Royal Oak, Michigan, is a small town with the heart of a big city, and it has been ranked as one of the best places to live in Michigan. It’s just a short drive to anywhere in metro Detroit, and homes in family-friendly neighborhoods are affordable and well maintained. Many young professionals are flocking to the older homes with character close to the heart of Royal Oak. Their homes, while charming, may need kitchen updates to bring them up-to-date with modern amenities.
Many kitchens have drawers that are so stuffed full that they sometimes have to be coaxed open (like when the tongs get wedged in the back) and cabinet doors that have to be opened slowly so they don’t spill out all their contents. When it gets to the point that getting rid of that extra garlic press or apple corer isn’t enough, and a simple reorganizing fails to provide adequate space, it’s time to consider a kitchen remodel.
Storage: The Holy Grail of Kitchens
One of the top reasons homeowners remodel is to gain more usable storage space. With the addition of some clever new cabinetry systems utilizing drawers, pull-out shelving, and lazy Susans, their kitchens can be transformed. A new kitchen pantry is high on many remodeling lists because it offers a lot of room for odd-sized items—including food, small appliances, and even vacuums—and the door can be closed to hide an area that may look disorganized. At the same time, other issues in an older kitchen, such as cracked or discolored countertops, can also be addressed.
Kitchen Design and Layout
Many times, the old layout of the kitchen needs to be altered to achieve maximum functionality. While the greatest expense comes with moving utilities, such as water, gas, and electricity, designers can sometimes retain the utilities and still modify the footprint of the kitchen.
Kitchens with large islands remain the most popular layout, but there may not always be adequate room. Because of its location in the center of the kitchen, an island is a great place to install prominent decorative lighting that can also serve as task lighting. However, beware of a common mistake—some homeowners think bigger is better, only to realize their new kitchen island is so large they can’t reach far enough across it to clean the entire surface.
One popular alternative is an L-shaped kitchen with a breakfast bar for stools under the counter. It combines the benefit of extra counter space with the space-saving aspects of a continuous countertop. Accent pendant lighting can also be placed over the L-shaped counter to further highlight the area.
When selecting new cabinetry for a kitchen, smart consumers look to a trusted contractor for advice. Brands like KraftMaid, Wellborn, and UltraCraft are leaders in the industry and are preferred by top remodelers. These brands, while perhaps not widely known in the consumer marketplace, have been leaders and innovators for years. They are committed to quality and stand behind their work. They can noticeably increase the storage space and greatly improve its functionality. Some cabinet manufacturers are such true artisans that they own their own lumberyards for processing only the finest pieces of wood.
A handmade custom cabinet is truly a thing of beauty. Add in hidden soft-close hinges, rollout shelves, and glistening new hardware, and the kitchen is ready for entertaining. Other popular options that customize a kitchen include rollout spice shelves, mixer storage cabinets, drawer peg systems, knife block drawers with removable cutting boards, and even built-in cabinet step stools.
Disappearing Dog Hair
Got dogs? One innovative option is a built-in, under-the-cabinet toe-kick vacuum system that sucks up dog hair or spilled cereal. Simply sweep the debris into the vacuum, and it disappears! The vacuum is even equipped with a dust bag that can be easily emptied and replaced.
Large deep drawers are great places to store pots, pans, baking dishes, and even everyday place settings. Top kitchen designers have stated that kitchen drawers are often one of the favorite parts of a remodel. Modern drawer accessories include moveable dividers, spice drawer inserts, compartmentalized dividers, and silverware storage organizers.
New countertops are one of the most important of all kitchen remodeling decisions. The choices are virtually endless, and materials range from granite, quartz, Marbelite, laminate, Corian, and more. Each has its own unique characteristics, pros, and cons. For example, realtors report that granite is one of the most desired upgrades buyers look for. Granite is an all-natural material that is extremely hard and heat resistant. Although some consumers fear the words “regular maintenance,” the truth is that it takes just ten minutes once a year to re-seal the granite surface. It’s a simple, inexpensive, and easy way to retain the waterproofing properties of the stone.
Quartz—An Eco-Friendly Choice
One eco-friendly countertop choice is quartz, which is a manmade material (polymer resin mixed with natural quartz crystals) and can be made in a virtually unlimited array of colors and designs. Leading quartz manufacturers include Zodiaq, Silestone, Four Elements, and Aurea. Although quartz is practically indestructible, certain types may be more susceptible to heat, so the use of hot pads or trivets is recommended.
The laminate countertops in grandma’s house have little resemblance to today’s offerings. Using the latest in high-definition printing technology, laminate can provide an affordable alternative with the look of beautiful natural stone. Laminates are extremely low-maintenance materials. They don’t require sealing or special cleaners, and if they do become scratched, a kit can be used to repair them. They can be cleaned as needed with any preferred cleaner.
Kitchen Remodeling Can Be a Dream Come True
Kitchen remodeling in Royal Oak can be a significant step toward increased functionality, style, and value in the most important investment most families make—their home. Widely recognized as the heart of the home, a beautiful and efficient kitchen will be appreciated by the whole family. Plan to spend between ten to fifteen percent of the home’s total value on a major remodel, knowing that most people recoup a large part of their investment when they sell the home. With the help of a trusted contractor, Royal Oak homeowners can rest assured the end result will be the kitchen of their dreams.