6 Kitchen Trends that Have Serious Staying Power

Kitchen trends come and go, and what is popular one year is way down on the list one or two years later. That reason alone is why it is so difficult to determine if a trend is worth embracing or if it is better to choose something that has been around forever. Truly timeless kitchen trends include kitchen design ideas that add to the aesthetic appeal or the functionality of the kitchen. Here are 6 kitchen trends that have serious staying power:

  • Quartz Countertops: For years, people chose granite for their kitchen countertops, but we recommend that you choose quartz when it is time to make a change. Quartz is just as durable as granite, yet it does not require as much maintenance and care.
  • Open Layouts: Open layouts are here to stay, because spending time with family and friends is on the top of everyone’s list. After all, no one wants to be banished to the kitchen to prepare a meal and miss out on all the fun everyone is having in the other room!
  • Unique Ceilings: You will not need to have boring ceilings in your kitchen anymore, because there are plenty of options available that involve more than a coat of paint. Beams, shallow coffers, and molding can add design and visual appeal to any space.
  • Conceal Appliances: Appliances can be concealed in more than an appliance garage. It is now possible to place a refrigerator, dishwasher, and other appliances behind paneling that looks the same as your cabinets. This will keep the flow of your kitchen seamless, while adding visual appeal.
  • White: A white kitchen will never go out of style, so if you are having a difficult time choosing a color, we recommend that you choose white. It matches everything and over time, you can change the look with additional pops of color.
  • Deep Drawers: Deep drawers are replacing cabinets in many kitchens nowadays and they are wonderful for dishes, pots, pans, and more. They add an element of accessibility to your kitchen and can be customized to fit your needs.

These kitchen trends will never go out of style and they are guaranteed to work well for your needs far into the future. As always, weigh the functionality against the style. Never choose style over functionality simply for the sake of style. Functionality can always be made to be stylish. Call us at 602-478-5102 if you’re in Phoenix or the surrounding areas and would like to discuss remodeling your kitchen with us.

4 Appliances Every Newly Remodeled Kitchen Needs

You are finally remodeling your kitchen. How exciting! It is probably long overdue and we bet that you cannot wait until you can get in there and start using all of your new appliances. You will, of course, have to take every appliance on a test drive so to speak as quickly as possible.

Appliances are a critically important feature of your new kitchen and we recommend that you choose them well before the work begins so that they can be incorporated into the space. Today we want to talk about four appliances that are making a serious splash in today’s new kitchens.

Here are 4 appliances every newly remodeled kitchen needs:

  1. French Door Ovens – This type of oven can save you a lot of space in your kitchen, because you do not need to worry if you have enough room to pull the door down to open it all the way. Instead, the doors open just like a side by side refrigerator, which saves space and looks elegant and luxurious. One of the models even allows you to access the oven remotely, so that you can preheat your oven as you are leaving work and headed home.
  2. Microbrewery – Every beer lover will want one of the new countertop microbreweries that is now available. You can choose what type of beer that you want, which means that you can have a light beer one day and a fuller bodied one a couple of days later. You will never need to worry about having to run to the store, because you are out of the beer that you want.
  3. Specialized Refrigerator – There are too many refrigerator choices available nowadays and it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you and your family. Some models have sections that can be used as either a fridge or a freezer, while others have computer screens in the door that allows you to keep track of what you have, play music, leave notes, and much more. One thing is definite with these new refrigerators though – you should have plenty of space for everything that you need and use.
  4. Dual Dishwashers – You may have found yourself wishing that you had more than one dishwasher after that last huge family dinner or when you had friends over for a get together a couple of weeks ago. If you did or you think that it would be a good idea to have more than one, we recommend that you add that second one as you are remodeling. You do not need two of the same dishwashers. You can choose a standard dishwasher like you have always had and then choose a dishwasher drawer for the second one. The dishwasher drawer is a little smaller, easier to load, and is quite energy efficient, which makes it perfect for those little extras.

It can be difficult to choose which appliances you want in your new kitchen, but with a little research and planning, we know that you will make the best decision for your household’s needs. Call us at 602-478-5102 if you’re in Phoenix or the surrounding areas and would like to discuss remodeling your kitchen with us.


