Kitchen Remodeling Tips

The kitchen is often thought of as the heart of the home. It’s where families gather, conversations happen, and lives are planned. And with families spending so much time in their kitchen, they will need it to be functional, as well as beautiful.

If you’re looking around and thinking that your kitchen needs a bit of help, it may be time to start planning that fantastic kitchen remodel. Don’t let your home’s previous owners dictate your kitchen style. Keep up to date on current home renovation trends. Buy those high-end appliances you’ve always wanted. It’s time to dig deep to give yourself that gorgeous, remodeled kitchen you’ve always wanted.

Here are some tips to keep you on the path of the kitchen remodeling project of your dreams.

Choose a remodel scope, and stick to it
Are you thinking of ripping out your entire kitchen for a total makeover, or just putting on a new coat of paint? At the beginning of any project, it’s important to identify the scope of that project, and then stick to it. There is always the possibility of going overboard with any home remodel, and kitchen remodeling can be one of the worst offenders. Choose wisely about where to start and end with your remodel, or you could end up with a half-completed kitchen that is not functional for a lot longer than you imagined.

Discover your kitchen style
Are you sleek and modern? Classic country? Shabby chic? How do you want your kitchen to identify with your own personal style? How will your new kitchen design reflect the best you that you can be? It’s time to load up on renovation and remodeling magazines, subscribe to kitchen design blogs and watch a lot of design television for inspiration. Keep an inspiration board or journal to track your ideas, favorite color combinations and uses of quality material. This will help you organize your thoughts and create a kitchen that matches your lifestyle and personality perfectly.

Need more ideas? Check out our recent kitchen and bath remodels in our new Gallery!

Research the best appliances
Along with choosing your kitchen style, you’ll want to choose which appliances would fit your home best. Are you a chef who loves high-end, professional appliances? Or do you just want and oven that is reliable enough to cook at an even temperature, and a refrigerator that doesn’t freeze your milk? Once you know how you want to use your appliances, start looking at the designs. There are plenty of options available, from sleek lines to decorative knobs. Keep the appliances functional, but fitting to your personal style, for an efficient kitchen that cooks just as good as it looks.

Find the right materials
Kitchen remodeling isn’t as simple as saying you want new cabinets and counter tops. There are many options to choose from when picking out materials for your renovation. For your cabinets, do you want pine or oak wood? What color stain do you want on them? What type of handles and knobs? For your counter tops, do you want marble or granite? Any specific color pattern? Do you want the material in tile form or a full slab? And how about your floors and walls? There is a lot to choose from, but when you get your color and material combinations right, your kitchen will shine.

Settle on a budget
One of the biggest items to take into consideration for your kitchen remodeling project is the budget. You need to think long and hard about how much you want to spend on your kitchen. Remodels can happen for a very little amount of money, but can cost upwards of a million dollars as well. If possible, do some research and break your budget down to the material level. Knowing you want to spend can really help when it comes to choosing what goes in your kitchen.

Call the kitchen remodeling professionals at Signature Design Centers
The kitchen remodeling professionals at Signature Design Center in Orange County are available to help you. We’ve got full-time designers ready to help turn your imagination into reality. We’ll give you a digital tour of your new kitchen before we even sign on the dotted line. We’ll help you create the kitchen you’re always dreamed of!

The Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Hiring 140 in Brea

The Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour opening late this year in downtown Brea will be hiring 140 new workers, said a company spokesman.

Farrell’s also is opening a restaurant in Rancho Cucamonga, tentatively planned for November, and will be hiring about 140 employees for that location, said spokesman Jeremy Law.

Parlour Enterprises Inc. in Mission Viejo, which operates the newly revived Farrell’s chain, currently is accepting applications for management positions at both new locations.

Hiring for cooks, hosts/hostesses, waiters and other hourly staff is expected to take place in late September and October, Law said.

Those interested in the general manager and manager positions should send a resume to C.Nail@FarrellsUSA.com and answer, in up to 200 words, “I want to be a manager at Farrell’s because…” Candidates must have at least one year of full service restaurant experience, a “fun” personality and good organizational skills.

Law said the company will be holding auditions for the hourly positions just like it did in 2009 when it opened its restaurant at the Shops in Mission Viejo. A little advice: you may want to brush up on your Hokey Pokey.

Analyst: Don’t overreact on economy

Veteran Southern California real estate analyst G.U. Krueger adds his commentary on the housing market to this blog in a spot we call “Thursday Morning Quarterback.” Here’s his latest installment. …
Is there hope for a quick recovery without housing? If the emphasis is on quick, no. If the emphasis is on recovery, any recovery, yes. To expect anything but a slow and bumpy road to economic recovery is unrealistic, but to conclude from the recent turmoil in financial markets that the economy is headed for disaster is also problematic.

The US economy is still recovering. Its admittedly meager growth in 2011 Q2 continued to be driven by export growth and investment in equipment and software spending. Real exports, for example, grew 6% in 2011 Q2 from the quarter before, while overall investment spending increased 7.1%.

