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A Farmhouse Kitchen Gets a Well-Deserved Renovation in Monticello

Sarah tells-all, sharing her remodeling experience with Riverside Construction

Q: What prompted the need for your kitchen remodel?
A: Our home was built in 1902 and was last remodeled in the mid-60s. Our oven model was dated from 1964. Bless my husband who was wise and blessed with many talents, but his philosophy was “if it still works, we don’t need to fix it.” Fast forward to November 2018, the oven stopped working and I only had one element working on the stove. After putting money aside, I retired in 2020 and decided it was finally time to remodel the kitchen.

Q: You started your remodel during COVID-19. How did the pandemic alter your remodeling plans? Did your functional needs change in any way?
A: Yes, we started our remodel during COVID-19 and it completed in August. The biggest impact on our remodeling plans was the availability of materials. We were 98% completed in August but then had to wait for the refrigerator, oven, and microwave which didn’t arrive until September. The cooktop was ordered right away because it was an older model and in short supply. Otherwise, Riverside Construction carpenters and subcontractors either worked when I wasn’t there or wore masks around me and each other when they were in my home.

Q: Can you speak to safety protocols during construction? Did you feel safe?
A: Yes, I never felt unsafe. Riverside Construction carpenters and subcontractors wore masks, put up barriers, used HEPA filters, and either worked in my home when I wasn’t there or masked up when we were in the home together.

Q: What concern(s) did you have going into your home remodeling project?
A: I was most concerned about the inconvenience during construction. I planned ahead for the kitchen remodel by loading up a dorm-size mini-fridge for perishables. I also ordered carry out a lot. My basement is where the washer and dryer are located. I was concerned about accessing it. But, after the guys were through working, I was able to get through to the basement without much problem. Riverside Construction also remodeled my half bath next to the kitchen. I wasn’t looking forward to having to use the upstairs bathroom during the renovation. More importantly, I live with three cats. It was imperative that the crew didn’t let any of them outside. They did great!

I never worried about the budget. When I signed a contract with Riverside Construction it was well-delineated. My design choices and materials were detailed from our initial planning meetings. The only exception was one change that I made and the other was an unforeseen circumstance. Otherwise, the budget didn’t change at all.

Q: What was your favorite part of your remodeling experience with Riverside Construction? Why?
A: I thoroughly enjoyed the Riverside Construction carpenters. Most days, it was the same group who was working in my house. They were skilled and very reassuring. There was one point in construction when I was fearful of how it was going to look. One carpenter, in particular, assured me to hang in there and it would turn out exactly as I had envisioned. He also said my project was his favorite one. He was right. It turned out exactly as I had envisioned, and even better!

Q: What was your least favorite part of the remodel? Why?
A: The dust. They put up dust barriers during construction a majority of the time. One of the subcontractors didn’t use a dust barrier. I believe it was the tilers, so it stirred up dust in the home.

Q: After living in your newly remodeled space, what has become your favorite design feature?
A: It’s all so wonderful. The ceiling and lighting have to be my favorite design features. The previous owners (in the 1960s) put in a dropped ceiling and panels in the kitchen. Riverside Construction removed the dropped ceiling and panels making it more spacious and brighter. The new pot lights and pendant lights over the island added the elegance and charm I was looking for.

 

Q: What was your inspiration behind your kitchen design?

A: I had visions of what my grandma’s beautiful kitchen looked like with dark oak cabinets, inset doors, and a particular type of latch. Under the linoleum was gorgeous oak hardwood flooring. I wouldn’t normally choose hardwood flooring in the kitchen, but because they were there, I couldn’t pull them up. Riverside sanded the floors and refinished them to perfection.

It was also important to me to design the kitchen to match the existing architecture of the home—to look like it had always been there, just refreshed. I think we accomplished that. As a testament, the cleaning crew came in after the remodel was done and said, “this looks like the kitchen was part of the original home.”