Deciding which type of cooktop to add to your kitchen is ultimately a personal choice. Many people stay with whichever type they learned to cook on, as that is the most familiar. Budding chefs may decide that the precision of a gas cooktop is the only way to go. Parents of young children, and children of aging parents may find the safety of induction cooking to be its’ major attribute.  Electric cooktops are usually less expensive than the other two to purchase and to repair. It really all depends on your personal preferences. Here are some pros and cons of each in:



GAS: Preferred by chefs worldwide for its’ instant heating properties that allow an immediate response to a change in temperature. You are able to char grill and flambe on a gas stove. Attachments are available to accommodate accessories like wok burners and griddles. Gas is usually less expensive to use than electricity, as long as you already have a supply run into your home. Some of the drawbacks include the open flame, which many parents feel is dangerous around children and the potential for carbon monoxide building up. Any time gas is supplied to a home, a carbon monoxide detector is an absolute necessity for safety. And finally, compared to the other two types of cooktops, gas will always be harder to clean because of its’ metal grates and non-flat surface.



INDUCTION: The newer technology of the three, induction works by an alternating current passing through metallic elements under the cooktop surface. Metallic cookware such as, cast iron, steel and ceramic enamel clad must be used. Anything else, including human hands, will not heat up on this surface. The pot or pan itself is heated, not the surrounding surface. Induction cooking is fast and precise, like gas. Also, it is very energy efficient. Induction is more expensive to purchase and more complicated to repair. Additionally, if you do not already own metallic cookware, they would be another expense to consider.


ELECTRIC: The old stand by that many of us grew up with. Electric cooktops are inexpensive to purchase and repair. Versatile, as they will work with any type of cookware. They do a wonderful job at low temperature cooking, like simmering a pot a spaghetti sauce for hours. However, they are extremely inefficient, slow to heat up and slow to change temperature.

As you can see, each type of cooktop has its’ own advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, only you can decide which is best for individual style of cooking and budget.



3 Benefits of Convection Steam Cooking

Nutrition, efficiency and less wasted food. These are 3 main benefits to cooking in a convection steam unit. Let’s take a closer look at each of these important feature, one at a time and see how some of the individual appliance manufacturers have addressed them.

3 Benefits of Convection Steam Cooking

  1.  Nutrition: Use the steam oven to preserve the nutrients in a variety of foods. For instance, steam adds moisture to vegetables to soften and cook them, without adding unhealthy fats and extra calories. Fresh or dried spices will provide even more flavor. Keeping ourselves and our families healthy is important to all of us.
  2. Efficiency: This technology allows you to multi-task your cooking. Convection in a steam oven prevents flavor transfer between the racks of food, whatever they may be! Now, you can prepare a fish dish and a dessert, at the same time, and they won’t taste like each other.
  3. Less Wasted Food: According to the latest reports, the average American family wastes about $640.00 in food per year. That is a lot of food being thrown away, unnecessarily. Leftovers can be a great time saver. Many busy families like to prepare a large meal, knowing that there will be leftovers for the next night. The problem is that the food may not taste as good the next night and no one wants to eat them. Some dishes, like soups and stews will always taste better the next day and re-heating is not an issue. Their flavors meld together and become one when reheated. But what about that rice dish you spent so much time on? A new and delicious recipe for sure, but reheating rice can be a nightmare. Steam and convection cooking solve the leftover problem by bringing life back to them. Bread that is several days old will become bakery fresh in seconds. Pizza reheats perfectly.

3 Benefits of Convection Steam Cooking

These ovens offer multiple cooking modes for defrosting, steaming, baking and re-heating. From the Sub-Zero Wolf website, Wolf brand offers “unique digital technology that senses the amount and size of food, and automatically adjusts all of the details of cooking”. They show how their oven can produce a filo-wrapped ice cream dessert that features “hot, delicate, crispy-brown pastry surrounding ice cream, still firmly frozen”.  Another feature that can make the steam cooking experience even more fun and efficient is having a unit that can be plumbed into your water system, like the Miele oven.  You never have to think about adding water to the steam unit, it is automatically done for you. Miele is also known to be simple to operate and intuitive, featuring a menu-driven system that takes the guesswork out of cooking. Gaggenau, a premium appliance brand from France, designed their doors to open in a side-swing, for easy access. Some even open with the push of a button! Their version of a convection steam oven has more overall functions than the Miele or the Wolf, and it can cost almost twice as much. Professional steamers will love its’ versatility, beginners may prefer the Wolf or Miele brands.




