Home Remodeling & Design Blog

Read up on the latest trends in our home remodeling, and design blog.

Tips for Working with a Kitchen Designer to Achieve Your Vision

When it comes to finding the right kitchen designer Great Neck homeowners are fortunate to have the Elite Kitchen & Bath team so close to home. But even with the best kitchen designer, the finest products, and a top-notch contractor, you’ll probably encounter some unexpected hurdles as you overhaul this important area of the home. Before planning any major installations or visiting our kitchen & bath showroom Great Neck homeowners are encouraged to think about their wants and needs, and whether they need a kitchen designer. With a little foresight, and a lot of patience, your kitchen designer can truly deliver for you.

First Decide Whether You Need a Kitchen Designer

For a simple installation of new kitchen cabinetry Great Neck homeowners might not need a kitchen designer. However, for more complicated projects involving major renovations and customer cabinetry Great Neck homeowners might find a certified kitchen designer makes everything run more smoothly and turn out better in the end. Anything that’s going to cost more than a few hundred dollars will probably require a designer, so keep that in mind.

Know What You Want Before Meeting Your Designer

Once you’ve decided to work with a designer, it’s a good idea to take stock of your kitchen and do a bit of research on your own. Take note of anything that doesn’t work, as well as anything that still works okay but just looks outdated. Think about any new items you would like to install and spend some time pondering your own personal style. It also helps if you’ve done some research before meeting with your designer to understand the aesthetic you’re looking for, how you’d like things to work together, and any new equipment you want.

Remember to Keep an Open Mind with Your Designer

While it’s important to know exactly what you want in your new kitchen, it’s also a good idea to keep an open mind when you start working with a kitchen designer. Your designer may suggest great ideas that you hadn’t thought of, or warn you when they think something you’ve suggested will not work out as well as you’d imagined. You don’t have to go along with their ideas, but stay flexible. They ae the expert, after all.  

Agree on Budget, Timeline, and Number of Draft Plans

Once you agree to work with a kitchen designer you will need to agree on several key components of the job: most importantly your budget, preferred timeline, and the number of draft plans you want to see. Once your designer knows your budget and the timeline to complete the project, they can create a draft of their plan. It’s normal for a designer to write up multiple drafts of the plan before they achieve your vision, but make sure to agree on how many draft plans you’re willing to see beforehand to avoid confusion.

After visiting our kitchen showroom Great Neck homeowners can start working with a designer almost immediately, and plans will fall into place shortly after. If you decide to take this route just remember the tips above to save yourself any unnecessary stress. Also, remember to keep mid-project changes to a minimum to ensure a smooth ride, and above all else be patient – achieving your dream kitchen won’t happen overnight.

The Top Home Remodeling Trends to Watch in 2017

Curious to know which trends in home remodeling Long Island will see this year? Look no further. We have compiled a list of the biggest home remodeling trends to watch in 2017, per some of the nation’s top interior designers and home magazines. These decorating and remodeling ideas are just a few of the trends to watch in 2017, though. Who knows where this year in design and remodeling will take us!

Cerused Wood is All the Rage

There is a new wood finishing technique, known as applying a “cerused” finish, that highlights the wood’s unique grain. While this trend first appeared only in upscale shops, it is now becoming more common for customers in varied markets across the United States. In 2017 you can expect to see more wooden cabinets, chairs, tables and storage pieces with a cerused finish.

Jewel and Pastel Tones Reappear as Major Trends

Interior designers are looking to nature for color inspiration in 2017, with jewel tones such as amethyst and emerald reemerging as major trends. Expect to see everything from wall paint to throw pillows in jewel-inspired tones, which contrasts nicely with pastel colors inspired by the sky and flower-filled pastures. When it comes to bathroom design Long Island interior designers are particularly keen to inject a good dose of color inspired by the brightest and warmest hues found in nature.  

Marble and Subway Tiles are Big in 2017

There are two noticeable trends in kitchen design Long Island homeowners should consider in 2017: marble and subway tiles. While marble is a classic material, it is sometimes more popular than others, and right now this strong and elegant stone is having a moment in the sun that won’t be ending anytime soon. Subway tiles are also a very popular option right now, and considering how affordable and versatile they are it’s worth giving these tiles a second thought if you’re going for a new kitchen look.   

