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The Perfect Kitchen Remodel for 2020 and Beyond

Open Kitchen Remodel - Princeton NJ Contractor - Dickson Development

All the extra hours spent at home in 2020 have given us more quality time with family, more do-it-yourself projects … and more time to brainstorm the perfect kitchen remodel.

As our lifestyles have changed, so have our visions of the role our kitchens play in our lives. Long gone are the days when a kitchen was tucked in the back of a house. Today’s kitchens are the center of our living spaces, not only where we cook and eat, but where we talk, work, learn and convene.

If you’re rethinking your kitchen design—or just dreaming of an update—Dickson Development can guide you through the process.

Richard Dickson, President of Dickson Development, has been remodeling kitchens for nearly 50 years. From timeless to trendy, traditional to contemporary, he and his team can help you merge your personal taste with up-to-the-minute ideas and inspirations.

Kitchen Trends You Need to Know About

To get you started, here are some of today’s hottest trends to keep in mind:

A neutral backdrop. White, black and gray continue to be the most popular shades for kitchens. When colors do show up, they tend to be matte and earthy, such as sage green, dusty rose and mocha brown.

Minimalist design. Today’s kitchen style reflects the mindset of this year—out with clutter and busy patterns and in with sleek, simple, clean designs. Built-in appliances maximize space, and handleless click-open cabinets create a smooth surface that is easier to keep clean.

Elements of the outdoors. Many of us have spent more time outdoors in the past few months than we have in years. So, it’s no surprise current kitchen trends include traditionally outdoor materials such as wood, concrete and natural stone. All shades of wood are in, from light and natural to dark and bold.

Industrial ingredients. With utilitarian table racks, shelves and bar stools, and concrete finishes, the industrial kitchen is the perfect blend of form and function. Black, white and wood all complement the gray base of this kitchen design.

Kitchen table comeback. Instead of the center island that drew people together to eat on stools side by side, modern kitchen designs feature a large dining table that frames and transforms a kitchen island or serves as a classic dining space. Tabletops come in a variety of sizes and feature individual chairs or a long bench. Trends also support additional seating in the kitchen beyond the main table, for a makeshift home office or school desk space.

Bold backsplashes. Paired with neutral countertops and floors, backsplashes are an easy way to add color and flair to your kitchen décor. Design ideas include brightly colored and patterned tiles, stones, metallic accents and classic marble. Whatever you choose, make sure it is a material you can easily wipe down.

Touchless appliances. We are extra conscious of what we touch these days, so the fewer things we need to handle, the better, especially in the space where we prepare food. So, as you redesign your kitchen space, look for appliances that are touch- and hands-free. Options include:

  • Touch-free kitchen faucets (some are even voice controlled)
  • Touchless soap dispenser
  • Hands-free garbage can
  • Touchless paper towel dispenser
  • Touch-free light switches
  • Handle-free refrigerator
  • Robot vacuum
  • Hands-free wall oven
  • Handleless cabinets and kitchen drawers

Fresh greenery. An indoor herb garden adds fresh greenery to your kitchen year-round, not to mention tasty, healthful additions to meals prepared in that space. Modern kitchen designs feature small kitchen gardens integrated into built-in pots and hanging planters, so you can quickly grab a sprig to accent any dish. There’s also a trend toward large houseplants in the kitchen, which boost immunity and give off cleaner, more breathable air.

As we spend increasingly more time in our homes, we want more from each individual room. Let us help you create a visually pleasing, functional kitchen space that serves all your changing needs.

To schedule a consultation, call Richard Dickson at 609-799-0220 or click on the link below.

Spotlight on Project Manager Bonnie Foster

With more than 35 years of experience in architectural design, project management, home building and remodeling, Bonnie Foster has worked with every trade you’ll find on a job site. Trade professionals are overwhelmingly male. While she is proud to represent the less than 10 percent of the construction workforce that is female, it is not what defines her professionally.  

