Mastering Kitchen Design: Expert Tips from One Stop Kitchens

In this episode of the One Stop Kitchens podcast, we provide expert advice on all things kitchen remodeling. Today, we delve into essential factors for planning your dream kitchen, including layout, workflow, and storage solutions. We'll explore the latest trends in cabinets and countertops and offer tips on selecting the perfect appliances. Whether you're looking for a sleek, modern design or a functional, family-friendly space, our expert insights will guide you through every step of your renovation journey.

About this Podcast

  • Discover the essential factors for planning a functional and beautiful kitchen design.
  • Customized Kitchen Design: Emphasizes the importance of a structured and intentional design process to create a kitchen that meets homeowners' unique needs and preferences, balancing functionality and aesthetics.
  • Essential Design Factors: Highlights five key considerations for kitchen design: layout and workflow, storage solutions, materials and finishes, lighting, and personal style to ensure a cohesive and practical space.
  • Kitchen Remodeling Checklist: Stresses the significance of planning and organization in the remodeling process, including finding reliable partners, understanding the scope of the remodel, and preparing for temporary kitchen setups.
  • Cabinet Construction Types: Differentiates between framed and frameless cabinets, noting the benefits of frameless (European style) for maximizing space and achieving a seamless look, while emphasizing the importance of skilled installation.
  • Trends and Luxury Options: Discusses current trends such as Miami modern minimalist styles with mixed colors and wood tones, and highlights luxury countertop options like exotic natural stones for their unique and high-end appeal.

Nora Duran: Hello everyone. Welcome to our session where we are exploring all aspects of home remodeling.

Today, we are here to offer straightforward, practical advice to help homeowners kick off their renovation projects. Our goal is to answer those common questions you might have about updating your space, ensuring you have the right information needed to make good choices. Throughout the series, we’ll cover a range of topics to help simplify the remodeling process from picking the right design elements to understanding the basics of construction, We’ve got you covered.

We want you to feel confident and ready as you transform your home into the dream space you always wanted. Now let’s welcome our expert today, Rob, the owner of One Stop Kitchens. Could you please introduce yourself? 

One Stop Kitchen: Yeah, absolutely. So again, I’m rob and I’m the owner of one stop kitchens. We have several locations in the Tampa Bay area.

 And we’ve been doing kitchens and cabinetry and bathrooms for about 27 years now.

Nora Duran: Amazing. Amazing. So let’s kick things off with a question on many homeowners minds. What’s the best approach or the best way to designing a kitchen? 

One Stop Kitchen: That is a great question. So in regard to the best way to design a kitchen, , I think it’s a, it could be a challenge because the right answer is unique to every single client we work with, right?

But we have very intentional and dedicated processes to make sure, , that we are Not only designing something that the homeowners are going to love and that they’re meeting all their needs, but also is functional is also engineered and designed in a way where it’s practical to install it’s, and it’s reliable and it’s, we’re going to have a phenomenal quality in the end.

So I would say , it’s. Can be unique per individual and per customer because the clients we work with have such , a large diverse set of interests and goals and design styles and result. , but we do have a very structured process, so it’s important to find someone that has a structured process that really , is trying to drive to your end result, but still make sure you get a , quality product and a functional kitchen at the end.

Nora Duran: Great. Let’s break it down further. Can you walk us through the five essential factors to consider when planning a kitchen design? 

One Stop Kitchen: Absolutely. So again, there’s, like I said before, there’s a number of factors that are going to play in. , but some of the core functions that are really going to be key is the layout and the workflow.

 And again, that’s unique to each individual, but the layout and the workflow, the layout, you may be limited by the space you have or whatever the preexisting footprint, whether we’re doing new construction or remodeling your existing space. But the workflow is important and that’s custom to you., a lot of people talk about the triangle, between the sink and the stove and the refrigerator. But everyone has something unique. Everyone uses our kitchen in a different way. Is it really for cooking? Is it for entertaining? And so , that’s going to be definitely a key factor.

One Stop Kitchen: So the layout and the workflow, , they’re going to be related, right? Cause your workflow may require a different layout. And so not everything is one size fits all. I would say factor two is going to be storage solutions and the Functionality of the kitchen. This is a big thing, right?

