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Making The Most Of Your Kitchen Layout

Whether you’re designing a new kitchen or remodeling an old one, the layout is one of the most fundamental features of the project. Cabinets are the bones of the design and can enhance and shape the layout of your space. From functionality to aesthetic balance, determining how to optimize your layout will create a kitchen that is both useful and stylish.

Galley Design

The galley kitchen is a common layout, especially in older homes. Characterized by two sections of cabinets installed on opposing walls, this arrangement forms a middle walk-through lending itself to maximum efficiency with a clear purpose. To get the greatest advantage of this layout and create an impression of openness, choosing cabinets with a lighter color will create an airy feeling. If structure allows, converting one of the sides into a half-wall to include a countertop island is another way to add accessibility without diminishing the purpose of the space.

DSC_0058Image  I  BKC Kitchen and Bath

Single-Wall Design

Gaining in popularity, the single-wall kitchen offers a sleek, modern look. With an entire wall devoted to cabinetry, this format has a clean, streamlined appearance. In a kitchen that allows for an open layout, opting for the single-wall design may reduce the number of cabinets. For this reason, it is important to plan the cabinet utility carefully.  Enhance this layout by adding special drawer inserts, roll-outs, appliance garages and a plethora of other storage solutions. These customizations give the ability to keep the single-wall layout sleek while increasing the function.

L-Shape Design

In an L-shape layout, two sections of cabinets are designed perpendicularly to form an “L”, offering effortless access to the space. Incorporating an island into the middle of an L-shape room is a common addition as it transforms the kitchen into a great space for entertaining. This format is not only ideal for food preparation, but allows guests to gather without congesting the area.  In a home with an open floorplan, the L-shape layout complements the overall design.

Powell-1Image  I  BKC Kitchen and Bath

For more information about how to make the most of your kitchen layout using effective design and stylish accents, contact us.At BKC Kitchen and Bath, our goal is to partner with you to create Colorado’s Best Kitchen Experience!


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The Purr-fect Pet Friendly Kitchen Renovation

It’s no secret that people in Denver love their pets. If you consider yourself to be one of them and you’re considering a kitchen remodel, there are a few features that you can include for your non-human family members. Your animals will be affected by the renovation as they learn to navigate around the new space, but they can also influence some of the decisions along the way. Here are some tips to make your home more suitable not only for you, but for your pets as well.

Avoid Cat Catastrophes 

Open shelving can give your kitchen a nice, clean design, but it can easily become a ladder or climbing disaster for an indoor cat, especially when you’re away from the house. To keep your cat safe and your kitchen in good condition, opt for cabinets with glass doors. This way, you can get the same visual appeal that revealed shelves offer, without worrying about your cat climbing around your kitchen wares. If you do include open shelves in your design, place them high and in-between cabinets; your cat will feel less inclined to jump from awkward angles to reach upper shelves, and your dishes and cooking utensils will remain in a safe zone, free of fur and disruption.

Photo credit  l  Verner Architects

Keep Your Dog By Your Side

If you have a large dog, or even a small devoted dog, you know how important it can be to share space in your house with them. Especially within the kitchen, a loyal dog will likely want to stick by your side and may, in turn, get underfoot. When designing your new kitchen, think about the measurements of walkways and how you’re going to move around the room while prepping, cooking and cleaning up. To show support for your canine companion, consider creating a space that will allow your dog to lounge near you without disrupting kitchen flow. Adding a deeper area under the island or a nook in the corner that can house a pet bed will allow your dog to remain close by while you prepare meals (and perhaps, to his delight, drop a morsel or two.)

Photo credit  l  RLH Studio

Give Pet Dishes Their Own Spot 

In an organized kitchen, every dish has its proper place. A great addition for your pet, and for you, is a space to keep food and water bowls tucked away. A designated pet dish spot will help avoid walking on slippery floors where water tends to spill and will keep a clean appearance when not in use. A pullout drawer in a base cabinet or even a tray hidden within a piece of toe kick is a great alternative to leaving dishes on the floor where they’re susceptible to being stepped on or tripped over. For a pet that is used to snacking throughout the day, utilizing a low-placed shelf in an open cabinet or on a wall will leave food accessible while also keeping it out of the way. A Denver custom cabinet with built-in storage can be added to conveniently store your pet’s food nearby.

