|A.||Get a very good idea of what your want and don't want in your kitchen.|
|1.||Identify what you like and dislike about your current kitchen.|
|a. Ask yourself questions about your requirements and jot down ideas on paper. Discuss the existing kitchen space and layout with all the primary users of the kitchen in your household, listing the good and bad points of your current kitchen. Investigate the traffic patterns in and through the kitchen. Analyze the day-to-day meal preparation tasks. Try to formulate a "normal" daily meal preparation routine. Find out about your family's desire to do more in the kitchen. Is there an area of interest, such as baking, that you would like to do more of if the space or facilities were available?|
|b. Get a very good idea of what works and does not work in your current kitchen. If the wall phone is located between the sink and range, and this works for you, then you probably want to keep it in this location. What could be done to improve it? Maybe a shelf beneath the telephone for the phone book and a note pad would make it even more convenient.|
|c. Keep a notepad in the kitchen. As you are working, jot down any thought or idea that occurs to you.|
|2.||Research, research, research.|
|a.Start a concept folder. Any pictures, articles, clippings, brochures or notes that may help you visualize the new kitchen should go into this folder.|
|b. Before you start any formal planning, you should have a very good idea what you want your new space to look like — the cabinets, flooring, mouldings, countertop — and have decided on a basic palette of colors.|
|c. Before you can decide what you want in your new kitchen, you need to know what's available and how it works. In other words, you have to become somewhat of a kitchen designer yourself. You need to know about cabinets, flooring, countertops, lighting, plumbing and plumbing fixtures, and structural consideraions. You need to read, read and read some more. Here are some articles that are a good starting point.
Cabinet Basics: Oak, maple, hickory, ash, cherry. Faced and unfaced. Framed and frameless. Custom, semi-custom and manufactured. MDF, Melamine, Thermofoil, even steel. So many choices. How do you pick the cabinets that are just right for you?
Coordinating Architectural and Interior Styles How to update your home and still keep its unique architectural character is one of the questions we are asked frequently. People are keenly aware that a contemporary chrome and glass kitchen does not go well with a 19th century Victorian home, but what does? Victorians did not actually have kitchens like we have today, so how do you make a fully functional modern kitchen look like it could have been a part of a Victorian home? Learn how to coordinate your interior with your house's architecture.
Designing Efficient and Effective Kitchen Lighting: The kitchen is more than just a place to cook and eat. It usually serves as the administrative and the social hub of the home. The kitchen uses a lot of energy for lighting. That makes this room an important place to use efficient lighting. While remodeling your kitchen, you have the perfect opportunity to create a highly efficient lighting system. Find out how.
Finding Some More Kitchen Space: In many cases, existing kitchens are just too small for any real improvement in space management. Learn where to get more space, or at least the illusion of more space for your new kitchen.
Flooring Options for Kitchens and Baths: Wood, stone, vinyl, ceramic tile, laminated flooring. What are the pros and cons of each? Learn the fundamentals of kitchen flooring.
Guide to Nebraska Hardwoods for Cabinetmakers and Woodworkers: Most of the fine native American hardwoods commonly, and uncommonly, used in cabinetry grow and are milled into lumber in Nebraska. If you were not aware that hardwood is a Nebraska crop, read this detailed guide to Nebraska hardwoods.
How to Measure Your Kitchen All the steps required to measure a kitchen explained and illustrated. Learn to measure like a pro.
Mise en Place: What We Can Learn about Kitchen Design from Commercial Kitchens: Organized to prepare a large variety of appetizing meals at a moment's notice, we can learn a lot about kitchen efficiency from studying commercial kitchens.
New and Traditional Countertop Choices: Wxciting changes are happening in the world of countertop materials. Options that simply did not exist 10 years ago are in every home store today. Is solid surfacing, laminate, stone or tile your best choice? Or maybe something more exotic. Take a look at the incredible selection of modern counter top materials.
Off the Wall Kitchens: Living Without Wall Cabinets: Wall cabinets are unquestionably useful storage, but with drawbacks. A major disadvantage is that wall cabinets make a kitchen seem smaller by closing in the space at eye level — which is where we subconsciously judge how large the space around us is - and limit the number and size of windows in the kitchen. Can your new kitchen do away with wall cabinets? Probably. Find out how.