It is her depth of knowledge and varied work experiences that make her such a respected member of the Dickson Development team. “Our clients love Bonnie. She guides them through every step along the way, from initial meetings to the design process, product selections to the actual construction and remodeling of homes,” says Richard Dickson, president of Dickson Development. “Bonnie has great instincts, excellent design skills, a tremendous amount of patience and discipline and, above all else, she knows every facet of this business.”

Bonnie, after earning her degree in architecture, began her career working with architectural firms on the West Coast, designing both custom and track homes. She worked her way up from draftsperson to senior designer to project manager, running multiple large projects for track homes. She also worked for a home remodeling and animation company that developed a tool used by homebuilders to sell new homes from virtual reality models. “In that role, I was able to combine my architectural knowledge with my marketing skills. I enjoy doing both,” she says.

For the past 18 years, she has been working for design-build companies as a designer and marketing specialist. As the project director and scheduler for Dickson Development the past several years, she works closely with homeowners and trade partners to make sure every detail on every job is completed on time and to everyone’s satisfaction.

Motivated as a Woman in a Male-Dominated Field

“I love working with homeowners. I have met and assisted hundreds of families helping them to realize their dreams of transforming their living spaces.” She says. “It is very satisfying when you get to work closely with homeowners on the design of a project and then see the finish result. I also genuinely enjoy the camaraderie on each job with all our staff, trade partners and vendors.  It takes a great team to get great results.”

She has clearly found the right team at Dickson Development, one where she is respected and appreciated and able to bring all her skills to the table.

“Instead of coming up through the ranks of a framer or a carpenter (most who are male) before being promoted into a project management role, I gained knowledge of every aspect of home building working in these different capacities,” she says. “Working in a predominantly male field never deterred me. If anything, I would say it was motivating.”

To schedule a consultation, call Boonie Foster at 609-799-0220 or click on the link below..


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New Exterior Brings Princeton Home Back to Life

Renovation of a 1958 Colonial Creates More Outdoor Living Space and Major Curb Appeal

Like the rest of us, Judy has been spending a lot more time at home during the coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, the exterior upgrades she began earlier in the year are now finished – and the envy of her neighborhood!

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After 18 years, the timing seemed right for an exterior renovation to her 60-year-old house, including a screened-in porch, new garage doors, new siding and a charming front portico with a metal roof. A new chimney with a natural gas fireplace, something she had wanted for years, became the bonus.

“Updating the chimney was a natural extension of the exterior work, since we were replacing the siding anyway. It was the right time,” says Judy.

Timing was everything with this project. When Judy first met with the team at Dickson Development, in July 2019, she never could have imagined how life was about to change as a result of the COVID-19 shutdown. Because the work was well underway and almost entirely on the exterior, the Dickson team was able to finish in time for Judy and her family of five to enjoy while staying in place.

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“Since this (the shutdown) started, we’ve spent most of our time in front of the new fireplace or getting fresh air on the screened-in porch,” she says. “I can’t tell you how many people have walked by the past few weeks and said, ‘Your house looks spectacular.’ It’s an older house, and we brought it back to life with this project.”

Scope of Exterior Renovation

  • All the siding on the house was replaced with Hardie plank siding
  • New garage doors were installed
  • A covered front porch was added
  • New roofing was installed over an existing rear deck to create a screened-in porch

A Few Design Details

The homeowners wanted their new garage doors to have a contemporary look that was not out of sync with the rest of the façade. “They are perfect,” says Judy. They also wanted to add a personal touch to the front portico. Instead of plain shingles, they installed a metal roof, providing an interesting accent to the front of the house.

Perhaps the most appreciated upgrade was the addition of an 8’ x 12’ screened-in porch. By utilizing the existing deck structure, they were able to add desirable living space without adding extraneous expense.

Just Like Old Times

It’s been 12 years, and a handful of projects, since Judy first worked with the team at Dickson Development. “It was like talking to old friends,” she says of those initial planning meetings with Richard Dickson and project manager Bonnie Foster. “They guide the process with helpful suggestions, but allow the homeowner to achieve their own vision, all the while staying on budget,” she explains.

