Everyday Kitchen Tips

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Let’s face it, when it comes to keeping a clean, organized, and put-together kitchen, the kitchen cabinets are just the beginning. Everyday use and storage quickly jumps the forefront of importance for a meticulously organized kitchen space. Here are a few tips to keep your cooking, cleaning, and general kitchen use as efficient and savvy as possible:

  •  To relieve your hands from the smell of garlic and onion, simply wash them with warm water and baking soda, or you can even rub them against any stainless steel element.
  • Get the most out of your fresh squeezed juices by microwaving them for about 20 seconds, letting them sit for a minute, then rolling them on the counter with some pressure.
  • If you need to reheat any type of bread in the microwave, simply place a cup of water with it to add much needed moisture to the air.
  • Separate your onions and potatoes—they both make each other go bad at a faster rate.
  • In just a few minutes, with a bucket of water, ice, and salt, you can easily cool down your lukewarm bottle of wine or beer.
  • To help eliminate odors from the garbage disposal, grind up some excess orange or lemon peels. If it’s really bad, you can even freeze vinegar ice cubes and grind those as well!

These tips (coupled with your NJ kitchen remodeling) will quickly, for better or worse, make your kitchen the most popular get-together space!

Kitchen Gadgets: Part 1

5:33 pm

kitchen remodeling bergen countyKitchen gadgets have always been a prominent feature in a home’s kitchen area, whether it’s hooking up all your devices to the Internet or a deluxe cappuccino maker. Let’s take a look at a few of the latest kitchen gadgets to complement your recent New Jersey kitchen remodeling. You can decide for yourself if they’re worth the, sometimes, outrageous price tag:

  • The Hammacher Juicer, priced at $9,900, is considered one of the best juice machines ever made—we certainly hope so for that price tag! What makes it special? The juicer expertly separates the juice from every other part of the whole fruit.
  • Continuing in the thread of extravagance, Hammacher makes a Double Espresso machine complete with an ornate copper dome and a brass eagle. Sure, it looks great and makes a killer cup-of-Joe but at $8,000 a pop, it may just be worth stopping by your local coffee shop.
  • The Margaritaville Frozen Smoothie Maker is a bit more on the affordable side of the spectrum; costing only $550, it could bring new life to your friend or family gatherings. The drink maker can be pre-programmed to create six of your favorite drink combinations and is sure to keep you cool during the hot summer months!

To find out more about these luxurious kitchen gadgets, check out this article from Forbes.

Kitchen Appliance Advancedment

5:58 pm

bergen county contractorIt’s 2013. Some of us are wondering where our auto-filling refrigerators and ultra-dehydrated Back To The Future-esque meals are. It seems that many of the kitchen upgrades taking the country by storm aren’t so much futuristic and flashy as they are modeled after large-scale commercial kitchens. Sure, there are endless models of flashy refrigerators with streaming Netflix and temperature-controlled kitchen cabinets. If you talk to any real kitchen pro, however, you’ll find that the real trend is modeling these appliances after commercial kitchens—often ignoring some of the flashier aspects of technology change.

Ranges and cook-tops are moving from the traditional four-burner style to a more expansive range, often requiring an entire kitchen remodeling project. With a multi-unit range you have the capability to go beyond the traditional kitchen style and try out griddles, steamers, and fryers, while having commercial ventilation available at all times. The overall kitchen designs are changing to incorporate dedicated task stations with flexible and smaller appliances when available. This makes the kitchen very task-oriented and easy to keep different aspects of cooking separate from others. The sink is another major difference. We’re starting to move from sleek and to industrial size with hands-free technology.

Find out what designs best meet your home by contacting our team today.

Caring for Your Cherry Cabinets

4:44 pm

Cherry Island

When it comes to kitchen cabinets in New Jersey, cherry has become one of the more popular types of wood chosen. This elegant, dark lumber is so popular with consumers because of its classic beauty and overall success when it comes to matching different appliances and flooring. Cherry is also favored by kitchen remodeling companies for its ease of use when it comes to cutting and sanding–eventually making it a mutually beneficial material for kitchen remodeling. Once your kitchen is finalized and your cabinets totally installed, the work doesn’t stop!

In order for your kitchen cabinets to maintain their overall beauty, it’s vastly important to take proper care of the cherry wood surface over time. Normal kitchen use produces steam, grease, and grime that eventually creates a film over the cherry surface. The main goal is to prevent cloudiness and discoloration. Utilizing different furniture polishes and wood care solutions has proven to be the best overall solution. And as with any type of cabinetry, clean up spills and messes right away, use mild cleaning solutions, and try not to bang around pots and pans too much on your surfaces.

Read more about cherry cabinet care and find specific products you can use here!