Matte Appliances and Smart Home Features Are In

Brushed-metal appliances appear to be waning in popularity somewhat, while matte appliances appear to be all the rage. And while you’re replacing old appliances, why not invest in new appliances that are energy-efficient and cutting-edge, with smart home features built in? The future is now when it comes to home appliances and today’s homeowners might be surprised at the number of features available.  

Nail-head Details Rule the Day

Elegant nail-heads are common in upholstered pieces of furniture, where they serve a functional purpose, but they are also making their way into everything from credenzas and storage chests to lighting fixture bases. A pattern of well-designed nail-heads can add a beautiful detail to any number of items in the home.

Oversized Furniture, Brushed Metal and Overly Antiqued Looks Are Out

As mentioned earlier, brushed-metal appliances appear to be waning in popularity somewhat. But what else is going “out” in 2017? Rooms that are ostentatiously furnished completely with antiques appear to be going out of style, as modern designers are combining the old and the new for a startling affect. Oversized furniture, which was very popular everywhere from hotels and homes to bookstores and coffee shops in the early 21st century, is also now a dated look by today’s interior design standards.
There is plenty of new inspiration to consider if you’re planning on remodeling your kitchen or bathroom in 2017. At the end of the day, though, what really matters is what you really like. These trends should only be a starting point on your journey to a new home.

Why are some tiles more expensive to install than others?

Of course, one should be educated in purchasing tiles. From the point of view of a designer, I love to select and design a beautiful pattern of tiles, particularly for bathrooms and kitchen back splashes. However, from the point of view of a contractor and the client, the cost may become an important factor in the design.

The pattern and size of the tile can increase the cost of the total job making it more expensive.  Let’s consider a bath designed with small 1x1 or 2x2 inch mosaic tile or multi shape small tiles.  To install such small tiles is time consuming, in particular, when there are many corners or different heights, windows, etc.

The same is true for a kitchen back splash. These gorgeous small tiles are not only difficult to install, but grouting them takes a lot of time.

Cutting around angles and hard to reach areas can affect the difficulty of installation and thus the cost as well. An experienced skilled carpenter would be necessary to make the intricate cuts to keep the pattern from looking chopped off or off center. A great deal of planning to lay out the pattern is another step that must be taken.  These elaborate patterns take a great deal of time and skill which adds to the cost of installation.

Another example is using an 8.5” square tile for a kitchen back-splash. The typical height of the backslash between the counter and under the cabinet is 18.25”. If you have a tile such as the 8.5”, you must buy an additional tile for the height which can be costly if the tiles are expensive and/or the back-splash is very long.

The placement of outlets in back-splashes or walls of tiles must be considered. The electrician may want to place an outlet anywhere.  The tile installer must be involved in the placement of the outlet to fit symmetrically in relation to the tiles.

IN CONCUSSION BEAUTY CAN BE COSTLY. SELECTING TILE SHOULD BE CAREFULLY DISCUSSED WITH THE DESIGNER. THE DESIGNER MUST BE TECHNICALLY FAMILIAR WITH THE INSTALLATION. DISCUSSING IT WITH THE TILE INSTALLER IS A PLUS.

Why do consumers go to Professional Designers vs. Big Box Stores or Contractors to design their Kitchens?

When a person decides to redo their kitchen, they are investing a great deal of time and money into their home. They typically have special lifestyle needs that their current kitchen does not meet.

Over the years, we have designed kitchens, baths and home remodels for clients from all walks of life. People who love to cook; people who love to entertain; people who love to spend time socializing; affluent; not so affluent; from Long Island, NYC, China, Israel, Russia, Italy... almost everywhere. Why do they choose professional kitchen designers? Because we listen to their needs and have the ability to visualize and design a kitchen that will thrill them visually and functionally. Each lifestyle requires a special design slant. Professionals have access to boutique custom brands that Big Box & Contractors cannot sell.

