Kitchen Material Trends: Not all materials are created equally

4:34 pm

Not all materials are created equally, and fashions come and go. So what are the latest kitchen material trends when it comes to designing a kitchen or bath? Melania Holiat is director/designer of Trade Mark Design & Build, based in Hawthorne, New Jersey, and is also a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Here she talks about some of the most fashionable materials being offered today.

Kitchen Material Trends

There are many new up-and-coming materials in the building industry, some of which are just starting to have an impact on the design world; others which have been around for a while but are nonetheless still gaining in popularity. It’s all about getting away from ordinary materials and experimenting with different elements.

Countertops

Some of the newest kitchen material trends in making countertops are:

  • Bamboo: Becoming more and more popular as it grows fast, looks nice, is durable and sustainable.
  • Lava: Fairly new in the marketplace, the lava we use is harvested in France from the mountains there, is cut into slabs and then kiln-dried. Depending on the look that is desired, various glazes can be applied, either glossy or grackle glaze. Interestingly, lava countertops wear just as well as granite countertops, as they have the same type of wear rating.
  • Glass: Countertops made from glass are becoming incredibly popular. They are coming out in variety of thicknesses, textures and patterns, and therefore we are not limited to a plain clear generic focal point. We are also able to put things into the glass – air bubbles and shells, for example – to add interest and texture and create a unique piece.
  • Concrete: Also popular material for a countertop as you can put all sorts of things into it, including branches, heirlooms, coins, keys and knickknacks. They are put inside and then sealed with an acrylic coating to maintain their quality. Concrete countertops can either have a matte or a slightly polished finish, and come in a variety of colors. You can go from any color you imagine, and can even do a countertop that integrates into a sink, which means one piece of concrete is molded downwards seamlessly into a sink.

kitchen material trends - machine hammered stainless steel, hammered stainless steel, machine hammered stainless steel countertop, stainless steel countertop, custom stainless steel, metal textures

Cabinetry

When it comes to kitchen cabinetry, then bamboo, stainless steel and glass are all the most popular when it comes to current contemporary trends. High-gloss acrylic is particularly popular, with the trend leaning toward bright, vibrant colors, including crimson, magenta, chartreuse and anything that is nice and bright. These cabinets are often accented with stainless steel panels or sleek black countertops to give a contemporary look and feel to your kitchen.

Flooring

All types of flooring have come back into fashion these days. Recently, many people wanted to a wooden floor in every room of the house, even the kitchen, where it was not always durable. Now we have cork, which is an interesting material, one that is much more versatile than you might think.

Now we are also seeing a lot of tiles that are made to look like wood planks, so you have the durability and maintenance level of a tile, but the look of an actually wood floor. It looks realistic, in part, because it can be bought in the same lengths that wood flooring come in.

Trade Mark Design & Build offers free quotes and kitchen design plans with no obligation, contact us at 973-636-0100 to get started on your kitchen project and learn why we are known for making “Home Remodeling Simplified”!

 

How to choose a Kitchen Designer

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Knowing what you’re kitchen is going to look like and how much it’s going to cost to build before you make a commitment is the best way to choose a kitchen designer.  After you have completed your kitchen planning research and narrowed down the choices to two or three candidates you’re ready to start reaching out and setting up the initial kitchen design visits.

How to choose a Kitchen Designer

 

What takes place at the initial kitchen design visit?

During the initial visit in your home the kitchen designer will take field measurements,  observe traffic patterns, discuss needs and wants and review your vision for the space including what type of materials you may want to use.  A general concept  is discussed and agreed upon along with the potential budget required  to build the project.  The next step is for the kitchen designer to develop this information into a set of conceptual drawings that will be the basis for the next meeting.

What to ask at the kitchen design visit:

  1. Are you comfortable with the kitchen designer, will you enjoy working with him/her?
  2. Do you have to use the kitchen designers sources for the materials or can you select your own sources?
  3. What items are not included in the budget and who is responsible for them?
  4. Who will create the construction, electrical, and tile design plans?
  5. What’s an average build time for similar projects completed?
  6. How much of a variance do you typically see in your proposals?