It depends on where people like to store, what they’re trying to store. Is it appliances? , are you doing appliance garages and trying to put things away? Do you like a minimalistic look? Or are you trying to, do you have a lot of, are you cooking and they’ll have a lot of accessories or spices or things you need by the stove or things you need, , accessories by the sink, and so storage solutions. It is really the fun part. Once we have the rough layout done, really getting into the nitty gritty of finding out what the orientation, are we doing cabinets? Are we doing doors and drawers? , are there pullouts or their accessories? We have, beautiful accessories where, stand mixers can come out and stay, or we have , for spatulas and knives and spice racks and things like that.

So it really starts getting fun when you’re customizing such a personal and intimate space in your home for you and what your needs are. It gets really fun. , I would say factor three is going to be the materials and the finishes, right? And all this comes down more into the design the colors, the tones, you’re getting into the wood species or the colors as it would, as it stain, , the countertops, right?

The moldings and the modern styles are getting a lot of mix and match, which is , really fun to get creative. , so that’s obviously now you’re looking at the color. Then once you know where things are laid out, , factor four, , this could be, , really depending on personal preference, but lighting can be a bit, make a big difference, right?

And , lighting of the area, undermount lighting, , lighting is becoming more of a popular item. , some people will do above the cabinets, , below and even near the floor. It can really create some unique space, so it could be as simple as a complex as you want. , we even do, White, or glass cabinetry, and then there’s lighting inside to really accent some of the things you’re looking for.

But again, this is more design versus functionality. So that can get really fun. And then, , the factor five, I would say is the X factor, right? That really personal style, that aesthetics, you want it , to speak your style and then again, execute with what you love doing in that space.

Some people love to cook and they’re going to design it , and specialize it for that and make it beautiful and functional. And some people like to serve , and have events and, and show off such a beautiful space. So those can be completely different things. And when you have guests come and get to enjoy your space, , it should look and feel like you.

And , that’s what our team loves to really try to take out of the conversations and the collaborations we have with you is try to deliver something that, that really speaks to you, to the people that know you well.

Nora Duran: Oh, this really puts things into perspective. Thank you. Next , let’s talk about the layout in your opinion. , what’s the most ideal layout for a kitchen space?

One Stop Kitchen: So again, I think it really depends. , there’s a number of different kind of layout styles. You’ve got L shaped, you’ve got U shaped, you’ve got a galley, with or without island, right? A lot of it depends on, , again, some of the things we already talked on is there is the personal preference, the design aesthetic and that functionality.

 But most of the time with remodels, we’re limited to either the existing footprint or what we’re allowed to start moving walls around and budgetary aspects, right? So there’s again, really no one size fits all. I think islands are becoming very popular, right? This is a lot of really useful functional space if you have the space for it.

But you can get L and U shaped kitchens, right? That if you have a bigger space, you can have a beautiful, full wraparound and get that immersive experience, , with an island. , galley kitchens are, , for smaller condos and things like that. And you may not need as much functionality.

So there’s definitely a lot of options. , but I can’t necessarily say what is the best one, because what’s Best for me isn’t necessarily best for everybody. And that’s what we love about that kind of custom design aspect. And that’s what our designers are passionate about working to extract out of you, even if you don’t know yourself, it’s going through that guiding process and making sure , we’re designing exactly what you’re looking for.

Nora Duran: That’s a great explanation to put it. Thank you. And now let’s discuss something practical. What exactly is a kitchen checklist and why is it so important during a remodeling process? 

One Stop Kitchen: Absolutely. That is a great question. To be very honest and transparent, kitchen remodeling is It’s a very overwhelming experience and process.

And , this is what we experience all day, every day. But most people, a lot of times it’s the first time they’ve really had this. And it’s, you don’t appreciate something until you’ve lost it. Once you’ve lost functionality of your kitchen, , life can become very stressful in ways that you haven’t thought about.

Planning, preparing ahead, being organized is definitely a critical facet to, Make something that’s a challenge, a little less challenging in the end. The goal is the finish line and get you to your interior, beautiful kitchen in this new space. But the intermediate step can definitely be a challenge.

So I would say from some key check items, , is going to be working with a good partner. You’re going to have to find someone ahead of time that really is going to understand what you’re looking for. And the design aspect I think is really overlooked a lot of the time, right? It’s easy to see beautiful things online and whip things together, but really have someone who has a lot of knowledge and decades of experience, , being able to, , put both that form and function that’s custom to you is really a key thing.

