Tips for Kitchen Renovations

A white-quartz island is smart-looking and durable Courtesy Giovanni Naso Interiors

If you’re looking to add some pizzazz to the room that your family and guests spend the most time in, you’ll want to redo the kitchen, the lifeblood of every home.

Start with a wish list and assess your needs, recommends Giovanni Naso, owner of the eponymous Bellport-based Giovanni Naso Interiors. Next, hire a designer who’ll draw up floor plans and elevations so that you can visualize the space.

Some questions to consider: How much do you cook? Do you need spice drawers? Do you have lots of pots and pans and need rollout drawers? Do you boil a lot of water and need a waterspout over the stove? Is your style modern, traditional, or shabby chic?

Open Floor Plan

If your kitchen is closed off from other rooms, consider knocking down walls wherever possible, as an open floor plan is ideal for traffic flow and keeping family members together while entertaining, Naso advises.

“It also has proven to bring better resale value to your home, should you sell it,” he adds.

Counters, Cabinets & Center Island

Counters in white or white with light grey veining are trending now, as are hues of grey and blue, notes Naso.

“Quartz takes the place of porous marbles or Carrara that stain and are not user friendly when it comes to serving red wine and leaving lemons on the counter,” Naso says.

Cabinet colors should match or complement the counters; choose from flat panels for a modern look with wood veneer in high -shine or satin finish. For a more traditional look, go with Shaker style.

“If you have taller ceilings, having a taller cabinet displays elegance,” Naso says. “If your ceilings are soaring, then it’s nice to have a tall cabinet with some space above because soffits are dated.”

Naso always encourages adding an island if the kitchen space can accommodate one.

“It allows for additional storage and doubles as a place to sit and serve,” he says. “Three stools look great to the eye and if you have a smaller island, groups of three work best.”

Floors and Lighting

Naso recommends commercial grade 12-millimeter luxury vinyl tiling for kitchen floors. The tiling, which comes in many tones and textures, is practically indestructible, water resistant, scratchproof, and comes with whisper technology underneath, which helps soften the sound and adds comfort when stood on for hours.

To light up the room, use a combination of recessed lights on the ceiling and pendant lights over the island or a chandelier for a more luxurious look, Naso advises.

Appliances and Hardware

If appliances are outdated or broken and need to be replaced, stainless steel is a good neutral option.

“The more modern kitchens we design have everything tucked away and hidden to provide a seamless cabinet facing so all disappears in a blink of an eye,” Naso says.

Hardware is the jewelry of the room and should be chosen to add a finishing touch to cabinets, he adds.

“We choose elegant and understated combinations of pulls and handles that complement one another, usually matching them to the faucet and or dishwasher/refrigerator, if they don’t have cabinet doors.”

One more tip from Naso: For greater efficiency, store utensils in a two-level stacked drawer.

This story first appeared in the Long Island Press.