Proposed kitchen design plans and budget review meeting

Here, the proposed kitchen design plans and budget are presented for review,  this will be your first opportunity to see your new kitchen in the form of a floor plan, elevations of the walls with cabinets and 3-D perspectives.  It’s very exciting see all of the ideas take shape, the kitchen designer will walk you through the layouts and how everything came to be.  A detailed line item proposal based on the conceptual drawings that were created will contain items such as; architects fees, specific building materials, cabinetry budget, countertop allowance, etc., will also be presented that’s based on the drawings that were created.  At the end of this meeting you will have a full understanding of what your kitchen will look like and how much it will cost to build.

What to ask at the kitchen design plan and budget review meeting:

  1. Does the kitchen layout fit your lifestyle?
  2. Is the overall concept pleasing and functional?
  3. Who handles all the logistics and scheduling?
  4. Who will handle the permit process?
  5. What type of care will be taken to prep the home prior to the start of construction?
  6. Does the kitchen designer pass on “trade discounts” to you?

What to ask yourself after the meeting

  1. Were you “wowed” by the design?
  2. Did the kitchen designer really “get you”?
  3. Can you see yourself working with him/her?
  4. How does this offer compare to others?
  5. How much time and thought was put into the initial proposal?

Trade Mark Design & Build offers free quotes and kitchen design plans with no obligation, contact us at 973-636-0100 to get started on your kitchen project and learn why we are known for making “Home Remodeling Simplified”!

How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel Typically Cost?

4:00 pm
Kitchen Design in Bergen County

How Much Does a Kitchen Remodel In The Hawthorne, NJ Area Typically Cost?

In most households, the kitchen often acts as the heart of the home. It’s the central location for hospitality when you welcome guests into your home and where meals are prepared to be shared amongst friends and family. Because of the communal nature of the kitchen, it’s no surprise that the kitchen is among the most commonly remodeled rooms in the home, with the greatest increase in home value among all other rooms.

While the value of your property will increase with a state-of-the-art kitchen upgrade, this also typically comes at a fairly hefty cost. According to U.S. homeowners, the average cost of a kitchen remodel, regardless of size or scope, is just north of $20,000, with a wide spectrum on either end depending on how much or how little is being renovated. However, don’t be deterred by the cost, as those who are seeking to add a fresh, modern feel to their otherwise dated kitchen, will find it to be well worth the cost both while living there and when looking to sell.

The Broad Spectrum of Renovation 

The cost of any kitchen remodel depends entirely on the size of the kitchen, the scope of the project, and the desires of the homeowner. According to the Houzz and Home survey done by the interior design and decorating website Houzz, homeowners will spend on average $11,700 for a small-scale remodel to $29,400 for a full-scale remodel for a small kitchen (<201 sq. ft.). For a larger kitchen (>201 sq. ft.), the range increases from $17,800 for a minor remodel to $42,400 for a major remodel.

A small scale project could entail upgrades such as installing tile backsplashes for a colorful accent, upgrading the sink, painting walls, resurfacing cabinets, and other smaller scale features. On the other hand, you could be looking to do a complete overhaul of perhaps a particularly dated kitchen, which could include pricier upgrades such as custom cabinet installation, new hardwood floors, countertops, and higher-end appliances.

What to Consider When Renovating 

There are several factors you should keep in mind when preparing to take on a kitchen remodel. Do you plan on doing it yourself or through the help of a contractor? Before beginning any project, you should determine how much you are willing and able to allocate towards the remodel, as your budget will restrict the scope of your project regardless of what you wish to upgrade. For example, if you have a budget of somewhere from $5,000-$10,000, but you wish to install new cabinets, countertops, and appliances, you may have to rethink the scope of the project or the amount of money you are willing to spend.

If you are looking to hire a contractor to do the labor for you, be prepared to budget a little more for the cost of the labor. While the price does slightly increase, most homeowners find it well worth it to get a professional to assess the remodel plan and carry out the construction, as they offer years of invaluable experience that will really make the project come together. A contractor will know all of the finer details on proper installation methods, common mistakes to avoid, and will be able to offer a professional opinion that truly takes the kitchen redesign to a whole new level.