So finding a good partner. That’s going to listen to you. That’s going to work with you. That’s good to really, get you set on the path straight. And like I said earlier, there’s , the workflow of that organization is going to be really critical and understanding, once we’ve laid out a kitchen, You can just order a bunch of boxes, but then , they’re not gonna go in,

they’re not gonna function properly. There’s a lot of intermediate design and engineering that goes into making sure it looks like it belongs there and looks good. , so that’s , obviously a key part. And that’s where we come in so that’s, , if you’re in an area, , but if you’re not in, in our area, there’s a lot of phenomenal companies out there that, that can do this really well.

 That’s a key aspect. Another one, depending on what type of remodeling, like how. How much , are you modifying, right? Are we just removing cabinets and putting cabinets back in maybe a different orientation and layout of the cabinetry, but the walls are the same. The plumbing is the same, right?

 That’s relatively minimally invasive. You want to start moving walls and an electrical and plumbing and things like that. , you need to make sure you have a partner that is going to , be able to handle those aspects , of that. And so most of the time and most place, depending on every state, municipality all over the country is going to have different rules.

 But you’re gonna need to find a general contractor. You need to be able to pull permits and things like that. And , some people like to do things themselves, it’s possible in some places. I wouldn’t recommend it. Definitely on a checklist is either working with a cabinet company or working with a general contractor and a cabinet company together.

 And so finding a quality contractor, if that’s needed, like I said, , if you’re starting to really move some structural things around or, , move some of the, the functionality things around in your home, I would highly recommend a general contractor to come in, pull those experts, pull those trades and keep things organized.

It seems relatively simple. I can schedule a plumber, I can schedule an electrician, it’s not a big deal. And I quickly see people get overwhelmed very quickly. The general contractor, his sole purpose in life is, again, getting you to a finish line, and this is their expertise. I tell a lot of our clients leverage our expertise, leverage a general contractor.

That’s their expertise. That’s what they do. I don’t wish becoming a cabinet expert on anyone. This is our life and our passion. I don’t recommend that for the average person who just wants a beautiful kitchen. So same thing goes for general contractor. People think I oversimplify it.

And definitely trying to define someone who is an expert in their craft to help get them over the finish line. And then additional things to think about is what happens when you’re down, we’re going to come in, we’re going to remove everything, how are you going to cook, how are you going to eat, how are are you going to be eating out every single day for the next, several weeks or several months, depending on how complex your project is, it’s things like that.

So planning ahead, organizing we’ve helped several clients set up a temporary kitchen, it’s a little microwave and a little sink basin. Some people, they’re microwaving ramen noodles in their bathroom. And it’s whatever you got to do to get through it, something you should definitely think about and talk about with your family and make a plan for because the reality is it’s going to take longer than you expect.

It’s going to take longer than most people promise. That’s just the nature of this beast. And so I think something to put on the checklist is just, treating yourself with grace and patience and your vendor as well. And so that’s one thing, it’s going to be really important is it’s a challenge.

This is again, a complicated, it’s messy. It’s not fun. It’s process is not fun. HGTV makes it look amazing. I know because we’ve been on HGTV and we’ve done some really amazing stuff, but it’s never as fun as it looks. So that’s just giving yourself some grace. And like I said, planning ahead the best you can is going to be really important.

Those are the, really the key things I think with quality vendors and setting a plan with your family and a timeline that’s reasonable. I think if you’re prepared for that, I think it’s going to be a lot more successful if you’re trying to do it on your own, that list is going to get a lot longer and a lot messier.

So that’s a, probably a whole dedicated video in itself. I’m trying to teach, decades worth of remodeling experience. But I think you can fast track to some beautiful results with the right partners, for sure. 

Nora Duran: Fascinating. Such a wonderful, important advice.

Thank you very much for this. And so in your opinion, what takes precedence when it comes to designing the perfect kitchen? Like what’s the most important factor for a kitchen? 

One Stop Kitchen: Oh, man. That’s a great question. The it factor can be very different for each homeowner, right? And some people, the it factor is they want their friends to come in and just, Wow.

