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.

 

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

Interior Renovations Step by Step

For a whole home renovation, there are some main steps that every renovation follows. Sometimes these some of these steps may not apply to your project if you are just updating the paint or the flooring.

The order of these steps may also vary based on the contractor. However, here at Golden I Construction, you will be guaranteed that these steps will be handled with the highest importance and expertise.  We will sit down with you and discuss any of your concerns as well as use the best quality materials for completion.

  1. Demolition - Before anything new can be added, you need to get rid of the old. This may mean pulling up carpeting, tearing down wallpaper or tearing down walls. Demolition projects can range in time and some can be done in a day or two while others may take much longer. You will want to have a plan in place before the demolition begins for staying somewhere else during the process or you can move the location of the demolished room to somewhere else in the house.
  2. Rebuilding - Next step is to start rebuilding. If this involves walls then this is the step where wood framing is reassembled,  windows are added, and doors are added to the framework. For room add-ons, the roof will be added and enclosed along with the gutters and exterior siding.
  3. Utilities - Now its time to add and reposition all the utilities. If you are installing new appliances or find you will be utilizing numerous electronic devices, the electrical panel may need updating as well. Gas and water utilities need to be considered especially if you are remodeling a bathroom and/or a kitchen. Water lines are not as easy to move so your remodeling project may have to be carefully planned around existing pipes. However, this is also a good opportunity to update water supply lines to new copper pipes which are not only more sturdy but allow water to run more quietly. For a remodel that is going to add gas appliances, running new pipes is a must but a larger meter may need to be installed too. During this step, the ductwork for central heating and air conditioning units will also be moved or extended to accommodate your new space.
  4. Walls - Now that all the interior stuff is properly in the walls it is time to start enclosing them. Insulation will be inserted or blown-in first. Then, drywall will be hung along with taping, mudding, and sanding. Once the walls are smooth they are ready for paint, wallpaper, or whatever finish you chose during your planning stages.
  5. Flooring - Depending on the contractor the flooring will either be installed after the walls have been painted and finished to avoid damage to floors or they could be installed before. This will depend on what you decided with your contractor during the planning stage.
  6. Cabinets - Cabinets are a great way for your own personal design choices to start showing through. This step is when any new cabinets for the kitchen or bathroom will be installed. Everything from upper storage cabinets to vanities along with countertops that have been pre-cut with spaces to accommodate sinks and appliances.
  7. Appliances - Now it is time to make the new space functional. Any new appliances will be fitted and installed. Everything from the refrigerator to the stove, sinks, and tubs with their stylish faucets and fixtures, as well as the washer and dryer. Also if you chose to keep your previous appliances they will be introduced to their new locations during this step.
  8. Final Touches - Now it's time for the last few touches before the clean up can begin. These touch-ups include any fixes to the paint or any wallpaper. This also includes customizable touches like backsplashes, and light fixtures, as well as, door and window trim, hooks, shelving, and hardware.

How to make a plan for Home Remodel

There are many reasons to remodel your home. Does your home feel small or outdated? Maybe you want a new house but you can't find anything you love? Or maybe you are trying to sell your house but want to update it first? It doesn't matter the reason because there are many ways to update your house to fit the needs and lifestyle that you want.

A whole-home remodeling project can be a large and overwhelming feat. There are numerous decisions to make from how much of the home to remodel to what actual appliances are going in. Despite all of these decisions, the improvements you do make are an investment. Any home improvements you make should elevate the functionality of your house as well as increase your home value. The first step is making a plan.

Start with a Plan

Home renovation is in essence just a really really large project. Like with any large project the first step is always to make a plan since there are usually too many choices to make during the actual project. For a home renovation, it is important to make sure everything you want to improve is well-thought-out, researched, and discussed. Here are some factors that should be included in your overall plan.

Have a vision - It is a good idea for you to begin by looking through magazines or visiting home improvement stores for ideas and inspiration. However, no matter your dream or wish for your home you will need to make sure it'll work in the layout of the house, add to its function or even fit into the budget. It’s a good idea to prioritize the top 5 -10 must-haves before making a definite plan.

