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2011 - Volume 2 Issue 2
Casas Bonitas
Remodeling a Home
Article: Jasmine Evaristo
Photos: Bill Faulkner
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The kitchen is the nucleus of any home, forming the basis of family activity and nourishment. With constant liveliness filling the area, it can become pertinent to reinvigorate the space over time. Implementing a new dynamic pulse to the heart of the home begins with a vision. And with thoughtful consideration and design, the vision of a kitchen remodel can be realized.

    Photo Captions

1.) photo courtesy of

2.) Mebel RUST kitchen
     with Miele appliances

3.) photo courtesy of
     Miele Inc.

4.) photo courtesy of

5.) LED bulbs used in
     flourescent light fixtures

A-1 Kitchens by Sierra
3012 E. Yandell Dr.
El Paso, TX 79903

Anne Steele
Custom Interiors

6598 Eagle Ridge Dr.
El Paso, TX 79922

Builders Source
Appliance Gallery

760 West Palms
Las Cruces, NM 88007

Decorating Den Interiors
4821 Broken Stone
Las Cruces, NM 88011

Designs by L.L. Power
3950 Doniphan Dr. Suite G
El Paso, TX 79922

Diemer Building
& Remodeling

1060 S Main St.
Las Cruces, NM 88005

Jim Martin Construction
425 Stonebluff
El Paso, TX 79912

McGinley Construction
2420 Camino Bodegas
Mesilla, NM 88046

The Studio Design Center

1885 W. Boutz Road
Las Cruces, NM 88005

W. Kowalski

410 N 17th St.
Las Cruces, NM 88005

Shedding Light on
Retrofit LED Bulbs

Put an end to those bothersome humming noises and flickering! Reaping the benefits of LED lighting has been made amendable now that manufacturers are producing retrofit LED bulbs. LED bulbs function in existing fluorescent lighting fixtures by simply removing the ballast and starter. Employing the use of LED bulbs versus fluorescents means a 66%+ savings in energy consumption; a LED life expectancy of 50,000 hours compared to the 2,000 hours of fluorescents; and LED bulbs are always cool to the touch – reducing the heat generated from the fluorescent bulbs. Additionally, LED bulbs are eco-friendly, constructed with fully recyclable components and containing no Mercury, eliminating the Heavy Metals used to manufacture magnetic ballasts. Federal tax deductions are also available when opting to replace standard lighting with LED.

What inspires a new kitchen design can be as personal as a cherished heirloom, or as practical as family traffic patterns. Whatever the motivation, the idea is to transform the focal point of the home into a space that is harmonious and uniquely yours. Define an inspired starting point, and let your vision of a kitchen remodel unfold…

A solid foundation for renovating the kitchen is to stay true to the architecture of the home. Let the style, lines and moldings guide the material choices and design aesthetics. And before diving into the more exciting aesthetic details, get grounded in the functional basics. The kitchen is the epicenter of the home, so workable considerations such as traffic patterns and flow are crucial to a well-designed space. This means being privy to the "work triangle" – a widely accepted tenet of kitchen design that optimizes the connection between the cooking, refrigeration and cleanup stations. Being acquainted with this principle can go a long way in making the space more livable, and provide leverage in customizing the kitchen's layout.

Additional utilitarian facets to consider in a kitchen renovation include supplementary features. Whether it's new kitchen lighting fixtures, a flat-screen television or more outlets on countertops, it is both economically and time efficient to apply these features during renovation, not afterwards. It's also essential to keep in mind the kitchen design's equitability and flexibility. The remodel should be useful and marketable to those with diverse abilities, whilst accommodating an array of individual preferences.

After establishing the logistics of a kitchen makeover, you can begin to dress up the design. Keep an open mind to the aesthetic possibilities of a renovation, and let your imagination take flight. When redecorating, know what to mix and match. Understand that you don't have to stick to any one style or color, but try to connect different items and fixtures with a single, common thread.