Their draw their jaw hits the floor. And that, that’s what they want. That’s all, that’s everything. Their entire design focuses is, that, that beauty and that design and that style, some people they’re cooking three meals a day and that’s what they love, right? We’ve got clients that are chefs and that’s just their life passion is to cook.

So their key factor is the incredible. Act of preparing and cooking and serving people. So I think that. I probably fall more into the functionality perspective. My wife and I love to cook for our kids and our family, and we love to host and we love to have events.

It’s a little bit of a mix, we’re less about, amazing beauty and more about the functionality, but, we love serving clients that, have different needs, like I said, I think that’s the important factor is working with someone that is going to find your X factor, right?

Like I said before did a lot of people come in and say Hey, I wanted this thing and I worked with other companies and they just kept pushing me into their box. And it’s that’s not what I wanted. I didn’t want that, and so working with companies that listen is going to absolutely be critical and like I said, cause this is, it’s a big investment, right?

This is something that. People have been thinking about for a while and contemplating for a while, there’s a lot of options out there and, people get caught up in analysis by paralysis and there’s a lot of beautiful things out there. And so having someone to hold your hand and walk you through that on your pace to your end goal, not ours, so I think it’s definitely hard to pin it down on one, but each person definitely has a nit factor when it comes to their kitchen and that’s, what’s critical to get to make sure we execute.

Nora Duran: All right. And let’s talk about budgeting. It’s always a hot topic and in your opinion, what’s a realistic investment for a future remodel? 

One Stop Kitchen: That is a good question. I don’t think most people realize what a wide range that can be. And so one thing we like to do typically in our showrooms is we You know, we have a lot of displays.

We have several, we have multiple showrooms in the Tampa Bay area and, we have a lot of displays. And so we like to calibrate, cause everybody’s a little bit different of what they’re looking for and what their budget is internally. And you can point at a general kitchen layout and say we can do this for 15, 000, but the same space and layout, we can also do a very different design with different materials and different products and different functionality for 50, 000, right?

It’s totally possible. And so it depends on the material we use and the selections we use. And again, those accessories and those storage options and the lighting. And, this is, not even getting into the contracting. That, that is a variable that’s very custom and unique to each model.

But, yeah, we can do beautiful, small galley kitchens for 000, we do a lot of those and, remodels on the beach and, here in Tampa Bay, there’s a lot of condos on the beach and they’re obviously a little more of a smaller footprint. And then we have, we work a lot with new construction, luxury home builders, and some of the bigger remodels, they’ll go anywhere from a hundred, 150, 000.

It’s just really depends on what you’re looking for. I would say pretty, pretty typical. You’re really looking at 20 to 40, 000 range is probably the most common for the average single family home for a remodel that you really aren’t moving a lot of stuff around. You’re really not getting into the contracting stuff, but just a traditional kitchen removing similar layout, beautification, things like that, we do a fair bit of that.

But a lot of our clients are really pushing the limit of what’s possible and the modern day kitchens and, things are just getting bigger. So that’s really been a lot of fun. That is a custom question per person and each individual’s budget. But, people don’t realize that.

You can have such a wide variety of budgeting, even in a very similar size and shape, right? It really just depends on again which one of those boxes, which it factor are you trying to solve for? And we absolutely have cabinetry and countertop solutions and for pretty much every budget, which is really fun to, to work in such a broad spectrum.

Nora Duran: That’s good to know. All right, let’s talk organization strategies. What type of organization do you recommend in your kitchen projects? 

One Stop Kitchen: So that is a great question. I think Probably the most overlooked is it’s very common to really just do a bunch of cabinets. It looks good. It’s nice and clean.

It’s usually the most cost effective. But then from a functionality perspective, everything is just stacked on top of each other, right? And so you can the next step up from that is we do a lot of rollouts, right? So you still have a cabinet door or so or multiple doors, but then you can slide things out.

So that’s good for appliances and some of the larger pots and pans and things like that. But. Usually you can start evolving into kind of more customized drawers and things like that. And so you’ve got drawers of different sizes and different heights. So you can have, two big drawers or four or five, six little drawers, things like that, really trying to achieve what you’re trying to do.

And then you can start organizing. So it’s a much more efficient use of space because most people, you open a cabinet and It’s a lot of just dead airspace, right? Because you’ve everything is on the bottom of the cabinet or on a shelf. So there’s a lot more dead space and it’s a lot harder to get to things in the back.

