5 Secrets to Mastering the Perfect Kitchen Island
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5 Secrets to Mastering the Perfect Kitchen Island

Selling your house? A stunning kitchen is one definite way to make a first big impression on potential homebuyers.

It’s no secret kitchens sell homes.  When it comes to the kitchen, the kitchen island is a home renovation which never goes out of style.  Mastering the perfect kitchen island is another story.

That’s why we are giving you five, top secrets every homeowner should know in order to achieve the perfect kitchen island. 

Over the past twenty years, kitchen islands have continued to evolve with modern home designs.  Although kitchen islands continue to sell homes, many homeowners struggle to master the art of this feature.  Before we unlock our top, five secrets to achieving the kitchen island of your dreams, lets look at some reasons why many people fail at kitchen island renovations. 

Reasons for Kitchen Island Failures:

Not Enough Space

Be mindful of space when designing your kitchen island. Often homeowners are anxious to achieve the kitchen of their dreams, they forget how much of a difference a few inches of space can make when designing their kitchen. Industry standards recommend kitchen pathways to be at least 32 inches wide. Paths within a cooking zone should be 42 inches wide for a one-cook kitchen and 48 inches wide for a two-cook kitchen. It’s important to place the cooktop away from high traffic areas. You don’t want the younger ones running into any catch handles and causing dangerous spills.

Dangerous Setups

Once you have designed your kitchen with enough space for people to move around safely, it’s time to start thinking about where put all the appliances. Another common mistake homeowners make when designing their kitchen is not putting enough thought into determining a kitchen island’s function. Careful design decisions make recycling, cleaning, eating, meal prepping and cooking easy. Poor design decisions can cause the kitchen island to be used as a place to store sharp knives or dangerous cooktop placements.  Bottom line, be sure to make your kitchen island a place for both safe cooking and game-night entertainment.

Incorrect Use of Color

Another common mistake homeowners make while designing their dream kitchen island, is forgetting about the importance of color in room designs. Often homeowners drown out their design renovations with too many dark paint colors or design finishing. Make sure you take advantage of contrasting color designs. Use the top of a kitchen island as an opportunity for dramatic wood trimmings or bright color finishes. Brighter, contrasting colors create the illusion of a bigger kitchen.

Bottom line: kitchens sell homes.

According to the National Association of Home Builders, kitchens are the second most popular home renovation project behind bathrooms. It’s no wonder homeowners are so eager to install the perfect kitchen island, kitchens remain a staple in the American home.

Now that we’ve discovered three popular reasons homeowners fail to accomplish the perfect kitchen island renovation, let’s look at the must-have tips. Discover our top, five secrets for uncovering the kitchen island of your dreams.

5 Tips for Mastering the Perfect Kitchen Island:

Create a focal point

The eye typically reads from left to right and up to down. We can’t stress enough the importance of this basic human trait. The first essential tip is to create a focal point for your kitchen.  We recommend adding a suspended hood on top of an island cooktop.  Suspended hoods are an effective way to create a focal point for the room.

Dare to Be Unique 

You’re going to love our next kitchen island renovation secret. When designing your dream kitchen island, don’t forget to be yourself. Choosing to copy the latest design styles into your home are not always the best design decision. Wooden cabinets, floral wallpaper, and pearl white countertops which were once popular in the 1980s and 1990s have now become a design trend of the past. Adding your personal design touch to a kitchen island renovation sets your kitchen apart from the rest. We recommend using unique building materials, like recycled wood. Wooden panels and white bead boarding are two unique design choices which make the ultimate touch.

Design for Premium Functions

Don’t be afraid to knock down walls. Remember industry standards recommend kitchen pathways to be at least 32 inches wide. When designing your kitchen island do not force the structure into your kitchen design plans. The most stunning kitchen islands allow people to safely move around while the food is cooking. Opt for extra wall outlets for more electricity and double up on highly used appliances like microwave ovens and mini refrigerators in the kitchen. These extra features allow your kitchen island to remain a practical use of space while also keeping guests away from the cook in the kitchen.

