Category Archives: Kitchens

Princeton Kitchen Remodel: Bright and Functional

Open, Spacious, Bright Kitchen Remodel in Princeton NJ

Princeton Open and Functional Kitchen Remodel by Dickson Development

A New Kitchen Full of Light and Open Space

This Princeton kitchen remodel exceeded everyone’s expectations, from its new open floor plan to its sleek, modern tile work. The contemporary home had not been updated since 1988. “We wanted a more open and functional space,” says homeowner Chiara.

Open, Spacious, Bright Kitchen Remodel in Princeton NJ

“Our challenge was to take a poorly lit, interior kitchen and open it up to the next room,” says Richard Dickson. “We didn’t make the kitchen any bigger, but we were able to create a more efficient layout with much more natural light.”

That meant knocking down some walls between the kitchen and family room and adding a long, large island, equipped with a number of built-in storage drawers and hidden trash and recycling bins. The adjoining family room and eat-in area already had quite a few windows, even before the renovation. By opening up the kitchen to the family room, the entire space is now saturated in natural light.

“We were able to achieve exactly what I had hoped for: a lovely view of the backyard, a pleasant sense of open space and so much light! Our living area is much more enjoyable and functional,” says Chiara.

To create a unified look and easy flow from one room to the next, the original ceramic tile floor in the kitchen was replaced with new hardwood flooring. The new cabinets are white to contrast with the wood flooring and complement the gray tiling. “This is a very contemporary look,” says Bonnie Foster, Project Coordinator.

Chiara was “totally satisfied” throughout the process. She decided to expand the project along the way and made changes that would have been impossible after the renovation. “I really appreciated the flexibility and guidance of the entire Dickson Development team, especially Richard, Bonnie and Thom.”

Find out how you can transform your older home into a more comfortable, livable space.

To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220.

 

Today’s Discerning Homeowners Want A Peaceful, Open Kitchen

Open Kitchen Remodel - Princeton NJ Contractor - Dickson Development

Clean, clean, clean. Sleek, uncluttered, peaceful and open. Those are the adjectives that best describe the trends in kitchen design these days. And did I mention clean?

The clean and open look, which has been gathering steam for many years, is now going as far as sacrificing cabinet storage for new windows that offer views of nature and give household chefs a feeling of peaceful relief. That single window over the sink? No more. Homeowners tell us that they want sunlight and more sunlight.

“Our clients want their kitchens to be centerpieces in their open layouts. They ask us to take down walls between rooms so that when the chef is hard at work in the kitchen, they don’t feel isolated,” says Richard Dickson

That’s not to say that storage isn’t important. More than half of homeowners believe that adequate storage is the most important feature in the kitchen. So if we’re removing cabinets in favor of windows, where do we find storage? One growing trend is to build separate walk in pantries, which can hold much more dry goods, appliances and kitchenware than cramped cabinets.

Creating Storage in Creative Ways

Kitchen Remodeling Storage Ideas - Dickson Development - PrincetonAnother popular place to hide storage is under the ever-growing kitchen island. In addition to cabinetry, homeowners are also placing microwave ovens and even second refrigerators under the kitchen island.Particularly popular are refrigerated drawers that can be installed next to the sink in an island. Why? You can keep items like fresh produce within easy reach of the sink while saving space in the main refrigerator.

Hiding that microwave is particularly important for the vast majority of people who are trying to keep their counters as uncluttered as humanly possible. And the ever-important electrical outlets and charging stations tend to be recessed or otherwise hidden. Many homeowners today are subtly planting home assistants from Amazon or Google to go along with their voice-controlled appliances.

Quartz vs. Granite: And the Winner Is?

Modern Kitchen Remodel in Princeton, NJSpeaking of those countertops, homeowners today want a sleek, engineered look. And while granite is still popular, increasingly owners are turning to engineered quartz, which is impervious to bacteria and germs and unlikely to be stained by oil, tomatoes, coffee and other common kitchen items. Most importantly, engineered quartz comes in a richer range of color options than can be found in natural stone, including bright greens, blues and yellows.

But even though they can get those richer colors, homeowners tend to be sticking with the white or grey kitchen, particularly for backsplashes, countertops and wall finishes. Some designers are even recommending the same materials for the countertops and the backsplash for an even more minimalist and cleaner aesthetic.

Standing out amongst all the white is jewel-like cabinet hardware that needs to be as functional as it beautiful. Some popular finishes are chrome, polished chrome, nickel, matte stain nickel, lacquered aluminum, gold and coffee. Bright colored cabinetry and warm wood finishes are also emerging as new trends.

Everything Minimalist … Except the Kitchen Sink

Open, Spacious, Bright Kitchen Remodel in Princeton NJThose finishings, however, do not seem to be transitioning to the sink, where most people still prefer a large under-mounted single bowl in stainless steel. While the farm house sink is still somewhat popular, the stainless steel bowl wins the day, particularly since some manufacturers are adding on items such as fitted cutting boards, drying racks and a bottom grid.