Forecast: Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2017


Forecast: Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2017

According to the National Kitchen & Bath Association, 2017 promises to be a bit more colorful than 2016. Their annual forecast predicts cabinets in white and gray as still being the most popular. Although, many cabinet companies are seeing a spike in the number of requests for alternatives. Off-white, taupe and some very dark painted cabinets being requested by designers, architects and homeowners. The all-white kitchen is slowly being replaced by one that has more color, but keeps the same clean lines in the cabinetry. That modern look lends itself well to the new technologies that are available and sought after. Incorporating new technology is always important to homeowners, as it can make our lives a lot easier and more organized.

Homeowner favorites are the big factor in  Forecast: Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2017. Wood cabinets are still the #1 choice for homeowners, with a framed style door. Many favor simple clean lines, versus a heavily detailed door style. They are much easier to keep clean. Also #1 with homeowners are quartz countertops. Their beauty and durability are strong selling points over other types of materials. Although, cost can be a prohibitive factor as quartz is expensive. But, it could be installed on an island, for example, and then the perimeter of the kitchen could be done in a lesser expensive material.

Forecast: Kitchen & Bath Trends for 2017

Two-toned kitchens are trending. Whether by incorporating the “new” gold finish on plumbing and cabinet hardware mixed with your existing stainless, or the combination of countertop materials from island to perimeter, two-tone is more visually appealing. For a sophisticated look, try mixing a light colored cabinet with a high contrast like midnight blue, sage green or chocolate brown. Then, for an additional pop of color, add your favorite or something like Pantone’s Color of the Year, Greenery, as an accent. Since it is such a popular color, you will easily find it in towels, dishes, small appliances, etc. It’s an economical way of including this years trending color into your interior design without breaking the budget.

Kitchen designers are also adding interest to kitchens, and making them as unique as their owners, by adding a bit of the family. It could be a framed photo of the kids and grandkids, or a kindergarten project. Anything that adds a bit of whimsy and fun. Many people prefer to add a bit of nature to their kitchens. This could come in the form of potted fresh herbs, a bouquet of flowers or a bowl of fresh fruit. The kitchen is a great place to get creative with lighting choices. There are millions of options, why not have a little fun.

This year, it seems like our kitchen designs are becoming more in tune with the individual end users. We are getting away from the cold, sterile look of the totally white kitchen that has been popular for many years.


Where Should You Splurge when Remodeling Your Kitchen?


A kitchen remodeling project can get expensive and it is easy for you to blow your entire budget before you really even get started. However, there are certain things that you should splurge on and others that are not worth the extra expense. We always believe that you should splurge on the cabinets, countertops, lighting, and flooring as the primary four. We will explain why later.

Lists are a wonderful way to choose where to splurge and where to save. Your first list should consist of everything you would like to have in your kitchen. The second list should be a truncated version of that list. This is where you narrow your lists down to must-haves and would-like-to-haves. We will help you find a way to get one or two of the must-haves as long as the price is right.

Here are 5 items that are worth splurging on when you are completing a kitchen remodel:


Your new kitchen cabinets need to be functional and it helps if they last a long time. These are one of the items that you should definitely splurge on. Proper kitchen cabinets will allow you to have the amount of storage that you need while maximizing space. You can choose to work with a cabinet maker and create custom cabinetry or semi-customize the cabinets at your local hardware store.


Countertops are one of the top visual elements in a kitchen and you will want to choose yours wisely as it will quickly become a focal point. You will need to choose a material that will work best for you and your family and the most popular choices are granite and quartz.


If you have an island or eat in space in your new kitchen, you will want to splurge on the lighting fixtures that go above those places. You want those fixtures to look appealing while creating a focal point.


