Archive for the ‘Modern kitchen’ Category

Adding an Outdoor Kitchen

Today’s outdoor cooking arrangements are a far cry from the old days of a grill perched on the edge of a wooden deck. A modern outdoor kitchen can include all the amenities of an indoor kitchen, including the elegance.  There have been estimates that outdoor kitchens can add as much 130% of their cost to the purchase price. But the initial cost of outdoor kitchens varies from $3,000 on the low end to $100,000 or more, depending on the layout, design, quality and type of improvements.

Appliances and Accessories

You want to have the outdoor kitchen self-contained, with all the key elements of a kitchen.  The grill, the sink, storage units and the refrigerator, all need to be there.  In this way, the cook is no longer off by himself or herself. He or she is right there with the guests.  A searer on the side of the grill can be included to sear the meat at high temperatures before grilling to seal the juices in.  Weber, Lynx, Alfresco and Wolf are some of the top brands used by outdoor contractors and designers in Summit NJ.

Permits and Setbacks

You are going to want the outdoor kitchen as close to the house as possible, but the cooking units have to be at least three feet from the house.  You do not want to be running back and forth to the house for an outdoor kitchen that is a distance away.  Setting the unit closer to the home and to the pool area will encourage the family to use it more.  You are going to have a gas line that is underground if you use natural gas, and you need a licensed contractor to do that.  You will also need permits from Westchester including a building permit.  A licensed electrician should do the electrical work and a plumber will be needed if there is an outdoor sink.   Remember, you have to shut off the water and drain the pipes in the winter….. or they will freeze!

Setting the Scene

Outdoor Kitchen

Outdoor Kitchen

The entire unit, with all the appliances, usually is set into a straight or L-shaped countertop made of granite, often with a matte finish to reduce glare. Some people want tile, but water can get through the grout and destroy the countertop. You can also have concrete tinted a color to match the surroundings.  Under the countertop, you can put storage units. The surrounding area usually is done to look natural, or possibly to match the house.   Ledge rock is popular for under the countertop so it looks stacked, rather than like an indoor-fireplace rock finish. Kitchen designers recommended real stone rather than veneer, which can flake if it is power-washed


To use your outdoor kitchen in all weather, you can add a roof or a pergola.  The roof can be vinyl or fiberglass. Fiberglass comes in more colors today than in the past, when it was only white.  Another feature many customers like to add is a fire pit, to provide warmth on those Westchester chilly nights. This can take the shape of a built-in unit for the bar area, to add elegance.  Outdoor lighting sets the mood for night parties and adds accents. A stereo system can add music to the occasion, with the speakers hidden in fake rocks. An outdoor kitchen usually includes at least a modest dining area, which calls for a good-quality table and chairs. Choices have improved considerably since the days of the spindly metal, wooden or plastic patio set. Resin wicker is popular, because it does not require cushions like aluminum does. Some people do not want to run outside and take cushions in every time it rains. However, that high-grade aluminum still is popular.

Benefits of Kitchen Remodeling

There is no doubt that the kitchen is the busiest room in the house. Since it is an integral part of our family lives, it is important to keep it up to date and functioning properly, which means that periodically kitchen remodeling is in order. There can be many reasons behind taking on this type of home remodeling project. Perhaps the area just needs to be updated, storage capacity increased or simply reorganized to make preparing food a simpler process. No matter what the reason behind the kitchen remodeling project, there can be many benefits to completing it. Here are just a few of the benefits. Continue reading

When to Remodel Your Kitchen

When considering home remodeling, perhaps one of the most difficult things to know is when to remodel the kitchen. It’s easy to see all the cosmetic reasons to hire a contractor. But there can be some other reasons that one might consider a total redo.

If you keep finding that you just don’t have the workspace for common projects, then it may be time for a more modern kitchen design that will maximize space. It may just take a repositioning of an appliance or two to give enough added countertop and cabinet space to be beneficial. The shape of the counter or counter tops may need to be redesigned to offer more available work space.

For those who enjoy entertaining guests or have more than one residential chef, there may need to be an increase of space in the main work areas of the kitchen. This allows for some socialization while preparing and consuming a meal. More hands make the load lighter too, and cooking can become a family affair if there is enough space for more than one in the kitchen.

There are plenty of options to explore if you want to redesign the kitchen area if entertainment is part of your routine. A kitchen redo can be combined with other types of home remodeling. Taking out a partition can serve two purposes. It can open up space between the kitchen area and another room. Depending on floor designs it may also be possible to create a half wall which can also double as a small counter top for actions such as additional serving space.

Kitchen lighting can be an ongoing problem that may be solved with a cabinet redesign. Adding a light fixture may be all that is needed. But if kitchen space is being increased and work areas maximized you may want to consider a total makeover of the kitchen lighting system as well. Adding a fixture over the sink or island work area can make a lot of difference in how enjoyable cooking can be.
These are just a sample of the reasons that may be indicators that it is time for a kitchen redo.