What’s Trending in Kitchens?

BeeTree Homes Remodeler Katrina Hosea

By Katrina Hosea, President of BeeTree Homes

Beautiful, Functional and Affordable are three words that should define today’s kitchen. In the age of information and technology there should be no reason a kitchen can’t be all three.

Whether a kitchen is labeled as modern, contemporary, traditional or transitional there is look for everyone. Internet sites such as Houzz and Pinterest have made it easy for today’s consumers to identify and communicate their individual styles. Today’s kitchen and bath industry is more geared toward individual preferences than ever before. In our particular design center, clients often bring us a prolific amount of design ideas that they have captured on the web and even from kitchens they have seen on a television show.

Function however is not something you can easily capture from a picture. Function is often derived from sitting down with a kitchen specialist and discussing how your particular cooking evolves. Are you a gourmet chef or the queen of take out? More often than not we find that there are multiple cooks in a family or perhaps one member is the cook and the other is the master of prep and clean up. Our teams design preference is to layout a kitchen in cooking zones as opposed to the traditional cooking triangle.  We have seen kitchens have a cleaning and prep zone, baking zone, serving zone and even a homework zone.

Mixer lift

Mixer lifts make getting that heavy mixer in and out of your cabinet a breeze

Kitchens are no longer relegated to the back corner and they haven’t for some time.  Having been in the industry for almost 20 years now I have witnessed the evolution of the kitchen. Today’s kitchens are the new family rooms. The cabinetry functions like furniture with storage features to provide a clutter free look. We have seen televisions incorporated into the cabinetry as well as charging stations for electronic devices built into countertops.

Lighting is no longer a last thought but it now takes center stage. It’s treated as a feature in contemporary designs with lighted shelving. It’s treated as functional necessity with under cabinet LEDs. At this year’s national kitchen and bath show we saw cabinets that had lightening built into the drawers and doors.

Under Cabinet lighting

Under cabinet lighting adds some flare into you kitchen

In the last few years cabinets with cushion close technology on drawers and self closing doors have gone from being luxury items to standard features. Kitchen hardware has become fashion accessories for cabinetry.

Functional beautiful design can be affordable.  With the new products emerging cabinetry has become a pivotal design element that can have a huge impact on the budget without compromising on style and function. Companies like Miralis, which is a Canadian, brand available in selected US markets, have revolutionized how laminates are produced. They are not only great for our environment they are easy to clean, sleek in design and they have lines that are at fabulous price points and no assembly is required.

Miralis base cabinet

Miralis base cabinet with GE oven and range

Now that the American kitchen has evolved into more of an interactive space comfort plays a big part in the design. Today’s consumers are looking for ways to create comfort underfoot with laminate flooring that is not only easy to clean, beautiful to touch and see it has built in shock absorbency for those aching feet. We are seeing chairs and bar stools that are not only aesthetically pleasing but comfortable as well. People are lingering at the tables and the islands as they interact with the cook or cooks for that matter.

As kitchens continue to take center stage and become a hub of centralized activity for the way we interact today, it’s important that today’s kitchens continue to evolve into affordable, aesthetically beautiful while remaining functional.

Small appliance hideaway

Keep you countertop neat and organized with this small appliance hideaway

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Miralis Cabinets

Bee Tree Homes Jacksonville FL

What’s Your Motivation for Renovation?

What’s Your Motivation for Renovation?

BeeTree Homes Remodeler Katrina Hosea

By Katrina Hosea, President of BeeTree Homes

Recently I read an article in one of my national trade magazines on adding the newest trend in our industry is to prove the return on investment on a remodeling project.  While I agreed with most points in the article, I found one major flaw at least from my prospective.  As a remodeling contractor who has specialized in the design-build process for over a decade, I can attest this isn’t a new trend in our business.

Bee Tree Homes Jacksonville FL

Making it Their Own

We have been advising our clients to remodel for their own personal satisfaction. After all, most have been in their current home for over ten years and have no plans to relocate anytime soon. They aren’t looking for cookie-cutter approaches; if so, there are mass production builders and spec builders all over Jacksonville who appeal to the masses. When a client elects to undertake a custom remodeling project or a true custom home build, it’s an opportunity of a lifetime to make it their own.