Q: Were there any big surprises during or after the remodel that caught you off guard?
A: Nothing big, no. There were a few small items like learning that the plumbers had to pull up the floor in the half bath to access the crawl space below. But, also not a big deal.

Q: Are you using your newly remodeled space differently now? How?

A: I absolutely spend more time in the kitchen. I’m not a really good cook. You have to remember, I haven’t had a fully functioning kitchen since November 2018, so I’m rediscovering cooking. I now spend a lot more time in the kitchen. And, I really like the butcher block island. Initially, I thought it would be hard to maintain, but I’m really enjoying oiling it—rubbing the oil into the wood once a month. My house gets particularly dry in the winter, so I’m sensitive to not letting it dry out.

Q: In hindsight, is there anything you would do differently if you were to remodel again?
A: Small things. There are a few of my lower cabinets that have pull-out shelves. I often think, having now worked in my kitchen, that I should have added a few more of those. Sometimes I also think I should have chosen different light fixtures, but there’s nothing major I would have done differently.

My original kitchen had a hanging pot rack. I thought I loved it and wanted it in there. As the design of my kitchen progressed, I realized that I could see more of the kitchen without it. Now, I have room for my pots and pans in the drawers and cabinets and they aren’t collecting dust. Ultimately, I’m happy with my decision to remove it.

Q: Anything else you want to share?
A: Yes, I definitely want to share something about Riverside Construction. I’ve had other contractors in my house before. They did a bathroom renovation upstairs years ago. I love Riverside Construction and all of its contractors and vendors. I was used to hearing a lot of cursing from contractors I’ve used in the past. Not that I’m a prude, but there was none of that language used by Riverside crew day in and day out. As they worked, they created a nice environment for me to be cohabitating with them in my home.

Now, Riverside is meeting with my daughter, doing a renovation on her upstairs bathroom. She was so impressed with my remodel that she decided to remodel her bathroom with them as well. Riverside Construction is becoming our “family renovator.”

For more information on this amazing kitchen remodel, visit our Portfolio.

5 Popular Kitchen Remodeling Trends in Lafayette

As cooler weather approaches, you might be coming back into your kitchen from summer’s cookouts, thinking, “Wow. I didn’t realize how dated this looked,” or “This setup is really inconvenient.” Here at Riverside Construction in Lafayette, we’re excited about the upcoming kitchen remodeling trends we see for 2019. So, if you’re planning a kitchen remodeling project in the coming months, here are 5 trends you’ll want to consider:

1. Cabinets with a Color Pop

Yes, all-white cabinets are still popular because they reflect light and make smaller kitchens look bigger. Colorful cabinets, however, are increasing in popularity. This is partially because cooking and spill stains stand out so obviously on white—but also because homeowners are looking for more color in their kitchens. Here at Riverside Construction, we’re an authorized dealer of Wellborn custom cabinets, and they’ve introduced some new standard paint colors for their cabinets: Mink Gray, Olive, Gray Mist, Aqua, and Mint. One popular design trend is using lighter cabinets around the kitchen perimeter with a more daring color for the island. Some are opting for darker colors on the lower cabinets with a lighter shade of the same color on the upper cabinets. Those still choosing all white cabinets are playing with mixed countertops, bright accent walls, fixtures and backsplashes with different colors and designs. Mixing neutrals and whites with bright color accents is also growing in popularity. Take a look at some of these great custom kitchen cabinet designs to get a few ideas for your own kitchen remodel.

Photo courtesy of Wellborn

2. Appliances: Thinking Outside of the Stainless-Steel Box

Bright, silver stainless steel has been the go-to finish in appliances for several years now, but for all its solid, time-tested stability, people are looking for more color even here. Yes, you can have black, graphite and slate finishes. You can even have white if you want it bright. But this is your kitchen, and if you want to have brightly-colored appliances, your options are growing considerably. If this is the kitchen you will be cooking, eating and working in for years to come, why not try some bold color combinations? If you aren’t sure how long you’re staying or want to have your kitchen ready for resale in a few years, you can still choose colors, but think of timeless combinations that work with the colors of your cabinets and walls. Reds with white, black or gray, blues with white or light gray, earth tones in different shades, etc.