Another factor to consider is how long you plan on living in the house after you remodel the kitchen. It is common to remodel a kitchen with the intent of raising the home’s resale value, but if that is the case, make sure not to break your budget. The optimal budget in this case should be no more than 5-15% of the home’s total value, as this is the approximate range homeowners can expect to recoup upon selling. Conversely, if you intend on living in the house for many years to come, it may make more sense to splurge on items like new countertops, cabinets, flooring, and appliances, as you are likely to find value in the use of modern kitchen space.

Pro Tip: At Trade Mark, we have found that our costs to completely remodel a kitchen are typically less than what a homeowner can do it for after factoring in a few considerations. This includes the additional time they spend managing the job and finding sub-contractors, errors they make in the process, and paying more than our trade prices that we are able to pass on to them. Plus, we are able to relieve the homeowner’s stress before, during, and after the project. We understand that the key to a successful project is proper planning and management.

Whether your kitchen or the scope of your project is small or large, a carefully planned remodel can give your home a fresh modern feel that you’ll be able to enjoy for years to come.

If you’re planning a kitchen remodel and looking for the right contractor for the job, contact Trade Mark Design & Build today. You can also visit our showroom located in Hawthorne, NJ for some unique inspiration ideas.

Kitchen Countertops: What Material Works for Your Home and Budget?

10:00 am
Home Additions

Kitchen Countertops: What Material Works for Your Home and Budget

If you are looking to spruce up your kitchen, whether it be a complete remodel or not, your countertops are the perfect place to start. The right countertops will set the tone for the entire room, however choosing countertops is easier said than done. With all the material types out there, how do you know which one to choose? Follow this handy guide below and you will know which material is right for you in no time.

Quartz Countertops

If budget isn’t a concern, you can’t beat quartz countertops. These powerful countertops are heat, impact, scratch, acid, and stain resistant, making them basically maintenance free. The nonporous surface doesn’t have to be sealed and these countertops come in so many colors, you will have no issue matching your chosen color scheme.

Granite Countertops

Polished and honed granite countertops are both popular options. While granite isn’t as heat or scratch resistant as quartz, it is still highly resistant, so you don’t have to worry too much. It’s also elegant and can increase the value of your home.

You are likely familiar with polished granite countertops. Honed countertops are a little less common but equally as elegant. Instead of a polished finish, these countertops have a soft matte finish.

While it technically costs less to manufacturer honed granite countertops, they are typically more expensive than polished granite countertops due to availability. That is the key when picking granite. You can save a lot of money by choosing something that is readily available. If the store has to send out for it, the price will go up drastically.

Other Natural Stone Countertops

While not as popular as granite countertops, soapstone, and limestone are also regarded options. These countertops don’t come in many colors, though, and they aren’t as easy to clean and maintain as some of your other options. You must be delicate and use great care when handling these countertops. If you love the rustic look of natural stone, they are a great option, but if not, you might want to go with an option that is more affordable and easier to maintain.

Engineered Stone Countertops

If you love the idea of natural stone, but want something that is available in a variety of colors and is easy to maintain, go with engineered stone. You will really have to try and harm these countertops to ruin them. They are around the same price as granite, however, so if you are budget conscious, engineered stone may not be the countertop for you.

Concrete Countertops

Do you love the idea of having a modern kitchen? If so, concrete countertops are a great place to start. You can customize them to your liking, all the way down to the texture and color. These countertops also capture and release heat, making them energy efficient. You can get concrete countertops for less than granite, but if you want to truly customize these countertop, it is going to cost around the same as granite.

Wood Countertops

Wood countertops, including the popular butcher-block type, are a great way to create a warm look in your kitchen. These are a cinch to clean, and if you scratch them, you are usually able to sand it out. Water can hurt the countertops, so you need to oil them on a regular basis to help keep them sealed. As far as price, you can find some wood countertops on a budget, or you can find yourself paying top dollar. This makes them a great choice for just about anyone.