Size - How much of your home are you remodeling? Are you adding on a new room or adding a whole new floor? If adding on is part of the plan, you’ll need to check if permits are needed or if there are neighborhood covenants to consider. Of course, all of these questions will depend on your budget.

Style and Design - Everyone has a personal style or design that they want in your home. However, you should make sure you pick a design that fits the test of time. Don’t pick a style that is so trendy that you will need to update again in 3 years or get so customized with your lighting or built-in cabinets that it’s impossible to resell later. There are many different styles to choose from like rustic, industrial, or modern and many more.

Budget -  The biggest decision to consider when making your plan is how much are you willing to spend? Once you set a budget you might discover your dreams are bigger than your pocketbook, but you can always scale back or put off part of the project until another time. Also when making your budget, many experts will tell you that you should plan for a contingency of 10 to 20 percent of your budget to cover any unforeseen discoveries that are made during the renovations.

Contractor - Hiring a contractor might be one of the best ideas you can make when doing a whole-house renovation. since they will be able to guide you through all aspects of the project. Contractors like Golden I Construction can help make the whole process simple and stress-free. Not only will we be able to tell you what will work or not work with your current home, but we’ll also provide suggestions for design, style, and the most current technologies in home improvement that you may not have considered.

Look into the Future  - It is important to consider how your remodels will fit your life and your family's life in the future. As your family grows or kids move out it is important to consider how the customizable spaces you have will still be relevant and usable in the future. A tip is to make sure the spaces will last 20-30 years in the future.

 

 

10 Ways to Add a Splash of Color to Your Kitchen

Do you want to brighten up your kitchen? Adding some color is a great way to do this. Here are some great suggestions that you can implement in your own kitchen. 
  1. Accent doors- Having two different colors for your cabinets allows you to add a pop of color. You can make a few of your cabinets, like a row of uppers, have a colorful door and then it adds an intriguing pop of color to your kitchen.
  2. Wallpaper- Instead of using tile or paint for wall finishes in your kitchen, wallpaper is a great alternative. Using wallpaper(make sure its wet-space-safe) allows for a fun wall pattern or color in your kitchen. It can either be an accent or an all-over treatment.
  3. Wall Paint- You can also add an accent wall really easily with wall paint. This is great for a wall without cabinets or if you want a small bold color you can add it on a wall with cabinets and the cabinets will break the color up.
  4. Counter and bar stools- Feel free to use these as a way to get creative with adding colors. the stools around the counter are a great place to put a pop of color right in the center of your space. 
  5. Pendant lightening- Small glass pendant lights are now great sources of light because of the power of LED lights. They also are a great way to add a splash of color without being right in your face. 
  6. Open Shelving- Open shelves allow your kitchen to be part of your decor since it makes your kitchen supplies and tools viewable at all times. Also just having a few opens up your space to pops of colors because of the different hues from pots and supplies. 
  7. Color changing LEDs - These lights allow for you to add a variety of color accents to your kitchen without the permanence of paint. You get to change the colors whenever you want for different events and more. 
  8. Glass accents -  Translucent or frosted glass objects are really nice for kitchens because of the way that light reflects off the surface of them. These can be any different types of objects that you place around your kitchen.
  9. Warm Metallics - Warm metallics like Brass and Gold work really well in spaces that don’t have much color but they still add a sense of warmth and color to your space. They also work really well with stainless steel and other cooler metals. 
  10. Window Treatments - Window Treatments are pretty normal for more traditional spaces however they are great for modern spaces as well. Having an in window shade allows an opportunity to add a color or pattern to your kitchen. 

The Best Kitchen Countertop Materials

Shopping for countertops can feel very overwhelming since there are hundreds of colors, patterns, and textures. However, there are really only a few basic categories of materials for countertops that you should know. Let's break down the pros and cons as well as the important information to know for each type of countertop.

First off, when choosing a counter material you need to think about your needs and habits in the kitchen.  For example, if you cook a lot and do prep on the countertop, you don't want to use a soft porous material. You also have to consider your overall kitchen design. You want to make sure the counters fit with the appliances, the backsplash as well as the cabinets in your kitchen.

