Cookware and Today’s Appliances

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When a homeowner is considering a kitchen renovation, they seldom consider the type of appliances and cookware to buy as a top priority. In all of the excitement, you are more likely to focus on the flooring, wall colors, countertops, and other cosmetic aspects of the remodel, but if a fully functioning kitchen is what you are after, take a moment to discuss your stove top options with your NJ Kitchen Cabinet Designer.

cppper pots and pans

Gas Versus Electric Stoves in Kitchen Remodels

If you will be replacing your existing stove as part of your NJ Kitchen Remodeling Design, you will need to look into the difference between a gas and an electric range. Both have advantages as well as disadvantages. There is no clear answer to the question of which one is best. That answer will depend on what you are familiar with, what style of hook up is available in your home, and what kind of cooking you plan to do.

Gas Stoves for your NJ Kitchen Design

gas stove

The biggest advantage to choosing a gas stove is the cooking. Once you turn a burner on, you have instant heat with a flame you can see. The flame it creates allows your food to cook quicker and more evenly. This is due to the way the flames spread across the bottom of the pans and wrap up around the sides. If you truly enjoy cooking, these small differences will be a huge plus.

On advantage to a gas stove that homeowners commonly overlook is that a gas range is less expensive to operate. If your kitchen is already set up for gas, you will also be saving money by not having to switch over to electric. Best of all, your energy costs will be lower.

The biggest drawback to a gas stove is the initial cost of the appliance itself. Gas stoves are usually more expensive than electric, and they cost more to hook up if the kitchen isn’t already set up for gas. The other problem is that it does use gas. While the burner is in use, it releases a steady flow of gas. A burner that is on but left unlit is dangerous.

Electric Stoves are feature rich

electric stove

Many of the electric stoves being sold today will have a glass top which looks sleek and stylish. These glass tops wipe clean easily. You don’t have to worry about removing burner rings for cleaning or wiping up spills that have hardened on to a gas nozzle.

Electric stoves are inexpensive to purchase or install and are simple to operate. This makes them an excellent choice for those that see cooking as a necessity rather than a hobby. Electric stoves also provide you with a very stable work surface. This is another advantage for beginning or amateur cooks. Plus, they have storage space underneath that is not found on gas ranges.

On the other hand, electric stoves cook food more slowly than gas. Bakers find them difficult for the simple fact that sugar spilled onto a hot electric stove surface is almost impossible to clean. Glass surfaces can become stained as well, which will distract from its beauty.

Keep in mind that if you live in an area with frequent power outages, you won’t be able to cook while the power is out. Electric stoves use a great amount of power. A generator may not provide enough energy to use it. Your monthly energy cost may be higher too.

Multi-tasking Cookware

Most home cooks find that you can use pretty much the same cookware on both types of stoves. Copper conducts heat beautifully which makes it a favorite for pots and pans. Cast iron is equally admired for its ability to retain heat. This is a big plus if you decide to go with an electric range, but what most homeowners are looking for these days is a modern set of cookware that is versatile enough to use for cooking, serving, and storing.

Companies such as Pyrex and Temptations offer sets that include mixing/serving bowls, lasagna pans, square nine by nine inch pans, and loaf pans that you can use in many ways. Food can be cooked in them, and they are designed to look elegant enough that you can place them on your table or buffet for serving. After you have finished the meal, coordinating covers can be snapped into place so that left overs can be placed in the freezer or refrigerator. You can re-heat these same foods in this cookware as well.

Another favorite among home cooks are the sets of pots and pans that can be placed in the oven. Manufacturers such as Lodge, Calphalon, and Cuisinart offer everything from sauce pans to Dutch ovens that you can use to cook with on top of the stove and then transfer into the oven for browning, baking, or keeping warm.

Finding the right type of stove and cookware will allow you to enjoy your newly remodeled kitchen to its fullest potential. Your new space will be both beautiful and functional so that you are getting the best of both worlds.

NJ Home Remodeling Holiday Gift Guide

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Wouldn’t it be nice to give your spouse or partner a present this holiday season that would make them happy all throughout the year? Giving a loved one the gift of a home renovation is definitely a gift that will keep on giving. It will please them each time they enter that area of their house while possibly providing them with additional storage and organization. Best of all, it can increase the value of your home. Each time they enjoy their newly remodeled space they will lovingly remember the thoughtful gift you gave them.

give the holiday gift of a home remodel

Which Area to Renovate?

If your partner or spouse is constantly complaining about one room, in particular, your decision as to which room to renovate will be easy. In fact, if you listen to exactly what they dislike, you will even know what direction to take your NJ home remodeling project in. On the other hand, you might want to simply surprise them with something completely different. We have a wife that is purchasing a wine room for her husband for Christmas. That is certainly one lucky guy.

