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Christmas with Retro Pro! Kitchen Remodeling Misconceptions

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It’s time to celebrate Christmas! Here at Retro Pro, the holidays are a time for sharing, giving and spending time with family. Majority of the holiday season we are in our kitchens slaving away with the next new recipe or traditional dish we have made year after year. This is the time of year when you also realize that your outdated kitchen is in need of updating to better suit your lifestyle. When it comes to remodeling we would like to talk about how to make your remodeling experience easy. Here are a few misconceptions about kitchen remodeling……

 

 

Letting The Next Homeowner Take Care Of It

One of the most common mistakes homeowners make with kitchen remodeling is living without certain upgrades or new technology to save money. What many don’t get is this could impact the selling price of the home when you are ready to sell. Deciding not to install things like more organized storage or better lighting system might seem like a great solution to save a little extra on the total bill. This will end up hindering your love for the new remodel plus the new homeowner will feel the same way. It’s also about the little-added details you give your kitchen that makes new home buyers want to buy it. For example, one time I went to this open house in my neighborhood just to see what it was like. The neighborhood was older but since the recession, the neighbors had been updating all over. This particular house was small, about 1,200 sqft. and the seller had decided to update everything. The kitchen was still condensed into a small nook with a tiny living room but what I noticed the most was they took their ordinary 2-car garage and added another double door on the opposite side and added a driveway that an entrance and an exit. The house sold that day for $5,000 more than asking and I know it had to be that reason. It was something unique that added convenience to the house. The house still looks small but the little details are what was noticed. 

Style Over Substance

Choosing the next popular fad isn’t always the best choice either when remodeling your kitchen. You want to base your decision on functionality. First, think of “What do I need for my kitchen?” Do you have a big family? If yes, then lots of storage might be important to think about. Range-of-motion from one appliance to another thing to think about when designing your kitchen. With the newest architectural design concepts, there are tons of options to make when remodeling your kitchen. It is possible to make your dream kitchen with a homey-feel we all love and cherish during the Christmas holiday.

Bigger Is Always Better

You watch the HGTV show and they always show these extravagant homes with huge kitchens that can fit 100’s of people. If your plan is to always have that many people at your house then a large kitchen will fit for you but if not then I would suggest keeping your kitchen a minimum size and focus on the efficiency of it. Choosing quality over quantity can actually make it more luxurious for your everyday homeowner and this is a great selling point.  Space can be made by carefully designing your cabinets and floor space. If you free up your counters and have more storage options then you will have room for more cooking space is another way to make your kitchen feel bigger.

I Don’t Need A Designer

It’s very important to have a designer in mind when you remodel your kitchen. Certain structures and modifications may be necessary to allow for certain ideas to come alive. Having a designer will help to maximize your space and add things you may not be able to if you didn’t have a professional who does it all the time. A contractor is not the same as a designer. They have the capabilities of building what you want but the designer has the knowledge to make the end results cohesive and avoid doing redo’s or corrections to the project.

You Always Make It Fit

Homeowners who don’t ensure that their contractor has taken account of their design elements may later have to make major changes to get the kitchen they want. Another scenario might be a homeowner insists on a walk-in pantry or kitchen island when their available space simply cannot accommodate it. All too often you have drawers that can’t be fully opened if the oven door is open or if the fridge door is open. These small miscalculations or oversights can prove annoying and costly.

But It Looks So Good in My Friend’s Kitchen!

You’re invited to your friend’s house for dinner to celebrate her new kitchen. It is amazing and you now feel like changing yours. You love her kitchen style so much that you want the exact same thing. This is probably not a good idea because of two reasons. Wouldn’t you want to be unique and make yours different than hers? You can play off her style and make your own. Plus your kitchen isn’t like your friends so it may not look the same as your friend’s kitchen when you put it in your space.

You Have To Break The Bank For Your Dream Kitchen

Kitchen renovations can vary quite a bit depending on how much you want to do and the timeframe you want it done. From small improvements such as hardware replacement and color palette changes to a full teardown and rebuild, a new kitchen is really more affordable than you think. On average a home remodel can run from $10,000 to $30,000 depending on the size and quality of the project. When it’s time to write out your budget, you want to calculate how much money you have to spend. Cabinets should account for 30-40%, countertops should be about 10-15%, doors, lighting, painting, and windows should be about 21-25% of your budget. This will leave you about 8-14% towards appliances and the rest will be put towards labor.

I’m Sure It Will All Come Out Fine….