Splurging on Tubs

Our clients have been electing to not re-install large soaking tub in the master bathroom that they have never used and instead electing for custom showers that have body sprays and steam showers. Some of our clients still love those long hot baths but now they splurge on free standing tubs that have aromatherapy and air jets.

Bath Remodel Jacksonville, FL

Creating Functionality

We have been building amazing functioning laundry/mudroom to house bulk Costco purchases and places for mom to fold, hang and organize all her families’ laundry.  For several years now, our clients have long been considering the needs of the furry family members with built in dog dishes in kitchen cabinetries and we have even disguised a beautiful dog crates that hide away in laundry rooms. Let’s not forget the numerous walls we have moved in those 1990’s Florida executive homes to allow for open kitchens with large islands for families to congregate.

Jacksonville Remodeler

The bottom line is being a design build firm we have been so honored to assist many families in customizing their spaces. We have long recognized that families renovate to meet their individual families lifestyle and they have found the value in allocating their hard earned dollars into something that really provides them an intrinsic value…a personalized space that meets their families needs.


So, think out of the box and do something that’s uniquely just for you and how you live In Your spaces. Chances are you will never regret enjoying this once in a lifetime experience, if it’s done right the first time. Take your time, think the process through and select a design professional to help you build to life itself.




The Five Most Useful Kitchen Additions

1. Wall Ovens: Practically every publication that deals with cooking (Food & Wine, Better Homes and Gardens, and The New York Times, to name a few) has something to say about wall ovens. So, what makes having an oven in the wall so special? When it comes time to baste that turkey or check on that pie, working with an oven that’s high enough to access easily is a difference serious cooks notice. There’s also something to be said for the extra elbowroom that comes with having a range located away from the oven if you plan on preparing several foods at once. Another bonus: Wall ovens with more than one compartment can make baking multiple items at different temperatures far more convenient (and with the convection, steam, and rotisserie options available, possibly faster or even healthier, too!)

wall ovens

2. Cabinet Organizers/ Lazy Susans: Cooking at home is a great way to reduce your budget and bring the family together. However, when accessing the things you need to get the job done becomes a project in itself, the daunting task of cooking an entire meal can easily be dismissed in favor of a trip to the closest restaurant. If the Better Homes and Gardens description, “[cabinet] interiors that are visually accessible and easily reachable, making it simple to see what you do and don’t have” sounds a far cry from your own kitchen cabinetry, it is likely that a few inexpensive kitchen additions like better cabinet shelving/organizers can make a big difference in prep time and lessen the lure of eating out.

3. Hanging Pot and Pan Racks: For many homeowners, the path to pots and pans is full of obstacles and falling objects. The solution: get your cookware out of the cabinet and into plain view. A single large pot rack suspended over an island or several smaller racks placed around the room makes finding the right tool for the job less of a hassle and gives you more storage space, to boot. While wall mounted pot racks are generally a drop in the bucket, prices for hanging pot racks can get pretty expensive. However, in just a few minutes online, we found several options for under $100 you can incorporate in to your kitchen remodeling project (and even a few under $50).

Hanging pots

4. Modern Dishwashers: The promises of the 1950’s have finally been fulfilled. With large capacities, serious cleaning power, and even separate compartments, today’s dishwashers are truly the time savers we’ve always dreamed about. With enough cleaning power to tackle even baked on food without scrubbing, everything you use to cook or eat can go directly in and come out clean. Even better, many newer dishwashers can provide all this while still being more energy efficient than the model you currently have!

5. Ventilation Systems: One kitchen vent manufacturer tells us that, “cooking churns out airborne contaminants like nothing else in the home can.” Most of us, however, are probably just as (if not more) concerned with having a house that doesn’t stink. Food that smells great while it’s cooking might not please the palette as much a day or two later. While many folks have taken the leap to upgrade insulation and windows, neglecting to perform a similar upgrade to kitchen ventilation is an open invitation for lingering odors. With the right ventilation system, odors (and any stray contaminants) can be a thing of the past!

