As I reflect upon the hundreds of kitchen remodeling consultations I have done, and the numerous kitchens we have remodeled, they all started with a phone call to book a visit. We believe that if we can get you to express what is really wrong with yours, then discover what you feel comfortable investing to fix it, that the odds are good that we can make it happen.
The best solution is always one we come up with together. Your desired kitchen full of functionality and grace is what we can provide once we meet and figure a few things out. Here are a few things that will help us focus on what makes sense in your home.
How will you be using your Kitchen?
The lights of the kitchens of America are coming back on! This was the headline of a trade journal article while Levco was being established. The encouraging synopses was, despite our ever busier lives, convenience food is just not the same as a home cooked meal. The investment of time in cooking and baking at home is worth it from a social and health perspective.
It is no mystery that cooking or baking will be a lot more enjoyable if we create a space and have the equipment conducive to this endeavor. Entertaining while you do your thing in the kitchen is better done with adequate elbow room. The answers to these questions will help start the process of guiding you into a design that works.
- Are you an avid baker?
- Do you prefer to cook alone or with others?
- Are you a gas or electric person?
- What do you hate most about your current kitchen floor plan?
- What do you like least about your current counter top ?
- Do you entertain often?
- How many people do you cook for regularly?
- Do your kids participate?
Have a professional help design the space. What seems like your only option may be hiding some great opportunities. We work on paper to ensure a great outcome. Lauryn Smyth, an expert designer on my staff, can help you enjoy the process of decision making.
We handle everything, down to the tiniest details like hiding your backsplash outlets just below your cabinets. Levco also specializes in Universal Design (that which is functional for people of all ages and abilities). We will share ideas and gladly incorporate any of our innovative features into your home.
Flow. It is not a good idea to get trapped in your kitchen anymore than it is good to have it a major thoroughfare. We are not reinventing the wheel here; some floor plans work great, others do not. Often removing or opening up a wall is amazingly transforming. We see this time and time again.
L shaped Kitchen layout
Colors & Textures
Colors and textures must complement each other. Sure, we make bold statements on occasion but clashing or confusing things in your presence causes emotional confusion just like feng shui promotes calm.
Do you like to have super hot water at your fingertips? Do you need a soap dispenser? Perhaps a second sink, like a prep sink in an island, would be helpful? Would a pot filler faucet near the stove save you lugging pots back and forth?Just like everything else, a great sink and faucet can enhance your kitchen experience. There is a theme of ease of operation and cleaning that is coming forward. Sure the old standbys are available, but it is worth spending some showroom time here to see all your options.
Prep sink in a peninsula
There are more fancy gizmos than you can imagine for space saving, ease of operation, and access to your stuff. Our commitment to local cabinetry manufacturing encourages creativity and provides semi-custom work at a great price.Cabinet layout is king! New things are becoming available all the time. Quick turnaround of high quality cabinets is just what we have come to expect. Even things that you may not have thought of, like putting your dishwasher higher than on the floor to make the act of loading and unloading less of a chore, are possibilities in today’s kitchens.
A nice layout
If your cabinets were built well in the first place, you may just want to reface. I have been a proponent of this but have not had the opportunity to do it until recently. The results are astonishing. How long they will last is unknown but the concept is in line with my sustainability philosophy.
Who wants to work in the shadows? Let’s get some light on your working and display surfaces. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lighting is coming on strong. Standard can lights have come a long way too. Skylights and solar tubes are very popular as well.
Be sure to let us show you some lighting options that are easy on the eyes and pocketbook. Ideas include up lighting, down lighting, and general lighting. The goal is to have adequate lumens to be able to handle the task at hand. Dimmers are also a great option for total control of the mood. Don’t forget natural lighting as an important element.
There are more choices than ever. Are you looking for WOW but willing to forgo ease of use? Are you looking for bullet proof or are you a cutting board user? I know my wife cuts without a board on our laminate tops when I am not looking. Laminate is not below us, since there are Pro’s and Con’s for every material. We have access to everything and have created custom concrete counter tops too.
Again we find all sorts of ideas from tile to custom glass, a montage or something classic. Do we put in an accent or leave it all the same? Lots of questions to be answered. This is where photo galleries on websites come in handy, or a visit to the tile store showroom.
Concrete is an option
Decisions about flooring are bountiful. What is the prefect flooring for you? I have hardwood in my kitchen, while others prefer tile. We look at how hard you are on your flooring and bring things you may not be aware of to light. The old favorites may be just what turns you on. Regardless, we can show you what works and discuss the Pro’s and Con’s of kitchen flooring decisions.
We expose our “contractors pricing” for materials to our clients and work with our trusted showroom sales people. There is no specific brand we endorse, and encourage you to choose wisely with our tips below.
Stoves and hoods
I love a big range with some serious BTU’s muscles bulging, but how is that excess heat getting out of the house? Do you need makeup air? Exhausting more CFM (cubic feet per minute) than you have available can suck the pilot light out of your water heater (ask me how I know). A friend told me he “remodeled his kitchen himself”. He saved a few bucks and decided not to put a hood over his range. “Are you nuts?” I asked. I guess there is no code to cure stupid. If you cook, you need to have an exhaust hood. Period. The only discussion is how many CFM. Some are designed with grease traps and fire prevention features. Mine has the motor on the roof which makes it quiet inside.
I like to sit in front of the oven and watch stuff bake, so for me, the bigger the window, the better. Convection is the bomb and I highly recommend it for “most” baking needs. Gas ovens now are better designed and can hold high temperatures well.
A cadre of appliances
Freezers are not changing much; however, the refrigerators are getting larger and redesigned for any number of doors and drawer arrangements. It is getting harder to find counter depth units but we keep looking. Small beverage refrigerators make an excellent presentation and keep clutter out of the food refrigerator. My thought process evolves around how often you go shopping for perishable groceries. A good size refrigerator for you will hold enough to last between shopping trips.
Quiet is king. If you are going to spend more than $400, you can get into some quiet machines. Energy efficiency and decreased water usage also enters the equation the more you spend. I have been into several homes that are using two of them in the kitchen set.
Don’t knock them ’till you’ve tried them. One client swears that it is the best entertaining tool on the market.
Microwaves and small convection ovens
Microwaves have inserted themselves into our lives, as some kitchens have two of them. Small convection ovens have not caught on as well just yet. Those that own them and have experimented say that these are a better fit when just cooking for one or two people.
I love coffee! A dedicated water line and some power is all you need to have a coffee maker installed in the wall.
The abundance of options may be causing some paralysis, but once you are comfortable with committing to a Design Development Agreement, we will help you discover what you really want, what you really need, and what fits your budget. Creating a space that works for you, reflects well on us.
The bottom line is that the perfect kitchen for you is a very personal thing. We at Levco aim to help make sure your choices are based on sound advice and having gotten to know you and your needs.