Choose Custom

You won’t regret spending the extra money on custom-built island features. Cottage-style islands, for example, allow for both raised bar stool seating and cooktop working stations. Spending the extra money on custom island designs allows for more diverse activities. Custom design finishes, like flush-set sinks or matte, don’t show dirt as much as other glossier finishes. Don’t be afraid to choose custom features for your kitchen island renovation. The extra money will be worth the investment.

Keep it Simple

With so many different design choices it’s easy to get swept up into design confusion. Don’t forget the basics. Remember, people come into a kitchen for home cooked meals and conversations. Be sure to make the essential functions of the kitchen accessible. The refrigerator, for example, should have enough space for both the passersby and the person cooking. The last thing you want after spending the money on an expensive kitchen renovation is for your refrigerator door to hit your houseguests while they’re sitting in the kitchen.

Do you want to renovate your kitchen and change the layout and look? Contact our team today!

Our team offers a wide variety of services of all sizes including ongoing property repair and maintenance services committed to delivering excellent results.

The Realities of Home Renovation
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The Realities of Home Renovation

Our List of Realities

Considering taking on a home renovation? Make sure you’ve thought through these key points before you start knocking down walls.

Planning and budgeting for a home renovation can quickly go from exciting to overwhelming. By being prepared with ample research and planning, you can stay calm throughout the whole process. Here’s what you need to know to ensure smooth sailing:

1. True Cost

The quote or contract from your contractor may give you an allowance budget or you might just set aside what you think you need for fixtures, appliances, lighting, etc., but this is where detail becomes a necessity. Sure, it can be tempting to guess at these numbers when you already have your hands full with other renovation details but watch out because this is an area that can quickly break your budget.

For instance, you may have your mind set on a certain type of cabinet style and assume it’s within the allowance set by your contractor but find out the price is double when you go to the cabinet supplier. Having a specific list of all the allowance costs and actually making your selections before you start your renovation, is the best way to get a clear picture of your true costs, and steer you clear of disappointments.

2. Timeline

Obviously, everyone would like their project to go as efficiently as possible, which is why it’s important to have a clear understanding of aspects of the project that will ultimately affect the timeline:

  • Permits
  • Contractor availability
  • Supplier wait times

It took two weeks to obtain a permit for a project I recently managed in a city with many construction projects underway. Your contractor may have several projects to manage at one time, or only manage one project at a time. Knowing your contractor’s schedule will help to keep expectations realistic. Also, waiting on certain supplies can keep a project from moving forward. For example, a countertop template cannot be done until the base cabinets are installed. During busy times, it can take over two weeks for the countertops to be finished, and the rest of the project (plumbing, fixtures, etc.) cannot be done until the countertop is installed. Don’t let this happen to you!

3. Involvement

Do you enjoy managing projects? Do you have a hard time making design decisions or envisioning what a structural change will look like? Do you prefer to have someone else be the point person for questions? Having a realistic expectation of how involved you can be, or would like to be, is critical to your project going well and keeping your stress level low. Taking a step back, and thinking about this, will help you to decide if you need the help of an interior design professional and what type of contractor you are looking for.

4. Contractor

Finding a contractor, you are comfortable working with, and trust will produce quality work, is critical to the success of your home improvement project.  Start by asking for referrals from friends and family.  In addition, there are many online resources where you can check contractor reviews.  Next, I recommend meeting with several contractors to compare estimates and decide which one feels like the right fit.  Having that list of allowance costs, your desired timeline, and a clear understanding of your level of involvement, will help to ensure that you are comparing apples to apples with each contractor.  Remember: a written contract with as much detail as possible is one of the keys to a successful renovation.

Good luck with your home improvement project!

Do you want a home renovation professionally done and completed the right way? RenovateResidential offers a wide range of services of all sizes including ongoing property repair and maintenance services committed to delivering excellent results. Contact our team today to learn more about our services!

New Year's Jump Start
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New Year's Jump Start

Jump Start

When we think about New Year’s resolutions, it’s easy to envision healthy diets, workout routines and cutting out bad habits. If you put on a couple pounds during the holidays, you might eat better to drop the extra weight before beach season. If you stopped working out, you may renew that fitness regimen to get you back into shape.