The Rules of Kitchen Design: In 1944 the University of Illinois conducted a study of kitchen design and developed fundamental design principals that have been modified periodically from time to time, but are still very much in use today. Here are the 31 rules of designing great kitchens.
|d. Research all of the information about new products and features on the market. Good ideas are available on the Internet, in magazines and in design books at the library.|
|e. Clip and save. If you find a picture of a room or an idea you like, clip, copy or print it and put it in your concept folder. Go trough it once in a while and weed out the things you no longer find appealing.|
|3.||Organize your requirements for your new kitchen.|
|4.||List the features the space should include and order them by priority. A good working breakdown is:|
|• Cannot do without|
|• Important but willing to negotiate and|
|• Nice, but not necessary.|
|Don't worry about how to fit all these things into your existing space. That's what we figure out. Just get us a complete list.|
|5.||Don't be afraid to dream big. Don't discard a key feature at this point because you are afraid you can't afford it. You don't know what you can afford until we put the sharp end of the pencil to paper. We just may be able to work it in, or something similar at a price your can afford.|
|B.||Carefully Measure the Space. Good measurements are critical.|
|1.||If you are going to measure yourself, learn how to do it correctly in "How to Measure Your Kitchen"..|
|2.||Get your local installer involved now. You will need a carpenter or experienced cabinet installer to install your new cabinets. Hire him or her now and use him to measure for you. A carpenter usually knows how to measure. If he does not know how to measure, then he probably does not know how to install either. The sooner you find that out, the better.|
|3.||If you are combining rooms into a larger space, measure both rooms. Sketch out a rough plan showing all measurements.|
|4.||If you don't understand something or are not sure what to do, call us. Don't guess.|
Once you have all of this information, then we begin formalizing your ideas into a design that will fit both your space and your budget.
Although we speak of it ofen as a design, it is actually a series of designs intended to arrive at a point in which all of the features that you want to include in a space are incorporated in a buildable design. Each successive design edges closer to the final design document.
The first steps are for you to send us the entire content of your "clip and save" folder, and for you to fill out our Kitchen Design Questionnaire. We will review this information and note the questions we need answered to start your design.
Then is the time for the initial planning meeting over the telephone. The purpose of that meeting is for you to share your ideas with us. We will spend most of the time listening to you — asking questions when appropriate for clarification.
With our notes and your ideas folder in hand, we will create a preliminary floor plan that allocates features to the space available. This sounds more formidable than it is. It is merely a process of putting things that go into a space onto the floor of the space to see how the objects in the room will go together.
Once we have a workable floor plan, we begin looking at elevations to see how objects fit vertically. For example, in a kitchen design, we will look at elevations of each wall of cabinets. Here is where we adjust the height and depths of objects. We may go back and forth between plans and elevations several times to look at different options and tweak the design here and there.
Once we have a plan that includes the features you want, complies with the various design guidelines and building and safety codes, and is "buildable", we start costing it to develop a preliminary budget.
At this point we are ready to present the design to you. We will print out the floor plan, an elevation for each wall, close-up elevations of wall features if warranted, and one or more full-color perspective drawings. The perspective is a full-color, photo-realistic image of how the space will look when it is finished. All of these go into a document that we send to you either by postal mail or e-mail.
Many manufacturers of cabinets, fixtures, countertops, flooring and other products will provide us with graphic models of the exact items you have chosen for your space, in the precise colors you prefer. These models enable us to make the perspective as accurate as possible.
Now the polishing begins. You review the design and make the changes you want to see. The concept plan is an evolving plan. It's fine-tunable. We now begin refining the drawings to make the changes required until they match as closely as possible to the vision in your mind's eye.
This is the point at which adjustments are made to fit your budget, your lifestyle and your physical characteristics. You probably have many more ideas for the space than can be fit into the space or into your budget. Here is where we begin paring down and refining.
Over one ot two revisions, we will each a point at which the concept works for you and the budget is something you can afford. Now we start working on the cabinet drawings and final budget.
When you have approved the final design concept, we can then set about creating a firmer cabinet cost estimate. This is where the detail planning really starts. Creating a cost estimate requires us to identify all of the materials that will be used, and determine the labor required for the cabinets.
When the project's estimated cost meets your approval, we can begin drawing up the final shop plans. These are front, top, and side elevations of every cabinet to be manufactured and detailed specification of the wood to be used, the finish to be applied, and all of the hardware and accessories to be installed in the cabinets: pullouts, appliance lifts, drawer dividers, and so on.
A typical set of shop drawings for an average kitchen will contain ten to thirty pages.
Once we have reviewed the drawings with you and you have approved them along with the final budget, we can begin manufacturing your cabinets.
Please contact us to get the ball rolling.