Kitchen Renovations: Where to Splurge

A well-designed kitchen can make an entire house feel more luxurious. The heart of the home, the kitchen is where families and friends gather to prepare food, discuss their days, enjoy meals, and unwind with a drink.

The Horton Group knows how important the kitchen is to most people, which is why we incorporate the best quality and design into the homes we build. For the luxury condominium units at The Residences at 66 High Street, we called on Bender to design the kitchen cabinetry with designer Daryl Zorn.

Bender has six Connecticut locations, with national recognition for their award-winning showrooms. For the model units of the Whitfield and Leete buildings, Zorn worked closely with our interior designer and Nicole White from One + Company Real Estate, the listing company for 66 High Street, to make selections.

“The rest were custom units where I worked directly with the buyers and got a feel of the styling they liked. The styles range from traditional to somewhat farmhouse with distressed cabinets to transitional,” Zorn said.

Kitchens continue to be the most desired room to renovate. The average kitchen renovation costs over $20,000, according to Home Advisor, and can easily go much higher. Because Bender focuses on function, budget, and innovative design, we reached out to them to determine which items are worth the splurge in the kitchen.

1. Cabinet Box Construction

A quality-built cabinet is essential for new kitchens. Pay attention to both the material of the cabinet box and the way it is built. Some manufacturers claim all plywood construction, but with poor assembly. Paying more for the build of the cabinets will go a long way in your kitchen.

2. Qualified Contractor or Installer

Spending money on the quality of the cabinets will go to waste if not installed correctly, and it is not the best time to try out your DIY skills. Find a contractor or installer who is an expert with cabinetry. They know what screws to use, how to level cabinetry, and how to adjust drawers and hinges. A quality installation job will last a lifetime and makes it easier for other contractors in your kitchen, including plumbers, electricians, and countertop installers.

3. Appliances

High-quality appliances not only add to the design of your kitchen but, more importantly, better your cooking experience and the food you eat. With advanced technology, high-end appliances give you more control over how you cook and make cleanup easier.

4. Cabinet Hardware

Hardware allows for endless customization options in the kitchen. Mixed metals, including brushed brass, chrome, and matte black, are trending in kitchen designs. Bender recommends choosing two or three metals that complement each other and play off of one another in cabinet hardware, light fixtures, and faucets. The “jewelry” of the kitchen, cabinet knobs and pulls can make the difference between a nice kitchen and a fabulous kitchen.

No matter what you decide to spend your budget on in the kitchen, you cannot go wrong with quality products installed by a professional.

Custom Kitchens: Know the Process

Creating a custom kitchen can be an exciting and overwhelming task. Depending on who you work with, the process and timeline will vary, but each phase is an important step in getting the kitchen of your dreams.

  • Choose who to work with. In this preliminary phase, it is important to find a designer or contractor who you trust and understands your vision. Most will complete this phase at no cost or obligation. Be sure to:
    • Ask to see past projects to get a feel of the designer or contractor’s work.
    • Give your budget and explain your non-negotiables in regards to amenities, products, and style.
    • Discuss the timeline. How long will your project take?
    • Review preliminary ideas, styles, and designs with the contractor or designer.
    • Get an estimate of the work to be done.

At Horton Group, we choose to work with Bender, for their award-winning work and unbeatable customer service.

  • Design. Once you have chosen who to work with, the fun part of design begins. This is when you will place your first deposit and meet to develop the following:
    • Layout and floor plan for the kitchen and cabinets.
    • Selection of material and hardware for cabinets.
    • Selection of tile, appliances, countertops and plumbing fixtures.
  • Manufacturing. Depending on what you are getting, this phase can take weeks or even months. Remember that custom cabinetry is built to match your style, needs, and measurements of your space. Request updates throughout this process to put your mind at ease.
  • Installation. See your vision come to life! Contractors will generally begin by installing cabinetry, followed by countertops, plumbing, lighting, and tiling. Once installation is complete it is time to enjoy your custom kitchen!

Going custom is your chance to create the exact kitchen you want, so take your time, stick the decisions you know will work for you, and know that the wait for completion will be worth it!

 

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