So you start doing pullouts, you start doing drawers that’s really based upon what you’re going to put where. And so really designing that workflow and having those conversations with you of understanding how you move and flow through your kitchen, what type of stuff do you have now?

What type of stuff do you want to get in your dream kitchen? Where are you going to put all that? So I love the, like I said, we’re more on the cooking serving side. So I love a lot of the serving trays and organization tray dividers that can be put in. And again, a lot of the The utensil sorting and organizing and we have spice racks and things like that, which should get really fun.

Those are getting a little bit more in the custom, that are really more for each individual’s needs. But the amount of really amazing functionality stuff about the big thing is. pantry access. That is a huge topic now. Some people like shelves and drawers. We do a lot of, we call them hidden pantries, which is really fun.

So a lot of house layouts have a pantry room, somewhere adjacent to the kitchen. And we like to hide that away with cabinetry. So most people don’t see it. Usually pantries are messy and you come back from Costco or Walmart and you’re just trying to unload your stuff and you want to get it out of your beautiful kitchen.

It’s nice to be able to put that away and hide it. And so again, we do a lot of hidden pantries, so you it looks like a full set of cabinetry and beautiful. Cabinet pantry, but you open it and you can walk into your, if it’s a walk in, if it’s a walk in pantry, things like that and so we’ve got everything from full height, full standing and large depth, you can get a lot of volume all the way to hidden spaces and then all the way and just, and then really utilizing the space of that you have.

Cause it takes some intentionality to design a space that is going to be as functional as you really want it to be.

Nora Duran: Saying that’s such a game changer, like the hidden pandas and everything. It’s amazing. 

One Stop Kitchen: That has become real popular over the last several years. And we’ve got a lot of different fun, fun solutions for that. For sure. 

Nora Duran: Yeah, I would think so. And about the cabinets, it’s a big part of any kitchen, right? So what are the three basic construction cabinet construction types? 

One Stop Kitchen: Yeah, absolutely. So I think. When it really is going to come down to it is, the longevity, the quality and the reliability, right? So there’s, a lot of really cost effective options. And a lot of them are going to be what we call flat pack in the industry.

And a lot of that is coming overseas, pre assembled, it’s, pre cut, but they’re. They’re basically stacking them up on pallets. And it’s obviously it’s much more efficient use of space, right? Cause you can stack all the raw materials flat instead of shipping them from overseas.

Those they get here, they were mass produced. There’s very limited control and functionality of it. And, those need to be assembled on site. And so usually those are going to be in fixed increments and you’re really limited to the customization that you can do with that.

And then you can, where we spend a majority of our time are on the custom and semi custom side. And so that’s really where we are designing and engineering your kitchen in CAD software, right? Everything is actually custom spec’d out and every single cabinet is an intentional design and everything we do is made to order.

And these things aren’t sitting in warehouses, baking in the sun, colors are changing, things like that. Those are just things we’ve experienced with our clients or, feedback from clients in the past. This is there’s challenges. There’s it’s a cost effective way to do it if that’s the main goal.

But from a longevity and from a quality perspective, we typically stay in that custom that semi custom, the full custom range we can do custom colors, custom order. Really everything is custom made for your unique kitchen. And then there’s, some aspects of we really get into the really exotic high end, which is, some of the really high end luxury new home construction or the remodelers, like they’re.

You’ve got a cabinetry craftsman that lives in the home, right? And those, they’re just all very different price points depending on what your goals are. That’s a whole different animal, right? That’s really a different arena. But you’re paying for an artist and you’re paying for a craftsman, right?

And that’s just really, it’s for a very bespoke, very unique clientele. But the vast majority of what we do and, we work with. Like I said, little condos on the beach all the way up to, multi million dollar, brand new luxury homes. And that, that custom cabinetry range that we support is absolutely phenomenal for that product line.

And so there’s definitely a lot of options out there and you really need to figure that out, both like a man from your budget and your functionality and what your it factor is going to be. Yeah. And a lot of that is going to feed into the warranties and the durability and the reliability of that.

