Posted by & filed under Kitchen Design, News.

Design by

Kim Foutz


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10 Interior Designer Tips for a Gorgeous Kitchen

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Once you’ve made the decision to remodel your kitchen, you may need some help sorting through the various elements of interior design. Here are 10 tips that can help you start the process, even before you’ve hired a design professional.

1. Determine Your Style

To help determine and articulate your style, look to other areas in your life where design influences your choices, such as your wardrobe. Think about how do you want a space to feel. Remember places you’ve been that have made you feel comfortable and at ease — other homes, hotels, restaurants, etc.  Pictures of places and rooms can invoke those feelings as well. Even language can help. What words would you use to describe your ideal space? Elegant or playful. Traditional or modern. Formal or casual.

2. Figure Out What You Don’t Like

Identifying what you dislike can be as important as knowing what you like in terms of narrowing options. Anything that carries a negative association to a past experience or triggers an unpleasant memory is to be avoided. These types of emotional responses are very personal, but define our preferences. Other dislikes might concern comfort issues. For example, if you are short, you may not like very high cabinets that are difficult to reach.

3. Put Function First

The tried-and-true kitchen design formula for the greatest efficiency and ease is to have the sink, refrigerator and the stove in a triangle with no more than 6 feet between each, regardless of the shape of the space.

4. Make Room for Storage

Consider what you need to store and how you prefer to access it. Avoid wasted space by having cabinets go to the ceiling. Include deep drawers for appliances to keep them handy but out of sight when they aren’t being used. There are many exciting storage innovations. Choose the ones that best fit your needs and budget.

5. Start Fresh (Don’t Reuse Appliances from the “old” Kitchen)

Reusing appliances or cabinets may seem like a way to save money but they are hard to incorporate into a remodel and will keep your kitchen from looking fresh and new. Work with your kitchen designer to find ways to stay within budget that won’t impact the overall aesthetic you’re trying to achieve.

6. Think About Proportion and Scale

Proportion and scale are key to any successful design. Consider all the activities that need to be accommodated in your kitchen and how people will move through the space to do what they need to do. Are there multiple cooks who like to work together? Are kids doing homework? How does the family prefer to eat together? How much space should be devoted to a center island or would a table and chairs make more sense? Consider the balance of the various elements and how they are distributed within the space.

7. Power

Think about how you use the space and where it makes sense to have electric outlets, light switches and power strips. Where will you use small appliances and will you need access to a computer, tablet, television or sound system? Make sure relocated appliances have access to electricity, water, gas lines and ventilation as needed.

8. Sample Your Paint

When choosing paint colors for the kitchen, consider the mood you are trying to create — light and airy, warm and cozy, formal or casual. Consider how the different finish choices work together, but also how they will look against the surrounding rooms. Sample actual paint colors on your walls so you can observe them in natural light at different times of day as well as how they look at night. The outside environment can impact how wall colors look as well by creating reflections. Even if you’ve decided on white walls, white paint can have different color undertones.

9. Mix High and Low Price Points

This is where your kitchen design professional can help you balance your budget with your priorities. Top of the line everything rarely makes sense and more expensive isn’t always better. Your designer can advise you on where it makes sense to splurge and where it is wise to cut back.

10. Don’t Forget Lighting

Overhead lights are not typically sufficient in a kitchen because when the light comes from behind it casts shadows on the work area. Under cabinet lighting positions the light in front of you and shines directly on countertops.

Caruso Kitchen will make the planning and execution of your kitchen remodel as enjoyable and satisfying as possible. Contact us today for a consultation. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.

Posted by & filed under Kitchen Design, News.

Design by

Susie Killion

In Partnership with

Renee Augustine at Studio R Design


Libbie Martin

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5 Requirements for Accessible Kitchen Design

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Accessible kitchen design is an important consideration when investing in a remodel. While initially intended for the elderly or people with disabilities, accessible design features often make sense in any home. With our aging population, such enhancements can increase the resale value of your home when it’s time to sell, or allow you to stay in your home longer. Features like accessible kitchen cabinets or wider doors and hallways accommodate all family members, whether they have a disability or not.

1. Doorways & Halls (Clearance)

Add a few extra inches between the edge of the countertops and the kitchen island as well as around the refrigerator and oven when the doors are open to allow enough space for wheelchairs to freely move around or for someone using a walker or crutches. A pass-through kitchen should be 40″ wide, and a U-shaped kitchen should be 60″ wide. Doorways should be at least 36″ wide, but 42″ is preferable. Swing-clear hinges create a clear opening.

