Best Kitchen Sinks

Kitchen sinks are a must in your kitchen. Not only are they used for functionality but a good sink will enhance your kitchen's design. Never thought that your kitchen sink would be a centerpiece, did you? Well, it is. Kitchens are not just a place to cook or do dishes. They are a place where family and friends gather around and talk.

The open space concept has eliminated the barriers between the kitchen and the living room. The cook is now allowed to be apart of the conversation and not feel so separated. Having a beautiful kitchen displayed to your guests is a great way to impress them. Not to mention, it will make your home feel homier and inviting.

In this blog, we will be sharing the latest kitchen sink trends. Creating and or finding a kitchen sink is not the easiest thing to do. So, we want to help you in your searches with a kitchen sink buyers guide.

Composite Sink

 

Composite sinks are typically made of quartz or granite that are mixed with a durable acrylic or polyester-resin base. These sinks are built to withstand stains and scratches. Composite sinks usually come in the color of speckle.

Pro: Composite sinks can be custom made, as well as being able to be carved and beveled. Another plus is that composite sinks come in a variety of different colors. It is also worthy to note that these sinks do not fade! Composite sinks are very easy to care for and are priced at the lower end. A composite sink is a great choice when wanting that stone look but don't want to pay the price!

Con: If there is ever any damage to the sink, you must replace the whole countertop. This is because of the composite sink being custom made to the countertop. This is where a composite sink could cost you.

Cast-Iron Sink

 

What is a better way to complete your farmhouse kitchen then a cast-iron sink? Cast-iron is a timeless, sturdy material. It is made by heating up enamel onto an iron bowl.  This process gives the sink that signature smooth glossy finish.

Pro: Cast-iron sinks will not crack or dent. They are extremely durable and can withstand just about anything. Cast-iron can also come in a variety of different colors. Whatever color you choose, it will still have that "sparkly" look about it.

Con: Cast-iron anything, is extremely heavy. Upon installation, you should have an experienced installer. You also want to make sure the sink will have a sturdy base. So, it would not be wise to cheap out on the counter. Like most materials, cast-iron can scratch and the enamel can wear and change color.

Stone Sink

 

A stone sink is probably my favorite. You cannot beat the elegance of it. Stone has been a very popular option in the kitchen for years. It is commonly used for countertops and flooring. But now the use of stone is becoming very popular within sinks.  Stone sinks are extremely durable and usually have an under-mount style. Because every stone is different, no sinks are alike. If you

Pro: Just the way it looks says it all. Stone sinks are elegant and timeless. Besides the beauty, stone sinks are durable and last a long time.

Con: Here comes the blow. Stone sinks are expensive. Not to mention the lighter colors stain fairly easy.

Decorating a Small NYC Apartment Kitchen

New York City apartment living: big on its style, small on its space. Whether you are living in a loft in SOHO or in an apartment in the East Village, cramped living spaces are the norm in NYC. Especially the kitchen.

We want to help you make the most out of every fabulous square inch you got. Even if you don't have many! Here are a couple of tips to help jazz up your small NYC apartment kitchen.

Tip #1 Eye-Catching Backsplash

 

Want to give your NYC apartment some style? Add an eye-catching backsplash in your kitchen. In a small space, even a small portion of an eye-catching backsplash tile can add some drama and personality to your home. Personally, I like anything with a little bit of texture and sparkle.

Tip #2 Built-in Cabinets / Storage

 

This is a huge space saver and can be quite decorative. In a small kitchen, it is a really good idea to have a place for everything. Having a place for every item can cut down on the clutter. I recommend to get pull out shelves and appliance garages installed. These two things will keep the smallest NYC apartment organized and functional. Pull out drawers can house spices and can organize knives and silverware. Another thing that I love about pull out shelves is that you can hide items! When there is too much stuff displayed on your counter, it can either look messy or just simply be taking up way too much room.