What type of hardware do they use for the drawers and the glides, right? The, a lot of that facts of how it performs. You have the soft close, there’s, a lot of other Functionality aspects that go into are you gonna be able to use this kitchen day in and day out for decades if that’s something that you want and then you have the warranties to back it up, right?

There’s definitely a wide range of products that are out there. We’re definitely hitting in the sweet spot. We really try to stay away from the flat pack, but it’s definitely a valid option for the right budget. We love the custom, the customization that we’re able to do to deliver that phenomenal product for our clients.

Nora Duran: Like you said, there are a lot of options and choosing cabinets can be very overwhelming when you consider all your options in your opinion, are framed cabinets better, frameless cabinets better? What’s the difference between their installation process? 

 

One Stop Kitchen: Get the framed and frameless question a lot.

So we, I would imagine we’re probably 95 percent frameless which is that’s, Traditionally called a European style. That’s, I think that’s really where a lot of it came from. And so a framed cabinet is something that is a full assembled box, but it has a face frame that kind of comes on the front and then either you can attach the doors on the outside of that face frame or try to inset them inside that face frame.

It’s a fantastic construction mechanism. It’s very robust and reliable. It’s just, it’s really a different style. Typically from, in, in the Florida market and in the higher end the frameless or the European style is the preference. It’s a much more. Customized seamless look.

And the reason why is that frame tends to push the cabinets further away from each other. So then the doors that there’s just dead space, right? And so both, you got to get some dead space from a design perspective. And you have dead space from a functionality perspective because that eats into the capacity of your cabinets and your drawers are smaller, taking up space for where that extra material is consumed with a European style.

You’ve got all the way to the edges of the box, right? And so your drawers can be wider, especially with the type of drawer slides that we use. They go underneath, so they’re not on the side. So you’re really getting maximum functionality, both on your drawers and your drawer glides and things like that.

But also the doors are going to essentially come next to each other, right? And so you have this kind of custom design look with the completed project. And it’s just a much more elegant style. And, we actually have a lot of clients that, that that inset look. And so there’s a lot of unique tricks that we can do with frameless cabinetry to give an inset look.

But again, it really just depends on the style you’re looking for. And what the end result is trying to be. But we mainly do frameless all really high end quality products, and we’ve got a lot of different materials you can be made out of. But from an installation perspective is very different, right?

So framed the way they’re designed, they’re a little bit sturdier, if you want to look at it from like when they’re freestanding, right? And so taking a box because it has, it’s not just an empty shell. It has that face frame that kind of gives it a little more structure. And the way you assemble them is quite a bit different than you would with a European style or a frameless cabinet.

The frameless cabinet has a little bit more give to it and a lot less tolerance for error, right? And because if you have these big gaps between your doors and you’re just putting wood next to each other, you can screw them together. There’s not a whole lot you can really mess up when you’re putting the boxes together and there’s room for tolerance and any tolerance is going to cause those doors to have excess gaps and things like that.

It, it takes a significantly higher skill set and higher quality installer to execute frameless cabinetry. It they really do not cross over. A good frameless cabinetry can install frame cabinets. No problem. But someone with experience in frame cabinets that. Trying to install frameless for the first time is really a challenge.

That’s one thing is important to consider is that, whoever you’re speaking to, depending on which style you prefer, they need to have the skillset and the expertise to be able to execute on that. And so frameless is significantly more challenging to do it right to, to achieve the quality standards that our clients demand.

You need, and so all of our installers are dedicated to us, exclusive to us. And most of them have decades and decades of experience just installing frameless cabinets. A lot of them came from manufacturing cabinets all the way through to installing, so they know the product and this is their craft.

This is their, and their craftsmen, right? And so that’s really going to be a big aspect and making sure that, not only it looks good, but it installs well, and you have a beautiful functional product in the end, it’s going to last a long time is definitely an important factor to, to discuss.

Nora Duran: Incredibly useful advice. I’m sure our listeners will love this. And now let’s talk about style. What’s trending right now when it comes to cabinets and countertops? 

One Stop Kitchen: I  can’t speak for the rest of the country, but in the Florida market I would say it’s they’re calling it Miami style and I don’t know if it came from Miami or not, but it’s becoming very popular up here in this market.

It is. Is an interesting mix of a mix of colors. So there’s a lot of the minimalistic flat panel, usually an accent color but they’ve got whites and blues and grays and a lot of really fun kind of accent colors mixed with a warm natural wood. And and usually those, we’ll have some sort of some sort of design to it to give this contrast and this mix and match.