2. Counters (Workspace)

Include a 30″-wide section of unobstructed counterspace, knee and toe clearance. Countertops are typically 3″ high; a height of 34″ makes them accessible. Adjustable countertops should range from 28″ to 36″.  Pullout shelves can also provide accessible workspace.

3. Sink

The sink must be unobstructed and located 28″ to 34″ above the floor. Choose a brand and style that meet rigorous ADA constraints to ensure compliance. Open space beneath the sink are wheelchair- and walker-accessible. Pipes underneath should be insulated and enclosed, and positioned toward the back of the sink. Installing the faucet on the side, rather than the back, and choosing a single lever handle makes it easier to reach and operate.

4. Cabinets

Pull-out shelves bring the cabinet contents you, rather than needing to crouch down or stand on a step ladder. Pull-out spice racks, trash drawers, and pantries and appliances make it easy to access all the necessities in the kitchen.

5. Appliances

Consider visiting a showroom to try out accessible appliances. If that is not an option, shop with a supplier who will allow you to return any appliances that aren’t a good fit. A separate oven and cooktop make both accessible. Look for stove controls toward the front of the stove and staggered burners, so there is no need to reach across a hot burner. Oven doors that open to the side make it easier for someone in a wheelchair to get closer. French doors are another option that make ovens easier to access than one big, heavy door. Refrigerators with freezer drawers on the bottom make it easier to access the freezer. Controls that feature raised buttons, dials with directional indicators or touch pads can make operating appliances easier and safer.

Other Considerations:

  • Electrical outlets:
    Place electrical outlets lower, but no lower that 15″ off the floor.

  • Lighting:
    Glare-free lighting and adequate task lighting increase visibility and create a safe cooking environment. Place the lighting controls at all entrances so there is no need to navigate in the dark and lights can be turned on and off on from every access point.

  • Movable workspaces:
    A base cabinet on wheels can be used for transporting hot dishes from countertop to table or to create a moveable workspace area based on the needs of the activity.

Contact Caruso Kitchens for more information on accessible kitchens. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.

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

Design by

Susie Killion

White Cabinets:

  • Manufacturer: Columbia
  • Door Style: FP333
  • Wood Species: Paintable Maple
  • Finish: Iceberg
  • Drawer: Dovetail/softclose/undermount/full extension
  • Interior: Maple melamine

Dark Cabinets:

  • Manufacturer: Homestead
  • Door Style: Shaker
  • Wood Species: Rift Cut White Oak
  • Finish: Black Stain
  • Drawer: Dovetail/softclose/undermount/full extension
  • Interior: Maple melamine

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10 Steps to Getting the Kitchen of Your Dreams

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The excitement of a beautiful, functional and efficient kitchen design can quickly get lost in the kitchen renovation process and the reality of construction. Having a good understanding of what to expect will make the experience more pleasant. With a little preparation and focus the kitchen remodel you want can be a dream come true.

10 Steps to Getting the Kitchen of Your Dreams

1. Assess Your Needs

Involve family members and take the time to consider what matters most. Make a list of your main objectives. What do you hope to accomplish with the renovation?This will inform all your decisions on budget, style, products and more.

2. Establish a Budget

Be realistic about what you can invest and how to pay for it. Shop around to get a sense of product prices. Don’t forget to include about 17% for installation.

3. Find a Professional

A kitchen design professional can help you avoid many common pitfalls and also show you innovations that you might not have considered. A kitchen designer can also help you assess your priorities and help you get the best value for your investment.

4. Finalize Room Layout & Design

Make notes about how you use your current kitchen, what works, what causes frustration and what could just use a bit of improvement. Your kitchen professional will have ideas on flow and organization that will help you make the best use of the space.

5. Decide on a Look

Visit showrooms, attend home shows and look online. Collect images of what you like. This will help your designer get a good sense of your tastes and preferences.

6. Choose Products

From cabinets and countertops to lighting and hardware to flooring and tile and more you will have many choices to make. Your designer can help narrow down your options based on your priorities, budget and taste.

7. Plan for the Installation

Determine who will be responsible for finding, scheduling and supervising all the contractors and installers including the electricians, plumbers, tile contractors, carpenters and cabinet installers. Remove anything extraneous — dishes, decorations, food, personal items. Prepare a make-shift kitchen while yours is under construction.

