Sunday, June 28, 2015

MKBD: A Premier Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Company

Master Kitchen and Bath Design recently "renovated" its website. While we believe you can learn a lot about kitchen and bath remodeling from our Bathroom and Kitchen Remodeling Tips and Tricks blog, we'd like take this opportunity to show you our website.

If you have read the articles on this blog, and feel inspired enough to invite MKBD to your home for a Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate, you can follow the link at the top of this page. If you'd like the learn a bit more about MKBD, the website is a great asset.

On the "Home" page, you will learn that MKBD is a kitchen and bathroom remodeling company that has been servicing customers in the Greater Philadelphia area since 1982. As we say up front, "If you can imagine it, we can create it."

We never use subcontractors on any project. And each project receives a dedicated project manager from start to finish. All work is licensed, insured, and warranted (PA, NJ and DE).

If you have any questions about our remodeling company, we provide contact information on the, well, "Contact" page. You can call our showroom or office, or fill out our handy form (also available on the blog).

On the website, you can also find specific information about both Kitchen Remodeling and Bathroom Remodeling as well as "Tips and Tricks" for both.

Click here for a wealth of Kitchen Remodeling Tips, including a few of our favorites:

"How to Create a Clutter-Free Kitchen" & "Kitchen Cabinet Materials"

Click here for a wealth of Bathroom Remodeling Tips, including these favorites:

"A Bathroom Remodeling Checklist" & "Five Tips for Maximizing Your Bathroom Space"

By far, our favorite part of the website is the "Gallery", which includes both a "Kitchen Showroom" and "Bathroom Showroom".  In the showrooms, you can browse hundreds of pictures from our projects, including some of our recent favorites.

Kitchen Showroom Favorites

At MKBD, we specialize in full-scale kitchen remodeling projects. In this project, everything is brand new, from the cabinets to the luxury oven. When you're making this sort of investment, trust a kitchen remodeling company with experience and good references.
In this MKBD project the luxurious fireplace is seamlessly integrated into an otherwise elegant kitchen. A fireplace in a kitchen? Yes, indeed! As we like to say, "If you can imagine it, we can create it."

We specialize in custom cabinetry and floors. In this Glenside project, the customer preferred Decora cabinets and a durable Brazilian redwood floor. 
For a list of our cabinet partners, please visit our "Partner" page.

Bathroom Showroom Favorites

We love this French country-style  MKBD project in Abington, PA. Often our customers will approach us with a theme in mind. Our job is to help our clients clarify precisely what they want. "French country" is a good place to start.

A porcelain pedestal sink from Kohler is the perfect match for this marble powder room. We work with all kinds of spaces and budgets: from master bath to powder room.

We specialize in bathroom cabinets and vanities like this double vanity with extra cabinets for storage: Wow! 


We hope our website can provide you with all the information you might need about our company. If you're thinking about remodeling your kitchen or bathroom, please do not hesitate to call us: 215-355-4747.

Some homeowners choose to call a remodeling company only after they have spent countless hours researching their project. We're all for research, but including a home remodeling company at the very beginning of the exploration process can increase your chances of success. A remodeling company can guide you in your exploration, saving you time. A home remodeling company can also help you set reasonable parameters for your project.

How long might the project take to complete?

What are the best materials for your lifestyle?

And how about the cost?

Remember: Take advantage of our FREE In-Home Remodeling Estimate

And if you have any questions about your next kitchen remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation.

Call now! 215-355-4747. Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Summer Cool: A Kitchen Remodeling Lookbook

The summer solstice is three days away, but the Philadelphia area is feeling the heat: last week we hit the mid-90s (near 100 heat index) and this weekend promises more of the same. To beat the heat, most of us retreat inside to cool, air-conditioned rooms; some take a trip down the Shore, where the water temps are just now nearing 70 degrees (just watch out for sharks).