Most people would agree that a pet is a loving member of the family. Making accommodations for the needs of these furry ones can easily be achieved through thoughtful planning and design. If you are in need of more function in your pet-friendly kitchen, contact us for innovative design ideas.

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Colorado Homes & Lifestyles

Colorado Coastal





Acres of land and a contemporary farmhouse provide an expansive living space for a family of five, two dogs, and a fabulous art collection.

We wanted an interesting house – not everything there at once to see when you walk in. We wanted a house that you can explore and discover. – Homeowner

Architect Larry Cohen calls the home “a mélange of East Coast massive and California coastal.” He explains that many of the grand houses on the East Coast at the turn of the 20th century were rambling shingle-style homes with small windows and lower levels made of brick or native stone. They were designed to feel as if they were growing out of the landscape, while the upper-level rooms were built into the large roof lines.

However, “West Coast homes have a more casual and airy feel,” he adds. “They can be much more open to the outside with large windows to expansive views. This house is a marriage of these two styles: the dressy, formal planning of the East Coast, but looser, and large expanses of glass that highlight the great mountain and garden views.”

[Read more…]

Simon Pearce pendants hang over a Carrara Italian marble countertop in a kitchen thoughtfully designed by BKC Kitchen & Bath in Englewood. “It’s just so light and welcoming while also functional,” says the homeowner.

[Featuring Designer White beaded inset cabinets by Crystal Cabinet Works, Inc.]

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Style + Function in a Kitchen Island

It’s no secret that the kitchen has become the social center of the home. If you don’t have a kitchen island, incorporating one into this gathering area can improve food preparation and make guests more comfortable. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating the space you’re in, having extra storage and additional seating is a great addition to any kitchen.

Before making the decision to add an island, some planning is required. Evaluate how the cabinets will fit into your layout and consider what problems will be solved. Do you want an island that has a sink, cooktop or other appliance in it? Could you benefit from additional seating? Are you interested in creative storage solutions? Once you determine specifics, you can design an island that will suit your needs and bring a fresh look to your kitchen.

BKC Kitchen and BathImage: BKC Kitchen and Bath

If you want your island to be the focal point of the kitchen, consider increasing its size, designing a unique shape, or making the cabinet color differ from the rest. Having a contrast of neutral perimeter cabinets against a dark or colorful island will bring visual interest to the room. If the island will be your kitchen’s centerpiece, be sure to adequately frame it with surrounding cabinetry, lighting, and other features that will highlight it. Choose a countertop material that will enhance the design while also meeting your cooking and entertaining needs.

Lastly, make sure your island fits well in your kitchen by considering how it will affect the way you move around the room. Remember that cabinet and appliance doors need proper clearance in order to open while still allowing room for friends and family to circulate. Designing your island with a flow of activity in mind will make a great difference. Proper space planning increases your comfort and safety and adds to the longevity of your cabinetry and appliances.

BKC Kitchen and BathImage: BKC Kitchen and Bath

Islands are prominent features in many new and remodeled homes. With proper planning, thoughtful design and the right materials, an island can bring both style and function to your kitchen. For help creating the kitchen of your dreams that includes incorporating the perfect island, contact us.

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Is Your Kitchen Ready for a Makeover?

As you browse through home catalogs and magazines, or peruse image boards and Ideabooks on Pinterest and Houzz, you might see photos of beautiful kitchens that look like perfect cooking and gathering spaces. You may find yourself daydreaming about what it would be like if your own home looked as appealing. While scrutinizing the current state of your kitchen design, you might ask yourself, “Is it time for a kitchen makeover…?”

To help answer that question, here are five signs that indicate it might be time to give your kitchen a fresh, new look.

1.) Your kitchen is isolated.