Photo Courtesy of Savvy Home Supply

3. Everything in the Kitchen Sink

If you thought kitchen sinks were all the same, get ready for the kitchen sink designs of 2019. Kitchen sinks are being created out of different materials and adding new, time-saving accessories that home gourmets are raving about. For example:

New Kitchen Sink Materials—At least 70% of kitchen sinks are stainless steel. It goes with everything and is durable for years. But kitchen sink designers have been coming up with amazing, functional materials that go beyond what you’ve come to expect in a sink. For example, granite composite sinks (made of crushed stone and resin); they last a long time and are easy to clean and maintain. The timeless cast-iron enameled sink is also making a resurgence because you can choose different glaze colors than just silver or dark gray. It’s also very durable and easy to clean. The new fireclay sinks (often used in farmhouse sink designs) are made of high-heat glazed clay with a hard enamel finish (usually earth-toned). And while they are durable, they are vulnerable to impacts and may chip more than other materials. Natural stone, glass, marble, and copper are also up-and-coming kitchen sink materials you might consider.

New Kitchen Sink Accessories—Newer kitchen sink designs also tool up the functionality of the ordinary sink to help you save time and effort during meal prep. In fact, you could call them “kitchen sink systems” because they integrate so many tools seamlessly into a larger sink. Consider multiple levels, built-in colanders, removable cutting boards, ice buckets, pot holders, etc. A large, custom sink with these accessories can significantly reduce your prep and post-meal clean-up time; you’ll have more time to enjoy your meal with family and friends.

Photo Courtesy of Homestyle PR

4. Earth-Toned Rustic Never Goes Away

One look that never really goes out of style is the organic, natural, earth-toned rustic look, from backsplashes and cabinets to floors and farmhouse sinks. Think neutral colors that make custom wood cabinets glow warmth into your kitchen. If you’re going rustic, you’ll likely avoid glossy finishes and opt for rugged, matte, natural finishes instead. Ceramic or cast-iron sinks, wide-plank wooden floors, antique metal fixtures like distressed bronze, wrought iron or rubbed brass look great in a cozy, rustic kitchen. Butcher block or honed granite countertops complete the natural, sturdy look if you’re going this direction.

5. The Mix-it-Up Eclectic Kitchen is Now

And yet, if traditional or rustic kitchens aren’t your thing, variety may be just your style. Good thing too, because mixing up materials, colors and finishes is taking off like crazy. Bold colors on the custom cabinets, floating shelves, polished concrete countertops, stone accent walls and wild mosaic backsplashes with pops of color and shine will turn heads whenever guests arrive and have you feeling like you’re cooking in your dream kitchen every day. And really, if you can dream it, we can make it happen in your kitchen.

If you’ve got your eye on a kitchen remodeling project for the upcoming year and aren’t quite sure where to start, be sure to sign up for notifications on our upcoming kitchen remodeling seminars. We’ll notify you as soon as the next one is scheduled so you can be the first to sign up for these in-demand events where we can answer your questions, provide ideas and offer expert guidance on your dream kitchen.

If you’re ready to start now, schedule a personal consultation with Riverside Construction’s kitchen design experts today: (765) 838-1644.

Kitchen Remodels: 3 Budgets, 3 Kitchens

Is your current kitchen out of date or not functioning well? Is it too small or closed off from the rest of your home? Perhaps you’re ready to get cooking with a brand-new kitchen remodel, but the whole thing is feeling a bit overwhelming, from cabinetry to countertops, and appliances to air ducts.