Cookie Cutter Kitchens

Cookie Cutter Kitchens

 

Consumers who choose a Big Box (like Home Depot) or a Contractor to design their kitchen typically believe they want the same kitchen they have. They just want updated cabinetry. Many people think they save money going this route instead of going to a professional. We have two thoughts on this. Small dealerships sell many of the brands in a Big Box (or comparable brands). Often times there is no cost savings. However, if they go to a professional they may get a wonderful idea for a better layout or more desirable aesthetics for the same or similar budget.

When the consumer chooses a Contractor to layout their kitchen and who also sell them cabinets (with no brand name), they need to make sure they are getting what they are paying for. Did they want particle board? Did they want Chinese cabinets? Did they get a warranty in writing from an established, reputable cabinet company? Did they want cabinets with no warranty? Do they know the reputation of the brand they are getting? Finishes? Cracking? Will the Contractor warranty the cabinets and replace defective doors, etc..?

Most big box cabinet salespeople repeat the same cookie-cutter kitchen they design for everyone or sell cabinets in the same layout that the client already has.

There is a big difference between professional, talented kitchen designers and kitchen cabinet salespeople who lay out cabinets. The cabinet salesperson or Contractor may not be versed on important elements such as universal design, smart home features, current trends that increase home values, proper ergonomic design, special materials, available options...

Kitchens not designed for your specific desires can be in anyone's home. Most consumers want a kitchen customized for their lifestyle needs. A kitchen has different elements based on age, cooking style, home size, storage needs, family members. One size does not fit all in the most important room in the home.

5 New Year's Resolutions for Your Kitchen and Bath

In the world of home remodeling Long Island homeowners tend to stay ahead of the curve, with access to some of the finest products and designers in the world and local inspirations ranging from Manhattan lofts to stylish beach house. Even those lucky enough to live in such a stylish enclave can easily find themselves in a home that’s gotten out-of-style or even downright unlivable, though. Not to worry. Here are five New Year’s Resolutions to help improve your kitchen, bathroom and the rest of your home in 2017.

Stop by our state of the art showroom, or call 516-365-0595 for a free estimate today!

Stop by our state of the art showroom, or call 516-365-0595 for a free estimate today!

 

Declutter and Create Peace of Mind

Before thinking about bathroom or kitchen remodeling Long Island homeowners could probably all stand to do a bit of decluttering. Not only will this create a more calming and relaxed space, but it also helps bring any décor up-to-date. Start by clearing any unnecessary items from cabinets, drawers and closets. Then go through housewares, DVDs, clothing and other large collections to root out any items that just aren’t being used anymore. Any unwanted but still usable items can be sold or donated to charity. 

Upgrade for Energy Efficiency

From the laundry room to bathroom remodeling Long Island homeowners have many options for energy-saving upgrades. Installing new faucets and showerheads to reduce water usage is a great way to start, and if you have more room in your budget you might consider energy-efficient appliances. There is also a wide range of environmentally friendly furnishings and accessories to make any remodeling project more “green.”

Remodel for Safety and Security

While most remodeling projects are designed to make the home more stylish or functional, it’s also important to make sure your home is safe and structurally sound in the New Year. Make sure you have working smoke detectors in the kitchen, check your home for gasses such as radon, check your bathroom for mold, clear out all the dust and dryer lint, and make sure large structures such as cabinetry and bookshelves are secure. If you live in an older home (pre-1978) and are planning on doing additional remodeling, you’ll also want to have your home checked for lead paint and asbestos. 

Shift Your Furnishings for a Feng Shui Affect

Feng Shui is a Chinese philosophy concerning the placement of people and objects to create harmony within physical environments. By rearranging the items in your home, and possibly adding new items chosen to create a sense of balance and promote specific outcomes, you can drastically change your environment for the better. The design team at Elite Kitchen & Bath can even advise you on the steps to take for a Feng Shui home.   

Make Sure You’re Ready to Entertain

Starting a massive remodeling project in the middle of the holidays may not be an option, but as you enjoy the season you might think of a few ways to improve your home for all your summer entertaining and for next year’s holiday season. Perhaps a new kitchen island, or a revamped guest bathroom, could make a world of difference. 

The New Year is a great time to get things in gear and start transforming your home’s interior into an idyllic space. So make your resolutions now and get ready for a change!