Older kitchens were designed as enclosed spaces for a solo cook, with a formal dining room positioned in a separate area. Now, cooking is much more social, and many couples and families like to prepare food together. OpenMed_YORK_MISSION_DET004_RGB layouts allow the kitchen to be a common gathering spot when hosting guests. If your kitchen doesn’t have enough room for multiple people, or you feel isolated while cooking in it, it may be time to rethink the layout and how best to connect it with the rest of your home.

2.) Your kitchen isn’t functional.

Today’s kitchens offer more ease than the kitchens of the past. From blind-corner cabinet remedies, such as the super susan, to drawer inserts, pantry storage and pull-out trash bins that easily hide away, Denver custom cabinets offer innovative solutions that give you easier access to all of  your cooking essentials. For countertops, granite and engineered quartz surfaces are great choices; not only are they durable, they are also easy to maintain and offer timeless appeal.

3.) You hide your kitchen from guests.

When it comes to entertaining guests, kitchens tend to be the main gathering space. However, if you don’t like the way your kitchen looks, or if the space feels too cramped, you probably aren’t hosting many events. Whether you dislike the color scheme or the dated flooring, or if your cabinets seem to have lost their luster and don’t offer enough storage, it’s time to consider remodeling and realizing the full potentiaDSC_0095bl of your space.

4.) Your appliances are out of date.

Newer appliances have more to offer than just cool technical features; they run more efficiently, quietly and safely. Today’s kitchen appliances offer a diverse range of sizes and functions that can be suited to your needs. However, if your home is over 30 years old, simply replacing the appliances might not be a viable option. Electrical wiring and plumbing might also need to be reconfigured to accommodate newer models and ensure safety. New appliances will not only freshen up the look of your kitchen but will also make cooking and storing food easier and more energy efficient.

5.) You’re planning on selling your house soon.

The bathrooms and kitchen are areas of the home that people notice most when house-hunting. If your kitchen is outdated, it could easily move your home from first to last place or make it difficult to get the offer you’d like to receive. Whatever reasons you may have for wanting a kitchen makeover, choosing to renovate your space will increase not only the value of your home, but the quality of the life you live inside it.

For more information on kitchen remodeling in Denver, contact us today.  We can help you create a space that will suit your needs, stay within your budget and leave you with an inviting, functional kitchen that you’re proud to show-off to your family and friends.

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Five Ways to Freshen Up Your Bathroom Design

Blending different elements into a bathroom renovation is a great way to create an overall engaging design that is both functional and relaxing. Most homeowners would agree that a master bath should evoke a special ambiance that is different from the powder room on the main floor. While there are some basic necessities for every bathroom and a budget should be established, getting creative and organized will lay the foundation for a space you’ll cherish for years to come.

As you begin to plan for your Denver bathroom remodel, consider these five stylish bathroom design trends that will maximize the purpose of the space and enhance the overall character.

Natural tones

Earth tones derived from wood, stone, and other natural materials add elements of warmth and originality to bathroom designs once dominated by steel and porcelain. Hardwood on the floors as well as wooden wall panels are growing in popularity, and homeowners are seeing a rise in stone, river rock, and kiln-fired ceramic products replacing traditional porcelain sinks. Blending natural elements into the overall design of the space will enhance warmth and add interesting visual texture.

MasterBath_800x600_2080185BPhoto credit  I  BKC Kitchen and Bath

Functional cabinetry

New and innovative cabinetry designs are helping renovators maximize functionality in every square foot. Because more homeowners are looking to declutter their bathrooms and find ways to tuck away toiletry items while remaining stylish, cabinets are taking on fresh looks and optimal storage solutions. If space allows in your master bath, integrate custom cabinetry in the layout to act as a dressing table or make-up vanity alongside cabinets that complement the overall design.

IMG_0023Photo credit  I  BKC Kitchen and Bath

Creative patterns

Herringbone, basket weave and arabesque patterns are fun, inviting options for showers, backsplashes, flooring and even wallpaper or curtains. Go with neutral tones or consider bold accent colors that will stand-out against the softer hues of wood cabinetry. In the kids’ bath, integrate bright colors to add a playful element that will both conjure up young imaginations and help ease clean-up time at the end of the day. Geometric patterns in any bathroom will add a simple yet vivid aesthetic that won’t lose its impact over time.

