The Mele's kitchen before and after their Express Kitchens renovation.

The Mele’s kitchen before and after their Express Kitchens renovation.

Express Kitchens customer Nicole Mele and her recent Express Kitchens remodel will be a focal point of an upcoming episode of House Hunters, on the HGTV television network.
In House Hunters, buyers look for a new home that is anything but turnkey. They tour three potential homes and ultimately choose the one that’s waiting for their special touch. The buyers renovate and decorate, ultimately revealing their new space.

On an upcoming episode, a kitchen overhaul features Express Kitchens’ Quebec cabinetry and Travertine countertops. “We love our kitchen so much,” said Mele, who praised Express Kitchens for its support, guidance, and expertise during the installation process. “It is exactly what I was hoping for,” she said.

Recently named one of the nation’s best small businesses by the SBA, Express Kitchens offers customers throughout Connecticut and Western Massachusetts an increasing number of cabinet options along with better buying power and bigger savings.

Express Kitchens recently opened its eighth location at 399 Boston Avenue in Bridgeport, CT.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH A CLIP OF HOUSE HUNTERS!

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August 28th, 2015

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Know when it’s time to put that spatula out to pasture

All’s well and good in the kitchen…until your 15-year-old blender starts smelling like burning plastic. Make your cooking tools pull their weight by replacing them when they expire and looking for telltale signs of imminent demise. Here’s how often the most common culprits most likely need replacing.

spoons

WOODED SPOONS: EVERY 5 YEARS

Or when you find cracks, discoloration or soft spots. (Quit mixing your ma’s marinara sauce with a cracked, porous spoon filled with scary E. coli.)

spatulas

RUBBER SPATULAS: EVERY 2 YEARS

Or when they’re deeply scratched, missing chunks, melted or embarrassingly stained. Because, honestly, is there anything sadder than an orange-tinted “white” spatula?

kitchenknives

PAIRING KNIVES: EVERY 2 YEARS

Or when they break, rust or no longer take to sharpening. Pro tip: Expand their lifespan by sharpening once a week with a sharpening stone or whetstone.

kitchenpans

NONSTICK COOKWARE: EVERY 2-3 YEARS

Or when you spot surface chips or scratches…or when scrambling eggs becomes a cleanup nightmare. Pro tip: You can keep these guys from scratching by storing them hanging up or stacked with a paper towel in between each one.

cuttingboards

PLASTIC CHOPPING BOARDS: EVERY 3 YEARS

Or when they develop deep marks from knife cuts. Be sure to stock up on separate boards for meat/poultry and fruits/veggies–or else live in fear of salmonella in your salad.

kitchenblender

COUNTERTOP BLENDERS: WHEN YOU DROP IT OR SUBMERGE THE BASE IN WATER

That is, according to manufacturers. Otherwise, just replace blades when they become dull (search for a manufacturer kit for your model). And keep on keepin’ on with those daiquiris you’re famous for.

August 25th, 2015

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Cabinets Set The Tone For The Whole Kitchen

Cabinets Set The Tone For The Whole Kitchen

Cabinets can be the biggest expense in a full kitchen remodel, accounting for up to 40 percent of the overall budget. They also set the visual tone for the kitchen, and they’re a huge part of how well it functions. Bottom line: Get the cabinets right and your chance of loving your new kitchen will go way up.

Step 1: Set the budget
Cabinets fall into three categories: stock, semi-custom, and custom. Stock cabinets start around $70 per linear foot (a typical kitchen has 25 to 30 linear feet of cabinets). Semi-custom cabinets, which range from $150 to $250 per linear foot, come in more configurations, so they’ll fit your kitchen more precisely, if not perfectly. Custom cabinets can easily cost $500 or more per linear foot; they’re crafted to your exact specs and can include many personalized features.

Step 2: Choose a style
The big decision is between framed and frameless. Framed cabinets consist of a box and face frame, to which doors and drawers are attached. Frameless cabinets, often referred to as European-style, eliminate the face frame; doors and drawers attach directly to the cabinet box. That provides great accessibility and a more contemporary look. On the downside, the absence of a face frame can compromise rigidity; better manufacturers compensate by using a thicker box—say, ¾-inch plywood instead of ½-inch particleboard. For the European look in a framed cabinet, opt for a full-overlay door, which covers all or most of the face frame.

Step 3: Pick the features
Accessories can improve cabinet functionality, but they’ll also increase the cost by 20 percent or more. A pull-out trash can is a worthwhile addition. Built-in charging stations are helpful, too, because they keep the countertop clear of electronic devices. Appliance garages, those countertop compartments designed to conceal small appliances, don’t always offer the best organization. Instead, consider a lift cabinet with a spring-loaded shelf that swings up and out, providing easy access to a mixer, food processor, or other hefty device.

Design tips from the pros

Lighting
“Integrated lighting has become very popular. As soon as you open the drawer, the light comes on. We also do a lot of undercabinet lighting, including LED fixtures with a built-in plug for countertop appliances and a USB port to charge your smartphone and other electronics.”—Kathleen Wilber, Ikea, U.S. sales leader for kitchens

Finish
“There’s still plenty of interest in lighter-toned cabinets. But we’re starting to see an uptick in our pebbled gray and chai finishes, as more customers go for a tinted neutral color instead of stark white.”—Tracy Riel, KraftMaid Cabinetry, manager, designer services

Features
“Easy-access, touch-to-open door and drawer releases are catching on. There’s also a preference for more paired-down door styles and greater interior functionality. That includes task-specific features like coffee-service components and pull-out storage that alleviates physical strain while eliminating dead space.”—Amy Benton, BauformatUSA, accounts and marketing manager

August 14th, 2015

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