4 Ways to Tell if Your Cabinets Need to be Replaced Instead of Refaced

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Cabinetry is a huge part of a kitchen’s aesthetic and functionality. Not surprisingly, new cabinets are the largest expense when renovating. Refacing cabinets can be an economical choice for a cosmetic update, but in some cases the best option is still replacing cabinets.

Here are four ways to tell if your cabinets should be replaced instead of refaced.

1. Age of the Cabinets

Older cabinets (those built prior to 1980) were often built of better materials than cabinets built more recently and may still have the benefit of craftsmanship that can hold up for refacing. However, cabinets that are two to three decades old and do not have those well-built structures may be truly worn or damaged from time or wear-and-tear and should be replaced.

2. Quality of the Cabinets

Ultra-cheap, low-grade cabinets made of particle board or other inferior materials are not candidates for refacing because in order for the process to be successful, the cabinet boxes must be in solid shape. If the structure of the cabinets is significantly damaged due to, for example, pests (including pets) or mold, refacing is not an option.

3. Layout of the Cabinets

Cabinet boxes can only be refaced if they are kept in place. Changing the layout of the kitchen — which can include moving or removing walls, or adding an island or peninsula — changes the shape and dimensions of the space. Large structural changes to the room will require new cabinetry specifically designed for the new configuration.

4. Water Damage or Excessive Wear and Tear

Water damage from plumbing can cause wood to swell and lose its integrity. Faulty construction or excessive wear-and-tear can cause the wood to fall apart. Thoroughly examine the interior of the cabinets to look for this type of damage. If it exists, refacing will not be possible.

When choosing between replacing and refacing cabinets, consider the return on investment as well as the initial cost. New cabinets have many features that appeal to buyers, as well as make the kitchen more usable for the current homeowners. Today’s cabinetry incorporates many ergonomic improvements, such as drawers rather than shelves in base cabinets for greater convenience and ease of use. Cabinets that extend all the way to the ceiling are dramatic, make smart use of limited space and provide out-of-the way storage for infrequently used items such as serving pieces.

Caruso Kitchens offers custom and semi-custom furniture-grade cabinetry for applications throughout your home. Contact us today see the selection. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.

10 Ways to Refresh Your Kitchen if You Can’t Do a Complete Renovation

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A full renovation may not be within reach — and may not even be necessary — to bring new energy to your kitchen. Much can be accomplished with a simple kitchen refresh. Here are 10 easy ways to liven up a kitchen that’s gotten a little stale.

1. Clear out the clutter.

Go through your kitchen section by section and get rid of anything you don’t love or use regularly enough to justify the space it’s taking up. Of course, there are seasonal or holiday items you’ll want to keep that only get used once or twice a year, but gadgets that made sense when you bought them, but then never used should probably go. Chipped or cracked dishes, containers without lids and other broken, damaged or overly worn items should also be tossed or recycled. Clear as much as possible off countertops.

2. Organize everything in a logical place.

Consider how you use the items in your kitchen when you are deciding where to store them. Group similar things and keep items necessary for a particular activity (such as baking, or making coffee or school lunches) together in a handy place near where you use them most.

3. Refresh the paint.

Paint goes a long way to freshening up a room, even the kitchen. Pick a hue that complements your cabinets. Adding a bold accent color is an easy, inexpensive way to create a pop of color. There are types of paint for surfaces other than walls, too. With the right paint and preparation, you can paint wood floors, tile flooring, a backsplash and cabinets.

4. Update the hardware.

Hardware is like jewelry for your cabinets. Upgrading from basic builder hardware to something with a more current feel can completely update your kitchen. Play with mixing metals and shapes. Add a whimsical cabinet pull or two for some fun and personality.

5. Change the light fixtures.

Light fixtures come in many different styles. Opaque shades provide directional light shining down, which can be good for task lighting, while translucent or glass shades illuminate the whole space.