Laminate Countertops

If you are on a tight budget, consider laminate countertops. Laminate has changed a lot over the years and now you can get it in patterns that look like wood, quartz, and natural stone. You can even find them in bright colors. This is a great way to make your home look expensive and luxurious without spending a ton of money. You do have to be careful avoiding scratches and burning with these countertops, but if you take care of them, they can hold up for years and years.

PRO TIP: An important thing to keep in mind when pricing your new countertops, is that although they may be priced per square foot as a guideline, many other factors can come into play. Common price influences include slab yield, grain direction, and waste factors. Then there are some cases where you are obligated to purchase the entire slab, regardless of your project size. At Trade Mark, we recommend receiving a quote that is specific to your project and material selection before purchasing. Give us a call at 973-636-0100 if you need assistance with pricing or any other project requirements!

As you can see, you have plenty of choices when it comes to selecting countertops. You can browse your options and learn more when you visit the Trade Mark Design & Build showroom in Hawthorne, NJ. Our skilled team is here to help you with your kitchen remodel, all while keeping your personal style and budget in mind. Let the design team be your partner as you give your kitchen the makeover it desperately needs.

Your Guide to Under Cabinet Lights and Pricing

1:55 pm
Wine Cellar Mahwah NJ

Your Guide to Under Cabinet Lights and Pricing

Whether you are remodeling your entire kitchen or just looking to enhance the look and feel, Trade Mark Design & Build would like to talk about the addition of under cabinet lighting to your home. Under cabinet lighting acts as a great complement to your main overhead lights with the ability to provide extra illumination on prep areas and task lighting. You can even add a dimmer setting to certain types of lighting to set the mood for get-togethers or date night.

Below we discuss a few different under cabinet lighting options to help you gage what works best for you taste and budget. A little bit of light can go a long way!

LED Lighting

As you may have guessed, LED lighting is the most popular type of under cabinet lighting. This is due to its long lasting capability, low heat output, and of course its high-energy savings. LED lights are 90% more efficient than the less superior incandescent bulbs, which produce a great deal of heat. Plus, although they are typically known to come in cool tones, they also offer warm tones for those who prefer it.

When looking to install under cabinet LED lighting, know there are direct wire self-contained units, tape, and individual or puck light units to choose from. Self-contained units contain multiple lights in a singular unit and offer a minimalist look. Tape style is the thinnest option and flexible when needed. Puck lighting allows you to focus each light in a specific area, but with that comes a bit of extra installation work. They can be mounted to the underside of the cabinet or recessed into it.

As far as pricing, LED lighting will cost you the most. This is not only due to the general novelty of LED lights in recent years, but the fact that they are the most complicated to install. They require elements such as transformers and switches, often times failing to meet building code standards. Their installation requires a decent amount of consideration as far and money and planning, and we typically recommend LED lighting to be installed in a new construction unit. This is especially true if you would like low voltage lighting, since it requires a transformer over the usual line voltage lighting. To help with high pricing, LED lights are dimmable, which can help you save energy daily. Also, remember that because LED lights are energy efficient, they will end up saving you money in the long run.

Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL)

Similar to LED lighting, the popular CFL’s are also highly energy efficient and produce little heat. This modernized version of the fluorescent bulb is no longer noisy or flickers on when you flip the switch.

When looking for an under cabinet style, CFL bulbs come in self-contained units or as individual lights as well. Self-contained units are perfect for keeping the actual lights out of sight while still producing sufficient illumination. Be aware that not all fluorescent lights are dimmable and that you will need to check the packaging or with the company installing them for you.

Pricing for CFL under cabinet lighting is going to cost you less than the LED lighting, but more than incandescent lights, which we will touch on next. Although they have many of the same appealing qualities of LED lighting, CFL’s are easier to install. This helps drop the cost. In the future you will see even more savings due to the long lifespan and energy efficiency.

Incandescent Lighting

A popular type of incandescent lighting for under your cabinets is known as xenon. It runs on the gas xenon that is encased in the bulb. Although they are better in the energy efficiency category and produce less heat than traditional incandescent lights, they do not compare to LED or CFL lighting. They are popular because of their ability to produce a warm, but vivid illumination. This allows for proper lighting when prepping for meals or parties.