You can also create storage by doing open shelving around your kitchen doorway. Put items like cutting boards, coffee cups, mixing bowls in the open slots. Something else you can with this space is,  add little decorations. Add some greenery,   like a small cactus or flowers. Or even some cooking books. This space is totally up to you. Use it for storing practical kitchen items or add some decorations to make it homier.

Tip #3 Glass Door Fronts

Some people don't know that you can replace your cabinet doors with glass. Though this might be a little more of a pricer decision, it can really create the illusion of a more spacious kitchen. Also a trick with glass doors, it will keep you more organized since people can see through your cupboards.

Tip #4 Add Wall Stickers

Okay yes, this could be tacky but it could also be super artistic and fun. What a simple way to add your own personal touch. Wall stickers can be swapped out at any time. So say you want a marble background one month then you want roses another month. Just simply peel off one and stick on the other.

Tip #5 Rolling Cart

 

Bringing back the college days with a rolling cart? Well, these are perfect for small NYC apartment kitchens. Rolling storage carts are the perfect addition. You can add color and keep clutter out of sight by hanging a curtain from it.

 

Bathroom Trends 2019

As we near the middle of the fall and the end of the year it's nice to look back and reflect on some of the trends that we have seen in Bathrooms in 2019. Here are what some of the top interior designers say that the trends have been in the past year.

  1. Big impression in small spaces - Patrick Ediger explains by saying"Small spaces like powder rooms excel as a canvas for a singular, splashy statement. A high-contrast, large-scale wallpaper expands a small space and infuses it with an artful attitude."
  2. A neutral pallet - "We love a classic bathroom and think it's always on trend to have something that works for years to come. To keep it feeling modern we love using a monochromatic element throughout the whole space. For example, using all of one color or material (such as the color green or all marble tile) is a great way to achieve this, classic tile and motifs can be incorporated still but using all of one material creates a fun jewel box-like look to the space. You can still stay neutral and make it feel like something really special." –Allison Petty
  3. A completely black bathroom - "The spa-inspired bathroom trend has officially returned–back to the spa, that is. These days it's all about bold, dark, sultry bathroom designs that evoke an indulgent high-end experience." — Kesha Franklin
  4. Open concept designs - "Gone are the days where you hide behind a wall or door when getting ready for work or a big night out. It's all about the open concept. The use of steel or privacy glass as a barrier is important, but ultimately, showering and getting ready in the open air is awesome. I see a lot of this happening in the residential interiors world." — Becky Shea
  5. Statement Art - "The year 2019 is all about making an artistic statement; even in the bathroom. A sophisticated piece of fine art will provide your bathroom with a pretty focal point." — Anne Hepfer 
  6. White and Grey Marble - "White and grey marble continue to be strong, popular materials into 2019 for bathrooms and kitchens alike. They are classic and timeless, can go from traditional to modern in terms of aesthetics, and are also great for resale. Man-made materials, such as quartz and porcelain tiles that look like natural stones, are also workhorses from a durability perspective and will continue to be popular in the new year." — Ariel Okin
  7. Concrete - "We'll see the use of concrete application in sink basins, countertops, floors and walls. It's really exciting to see a brutalist material mixed with organic elements. Traditionally, concrete has been viewed as cold and non-welcoming, but I'm of the mindset that marrying this utilitarian medium with woods, steel, porcelain and resin is what you guys are going to see surface in 2019 across all design aesthetics." — Becky Shea

Bathroom Remodel Checklist

Remodeling a bathroom is a great way to refresh your space and increase your home value. Your remodel could be simple like applying a new coat of paint, refreshing the appliances or it could be more complex by doing a complete renovation and starting from scratch.  No matter what updates you are planning on doing it is helpful to plan ahead. Here is a checklist of important questions to ask yourself.