Upper-Level-Master-SuitePhoto credit  I  Kristopher Lewis Photography

Luxury showers

Whether you have an enclosed shower or a bathtub/shower combination, adding a specialized fixture can turn a simple bathroom into a home spa. While some homeowners opt for dual shower heads, others may prefer a sleek, rainfall option. To fully experience spa-like moments in the comfort of your own home, many walk-in showers today can be customized to feature built-in benches, heating lamps, multiple spout options and even additional steam to emulate a sauna.

bathroom-frameless-shower-and-walk-in-showerPhoto credit  I

Big tiles

Large natural stone or ceramic tiles in the bathroom offer a seamless look and provide a more spacious feel. Fewer grout lines help make those areas easier to clean and maintain, which is a positive point for any homeowner. For shower stalls or bathroom walls, a white or lighter-toned tile can add an illusion of space and make a room brighter. Not every master bath is as spacious as a homeowner might like, however incorporating bigger tiles can make almost any room feel larger. And, with the impression of more space comes a sense of relaxation and serenity, which is the ultimate reward in any master bath.

Photo credit  I

Houzz lists 10 more bathroom design trends that are expected to grow in 2016; all of them add elements of comfort, luxury, and clean design. For assistance with designing YOUR perfect bathroom, contact us.

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Don’t Settle for Less in Your Kitchen Renovation

Whether you’re anticipating selling your home or you just want a change for yourself, renovating your kitchen can add significant value, both to your home and to your lifestyle. Updating the feel, function and appearance of your house is a worthwhile goal, but because so many people in Denver are remodeling their kitchens and baths, it’s more important than ever to plan well and make good decisions. Staying focused on the practical aspects of the design while remaining consistent with the overall look will help add meaningful use to the space.

Include lots of counter space

One mistake people can make when going for a certain look in the kitchen – such as with a contemporary or minimalist design – is to cut back on countertop space. Not having enough flat surface area in the kitchen can be a deterrent for some potential homebuyers. Countertops serve multiple purposes outside of mere food preparation or small appliances storage; many people want to spread out for family meals, to work on projects or to entertain with friends. It’s OK to change-up the color and design of your countertops with differing products, such as granite along the perimeter and stainless steel or butcher block on the island or peninsula. With the help of a kitchen design professional, you can pinpoint just the right balance of eye-catching design and everyday function.

Photo Credit  I  HGTV

Choose quality materials

One important tip for any homeowner to remember when planning a kitchen or bath renovation is: Don’t compromise on quality. Avoid purchasing material goods that are manufactured poorly or have little-to-no durability. Whether it’s cabinetry, countertops, backsplashes or hardware, seek the products that are rated for high quality and endurance. Consult a kitchen design professional who can offer insight into quality products that will meet the needs of your remodel while staying within your budget. Rest assured, a smaller budget doesn’t mean you won’t have a kitchen that can stand the test of time.

When it comes to cabinetry, there are great resources available from cabinet manufacturers that will help you make preliminary decisions based on style, wood species and finish options. Keep in mind that Colorado cabinets are a major part of any kitchen remodel, and finding the material that will suit your needs is extremely important. In addition to the aesthetic characteristics of the various types of cabinet style options available, the durability of the wood and the longevity of the finish are both major considerations.

Photo Credit  I  Medallion Cabinetry

Give yourself elbow room

Although galley-style and enclosed kitchens were common architecture in the past, most contemporary homeowners  prefer a kitchen that opens up to other living areas. Having a cramped or restricted kitchen layout can cause stress, so altering the footprint of the space might be a good direction to take. Typically, the three major focus areas of a kitchen are the sink, stove and refrigerator, traditionally known as “the kitchen triangle.” Today, however, many people want to include a fourth area: the center island. No matter the size, an island is a great place for food preparation, family activities and informal dining. The island can also house a sink, cooktop or dishwasher, which further opens up the possibilities for space reconfiguration.