That’s where the design and planning at Riverside Construction adds enormous value. We’ll get to know you and your kitchen needs through an initial on-site consultation. Then, we deliver a comprehensive scope of work alongside a realistic budget, fit to bring your dream kitchen to life.

Before that, though, let’s start with an overview of the three types of kitchen remodels to consider: Basic, Mid-Level, and Deluxe.

The Basic Kitchen Remodel

Love to cook but not in love with your current kitchen? A basic, cosmetic remodel elevates your existing layout, appliances, and fixtures and spares expenses for plumbing and ductwork, while implementing the professional polish essential to a complete remodel. A basic kitchen remodel involves replacing easily removed products and typically runs $20,000 – $35,000.

So, what does a basic remodel look like? Here are some items it might include.

Efficient Lighting — Recessed lights are nice, but they offer a lot less illumination than the average light fixture (60 vs. 120+ W). Simple light fixtures with 120w, 180w, or more can be simple, tasteful, and brilliantly illuminating, all without the hefty price tag.

Simple Appliances — One of the keys to a successful basic kitchen remodel is the use of simple appliances that don’t need to be built-in. Nixing the custom cabinetry saves you both money and time.

Go Vinyl — What’s a remodel without new flooring? Vinyl is the versatile material of choice for floors and other surfaces, and can even make a great-looking backsplash. Speaking of backsplashes, if it’s in your budget, a ceramic tile backsplash is a great splurge for an extra stylish finish to your basic kitchen remodel.

Cabinet Hardware — Reusing your existing cabinetry is one of the key ways to keep costs down, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with dated or damaged storage. Fix up any broken cabinets or replace cabinet doors and consider adding new cabinet hardware to upgrade your kitchen. When it comes to cabinets, a little goes a long way.

Lovely Laminates — Laminate is a surface material whose reputation has come a long way in recent years. Photo printed laminate countertops and a bevy of striking edge designs provide lots of aesthetic choices at low cost.

The Mid-Level, Pull and Replace Kitchen Remodel

Want to break the mold of your existing kitchen layout? A pull and replace kitchen remodel lets you do just that. Whether it’s a new island or professional-grade appliances, a mid-level remodel totally reworks your kitchen from the ground up, including moving appliances, plumbing, ductwork, electrical, and more. Ranging from $25,000 – $55,000, a mid-level kitchen remodel creates the space you need for the renewed functionality you desire.

A pull and replace kitchen remodel may include:

Professional Appliances — Liberate your inner chef with awesome appliances. From stainless steel refrigerators to double convection ovens, it’s all on the table.

The Island — As the focal point to your new kitchen remodel, why not consider an island? It’s perfect for serving up a meal hot from the oven, or for the family to gather around as dinner is being prepared.

Upgraded Cabinetry — Upgrade cabinets with standard cabinet sizes and eye-catching materials like maple with a custom glaze. Get the beautiful storage you need without compromising. Make the most of your kitchen’s existing storage space by installing a pull-out shelf in one—or all—of the base cabinets.

Designer Accessories — Select the details and accessories that make your kitchen feel unique. Custom handles and knobs are a great way to make it personal.

New Floors — With a bigger budget, wood and ceramic floors enter the picture, and boy do they make a great impression!

Surfaces Built to Last — For surfaces that look and feel amazing year after year, look no further than stone counters and glass tile backsplashes. Pricier than laminate, quartz and natural stone (like granite), look sharp for decades.

The Deluxe, Custom Kitchen Remodel

Got great taste and a budget to match? Let’s talk cutting edge style and chef-approved functionality. Whether it’s a built-in refrigerator or a Wolf gas range, a custom kitchen remodel, quite literally, can have it all. From $40, 000 to $125,000, the deluxe kitchen remodel wipes the slate clean with a brand new, well, everything — all put together in a totally fresh layout. It involves redesigning the layout, moving walls, demoing an existing area or adjacent spaces, new framing, relocating and updating plumbing and electrical, and installing custom cabinetry.