Although housing is still sick and enfeebled, the GDP component of real residential investment contributed a very small percentage (0.08%) to economic growth in 2011 Q2 and has done so 3 times out of the last 5 quarters. So, the drag from residential investment appears to winding down. The driver towards stimulus is apartment construction. In July 2011, US multi-family completions rose 42.3% over the year before, for example, undoubtedly a response to the positive market forces in this sector.

Admittedly, these are only small improvements, but that’s the point. The U.S. recovery is not for those demanding instant coffee. Housing, in this context will only gradually, very gradually recover. It is now totally dependent on economic and job growth. But to move from frustration about the slow pace of job growth to gloom and doom is an overreaction.
With respect to housing, we all wonder how many distressed properties remain in the pipeline, how many mortgages will be reset or recast, or how many more unemployed will add to the pot of troubled homes. Truth is, nobody really knows. Here is what we do know:

Remember the Credit Suisse Tsunami of resets and recasts supposed to hit the housing market about right now. Hasn’t happened, yet, probably because of super low mortgage rates, pre-emptive foreclosure, or strategic “walk-aways” that already occurred. Maybe it will just be more spread out, thereby curbing the intensity of a future housing recovery in two years or so. Slooow the housing recovery will be, to paraphrase Yoda.
Furthermore, by all accounts, the foreclosure statistics, at least in California, are coming down on all fronts, including the numbers on mortgages that are delinquent. Even the latest shadow number from CoreLogic are showing that first of all shadow supply is 1.7 million, not 5 million or 10 million. Second, it has been coming down now by one fifth since it peaked in January 2010. Is this good news? Kind of. Is it fantastically good news? No, the levels are still high and in the case of foreclosure way above peaks of earlier foreclosure waves. Again, there is a healing process, but convalescence will be slow.
Finally, one should not forget the tremendous investor activity in many housing markets. They are the true heroes in many regional markets, because they are the agents of the price mechanism. These investors are benefiting from sky-high housing affordability, which makes it possible for them to buy to rent and hold. They obviously clear the foreclosure markets and have helped to run down the unsold housing inventory in many market including such places as Phoenix Arizona and the Inland Empire, if the Realtor numbers are to be believed.

To sum it all up, the economic recovery is frustratingly slow and will be for a while. Housing, meanwhile, will heal and what’s helping it to do it is actually something that the gloomsters and doomsters forget: It’s the market mechanism, middle-aged grasshoppers! Be patient.

5 Reasons To Be Excited About Summertime In Orange County!

Star Forman

In a county grouped by fundamental divisions—North County vs. South County, Republican vs. Democrat, Stanton vs. everyone else—there is one thing nearly all of us can agree on: that Santa Ana Mayor Miguel Pulido is a sell-out. Oh, and that summer here is bliss, better than anyplace else in the States.

This season is our communion, a time when we all, unburdened by social definition, come together for shared experiences at the same places—the Orange County Fair, the cliffs of Laguna, the blistering heat of Hootenanny—we’ve patronized for decades. Muslim, evangelical, La Habran, San Clementean—we all gather for about three months of celebrations, chilled treats, festivals, or acts of kindness and camaraderie we wouldn’t think of at any other time. But our communities are so diverse that some activities have yet to become an Orange County (and Long Beach) summer tradition along the lines of the U.S. Open of Surfing or decrying the Irvine Co.‘s continuing development of our agrarian past. The following is a list of the 100 greatest things about summer in la naranja: some are familiar, some not, all necessary to enjoy the summer at its fullest. Now excuse us while we drink away another middling Angels’ season.

1. IT’S WHEN TABLE SETTINGS BECOME COOL
It’s only during summer that table settings become cool, and it only happens at the Orange County Fair, which offers county residents the opportunity to create tablescapes (curse you, Sandra Lee, for that term’s popularity) to be judged by etiquette mavens with levels and rulers. The nearly lost art of which glasses belong on which side of the plate and which forks are which get revived and interpreted through a breathtaking array of colors. The decorations are as creative—there was once a “Second Breakfast” table setting meant as an homage to the hobbits in the Lord of the Rings trilogy—as the menus that accompany them are horrifying. The Orange County Fair at the Orange County Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa; www.ocfair.com. July 14-Aug. 15. Remember this information: We’re only repeating it this once—and right at the top.

2. NAENGMYEON TIME!
When the mercury heads into the upper 90s and Garden Grove Boulevard gets so hot the pavement shimmers, when the only sound in the afternoon is the humming of air-conditioning units, that’s when it’s naengmyeon time. Naengmyeon is a Korean dish made of cold buckwheat noodles with various toppings—slices of beef, a slice of Korean pear, half a hardboiled egg, vegetables—and it comes in two varieties, both of which beat the heat. Bibim naengmyeon (literally, “mixed buckwheat noodles”) is mixed with a spicy sauce made of chile-spiked bean paste, which belies the cold temperature at which the dish is served; the resulting sweats could make anyone forget the heat of the day outside. If sweatin’ to the chiles doesn’t sound appealing, mul naengmyeon (“water buckwheat noodles”) is offered as a huge, stainless-steel bowl of the chewy noodles served in broth so cold it should have ice chips floating in it. There’s no meal more refreshing in the summer. Try the version at Morangak. The bizarre thing for a dish so perfectly suited for a blazing-hot summer is that it’s traditionally a wintertime dish in North Korea, where it was invented. 9651 Garden Grove Blvd., Garden Grove, (714) 638-1177.