If you are still indecisive, begin with the idea of a kitchen remodel. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and updating it will increase the value. You can update the appliances, add special, features like an attractive range hood, and design an island that will meet your individual needs. The island can be anything from a little extra counter space with bar stools on one side for additional seating to a command center complete with a built-in microwave, small refrigerator, and farmhouse sink.

The bathroom is another popular room to remodel, and anyone would be excited to be the recipient of that gift. You could put in a new walk-in shower, a large tub, and double sinks for luxury and convenience. If space allows, you could even include features like a dressing area or walk-in closet into the design. Whether going large or small with the remodel, be sure to include beautiful new cabinetry that will give you and your loved one extra storage while enhancing the overall look of the room.

Along with the kitchen and bathroom, you could consider giving the gift of renovating one of the forgotten areas of your home. Basements can be finished in order to provide you with extra bedrooms and bathrooms, a home office, or a family recreational room. Consider places like the laundry room too. This is usually the last place to get any attention. Homeowners see it as functional, but it can also become a bright and welcoming room that everyone will enjoy using.

The holidays are a busy time of year when you are entertaining many of your closest friends and family. As you host dinners and parties, you may realize just how little space you have. Think of how delighted your spouse or partner would be if you present them with a dining room renovation. Talk to your home remodeling contractor about possibilities such as opening it up into the kitchen and living area in order to create a great room that is ideal for entertaining.

How to Present the Gift of a NJ Home Remodeling Project

Although a home remodel is a wonderful gift idea, it can be hard to give as a present. You can’t exactly surprise someone with a newly renovated room while they are living in the house, and it certainly isn’t the type of gift you can wrap and place under the tree. Fortunately, there are ways you can still have the thrill of opening a present and surprising them. All it takes is a little creativity.

If you are planning on remodeling the bathroom as your loved one’s gift, buy them a new set of luxurious bath towels. Wrap them up with a note tucked inside that announces the renovation. The same can be done form a kitchen by giving a new set of dishes or cookware in the same manner. You will have the fun of seeing the expression on their face, and they will have an actual gift to open on Christmas Day.

No matter what area of the house you, decide to remodel or how you plan to present the idea, a home renovation project can be the perfect gift for your spouse or partner. It will, be a gift that keeps, on giving by offering you and your loved one an updated, organized room that you will both treasure for many years to come.

Basement Remodel – Increase your living space without an addition

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Many homeowners believe they have to put an addition on to the house to gain space, but in reality, they are literally sittting on top of a wealth of extra room. That dark and dingy basement that you avoid at all cost can be transformed into the extra room you have been dreaming about. When beginning a NJ home remodeling project, consider utilizing this wasted space.

basement living room

A Family Room

Basements are ideal as family rooms because they are in such a quiet area of the house. Along with being a peaceful place to rest and enjoy time with others, you want this space to be cheerful. Brighten the basement by adding an egress window to bring in natural light. Choose whites, ivories, light grays, or pastels for the walls and take advantage of reflective surfaces such as oversized mirrors. Furnish the space in the same way you would any living room with comfortable sofas and recliners, ottomans, and entertainment features like a big screen TV for watching movies and gaming.

The Media Room

A media room is simply a term used to describe an all purpose room that is most often used as a home theater. What could be a more perfect place to watch your favorite films than the basement where it is naturally darker and quieter. Use a drop ceiling to soften the echo effect, and add soft lighting that won’t distract from the oversized TV screen. Keep it simple by using a sectional for seating, or go for the full theater effect by adding stair stepped floors with reclining chairs and sofas placed on each level just like you find at the local cinema.

A Home Bar

A home bar is a wonderful room for entertaining friends. When it is placed in the basement, it allows you to enjoy yourself without your guests disturbing the rest of the family. Have your contractor bring in a bar with stools for seating on one side and shelves, a mini fridge, and wine storage on the other. Place a flat screen TV over head, and ad a pool table for extra fun. Rather then choosing a traditional drop ceiling, leave the pipes and beams exposed. Paint them in a solid color for an industrial look that still has style.

The Wine Room

A wine room is a more sophisticated space than a home bar, and the basement can easily be transformed into a place where you can store and enjoy your favorite beverages. Finish the basement with rich wood doors and trim as well as plenty of shelves designed with special cubbies for the bottles. Be sure to include a refrigerator for those lighter summer wines that are best served chilled. Instead of a bar that gives the room the feeling of a local pub, place leather upholstered chairs around a table in matching wood tones.

A Play Room

If you want a place where your kids can be kids without making a mess out of the entire house, finish the basement and turn it into a play room. Paint the walls and ceiling in bright, fun colors with whimsical murals thrown in for an unexpected focal point. Be sure to create plenty of storage for both small and large toys. Use specially designed padded tiles for the floor so that the little ones have a soft surface to play on. Child size tables and chairs, bean bags, and large pillows are all the seating you’ll need.

