One day, you walk into your kitchen, look around, and realize that the space needs new life, a breath of fresh air. It’s time for a makeover! But are you going to tear everything out or just rearrange the furniture? Get new paint, new countertops, or just replace the cabinets?

From contemporary, traditional, minimalistic or country – there are a lot of styles that you can choose from. You’re excited to renovate but you’re unsure where to start, how much it will cost, and what needs to be done to enhance the feel of the space. In times like this, you need to hire an interior designer. Is it worth it?

If you think that you can save money by doing things by yourself, you’re sadly mistaken. Hiring a professional can actually save you money. How you ask?

Hiring an interior designer can save you from making costly mistakes.

An interior designer can help you avoid common mistakes in buying items and advise you on the right materials to use. Remember, just because something looks good does not necessarily make it a good choice. Some items are not meant for certain applications and can wear badly or worse, be dangerous if used improperly.

Whether it’s selecting the color palette, furnishings, or the lighting, designers bring a wealth of experience to the table. Just because the fixture looks classy doesn’t mean it will look good in your kitchen.

An interior designer can help you with budgeting and planning.

By advising you on where to splurge and where to cut back, a professional interior designer can help you set a realistic budget before the project starts so you can keep the cost from spiraling. You will have a hard time stopping yourself from overspending if you’re doing things on your own.

Professionals have the experience in working within a pre-discussed budget and they know how to avoid spending unnecessary money. Designers can also pinpoint the things that need to be taken into consideration and prepare appropriate plans.

Hiring a professional can help you save time.

A professional will help ensure that your renovation project runs smoothly by spotting problems and coming up with solutions that you may never have even considered. Interior designers already have a process and they know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

They can communicate with contractors and architects on your behalf as well, and by managing and coordinating all aspects of the work, designers can relieve much of the stress involved in the project. This is crucial in managing time and money.

Also, interior designers can come up with plans for spaces that are beautiful and functional at the same time, so all you have to do is convey your thoughts so your designer will know what you want.

Remember, time is money.

Interior designers have connections.

Professional interior designers have access to a wide array of products from wholesale vendors so you know that you will be getting the best quality and price for the materials you choose. They also have access to fixtures and renovation necessities not available to the general public, such as custom-designed furniture, state-of-the-art fixtures, limited edition materials, and exquisite decors.

Aside from that, designers can identify which contractors, plumbers and electricians are right for your renovation project as they already have professional working relationships with these individuals.

Interior designers know how to make the best out of the space you have.

Designers can give you expert advice on designing your kitchen or bathroom. They can help you with anything related to making your space comfortable, luxurious and functional without being over budget.

These professionals will make sure everything fits perfectly with the atmosphere of the room you are renovating. You’ll be surprised how each element complements flawlessly with the others, just as you have dreamed of.

Grand Kitchen + Bath is your one-stop shop for all your luxury (and creative!) kitchen and bathroom renovation needs. Call us today to get started on your next remodeling project at (727) 327-3007. Visit our website to check out our portfolio for inspiration.

 

Urban living is becoming a more popular option in the Tampa Bay area, and as we migrate to high-rises and townhomes the importance of maximizing the kitchen increases as this often gains the status of the center of the home. Here are some great tips to consider when upgrading your kitchen to be just as beautiful as the views from your urban home.

Cabinets

Storage is always something we are looking to maximize in a home with a smaller footprint, so we look at every possible space to add a storage feature. Cabinetry is the number one way to do that; by lining an adjacent wall to the kitchen with cabinets you pick up a great deal more space and, done correctly, it can enhance the visual appeal overall of the kitchen/dining area.

Magical Sinks

Ok, we are not quite magicians but we can make a sink disappear! Possibly one of the only times we've ever paid attention to something Kim Kardashian made viral, was when she amused her Instagram followers by showing them her high-end disappearing sink. This style of sink basically doubles as an extra eating or counter space area when closed. This trend is pushing sink manufacturers to create more options at better prices for homeowners.

Countertops

Just because you are living in a smaller space doesn't mean you can't have great countertops. We can maximize your counter space in just about any material including soapstone, wood, metal, and marble depending on what your project budget allows.

Maximizing Color

Urban living seems to have previously meant monochromatic or perfectly matched palettes. That sleek, uniform look seems to be giving way to more matte colors, bolder tones and mixing in materials like high gloss wood. Basically we are seeing a more natural mix of wood with high gloss colorful lacquers.

For those really wanting to add a pop of color, we suggest focusing on one item such as lower cabinets or a kitchen island. If you are looking for colors that won't feel dated quickly blues are a great option; they have been a lasting trend for the better part of five years and don't seem to be fading as the Pantone Color Institute just named Classic Blue as its 2020 Color of the Year.

A Smart Investment

Whether you're looking to rent your home, working toward selling it, or just trying to beautify the space you live in, a kitchen remodel can really pay off. And even small updates can make a major difference if you don't have the budget for big ones!