3. MEXICAN FLAGS AT THE HB 4TH OF JULY PARADE
The Huntington Beach Fourth of July Parade is famous (and famously long) and full of American flags. But in a subtle reminder that California’s history doesn’t only include the Stars and Stripes, the Colegio de Bachilleres Plantel Baja California in Mexicali come down Main Street every year in black uniforms with a giant Mexican flag. They’re a great band and draw a lot of cheers, but in the years it hits 80 degrees before 10 a.m., those black uniforms must be punishing. Along Pacific Coast Highway from Eighth to Main streets, then up Main to Yorktown, Huntington Beach; www.hb4thofjuly.org. July 4, 10 a.m.

4. CANNING OUR BACK YARD’S BOUNTY
Summertime means fruit—and tons of it, from strawberries to plums, apricots to figs. It’s hard to not splurge when the heady scent of fresh peaches invades the nostrils, but the penalty for overbuying is the heartbreak of moldy fruit a few days later. Learn to can your own fruit, and enjoy the taste of summer in bleak February. Canning is very popular in a down economy; nearly every grocery store and hardware store in Orange County carries a wide selection of supplies, including glass jars. Don’t know how to get started? The Internet is a treasure trove, but several groups offer canning classes on an occasional basis—Google ’em! And if your local searching brings you to classes by Delilah Snell, significant other of our own Gustavo Arellano, well, tell her we said hi!

5. ORANGE INTERNATIONAL STREET FAIR
What do you get when you put tens of thousands of people in the Orange Circle? The unofficial end of summer in Orange County, the Orange International Street Fair. While the decorations are cheesy (imagine that, someone using a capital sigma for the Es in “GREEK”) and the parking absolutely hellacious, the music is good, and the food from the organizations in the middle of the street are a cut above the usual festival food. Where else can you get Norwegian pastries and Swiss cervelas in OC? There’s beer in plastic cups throughout, sit-down beer at three ends (at the brick-and-motor Bruery Provisions, Haven Gastropub and the District—you’re on your own for the east side of Chapman), and more crafts and things to buy than any person ever needs. Chapman Avenue and Glassell Street, Orange; orangestreetfair.org. Sept. 2-4.

Meet Jorge Flores – Showroom Manager

Favorite Films: I do not have a favorite film. However, I really enjoyed the Godfather & Apocalypto.

Most Memorable Project Experience: A kitchen remodel in Fullerton.  Highlights included major demolition and an extremely custom backsplash project that ended up making a feature spread in a well-known Kitchen Design magazine.  Best project I have worked on!

Experience: 10+ years

Areas of Specialty: Custom bathroom and kitchen remodels.

Contact Jorge: (714) 442.9625

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OC Register – Kitchen Design of the month (June)

Like so many 1970s kitchens, it was dark, isolated and not much fun to be in. Worse, you would never fit a big family near the cook, who is, more often than not, the life of the party. For food, fun and a fit for 12, Elizabeth Kugler and husband Marty Samuels turned to kitchen designer Rob Doezie of RW Doezie Construction for their Villa Park remodel.

In went an additional 100 square feet, up went the low ceilings to 9 feet high, and out went the walls and tiny windows for views to the family area and backyard. Elizabeth likes cherry, so the Neff cabinets were ordered with the rich finish to complement the new mahogany beams. “She had a lot of cookware so we gave her lots of pullouts,” said Doezie. “And we also made sure the window seat doubles as storage for large pots.” Kugler and Samuels were sure they wanted two wine refrigerators, one for whites and one for reds. A service bar nearby keeps thirsty guests out of the work area.

Click here for the full gallery.

“Rob suggested the island,” said Kugler. “I wasn’t sure I wanted one getting in my way.” But the new island is offset and narrow, so Kugler’s work triangle between stove, refrigerator and sink has no interference.
“I’m so glad I have it now. Other cooks can work there without getting in my way,” she said.

“And friends can hang out there and visit while I’m cooking.”

Daughter Angela has become an enthusiastic cook since the new kitchen was installed, even launching a cooking blog at NewFoodTuesdayz.blogspot.com.
“She introduced us to meatloaf and potato cupcakes,” said Kugler. “They’re so delicious.”

Kugler feels the kitchen is less about cooking and more about enjoying the space with friends and family. She asked for open-glass cabinets to display her grandmother’s glass collections and wanted access to the family room with a pool table, and doors to the outside.

“The kitchen is the focal point of our family. It has everything we ever wanted.”

Click here to read the full article and see the gallery.