And so you can mix your uppers and your lowers, or you can even mix your uppers and, have a different, and so having that cut, having that, unique design characteristic that’s custom to you that’s been very popular. So there’s a, it’s like kind of my Miami modern minimalist.

But the wood tones are definitely coming back. A little bit different color tones than we’re in the eighties and the nineties there’s a lot of, the Oaks are becoming very popular and there’s a lot of really warm natural stains. And but there’s a lot of options.

There’s a lot of different wood species for doors and materials, a lot of different design aspects and, really we can customize anything people are looking for from a paint to a stain to a wish species. But it’s really fun to mix and match, the gone of the days of the, everything is just a big old white kitchen.

We’ve done thousands of them and they’re fantastic and they’re functional. But it’s fun when you get to get a little bit more creative and add some splash of color and some splash of warmth to neutralize it. It’s been, it’s definitely been really nice. 

Nora Duran: All right. Amazing. And now I want to get into luxury. What is the best countertop for a high end kitchen? 

One Stop Kitchen: Absolutely. We have our own in house countertop fabrication shop as well. And that is just an incredible industry. And so obviously we’re, it’s like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together because cabinets and countertops are critical.

As what we’re seeing in a lot of the high end kitchens we’re doing a lot of courts nowadays because you can have these beautiful controlled veining and then really bringing that up into what we call full height backsplash, which is, usually starting to put that countertop material up on the back wall.

So instead of a backspot, a tile backsplash, you’re going to have, a countertop style backsplash and then having those beautiful veins flow through from the countertop up the wall and then up and behind the hoods and things like that, it really can with some intentionality and some design aspects can really just completely change the shape of a space.

And so that in contrast with, the cabinets and the layout and things like that can really be unique. There’s so many options for countertop material. Again, it really just depends on what you’re going for. You want clean, reliable, and, functional, and then there’s courses and some of the non porous stones are going to be important because you’re gonna be using it all day, every day, right?

The granites can be beautiful depending on your picture, but it requires more maintenance, right? And and now they’re becoming a lot more of the porcelains and the centered stones is more of a modern technology that is, has really been fun So it definitely comes back to, what you’re looking for, but from a design style perspective, there’s a lot of waterfall legs, so wrapping islands and wrapping and cabinets and peninsulas, with that stone to give it a beautiful end cap and then taking things up the wall.

I, I, every time I see it is, it has this wow factor that, is really underappreciated until you’ve experienced it. So that’s definitely my preference and what we’re seeing in a lot of our luxury custom home builders for sure. 

Nora Duran: So what’s the most luxurious type of kitchen countertop in your opinion?

One Stop Kitchen: Oh man. We work with a little bit of every material. Think there was a big push in the industry for some really fun, exotic quartz, which are phenomenal. I think they’re really good. But nothing really beats, I would say from a maximum luxurious perspective, nothing really beats some of the incredible natural stones.

There’s these beautiful marbles and quartzites and these granites that are just very exotic, knowing that, you have one of one. Cut of something, right? There is no, there will never be anything that is like that piece of stone. I would say from a lot of our kind of higher end luxury clients that’s a key factor.

And then the process of going out and selecting that slab and selecting that, that movement that you’re looking for. And again, on the natural product there, there is only one of that cut, the piece right next to it cut out of the mountain is going to be different, right? And so I think that’s really special.

And so a lot of our high end clients are looking for that that kind of uniqueness, that specialty, some of the courts you buy it and your neighbor could buy the exact same piece of courts that looks exactly the same. And you can tell, so you can make beautiful things out of courts and we love it.

And that’s probably the majority of what we do. But from a true luxury perspective, just the beautiful natural stones really can’t be beat. That’s my personal favorite for sure. 

Nora Duran: Yes. I agree. I agree. And now let’s brighten things up. How can strategic lightning choices elevate the overall design and functionality of the kitchen?

One Stop Kitchen: Absolutely. So again, I touched just briefly earlier, but lighting is a huge factor. And so I think the difference between a kitchen with or without under cabinet lighting is huge from a functionality perspective, from a looks perspective. But now with all the new technology, all the new fun stuff, lighting can really be laced throughout the entire process from again, above the uppers inside the cabinets below the upper cabinets, the undermount lighting, and then even down in the floor and the toe kick there’s a lot of.

