Julie D'Arcangelo - Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Posted by Julie D'Arcangelo on 4/9/2019

Among the upgrades most sought in a kitchen are new cabinets and appliances, granite, marble, or even concrete countertops, and the ubiquitous farmhouse-style sink top the list. If the expense of these renovations is out of reach, however, there are some simple changes that can give your kitchen a new look. Open shelving, for example, can breathe new life into aging wood cabinets.

If you spend much time flipping through decorating magazines or watching home-makeover shows on TV, you’ve probably seen kitchens with open shelving. As part of a kitchen remodel, it’s probably not the first thing we think about … but as an inexpensive way to upgrade the busiest room in the house, it probably deserves consideration.

The trend of open shelving creates an elegant place to display dishware, crystal, antiques, your cookbook or wine collection, dry goods, or even your canning jars. With a little time and effort, you can create this look in your kitchen.

Here’s what to do:

  • Remove the doors to some (or all) of your upper cabinets. The look is especially attractive with cabinets that line a single wall. Note: you won’t want to do this to lower cabinets that store cleaning products or that hide plumbing.
  • Carefully remove hinges. Fill any remaining holes or gouges in the cabinet faces with wood filler or a product appropriate for your cabinet material. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to achieve the best results.
  • Sand and smooth the cabinet faces. Wipe them down with a degreaser cleaner. For primer and paint to stick, the surface should not have any oil or grease.
  • Prime the entire cabinet (inside and out) with a high-quality paintable primer. Priming is important to cover darker colored wood or paint, stains, discolorations, and to hide any repairs you’ve made to the surface.
  • Paint your cabinets with a paint designed for the surface of the cabinets. Use a satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finish. Apply your paint with a small flat roller designed for smooth finishes. You’ll probably need more than one coat, so give plenty of drying time between coats, and take care to avoid drips as they will mar your elegant finish.
  • Create a new look with crown molding or specialty trim. Add a subtle geometric wallpaper to the shelf back for an interesting effect. For a farmhouse motif, use a print with fine, vertical stripes or chicken-wire design.
  • Install lighting in the cabinets to highlight your special display. If there is no power outlet nearby, use battery-operated puck lights.
  • Paint lower cabinets a complementary or contrasting color to finish out your look. Lighter upper cabinets with darker lower ones add depth and dimension to a smaller kitchen.

Finish out your look by filling the shelves with artful stacks of dishes or pottery, books, and jars of colorful nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.

If you’re upgrading your kitchen to place it on the market, seek the advice of your real estate professional on popular and trending color choices for your project.

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Posted by Julie D'Arcangelo on 6/20/2017

When you’re buying a new home, one of the first things that you’ll examine closely in the home search are the kitchens. The kitchen is often the center of most homes. It is also one of the most expensive rooms to renovate. People tend to gather in the kitchen. This makes the kitchen a heavily weighted factor in the home buying process. Whether you’re buying your first home or you’re a seasoned home-buyer, the kitchen is an important room to consider because of how much you’ll be using it. Think of the following items with follow up questions when you’re searching for a home with a great kitchen. Some items have less impact on your buying decision like the color of appliances. However, you don’t want to be stuck with a refrigerator taht you can’t stand to look at.


Are they in good condition?

Are they the color and material you’d like?

Can they be restored?


Are they made of high quality material?


Note the color and material of the floor

Note the condition of teh floor


How old is the stove?

Does it function well?


How old the refrigerator?

Does it work well?

What color is it?


How old is it?

What color is it?

What is the size and wattage of the microwave?


What is the color and make of the dishwasher?

Does it function well?

How old is the dishwasher?

Garbage Disposal

Do you want a garbage disposal?

Does the home have one?

How old is the unit?

Does it function well?

All of these things are great areas of concern to consider in a home search when looking at the kitchen. You should note any problems with any of these areas. Finding out how much needs to be fixed or replaced as well as the cost of these repairs could be a deciding factor in your home selection. Keep in mind some things are easier and less expensive to replace and repair than others. Countertops in particular can be really expensive to replace. Other items like cabinets are easy to touch up and refinish. Material quality often matters as well. Remember that some more expensive materials stand the test of time whereas cheaper alternatives may need to be replaced often. Sellers are often required to disclose functionality issues with any appliances in the home before the closing papers are signed as well.

It’s important to conduct your own assessment of the kitchen in addition to home inspections and seller’s reports. This way you have seen the issues that you may have in front of you with your own eyes. There’s no better assessment of a home’s condition than your own! Hopefully, these tips will help you to find a home with a kitchen that is right for you!

Posted by Julie D'Arcangelo on 8/30/2016

If you are environmentally conscious and considering building a new home or remodeling your present property, maybe it is time to get smart. Smart home appliances (washers, dryers, refrigerators and dishwashers) equipped with the latest advances in technology connect to online database energy prices. With just a click of an app on your laptop, tablet or smartphone you can program the appliances to operate when demand is lowest, and power is cheapest. Samsung and Whirlpool both offer smart washing machines, dryers, and other innovative home appliances. Sources: Whirlpool.com Samsung.com   JetBoard by Jet Products This is amazing stuff. Not only is it waterproof, fireproof, insect-proof and very strong, its made of lightweight magnesium oxide cement. JetBoard is applicable for use instead of plywood sheathing or gypsum board on interior walls, is perfect to replace backer board under tile and excellent for an outdoor application or where moisture or insect infestation is a problem. Totally environmentally friendly, even the sawdust from it is harmless. About $25 for a 4-by-8-foot, ½ -inch-thick panel; jet-board.com Source: Jet-Board.com Home Automation Control Switches Forget worrying if you walked out the house in a rush and forgot to shut off the coffee pot. With home automation switches a “tap on an app” is all you need to control home appliances. Turn off the coffee pot, turn on the lamp or start dinner in the slow cooker. If it has a plug, just plug it in to any lamp or small appliance and control the appliance remotely. Sources: Belken.com   Sensor Enabled Home Thermostats Wi-Fi and sensor-enabled thermostats, compatible with most home HAVC systems, comes equipped with an operating systems that reminds you of the temperatures you and your family prefer. The technology seems almost magical. The thermostat master control unit takes the temperature preference data, programs its self automatically, adjusts heating or cooling requirements to power saving settings when you are away, and saves money all with just a click of an app controllable from any mobile device. Lyric thermostat By Honeywell Designed with a friendly round shape to go with any décor, the Lyric thermostat requires no programming. It “magically” detects your comings and goings (actually, your smartphone's) from up tp seven miles away and automatically adjusts temperature settings to save energy. Sources: Nest.com Honeywell.com Automated Stainless Steel Trash Can Once you see this trash can operate, you have to have one. Forget germs and touching an unsanitary surface. The 45-liter semi-round sensor trash can opens with just a wave of the hand the remains open for as long as the task requires. Because it is crafted in an innovative half-round shape, it hugs the wall without hogging kitchen space. Source: SimpleHuman.com Space Age Technology For Home Counter Tops The very latest brilliant combination of technology, beauty, and function, Dekton countertops by Cosentino are crafted from porcelain, quartz, and recycled glass compressed under extreme pressure and heat to produce an ultra-strong, non-porous composite countertop that surpasses anything similar in the marketplace today. Because it is so strong, it can have a 12-inch overhang without support, making it an excellent choice for bar tops, islands and shelving. Because it is non-porous and easily cleaned with just the wipe of a damp cloth, it is well suited for both indoor and outdoor applications in kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, and craft studios. Source: Dekton.com

Tags: kitchen remodel  
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Julie D'Arcangelo