3-27-14_personal_146Photo Credit  I  BKC Kitchen and Bath

A kitchen design professional can be a great resource for bouncing around design ideas, offering product solutions and referring quality contractors for your project needs. Contact BKC Kitchen and Bath for a complimentary consultation and design* with one of our award-winning team members, and gather information on our wide selection of cabinetry, countertop materials and hardware options.


*A 10% deposit will be required to release our drawings prior to purchase.

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Tackling the Mudroom with Custom Cabinetry

The mudroom is commonly overlooked when it comes to home renovation, especially because it’s an area that tends to be transitional. For most families, the mudroom is the place where shoes slip on and off, where backpacks are dropped, and where coats, scarves, and snow boots pile up during cold weather. What better place to tackle organization, especially with some Denver custom cabinets? Here are our suggestions to turn your cluttered mudroom into a streamlined storage area.

Decide to organize

There is a lot to consider when designing a functional mudroom; from a coat rack for your family and guests, to a shoe rack for organizing footwear, you’ll want to take stock of what you intend to use your mudroom for and how best to place items within it. For instance, it might be advantageous to incorporate a mix of open shelves and cabinetry with pull-out features, or dedicate a tall cabinet for hanging clothing. Whatever you decide, make the focal point organization and utilize the space in the best way possible.

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Aim high

Mudrooms are a great place for seasonal storage, especially when you start switching out winter boots with summer sandals, or skateboards with snowboards. Take advantage of high ceilings or an entire wall by using top cabinets for seasonal storage, leaving the bottom cabinets or shelves more conveniently available for year-round items. You’ll want to consider choosing custom sizes for some of your cabinets, especially for specific items like skis, athletic equipment, and outdoor gear that needs a storage spot inside. The mudroom is a great place for such items, especially if you want to maximize the utility of a narrow space or corner.

Photo Credit  I  Greenable

Make room for special features

When space allows, a mudroom with a bench for shoe changing, or a charging station to plug-in devices close to the door where they won’t be forgotten, are great additions to consider. If you have a furry family member, the mudroom is a great spot to hang leashes, store toys and even tuck away a pet bed. For inspiration, Houzz has some great mudroom designs that incorporate these features, including a heated floor to help dry shoes and keep your family’s feet cozy and warm.

dec-hode-pets9-435Photo Credit  I

Getting your mudroom organized is a great way to declutter your home and create usable space for your family’s activities. For help with designing your mudroom, contact us. We can help you choose the best cabinets that add both style and function to your home.


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Defining Studio Space with Cabinetry

The layout of a residential studio or loft is typically designed with flexibility in mind. The ability, however, for the same limited dimensions to serve multiple purposes while maintaining a sense of space can be a challenge. With the use of strategically-placed cabinetry and helpful solutions from a seasoned kitchen and bath designer, spatial definition and flexibility can still be achieved while preserving the overall open feel of the room. Here are a few suggestions for creating the perfect studio dwelling.

Cabinets help define spaces in a large studio

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It is widely known that one of the most definitive spaces in any layout is the kitchen. However, in an open floor plan the impression of this space can be easily lost when the surrounding zones start to bleed into one another. For a studio where the dining space blends into the kitchen and the kitchen blends into the living room, adding cabinets into the mix can help visually divide the open space into sections. For example, integrating a single wall of cabinets in the kitchen can add storage and define the room without completely disrupting the flow of space.

Another option is to install a cabinet peninsula or island that will distinguish the kitchen from surrounding areas while simultaneously offering an informal place to sit and eat or work at. No matter the room, adding unique elements with the use of custom cabinets will give any zone individual purpose without compromising on the flexibility of the layout.

Mixed-use cabinets create multi-purpose spaces


When your living room is also the space you work, craft, play, entertain, or even sleep in, it can be hard to balance those multiple functions in one area. A combination of open shelving and closed cabinets will help streamline the room without reducing its variable functions. Moreover, meeting with a designer to consider the primary and secondary uses of the space can reveal how much open shelving may be needed versus what should be hidden within cabinets.