Four Kitchen Design Projects to Finish Before the Holidays

With so many new options for kitchen design Long Island homeowners like you might be thinking of doing some home renovation before the upcoming holidays. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, though, so you might think there isn’t enough time to get it all done on top of your shopping and decorating. Not to worry – it isn’t too late to get your kitchen ready for all your guests and gatherings if you do it right! Here are four kitchen redesign projects that you can get underway now and have finished in time for holiday dinner parties and other upcoming get-togethers.

Fresh Cabinetry and Fixtures

You wouldn’t believe how much of a huge difference it can make to update the cabinets and fixtures in your kitchen. After a quick stop at our kitchen showroom Long Island homeowners can easily choose the colors and materials that will create an entirely new look without remodeling the whole space. With a touch of cleaning and decorating your guests will think you orchestrated a full remodel when you only made a couple of quick upgrades!

New Backsplash, New Look

Adding a new backsplash to the walls behind the sink, stove and countertops is another easy way to update the look of your kitchen without a complicated remodeling project. A colorful tiled mosaic, for example, will dazzle your holiday guests without breaking the bank or tearing up the whole kitchen.

Add a Cozy Breakfast Nook

Wouldn’t you love to enjoy a holiday breakfast with your loved ones around a cozy nook in the corner of your kitchen or dining space? After a quick but carefully planned kitchen installation Long Island homeowners can breathe new life into this often neglected area of the home and get ready for a season of classic entertaining from morning until evening. Remember, the breakfast nook isn’t just for breakfast! It can also be a perfect spot for a bright and cheerful lunch, casual dinner for 2-4, a hosting area for drinks or serving area for plates and cutlery, or an additional table to accompany a larger service at the dining room table.    

Contractor-Grade Updates

With the help of a kitchen contractor Long Island homeowners can accomplish big renovation goals in a small amount of time. Whether you want to add a new island to prepare festive meals, a new buffet for serving your feast, a new storage and drink-serving area, or any other seemingly complex upgrades, one of our qualified contractors can help. Just stop by our kitchen showroom and speak to a member of our design and construction team to get your project underway.

As you can see, there are plenty of kitchen design projects you can finish before the holidays. The key is to plan smart, get the right help you need, purchase high-quality and stylish products, and get started now so you can enjoy the coming winter in style.

A Match Made in Heaven: Rutt Cabinetry and Elite Kitchen & Bath

When it comes to home renovation Long Island residents are fortunate to have one of the top Rutt Kitchen Designers right in their backyard. Elite Kitchen & Bath, conveniently located on Northern Boulevard in Manhasset, has earned the distinction of #1 Rutt Kitchen Designer on Long Island and #3 Rutt Kitchen Designer in the United States. Rutt is known as one of the finest kitchen cabinetry producers in the world, but their craftsmanship extends beyond the kitchen to fine products such as custom mantels and built-in desks. After visiting Elite’s kitchen and bathroom showroom Long Island homeowners can see just how beautiful Rutt cabinetry is, but for now keep reading to learn more about this skilled team of artisans.

Since 1984 Elite has created gorgeous custom kitchen, baths and full home renovations on Long Island, and New York City. Stop by our state of the art showroom in Long Island, or call 516-365-0595 for a free estimate today!

A History of Uncompromising Cabinetmaking

Phares Rutt opened a woodworking shop beside his Lancaster County home in 1951 and quickly became known as one of the finest makers of handcrafted wood furniture in southeastern Pennsylvania. His work embodied the classic style and quality that are unique to the area’s Mennonite and Amish communities, yet also displayed a new level of innovation and excellence that set him apart. Before long Rutt was known as a leading name in American luxury cabinetry and Phares Rutt continued to grow his team of craftspeople in order to keep up with the demand. 

The Modern Face of Rutt Kitchen Cabinetry

In many ways, very little has changed in the production of Rutt Kitchen Cabinetry over the years. The workshop is still located in the quiet Pennsylvania countryside and the friendly craftspeople still produce each piece by hand – with just a little help from technology to ensure safety and quality. Many members of the team have been producing Rutt Cabinetry for decades, and the company makes a point to work with design partners that share this dedication. That is why Rutt and Elite Kitchen & Bath make such a great team. As a family owned and operated business since 1984 with an award-winning design team, Elite Kitchen & Bath knows how to treat a fine piece of cabinetry and how to treat customers fairly.

