends

Let’s move right on down the list of kitchen improvement must-haves and talk organization. How important is organization? One Houzz poll revealed three-quarters of homeowners demanded kitchens with uncluttered countertops. Of course, achieving that goal means storage for equipment and utensils. Yet far too many kitchen renovators lament later that they underestimated their need for deep, wide drawers, base trash cabinets, accessible pullouts, corner cabinetry, and integrated lighting.

That’s one of the biggest reasons contractors and interior designers often start approaching a kitchen facelift by talking about cabinet selection. In fact, we’ll dive into the nuances of kitchen cabinets now, because they’re such a focal point of kitchen design trends.


Opening the Door on Kitchen Cabinetry

Choosing the right kitchen cabinetry is critical to the overall success of any kitchen remodel; therefore, more than one option should be considered before making a final decision.

If your clients are feeling overwhelmed by the thought of looking through page after page of cabinets, you can help them narrow the search by determining the desired mood and style.

Cabinetry can bring out a kitchen’s perfect ambiance. If weathered wood or a farmhouse style appeals to your client, you’ll likely lean toward kitchen cabinets that have a neutral, simple appeal. These include crisp colors like gray or slate blue, often as inset styles. On the other hand, those who prefer streamlined, modern spaces often opt for the uncluttered look of unadorned — but still attractive and pristine — cabinets, like those designed with straight lines and panel-faced doors.



ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - opening the door on kitchen cabinetry



 
ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - kitchen cabinetry

Cabinets that are overwhelmingly ornate or feature over-the-top hardware aren’t necessarily the most eye-catching. Even a classic kitchen cabinet with elegant straight lines and only a touch of ornamentation can hold its own.

ProSource offers unique insights into cabinet hardware, so whether you’re selecting the best option for a client (or your client is selecting the best option for her home), know that several hardware types exist. These include select pull bars, knobs, hooks and pendants, and more. Discern the feel of a homeowner’s kitchen, and then select cabinet hardware accordingly.

 


Cutting Through Cabinet Color Hype

After settling on one (or a handful) of kitchen style and cabinet preferences, it’s time to move to color selection. Although it’s rather commonplace to see neutral kitchen cabinets in white, eggshell, or gray, you may be surprised to learn many of your clients could balk at the thought of neutral shades’ potential blandness.

For instance, people living in their “forever” homes, unworried about resale, may go for pizzazz instead of understatement. Those types of homeowners tend to gravitate toward cabinets in colorful hues, including greens, blues, and even reds. Certainly, kitchen cabinets presenting strong color palettes are the exception rather than the rule, but they can be pulled off if the shade works with the rest of the room’s decor.

 

What happens if you’re looking for a color that falls between neutral or intense? The best bet may be to opt for wood cabinets in a variety of hardwood choices and finishes. Indeed, wood — especially dark wood — has cycled back as a highly desired feature in cabinetry. When combined with light hardwood flooring, dark cabinets can make a memorable statement.

If you’re looking for a cabinet color compromise between the look of traditional wood and a bold color, aim for a stain or finish that adds a dash of unexpected tone to wood surfaces. Some decorators suggest blue-gray wood cabinet finishes that bring out the kitchen’s beauty without overpowering design elements, like a unique mosaic backsplash. The blue is subtle enough to appeal to clients reticent to renovate with bold hues. At the same time, it enables decorating choices because blue can complement a variety of palettes.



ProSource Wholesale flooring options go to guide - cabinet color hype



 
ProSource Wholesale flooring options go to guide - cabinet color

As with any decision in home decorating and remodeling, bring samples into the kitchen and see how they look in the space. Ask yourself whether the finishes will work with the adjoining rooms. Test all colors in a multitude of lighting, from natural to artificial, and at different times of day. Also, consider physical and visual texture when choosing cabinetry; this element is often missing in kitchen do-overs, which can lead to dull, flat results. Your objective should always be to create multiple focal points to provide balance and depth to the kitchen.