There is a plethora of home improvement shows on these days, just scan through any number of channels like HGTV, TLC, Bravo, etc. and you'll find a number of "contractor reality star personalities" walking through renovations, flips, and new construction processes. Don't get us wrong we love some of the inspirations and the whole world seems to be in love with those Property Brothers these days, but an interesting conversation with a client we are currently in mid-renovation with right now got us thinking...is reality TV setting up unrealistic expectations for real renovation projects?

This particular thought started off with a casual conversation that started with "Wow if people really knew what they were getting into and what all was really involved!" So much of what reality TV and a lot of kitchen and bath company advertising seem to reflect is a "quick-fix" solution. Yes, those charismatic twins might talk about being able to remodel an entire home in 6 weeks, but what you don't see on the show is the crew of 30 people that came in to do that work while they were off promoting a new home furnishing line on QVC. We hate to burst your bubble but that's not a reality especially for your project budget!

The reality is there are a lot of moving components that are involved from the time you go through the fun part of picking finishes, cabinets, and appliances to the time we hand over a beautiful new space to you, and the behind the scenes action is not so glamorous. A major component starts with the demo process and what we uncover; some contractors might look over the structure, plumbing, electrical, ventilation, etc. issues that have aged or may not be up to current code. At Grand Kitchen+Bath we won't ever proceed with a project by just putting a bandaid on something or patching it up, knowing it's only going to create a problem down the road. In an area like Tampa Bay with a number of aging and historic homes, this is very crucial. There are a lot of things that we look at as we get into a project that might uncover harsh realities, but we do it to make sure we are starting your renovation on a solid foundation that will be a solid investment for years to come.

It's important that you understand the realities before you begin your remodeling project and that you don't have a contractor that gives you lip service with deadlines or a budget that seem too good to be true. The reality is an intensive kitchen or bath remodel can take 12 weeks or more. It's a far cry from the 6-week whole house renovation we see on TV, but again that's not reality. When you are ready to take on your next renovation and are looking for an upfront contractor and design firm, call Grand Kitchen + Bath, we promise to always design your dream space while setting realistic expectations!

In celebration of Women’s Small Business Month, we sat down with the majority owner of Grand Kitchen + Bath, Julie Burch to learn how Grand Kitchen started, how the business has changed and the opportunities and challenges that exist for a female entrepreneur.

How did you and Richard get into the business in this industry?

When we first started Grand Kitchen + Bath I was still working a full-time job for a steady paycheck and working at the showroom as a side hustle. Designing is essentially a form of merchandising, and I had a retail merchandising background, so as the business really started to grow it just made sense that I use my background to integrate into a larger ownership role in the business. When we started GKB we just did cabinets; as the business grew so did the products and services we offered, adding on countertops, tile, lighting, fixtures, sinks, etc. We now offer over 500 products in our portfolio, which was easy to learn as we added them, but now it can be a little daunting for someone new to come into.

Most small businesses start with the owner deciding they don’t want to work for someone else and essentially go into business to give themselves a job. We did just that; we decided we didn’t want to be working for someone else through to retirement, so as the business grew, we also grew our staff, so it became about leading a business and hiring other people as part of the team. This way, I could really take charge of managing the client process while Richard maximized his talents in Design. We feel we had an advantage; we got into this business without being taught so we didn’t know any rules and that allowed us to experiment. Now, 3 showrooms later, here we are.

What is your biggest challenge as an entrepreneur?

Recruiting the right talent. Along the way, I’ve learned you can’t ask enough questions; you can’t dismiss your gut instinct. No matter how many questions you ask, no matter what a person’s qualifications or how recommended they come, the early red flags your gut picks up on usually lead to bigger things down the road you’ll wish you’d paid more attention to.

Have you had any mentors or coaches along the way?

We’ve had a couple coaching opportunities along the way, most notably getting involved in Dave Ramsey’s EntreLeadership. The formula is adaptable to every type of business. We’ve worked with local entities that helped get us into the coaching world, but we needed to go deeper and EntreLeadership is very good at educating and coaching for businesses whether they are transactional, or service based. The way they maximize technology and the network of other business owners gives you a great support system to share and learn from each other in addition to the resources from the Ramsey team. It’s a cohesive comradery of everyone helping everyone else.

Pros and cons of being a female business owner in 2019?

Compared to the rest of our industry, we are an interesting mix, because we have a bit of a hybrid with the interior design business and the construction side, where many just do one or the other. The construction part of the industry is of course still very male-dominated while it’s safe to say interior design has been a female-dominated industry for decades. Kim and I are really devoted to managing the people and client-side of the business along with the merchandising side. Realistically, this works better as most of the demographic we deal with is female and often they relate better to other females as a major decision-maker and homeowner.

Tips for women wanting to start their own business?

Think about it very carefully. I think we really learned a lot the hard way going by the seat of our pants. If you want to get into business for yourself, I can’t stress enough to really think about it and be realistic. You need a business plan from the beginning, a vision and a roadmap of how you are going to get there and what it’s going to take, financially, mentally, and physically. We sort of lucked out that we jumped in and it eventually all came together as we were self-taught. There are a lot of resources out there these days for small business owners and I can’t stress enough to really tap into those; many of the small businesses we’ve seen not make it in the past 15 years since we started GKB, not having a clear plan was probably one of their first downfalls.