Residential homes are no different. After year’s of hard work, most homes need a change and refresh. They require attention to make sure that any dings, chips, scrapes or compromised areas are fixed and back to their best shape. But most importantly, these homes should be as clean and effective in maintaining a safe and healthy area as possible.

Your home is most likely ready for TLC to ensure it’s ready for a busy and healthy new year. 

Here’s a good one-two punch to make sure your spaces are ready for the new year – both inside and out:

  • View your space with your guests in mind.

When you own a home, it can be easy to get used to slight imperfections and scuffs that can happen over the course of months (or years.) But, to friends and visitors, these imperfections can leap out and make your home seem unattended or disheveled. In addition, compromised paint surfaces can inhibit the protection that many paint and sealant products offer.

Take a few minutes to walk around the inside and outside of your home and make note of any areas that should be repaired or refreshed to make the best impression on guests.


  • Clean it and actually mean it.

You probably know about the importance of investing in your home,  but do you know that there are paint products that can actually kill germs and maintain more clean and healthy environments for your families and visitors Sherwin-Williams Paint Shield® is the first EPA-registered microbicidal paint that kills greater than 99.9% of Staph, MRSA,  E. coli and other bacteria. That’s right: this paint doesn’t just inhibit bacteria and microorganism growth on your surfaces, it KILLS them. The effectiveness lasts for up to four years and provides peace of mind for you and your guests.

Don’t just make your rooms look pretty, make it truly safe and clean with products that support all of your other sanitation and maintenance efforts, as well as families and visitors.  

Don’t think your guests won’t notice the changes?  Take advantage of this time to create a welcoming environment for every person that enters your home.  Let your loved ones and guests know that you care about their comfort and safety as you keep your space clean, healthy and looking great!

Gather Renovation Ideas From These Shows
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Gather Renovation Ideas From These Shows

The Shows

Renovation inspiration can strike at any time. But, it never seems to strike when we need it to. That’s when we outsource, to draw inspiration from experts, communities, and the digital world. Scrolling through Pinterest can be overwhelming and lack the details you need to realistically get the job done.

This is why we’re fans of good old fashioned home renovation TV shows. These TV shows will not only give you the inspiration you need to spark incredible change but will give you an insight into the steps, time, tools and budget you’ll need to get the job done. We’re sharing our favorite renovation shows that stay up-to-date on trends and give you a realistic look into the process.

  1. Reno my Reno

We love this show for two big reasons. Not only do they show viewers what they should be doing, but what they shouldn’t. Host Dave Depencier comes to the rescue in each episode to help renovators that are in too deep. Watch as they highlight some of the most common renovation mistakes, while showing you the best ways to fix them.

2. This Old House

This DIY/Renovation classic premiered in 1979, but keeps getting better with age.  This Old House is home improvement basics gold, with some of the best experts in the industry sharing no-frills skills to aid in an array of projects.  You’ll appreciate the realistic concepts and educational backbone. 

3. Hometime

Hometime is a classic for the DIY renovators.  It’s one of the longest running home improvement shows on television, geared towards making your DIY projects a lot simpler.  This is the perfect show if you need tips on your smaller projects, or just need some inspiration on what to do with your current space.  

4. Fixer Upper

Aside from being informational and creative, this show is pure entertainment.  Chip and Joanna Gaines are couple gold and can tackle any renovation.  This design team of your dreams will give you all the inspiration you need to complete projects you didn’t even know you needed to complete.  If you’re antsy for something different, tune into Fixer Upper–you’ll be binge watching it in no time.  

5. HouseImprovements

This YouTube series is a great go-to when you’re looking to tackle a specific project.  HouseImprovements is based on one simple concept: How-to.  This is perfect for all types of renovators, including those who need more information on a specific step, or someone who is new to the renovation world.  Quick tips are the key to its success!

We hope this blog was helpful for all your renovation ideas.  Not ready to tackle projects on your own?  We are here for all of your residential projects needs.  Contact us today to speak with the experts!