Despite the heat (and the sharks), many people love the carefree feeling of summer. After all, it's hard not to agree with the sentiment of Olaf, the carefree snowman from Frozen: 

"Just imagine how much cooler I'll be in summer!"

Cool, indeed. At MKBD, we believe the best remodeling projects conjure a certain feeling for our customers. Some customers like the feeling of luxury. Some want to feel stylish. But many like the easy-going feeling of summer.

Ahh: Clean and cool, this light and bright MKBD project evokes a sense of elegance and leisure, a perfect combo for our cool clients in Holland, PA.

A "Cool" Feeling

The evocation of a certain feeling is obviously not the only factor the guides our design process, but we've found that this simple question can inspire ideas: What feeling would you like your kitchen to evoke? A one word answer is often enough to set you on the right direction.

Whatever your answer, to facilitate inspiration, MKBD posts occasional "Kitchen Lookbooks" with photos and details from our prior projects. Last November, for example, we focused on wooden floors and cabinets.

Today, with a nod to summer, we're thinking about the escape from the heat: to "cool" remodeling projects that evoke a sense of carefree leisure, from the Mediterranean (see above) to the light palette of summertime dress (think whites and cremes) to the easy luxury of vacation resorts.

Light and bright: the right palette can certainly evoke a sense of coolness.

A Light Palette

Many homeowners prefer the stoic luxury of wood cabinets stained a suitably dark color, like burgundy or brown. But for a sense of summertime cool, nothing beats light and bright colors. When spread throughout a kitchen (like the MKBD project above) a light palette can speak of elegance and leisure at once.

Think of the elegant simplicity of a white linen button-up shirt or a white sundress.

In this sort of atmosphere, accessorizing is as simple as a bouquet of flowers or a bright hand towel. Note how the blue really pops in the photo below.

A simple blue hand towel illustrates a simple point: with a light palette, accessorizing with color is easy.

For a light palette think about white cabinets, creme countertops and light flooring, like light granite floor tiles or natural wood flooring.

Smoke white granite flooring brightens this creme kitchen.

Natural Light

Far too many homeowners toil away in dim kitchens with lackluster lighting. To avoid this, of course, you must prioritize lighting from the very beginning of your project--especially natural light. At MKBD, we believe an abundance of natural light is a crucial element of a well-designed kitchen layout. Of course, we recommend installing quality kitchen lights with your full-scale kitchen renovation. But your first priority, especially if you're looking for a cool, summery feeling is natural light.

The light palette in this MKBD project, with a creme backsplash and brandywine-stained cabinets, is complemented by a large window, which floods the room with light.

Natural light can come from windows, skylights, and when feasible, an adjacent room. If your kitchen layout is short on available window space, consider opening the kitchen with an open floor plan, like this MKBD project below.

An open floor plan lends an expansive, airy feeling to most spaces; it also offers the opportunity for more natural light--a perfect solution if your kitchen window options are limited.

FREE Kitchen Remodeling Estimate

If you're planning to remodel your kitchen, talk to the experts first. MKBD is currently offering a FREE Kitchen remodeling estimate, FREE design, and FREE custom layout to all new customers.

Call now! 215-355-4747 or visit us online at 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kitchen Remodeling: Learning the Basics

In the world of kitchen remodeling, mistakes are often the result of poor planning or poor communication. Ideally, you will work with a kitchen remodeling company who understands your personality and unique needs. Ideally, you and your kitchen designer will see eye-to-eye on the crucial layout questions. Ideally, your remodeling staff will be courteous and clean.

By easing communication, a great kitchen remodeling company can limit the stress of the experience. Who knows, with the right company, you might even find the entire experience--from planning to demolition to the actual remodeling--pleasurable.

On the other hand, the wrong remodeling company can increase the stress of the experience. And by "wrong" we simply we mean a remodeling company that does not communicate well. Often, the results of poor communication are not obvious until the work is complete. You told your designer you wanted  to ease traffic flow in your kitchen; in practice, however, you find yourself continually bumping into your spouse. You thought you chose a certain specific stain for your cabinets, but upon completion you dislike the color--and maybe even the cabinets, too! 

