How do I start the process of a kitchen remodel?
Come in and meet with a Carole designer. (Appointments are strongly suggested so we can set aside enough time for a focused, one-on-one meeting.) At your first meeting, your designer will review design possibilities and product options, find out what you like and need, and help prioritize your wish list. Your designer will invite you back for a second meeting to present a preliminary design and estimate at no cost so you feel confident in our skill, expertise, service, and products. Print our Carole Design & Process Guide
The answer to this question depends on the size of your space, whether you plan to change the ‘footprint’ of your kitchen (meaning, will you change walls? impact the electrical and plumbing? etc.), and the quality and features of the products you select (for instance, cherry cabinets typically cost more than maple, and there are many paints, glazes, and cabinet door styles you can choose in addition to the wood you select.). However, a typical 10 foot by 15 foot ‘L-shape’ kitchen ranges anywhere from $3,500 (using our basic, quality stock cabinet line) to over $40,000 (using a full-custom cabinet line, high-end appliances, and special features and accessories—lots of ‘bells and whistles’). What you invest depends on your goals for the room and your home. What’s nice is, because of the product range available, you can get great-looking, quality renovation results for a wide scope of budgets.
What role does a kitchen designer play in a remodel?
As you can probably imagine, every inch matters when putting together the puzzle of cabinets, appliances, etc. You have literally thousands of options for cabinetry styles when you take into consideration paints, glazes, stains, and door style details. There are also many options with countertops, appliances, hardware, etc. A kitchen designer has been professionally trained in products and layout/design strategy to help you maximize your space in terms of appearance and functionality. The kitchen designer collaborates with you to provide computer-aided design—a 3-dimensional layout created with software specialized for kitchen and bath design, which allows you to ‘see’ realistic-looking perspectives of your new room. He or she should visit your home to do an on-site measure and actually see your space. Product selection within your budget is another huge piece, and a good designer offers education about the pros and cons of what’s out there and how to help you get the best quality for your investment, and also, suit your personal style. In the case of Carole’s, the demo of your original space and installation is handled by your contractor, who is in communication with your designer as needed to ensure accurate installation. If you need a good contractor, we are happy to refer you to one of the many people who we have extensive history working with.
What is the difference between granite and engineered stone?
Granite is a naturally occurring stone that is simply cut and polished, while engineered stone, also called quartz (sold under brand names Silestone, Cambria, Zodiaq, Caesarstone) is man-made (using 90-95% quartz, which is one of the hardest minerals on earth). Granite can look more natural and it is recommended that you seal it 1-2 times per year depending on the color. Engineered stone is typically more durable and more uniform in appearance and requires no maintenance. The cost for these products is quite comparable.
Are some cabinets more eco-friendly than others?
Yes. Many cabinetry manufacturers are getting on board with the eco-friendly movement in their product design. As you shop, look for these elements in your cabinetry products:
Urea/Formaldehyde-free plywood or particleboard boxes (as well as particle board made from pre-consumer recycled wood fiber)
Material that has no VOCs (volatile organic compounds). For example, the manufacturer should use non-toxic water-based glues, adhesives, and finishes.
Wood that’s responsibly harvested solid wood from Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified Forests. (Avoid endangered wood species, but if you like the aesthetics of exotic veneer, look for cabinet doors that duplicate that look by using an impregnated veneer or laminate.)
Made in the USA, or even better, made in the Northeast, for a smaller carbon footprint. (This results in less fuel used for transportation.)
Executive Cabinetry is one of the most ‘green’ cabinet lines on the market today, and it’s available at Carole Kitchen & Bath Design. Executive uses water-based stains and coatings, Formaldehyde-free adhesives, and the brand is certified by the FSC to ensure that raw materials come from forests that meet the social, economic, and ecological needs of present and future generations.
What are the current trends in wood finishes?
White-painted, transitional-style kitchens are still super-popular in Greater-Boston, and in recent years, we have seen an upswing in gray-painted kitchens. We also have had fun designing many unique kitchens, like a recent 2016 kitchen with teal-painted base cabinetry. Yet many clients opt for sleek, contemporary, darker-wood designs. Bottom-line, it’s up to you, and not what’s trending or what your designer may personally like. Someone who plans on renovating now, but selling the house in a few years may make a very different and more strategic real-estate choice than if he or she is planning on being in the house for the next 20 years.