– Jon Nunan

Kitchen Remodel: 5 Qualities of a Perfect Kitchen Island

During your kitchen remodel process you are trying to create a place to gather, a homework space, a spot to serve up your perfect souffle. Kitchen islands are all about functionality and flexibility, and they can make a kitchen feel cohesive. While some home projects take months, an island is a nearly instant addition that can totally transform the space.

Picking the right island still takes some thought though, as you have to take into consideration how you use your kitchen and how you entertain in order to wind up with the most functionality. Here are 5 tips for choosing your perfect kitchen island.

Kitche remodel

1. Improves your kitchen’s functionality

Pay attention to how you use your kitchen. Do you feel like you run out of room while you’re cooking dinner, or is it impossible to have other people in there with you helping you cook? If so, you’ll likely be using your island as an area to slice and dice. How many people typically gather in your kitchen? If your typical Friday evening involves hosting a dinner party, you’ll want a bar space where your friends can sit or rest their drinks and hors d’oeuvre plates. Do you do a lot of baking? Perhaps marble countertops would take your doughs to the next level. And what about cleaning up? A kitchen island can house your primary sink or a second sink, and placing a dishwasher within the island will make dish duty a cinch. Or switch up the sink for a countertop range so you can cook while facing your family or guests.

Durable surface material

2. Durable surface material

Your island doesn’t have to completely match the rest of your kitchen, but it should complement it. If your countertops are granite, for example, consider using something completely different like concrete, reclaimed wood, or butcher block for your island’s counters. Butcher block counters could be especially useful if you determine you’ll be using your island mostly as a prep area for cooking. If you entertain frequently, take into consideration that your guests may lean up against the island or put wine glasses or cups on the counter — so you’d maybe want something that wouldn’t be susceptible to water stains.

great storage

3. Great storage

A lot happens on the counter of a kitchen island, but don’t forget about all that space underneath. Added functionality in the form of storage can solve your space issues with drawers, cabinets, and open shelving to display your most-loved cookbooks and maybe even that trophy you got for winning 1st place in the chili cook-off. Even if you want one side of the island to serve as a bar, guests can pull up directly to a side covered with drawers — no need for the overleaf for them to pull up to.

4. Supports your specializations

Here’s your chance to not just add functionality, but showcase your passions. A prized wine collection can have its very own spot by adding bottle shelving and an under-counter wine fridge that keeps your finest cabernet at the perfect temperature, ready to pour. Use another side of the island for glass storage, and you’ve just created the perfect spot that’s both aesthetically pleasing and functional.


5. Transforms throughout the day

A good kitchen island will be able to do many things depending on the time of day and the company, transforming from an early morning breakfast spot to a sleek cocktail bar at night. Here are a few things your island can be:
a separate breakfast space

  • brunch service
  • second stove
  • additional sink
  • storage for cookbooks and extra less-used dishes
  • drawer space for china and silverware
  • station for pet food and feeding
  • children’s cooking area
  • extra cooking surface
  • storage for pots (hanging overhead)
  • homework space while the table is being set
  • dessert and coffee bar for company
  • company cooking space

– Kristin Hillery – Mondernize

Design Trends: What buyers love in Kitchens and Baths

DESIGN TRENDS: From modern white kitchens to earthy tones in baths, we reveal the latest design trends Jacksonville buyers want.


Consumers often rate the kitchen as the most important room in the home, and with good reason: this hardworking area is the spot where families and friends gather together most. Baths, as the serenity space where homeowners go to relax and unwind, follow closely in status. So, what do buyers want in these most-loved spaces?

A Homesphere sponsored webinar, “Kitchen and Bath Trends” presented by John Burns Real Estate Consulting, highlighted some of the interior design trends that are popular among homeowners now. In a consumer survey from JBREC and DesignLens, respondents ranked interior style as their most important home feature, even beating out “home size” and “location.” Buyers rated “modern traditional,” “casual organic,” and “traditional” as their top three style preferences.