Of course, communication is a two-way street. The first key is finding an intelligent, thoughtful, and communicative remodeling company. The second key is articulating your vision as precisely as possible.

Every detail in this MKBD project, from the built-in warming drawer to high-grade kitchen hardware, is a precise articulation of the client's vision. Warm wall colors complement the glazed maple cabinets and pink granite countertops. Red exotic hardwood floors provide the  luxury the client desired. 
The problem many homeowners face is the vision itself. So many people just don't have enough experience to understand the ins-and-outs of kitchen remodeling--and the potential pitfalls. The best solution? Learn as much as possible. 

The Internet is a great place to research answers--you just have to be careful about the source. Make sure the information is coming from a professional. Better to seek This Old House than some remodeling forum rife with "horror stories." 

Our blog, Kitchen and Bathroom Remodeling Tips and Tricks, is full of informative articles. To get started, check out our kitchen remodeling articles. Or better yet, get specific: learn a little bit about each topic below and you'll be on your way to a successful experience. 

Learn Kitchen Design

Perhaps the most important element of any kitchen remodeling project is the design itself. To acquaint yourself with the basics of kitchen design, you might perform a basic Google search for "kitchen design"--or better yet, "kitchen layout." Kitchen "design" and "layout" refer to basically the same idea: the architectural plan for your space; but "layout" is, perhaps, a better layman's term for the novice.

In researching layouts, look for the information that makes most sense to you. Some people are visually-minded, and can easily "see" the way they want their kitchen to look. If this is you, do not let yourself be distracted by tired notions of the "kitchen triangle." Today's kitchens emphasize new traffic patterns. Allow yourself to visualize your perfect kitchen--you can always refine that vision with your remodeling company.

Others might find it hard to visualize the space. If this is true for you, try to define exactly how you would like to use your kitchen. Would you like your kitchen to be an entertainment hub? Are you a serious cook?

Read Kitchen Remodeling Tips for the Serious Cook I and II.

Read Kitchen Design for Entertaining.

In you know you're the entertaining type, articulate this idea to your remodeling company up-front. In this MKBD remodeling wonder, the kitchen island doubles as a table, perfect for entertaining.

Learn About Kitchen Cabinet Materials

You might think kitchen cabinets are pretty straightforward. Well, they're not, so a little knowledge goes a long way. Instead of wasting your time learning about specs and design, though, learn about colors and materials. If you can articulate the type of cabinet you want, your remodeling company will be able to guide you through the more arcane design and installation decisions.

Read: Kitchen Cabinet Materials: Learn What's Best for Your Kitchen Remodeling Project.

Learn About Kitchen Floor Materials: Tile and Wood

Like kitchen cabinets, a lot of the information about kitchen floor installation and design can seem arcane. On the other hand, the choices for kitchen flooring are enough to make your head spin. We suggest learning about the basics: tile and wood. A majority of homeowners will choose one of these two materials. If neither suit your vision, then by all means, research other options.

Read: Wood Floors & Cabinets: A Kitchen Remodeling Lookbook.

In this Glenside project, the customer knew the exact material and stain they preferred: Brazilian redwood, stained a lovely cherry red. 

Learn About Kitchen Appliances

Here's where most people go overboard. It's not necessary to research every last model of oven on the Internet, but it is important to have a working knowledge of brands. Try to figure out an appliance budget, and do not allow yourself to research appliances that go over budget. This is a common mistake that has sidetracked many an industrious homeowner.

Read: How to Choose the Best Oven.

FREE In-Home Remodeling Estimate

If you have any questions about your next remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk the kitchen backsplash and more! Call now! 215-355-4747. Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!

Friday, June 5, 2015

Remodeling Tips for a Small Bathroom Space

Last week we offered "Three Simple Tips for a Small Kitchen Design." Our tips were meant for homeowners who lived in older homes, which were often built with limited kitchen space--and limited space to expand.