6. Accessorize.

Kitchen accessories should enhance the look of the kitchen without creating more clutter. Choose them carefully for what they bring to the overall look. Decorative bowls or platters, a plant in beautiful pot, and small appliances that are out on the counter or an open shelf can either add or detract from the look and feel of a kitchen. Too many accessories can be overwhelming, and too few can leave the kitchen feeling stark. Accessories can add a splash of color and interest.

7. Add a (washable) throw rug.

A rug in front of the sink or a runner down a long kitchen adds softness and color. Choose a rug that is both durable and washable, because spills in the kitchen are inevitable.

8. Hang artwork.

Art can be a surprising touch in a kitchen, and is especially helpful from a design perspective in an open kitchen that is part of greater living space. Looking at the kitchen from outside can help you identify where a painting or beautiful photograph would be aesthetically pleasing as well as tie the different areas together.

9. Change the window treatment(s).

Window treatments add color and texture. If you can sew, making an inexpensive shade with remnants or discontinued fabrics is an economical way to brighten a kitchen.

10. Add dimmers and under-cabinet lighting.

Dimmers and accent lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting, can create drama and offer a softer lighting option than overhead lights.

The experts at Caruso Kitchens have lots of ideas for refreshing your kitchen. Contact us today to get started? We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.

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10 Tips for Keeping Your Kitchen Organized

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Clutter in the kitchen wastes time and energy.  Kitchen cabinets can become black holes that make it impossible to find what you need quickly and easily. Trying to prepare a meal in a messy space can lead to accidents and added stress. Kitchen organization is an important part of kitchen design because good design helps your kitchen function at its best and is easier to maintain.

Here are 10 tips to help you keep your kitchen organized so it is always a pleasure to use:

1. Minimalize

Resist the temptation to keep anything in your kitchen purely for sentimental reasons or because you think you might need it some day. Take a hard look at each item and make an objective assessment as to whether you use it regularly.

  • Toss or recycle any worn-out, broken, rusty or permanently dirty items
  • Identify the tools and appliances you use most often and eliminate any unnecessary duplicates.
  • Determine if you can get rid of any single function items.

2. Empty Cabinets

Go through the contents of each cabinet one at a time. Remove everything, and put back only things you love and use. If you haven’t used it (or seen it) in over a year, it is a good candidate for the donation pile. If it is broken or damaged beyond repair, toss it.

3. Group Like Items

To make items easier to find and keep track of going forward, group them together by how they are most often used. For example, sort items into categories such as cooking utensils, baking items, holiday or seasonal items, entertaining pieces, and everyday dishes, silverware and serving pieces.

4. Organize the Cabinets

Store the most used items where they are easiest to get to. Cooking and baking pieces, as well as utensils, should be kept close to your food preparation area. Glassware should be near the sink or dishwasher, or alternatively by the refrigerator. Set up a hot beverage station near a water source, if possible, with coffee, tea, cocoa, sweeteners, mugs and filters near the coffee maker or teapot.

5. Use Clear Containers to Store Items

Small items in clear containers are easier to organize and keep track of because they don’t spread throughout the cabinet or draw. Group similar items together so they are easy to find. Store items that come in small boxes, like pudding, in clear shoeboxes. Square and rectangular containers stack well.

6. Make Use of Vertical Space

Making smart use of vertical space can greatly improve the organization of small kitchens, but even in kitchens that have abundant counter space, well-placed hooks or ceiling racks can eliminate a cluttered feel. Hooks that hold mugs under cabinets, adhesive hooks inside cabinet or pantry doors for oven mitts, dish towels or kitchen gadgets, or ceiling racks for pots and pans can free up a considerable amount of space.

7. Use Lazy Susans

Lazy Susans are rotating trays that can go on kitchen tables or islands, inside cabinets and pantries, and even in refrigerators. They are especially handy in corner cabinets where much of the space is hard to reach. Perfect for accessing condiments, spices, beverages, snacks and a variety of pantry items, Lazy Susans prevent items from being hidden or lost in the back of the fridge or cabinet where they are more likely to spoil or expire.