Your kitchen floor will see a lot of traffic as well as some spills, so you need to choose a material that will hold up to all that and clean up easily. A stone tile or concrete floor may be more expensive, but will last longer than vinyl and laminate.

Beverage Cooler

Normally, we don’t recommend splurging on appliances because they are generally replaced every 5 to 7 years anyway. But if you drink wine, beer, soda, and juice boxes, you can free up a lot of space in your refrigerator when you purchase a beverage cooler.

What are Your Thoughts?

We are not saying that you shouldn’t splurge on other items in your new kitchen, but if you are looking at a strict budget, then you should consider splurging on these items. If you still have money left over, then you can decide whether or not that super expensive refrigerator is going to keep your food any colder than a cheaper one or if you will really use all six or eight burners on the stove that you want.

Call Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 to schedule a consultation with us. We are happy to discuss your remodeling needs and talk about areas to splurge, save, and things that can be cut out of the project from the start. Our goal is to design and build the kitchen you deserve within the budget you can afford.

Take the Confusion out of Kitchen Remodeling Material Choices


The materials that are available for your kitchen remodel are magnificent, beautiful, durable, and mostly practical. Those four reasons and what makes it so difficult to choose what materials will work best in your new kitchen.


There are almost too many kitchen countertop materials to count and each one is unique and functional in its own way. Granite is the most popular choice amongst many homeowners, but you may decide that you want something different like quartz, concrete, tile, wood, or laminate. Granite and quartz are durable and do not stain easily, plus they are easy to clean.

Tile countertops can crack if something is dropped on them and wood and laminate can get nicked with a knife or other sharp object. Concrete is quite durable and these countertops are not as porous as they used to be.


There are lots of lighting options for your kitchen and you will want to choose many of them, because of everything you do in this space. Pendant lights work well over islands, because this is where people eat, do homework, and sometimes even do the prep work for meals. Under the cabinet lighting is perfect for the times when you are prepping meals on the counter. Inside cabinet lighting, floor lighting, and sconces all offer ambient lighting to your kitchen space.


If you do not really love your cabinets, but they are in excellent shape, you can change them to make them more appealing without tearing them all down. You can either repaint or stain your existing cabinets, or you can change out the cabinet doors and hardware for a new look. Glass doors or glazed cabinet doors will highlight the lighting inside and allow the entire room to glow.


A lighter color floor will make your remodeled kitchen look much bigger, so if your kitchen is on the smaller side, you may want to take this into consideration. Vinyl is one of the most popular kitchen floor choices, because it is easy to install and even easier to keep clean and maintain. Laminate floors are nice, because they are easy to clean and you do not need to worry about things getting spilled on them like you would real hardwood.

Tile is available in many colors and designs and look fabulous in kitchens, but it can chip and crack over time. Tile is also not too forgiving to anything that is dropped on it, so you may find that you have more broken dishes and glasses if you install tile flooring.

These are the main items that you will find yourself choosing the perfect material for, but depending on how large your remodel is and how much you are changing in the space, you may find yourself making even more decisions. We recommend that you make your decisions before you begin your remodeling project, so that you do not have any delays or spend money that you were not planning on.

Call Homework Remodels at 602-478-5102 to schedule a consultation with us. We are happy to discuss your remodeling needs and talk about the variety of materials available to you. Our goal is to design and build the kitchen you deserve within the budget you can afford.

Rational Remodeling!

Modern transitional kitchen remodel features a quartz countertop with waterfall edges, double stacked cherry cabinets and more...Does the idea of a kitchen remodel seem overwhelming? You are not alone. Many people will endure a terrible kitchen for years rather than be temporarily without one during a remodel. We understand. A temporary kitchen is the answer to your fears. There is a lot of stress to contend with when you remodel your home.  We can help to alleviate most of those stresses with what we call Rational Remodeling! Homework Remodels has had the privilege to remodel hundreds of kitchens across the valley. Along the way, we’ve learned how to better prepare our clients for the temporary tensions that accompany any kitchen remodeling project. Yes, it will be inconvenient. But, with a little pre-planning and a positive attitude, you too can enjoy a functioning, temporary kitchen. Emphasis on temporary!