  • Make a list of priorities for the remodel as well as expectations 
    • What is your big-picture goal?
    • When does the job need to be finished?
  • Set a Budget
    • What are you planning on doing? New Shower? More Square footage? A fresh coat of paint?
    • Go through everything you are planning on doing to the bathroom and account for the price. Don’t forget the details, like the knobs on the new cabinets and the light switch covers.
  • Choose a color palette or design style
    • You should try to stay consistent with the color and materials you choose. You should also try to keep the design consistent with the rest of your house.
  • Source your materials and permits
    • Talk to manufacturers. Look into alternative eco-friendly, low-VOC or moisture-resistant materials.
    • Consider upgrades such as a bathroom fan, electric heater or radiant-heated floors.
    • Try to purchase as much as possible before you begin.
  • Plan all the logistics
    • Find out if you will need plumbing for the toilet or shower or if you can use existing pipes
    • Make sure you can get all the materials in time by checking the shipping periods
    • Find a contractor like GoldenIConstruction
    • Will the remodel have enough demolition that you’ll need to seal off other rooms from dust or noise?
  • Anticipate Obstacles
    • Will the subfloor need to be replaced?
    • Will the new fixtures and appliances like a new tub fit through the door?
    • Can the existing wiring be used?
    • Will the inspection officer be available during the remodeling process?
  • Create a timeline
    • Make a list of steps throughout the process that follow a set timeline
  • Get creative 
    • Be creative when designing the space
    • Find light fixtures at thrift stores

How to Prepare for your NYC Apartment Renovation

1. Be a confident decision-maker

Everyone involved in the remodel, including you, want the remodel to move forward in a timely manner and on schedule. To make sure that this is the case it is imperative that all decisions are made quickly and efficiently. Your contractor will discuss with you possible situations that may come up on your project. These decisions on what the solution will be are not what usually causes delays. The smaller decisions like faucet selection,  paint, or trim choice are what people usually get stuck on. If these aren't made in a timely manner, your faucet could be two weeks late because of shipping, and then your plumber will have to be rescheduled leading to a delay.

2. Compare prices and Set a Budget

This is hopefully an obvious one. It is important no matter what project you are doing to set a budget. When you are dividing up your budget per room, you will get the most return value on rooms like a master bathroom and or a kitchen if you decide to sell your place in the future. Also if you spend less money on lighting, vanities and closet systems, you will see more return on your investment.

You will want to get a rough idea of cost on all the different styles and looks you are considering implementing in your space. You don't need an exact estimate yet, but having a rough estimate will allow you to better plan your budget. For an exact estimate, the remodeling agency will have to come in and assess the condition of your space before providing an exact estimate.

3. Create a Contingency fund

No matter how much you plan or prep for your remodel something always happens. Because of this, it is important to set aside 5% of your original budget just in case. Rarely does anyone ever set a realistic budget for a project. However, you should not consume your contingency fund to stretch your budget.

4. Visit a Kitchen and Bath Showroom

If you are remodeling your kitchen and bathroom it is really helpful to go see a local showroom. This will allow you to see materials in person, ask questions and get an idea on pricing. This will allow you to make some informed decisions before and during the remodel.

Melamine Cabinets? What you need to know

What is Melamine? It is a synthetic material used to produce cabinets in your kitchen and the rest of your home. Melamine has a compressed wood particle core, which is then covered with a resin and paper finish that can be manufactured to embody a variety of styles and colors. To better understand this material we will go through the pros and cons in the following list.

Pros

  • Durability - Because of the tough outer coating, Melamine is resistant to the usual issues presented in the kitchen, like excessive moisture, heat or stains. It is also really easy to clean.
  • Offer a large variety - As mentioned earlier, the synthetic material offers a huge range of finishes. It can come in any shade or color so it is easy to match your kitchen's style.
  • A uniform finish - Unlike solid wood that can vary in grain patterns and color since melamine is manufactured in a controlled setting it offers a consistent finish.
  • Low Cost - Compared to solid wood cabinets, melamine is offered at a much lower price.