Putting your full trust is something we all want when seeking out service. We look to professionals to use their best judgment when we are paying them. This is why it is a good idea to make sure your design vision is completely clear and that your contractor/builder completely understands what you want. Open communication is crucial. When homeowners turn a blind eye or put all their trust in without checking in regularly, they open themselves up to errors, miscalculations and a lot of other challenges can arise during the process of the project. Using companies that have everyone in-house will make sure everything is in order and done in a timely fashion.

    

You can’t end a Christmas Blog without the most important thing that goes with kitchens. FOOD! My favorite part of Christmas besides spending time with family is eating delicious food. Below I have gathered a few non-traditional recipes that will add flavor to your next holiday dinner. Enjoy and don’t forget if your looking for a free estimate give Retro Pro a call today! 480-649-1422

 


Alcohol-Free Sangria  (serves 2)

8oz. raspberry juice

2oz. strawberry daiquiri mix

2oz. lemonade

6 strawberries sliced

3-6 blueberries & raspberries

2-4 cubed watermelon

2-4 balls of cantaloupe or honeydew melon

4 to 6 oz. of lemon-lime soda

Fresh mint for garnish

Sliced limes for garnish

Directions: Fill a glass with ice and add raspberry juice, daiquiri mix, lemonade & mixture of fruit. Top with soda and garnish of mint and limes.

 

 


No-Bake Twix Cookie Bars

1 ½ cup of room temperature salted butter

2 tbsp. Of butter for dish

16oz. Of mini marshmallows

11oz. mini nilla wafers

1 cup of brown sugar

4 tbsp. Light corn syrup

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

2 cups of milk chocolate chips

Directions: Butter 9×13 baking dish. Dump marshmallows & ½ cup of the butter into microwave safe bowl. Microwave high for 2 minutes. Dump box of Nilla wafers into marshmallow mix and stir really well until cookies are evenly coated. Pack mixture into buttered pan and make sure to get it in the corners of the pan. Stick the pan in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. In a heavy 2 qt. saucepan combine 1 cup butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and sweetened condensed milk. Bring to a boil at just under medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil for 5 minutes while continuing to stir. (Wooden spoons help keep the caramel from burning.)

Remove from heat and continue to stir for 3 minutes. Remove baking dish from fridge and pour caramel sauce on top. (keep a little for reserve to drizzle on top when they are done.) Spread to the corners evenly with a spatula. Place baking dish back in the fridge to cool for 30 minutes. Place chocolate chips in a microwave-safe dish and microwave high for 1 ½ minutes. Stir in the 2 tbsp of butter on reserve. Remove your dish from the fridge and spread the chocolate sauce evenly on top with a spatula again make sure to get the corners.Chill again for another 30 minutes to an hour. After, drizzle the rest of the caramel sauce and then slice to serve.

 

 

 


Chex Mix Christmas Crack

2 (12oz.) boxes of Chex cereal (2 different flavors)

1 (16oz.) bag Snyder’s sourdough pretzel nibblers

1 (7.5oz) bag of Bugles

1 bag of Christmas M&M’s

White candy melts (CandiQuik)

1 bag starlight peppermints

Christmas sprinkles

Directions: Cover two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a ziplock bag, crush approximately 30 peppermints and crush them finely. In a very large bowl combine Chex cereal, bugles, and pretzels. Heat the candy melts according to the instructions on the package. In small increments, drizzle the candy melts over the dry mixture and immediately sprinkle the M&M’s, crushed peppermint and sprinkles on the candy. Mix gently with a spoon until all ingredients are evenly coated. Repeat this step until all of the melted candy is mixed in with the dry mixture. Divide the mixture in half and spread in even layers on the baking sheets. Let the candy set either room temp or in the fridge if you are in a rush. Break apart and serve–store in an airtight container.

 


Pull-Apart Christmas Bread

1 lb. refrigerated pizza dough

Egg wash (1 egg whisked with 1 tbsp water)

7 mozzarella sticks

¼ cup melted butter

½ cup finely grated parmesan

1 tbsp. Thinly sliced basil

1 tbsp. chopped parsley

1 tbsp. chopped rosemary

marinara warmed (for serving)

Directions: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut mozzarella sticks into 1/2 inch pieces. On a floured surface, divide pizza dough into two pieces. Stretch and roll each piece of dough into a long rectangle, then cut dough into 2-inch squares (you’ll need 33 total). Wrap a dough square around each piece of mozzarella, forming a tightly sealed ball. Place balls seam-side down on the baking sheet in the shape of a Christmas tree (they should be touching). Brush egg-wash on dough balls and bake until golden 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together melted butter, parmesan, and herbs. Brush on baked pizza dough balls. Serve warm with marinara for dipping.

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