Rational Remodeling!

This is the hardest part. Figure out what room in your home can serve as a temporary kitchen. You will need electrical outlets, counter space (a folding table works well) and most importantly, access to a sink (adjacent to a bathroom?). You will also need room for your refrigerator. This can be difficult in some situations, so we suggest using an under-counter refrigerator. Don’t forget the microwave. It may well be handier than you ever imagined.

Stock up on paper plates, cups, plastic forks, and knives. This is not the time for a lot of dishwashing. Bathroom sinks are usually too small to complete that task easily. Rational Remodeling!

Take this opportunity to get out into your neighborhood restaurants to collect take-out menus. You’ll want to keep these in the temporary kitchen. Again, let us emphasize temporary!  You will get to use your gorgeous new kitchen soon.

Embrace those small appliances that may have gotten shoved to the back of the kitchen cabinets. A crock pot will be your new best friend during these stressful days. Especially so if you remember to buy Crock Pot Liners. If you aren’t familiar with them, they are disposable liners that make clean-up a breeze. No washing! You simply throw them away. Toaster ovens are pretty versatile too. Have fun and get creative with meal prep. Remember, this is Rational Remodeling!

Grill outside and weather permitting, get outside and enjoy our beautiful scenery. Have a picnic. Use this time as an opportunity to do something you might not normally consider. Trade a meal with a neighbor. Let them feed you since they have a “working” kitchen and then return the favor and show off that fabulous new kitchen!

With the right attitude and the right contractor (of course), your kitchen remodel will progress smoothly. It is possible to have the kitchen of your dreams without living through a nightmare of a remodel!

To learn more about our processes and Rational Remodeling! call Steve at 602-478-5102 or email Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com






Splurge on These 4 Items in Your Remodeled Kitchen

You are finally taking the time to remodel your kitchen, which is great news, but did you know that there are certain items that you should splurge on? These items can make the time you spend in your kitchen easier, plus add additional value to your new space.

Here are 4 items that you should splurge on in your newly remodeled kitchen:

Spectacular Kitchen Cabinets

We are not saying that you need to spend the money on custom cabinets for your entire kitchen, but there are things that you can splurge on when it comes to your new cabinets. A Lazy Susan is a great addition to any kitchen and it will make it easier for you to access items that are inside that cabinet. Another great option for your cabinets is to install crown molding along the top to add architectural style to the space.

Beverage cooler

If you are a beer or wine lover, then you may want to consider installing a wine cooler or beverage cooler in your new kitchen. This cooler will free up space in your refrigerator or if you store these items in another space in your home, you will no longer need to leave your kitchen to grab a drink. These coolers can also hold soda, juice boxes, and more, which is perfect for when you are entertaining.


Countertops can be made from many different materials, but your best option is granite. Granite is durable and it is easy to keep clean. Since most people look for granite in homes they are considering purchasing, you will be able to recoup your money if you decide to sell in the future.


Your kitchen floor will see a lot of traffic, so you will want to splurge on a material that will last. Stained concrete or stone tiles will add a luxurious look and feel to your remodeled kitchen and is worth the additional cost.

Spending the money on some items in your new kitchen will be well worth it. However, you will want to choose what you are spending your money on wisely, because it is not necessary to spend thousands of dollars on every single part of your new space. There are certain items that you can spend a lot less money on and still get the results that you want.

The kitchen design crew here at Homework Remodels has a lot of experience helping homeowners design and build award winning custom kitchens. Our work has been featured in a variety of magazines both in print and online. Give us a call at 602-478-5102 to discuss your upcoming kitchen remodeling project.

Using Reclaimed Wood in Your Remodel

Using reclaimed wood


The use of reclaimed wood is an idea that has appealed to a lot of people, and it’s not always related to being conscious about the environment. One major benefit is that it adds warmth, texture and character to the look of your home. It can instantly “age” a brand new kitchen. Reclaimed wood has a natural rawness to it that will add balance to an Industrial or Modern style home.  It has an aged patina and each piece of wood is unique with its’ inherent qualities and the natural weathering of the boards. Sliding barn doors are especially popular and it looks as though they will remain so for quite a while. Interior designers are seeing an increase in the number of clients requesting the addition of reclaimed wood into their new remodel. Here are a few things you should know about using reclaimed wood to make your newly remodeled space even more visually interesting.