If a previous kitchen design felt monotonous, consider the lines. Examine the surfaces of countertops, appliances and even a table – perhaps everything was square-edged or all curves. In either case, pick an accent piece and throw it in reverse. For instance, pair a rectangular breakfast bar with stools that have rounded or whimsically-shaped backs. Or if a dining table is round, couple it with a square, glass vase as a centerpiece or a boxy light fixture overhead. Keeping a keen eye on the geometry of the kitchen can advise your refurnishing decisions and create layers of interest in the design.

Let travel be your remodel guide. Some of the most interesting journeys have been known to inspire culinary experiences – including kitchen design. However near or far, a trip can breed renewed inspiration and stimulation. The sights, sounds and even smells of your travels can bring new concepts to the kitchen table. A Tuscan-style kitchen design is one of the most popular trends that have migrated into the kitchens of many stateside homes.

Concurrently, give a kitchen renovation a sense of place through regional influences. Introduce natural elements, like bamboo flooring, combined with clean architectural lines to achieve an Asian trend; or create a laidback tropical design, fusing a bright and breezy color palette of citrus shades and ocean-like blues. Whatever your destination, let the central part of your home reflect a design indicative to a specific region.

With today's casual lifestyles making the kitchen the focal point of gathering and entertaining, it's not contrived to borrow aspects from the living room space when reinventing the kitchen. Whether it's with a piece of select furniture, lamps or fabrics, give your new kitchen a soft, warm and inviting touch. An armoire can serve as a stylish pantry, and a clever hideaway for the microwave.

If you want to achieve a fresh, energy efficient new start with your kitchen remodel, think about implementing a recycling center that can help to organize and manage recyclables. These modified cabinets can accommodate any kitchen style and cabinet size, and are available in a variety of cabinet materials. Eco-friendly flooring such as, bamboo, cork and eucalyptus are materials manufactured from rapidly renewing forests that can produce a beautiful, affordable and durable floor – an environmentally responsible remodel choice. And opt for materials that are durable and water-resistant for both counters and backsplashes. Stained concrete uses non-toxic, natural pigments rather than surface-applied stains; and many types of indigenous stone are available and can come from salvage and remnants. These eco-friendly ideas can make any kitchen renovation high-impact.

If you're revamping a kitchen on a budget, implementing minor alterations to a design can create significant differences in the kitchen's character. Consider cabinetry – if you have dark wood cabinets, replace a bank of the upper cabinets with metal, white or glass cabinetry for a dramatic new look. Or, simply replace the door hardware on the banks of the lower cabinets. Likewise for countertops – a quartz island topper in a contrasting color or tone from the other countertop materials in a kitchen can dress up the old look without renovating the entire space.

When contemplating cost-efficient kitchen remodel concepts, be mindful of your furnishings. There's no rule that says tables and chairs have to match, or that they must stay in their set. For instance, a dark, teak table can be complemented beautifully with white painted chairs. If there's a great dining table and chair set that you absolutely adore, get creative – find a different set of chairs that will harmonize with the dining table, and scatter the original chair set around the house with seat cushions in various patterns and colors to fuse them into each separate space. This concept also works in those formal dining areas – merely take away the end chairs and replace them with grand upholstered variants for a luxurious look, or chairs with tailored slipcovers to achieve an understated elegance.

If you're looking to the experts for a design muse, one can't ignore the volumes of inspiration that are published in magazines, catalogs and on the Internet. Earmark those that pique your interest and catch your eye, and save them to aid with style decisions. It can be extremely beneficial to gather as much design information as you can, meditate on it and figure out what trends and designs resonate for you and your family's home.

The kitchen has become the polestar of families' everyday lives. The space is the most engaged, so when you resolve to give your kitchen a facelift, it's vital to consider not only style, but lifestyle. Be imaginative, create and personalize, but be assured that your kitchen renovation is not only aesthetically beautiful, but functions beautifully for the way you live. ///
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