Cons

  • Cabinets can be heavy - This may not be your first concern but because of the weight, you may have to purchase heavy-duty brackets to install your cabinets. Without these, the cabinets may fall off the way which will cause expensive damages.
  • Melamine can chip - Even though the outside surface is durable it can be prone to chipping. This leaves the inner wood core exposed which is not attractive. It can also be expensive to have the cabinets refinished.
  • Can be harder to install - Because of how the material is constructed, the cabinets might splinter when using nails or screws. You should use a professional installation team, like GoldenIConstruction, to install your cabinets.
  • Melamine is prone to water damage - Any wooden material is likely to water damage, but if the wood particle core of the cabinets gets saturated with water, it can compromise their structural integrity. Water can be absorbed, in general, more easily in this material than solid wood.

Mistakes that can Derail Your Kitchen Remodel

Are you thinking of remodeling your kitchen? No matter what you are trying to do, whether it's adding an island or knocking down a wall, most people's goal is to get the most out of your remodel without overspending. So what sort of mistakes would cost you more money? Here is a list to help you avoid those mistakes.

1. Not Buying Appliances First

Always choose your appliances first before you choose things like countertops or cabinets. It is much easier to match your cabinets to your appliances than the other way around.

2. Overspending on cabinets and appliances

Cabinets and appliances are incredibly important for your kitchen both aesthetically and functionally. However, there is no need to go broke trying to buy the "best" the store has to offer. Do some research before buying cabinets and appliances. There are many options that give the same look and feel as the high-end cabinets and appliances while staying on budget.

3. Failing to measure

This is one of the most common mistakes among people doing renovations. Make sure you measure twice before buying fixtures, hardware, or appliances.  Then once you do that, you should thoroughly review the product details before purchasing an item to ensure that it fits.

4. Going light on the lighting

Improper lighting can be incredibly problematic, especially in the kitchen. You want to make sure you have enough lighting for every task whether that's cutting, cooking, or using appliances. It is suggested to include a dimmer switch and under cabinet lighting.

5. Botching the Backlash

Misplacing a backlash is a common decorative mistake that many people do. The backsplash should have a clear termination point horizontally, usually aligning with the bottom of the cabinets or where the walls meet. It should never overhang the upper cabinet or turn a corner.

6. Failing to level the floor

Make sure that you check if the floor is leveled before laying the flooring. If you need to level the floor you don't want to have the floor half-laid before realizing. That is a huge extra cost.

Bathroom and Kitchen Renovations for the Fall

Now that we are starting to get into the fall season, many homeowners start to think about how they can improve their home. Fall is a great time to make updates and upgrades to your home. While it may be too late to expect to complete a major home addition or renovation project, there is definitely time before the end of the year to spruce up your home and make some key changes.

Kitchen

The time for barbequing and having dinner in the warm summer air is coming to an end. Fall is the time for many families to bring cooking back indoors. Here are a few ideas on what you can do if may not want to do a full kitchen remodel.

  • You can resurface, paint, or stain your cabinets instead of completely replacing them
  • You can also replace the hardware on your cabinets and drawers which can have a surprisingly transformative effect
  • Resurface or replace your worn or dated countertops add a fresh new feel to your kitchen
  • Put a fresh coat of paint on your walls and ceiling
  • Make your kitchen energy efficient by upgrading your appliances to energy-efficient ones
  •  Get your kitchen ready for all the cooking you’ll be doing this fall and winter by installing a new range hood and fan
  • Install a kitchen island you have always wanted so it's easy to entertain guests

All these changes allow you to upgrade your kitchen little by little without having to do a complete remodel.

Bathroom

If you like having guests over, it might be time to take a look at your bathroom to see how you can make it a little nicer. Here are a few ideas to make the room a bit more presentable.

  • Repaint the walls and ceiling
  • Give your bathroom a deep clean by cleaning or scrubbing the tiles. You can do this by yourself or hire professionals.
  • Replace your vanity and mirror
  • Add a textured wall covering for a more inviting feel

What to do with your spare room?