“Richard likes to say, ‘Once you are a client, you are a client for life,’ and that is absolutely true for us,” says Judy.

To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220 or click on the link below.

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Stay at Home, Dream at Home

stay at home consultation

Home improvement projects, from mudroom makeovers to whole-house renovations, start with a dream, a wish, a vision. For more than 47 years, Dickson Development has been meeting with homeowners in the Princeton area to hear their dreams and transform them into reality. We miss that personal exchange as much as everyone else. However, right now, it’s more important that we all stay home and stay safe to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

But that doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming! Whether you’re in the middle of a DIY home improvement project or planning a future remodel, we want to hear from you. Send us photos of the rooms you want to transform, and you could win a free consultation.

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For more information, or to schedule a free consultation, call us at 609.799-0220, email or click on the link below.


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1980s Colonial Renovation Blends Modern Amenities with Personal Style

The story of this whole-house renovation in West Windsor, New Jersey, is as much about the way we live our lives—with the kitchen as the center of activity—as it is about the infusion of a homeowner’s personal style. West Windsor, NJ Kitchen Renovation ContractorLike other Colonial homes built in the 1980s, the house lacked many of the modern amenities families desire today. Rooms were closed in and sectioned off, the kitchen was tight on space, and both the bathrooms and kitchen had original fixtures.

When the homeowners, two busy professionals with three active boys, bought the house in 2011, it was in immaculate condition. Nothing was in need of repair, but the house felt cramped and dated.

“After we lived here for seven years, things needed to be replaced,” says homeowner Jackie. “We were ready to knock down some walls and renovate the entire house.”

Jackie wanted to be sure to incorporate personal touches throughout the renovation—bursts of color, rich textures, intricate tilework, unique flooring and cabinet options. This project needed to reflect her creativity, as well as achieve the practical goal of improving the overall flow of movement in the house. She selected Dickson Development based on positive reviews, but also because she sensed right away that their team understood her vision for the project.

“The homeowners were very involved with every aspect of the design,” says Bonnie Foster, project manager at Dickson Development. “They wanted the kitchen to be distinctive and searched high and low for just the right piece of granite for the island. It became the focal point of the room.”

The kitchen was expanded 2 1/2 feet in the back, which left more room for cabinetry as well as the substantial granite island. “Aesthetically, the island is what I like the most about the kitchen,” notes Jackie. “Not only can we all eat here, but it serves as a huge workspace as well. The original kitchen had a counter with a peninsula shape that was very hard to get around and closed off the room. The island lets you move around in either direction.”

The kitchen also features beautiful prefinished hickory handcrafted wood floors in random widths, stunning hardware, stainless-steel appliances and an abundance of cabinets. “We added quite a few additional design details, including beautiful accent tile behind a stainless-steel range,” says Bonnie.

West Windsor, NJ Bathroom Renovation ContractorJackie loves the look of bold colors and rich textures, found throughout the house. The family room also features a rugged stone fireplace set against a deep orange accent wall. The cubbies in the mudroom are a stunning shade of blue. Where there was once a cramped space, there is now a well-organized mudroom and laundry room. “The built-in cubbies in the mudroom really make a statement. The color just pops,” she adds.

Jackie was also delighted to have more room in the master bedroom suite. “We bumped out the wall to create more space for a master bedroom and bathroom suite,” explains Bonnie. “The new bathroom features a 4′ x 4′ shower, a freestanding tub, a dual-sink vanity and beautiful tile work, giving the room a cool, crisp feel.”

Every step of the way, Jackie worked closely with Bonnie, down to the last detail. “I am not a designer, but I had a vision. Bonnie brought it to life,” she says. “We’re so very pleased with the end result, and family and friends have had nothing but compliments. We can’t wait to be able to have our first big family celebration here.”


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To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220 or click on the link below.


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