Stop Choosing Between Practicality and Aesthetics

10:05 pm

Have Fun With Your Bergen County Kitchen Remodeling Too many folks spend their whole lives living in homes decorated in a way they would describe as “tolerable,” not exceptional. Given the fact that your home is the only place in the world that is entirely yours, it should be a place you love to spend time in. You should spend your days looking forward to returning home at night. One of the best ways to do this is to be a little bold in your decorating choices. If you have decided that the time for a remodeling has come, a Bergen County kitchen remodeling expert can guide you in how to take your kitchen from functional and practical, but boring, to exciting and fun to use.

Many people are under the misguided belief that in order for a kitchen to remain functional and work properly, it must be a little staid. This is simply not true. Adding eye-catching amendments like a bold color on the wall or fun kitchen cabinet handles can be exactly the thing your home needs to take its look from ho-hum to wow! The only question is whether you have the courage to take the leap into this bold new territory.

With a little reassurance from friends and family, Bergen County home remodeling can be an exciting adventure. The key to this is trusting the professionals. Let these people do what they do best and guide you towards a kitchen you will love when the whole process is completed.

Is Contracting in Your Future?

6:52 pm

Bergen County Home RemodelingThe majority of our Bergen County contractors have known they wanted to build things with their hands their entire life. These men and women are the ones who grew up practically glued to wooden blocks, Legos and tree house sets. Taking a pile of sticks and turning them into a home is practically in their blood. Is it in yours?

If this sounds like you, and if you are someone who has been building since the first moment you realized you could, a career in Bergen County home remodeling might be for you. Becoming a contractor is not as easy as one might think, but for those who simply have to work with their hands to feel satisfied, it is completely worth it. Learn the steps it takes to become a reputable contractor, and then call Trade Mark to see if we have room to take you onto our team.

Some contractors work for themselves, others join a team. Either way, you will need to take an honest look at your skill sets. What do you excel at? Where can you grow? Identify the areas where growth is needed and sign up for a class. Then get your documents in order. Write up contracts, send out resumes, gather before and after pictures for your portfolio. Once you have done all of this work, start marketing yourself. Build a website and post the link on social media sites. Then answer every reply. This could be the start of your new life!

Restaining Your Kitchen Cabinets

7:59 pm

Restaining your kitchen cabinets is a great way to give your kitchen a new look without signing up for an entire NJ kitchen remodeling project. The process of restaining will completely transform your cabinets!

What color should you restain your kitchen cabinets?

The first decision to make is whether you want your kitchen cabinets to be darker or lighter after the process. If you want to stain your cabinets darker, all you have to do is apply a gel stain over the existing finish after some light sanding. However, if you want to lighten your cabinets or stay close to the shade you have now, you have to remove the old stain completely. Obviously, going darker is the easier option, but it depends on your personal preferences and your willingness to put some elbow grease into the process.  One quick note as you’ll see below, not all wood types are suitable for a darker stained finish so you will need to determine which type of wood species you have to work with first.

Which wood types are best for restaining kitchen cabinets?

There are many different types of wood species available that are made into kitchen cabinets that are very suitable for a light or dark stained cabinet finish. Some of the most commonly used wood species are: Cherry, Maple, Alder, Walnut, Hickory and Oak.  Cherry kitchen cabinets are the single most  popular type of stain the cabinets.  The cherry wood species takes a stained finish very well and develops over time into a very mellow finish.  Maple is most suitable for a lighter stained finish as it tends to get blotchy on the darker side. Alder  is similar to Cherry but not quite as good.  Walnut, Hickory and Oak are all similar open grain wood types and take a light or dark stain very well, on the darker side the open wood grain will be very pronounced.

How to restain your kitchen cabinets

The next order of business when restaining your cabinets is to make sure to cover all the surrounding surfaces. This will protect them from sanding debris and the stain itself. Not doing so can result in disaster.  Start by applying a painters tape in all areas where the cabinets abutt other surfaces.  Then tape plastic sheets to the surrounding areas to protect them from possible splatter and sanding dust.

Assuming you will be restaining your kitchen cabinets lighter –  you will need to strip the old finish of the cabinets completely by either sending it out manually or using a chemical stripper or a combination of the two.  Consulting a local paint store with a sample of your cabinet door in hand would be the best recommendation at this point .

Depending on how dark you are looking to go, you might have to use more than one coat. Open windows before starting, especially if you are going to be doing multiple coats. If you are unsure as to how many coats you need, call a NJ kitchen remodeler. Our professionals can talk you through the process.

Above all, read all directions and follow carefully. This is not a project you can afford to ruin.

 Is restaining your kitchen cabinets a durable solution?

Absolutely nothing compares to the quality and durability of a professional cabinet finish that is performed at the factory in a controlled environment. Having that said, you can certainly give your kitchen and updated  look and do a quality job with the right guidance and products.  It certainly is a big undertaking so be prepared to put in many hours.

 Need help planning your kitchen remodeling project?