With the help of an Elite general contractor Long Island homeowners can install a true work of art in their kitchen or living room. Rutt Cabinetry transforms a mundane space into a unique symbol of artisanal perfection, with all the storage and convenience to make life just that little bit better. From kitchen remodeling to bathroom design Long Island homeowners can count on Elite Kitchen & Bath and Rutt Cabinetry to make it happen.

Top 3 Tips for Planning and Designing a Large Long Island Bathroom

There are many tips for a larger bathroom design Long Island homeowners should be aware of as they plan for an expansive master bath. Whether you want a perfect place to get ready with your significant other, a functional space for the whole family or a luxurious spa sanctuary just for yourself, there are many considerations you might not even think of until it’s too late. You need to get the shape right, for starters, so you don’t have an awkward unused area that could be better utilized. You will also need to decide what kind of surfaces will look right in a large bathroom and fit within your budget, what kind of heating options will keep the whole space warm in winter, and what kind of bathtub will achieve your desired specifications.

Stop by our state of the art showroom in Long Island, or call 516-365-0595 for a free estimate today!

After visiting our bathroom showroom Long Island homeowners will see that there are many options and hopefully leave with some much-needed advice, but before you even think of what you want to purchase consider these following top three tips:

Think About Function First

While your mind may wander to stylish materials and luxurious additions as you start planning the design of your master bathroom, you must sit down and think about the functionality before anything else. First of all, how will this bathroom be used? You will need to plan differently if several people will be using this bathroom during busy mornings than if it will only be used by one or two people. If it’s going to be heavily trafficked then you might want to consider a separate shower outside of the bath and “his and hers” sinks are always a good idea. If you’re looking to create a relaxing spa atmosphere for one or two people to enjoy, on the other hand, you will probably want to dedicate more of your budget to a top-of-the-line whirlpool bath. And, whatever your goals, it is essential to have ample storage and to make sure that all your furnishings match or complement one another. 

Build “Zones” into the Bathroom   

Whether this bathroom will be used by one, two or ten people, you will want to create zones that section off areas of the bathroom for different purposes. The sink and toilet should each have their own “room within a room” so one person can be taking a bath or shower while someone else is brushing their teeth while someone else is using the toilet. And a separate space for the bathtub is always nice so this zone can be dedicated to relaxation. Simply installing a door isn’t your only option, though it is essential for the toilet. With help from a general contractor Long Island homeowners can also create different zones by building upper and lower levels into the space and utilizing different flooring materials to differentiate the spaces. Just make sure they don’t clash!

Get the Storage You Need Where You Need It

If there is more than one person using a bathroom there is bound to be clutter as each person will have their own products that they prefer to use every day. Even one person can create quite a bit of clutter, so large families really have a tough time keeping the main bathroom tidy. This is why it’s a good idea to implement multiple storage solutions as you plan and design your large master bathroom. You might consider built-in shelves, above-sink cabinetry, wall-hung cabinets and freestanding cabinets to store everything that everyone needs in a place where they can reach it when they need it. Cabinetry is also an essential component in order to keep all your stuff out of sight and avoid clutter.

When it comes to home renovation Long Island homeowners are wise to focus on their master bathrooms to maximize resale value. At the end of the day, though, the master bathroom should always be designed for those using it right now.  

"Kitchen Therapy & More" Workshops

"Home Design Appraisal Tuesdays" -The Elite/Express Team & Interior Designer Nadia Vee evaluate plans for local resident 

"Home Design Appraisal Tuesdays" -The Elite/Express Team & Interior Designer Nadia Vee evaluate plans for local resident 

Elite launched the “Kitchen Therapy & More” Workshops plus “Home Design Appraisal Tuesdays” in February 2016. “Our goal is to educate consumers in the different aspects of design for the kitchen, bath and home”, says Yeheskel Sharbani, owner of  Manhasset based Elite Kitchen & Bath & Express Contracting. “We find the more people know about design, the better decisions they make when choosing cabinetry, design & layout changes and materials” says Sharbani.   