What if a decision can’t be made between two kitchen cabinet finishes or styles? You might be able to make both work in the space depending on how complementary they are. No hard and fast rule exists that upper and lower cabinets have to match. Use your imagination and expand your thinking to design a kitchen that will be loved for its looks and functionality.


Mixing in the Ideal Kitchen Countertop

The kitchen countertop is without a doubt one of the most hardworking surfaces in a house. Aside from floors, what other location is constantly being put under a variety of conditions? Everyone has dropped a knife, spilled a glass of wine, or accidently laid a hot pan on a countertop. And countertops have to be able to hold up year after year while keeping their cool.

Obviously, every kitchen is different, so countertop requirements vary wildly from one house to the next. For homeowners who rarely cook or entertain, a kitchen’s toughness may not necessarily be a concern. On the other hand, if the kitchen has a steady flow of hungry, chatty people day and night, it’s a must to consider the right countertop material for that busy world.



ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - mixing in the ideal ideal kitchen countertop



 
ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - ideal kitchen countertop

Picking a kitchen countertop material boils down to finding the surface that will work under the expected conditions and will fit into the overall room theme. For instance, a dramatic marble countertop might not look the part in a kitchen surrounded by rooms devoted to Victorian ornamentation. And a countertop featuring a glossy, energetic color will stand out for all the wrong reasons in a kitchen that’s part of a muted, serene household.

Essentially, every type of countertop, from granite to quartz, has distinctive qualities that makes it ideal for some kitchen projects. The goal is to pick the right surface for a phenomenally successful facelift.

 


Feeding Your Kitchen Design Style With Countertop Choices

Graced with natural beauty, marble countertop slabs offer neutral tones offset by one-of-a-kind veining. Although marble is an expensive choice, it’s long-lasting if well cared for by a client willing to coddle its porous surface. Additionally, marble countertops can be brushed, polished, edged, and etched to order, making them highly versatile.

Like marble, granite is a natural, porous surface that comes from the earth. However, it has superior scratch and heat resistance compared to marble. Consequently, if you’re looking for a robust countertop that comes in more than a few patterns and colors, you might be better off leaning toward granite. Keep in mind: Granite will require sealing and special cleaning to avoid problems like cracking or staining.

Veering away from marble or granite, but want a surface that’s not entirely manmade? Consider quartz or cultured marble. Both can be a bit easier on the budget while still providing the overall desired feel.

 

What makes quartz so attractive? First, it’s nonporous, which adds to its durability and scratch resistance. Constructed of nearly 90 percent natural materials, quartz brings the outdoors into the home with a little help from manufacturers. You’re getting a product that’s been tempered, increasing its impact resistance and easy maintenance. Additionally, quartz comes in many colors, including some that certainly aren’t found in nature.

A specific contender for kitchen countertops constructed of quartz is Silestone, a favorite among the ProSource Wholesale community. In fact, part of the Silestone product line includes bacteriostatic protection to prevent bacteria from living and breeding on countertop surfaces. Sold in a wide range of textures and hues, Silestone offers all the eat-and-go effortlessness of other countertop options while remaining trendy. To make a strong statement in a kitchen, check out the Silestone colors on the market. (Yes, even retro pink exists for a mid-century modern flair.)



ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - feeding your kitchen design style with countertop choices



 
ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - countertop choices

Similar to quartz, cultured marble is about 82 percent natural materials mixed with resins. Cultured marble is most often spotted in bathrooms, a space that benefits from its elegance and customizable nature. The biggest downside to cultured marble is that it’s not as strong as a complete marble slab. Still, that shouldn’t turn you away from considering it as a viable alternative to marble if the budget is limited.

In the world of manmade kitchen countertop options, Corian and laminate take top honors. Constructed from acrylic, Corian comes in an array of patterns, textures, and colors. It’s difficult to mar under normal wear and tear, and it cleans up with a few wipes of soapy water. If, by chance, a Corian countertop is scratched, the small area can usually be repaired without having to replace the whole countertop section.

