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Kitchen Remodel: our client's (smart!) choices

Updating a kitchen is an item on many homeowners’ wish lists, especially in older houses. As well as making the space beautiful and modern (and, let’s face it: much more enjoyable to live in!), there is a practical side:  kitchen upgrades are one of the best investments you can make on a house, almost always upping your house in value. 

Architect Steve Straughan, a partner in a Los Angeles-based KAA Design Group, says that kitchens are one of the areas where people can tell if money has been well spent or not. Which means friends, family, and/or prospective buyers will be able to tell the second they walk into a house the feel of the kitchen and if it has been upgraded well.

Take a look at this kitchen remodel below that we did. We think you will agree with us that this was a remodel that was done well, both smartly and beautifully. We will touch on several of the bigger decisions the clients made, and discuss the reasons they were smart choices. These happy clients will enjoy a beautiful living area for many years - and, if they ever decide to sell, will heap a hefty return in the money they invested into the project!


Kitchen Island


A huge trend in current remodels is adding or upgrading a kitchen island. At a minimum, an island will give you extra counter and storage space. Islands are placed at the pivot point of your kitchen: a meeting point between your kitchen’s cooking, cleaning, and food-prep zones. You can also add fixtures, appliances, bar stools, a sink, and more to make the island the hub of kitchen activity. Most builders and designers agree that adding an island gives you more bang for your buck than almost any other kitchen upgrade. This remodel chose a good sized island with a beautiful quartz countertop.

Quartz vs. Granite Countertops


Lately, quartz countertops rank up there in popularity with granite. This remodel fitted their kitchen with quartz throughout, which compliments the white, lighted cabinetry. The counters stand out with the under cabinet lights, making for a beautiful (and durable!) workspace. With the rise in popularity of quartz, many people wonder: what is the difference between quartz and granite, and is one better than the other? 

While both quartz and granite are beautiful, there are a few differences to consider. Quartz is incredibly durable: it is sealed and therefore not porus, so you don’t need to treat it. You can basically install it and forget about it. Granite, while needing to be treated yearly, has many more little details and unique imperfections - meaning, no two slabs of granite are the same. W   hile quartz is largely manmade, granite is formed during the cooling of molten rock. Both countertops have their benefits and both are attractive in different ways: it really depends on your preference!

New floors, appliances, backsplashes, sink and light fixtures were installed throughout the kitchen as well to give the kitchen a complete makeover. 

Gas Fireplace


The floor throughout was replaced, and built-in cabinetry was installed around this gas fireplace. On top of being easy to maintain and to use, gas fireplaces are  a consistent and attractive source of heat. They are also energy efficient and enhance the beauty of the house! A lot of people prefer a gas fireplace in their house, which makes this a smart and efficient upgrade. 

Taking a space and upgrading it smartly, especially a kitchen, where a family will spend most of their time, is a great way to invest your money into a house. You can enjoy the beautiful upgrades, while reaping the benefits of more equity on your house! With both of those things in mind, what is keeping you from making the decision to upgrade? All of us at AJ can help you through the process, from the budgeting in the beginning to the beautiful finishing touches.  Get in touch with us today to discuss the possibilities; we are here to bring your vision to life!