Nadia Vee, Award Winning Interior Designer 

Nadia Vee, Award Winning Interior Designer 

Our next workshop is being held on September 20th, 2016 titled “New Trends & Technology in Luxury Home Design” conducted by Nadia Vee.

Award-winning interior designer Nadia Vee will reveal the design industry's new trends and resources for the 2016/2017 fall-winter season.  She will show examples of a wide array of bespoke furniture, textiles, new color trends and the best color schemes for interiors, live plants as wall coverings, and adventurous creativity in tile and stone design. 

Ms. Vee will also discuss the New dynamic: Design meets technology; we will explore how they work together to create innovative space that brings style to life.  She will show how exquisite furnishing, like magnificent gems, can adorn your life with beauty and provide an opportunity for self expression when combined with the ancient wisdom of Feng Shui's "Bagua" (the balance of Yin and Yang, significant in determining the auspicious qualities of special relationships)

Elite/Express held workshops on Feng Shui & healthy cooking with new appliances which were phenomenally received.  These workshops are interactive and each individual gets the opportunity to personalize and apply the elements to their own home.

The “Home Design Appraisal Tuesdays” are held the third Tuesday of each month where individuals bring photos/plans of any part of their home they want evaluated.  The Elite/Express team along with interior designer Nadia Vee evaluates and makes recommendations based on the photos and the homeowner’s desired outcome. People are amazed at what small changes and major changes can do for their home life experience.  “We encourage our community to bring the pictures of their space and we will help them transform the space of their dreams”, says Nadia Vee. 

Master Bath Design Ideas for a Long Island Summer Renovation

When planning a home renovation Long Island homeowners can’t choose a “wrong” time of year, though the summer months are often the least challenging. Many people are taking time off work, providing the time to plan and orchestrate the renovation from start to finish, and the weather is less unpredictable. At the same time, there is plenty to do during the day so you don’t have to sit around the house waiting for your bathroom to be done. If you’re planning a renovation of your master bathroom it certainly shouldn’t ruin your summer. Here are a few design ideas to help you plan a seamless master bath renovation that will look fabulous for years to come.

Consider Your Budget First

Before visiting any bathroom showroom Long Island homeowners should determine their budget and create a loose plan of what they want to achieve. Those with a big budget and a big bathroom can splash out for new additions such as heated floors, rainfall showerheads and whirlpool tubs. But if you have a smaller budget or limited space there’s still a whole lot you can do with an extra dose of creativity.

Choose a Personalized Color Palette

When it comes to bathroom design Long Island homeowners should choose the color palette, theme and style that reflects their personalities and preferences. If you have a larger bathroom you might want to create a subdued mood with dark shades of brown, green or blue. If you have a smaller bathroom, on the other hand, you might want to choose brighter or softer colors to create the illusion of a larger space. There are also stencils and other accents that can offset more bold or barren color choices. But at the end of the day it’s your choice!

Find the Right Theme to Suit You

You might not think your master bathroom needs a theme, but keeping a concept in mind will help you and/or your designer determine the right products to pull together a cohesive look that will leave you with a sense of calm. You might want to go with a vintage look including a pedestal sink and clawfoot bathtub with Victorian-inspired framed artwork. Or maybe you want a more clean and modern look with glass and metal, or a budget-friendly sea theme with stone countertops and seashell patterns throughout. It’s up to you.

Make Your Big Purchases First

Whether it’s a DIY project or a job for a general contractor Long Island homeowners will want to make sure they get the most costly and time-consuming aspects of the remodel project out of the way first. If you’re installing a new bathtub, adding arched ceilings or doing any other extensive work, it may cost more and take longer than you expected. So take care of the biggest parts of the project first, get them out of the way, and then see what you have left to deal with. You might not have time or money to do everything you desired, but last-minute touches like new towels and shower curtains can always help pull it all together. Getting halfway through a major project before running out of money or having to go back to work would be much worse.

However you decide to remodel your bathroom this summer, just make sure to have fun with it. At the end of the day it’s still going to be work, no matter how much help you have, but when you’re passionate about the project it won’t seem like such a chore.