They come in self-contained units, rope, or individual lights. You can have them hardwired into the cabinets or purchase a plug-in option. Plus, xenon lighting is dimmable for those who enjoy that feature.

Pricing for xenon lights are cheaper than LED or CFL’s due to their ease of install, but as those styles become more popular, the price gap may continue to close. Remember that the price will also be affected by the type of installation method you select (electrical outlet or hard wiring). Hiring a professional is usually necessary for certain methods, especially hard wiring.

PRO TIP: For those of you who already have CFL or xenon lighting installed under their cabinets, but are looking to upgrade to LED lighting, you are in luck. They now make LED retrofit bulbs which will fit existing features and are cheaper than installing a new LED unit. Contact Trade Mark Design & Build to learn more!

Here at Trade Mark Design & Build, we want to help make your kitchen dreams come true. If you need help deciding on a type of under cabinet lighting that suits your home, contact us today and let us do the work. You can also visit our showroom in Hawthorne, NJ for other inspirational ideas.

Planning Your Dream Kitchen Part 2: Creating a Feel for the Details

6:39 pm

trademark part2

Once you have an idea of the layout, budget, and timing of your kitchen remodeling project, you’ll be ready to dive into the details. From here, you’ll want to consider the type of style you’d like to use for your kitchen. Are you traditional, modern, or somewhere in the middle? Being able to answer this type of question will help you to make confident decisions as to what you’re looking for.

Color Scheme

The color scheme you choose in your kitchen is a mixture of personal preference and color psychology. Color has the power to change room elements to such a degree that the kitchen cabinets can appear different in size depending on the choice. Lighter colors will make a room seem more expansive while darker colors create more intimacy. Color personalities are split between active and passive. Active colors excite the body and mind while passive colors are more neutral and muted. Like you will do when imagining your layout, it’s important to imagine how you will use your kitchen. You’ll move faster in a yellow kitchen whereas a neutral kitchen is effective for slow, meditative cooking.

Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinet choice will have a large impact on the feel of your kitchen. One of the first factors to consider is the type of door style you’ll want to use. At a very basic level, you can go with either an inset or overlay cabinet. Inset doors are set within the frame of the cabinet while overlay doors are set over the frame. While stunning, inset doors are usually more expensive and offer less space than overlay doors. Kitchen cabinets can become more interesting by adding elements like glass or a countertop hutch to showcase fine dinnerware. Adding a splash of color to cabinets bring personality to the entire kitchen. An explanation of cabinets wouldn’t be complete without pictures, which is why we have posted many of our completed New Jersey kitchen remodeling projects to our website.

Appliances

Appliances should match the color and style choices of the kitchen. A modern kitchen may feature an electric stove with stainless steel appliances while a traditional kitchen may masque appliances within the cabinetry. Choose colored appliances for a bold statement and a unique jolt of color to create a friendlier tone that will eliminate the mechanical feel. Aside from color, you’ll need to make decisions such as whether you want a gas, electric or induction cooktop. Do you want to use a range hood for silent ventilation? Is a drawer dishwasher more appealing than a traditional top down? What depth, shape, and size would you like your sink to be? These are all questions to keep top of mind when you come and visit us to start your kitchen remodeling project.

As you can see, there are many small details to consider when planning your kitchen. Keep in mind that once you select your colors and styling, all of the other details will flow right into one another. You will even have a better grasp on the types of appliances you would like to use. The one thing to remember throughout the whole process is what you are going to be doing in your kitchen when the project is finished. Arming yourself with all this information will bring you peace of mind throughout the process.

Planning Your Dream Kitchen Part 1: Envisioning Your Space & Layout

7:00 pm

Kitchen Renovation Company NJ

Kitchen renovation can be exciting and intimidating all at once. For the investment you are putting into the project, it’s important to know some basics before you begin. All of these questions and considerations can continue to pile up in an overwhelming way, which is why it’s so important to break each factor down into small bits.

