Your Dream Kitchen Connecticut

Kitchen Remodeling and Kitchen Cabinets

Light vs Dark Cabinets

When planning your kitchen remodel one of the decisions you will have to make are light or dark cabinets. The decision of light or dark can have a significant impact on the look and feel of your kitchen. Before making that final decision, you should weigh the pros and cons of each finish. The color you choose should represent the overall look and feel you want for your kitchen. Continue reading

Some of the Best Cookbooks That Need to Be in Your Kitchen Today

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Mother & Daughter Cooking

Cooking is one of the most rewarding hobbies you can share with family and friends, and cookbooks are still one of the best ways you can learn how to cook. This list of essential cookbooks are either should be classics or are classics that every cook should have to build their foundation of skills. There is sure to be a book on this list that will appeal to you, no matter what your culinary preferences. Continue reading

Kitchen Remodeling Planner: Steps 1 and 2

Remodeling your new kitchen can be challenging and exciting at the same time. There are lots of decisions that need to be made, budget planning, and style choices that have to be decided. With all of that in mind, we have created this remodeling guide and planner to get you started.

Use this guide as you look around you kitchen to help you determine what your everyday needs are, what you would like to have, what fixtures will work the best in your new space, and what materials are practical for your new kitchen. So let’s get started!

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Kitchen Renovations

Step 1:

Start with determining your needs:

  • Is there anything you absolutely love about your current kitchen?

  • What do you feel really need to change?

  • Take a moment to describe your current kitchen.

  • Now what would you like to see in your new kitchen?

  • What colors do you like?

  • Take a moment to think about your decorating style and then describe it.

  • How many workstations do you want/need in your new kitchen?

  • Do you want an open kitchen?

  • How many people are in your current household and what are their ages?

  • How many cooks do you have in your household?

  • Does anyone in your family have any physical limitations?

  • Do you entertain often? If so how often? Are they large or small events?

  • What kinds of kitchen activities occur?

  • What types of meals do you cook on a regular basis (i.e. Light meals, gourmet meals, baking)?

  • What type of dining style do you have (i.e. formal, informal)?

  • What other kitchen activities occur? Do you use the space for work, crafts, sewing, homework, games, watching TV, or growing a window garden?

  • What type of storage space do you need? Do you need a pantry?

  • Do you need cabinet space for a television?

  • Do you need pull-down storage for overhead shelves?

  • What is the size of your current kitchen? What will the size be of your new kitchen?

  • What style cabinets would you like (i.e. traditional, contemporary, transitional, cottage, or period looks)?

  • What type of door surfaces and styles would you like?

  • What type of flooring (i.e. bamboo, carpet, ceramic tile, concrete, cork, laminate, linoleum, vinyl sheet, vinyl tile, wood, stone, or other)?

  • What type of countertop surfaces would you like?

  • What type of sink would you like (think of material, configuration, and any fixtures)?

  • What type of ventilation would you like?

  • What type of lighting would you like?

  • Are you reusing any of your current large appliances?

  • What new large appliances are you purchasing?

  • Are there any special small appliances you would like to include in the plan?

Step 2:

Space planning:

Kitchens come in all shapes and sizes and planning the configuration of your new space will help you determine your current needs.

What type of space are you remodeling (single wall, U shape, two-wall galley, U-shape with island, L-Shape with island, or multiple work zone kitchen)?

This is just the tip of your kitchen remodel planning. Next week we will share kitchen safety tips and how to manage your remodel budget. At Northeast Dream Kitchens we are here to help you create the kitchen of your dreams. Stop by today to learn more about our kitchen remodeling process.

What Kitchen Tools Should You Ask For on Your Kitchen Registry?

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Bride Modern Kitchen Registry

Spring is in the air and with that comes the beginning of wedding season. With wedding season comes wedding registries. Taking the time to find the items you love like the perfect bathroom towels or the ultimate bedding set is great, but have you put any thought into what you really need in your new kitchen?

So many gadgets to choose from and so little time! Setting up your kitchen via your wedding registry can be nerve racking so keep a few things in mind:

Determine how you are going to use the item you are requesting in your kitchen. That ice cream maker looks cool, and it will be awesome to have homemade ice cream, but how many times are you really going to use it? Start off by thinking practically and ask for items you know you will use on a regular basis.