These days, choosing cabinetry is not as simple as choosing the brown or the black version of the shoes or a pump or the flat. But we will guide you through, and narrow the funnel. Just keep in mind that when you look at cabinetry options, you will quickly find that there are many, many versions of one ‘color’ (never mind door styles, which are also incredible in number). For instance, within KraftMaid Cabinetry’s offerings (KraftMaid—known as a ‘semi-custom’ line—is the largest cabinetry manufacturer in the world), ‘white’ appears in many variations, such as; Biscotti, Canvas, Dove White, Vanilla Bean, and Irish Cream. And with full-custom lines/brands, such as Dura Supreme or Elmwood, there are even more options within the ‘white’ category and in some lines, you can even custom-match well-known paint brand colors. Deeper color values such as Peppercorn and Kaffe are prevalent within both modern design and key traditional looks. Finishes such as Praline and Butter Rum Glaze provide a mid-tone value that is growing strong. Honey Spice holds strong as the leading finish for KraftMaid. Glazed finishes continue to be very popular; they provide a furniture appearance to a design and coordinate well when paired with other finishes. It helps to see many displays in person to get a sense of which color appeals to you, and to talk with a designer about how color will impact your particular space, given important factors such as room size and available natural light, etc. So we hope you make a visit to our Showroom and get ideas!
A friend told me you need to be extra-careful with water damage if you get painted cabinets. Is this true?
It is true. As you know, wood is a product of nature. When you add water to wood, and that certainly includes painted wood, it takes a toll over time. Many of the calls we get about painted cabinets after they have been ‘in-use’ for a while, have to do with the cabinetry around the sink and the trash cabinet.
It’s super-important to be aware of exposure to water and liquids of any type. Be sure to wipe and dry spills and moisture—pronto. Be sure your countertop seal is tight as well. Some people have a pull-out sponge drawer at the front of the sink. Don’t let a soggy sponge sit there or drip down the back of your cabinet panel. No matter how amazing, or high-tech, or careful the finishing process, if you let spills of any kind sit, well…it likely won’t be so good. If you are hard on your kitchen, you should consider this when choosing your style, finish, and color. That’s another way a designer can guide you through the options with a realistic voice of experience.
No matter what finish you have, especially with painted wood, the better you take care of your cabinets, the better they hold up over time.
Will my wood cabinets’ color change over time?
A wood product is affected by environmental conditions that may alter appearance from what your cabinet looked like when it was new. Keep in mind:
As wood ages, the appearance of the finish may change or darken over time due to factors such as interior lighting, sunlight, and humidity. Of the most commonly selected wood species, cherry is the one most apt to have noticeable changes within the first year or two.
Finishes react to prolonged exposure to tobacco smoke, resulting in discoloration, which is especially noticeable on white and lighter finishes.
Ovens and ranges emit heat and steam during operation. To protect the finish of adjacent cabinets, you may opt to install heat shields. (In fact, on thermofoil cabinetry, heat shields are required by some manufacturers for the warranty.)
Showroom cabinetry samples, depending on age, room lighting and environmental factors, may look different from the new cabinetry installed in your home.
To ensure satisfaction with a finish color, ask your designer to borrow a door sample and take it home to look at in your space. Ask your professional designer to describe the intricate differences between their products and how to care for them long-term.
Does Carole’s charge a separate fee for design?
No. We always create a first design based on your rough measurements of your space at no charge. This helps you get a sense of our professional design capability and the potential for your project. It also helps you get comfortable with Carole’s, your designer, and what we offer. If you decide to proceed with us, we charge a retainer fee, all of which goes toward your cabinetry purchase. We continue refining your design from there. (Your designer has the benefit of our entire team as a sounding board and for critique, with more than 100 years’ worth of kitchen design expertise, as you perfect your customized design together.) Before we finalize a design, we come to your home to do a professional measure.
Is your Showroom open to the public?
YES! It’s the largest in the area with more than 50 kitchen displays and a separate In-Stock Vanity Center. We believe offering clients a great showroom helps them determine their likes and dislikes and get comfortable with the many, many product options. Come visit us! We are open Monday & Friday from 9-5 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 9-8 p.m., and Saturday from 9-4 p.m. Drop in or make an appointment. (Note: Appointments are always key if you want one-on-one designer time, and a great idea on Saturdays, when the showroom tends to be quite busy).
Do you handle installation?
No. Carole Kitchen and Bath Design does not install. We absolutely do collaborate with your builder/remodeling contractor as extensively as required to ensure a seamless project, and we pride ourselves on providing contractors with thorough and professionally-presented plans. Don’t have a builder or contractor yet? No worries. We have extensive knowledge of contractors/builders to whom we can refer you. They do not work for Carole’s, and this hiring choice is always yours.