Sylvestre Construction, Inc.

In This Issue

•  Kitchens for Cooking
   AND Entertaining

•  This Month's Tip

•  Pass It On!

•  What’s the Story?

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Construction, Inc.

7708 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55423

Ph: 612-861-0188
Fx:  612-861-0190

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Member, National Association of the Remodeling Industry

GuildQuality Member

Member of Builders Association of the Twin Cities

Member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association


  Members of our staff hold
  the following industry

• NARI Master Certified
• NARI Certified Remodeler
• NARI Certified Lead
• NARI Certified Kitchen and
  Bath Remodeler
• NKBA Certified Kitchen
• NAHB Certified Aging in
  Place Specialist (CAPS)

September 2014

Kitchens for Cooking and Entertaining

There are many reasons why people remodel their kitchens. Sometimes the goal is nothing more than a kitchen upgrade, with new countertops, cabinets, floor, and appliances. Sometimes the goal is a gourmet kitchen, with professional-grade appliances and cooking capabilities. Still, many would agree that the kitchen is more than just a place for cooking. Families gather in the kitchen in the morning, getting ready for their days or brewing a cup of coffee. Kids do their homework there, so that they can be near parents who are preparing dinner. Plus, many people now prefer a more casual style of entertaining guests, where friends can stop and chat in the kitchen while sipping wine or nibbling hors d'oeuvres.

Kitchen remodeling

For this multi-purpose kitchen, conventional kitchen designs are often inadequate. Luckily, with a little bit of inspiration, kitchens can be redesigned and remodeled to better fit their multiple uses.

Laying It All Out

In kitchen design, one of the most prevalent structural frameworks is the "work triangle," which is comprised of the space between the range, refrigerator, and sink. Most of the work happens at these three places, and it is important for them not to be situated too close together (as the cook will feel cramped with too little counter space) or too far apart. Another option that's becoming popular is the kitchen designed around the concept of stations, more like restaurant kitchens, with a prep station, a hot station, a clean-up station, and even computer station.

In a kitchen that's used for both cooking and entertaining, the layout should also create smooth traffic patterns and make it possible for more than one person to cook at a time. In addition, family or friends who are not cooking will feel more comfortable gathering in a kitchen if there is sufficient space outside of the work area for them to relax without being in the way. A welcoming, casual floor plan that is open to the family room, breakfast nook or dining room will allow kitchen traffic to flow easily in, out and around the spaces.

Kitchen remodeling - island

Butler's pantryThe Butler's Pantry

A valuable addition when you're entertaining is a butler's pantry. With extra cabinets, counters, sink and perhaps an extra dishwasher or refrigerator, a butler's pantry provides a perfect area for you to stage foods for serving. Everything from hors d'oeuvres platters to coffee cups can be set up there, and the extra counter space helps when clearing dirty dishes. It's often possible to carve out room for a butler's pantry in your existing space...and even a small one can make a big difference in the feel and functionality of your new kitchen.

A Natural Gathering Spot

An important design element is an island, which can play a big part in creating comfortable places for non-cooks to socialize in the kitchen. Island options can include bar-height seating at stools, a nook with a bench and upholstered chairs, or a convenient spot to serve food buffet-style. And, if you want the island to house a cooktop or a sink, it is possible to have a dual-height island with a lower level for food prep and a higher level for seating or serving.

Products That Make Entertaining Easier

In addition to an efficient layout, a kitchen designed for entertaining can include products to make life even easier. You might consider incorporating a warming drawer or steam oven for keeping one dish warm while you prepare another, or a wine refrigerator which can be built into an island or outside counter for easy service. If you're always running out of ice, you may want a stand-alone ice maker as well.

Don't Go It Alone

Kitchen remodels, while rewarding, can be challenging to plan and construct, and kitchen technology is always changing. That's why we're here! With our creativity, experience and design know-how, we can explain your options and make recommendations you may not have even considered to ensure you're getting everything you want and need from your beautiful new kitchen.

Safety Tip: Mobile Apps That Are Ready for Anything

September is National Emergency Preparedness Month. Whether it's unexpected bad weather, an accident while you're hiking, or a natural disaster, these mobile sites and apps can help you be prepared in an emergency. Just remember to keep your Smartphone charged and ready to go!

If You Like Our E-newsletter, Pass It On!

We would like to thank all our new readers who have signed up for our e-newsletter. If you know someone who you think might like our e-newsletter, please forward them a copy. Unless they then choose to subscribe for themselves, they won't be on our e-newsletter mailing list for future e-mails.(We promise!)

What's the Story?

As September unfolds it is really time to rethink our kitchen spaces and how they will work for the holidays with our friends and families. Our kitchen seems like it is brand new and to think we remodeled it in 1998 – that is over 16 years ago! How time flies! Our appliances are now requiring maintenance (yes, this does happen to contractors) and we are finding that parts are not available. And only after 16 years...

Radiant Panels by Therma-RayWith the onset of fall, it also is a good idea to think about heating this winter, and we have been using Radiant Panels as a way to solve heating problems in basements as well as other difficult-to-heat spaces. These panels are made by Therma-Ray and are an effective use of electric heat.

Here are a few of their applications:

  • Heat panels above the ceiling sheetrock, radiating the heat downward from the ceiling. A great application for traditionally cool basements.
  • Heat panels located between the joist spaces in the floor, radiating the heat upward. A typical application would be for rooms over crawl spaces.
  • Heat cables installed in concrete. Traditionally used in baths or under ceramic floor tile, these cables are economical enough to install throughout the basement or even outside to keep the sidewalk or steps free of ice/snow.
  • A quick website search will reveal many vendors of radiant heat and many different approaches. The supplier for the applications listed above was the Therma-Ray company.
Musk Ox in Alaska Artic Char and a happy fisherman
A herd of the prehistoric
looking Musk Ox
Fully colored spawning male Arctic Char
with a happy fisherman

I have included a few photos from my adventurer friend Brad Cruikshank who just returned from an Alaskan float trip down the Kongatuk River in NE Alaska. Cool!!!

Until next month,

John Sylvestre