8. The Remodel Takes Place

The actual remodel begins with demolition to remove everything that is being replaced. Any major construction happens next, followed by plumbing and electrical upgrades. Then the walls are closed and the new kitchen begins to take shape. During this phase, it is important to keep in mind that problems can occur that delay progress, particularly if something unexpected is uncovered. This is where your choice of a project manager becomes especially important. A good manager will be responsive to your questions and concerns, communicate updates regularly and offer solutions. Be patient!

9. Review Proper Care and Maintenance

Go over the finished kitchen thoroughly and address any imperfections with your contractor. Try out everything and be sure you understand how to use and take care of all your new surfaces and appliances.

10. Enjoy for Years to Come!

Caruso Kitchens wants you to have the kitchen of your dreams. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.

What’s Hot in Kitchen Renovations Right Now

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Kitchen renovations are an excellent way to add value to a home. The kitchen has long been considered the heart of a home and good kitchen design encompasses the functional aspects (cabinets, appliances and fixtures) as well as the aesthetic — how the space makes the occupants feel. From style choices to technology, consider how these latest trends might fit into your kitchen.

Smart Kitchens

Kitchen design has evolved to accommodate our growing use of technology.  Charging stations for mobile devices have become a necessity. Docking stations or device holders for smartphones and tablets are useful for cooks who like to have cooking videos or online recipes accessible. Cabinets can even have wireless devices such as music speakers or televisions built-in. Appliances incorporate technology as well, such as refrigerators with touch screens, Wi-Fi connectivity and interior cameras that allow you to see what’s inside from anywhere and track which items are running low.

Two-Tone Cabinet Colors

Two-tone cabinets pair a color with wood or two contrasting colors. Colors can be split between upper and lower cabinets, perimeter cabinets and a center island, or used as an accent on certain cabinets. It’s a striking way to add interest to your kitchen design.

Bold Cabinet Colors

Are you ready to make a statement? Bold colors are replacing neutrals for greater impact and personality. Bright red, emerald green and ocean blue are just some examples.

“Chunkier” Hardware

Hardware is like jewelry for your cabinets and doors. While minimalism is a trend in cabinets and overall design, chunky hardware complements sleek lines and stands out with a vintage feel. It is the perfect finishing touch to any kitchen design.

Streamlined Designs, Materials and Textures

A trend toward modernization has led to a desire for cabinets with clean lines rather than ornate design. Simple recessed panel doors with smooth edges work with a variety of styles and allow other design elements to stand out.

Quartz and Concrete Countertops

Engineered stone combines the beauty of natural stone with durability and low maintenance. Unlike granite, quartz countertops are non-porous and don’t require re-sealing to protect the finish from stains. They also come with a warranty that is not available for natural stone. Concrete is another trending countertop option for its durability and versatility.

Appliances with New Styles and Features

Side opening or French door ovens make so much sense it’s hard to believe they taken this long to hit the market. Black stainless steel is gaining traction as a warmer, fresher take on the ubiquitous stainless steel. Where your appliances live is also changing. Built-in under cabinet microwaves, convection/steam ovens and even refrigerators free up counter space with added accessibility. Drawer appliances are also becoming popular for a clutter-free feel.

Hardwood Flooring is Still King (but Ceramic Tile and Engineered Flooring are gaining)

Natural hardwood floors have a classic beauty that will always be popular, but ceramic tile and engineered wood flooring are gaining ground. Engineered floors can be easier and more cost-effective to install.

Matte Black

Another surprising color choice: matte black. Appliances, fixtures and hardware in matte black are the latest way to add contrast to wood cabinets, even in more traditional-style kitchens.

Beautiful Backsplashes

Backsplashes are getting more attention with endless color choices that bring a pop of color and personality. Homeowners are moving away from small individual tiles to large subway tiles in eye-catching colors and patterns. Slabs of marble — single pieces with few breaks — are attractive for their subtle color and variation in veining. Backsplashes that continue up to the ceiling are another dramatic trend.

Better Storage Solutions

The desire to keep kitchen tools and accessories organized, out of sight and easily accessible has led to some clever innovations. Drawers conceal a multitude of tools including charging stations and cutting boards with integrated catch pans. Extra deep drawers store appliances to keep counters clear. Custom stainless steel inserts and pegged bottoms make it easy to organize utensils, spices and dishes. Cabinet shelves that pull out and slide over to access previously unusable corner space. There are many rollout options storage options as well including removable wire baskets.