Old but Not Unusable

The idea of using wood from an old building or shipping crate might lead to some worry about rot or insect damage. Reclaimed wood should always be thoroughly examined for those issues prior to use.  Not all reclaimed wood is equal in its properties.  Old growth timber generally is denser than new wood harvested from younger trees. Therefore, it would be much better suited for a humid part of the home.  Teak, considered the most rot resistant wood, is highly resistant to weather. Along with old-growth cypress, teak is considered to be an exceptional wood for use in damp area, such as a master bath. Reclaimed wood may need refinishing and will require some amount of routine maintenance, but it can be well worth the extra effort and expense. One additional perk, by using reclaimed instead of new wood, you will not subject yourself and your family to the potentially dangerous off-gassing from a VOC (Volatile Organic Compound) which is found in new wood.

Other Notable Points

Even your own home can be a source of used wood if you are removing old cabinets or shelves. A big reason for the appeal of reclaimed wood is the fascinating details it contains. Odd knots, nail holes, and even the slight imperfections contribute to the character of the pieces. You may be lucky enough to find a rare species of reclaimed wood no longer being harvested. You will usually find reclaimed wood in different lengths and widths, but this is also considered a visual bonus.

Using reclaimed wood does come with a few challenges. Usually it is best to have a professional deal with this material, even if you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer. Since many of the pieces are very old, some more than a hundred years, they may be covered in lead paint. Many pieces of old wood may contain nails or screws that must be removed before the refinishing.

Using reclaimed wood

You can use reclaimed wood in any part of a home remodeling project that requires this material. Think about an interesting, one-of-a-kind table made from a vintage door. Sturdy and attractive shelves and cabinets can be constructed, as well. Repurposing wood to make your floors will significantly raise your costs, especially here in the southwest, where we have no 150 year old barns to salvage!  If you have your heart set on the look of reclaimed wood floors, you have two options. You may want to consider using new wood, stain it to achieve the same look and save yourself some money. The second option would be to use a porcelain plank flooring that resembles barn wood. Tile is more durable and less expensive. An accent wall of reclaimed wood would not be as expensive as doing all the flooring, and would add a lot of visual interest and a sense of history to your home.

Where to use reclaimed wood

In the kitchen we would caution you to be careful with where you place wood in relation to wet areas. Using wood for a small butcher block counter is one thing, having all of your counters constructed of wood will be a maintenance nightmare. These countertops would have to be refinished every few years, especially near the sink area. Spills would need to be wiped up immediately. This is definitely not a countertop material for everyone! Some of our clients have asked about using reclaimed wood as their backsplash material. Again, we would caution you about the extra up-keep. It can be done, however, you would need to have the backsplash sealed multiple times with a lacquer type sealant. In a sleek industrial style kitchen, for instance, as a nice contrast, you may want to add open shelving made from reclaimed wood. Pairing reclaimed wood with other salvaged items like a vintage sink, also adds drama and interest to your new space.

How about the Bedroom or Bathroom?


The master bedroom is a great place to add an accent wall of reclaimed wood, you may not even need to use a headboard. In addition, an entry or a dining room is also a perfect place to add an accent wall of barn wood.

The master bathroom is also a excellent place for reclaimed wood, as it will add a lot of warmth. It is a wonderful contrast to the cold finish materials we normally see in a bathroom like marble, granite, glass and tile.  Special considerations must be made in such a wet, humid area to protect the integrity of the wood. Proper ventilation is a must. All wood must be completely sealed, this usually takes more than one application. One other thing to be aware of when working with wood, it will swell and contract depending on the ambient temperature and the amount of humidity in the air. It is very important to use a flexible silicone caulking for installation purposes.

Call or email us for a free in-home estimate

If you would like to discuss more ideas using reclaimed wood or get some ideas rolling on how to remodel your home, we can be reached at 602-478-5102 or Steve@HomeworkRemodels.com.

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