The Guest Bedroom

A nicely finished basement is the ideal place for a guest bedroom. Whether you have friends staying for the occasional weekend or long term family members moving in, they can enjoy the privacy a basement provides. Decorate the bedroom in soft, relaxing hues. Use a variety of lighting. This includes overhead lights for brightness, lamps for task lighting, and accent lights to create the perfect ambience. Don’t forget to include a full bath in the design. Having their own bathroom, complete with a shower and tub, will keep both your guests and your family happy.

The Laundry

You may already be doing your laundry in the basement, but finishing the space properly will make this mundane task more enjoyable. Concrete floors painted to resemble stone or marble flooring is both attractive and practical for a laundry room. Paint the walls in a cheerful color, and add home decor items that make it feel more like an actual living space than a utility room. With the the plumbing already in place, this would be the ideal location for an extra bathroom as well.

Once you have completed the transformation of your basement, you will find that not only have you increased the living space in your home, but you have increased its value as well. Best of all, you and your home remodeling contractor will have achieved all this without ever having to put a costly addition on to the house.

Great Wines For The Fall

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The fall season brings about cooler temperatures along with a beautiful display of colors in the foliage. It is also the time of year when we trade our shorts and tees for a cozy sweater and our favorite jeans. Just like the way the scenery changes and you switch out your wardrobe, you need to be selecting a new variety of wines that will pair perfectly with all of the delicious fall harvest foods you will be enjoying.

fall wine list

Which Wine to Choose

Those slightly chilled, crisp white wines were perfect for sipping next to the pool on a hot day, but they seem to lose their appeal as the temperature drops. Although you are in search of something heartier, you may not be ready yet for the full-bodied red wines that you enjoy next to the fireplace on a snowy evening. What you need for the fall season are wines that bridge the gap between summer and winter’s classic choices. This would be any of the full-bodied whites or the light to medium reds that pair so well with fall’s harvest of amazing foods.

Pinot Noir

A glass of Pinot Noir is the perfect way to welcome in the fall season. It is a natural choice with its earthy aromas that bring to mind wet leaves and its faint floral smells of the fading summer. This wine’s warm clove, vanilla, and nutmeg spices are well suited to the harvest bounty while the cranberry and tart cherry notes usher in winter.

Merlot

If you love the rich pies, mochas, and cozy atmosphere of this time of year, you will enjoy Merlot. Characteristics like plum, black cherry, and raspberry flavors paired with a hint of vanilla, cedar, and coffee make this wine the ideal complement to all of those wonderful fall treats you will be filling your kitchen with.

Oaked Chardonnay

Oaked Chardonnay was made for crisp fall days with flavors that include ripe pears, baked apples, toffee, caramel, and vanilla. Aged in oak barrels, this wine has a richer, nuttier characteristic than the typical Chardonnay. You can’t get a flavor closer to the fall experience than this.

Cabernet Franc

Sipping a glass of Cabernet Franc gives you a true sense of the season in the same way getting out your favorite leather jacket does when the days get colder. This old friend’s notes of savory dried oregano, red pepper, and leather are balanced by a juicy raspberry sauce and plum, and just like your Oaked Chardonnay, it has been aged in an oak barrel for a superb richness.

Syrah

This wine is like being able to bottle up the feeling of a warm fire. A full-bodied red wine, Syrah is filled with the flavor of rich black and red fruits that are combined with hints of black pepper and smoke. The result is a wine that includes aromas that will leave you in anticipation of the first snow fall.

Where to Store Your Fall Wines

The Wine Cellar NJ residents most enjoy are ones that blends in nicely with the architecture and décor they already have established within their home. There are several different options you can choose from when incorporating wine storage into your own house. Begin by deciding whether you would like a full sized wine cellar or simply a space within the kitchen that can hold a few seasonal bottles of your favorite varieties.

The Wine Cellar

If you have a finished basement, you have the ideal place for a wine cellar. Wine cellars are most often created out of cabinets and wine racks constructed from rich woods that give the space a warm and inviting feel. If there is room, incorporate an actual bar with seating on one side and shelves on the other to hold everything you need to make the perfect mixed drink, serve lovely wines, or simply enjoy a beer with friends.

Floor to ceiling shelves with wine cubbies for bottles serves double duty as storage and visual appeal. Don’t forget to include racks for hanging the wine glasses from. The wine cellar is one area of your home where you don’t want to hide your clutter. Bottles, glasses, and other essentials are an important element to the over-all beauty of this space.

Wine Storage in the Kitchen

If you are limited when it comes to space, you can still have a beautiful storage area for your seasonal wines. Many homeowners now include wine storage into their NJ kitchen design. Use a set of cupboards to be designated for this project. Overhead cabinets work best. This is especially true for the cupboards above the range. Replace solid doors with clear glass so the beauty of the glasses and bottles can be seen. You can also incorporate this type of wine storage into an island where it won’t take up any additional space, but it will still add to the elegance of the kitchen.

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