The Most Popular Kitchen Cabinet Colors in 2019

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Cabinetry is one of the main focal points of a kitchen, so the style and color dictate much of how the rest of the space is designed.  As with any design feature, there are classic colors and some that ebb and flow with time. Here is a look at the most popular choices this year.

The Most Popular Kitchen Cabinet Colors in 2019:

  • White:
    White has been the leading contender among cabinet colors for several decades. Bright, crisp and clean with timeless appeal, white is perfect for a number of styles, particularly transitional and modern. The drawback, of course, is that white is likely to show wear and dirt, and will therefore require more frequent cleaning to keep it looking sharp.

  • Grey:
    Grey cabinets have a neutral character with a flair that goes with a contemporary or industrial look, but also works with traditional styles such as Shaker or farmhouse. While it is a neutral color, it is somewhat unexpected in a kitchen and that may be part of its appeal. Grey can be dark or light, warm or cool, and is easily paired with a bold accent color on walls, tile or floors.

  • Black:
    Black cabinetry can be quite dramatic and works especially well in large kitchens with abundant natural light. A smooth, black finish pairs nicely with white or other neutral accents (countertops, walls and floors or even upper cabinets for a two-tone design) and is perfect for a sleek and sophisticated ultra-modern look. Unlike white, black cabinets hide wear and stains well.

  • Green:
    Green is another surprising cabinet color choice. Think nature with a rich sage green or go bold with a bright emerald green.

The Most Popular Kitchen Cabinet Stain Colors in 2019:

  • Walnut:
    Walnut is noteworthy for its unique color and graining that comes in a wide variety of shades and colors that accommodate a natural stain.

  • Rift Cut White Oak:
    White oak is lighter and fresher-looking than the deep tones of walnut. The rift cut gives the grain durability as well as a unique appearance.

Caruso Kitchens will help you design the perfect kitchen. We also provide cabinetry for other areas of the home. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area. Call us today.

What’s the Best Kitchen Countertop: Corian, Quartz or Granite?

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Kitchen countertops come in a dizzying array of options with multiple factors to consider. When choosing the best material for your kitchen design, the look is undoubtedly the primary focus, but durability, maintenance and cost also come into play. Quartz, granite and Corian (solid surface) are among the most popular countertops in today’s homes.

Corian (Solid Surface)

  • Appearance / Definition:
    Corian is an engineered stone developed by DuPont specifically for countertops. It combines natural materials (66%) with a mix of acrylic polymers and resin (33%). The heated mixture is poured into molds to form solid sheets when cooled. Corian’s initial popularity came in large part from its versatility; it can be formed into any shape with minimal seams and is well-suited for sinks and backsplashes as well as for countertops. Its consistent color offers many possibilities for personalizing the design with a uniform pattern.
  • Cost:
    Corian is a relatively inexpensive option, which makes it a good choice for small budgets or less visible applications such as basement bathrooms or laundry rooms.
  • Maintenance:
    Because Corian is non-porous, it doesn’t require sealing. Maintenance is simply regular cleaning with a soft cloth, warm water and a mild cleanser. Sinks should be thoroughly washed once or twice a week to prevent food residue from accumulating.
  • Durability:
    Corian is less durable than granite and quartz. It can be scratched and scorched, and may be damaged by strong chemical cleaners. Corian surfaces are not heat resistant, only able to handle temperatures up to 212 degrees Fahrenheit before sustaining damage. Therefore, keep in mind that Corian countertops, while versatile and economical, require a lot of special care during use to keep them looking their best.


  • Appearance / Definition:
    Granite is 100% natural stone extracted from quarries in large slabs and then polished, fabricated and cut. The natural striations and color variations make each piece unique with an often dramatic appearance. Choosing granite countertops from samples can be tricky, however.  Because of the wide variation in pattern and color, the sample will not exactly match the final product. Some homeowners may consider granite’s appearance too busy.
  • Cost:
    The price of granite depends on the quality of the stone, its thickness and color. Installation and sealing for protection are typically added to the final cost. Granite is slightly less expensive than quartz, but it does need to be resealed and that cost should be factored in as well.
  • Maintenance:
    Granite is naturally porous (liquids can seep into it) so it need protection to retain its beauty and functionality as a countertop. It should be sealed every few years, and thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis to remove germs and bacteria from the surface.
  • Durability:
    Though quite strong, granite is prone to cracking and chipping without proper care. With proper maintenance, however, granite countertops can last for 25 to 50 years.