8. Use Drawer Dividers

How often do you waste time fishing around in a drawer for the item you need? Dividers keep utensils and other small items organized in a designated space, rather than jumbled together.

9. Sort Papers

Even in our ever more digital world, paper accumulates. Organize coupons and takeout menus in a magnetic sorter box on the side of the refrigerator to prevent papers from accumulating on the counters. Give each type of paper a section, so finding what you need when you need it is easy.

10. Clean Out the Refrigerator

The night before your trash goes out is the perfect time to do a quick clean out of the refrigerator each week, to prevent old food and containers from cluttering up the space.

Ask the experts at Caruso Kitchens how to incorporate organization into your new kitchen design. Contact us today! We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.

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Morgan Ferguson


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9 Most Popular Kitchen Cabinet Styles

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While most kitchens complement the overall style of the home, many options exist to create a kitchen with its own special flair. Kitchen cabinets are a major design element of any kitchen and understandably get a lot of the attention during a renovation. Your kitchen designer can help you sort through the style options to find the perfect fit, but here is a brief overview of popular cabinet styles to get your imagination going.

1. Traditional

Raised-panel doors, inset recessed doors or bead-board are among the details that distinguish traditional cabinets from other styles. They are available in a range of colors including whites and creams, reds and tans, as well as a variety of wood hues.

2. Shaker

Shaker cabinets are known for their clean, functional design. Flat-paneled doors with rail frames, and natural wood finishes or neutral colors such as white and gray are hallmarks of Shaker style. This type of cabinet is quite popular because its classic, casual look works well with many kitchen styles.

3. Rustic

The term “rustic” has come to embody a variety of styles, but essentially it means “natural.” Roughness, slight imperfection and a general simplicity give rustic style the casual character that fits equally well in a mountain cabin, a country house or a suburban kitchen. Rustic cabinets emphasize the feel of wood with a matte finish or left rugged — with no finish at all. Hardware of rubbed-brass or wrought iron adds to the charm of rustic cabinetry.

4. Contemporary

Clean lines with few if any embellishments define contemporary cabinets. This style works especially well in small kitchens, in part because the lack of extraneous details such as molding allows for more vertical storage space. Metal, concrete, plastic, glass and manufactured wood are typical materials used to create the simple design of contemporary kitchen cabinets.

5. Slab

The modern look of slab cabinets, also called flat-panel cabinets, fits well in a contemporary kitchen. Simplicity, low maintenance design and a lower price point add to the appeal of these cabinets.

6. Country

Country cabinets are typically made of wood. They often have painted doors in pale or light colors, and may have a distressed finish. They have design features similar to traditional cabinets, including raised-panel or beadboard doors, and may also have glass, wire or tin accents.

7. Craftsman

Craftsman refers to an architectural style that came out of the Arts & Crafts movement around the turn of the last century. Specific characteristics include straight lines, minimal ornamentation and quality construction. These cabinets are made from unpainted quarter-sawn oak, hickory, cherry or maple.

8. Glass Front

Glass-front cabinets are perfect for showcasing glassware, bowls, vases or even cookbooks. Or the glass itself can be part of the design. Panels can be etched or frosted, seeded (with bubbles that occur in the manufacturing process), leaded or stained glass. Lights can be added for ambience or to showoff the contents. Glass-front cabinets work best as upper cabinets and are typically used in conjunction with solid cabinet doors.

9. Open Shelving

Open shelving is a practical way to add storage and keep often-used items within easy reach, such as near the sink or above the cooking area. They are also a nice way to display decorative items or matching dishware.

Caruso Kitchens can help you navigate the many choices that come with kitchen renovations. Contact us to learn more. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado and serve the entire Denver metro area.

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Posted by & filed under Basement Design, Bathroom Design, Kitchen Design, Laundry Rooms.

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Susie Killion


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Posted by & filed under Bathroom Design, Kitchen Design.

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Susie Killion


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