Renovation Run-Up


Kitchen IslandNo man is an island; neither is your kitchen.

Whether you are considering a total gut job or a little cosmetic fluffing and re-organizing, don’t forget that your kitchen is a central player in the overall design of your home.

Start collecting pictures from magazines. You want to be clear what style you are most comfortable with. Carefully consider how much care and upkeep is acceptable to you while you’re at it. For example, granite and marble countertops need to be sealed annually to help prevent stains, but even with sealing, you can’t leave spills on the surface without risk.

In older homes and apartments as well as newer residences, the trend is to break down walls and open the space up to incorporate it into your lifestyle, be it family oriented or all about the next smashing entertainment event.

Depending on your preferences and circumstances, your stylish living room should flow into your stylish kitchen and bar area to mix a drink or two with panache. Or as another example, your kitchen becomes one with the dining area for a great hearted family affair.

The dacor doesn’t have to shout “KITCHEN” either. This is a great opportunity to furnish this room in a more “whole house” inclusive way. You could display your favorite collections of memorabilia here, as you might in a library or a study.

You could put a comfy chair in a corner for cookbook reading. Add a basket filled with magazines and other books on the side and presto, you have a nook that beckons you to sit down to rest your “tired dogs” with a cup of tea and a good read. While style goes hand in hand with kitchen design, multi-tasking any room for comfort and use-ability is just a smart idea.

Florence Perchuk has been a successful kitchen designer in New York for the past 25 years. She says, “kitchens reflect what is going on in home furnishings and are designed today with all sorts of pickling, enameling, marbling, and finishes painted on cabinets. Kitchen cabinets have actually become far more a piece of furniture.”

Following the general style lead of the rest of the home, narrow down your preferences. What would you like in terms of cabinet design? Do you want sleek contemporary, natural wood or painted surfaces? If painted, what color? What materials and colors will you use for the back splashes, counters and floors? What color would you like to see on walls and trim? While you may not have a specific style in mind to flow into the kitchen area, it’s a good idea to at least reference the colors used in some of the other rooms so you will have a cohesive look throughout.

In the end, all your choices will have to fit together and hopefully get along beautifully. You don’t have to make definite decisions yet, but now is the time to narrow down your color choices and preferences.

Guest post by Cindy Lee Bergersen for


  1. As far as granite countertops being sealed every year, there is a product called Dry Treat that is guaranteed by the sealer manufacturer for 15 years. Applicators of this product also have to be certified by the sealer company for the warranty. I recommend this product to all of my clients.


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