  • Appearance / Definition:
    Like Corian, quartz is an engineered stone. It consists mainly of quartz crystals (typically 93%) in various grades and sizes combined with resin and pigment. While not as natural as granite, quartz countertops are fabricated in a similar way, by cutting shapes from large slabs and polishing them. Unlike granite, quartz appears much more uniform.
  • Cost:
    Quartz is the most expensive of the options featured here, perhaps because it has many of the upsides of Corian and granite and few downsides. Many homeowners agree that the exceptional quality of quartz make it a good value, despite the higher price tag.
  • Maintenance:
    Quartz is non-porous, like Corian, so it requires no sealing, polishing or reconditioning to protect it from stains and spills. It does require regular cleaning with a soft cloth, warm water and a mild cleanser.
  • Durability:
    Quartz is strong and durable yet, like any stone, can be damaged with force. Like granite, it can withstand high heat, but should be protected from rapid temperature changes. Hot pads should be used to prevent heat damage. Quartz is a long-lasting countertop material, and with proper care, can remain beautiful and functional for 25 to 50 years.


At-a-Glance Stats

Quartz Granite Corian
Composition: 93% Natural, 7% Resin 100% Natural 33% Natural, 66% Polymer
Appearance: Uniform, Lustrous Dramatic, Lustrous Uniform, Matte
Cost: Moderate, Expensive Moderate Inexpensive
Sealing: No, Non-Porous Yes, Porous No, Non-Porous
Durability: Hardest & High Strength Hard & High Strength Easily Scratches & Scorches


In conclusion, the countertop material you select for your home depends on your personal needs and preferences. However, we believe that quartz is the best overall choice and offers the best value among the three materials. It combines the best characteristics of both granite and Corian without sacrificing quality.

Caruso Kitchens can guide you through the many decisions for your kitchen or bath construction or remodel. Contact us today! We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro Area.

8 Common Kitchen Design Mistakes

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A kitchen remodel is a great investment and is one of the best ways to improve your home’s value. Spending your money wisely by making the right choices is an important part of maximizing that investment as well as your long-term enjoyment of the renovation. A professional kitchen designer can help you navigate the many options, work with you to set priorities and help you stick to your budget while creating a beautiful and functional kitchen. With thought and planning, it is possible to avoid these common kitchen design mistakes.

1. Ignoring the Kitchen Work Triangle

The work triangle is a time-tested guide for creating an efficient workspace. The stove, sink and refrigerator are the three points that make up the triangle and should be between four and nine feet apart for greatest efficiency. Each point should have a clear path to the others, without appliances, cabinets or trashcans in the way.

2. Inadequate Storage

Proper storage is one of the keys to keeping a kitchen organized and efficient. Overstuffed cabinets make it difficult to find things, and can even lead to forgetting what’s there. Today’s cabinets have many options for shelves and drawers that neatly store specific items such as large pots and serving trays and small utensils and spice jars, and keep them easily accessible. In smaller kitchens, maximize storage by utilizing often-unused space, such as above the refrigerator.

3. Not Enough Counter Space

Allow room for countertop appliances, space for meal preparation, multiple cooks and stations for different activities such as baking.

4. Poor Lighting

Consider all the ways the kitchen is used, especially when there is a limited amount of natural light. Be sure to include multiple light sources for different purposes. General lighting for overall illumination can be achieved with recessed lighting or a chandelier. Pendants or track lights are good for task lighting over work areas. Accent lighting with under- or in-cabinet lights provides softer illumination.

5. Improper Island Size and Placement

Islands continue to be popular kitchen features because they are practical and functional for meal prep, family meals and entertaining. Design the island so that it works for these purposes rather than gets in the way. An island that is too big,  can be difficult to maneuver around. One that is too small takes up space without providing much practical use.

6. Improper Placement of Appliances

Consider the space needed to easily access appliances, drawers and doors as well as where in the kitchen they are located.

7. Choosing Cabinets Based on Price Not Quality

Cabinets can include many extras that make using them comfortable and efficient such as shelves that slide out or drop down and drawers that don’t slam shut. While you may not need all the high-end bells and whistles, investing in quality construction for durability is a good investment. Choose cabinets that will stand up to daily wear and tear and continue to function and look beautiful for many years.

8. Forgetting the Backsplash

More than just a decorative feature, the backsplash protects your walls from water, food splatters, steam and grease.

With more than 30 years experience, Caruso Kitchens can help you avoid any kitchen renovation pitfalls. Contact us today to discuss your project. We are located in Lakewood, Colorado, and serve the entire Denver metro area.