If you are lucky enough to have an extra room, you may be wondering what to do with it. There are plenty of different ideas that can fit into your home based on the needs and tastes of your family members.  Here are some ideas to get you started brainstorming on what your room can be turned into.

A nook for quiet contemplation or relaxing

This is a great option if you have an attic space or a small room available. The space allows you to have some valuable me time in a cozy comfortable setting. You could curl up with a book, have some quiet tome to clear your head or unwind with loved ones. In this space it is best to keep furniture and technology to a minimum. Focus on minimal decorations and cushy & comfortable seating.

A bedroom for the children and then a future guest room

Do you have kids that are demanding their own space? Well if you turn the space into a bedroom for the childrne then when they grow up ot can be conveniently turned into a guest room. You would just have to move their belongings and rearrange the beds and add some storage.

A media room

The spare room could be turned into a media room that allows your family to spend time together afte a long day. They can enjoy watching movies, tv or play games together. For an added bonus add a fire place for extra comfort.

A reading room

If getting lost in a new book is what you need in your life then this might be the solution for you. You can add some really comfy seating like an armchair or recliner and then surround your self with your beloved books. Make sure you arrange for ideal surface & wall lighting as well as overhead lighting to allow for the comfort of reading any time of the day or night.

Home Gym

A functional and well equipped gym is a great way to utilize your extra space. It will allow you to not only save on a gym membership but will also make it easier for you to work out.

A Home Office

If you work from home, or always bring your work home this is a great use of the space. Make sure you furnish it properly with sufficient cabinets, comfortable work station, and a supportive chair.

Where and How to Store your Stuff During a Remodel

When you are remodeling your home there are a lot of moving parts. Other than figuring out design choices, like what countertops to choose, you also need to figure out logistics. One of these logistics is where are you going to keep all your stuff? Storage during a remodel can be tricky since you want to keep your stuff out of the way while maintaining easy access to your items. Here are five temporary storage options that could help.

1. Rent a Storage Container

A portable storage container is a great solution because it's like having your own storage unit in your driveway. This is a great solution for a remodel because it provides you with the ability to completely clear items out of your home while also maintaining the flexibility and convenience of having those items on hand when you need them.

Make sure that you do your research before picking a storage container. There are many different options that different companies provide. These options range in size, cost, and delivery options with size being the most valuable so don't skimp on the size of the container.  Pick what makes the most sense for your living situation.

The amount of time you keep the portable storage container on your property is up to you. However, you may need permission from the homeowners association if you live in a condo or townhome. Also make sure you are following the rules and get the proper permissions from your town, city or village. Make sure you invest in a heavy-duty lock to protect your stuff since the portable storage company does not provide one.

2. Designate another room for storage

This option is great if you have another room in your home that you don't use very often, for example, a guest bedroom or an empty corner of the basement. This is the most cost-effective option as long as you are not remodeling your entire space since you might not have enough space to spare. If you are having trouble giving up your extra space, just remember this is only temporary. Make sure you do leave your self space to move around in the space so don't box yourself into space.

3. Hire Moving Labor

It can be very difficult to move heavy furniture or boxes even if it is just from your house to your driveway. Consider hiring a moving company to assist you with the move. Make sure you look at lots of different company, at least 3, and get quotes. Only work with a company that is licensed and insured.

4. Store things with Family or Friends

If you don't have room to store your items, maybe you know someone else who does. Ask around and see if anyone has some extra space and are willing to store some items for you. Just make sure that you check timelines with them and clarify if they expect a certain pickup date for those items.

5. Use Self Storage

If you won't need to access your items frequently or you can't keep a portable storage container in your driveway, a traditional self-storage facility is a great option. You can also opt to just store your furniture in the facility and just keep smaller items in your home. If you can’t transport your things on your own to the facility, you can always rent a portable container and have the company pick it up and store it for you. They will just drop it right back off when you’re done with your remodel.