I would also recommend utilizing your network and take advantage of programs out there designed to help promote women-owned businesses. I know funding can still be a barrier for women who want to launch their own business for example so there are a number of resources from agencies like the Small Business Administration, The National Women’s Business Council, National Association of Women Business Owners among many others that can help connect you with the resources that might help you take the next step.

What motivates or encourages you?

Wine! All kidding aside, a good motivator for me daily is to have happy homeowners; they put a great deal of trust into us to invite us into their homes, tear apart something, and then create something brand new that they will love. Just the other day, working with a client, I pulled some materials together that they never even dreamed of putting together and they were totally gaga over it! That’s what gets me out of bed each day, the ability to do that and knowing that many of the clients we’ve worked with have become close friends. Our projects can take a great deal of time, and there is no better compliment than when that project is complete, that we’ve created not only an amazing space for them, but we’ve also built amazing friendships along the way.

One of the biggest challenges in creating your dream kitchen is deciding on which finish to use. What makes it even more difficult is that there's no customary instruction to selecting easy care finishes or materials. Likewise, there are numerous rules and styles when working with a professional. Without a doubt, every project is different and requires a special touch.

However, most professionals will agree that there are certain guidelines to follow when creating a perfect kitchen to fit your needs. For instance, easy maintenance and preventing fingerprints from showing are critical factors when deciding on the ideal finish. In truth, many people feel that an easy clean up on appliances is a major feature to have in their dream kitchen. There are also other factors to consider when designing the ideal home kitchen.

Stainless Steel Finishes 

One of the most popular finishes is stainless steel. This is because there are several features that make it an outstanding selection. For instance, stainless steel is quite durable with a very strong structure, is simple and easy clean up on appliances plus easy maintenance and is environmentally friendly. Stainless steel will also blend in with most cabinets and décor.
Drawbacks to stainless steel can include that it is no longer original or unique and could be considered boring, it is prone to fingerprints, and most stainless steel appliances are monotone with a stainless finish on the appliance and the handle.

Black Stainless Steel Finishes

Black stainless steel has many features such as easy care finishes, minimal to no fingerprints when compared to regular stainless steel, and has contrast options like a black stainless steel appliance with stainless steel handles.
The cons are few but worth noting: limited consumer color testing, a new product with limited models, and there can be color variations, depending on the manufacturer.

Black Finishes

Black appliances are a great way to add depth to a kitchen. When working with a professional, they can suggest different ways to mix and match but still have a modern look. For instance, black appliances pair well with stainless as well as various color cabinets. In addition, black finishes tend to be more cost effective and easy on the budget.

White Finishes

White finishes make a kitchen look bigger and brighter and, in fact, they have the ability to make a kitchen feel larger as well. White finishes are classic and have a clean ambiance and shine. It may seem like you clean often to keep the surface shiny and sparkling, however this is well worth the rewards of a sunnier and larger space.

Slate Finishes

Slate finishes are more popular with consumers who like a warmer touch instead of the cold feel of stainless steel. Slate has a metallic look but also has a warm matte finish. In addition, the earth tone of a slate finish pairs well with a variety of colors and materials.

What is more, slate finishes are resilient to fingerprints and smudges, are versatile with earthy tones, look amazing against white cabinetry and are well-tested by consumers with high ranks. The biggest downfall of a slate finish is that it does not pair well with the shine and polished look of stainless steel.

Black Slate Finishes

About the time black stainless steel appliances became popular, black slate finishes were introduced. Unfortunately, black stainless steel took the limelight. However, black slate is quickly making a comeback in many contemporary kitchens.

Black slate features the same exceptional stone matte finish plus stainless steel handles for a nice contrast. Black slate appliances are also available through most manufacturers and come in a variety of styles. Black slate’s other benefits include resilience to fingerprints, a great contrast with white cabinets, it has rich and warm tones with a matte finish, and both contrasting and matching handles are available. By the same token, black slate has a few drawbacks like limited availability and being difficult to match it with stainless steel.

Color Finishes

Color finishes are quite popular for a modern look and contemporary décor. The ingenuity definitely makes a statement giving your kitchen the “wow” factor. However, color finishes are not for everyone. Keep in mind that when an appliance goes out it may be difficult to replace. Also, color appliances are generally more expensive than other finishes and styles. However, it is always worth it if it's the look you desire.

Work with the experts
Deciding on the best finish for your kitchen is a personal choice. However, if you find the process a bit challenging, your best option is to work with a professional. They will know what is best to suit your needs and desires when it comes to designing your dream kitchen.

HOURS


Monday - Friday | 9a - 5p
Saturday | 10a - 4p
*After hours by appointment only
CONTACT


2600 4th Street N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33704
727.327.3007
info@grandkitchen.com

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