Give us a call at 973-636-0100

Design Ideas for Narrow Kitchens

9:44 pm

narrow ktichenHomeowners with narrow kitchens are often at their wits end over how to make the most of their room. Frequently, these homeowners are tempted to overlook design aesthetics for functionality, thinking they have no other option. While it is true that considering function and purpose is crucial when planning a NJ kitchen remodeling project, it does not mean you have to forgo style and aesthetic pleasure. This is where the expertise of a NJ kitchen remodeler will come in handy. As professionals, we have worked with all shapes and sizes of kitchens and have learned what works and what does not. We know how to give you the kitchen of your dreams, even in a limited space. Call us and save yourself a headache.

There are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when designing a remodeling project and design scheme for a narrow kitchen.

When choosing cabinets, remember that in most narrow kitchens the cabinets are all on one wall, and generally, tall cabinets work better than deep ones. Furnishing these kitchen cabinets with pullout shelves is a great way to maximize storage space. When it comes to choosing color schemes, avoid large, bold patterns and overly bright colors. Your goal should be to focus on a design, not on size or shape. Neutral colors will help make the room’s design flow well. Keep window treatments simple with mini blinds.

But, your best bet is to call a remodeler. Let us do what we do best.

Remodeling on a Budget

9:51 pm

Regardless of where you go or who you hire, kitchen remodeling is an expensive proposition. When it comes to one of the single most used rooms in your home, you do not want to skimp on quality or craftsmanship. You also cannot afford to break the bank with your New Jersey Kitchen remodeling project. Instead of giving up on the idea entirely, or going for broke, there are a few ways to remodel your kitchen on a budget.

  1. Replace Your Countertops: The simple, and relatively inexpensive (depending on the material you choose), act of replacing your old countertops with new ones will add a drastic change to your kitchen.
  2. Paint Your Cabinets: Most cabinets do not come painted (some dislike the look). Painting them yourself can add a pop of color and an additional interesting element to the overall design.
  3. Add a Tile Backsplash: Tile backsplashes can add a whole new color and depth to your kitchen and give you an entirely different impression as you enter.
  4. Replace Your Cabinet Hardware: The incredibly simple move of replacing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets can revolutionize your kitchen and add a burst of newness to an otherwise old room.
  5. Minor Kitchen Remodel: Although this one is still a size-able investment it comes at a much lower price point than a major kitchen remodel. What’s the big difference? Only remove what is absolutely necessary to make way for the new components, limit the rough mechanical work that needs to be done and decrease the overall time it takes to complete the project.  This all translates to big savings for you without sacrificing the overall integrity of the project.
  6. Semi Custom Cabinets: The single largest line item in a kitchen remodeling proposal belongs to noe other that than the star of the show, you guess it, the kitchen cabinets. No need to break the bank and go all out on full custom cabinets. Semi custom cabinets now offer many features that rival the offerings of their full custom counterparts.

With all of these ideas, and any others you come up with on your own, be sure to hire a Bergen County contractor to oversee it all.

Choosing A Kitchen Designer

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Choosing the design scheme, cabinet décor and overall appearance of your kitchen is a big task. It can seem daunting to even the most decoratively inclined of us. If this is the case for you, you are not alone. New Jersey Kitchen Remodeling is one of the most complicated home renovation tasks around. For this reason, and for your own personal sanity, it is often best to part with a little extra cash and hire a designer. This will cost you a little more, but will save you a real headache!

Hiring the right kitchen designer for your project goes a long way, not only will it make your life easier for the duration of the project, it will also produce a much better kitchen remodeling project that will stand the test of time. A good kitchen design plan coupled with expert care and craftsmanship it a great recipe for a successful project. As a side benefit, and a big one, your project will stay on budget and on schedule with a single source of accountability so you can rest assured knowing your investment is protected.

How To Choose A NJ Kitchen Designer

The question then becomes how to pick a kitchen designer who will help you make your dream kitchen a reality. Here are a few tips.

  1. Do some preliminary research. Explore your tastes and educate yourself on what is out there. This will give you a starting point when you talk to designers.
  2. Learn what actually goes into a NJ kitchen remodeling. Read magazines. Watch youtube videos. Be educated. Do not walk in unaware and ready to be taken advantage of.
  3. Ask for referrals from friends, coworkers and retailers.
  4. Ask to see qualifications and photographs. You can gather more information than you would imagine by looking at photos.
  5. Be prepared to pay for experience. It is worth it!

Beyond what we have discussed here already, there are a myriad of material selections, cabinet options, product offerings, appliance integration and countertop options that will come up along the way to name a few, it’s best to have someone who can help navigate the path to a beautiful new kitchen, someone to bounce ideas off of. It’s not so easy to make decisions for your own home, having an objective opinion is very reassuring when making such large decisions, no need to go at it alone!

Need help planning your NJ Kitchen Remodeling Project?

Give a Kitchen Designer A Call At 973-636-0100