Question 1: What am I looking to achieve with my new design?

Spend some time in your current kitchen and consider all of the things that lack function. Maybe the stove is too close to the sink. Write all of these factors down along with a solution for the problem. In the example provided, perhaps you could write exactly how much space you want between your sink and stove. Also keep in mind how you will be using this kitchen. How could your new kitchen allow you to prepare a meal faster than before? All of these factors will allow you determine what type of layout you want for your kitchen remodeling project.

Question 2: What is my budget?

Evaluate your current finances and factor in how much you can afford to spend on your project. With this number in mind, consider any other forms of payment that will go into the project. Will you be taking out a loan or refinancing? Once you take this into account, you can consider other factors like real estate value on your home. Depending on how much longer you plan to stay, remember that your renovation can potentially increase the value of your home. You’ll also want to budget for surprise costs like electrical issues or unexpected rotting. Keep in mind that your budget can change drastically depending on how many extras you choose to go for, so try and stick to the original plan. Keeping a spreadsheet of your costs can help to stay organized and avoid overspending.

Question 3: What’s the best time to start my project?

Before you start your renovation, it helps to be completely sure that you are doing it at a time that is most convenient for you. Summer and spring could be great options as they allow you to prepare meals from the barbecue in the backyard. Spring and summer remodeling also means that your kitchen will be ready for the holidays. If the holidays aren’t much of a factor, consider any other celebrations you’ll want to plan around.

While these are some of the more prominent questions you’ll be asking about your project, you will have more questions as you go along, which is why we recommend consulting us before you begin your project. With a quick stop by our showroom, we can walk you through every step of the process and show you some examples of what we have to offer. Our goal is to take out the overwhelm of kitchen remodeling so that you can enjoy the entire process.

The Perfect Palette: New Products from Schrock

1:43 am
The Perfect Palette: New Products from Schrock

Today’s trends continue to emphasize transitional to modern lines, and this brings a demand for confidence in color not seen in more traditional styles. Schrock delivers in full on these needs with a carefully curated, invigorating palette of new cabinet door styles and complementary finish colors, as well as new cabinetry products and features designed to bring beauty, convenience, and improved functionality into your life.

Designing a Modern Chic Kitchen in New Jersey

10:36 pm
Suburban Chic in Mahwah NJ

Designing a modern kitchen means more than just incorporating the most contemporary design features of the day, it means having the ability to make decisions based off of your desires for design. Integrating chic features into a modern design, while maintaining efficiency in space, and staying true to your character.

Let’s highlight a kitchen remodeling project done by our team, where we brought chic urban style to the suburbs in Mahwah, NJ.

Suburban Industrial Mahwah NJ

Minimalism in the Kitchen

A minimalist design approach was used to create a contemporary, industrial look and feel for the space. This kitchen design is great for families who cook several meals a week at home, it takes high-capacity usage as well, and keeps the cleaning process down to a minimum. A few great pieces of art can help integrate your character among a minimalist kitchen.

Stainless Steel Features

In this Mahwah, NJ Kitchen we incorporated stainless steel countertops to complement the semi-custom cabinetry in cherry with a chocolate stain and provide contrast. The custom stainless steel hood offers both utilitarian and aesthetic value, flowing seamlessly into the surrounding Gagganau & Miele appliances and cabinetry and facilitating efficient ventilation while cooking.

Modern Islands

Last but certainly not least, the spacious island affords ample space for food preparation and a nexus for socializing with friends and family–because after all, regardless of your intentions, company tends to migrate straight to the kitchen. Large islands allow for your family and friends to gather around in the kitchen without everyone having to stand in one place. You can place bar chairs around the island so your guests have a place to sit while you work in the kitchen, or even have a chance to get them involved in the cooking!

With contemporary, or modern kitchens, you get to keep your personal style, without sacrificing efficiency, design, and function.

Trade Mark Design & Build is a team comprised of NJ Kitchen Remodeling experts. We offer high-quality kitchen remodeling in North Jersey and the surrounding area. A specialized team of designer-builders will assist a project director in the design and construction of anything you can think of.