Sometimes we feel the items we like are too expensive. If it is useful, pricey, and long-lasting, put it on there anyway. If it is something you love but generally can’t afford it, your friends and family may be able to pool together and purchase it for you.

Speaking of long-lasting, think about items that still will be useful 15 years down the road. Asking for things that you won’t use or your style may change may not be the best option.

Requesting pricey wedding china on your registry is fine if you are planning on entertaining on a regular basis, but if you are just starting out, this may not be the most practical item on your list.

It is OK to ask for a few indulgent items we may not use right away, but only a few. Otherwise, you will have a corner of your garage dedicated to old, dusty things that have never been used.

Some items we definitely suggest are things like a KitchenAid mixer, food processor, a Dutch oven, really good knives, a higher end blender, a set of high quality pots and pans, and a roasting pan with a rack. For less pricey items we suggest a stock pot, half sheet pans, a set of glass mixing bowls, measuring spoons and cups, silicone spatula, a rolling pin, wire racks, tea kettle, and an immersion stick blender.

Other things we suggest you get whether they are on your registry or not: kitchen shears, cast iron skillet, slotted spoons, ladle, and wooden spoons.

A Man’s Guide to the Perfect Kitchen

Northeast Dream Kitchens Connecticut - Man's Guide Kitchen Appliances


Alright, boys, we know you don’t want to hear it, but a refrigerator full of ketchup packets and beer is not the refrigerator of an adult. We know that cooking probably takes more time and energy than you want to expend, but wouldn’t you want to learn if there were more guy inspired products?

We found a great list of items to help you build the perfect kitchen. Take a look!

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Man's Guide Kitchen Appliances


  • Let’s start with something that can be loads of fun if you let it, the food processor. Now this might not look like anything more than a food destroyer, but in reality, this little invention can save you loads of time and even money. Use it to chop your vegetables, grind nuts, and even make potato puree.

  • Blenders should be the staple of every kitchen (think margarita). Use it to make smoothies after your workout.
  • Don’t look at us funny, but we strongly suggest investing in an apron. Aprons will keep your clothes from getting those unwanted and sometimes unremovable grease stains. With so many apron options, we are sure you can find one that will fit your personality.

  • Kitchen towels and oven mitts are a necessity. They each serve a purpose; one is for cleaning, the other is for keeping you out of the hospital with second degree burns on your hands. We are sure you can figure out which one is which.

  • A 16-quart stockpot is great for corn on the cob to chili. If you are into stews, this is the pot for you.

  • Cast iron skillets are another kitchen staple that will allow you to cook anything from eggs to lasagnas. Use it on the stovetop or in the oven.

  • Please, we beg you; have at least one good knife in your kitchen. A quality knife is well worth the investment and will last you a lifetime.

  • If you decide to delve into the world of knives even further, a serrated knife will be useful for slicing breads or chopping cabbage. Think of it as a mini saw for your harder food items.

  • Class up your store bought salt and pepper shakers with a matching set of salt and pepper grinders.

  • How many times have you drained pasta by placing the pot against the sink? A colander is a great investment for draining your pasta and washing your produce. Think of it as a two-for-one deal.

  • If you decide to get ambitious and learn how to bake, a set of rubber spatulas is the perfect kitchen accessory. Use them to get the last bit of batter or sauce out of a container.


  • Now that you have learned how to cook, you may want to invest in a tasting spoon. We think you can figure out the use of it by the name alone.

  • Basting brushes are great for indoor and outdoor cooking and come in a range of sizes. Use them to baste meat or vegetables to make the most of your marinade.

  • Don’t forget the spices. Start simple; sea salt, coriander, cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, garlic powder, onion powder, bay leaves, cloves, rosemary, thyme, and sage. You food will be more flavorful, and your recipe repertoire will increase.


Nothing is better than a bright, shiny new kitchen in the house you love so dearly, but kitchen remodels can be difficult at best if you don’t plan for them. Keep your sanity (and the sanity of your family), by following these steps, and remember, Northeast Dream Kitchens is here to help minimize that stress by working with contractors directly to save you time and money.

Kitchen Remodel Tips CT

1. Start with a plan

Start with a plan – a good plan, and make it better. Planning is the key to a successful kitchen remodel. Know what you want, why you want it, and then talk to different contractors about whether or not the renovations you want to make will add value to your home. Some experts suggest three to six months to plan your kitchen renovation.