Laminate is enjoying a bit of a return to the trending kitchen countertop scene. Why? Many manufacturers offer laminate made from recycled materials. Not only does this appeal to consumers who want eco-friendlier choices, but it also promises less future waste. Like laminate floors, laminate countertops clean up well without extra scrubbing. However, caution should be given to dropping sharp objects on laminate: It cannot be repaired, so a cutting board should be used when slicing and dicing.

 

Putting the Lid on the Colored Countertop Debate

Though we’ve already discussed color possibilities for a renovated kitchen’s countertops, it’s worth a bit of added discussion. Many clients aren’t aware that they can make a strong statement with countertop materials. At the same time, not all color selections are right for all homes.

How do you discern what color fits the bill? Determine the end objective for the kitchen makeover: Is the goal to sell the property and feature the updated kitchen space to attract more buyers or snag higher bids? In that case, it’s best to adhere to timeless trends. Sure, it might be less appealing to think of cherry cabinets with a beige countertop and oak hardwood flooring, but that doesn’t matter if a move is imminent.



ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - putting the lid on the colored countertop debate

 



 
ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - colored countertop

Of course, if the plan is to stay in the house as long as possible, you can be a bit whimsical with countertop color choices. Perhaps black seems like the perfect contrast to those Cape Cod cottage–reminiscent white wooden cabinets and matching appliances. Or maybe you want a marbled gray countertop surface to pick up the gray-blue hues of a weathered cabinet.

At the end of the day, the color of kitchen countertops should always get you closer to whatever drove the desire to remodel the kitchen in the first place.

 

 

Spicing Up a Kitchen Facelift With a Pantry

It could be assumed that a pantry is a luxury meant for only certain types of kitchen spaces, but that’s not quite accurate. Many homebuyers and renters love the idea of a pantry so much, they’re willing to pay more for a house or apartment that has one. Sure, it’s going to take up square footage, but it’s a practical resource that can make life less complicated (and some of the ordinary day-to-day drudgery disappear).

The first consideration in adding a pantry? Deciding where it will go. Even cozy kitchens can sometimes accommodate limited pantries thanks to creative interior designers. You might even be able to put a pantry in an adjoining space, such as a mudroom or four-seasons room. In general, the pantry space should be easy to access (no crawl space pantries, please) and offer a reliable layout that works for every family member’s needs.

How can you make sure the pantry encourages worry-free storage? Figure out what will be stored there. Generally speaking, most bakers and cooks use their pantries for canned goods, cleaning supplies, occasionally used small appliances, seasonal cutlery, and boxed food products. Map out these needs precisely to determine how best to maximize the pantry real estate. The last thing you want is a pantry that’s just a big box or rectangle without any useful shelving, hooks, or organizational elements.

Although the pantry doesn’t have to mimic the style of the rest of the kitchen, it probably should if it has a glass door or is without a door at all. Remember: Any flooring for the kitchen design should seamlessly connect with the pantry, even if the pantry flooring isn’t made from the same material. Similarly, any pantry elements that people can clearly see — doors, cabinets, cabinet hardware, moldings, painted walls, countertop surfaces — should align with the overall design concept of the kitchen.



ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - spicing up a kitchen facelift with a pantry

 


 
ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - pantry

Worried about overlooking something when creating the pantry? Avoid problems by being proactive.

Create a schematic of the intended pantry layout. Mix storage types and offer them from floor to ceiling. Even if you don’t think there’s a need for tons of shelves today, don’t underestimate the opportunity to add more items later. Also, think about shorter family members, like kids. Their snacks, utensils, and paper products need to be at eye level if at all possible; therefore, don’t hesitate to add a children’s shelf toward the bottom of the pantry.

Done correctly and thoughtfully, a kitchen pantry redesign can serve as a huge relief for your clients. Plus, it can help reduce food waste by making a spot for perishables so they aren’t forgotten before they expire. When handled expertly, a pantry could just pay for itself over time, not only in resale value, but also in the money saved on groceries. 