Natural Stone

Granite: This is a very common and popular material for a countertop since it comes in a variety of colors. The colors offered range from vibrant reds and blues, midnight black, as wells as white.

Pros - no (or low) visible seams, durable surface, heat-resistant

Cons - must be sealed to resist heat as well as can be expensive

Marble: This is a softer stone and more high end then granite. It is also comes in much fewer colors. However it is great surface for baking but since it is softer might show knife scars or be discolored by citric acid.   

Pros - durable, striking natural patterns

Cons - high-maintenance, needs repeated sealing, expensive

Soapstone

pros - won't need sealing

cons - soft and may show knife marks

Slate

pros - won't need sealing

cons - brittle especially at corners

 

Engineered Stone

Quartz : This is stone is what most engineered stone is made out of. It comes it lots of different colors and is a hard material so it doesn't need any sealing

pros - no sealing, durable, low maitenance

cons - expensive 

Concrete

 

Precast: These concrete slabs are extremely smooth and flat. These countertops can also have a variety of colors as well as have glass or other materials embedded in to give it an artistic feel. 

pros - won't scratch, durable, heat resistant

cons - must be professionally installed, expensive, needs sealing

Solid surfaces

Acrylic or Polyester: These counters show no seems since the pieces get fused together. This is great for long stretches of countertop. You can also get sinks to match

pros - low maitenance, lots of colors, repairable, non-porous

cons - not heat resistant, shows knife marks and scratches

Plastic Laminates

pros - very affordable, durable and hardwearing, ready-to-install,

cons - not heat resistant,  can chip or scratch

Tile

Ceramic or Stone:  Lots of color options and many different styles. Has to be applied over laminate or fresh plywood topped with cement backerboard. 

pros - lots of colors,  affordable, lots of choices,  ceramic is non porous

cons - regular grout cleaning is necessary

Wood

Edge-Grain: These counters have long, thick strips of wood that are glued together with the edge grain facing up

End-Grain (aka Butcher Block): These counters have relatively short, square sticks of wood that are joined together with the tough end grain facing up

Wide-Plank: These counters are made by edge-gluing wide boards together. These counters are the most susceptible to warping and cracking.

pros to wood - warm, ideal work surface, heat resistant

cons to wood- medium maintenance, will show knife marks

What NOT to do while remodeling

Although 2018 has been known for many home remedies and DIY tips, there are certain things you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for assistance for. There are a couple things you should NOT do while renovating any room.

  1. DON'T assume you know everything. Each person has certain skill sets, and you should decide (realistically) if you could carry out a project to fit your vision, as some projects require more expertise than others.
  2. DON'T let your friends and family help you if they’re not experienced. This can lead to costly mistakes, injury, and damage to important elements in your home. They can help for moving furniture or belongings, but let only the experienced ones help with the task at hand.
  3. DON'T assume that your budget won’t go over your estimation. You should have a budget for going over budget, as many projects can involve circumstances that only appear once you start the project. Create a lower budget that you think you will need, just in case.
  4. DON'T create a specific time frame for a project. Many home improvement shows are able to complete projects in a 2-3 time span, but there are also many professionals there working behind the scenes. Once you consider your experience level, if you have the proper tools, and if you have assistance, you should be able to carry out your project in a timely manner.
  5. DON'T overlook local building codes and regulations for your area. It doesn’t hurt to read through the terms and conditions! For example, if you’re digging outside your home, pouring a structural foundation, or installing certain electrical/plumbing components, you may need a building inspector to review for safety.
  6. DON'T risk your safety in order to get a project done quicker or for cheaper. When working on high areas, make sure you have the proper equipment to be safe. If you are unfamiliar with your tools, hire a professional.
  7. DON'T start your project until you have all the components. If you start a project without waiting for your tools, your room could be inoperable for days waiting for fixtures to be delivered.
  8. DON'T assume that your dream renovation project isn’t possible. If you don’t have the funding right now, take your time. Ask professionals, like your friends here at Golden I Construction, to help you. Your home is a huge investment. Take the time to research how to make it yours.