Today’s kitchen has emerged as the center of activity in many homes. At the center of many new kitchens is a large island where people gather, prepare food and eat. Many homeowners are even eliminating a traditional kitchen table completely. This is a significant shift in the way we live, and in the way we design kitchens.

To schedule a consultation, email info@dicksondevelopment.com or call Richard Dickson at 609-799-0220.

Prepping Your Home for Nicer Weather

Update your deck for summer - Princeton NJ

With the longer, colder days – hopefully — soon over, now is the time to think about dedicating a sunny weekend day for starting to prep your house for spring and summer.

Some of the best ways to check your home’s post-winter integrity is to grab a pair of binoculars and scan your roof for curling, cracked or missing shingles. Also check for damaged metal flashing around any chimneys, pipes and skylights.

And while you are checking the roof, make sure to scan the rest of your house for any damaged siding, which can be easily fixed. A good scrub brush and sturdy cleanser should eliminate winter dirt and mold on vinyl, aluminum or engineered wood siding. Think about getting your gutters cleaned out, powering washing your siding and checking for any possible winter damage.

Now is also the time to make sure your air conditioning systems are going to be ready. Replace your air conditioner’s filter or have your central air system professionally checked (or maybe think about getting a more energy-efficient system installed). Give us a call for help or referrals for these and other necessary fixes.

Get Your Home Ready for Spring and Summer:

  • Get your deck ready for SummerConsider dedicating a spot in your garage to outdoor sports gear. Sports storage racks – either wall mounted or sitting on the floor — can make the most of your space and keep the complaining down from the kids who can never ever find anything!
  • What about that porch or decking? Summer is the time for outdoor living so make sure to make your outdoor spaces as comfortable as possible with ample seating, fresh cushions and candles. If bugs and mosquitos bother you, consider an overhead fan or have your porch screened in. It may also be time to consider redoing your decking and upgrading to engineered wood.
  • And why not make this the year that you finally invest in the outdoor feature that you and your family have been dreaming about? A fire pit, grilling area, pizza oven, outdoor shower, hot tub … the possibilities are endless and these types of upgrades can add long-term value to your property.

To schedule a consultation, email info@dicksondevelopment.com or call Richard Dickson at 609-799-0220.

Rocky Hill Remodel Adds Space and Comfort

Kitchen and Family Room

Home & Kitchen Renovation - Princeton, NJ

Kitchen and Family Room Create a Bright Open Space

Cristina loves her neighborhood but not so much with her 1970s split-level house. The kitchen was dark and dated. The family room was closed off and did not have a working fireplace. There was no mudroom or transitional area for the family of four to leave their belongings as they entered the house.

“It needed more than a Band-Aid; it needed a complete kitchen and family room renovation,” she says.

She and her husband, Michael, wanted a little more space, a lot more light and a better flow of movement around the first floor. The focus needed to be on the kitchen, the center of her family’s activity. Cristina consulted with her father, an architect, and gave serious thought to all of their options, including selling the house. They kept coming back to the same dilemma. They loved their Rocky Hill, N.J., neighborhood.

 Should You Stay or Should You Go?

“When you buy a new house, you inherit new problems. We knew our home and were comfortable,” she explains. So they got to work on a plan and hired Dickson Development to bring their visions to life.

The main goal of the renovation was to create a more open living space that kept the couple’s children in plain sight from the kitchen. They wanted to open up a narrow space by adding an addition in the rear of the house that expanded the family room and kitchen. “They also included a mudroom that had access right from the garage,” explains Richard Dickson. His team took the plans and transformed the couple’s vision into a reality. The focus of the project was always on function first.

Kitchen Renovation Contractor - Princeton, NJ

At the same time, the new kitchen features elegant white custom cabinetry and efficient and contemporary lighting and appliances. “Our first goal was always to bump out the back of the house and create a large open floor area. It was the best design we could have added,” she says.

“We also didn’t realize how important it was to have a mudroom until we had one.”

The mudroom, which features unique hooked shelves and a bench, offers a convenient entrance to the house directly off the driveway.

The focal point of the family room/kitchen area is a large island that also separates the cooking area from the living areas of the home. “We envisioned the kids doing their homework at the island as well as eating. We wanted it away from the cooking area to make it safer but also designed to allow the kids to feel they are with us,” notes Cristina.

A New Center for Family Activity

Like many families today, they use the island in lieu of a separate kitchen table. “We said you can’t go too big with the island!” says Cristina. “Trends come and go, but designing your space to fit your lifestyle is always a good idea.”

The bright new kitchen features:

  • A support  wall transformed into a decorative column with a peek-through shelf
  • Light and airy Shaker aesthetic
  • An open-concept layout
  • White quartzite countertops
  • A backsplash of ½-inch-high by 2-inch-long gray and white tiles
  • Two Bosch ovens, on either side of the kitchen
  • An extra-large cooktop area

“We were looking for a modern twist on a classic-looking kitchen with whimsical accents,” she adds.