  1. E. D. Options that can be pulled in and recessed and hidden away. So it’s a nice, clean, modern, elegant look, especially with those minimalist style kitchens. Pantries are another big one. Be able to have functionality and lighting inside your pantry. So you can see what’s going on.

And a lot of the lighting is done from a design perspective, but there’s a lot of functionality and lighting as well. It’s all the little hidden stuff that, the guests are never going to see unless they’re rummaging through a drawer that they can’t see in. And so it’s, it definitely can be a mix and match of both design and functionality, but. Lighting up a beautiful new kitchen and lighting up that beautiful backsplash and that beautiful countertop is definitely can take from, a great kitchen to an amazing kitchen. And it’s absolutely, it’s transform, transformative.

Nora Duran: That’s exactly. And lastly, perfection is in the detail, right? And what are the key considerations for selecting kitchen appliances? 

One Stop Kitchen: So appliances are a huge aspect because that’s what you’re interacting with the majority of the time. There’s a lot of fantastic options out there.

I would say from our interface it really comes down to how you want to integrate them in your layout, how you want to integrate them into the design. And that is absolutely a critical piece of information. It is a requirement and a blocker to have appliance selected and to have model numbers.

And we work with a lot of the manufacturers to, to make sure that we know Exactly how that’s going to interface. Cause again, it’s not just making it look good on the computer that has to be installed. That has to be functional. Do you, how do you want to interface those appliances?

What appliances do you want? How do you want them to laid out? And so there’s obviously the basics, there’s the stovetop and the range and the refrigerator and the sinks and the dishwasher those are the basics, but there’s. incredible amount of options. Now there’s built in coffee machines and there’s warming drawers and there’s a lot of other incredible things that you can build in your kitchen and either show it off as an accent piece.

And that’s a big question that you have to have of do you want these to be statement pieces? Do you want this beautiful stainless or they’ve got. They’ve got a lot of different, finish styles. Now, do you want this to be a complimentary accent or do you want to hide them away, right?

And really make them seamless and integrate with the rest of the kitchen. So a lot of what we do, we call them panel ready. And a lot of the appliances, they’re, The front face is going to be installed with some sort of cabinetry that goes over it. So it hides away, it tucks away and we can really make those appliances disappear.

But those are very two different design choices. There’s big, beautiful, huge refrigerators and stoves and ovens that are an accent piece. All the way down to, we do custom countertops that can actually take induction stoves underneath. And there’s a stovetop that you can’t even see.

It’s underneath the stone countertop. So from a pure minimalistic perspective, it literally looks like there is no appliances. There’s just a sink and a beautiful kitchen and nothing else. And you’re cooking on top of your countertop material, which is just really cool. So it could go and all multiple extremes, depending on, again, what your goals, what your factor is, if it’s design or functionality or a fun combination of both You know, needing to have the expertise to know how to work with that manufacturer, understand those spec sheets, order the right material and get that to install, and actually function like it’s supposed to.

And having the team have experience with that. We’ve, I’ve seen it before where someone has invested heavily in a beautiful kitchen and they picked the wrong, refrigerator and it just, it, it doesn’t fit right. There’s gaps and it just doesn’t lay out like they wanted. And just because someone didn’t know to tell them the right guidance of what was important to them and then selecting the right product line.

Cause they all do it very differently. There’s a bunch of amazing, products out there. And they all do their thing a little bit different and there’s pros and cons to all of that. So depending on the look you’re looking for, there’s definitely. So having someone who knows what they’re doing we work very closely with a number of the local appliance manufacturers and reps in the area.

Because it’s definitely a big part of the overall experience of the kitchen. A lot to discuss with your designer and things to factor into the, to the final result for sure. 

Nora Duran: What a valuable piece of advice, much appreciated. And that’s a wrap up folks. Thank you so much for joining us today for tuning in.

I hope you gathered a lot of useful and great information. I know there were a lot of golden ones, so hopefully that’s going to be very helpful for your future modeling process. And Rob, thank you so much for joining us today and see you next time. 

One Stop Kitchen: Thank you guys. Appreciate it.