Here are some of the items you might look forward to in your deluxe kitchen remodel:

Architectural Consistency — Not only should your kitchen look great, but it should also look like a part of your home. Tall ceilings with beadboard finishing, leaded glass windows, crown moldings, or authentic baseboards and casings are just a taste of what’s possible when it comes to integrating your remodel into the home you already love.

High End Material — Start with the richest of materials and accessories for your deluxe kitchen remodel— wood floors, stone counters, and even a chandelier. Add an oriental rug to add to elegance and style that’s uniquely yours.

Totally Custom Cabinetry — The finest craftsmanship and construction goes into fully custom-sized and custom-designed storage to make your kitchen cabinets both uncommonly beautiful and functional.

Creative Storage — Why settle for stock cabinets? Go custom with drop-down doors that turn into extra counter space for those big holiday spreads, or that tastefully conceal a small appliance when it’s not in use.

Cooking with Elegance — Serve up meals using pro tools in world-class style with a hand-made La Cornue range (or Sub-Zero and Wolf) and custom hood built to your specifications. Truly, it’s the most beautiful, stylish, and functional kitchen fixture that money can buy.

Backsplash With Style — Ground your cooking area with a stone mosaic backsplash that is the finest in class and can last literally decades.

Unified Style — Add the details that tie the whole kitchen together, from the table-like island to feet on the base of the sink, and know that cabinets don’t have to look like cabinets! Get all the details that age and style the kitchen to the surrounding house without sacrificing any functionality or efficiency.

Built-In Appliances — Tuck high-end appliances behind wooden doors and custom wood panels consistent with the style of the rest of your kitchen.

Attention to Details — Get the extra attention that achieves your vision of a perfect kitchen, such as a farmhouse-style sink or a faucet from the era in which the house was built.

You’ll pay more for high-end materials and detailing, but your remodeled kitchen will be both a visual treat and a joy to you and your family for years to come.

 

If you’re ready to get remodeling, join us at our Kitchen and Bath Seminar to learn how to successfully remodel your home. We’d love to see you there!

If you can’t make it to the seminar, you can always schedule a conversation with one of our qualified design-build professionals to discuss your home remodeling timeline, budget, functional needs, and design preferences.

Design a Custom Kitchen Perfect for Entertaining

Assess how well your own kitchen functions this holiday

It happens every year—you host a memorable, family gathering; every room is decked out with your favorite holiday decorations; you’ve made a crackling fire; and appetizers are spread out ready for sampling.  Where do all of your guests end up?  You got it… the kitchen.  The well-known expression “the kitchen is the heart of home” is never truer than during the holidays.  Since food is central to most festive occasions, your guests spend much of their time in the kitchen visiting with you as you finish the final preparations of your meal.

As you host your family gathering this year, pay close attention to the functional use of your space. Use these design considerations to determine whether your kitchen can use an upgrade—perfect for entertaining.

A Kitchen Fit for Festivities

The challenge for many homeowners is configuring their kitchen to accommodate a house full of guests a few times a year, while serving their immediate family needs the rest of the year.  This holiday, pay close attention to how much space you have. If it is becoming an issue, square footage can be added with a new room addition. You may also be able to reconfigure your existing space to increase efficiency and room flow without adding an addition.

Before any work is started, it’s important to ask yourself what you want to accomplish in your kitchen space.  If you entertain all the time, a larger open concept kitchen might be ideal for you.  If you host large gatherings two or three times a year, adding a large center island with additional seating might be the perfect solution.  Create a “must-have” list for your new kitchen and keep those priorities top of mind as you plan your ideal working space.

Seating

Seating is a premium when you entertain large groups. If your kitchen doesn’t currently have an island, consider what it might be like to have one. An island creates additional seating and more surface area for prepping and serving.  In fact, a popular trend is to have two islands in the kitchen – one for cooking and food preparation and the other for seating and serving. If you have a L- or U-shaped kitchen, an island can also eliminate the “dead end” space where people can end up “stuck” in the back of the kitchen.