Getting the Job Done

It was important for the family to find both a builder and an architect who understood their goals and Cristina’s vision, and who were committed to quality.

“The whole Dickson team was great, but I want to make sure to recognize the project foreman, Thom, as the unsung hero that he is,” she says. “He would play with the kids and the dog. Most of all, he was extremely responsible in his communication. He would keep us up to date and answer texts promptly.”

Cristina was also impressed that the job stayed pretty much on schedule, despite a couple of setbacks. During the renovation, some problems with the existing home became apparent. There was some existing water damage in one of the walls around the old fireplace chimney, a leak in the roof and more water damage in the floor of an upstairs bathroom.

“We were able to take care of these problems when we were doing the new construction,” says Richard. “It is not possible to anticipate everything you might encounter when you are working in an older home. We were able to determine the problems quickly and fix them.” And best of all, they stayed on schedule to minimize the disruption to the family.

Now that we have opened up the space, we can’t imagine the house any other way,” adds Christina.

Before

After.

Comfortable Family Room

Bright, Convenient Kitchen 

To schedule a consultation, please call 609.799.0220.

 

Custom Renovation Showcases Homeowner’s Creative Side

Spacious Open Kitchen Design and Remodel

Creative Home Renovations

Erica spent a full year thinking through every possible design element before renovating her home in Princeton Junction, New Jersey. Erica’s attention to detail, discerning eye and personal style are apparent in every aspect of this stunning renovation project.

The project included the remodeling of several rooms in the house, including the kitchen, family room, mudroom, front foyer, second-floor hallway and master bedroom suite. Dickson Development was able to complete the project in less than four months, minimizing the disruption to the family of five.

“Erica knew what she wanted,” says project manager Bonnie Foster of Dickson Development. “We guided her through the process, and together we turned her vision into reality.”

Brand New, Updated Foyer

Foyer Remodel Princeton Home Builder

The Foyer Before Remodel

The four-bedroom home, built in the 1980s, now features a unique blend of contemporary and traditional details, including two custom-built, sliding doors with a rustic barn-door look. “I brought my idea to the team at Dickson Development, and they made it happen,” she says.

“Their crew got right to work, and they were all really nice and very professional. Even though we were basically living in the (finished) basement for a short while, they finished the project on time and made us comfortable throughout.”

The careful planning and attention to detail paid off in countless ways. “It was great to have the client so involved,” says Bonnie. “Erica had a strong vision.”

The success of this renovation was largely due to the partnership established between the client and builder. “Together we were able to create a highly personal, functional and truly one-of-a-kind living experience for the family,” adds Richard Dickson.

Spacious Open Kitchen Design and Remodel

Updated, Spacious Kitchen

Before Photo of Kitchen Remodel in Princeton

Outdated Kitchen Before

A spacious, open-concept kitchen adjoins a comfortable family room with a custom bar. “We didn’t add the bar, but we installed all new cabinetry, as well as a beer tap and new granite countertop,” says Bonnie.

The focal point of the first-floor living space is a 10-foot quartzite kitchen island. “It’s as long as it can be without having a break,” says Bonnie. The family typically gathers around the island to eat and work and socialize. “We used to have a cooktop stove in the island, but it took up too much space. This is the center of our family life. We wanted to open it up.”

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The island also includes a built-in microwave oven and oversized drawers to fit dishes and to hide garbage. “There is a smart use of space throughout the house,” adds Bonnie.

Erica describes herself as the “minimalist in the family,” and the sleek kitchen design reflects her aesthetic. “My goal with this renovation was aesthetic,” she says. Yet, there is no denying the functional elements in the kitchen design.

The large, professional stove includes a pot-filler faucet and is flanked by two slender drawers that serve as spice racks. The backsplash is made of stunning yet understated glass mosaic tile. Built-in ceiling speakers complete the custom touches.

“The kitchen is loaded with conveniences, and there is so much room. We spend a lot of time here,” says Erica. “But the biggest ‘wow’ for me is the master bathroom.”

Remodeled Spacious Bathroom

Before photo of bathroom renovation

Bathroom Before Renovations Began

The master bathroom is part of a comfortable second-floor suite that includes a sitting/gym area, spacious bedroom and dressing room with built-in shelving and vanity, and a modern, sky-lit bathroom. The suite features another barn-door sliding door to unite the first and second floor aesthetic. It also features a shower without a door. “We weren’t so sure about that at first,” says Erica. “But we love this shower. Dickson Development came up with the idea of having the shower controls on the opposite wall from the actual shower heads. It was brilliant.”

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The bathroom also has a heated floor, heated towel rack, stand-alone bathtub and double sinks on an expansive and beautifully appointed vanity. Prior to the renovations, the suite had his and her walk-in closets. The wall in between the two closets was removed, creating one large dressing room. “The bathroom and dressing room come together beautifully,” says Erica.

Looking for ideas for your next improvement project? View our portfolio for more photos or call us at 609.799.2020. We would love to hear from you.

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