Clean lines and natural-tone finishes coupled with sophisticated design features are characteristics that buyers want in their kitchens and baths. Homeowners’ value function and form over the size of a home, so small design details can go a long way when creating a practical yet stylish space. Here are some of the top design takeaways for kitchens and baths:

Take it Easy

When in doubt, stay simple. An all-white color scheme remains a top design trend among consumers for the clean look that it gives kitchens and baths. Clean edges and streamlined fixtures create chic, modern spaces while keeping design straightforward.

organic tones

Organic Tones Connect with Nature

The “casual organic” style that buyers prefer incorporates natural surfaces and raw tones to make homes feel more down-to-earth. Using natural wood finishes on countertops and wall panels is a stylish way for buyers to feel like they are bringing the outside in. In baths, natural finishes and textures enhance the spa-like, serene feel that buyers crave when looking to relax in their home and disconnect from the outside world. Buyers are shying away from the artificial and opting for more windows to increase natural light within the home.

color pop

A Pop of Color

Color goes a long way in a room and costs next to nothing to incorporate. A bright wall or vibrant accent features can transform a bland space into something exciting. Such a simple addition can make a big difference.

design trends

Add Dimension with Texture

Clean countertop lines and white finishes may be what buyers are looking for, but the addition of a textured backsplash or exposed material is the extra component that will enhance the character of a kitchen or bath. This takes the “pop of color” trend one step further to embellish the surfaces and provide dimension to a simple room.

functional style

Functional Style

Homeowners are practical; after all, at the end of the day, the most important design element of any home is that it functions well for its residents’ daily life. For buyers looking to maximize function in a small home without taking away from appearance, shelves offer the perfect combination of simple and sensible storage. Shelving in kitchens creates a more open feel than traditional cabinets—and costs less to install, too.

Unique light fixtures can also serve as a key design element in a room as an easy and quick way to add flavor and style to the space.

Adding the “little extras” will set the home apart from the pack and help buyers feel like they are making the most of their space—pull-out drawers in kitchen cabinets, island extensions, and cutting board attachments on the sink are all examples of the useful additions that buyers love.

6 Tips For Redesigning Your Kitchen Countertops

From marble to granite to quartz, choosing the right kitchen countertop can be a daunting process. In addition to material, there’s also color, layout and function to consider. We turned to 6 top interior designers to share with us their best advice for countertop design in the kitchen.


TIP 1: “Choose your countertop first before anything. It can cost more per square foot than any other item in your kitchen and has the biggest impact on your colour palette. Be in love with the countertop you chose.” – C. Marie Hebson, InteriorsBYDESIGNinc.


TIP 2: “If your home has an open plan, make sure that the countertops work with the other finishes, colors and fabrics within the same open space. Always be sure to look at stone samples in the actual kitchen itself. As with paint, light can cause the color of natural stone to vary greatly, so you’ll want to look at it in its intended environment.” – Paloma Contreras, Paloma Contreras Design


TIP 3: “The biggest mistake is sacrificing a surface you love because you’re afraid it won’t last. All countertops perform, and you should feel okay using marble or wood, even though marks might develop over time. For people who know they won’t enjoy anything less than a bulletproof surface, I always recommend Corian.” – Chloe Warner, Redmond Aldrich Design


TIP 4: “While many contemporary kitchens feature slab surfaces, tile countertops should not be overlooked. Tiles offer an endless array of color and style options and can be employed in innumerable ways to add personality and color. Never underestimate the importance of grout color, which can turn a dated look (classic white) to current (taupe or gray).” – Lindsay Pennington


TIP 5: “You don’t have to use the same material for every counter space. A durable surface such as soapstone, granite or Caesarstone is great near the stove and sink where stains are more likely to occur. If you like a more porous stone like marble, use it where spills can be minimized, like an island. When mixing countertop surfaces do try to avoid mixing two different materials with movement. Instead try a solid with one that is veined–pair materials like you would an outfit.” – Regan Baker, Regan Baker Design


TIP 6: “Get creative with edges and backsplashes. Choosing a built-up edge will give your countertops more substance and personality. Curved or stepped backsplashes are also great budget-friendly ways to add interest.” – Terri Pakravan, Decor Dose