Interior Designer Lewis Reif Shares Advice On How To Renovate Your Kitchen
For Lewis Reif, Allied Kitchen & Bath’s certified master kitchen and bath designer of 35 years and certified aging-in-place specialist, designing a transitional kitchen was key when remodeling this Davie home. The homeowners envisioned a timeless space, so Reif infused modern elements and opened up the kitchen to create a great room concept, all while complementing the existing modern style of the home.
Reif had to carefully choose the correct wood type and stain for the cabinets in order to keep a cohesive look with the existing dark woodwork present in the living room. “We wanted the counter and backsplashes not to fight or compete with the attention of the cabinets, but to work in harmony with each other,” he says. He used white for backsplashes and counters to create contrast, and he created interest with stainless steel appliances, fixtures and decorative hardware.
Reif prefers to work with engineered countertop material in his projects. It resembles the beauty of natural marble but is less of a worry for maintenance. He chose engineered quartz from Pompeii in the color Statuario for the countertops and backsplashes. “Fabricating the extra-thick, 2.25-inch edge gives [the counter] an architectural feel as it transitions to the waterfall panel,” he says.
He chose Ultracraft full access European-style cabinets using a transitional-style, five-piece door and drawer design with stain. They are accessorized with the latest engineering of full extension drawers, soft close on glides and hinges, space-saving deep drawers, trash pullouts and roll out drawers all for convenience of storage and accessibility. The appliances are all state-of-the-art Sub-Zero and Wolf.
“The client has amazing chandeliers in the home; they deserve the credit for the light fixture over the island—it gave the focal point they wanted,” Reif says. He swapped the original ceiling lights for LED recess lights. Low voltage under-cabinet lights and those in glass cabinets create warm temperatures with dimmers.
Reif’s three tips on remodeling:
1. Take time in researching what you like—don’t rush the process. Plan the work and work the plan. There are great websites like Houzz to look at and gather information on what you like.
2. Write a wish list of the things you want to change, so you’re clear you are not missing anything, especially if you’re working with another decision maker in your home. Visit showrooms, ask questions and see how people respond to your ideas.
3. Make sure your contractor is licensed and insured if he or she is being hired to do the full remodel. Read the reviews of all the companies you are interviewing or get their references.