Unfortunately, the same is true for bathroom space. As This Old House notes: "While new home baths have nearly doubled in size over the past 30 years, old home bathrooms average about 5- by 8-feet."

Until the 1980s, in fact, the bathroom was widely considered purely functional--a place to do your duty and leave. In most home designs, valuable space was given to other rooms.

But we do spend a lot of time in the bathroom. A recent Scottish study revealed that:

"...going to the toilet accounts for the biggest chunk of time spent in the bathroom – an average of one hour and 42 minutes a week, or almost 92 days over a lifetime. Another hour and 25 minutes of each week is then spent in the bath or shower – a total of more than six months of your life. The average Brit then spends just under half an hour each week – or 62 days in a lifetime – drying themselves off and cleaning your teeth takes almost 18 minutes a week..."

If the average Scot spends six months of his/her life in the shower, one can only assume that the average American spends substantially more time lathering and the like.

No wonder home design has evolved to incorporate larger bathrooms. Today's homes often borrow valuable space from other rooms to create large, luxurious bathrooms. If you live in a new house, then, you just might enjoy ample bathroom space.

But what about homeowners with smaller spaces? If you're considering a remodel of a small bathroom space, take a look at our handy tips below!

In this MKBD project, we borrowed space from an adjacent utility room to transform a powder room into a master bathroom.

Borrow Space from an Adjacent Room

As we noted last week, it can get tricky to borrow space for a kitchen (although an open floor plan is often a great option). Fortunately, this is not necessarily the case with bathrooms, which are often situated next to larger rooms that can afford to lose a little space.

Now, annexing an entire room for a bathroom can be the ultimate in luxury upgrades, but a bathroom can be dramatically improved with even the smallest additions: the added space of a closet, say, or a little extra room from a utility room.

In the MKBD project above, the original room had enough space to house a mere toilet and pedestal sink. So the adjacent utility room was converted into a convenient laundry room, and a little extra space was borrowed to make room for the vanity and shower.

Thanks, utility room, for the vanity and shower!

Depending on your layout, you might be able to increase the size of the bath without borrowing from an extra room. An addition can be more costly, but the added space can be designed explicitly for the bathroom--instead of trying to fit the bathroom into an existing space.

Use Storage Efficiently

Efficiency is the mantra for all small bathroom designs--and it should really be the mantra for all bathroom designs. Unfortunately, many bathrooms (and especially bathroom vanities) simply do not take advantage of all possible storage opportunities.

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Use your vertical space: building storage up to the ceiling can help maximize valuable floor space in a small bathroom.

2. Add deep wall cabinets: wall cabinets are often laughingly slim, housing only a few shelves of unused medicines. Maximize your space by building deeper cabinets, and fill the space with towels and toiletries--stuff that you actually use.

3. Maximize your vanity space: like medicine cabinets, vanities often house useless junk that gets lost in the tangle of pipes. Make sure your vanity deserves its space by adding plenty of drawers with pull-out trays and baskets.

In this MKBD project, we installed a cabinet with deep drawers and an open space for hand towels and toilet paper. Beautiful and efficient.

Install a Smaller Sink

Do you really need a bulky sink? Most bathrooms, small and large, would do well with smaller sinks. Consider a vessel sink, a basin mounted atop a counter, or a a pedestal sink, a basin supported by a pole.

This little blue gem of a vessel sink is a perfect choice for a smaller space.

A porcelain pedestal sink from Kohler is the perfect match for this marble powder room. 

The great advantage of both of the sinks above is that they maximize floor space--an illusion that can actually make your bathroom feel bigger. Alternately, many people choose to use the space below these types of sink for storage. Just make sure you keep the clutter to a minimum.

Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate

If you have any questions about your next remodeling project, please feel free to call MKBD for an individualized consultation. Let's talk bathroom design and more! Call now! 215-355-4747. Better yet, check out our Free In-Home Remodeling Estimate on this very blog!