Experts' Guide To Remodeling
● By Aimee Cormier
By Jessica Andrus • Submitted Photos
Whether you are remodeling your home to put on the market or you are trying to put some new life in your space, the kitchen and bathroom are the most valuable rooms and it is imperative they are in great shape.
“The two areas that typically increase the value of one’s home and what always pops out are the kitchen and the master bathroom,” states Mike Andrus, co-owner of Ronnie’s Flooring, located at 715 S. Lewis St.
Kitchens: A Place of Comfort and Warmth
When remodeling their homes, people are looking for new styles and are searching for increased functionality and accessibility. The kitchen is often the first area of focus because it’s a mutual, open space where friends and family meet. Considering the kitchen is a room used daily, try making it a space of comfort and warmth.
One popular design to implement is the use of pull out cabinets and drawers to add functionality and storage space. If you are looking for more open storage space, instead of building a boxed-in pantry, try using chef’s shelves. The tall structure gives you enough room and by including baskets, you can store dry goods, like flour and sugar. Follow the advice of Andree’ McAnally of Queen City Cabinetry & Interiors who says, “Maximize your kitchen storage with clever multi-tired drawers, pantry pullouts, pot and pan rollouts, and functional storage organizational features.”
Byron Pellerin is the owner of Byron’s Cabinets, located at 5816 E. Admiral Doyle Drive in Jearnerette. Pellerin, who has been in business for 22 years, specializes in custom cabinets and countertops, states that for those starting out in renovations it is easier to begin with the basic cabinet and customize them when possible. “We start off with a basic cabinet so we can go from there and add whatever they want. Then if they want roll outs, we can just add to the cabinets and make sure we get their budget where they need it,” explains Pellerin.
For visual appeal, Pellerin details how renovators can decide between dark or light stains and gel finishes for their cabinets. You can also consider different hues on them. Where common designs have favored light or dark wood and white cabinets, up-and-coming designs include painting your cabinets gray, which is reigning supreme as the new neutral. “Gray is the new white,” McAnally confirms. “Pairing soft gray cabinets with richly stained wood is a trendy look that is holding strong.”
Another part of your renovations is your countertops. Pellerin explains that for first-time renovators or those experienced at it looking for a more cost effective alternative to use Formica instead of granite.
McAnally, who specializes in residential remodels, stresses the fact that today’s imitation granite is a far cry from the cringe-worthy countertops of the past. “Countertops continue to define a kitchen’s style, but they don’t have to be a budget buster,” she explains. “Today’s granite look-alike laminates are unlike previous laminate countertops, featuring more realistic stone patterns, textures and rounded edges for a high-end granite look at a fraction of the price.”
When it comes to paint colors, you can have your pick of a bright or muted color scheme. Consider your fixtures to ensure that they are cohesive with your new color palette. Neutral colors go well with white sinks and other light colors. If you opt for brighter colors, try using stainless steel for your fixtures.
Backsplashes are an excellent and useful addition that will amplify your kitchen décor.
This innovative decorating idea creates a focal point in the kitchen and is primarily installed over your sink or stove to protect walls from the inevitable splashes from water and cooking. You can use essentially any material for backsplashes—tile, glass, metal, stone, wood, even chalkboard paint if you are feeling a bit artsy.
If you are considering tile work, try incorporating varying sizes and patterns, like the trending herringbone and geometric patterns. Even mixing colors and textures, like marble and steel, can bring a new style to your space.
Finally, as you wrap up kitchen renovations, it is important to consider what kind of appliances you will incorporate. Refrigerators, stoves, ovens and dishwashers are always changing in function and style so it is essential to find what works best for your family. Now, appliances have integrated technology into their functionality.
“I am seeing in a few brands that are staring to incorporate the use of cell phones to control your appliances,” states Richard Pellerin, owner of Appliances, located at 1331 E. St. Peter St. “There are different things you can control within the house, wherever you are. That’s the kind of new technology we’re seeing in appliances.”
Bathrooms: Your Own Personal Oasis
Finally, your bathroom. When remodeling this room, do not think of it as a place you sleepily wander into to shower and brush your teeth. Let your imagination go wild and you can turn this communal space into your own personal oasis.
“Lots of people are still spending their money on upgrading their bathrooms,” states Andrus, who has been in business with his wife Mary Ellen at Ronnie’s Flooring for 13 years. “They want that spa look,” continues Andrus. “They want a retreat they can go in. We get people that come in and say, ‘I was at such and such hotel and the bathroom was really nice. That’s what I want.’ So, we create something for them that lets them feel like they’re somewhere else, on vacation.”
Start off considering your bathroom’s motif. You can make your space classic and crisp with white walls and neutral and flowy complements in your appliances and decorations. If artistic and bohemian is your preference, consider bright walls or intricate wallpaper with earthy decorations.
If you want to add a softer touch to your bathroom, try adding soft fabrics, like cotton and linen. Even upholstered pieces like a small vanity stool can add character. Try incorporating a bit of Mother Nature in there, too, by including flowers. If you are looking for a clean and refreshing feel, think white tulips, making the greenery pop against the light-colored walls. If your style is more artsy and playful, think daisies.
When it comes to sinks and vanities, whatever your style preferences, there is a design for you. If you are into a more modern and up-to-date style, try considering a vessel sink. The more traditional would be a white or dark stained sink, maybe adding a rustic feel to your faucet. As with the kitchen, white goes well with neutral and muted wall colors where darker steel tints go well with bright colors.
Shower & Bath
Andrus explained in the last 10 years, there has been a huge increase in decorative showers. He explained that instead of using the standard ceramic tile, creating decorative mosaics with glass or natural stone is a great option.
“The things that have changed a lot is the larger format tiles, like 12X24 and 6X36 and putting them vertically instead of horizontally,” stated Andrus. “It’s getting people outside of that little box of, ‘I grew up with this little, blue 4X4 tile. So what else is out there?’”
Wood tiling is also a valid shower option. Using light or dark brown, or even gray tiles in a vertical subway design can add new definition to your shower.
Andrus states the sizes of showers are getting bigger, whether a need for more open space or a need of safety. “People want them more accessible,” explains Andrus. “A huge portion of our business is working with people who are getting older and they’re trying to look to the future.”
Andrus’ advice to first-time remodelers would be to talk to people who have gone through the process and not to trust everyone who says they are capable of doing the job. Take the time to research professionals and get reviews of their work.
“A bathroom renovation can be very expensive,” states Andrus. “It can cost you anywhere between $12,000 - 25,000 for a complete bathroom renovation so when you’re spending that kind of money, you need to think, ‘Am I spending it wisely?’”
With spring here, use this piece as your guide to new, fresh and exciting ways to rejuvenate and revive your kitchen and bathrooms.