Adding Taste to a Small Kitchen

Though it would be fantastic if all builders, contractors, designers, or remodelers had unlimited kitchen space to work with, it’s not always possible. Sometimes, kitchens are small and nothing can be done about it. Instead of wringing your hands, consider it a challenge to be met with clever design tricks. A cramped kitchen can be turned into one that seems airy, charming, or downright contemporary.

Begin by focusing your attention on lighting. Light always makes spaces seem bigger than they actually are, so make that fact work in your favor. A skylight, greenhouse window, or bumped-out bay window instantly changes the lighting in a kitchen and destroys dark spots. Augment natural light with other ambient light from above, then punctuate certain areas with task lighting. For instance, you may want to install pendant lights in eating areas or add under-cabinet lighting.

In addition to utilizing the power of light, put color to work.

 

Everything seen in a small kitchen space has a hue, so be certain they all work together. Although lighter colors will naturally make the kitchen seem bigger, consider adding a dash of darker, bolder tones for contrast and complement. A great way to do this would be with a quartz countertop speckled with deep blue, dark gray, or golden flecks. Not only will it add character to the kitchen, but it also can make the area above the countertop seem taller if darker shades are used below the countertop and lighter are used above.

Obviously, the fewer items in a small kitchen, the larger it will appear. Therefore, get creative with storage. There should be nothing on shelves or countertops except absolute necessities. To help achieve an illusion of height, pick tall cabinets over short, squat varieties. They’ll provide more “hiding places” for kitchen appliances and utensils while extending the floor-to-ceiling ambiance of the kitchen.



ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - adding taste to a small kitchen



 
ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide - small kitchen

In terms of appliances, choose high-efficiency models that are meant for smaller kitchens. They may cost a little more than normal-sized appliances, but they won’t stick out. Try to double up when possible, like having a microwave with a built-in range hood over the stove top.

Above all else, keep clutter to a minimum. Even hiding a garbage can under the sink makes the space less busy. You might even be able to add a small-scale counter-topped rolling cart if you discover that, without all the stuff, the kitchen is roomier than you thought. And don’t rule out flooring for a small kitchen remodel: The right hardwood, tile, or luxury vinyl can bring out the elegance of any space, regardless of size. Consider pattern and plank size for a client’s small kitchen, too, as you navigate their dream space.


For storage purposes, the best cabinet storage features include drawers that are both deep and wide, accessibility-boosting pullouts and roll trays, corner cabinets, cutlery drawers, and pantry cabinets. Keurig owners also revel in drawers to house their K-Cups.

Don’t get frustrated by a small kitchen. Just because it’s petite doesn’t mean it can’t have sophistication and charm

Serving Up a Smarter Kitchen

With so much talk about the Internet of Things and smart design, you may assume there are some pretty cool choices when it comes to digital additions to a kitchen — and there are.

Many manufacturers are exploring futuristic ways to innovate kitchen equipment and make everyday living more convenient. Take the SensioPod: This charging column is literally embedded into a countertop. Touch it slightly, and it surfaces so a tablet can be charged or a juicer can be plugged in. When finished, you can send it back to its hiding spot until you need it again.

Faucets have also joined the smart revolution, including touchless faucets with sensors. Just wave anything in front of the sensor, and you’ll be greeted with a stream of water. In addition to reducing the number of smears and fingerprints, faucets in this arena will help cut down on the spread of germs and bacteria. Along the same lines, Decora and Omega offer automatic cabinets that work by pushing on the door corner. This ends the struggle of fumbling for a knob or handle with full hands.

Finally, why not help your clients try to reduce utility bills by installing a tile or stone floor with radiant heat? Studies from ASHRAE (formerly known as the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) indicate that people who walk on radiant floors don’t need the ambient temperature to be too high. In other words, turn up the floor heat and turn down the thermostat for real savings for your clients.

Without a doubt, the opportunities to transform any kitchen space are endless. To start re-envisioning a kitchen area, stop by your local ProSource Wholesale showroom. There, you’ll find smart innovations, classic countertops, appealing cabinets, trending flooring, and an abundance of resources to turn a kitchen into a stylish space.

ProSource Wholesale kitchen remodeling go to guide checklist