2. Pick the right contractor

Picking the right contractor will save you time and money in the long-run. When looking for contractors do your homework. Make sure that you:

  • Ask around and find out if anyone in your network has worked with them.

  • Ask to see some of their previous work and ask for references.

  • Remember, sometimes the lowest priced contractor is not always the best. Its important to keep in mind that some contractors can lower their costs because of low overhead.

  • Find a contractor you can communicate with. Communication is important because you will be making decisions and getting updates on the progress of your remodel.

Kitchen Remodel Tips White Kitchen Connecticut

3. The devil’s in the details

The devil is in the details, literally. During the planning process make sure the contractor’s proposal is detailed and everything is spelled out. If not, you will get a nasty surprise in the end. Ask questions about anything you aren’t sure about or don’t understand. If you are supplying some of the equipment because you can get a lower price, ask about installation and handling costs. Add 20% to your budget to ensure you are financially sound when upgrading your kitchen.

4. Plan for the future

Plan for the future. If you are renovating your kitchen in phases, project phase two and phase three before you even start phase one. Know what the finished product will look like and how long it will take to complete.

No, while you want to have a long term plan, it’s s still good to be ready to make quick decisions. No renovation occurs without hiccups, there is always something we didn’t see or plan for.

Renovating a kitchen is tricky. Don’t rush into a renovation, live with the idea for a while, do your research, and do it smarter.

Northeast Dream Kitchens knowledgeable staff will help you create the kitchen of your dreams. Stop by our showroom today and learn more about our kitchen remodeling process.

The Right Kitchen Appliance is out there

You have just created the kitchen of your dreams. Your new cabinets, hardware, and countertops are ready, but you still have to determine what new appliances you need. With so many choices available it is hard to decide which ones will work the best for you. Northeast Dream Kitchen’s staff can help you with that! But, to get you started we have a created a brief guide.

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Modern Appliances

Start with one of the largest appliances in your room, the refrigerator. Look for space saving features like movable shelving and door compartments. If your budget is tight, the freezer on top model is for you. If you have a small space, side-by-side refrigerators work the best, and for the most space, the French-door refrigerator will work. Remember to check the energy saving guides, the more energy saving stars the appliance has, the more savings you will have on your energy bills.

Refrigerators typically stick out from the counter about six to seven inches. You can have a custom, built-in unit, but it is a more costly option.

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Modern Kitchen Appliances

Cooktops and ovens are the next big appliance for your new kitchen. If you purchase a cooktop and oven separately, you can use the pieces anywhere. Traditional cooktops of either gas or electric are more common, but you can also choose magnetic induction, radiant, halogen or glass-ceramic surfaces. Although these are easier to clean, you may not always be able to detect whether or not the surface is still hot. If you want the range to be the focal point of your new room, a free-standing oven is best.

Other things to remember, electric wall ovens have a larger capacity than gas ovens and the temperature in an electric oven is more accurate. When choosing a gas cooktop, look for products that have cast iron burners. These will last longer than their ceramic counterpart.

Most homes today have dishwashers and finding the right one is simple. Check the number of spray levels and spray directions the appliance has. The more of each, the cleaner your dishes! Also, check for the cycle variations; light cycle for your fine glassware and dinnerware, heavy cycle for pots and pans, and a rinse and hold are important features to have. If you are looking for ease of cleaning, find a dishwasher with touch controls, and if the kitchen and family room are together, consider getting a dishwasher that has a sound reduction package.

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Kitchen & Appliances

We don’t always think about the microwave, but this appliance has become just as important as the kitchen sink. There are a few options. If you have one to two feet of extra space, a countertop version will work for you. If space is a hot commodity in your kitchen think about getting an above range microwave, but be aware, the vent on these may not be as strong as a traditional range hood.

Kitchen appliances don’t make a kitchen, but appliances that are functional and appealing help make the kitchen a better place to work in. Take the time to do your research, ask questions, and you will find the appliances that are right for you.

Extend your Workspace with a kitchen island

When redesigning your kitchen, one of the first things we tend to think of is how to get more out of the space we have. And, with a new kitchen a whole world of opportunities arise. If you have the space, why not add a kitchen island?