For instance, Denver custom cabinets that allow you to hide your TV or electronic equipment while you work is a great way to turn your entertainment room into a productive office environment. Once your work is done, the room can easily be converted back into a fun zone simply by pulling cabinet doors back open. Cabinets can also serve as multi-purpose storage units that make transforming a living room space into cozy sleeping quarters quick and easy.

Cabinets can create a sense of privacy

Images: C O N T E N T Architecture

One of the biggest challenges with an open layout is creating privacy. Whether it’s concealing your belongings or defining a bedroom area that is distinct from the rest of the space, cabinets are a helpful inclusion. Although it is not often the goal of a studio or loft layout to create isolated zones, the sleeping area tends to call for more seclusion. Installing a partial wall of cabinets to create a private hedge between living areas will not only offer a certain amount of privacy but will also bring extra storage for clothing, bedding, towels and other belongings.

Strategically-placed cabinetry and shelving systems within an open floor plan are perfect for tucking items away or displaying them in an organized fashion. They combine aesthetic with function and help to maintain cleanliness in a layout that can otherwise have a tendency to show clutter.

contemporary-hallImage: MusaDesign

Storage is a necessity in any space, but it is especially important in a loft or studio where the open layout is easily compromised by undefined areas. Cabinets are a great way to incorporate storage and transform a studio’s functionality without diminishing its spacious style. To gain a designer’s perspective and to learn more about how various cabinetry options can transform your studio or loft, contact us.

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Work Triangle vs. Work Zones in Your Kitchen

How to Replace the Work Triangle in Your Kitchen Renovation

When it comes to a kitchen renovation in Denver or elsewhere, many designs and layouts adhere to the popular and efficient work zone triangle. The refrigerator, range, and sink are placed as if they were points on an equilateral triangle, creating an efficient kitchen space that makes it easier to move between your most-used appliances.

While many traditional kitchens will thrive under this layout, it can also pose some challenges when multiple cooks are added into the mix, different appliances are incorporated, or the size of the kitchen is expanded. So how can you change your layout while maintaining an efficient kitchen?

By thinking about your kitchen in work zones, you can create a dynamic space, even if it breaks up the triangle. Here are some ways to think about your kitchen in work zones:

Routine Appliance Zone

For those with a morning coffee or tea routine, having a space dedicated to certain tasks will help keep small appliances organized and stored in an accessible area. In addition, delegating cabinet and drawer space for the tools needed to complete these functions will keep the zone simplified, thus making it usable for other tasks as well.

Image: Better Homes and Gardens

Food Prep Zone

As the norm for having just one cook in the kitchen has changed, having multiple food prep zones will alter the original working triangle and make sufficient room for everyone. Landing areas between the refrigerator and the sink, or the sink and the range, allow for separate food prep and cooking spaces and help avoid a cramped kitchen.

Image: BKC Kitchen and Bath

Entertaining Zone

The kitchen is often the hub where people gather.  As such, a peninsula or island can be a great place to entertain guests while still remaining productive in the kitchen. This space can also be used for family workspace so that time can be spent both preparing a meal and overseeing kids’ activities. Either way, this zone is a great suggestion for spending time with guests in the kitchen while simultaneously serving as a prep area.

Image: BKC Kitchen and Bath

Clean Up Zone

Placing related appliances near one another, like the dishwasher next to the sink, is a great way to create a dedicated clean-up zone that won’t interfere with other kitchen activities. Add a pull-out trash and recycling cabinet nearby to bring even more functionality to the zone. The clean-up process is typically the last step to undertake in the kitchen; this dedicated zone will enhance efficiency so that less time is spent doing work and more time is spent enjoying your time at home.

clean-up_pinterest_hgtvImage: HGTV

Whether it’s the tried-and-true kitchen triangle or space optimizing work zones that you prefer, our skilled designers can offer insight into kitchen renovation ideas that will work best for you. To get your kitchen ideas started, visit our showroom and consult with one of our designers.


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