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!

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.

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Happy News: Major OC Job Growth Projected!

While we’ve been busy working on bathroom remodeling, kitchen renovations and installing gorgeous new hardwood flooring through ought Orange County other industries have slowed during the recession of the past few years. But the Orange County Register posted today that Orange County is poised for major job growth with local employers expected to add more than 100,000 workers to payrolls over the next three years, according to a 2011 economic forecast released today by Cal State Long Beach.

The forecast predicts Orange County will lead the region in hiring, adding a modest 19,000 new workers this year after losing that many in 2010. Next year, however, hiring is expected to more than double to 39,000 new positions and then grow by another 43,000 in 2013.

While a healthy turnabout from the job losses of the last four years, Long Beach’s forecast for 2013 still would leave Orange County employment 64,000 below the peak of 1.5 million in 2006.

Grobar said Orange County and the region are finally getting back in sync with the national economy after taking greater hit from the mortgage meltdown and real estate slump.

The forecast predicts the U.S. gross domestic product to increase 2.7 percent this year and that employers will hire an average 200,000 new workers a month nationwide.

Manufacturing in Orange County is one of the sectors getting a particular boost from the lower dollar and an increased appetite overseas for electronics and transportation equipment and metal and machinery manufacturing. The forecast predicts local manufacturers will add 9,500 workers in the next three years.

Another strong sector will be business and professional services. The forecast estimates nearly 27,000 new jobs will be created in that sector.Grobar said a lot of the growth has been in professional, scientific and technical services. Orange County’s tourist industry, which has shown strength, will continue to grow, adding nearly 16,000 jobs over the next three years.

The forecast expects even the hard-hit construction sector to make a comeback with 1,800 jobs this year, 1,300 in 2012 then 8,700 in 2013.

Lagging sectors will include retail, information, which is hurt by the declining telecom employment, and government.

CSULB’s Orange County forecast had the advantage of more recent data than the four other major outlooks, which were prepared well before the run-up in gasoline prices, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and the unrest in the Middle East.

The Long Beach forecast placed it in the middle of the pack for this year’s employment outlook.

The Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. had the least optimistic Orange County job outlook this year, predicting 15,600 new jobs. UCLA was the highest with 24,000. Chapman University was close behind with a forecast of 23,000.

Cal State Long Beach forecast Orange County employers will add 19,000 jobs this year, placing it in the middle of the pack for this year’s employment outlook.

Read More Here

Compare the forecasts
2011 forecast Cal State Long Beach (May 2011) LAEDC (Feb. 2011) Chapman University (Dec. 2010) Cal State Fullerton (Oct. 2010) UCLA (Oct. 2010)
O.C. job growth 19,167 15,600 23,000 18,300 24,000
O.C. unemployment rate n/a 9.2% n/a 8.6% 8.6%
O.C. personal income growth n/a 4.1% 3.6% 3.6% 4.8%
O.C. building permits 2,465 3,600 3,933 5,000 3,500
U.S. GDP 2.7% 3.1% 3.3% 2.6% 2%
10-year Treasury note n/a 3.5% 3.3% n/a 3.0%

Backsplashes Make a Huge Splash on Your Design!

Now traditionalists will say that the kitchen’s backsplash should be something that makes the room feel warm and ties in the color scheme. These are the folks that will select mosaic tiles, travertine and sandstone in muted, warm tones and while this is one well-adored approach lately we’ve seen a fun trend in backsplashes that just might surprise you!

Simple, shiny, contemporary- stainless steel tiled backsplashes add a unique look and glimmer to your kitchen. And since stainless steel appliances are so popular for their look and durability it will perfectly accent your kitchen to give it that extra gloss and shine. Now we understand this material will not work with every design or for every lifestyle but for the bolder client- this is a fantastic new option that will really WOW your friends and family.

Stainless-steel backsplashes can install on an existing wall with a simply epoxy, giving a kitchen an updated look in a matter of minutes. This WallSplash (pictured) is available in six patterns: plain, diamond, diagonal, square, harlequin and checkerboard.

Watch the Video

More Information
Stainless-Steel WallSplash DIY: Star Stainless Design
http://www.StarStainlessDesign.com

Stainless-Steel Tiles/Backsplash/Panels: Swift Canada Inc.
http://www.swiftcanada.com

Read More Here!

Some Good News For OC Real Estate

Kitchen Design Style - Martha Stewart KB Homes

J. Lasner from the OC Register reported some good news for OC residents and home owners.

Dollars generated from all the homes sold in Orange County by real estate brokers totaled $10.7 billion this year so far, up 23.3% from the same period in 2009, Southern California Multiple Listing Service figures show.

The uptick in sales revenue translates into increased earnings for real estate professionals as well as for home sellers.

Rising prices and increased sales combined to break a four-year slide in which revenue generated from housing transactions cascaded down by $9.2 billion, or 52%.  (More)

Best Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeler in Orange County 2010

The votes for 2010 are in and for Signature Design Center of Anaheim, the hard work and customer reviews have paid off.    In a recent online poll ran by the OCR, Signature Design came out on top with 47% of the votes for the Best Kitchen Design Firm, from a total of 6 companies entered in the competition.

Founder and Lead Designer of Signature Design Center, Fred Jarrah, said: “We are absolutely bowled over that Signature Design Center has been recognized and named as this year’s best Kitchen Design Firm in Orange County. The Signature Design  brand is all about putting quality kitchens for our clients at the heart of everything we do so to win this accolade, and have our successes recognized by the industry so early on in our journey, is an incredible achievement and something of which we are all extremely proud.”

Look for the full article to be posted on our site with a link to the findings as soon as they become available.  But for now, Signature Design Center has set its sights on finishing 2010 strong and carrying over their trademary Signautre quality into 2011.

As always, Fred “The OC Remodeler” would like to hear from you directly.  If you have a kitchen question or want an expert quote, call today at 714.289.2600