Tiered counter heights on an island or a long counter are also a great way to create additional space for guests. Your family or friends can visit you in the kitchen without interfering with the food preparation or cooking process.  It can also give your guests an area to place beverages and eat hors d’oeuvres, while concealing food that is being prepped on the other side.

Flow and Function

When you’re working in your kitchen this holiday, consider how you use your space. Are you in easy reach of all the kitchen appliances and supplies you need to complete your holiday preparations and finish your holiday meal?  Do you have to maneuver around guests to get from one end of the kitchen to another?  When you evaluate your kitchen space, consider the kitchen “work triangle,” which is a concept used to determine efficient kitchen layouts. The work triangle makes up the primary tasks in a home kitchen that are carried out between three points—the cook top, the sink and the refrigerator.  Something as relatively simple as moving the sink to a more central location can make a huge difference in the efficiency and flow of the space.

Is there an empty wall near your kitchen or eating space? If you find yourself maneuvering around your guests in your kitchen, you might consider installing a custom side bar. This will create a natural place to set up a beverage bar or appetizer area for your guests to congregate while they are waiting for you to serve them.  It’s also a great place to store additional beverages and glassware.

Storage

Speaking of storage, when you do a lot of cooking and entertaining you tend to have a plethora of kitchen supplies, i.e., glassware, pots and pans, dishware, cooking utensils, special holiday dishes, linens, etc. Consequently, storage becomes an important consideration to your kitchen plan.  How easy is it for you to access your special holiday dishes? Are your chaffing dishes tucked away behind your pots and pans or are they on a shelf buried deep in the garage? As you rethink your kitchen, consider ways to maximize your storage space.

Walk-in pantries are a great option for storing holiday items that are used just a few times a year. If you don’t have space for a walk-in pantry, custom cabinetry can go a long way to maximizing your kitchen space.  Custom cabinets can double or triple your storage by not only leveraging floor space but also areas up high.  Instead of installing cabinets one or two feet from the ceiling, you can run them all the way to the top of the ceiling.

Appliances that Enhance Entertaining

There are some great products on the market today that can help a host or hostess pull off the perfect party or family gathering. Consider these appliances to enhance your entertaining experience: Warming Drawer, Cappuccino Maker, Convection Oven, or Ice Maker. A secondary dishwasher, refrigerator or freezer placed adjacent to the main kitchen area can also help with quick, easy clean-up and extra storage.

For questions about remodeling a kitchen in your home fit for entertaining, contact Riverside Construction today!

Take the first step by scheduling an in-home meeting with your very own personal design consultant.

We also schedule complimentary kitchen remodeling seminars regularly each month. Let us know your interest in attending by signing up today.

Kitchen Trends for the Lafayette Area

One of the best ways to enjoy your home is to update your kitchen using beautiful, timeless kitchen design options.  As an added bonus by updating your kitchen you are not only increasing its beauty and comfort, but also its functionality.  Read more

The Range Hood and your Kitchen Remodel

In the past several years range hoods have gone from being purely practical to a being an interesting way to add to the overall design of your kitchen.  If you are looking at remodeling your kitchen, it’s important to find the correct balance of functional and interesting design in your new range hood.  Read more

How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets

Many home remodelers and kitchen designers will suggest that the first thing to do when planning a kitchen remodel is to pick the cabinets for your kitchen.  There are a couple of great reasons for this.  Read more

Kitchen Remodeling: Ways to Make Cooking Easier

The last couple of years have seen a resurgence in people enjoying cooking in their own homes.  Not only does it cost less to eat in your own home, Read more

Fun Kitchen Backsplash Ideas

One of the simplest ways to change the look of your kitchen is by updating your backsplash.  In recent years many options have exploded onto the market.  Here are some of our favorite options. Read more