Kitchen islands can help extend your workspace, add additional seating, or even divide a room. With so many styles and options to choose from where do you get started? Begin with the purpose of the island.

Consider first, is there enough space in my kitchen for a full island or do I have to modify my ideas to meet my needs? If space is no object, then consider a complete island.

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - New Kitchen Designs White Cabinetry

Full islands have multiple uses and can change the way you typically work in your kitchen. If placing a cooktop or sink on your island, you change the traditional work triangle of refrigerator, cooktop, and sink.

When putting a cooktop on an island, you will need to consider the venting options. A venting option above the cooktop is a traditional way to remove steam and cooking odors from your kitchen. If you choose downdraft venting, you will have to consider where the vent pipes are going to go. With a crawl space or basement, there is minimal construction. If you have a slab, the vents may have to break through the slab.

If you do have a cooktop in your island consider putting sliding shelves under the cooktop to store pots and pans for ease of use.

Adding a sink to the island creates a prep space. Remember the same issues as the cooktop applies, you may have to break into your slab to put the water pipes near the island sink. Put pull out waste bins and recycling bins under the sink to help reduce the amount of prep time when cooking.

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Kitchen Island Designs

Some kitchen islands are used as room dividers. Use the island to display your favorite kitchen decorations or to add additional seating. Make it fun with bright colored stools.

Remember lighting, without it the workspace isn’t as useful. Unique pendant lights are an attractive option for kitchen islands. Choose some that won’t hang into your workspace and will supply enough lighting for you to see.
Kitchen islands don’t have to match your new cabinets. Use them as a focal point. If you have light cabinets, consider a dark exterior or painted surface for your island. If your kitchen has stone countertops, consider using a contrasting wood to warm up the room.

If you don’t have room for a traditional island, try using old furniture pieces that can be converted into a functioning island. Old console tables, dressers, chest of drawers, even a desk can be converted into a kitchen island.
If you are interested in adding a kitchen island to your new kitchen or if you are considering a cabinet upgrade, take a moment to stop by our showroom. The knowledgeable staff at Northeast Dream Kitchens will help you find the perfect kitchen solutions to match your lifestyle.

Kitchen Lighting

No more florescent lighting! It sounds almost like a mantra for kitchens everywhere and it should be. With the sea of lighting options available, the old stand-by of florescent bulbs is a thing of the past. When thinking of lighting for your new kitchen from Northeast Dream Kitchens, think layers. Layers of lighting help make the kitchen more inviting and also serve the purpose of highlighting the areas where the lighting is being used.

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Modern Kitchen Lighting Designs

The first option in lighting layers is task oriented. When you are working you need plenty of light to see recipes, judge the freshness of the food you are using, and also review the progress of the food as it is cooking. Task lighting is important because it illuminates your work spaces such as counter tops or inside a pantry closet, but it doesn’t have to be boring. Consider using mounted fixtures that shine directly into your workspace. If mounted lighting isn’t an option, track lighting may be. You can adjust the lights to shine where you want, highlighting the best parts of your kitchen.

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Modern Kitchen Stove & Backsplash

Accent lighting is the second layer in your lighting scheme. Accent lighting highlights and adds depth and dimension to your kitchen. Accent lighting may come in the form of under cabinet lighting, toe kick lighting, and over cabinet lighting. When adding accent lighting think of what areas you would like to have highlighted. If you have a beautiful new backsplash, consider under cabinet lighting in the form of LED strips. Toe kick lighting is another option where LED strips may be used.

Kitchen eye-candy lighting is the third layer in your kitchen lighting plan. These are lights that are practical, add ambiance, and accents the room. There are so many options of decorative lighting available now it may take you a while to choose.

Ambient lighting is the final piece to your lighting layering puzzle. These lights are used in eating areas and can be in the form of chandeliers, pendants, or even wall sconces. They can be a visual separation of the kitchen and dining areas.

Northeast Dream Kitchens CT - Modern Kitchen Lighting

Sunlight is always the ultimate lighting source and can be the tip top of your lighting layering, but if your kitchen doesn’t get a huge amount of sun consider investing in skylights or solar tubes.

No singular layer of light can stand by itself, but together with the other layers will make your kitchen an inviting space you may never want to leave. So think outside the traditional lighting norms and make your kitchen lighting pop.