The Perfect Kitchen Island

Homeowners love kitchen islands for many reasons. They are functional, they can be a design focal point, and can provide extra seating. Finding the perfect kitchen island requires marrying functional and style to fit the kitchen.

For function, islands need to give the dishwasher enough clearance when opening the door, have 18 inches of space on either side of a cooktop, and have outlets for appliances to cover the basics. After that, many more features can be added to customize the island for each unique kitchen need.

If it’s going to be used for extra seating, make sure it’s the proper height for kitchen stools. The eating area should also be raised so it’s out of range of spatters from the cooktop or sink, if one is present.

A kitchen island is usually at least four feet long and two feet deep, taking up quite a bit of space. Because of this it is recommended that the kitchen should be at least eight feet deep and more than 12 feet long to accommodate an island.

One of the major advantages of having a kitchen island is more storage. Cabinets can be installed on each side to increase kitchen storage. Put more shallow cabinets on the front, dining side, and larger, deeper cabinets on the kitchen side.

Homeowners should design or find a kitchen island that works for their needs, whether that be an extra cooktop, more storage, or a breakfast bar.


Updating Old Kitchens

A lot of kitchens get stuck in outdated styles from the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s. Homeowners end up leaving them looking outdated instead of remodeling them because of the cost and time it would take to complete the project. However, updating a kitchen doesn’t need to break the bank or take weeks to complete.

There are some simple decorating projects, along with some surface refinishing by Refinish First that can transform a kitchen from being stuck in a previous decade, to a current and stylish space.

In the past, many kitchens had natural wood or dark colored cupboards. This can make the space look small and dark. This can be remedied by painting the cabinets a lighter color. Lighter colors reflect light better, making the room feel more open. If the handles and knobs don’t match the new color, buy and install new ones. There are many unique drawer knobs available that can bring a little flare of style into the kitchen.

Many of the countertops in older kitchens are laminate. Over the years, they become faded and damaged, dating the kitchen even more. Laminate is a surface Refinish First can refinish. If the countertops have become worn out or they just need to be a new color, Refinish First can help. They can create almost any custom color, match an existing color or make it look like a stone accent.

Backsplashes can add color and a fun design element in the kitchen. They don’t have to exist only behind the sink. They can also extend farther along the walls underneath the cabinets. Backsplashes also double as an easy surface to clean if food splatters on it from the sink or stovetop.

By brightening up the room with lighter cupboards and countertops, and adding some fun decorative pieces, the kitchen will no longer be stuck in the past. Contact Refinish First to help bring the kitchen up to date with some new kitchen surfaces.

The Heart of the Home

Most people would agree that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It is the location where families of all sizes gather together for food and fun and in many homes it’s the hotspot for homework too. It is often the focal point of the home used at both the beginning and ending of each day. Many people start out their day reading the paper while eating breakfast before work. After work, people come home and cook, eat dinner and catch up with family in the same place.

Guests are always impressed when shown a beautiful kitchen. They aren’t always as impressed with a newly renovated bathroom or freshly painted bedroom. A beautiful kitchen pulls focus from the rest of the house. Perhaps this is because it is not only aesthetically pleasing, but serves a much needed function as well.

The kitchen is also important when selling a house. Location and functionality are important aspects homebuyers look at when choosing a house. Streamlined, modern kitchens are becoming more desirable and kitchens that have an open layout are more popular than ever before. The kitchen has become a place to socialize instead of just prepare a meal.

Many newer kitchens now come with islands. This brings the countertop into the spotlight. An old, scratched, chipped countertop can make any kitchen look old and dingy. Homeowners don’t have to do a complete kitchen renovation to fix this issue. Countertops can be refinished to look brand new and last many more years. It’s a much more affordable option for making those countertops the star of the kitchen.

While not only being more affordable, refinishing countertops takes less time than a renovation, in which they are completely replaced. Homeowners can be back in the kitchen a lot sooner. Refinishing is also a good option for those wishing to sell their home. Since the kitchen has become such an important part of buying a home, refinishing the countertops, and even floors, can help sell the home faster and for a better price.

Refinish First has been refinishing and repairing surfaces in the Treasure Valley since 2008. They can refinish any countertops made of laminate, Formica, tile, solid surfaces, tile and cultured marble. Refinish First can match an existing color, create almost any existing color and also offer a stone look in many varieties and textures.

Homeowners who want to update their kitchen, or are getting ready to sell, should consider Refinish First. They can make the most important room in the house shine.

Holiday Gift Guide for Foodies

For those who enjoy spending their time in the kitchen, the best holiday gifts are ones they can use to make cooking easier or just more fun.

Microwaves are useful for cooking many dishes, but sometimes food can come out dry. Using a microwave pressure cooker, any foodie can make a multitude of dishes by braising, steaming, stewing and more. They use less energy and cook food in a fraction of the time it would take in an oven or on the stove.

A common way to cut back on expenses is to make coffee at home instead of heading to the nearest Starbucks on the way to the office. However, that can limit options for brewed coffee. For that friend who loves their morning latte, but not necessarily the price, pick them up a French press and frother set. This gift is less expensive than an espresso machine, and easier to use.

Some would argue that one can never have too many slow cookers, especially during the holidays. Well now there are double-duty slow cookers that are a little larger and have a divider in the middle. That way two dishes can be cooked at once. This can definitely cut down on crowding the countertop with slow cookers during holiday parties.

For the serious bakers out there, a turntable and cake stand is the perfect gift. The rotating plate on top makes it perfect for piping frosting around a cake, but is also stylish enough to display desserts.

Wine connoisseurs know the frustration of breaking a cork in a bottle of wine. Instead of letting friends open bottles of wine by hand with the anxiety of mangling the cork, get them the gift of an electric corkscrew. This method takes a fraction of the time and muscle power.

Kitchen Islands

Islands are becoming more popular than ever in kitchens. However, kitchen islands have disadvantages along with their many advantages. Space is often a factor in deciding whether or not an island is a good fit for a kitchen.

Islands offer many perks, a major one being added counter space. With coffee makers, juicers and other appliances taking over the kitchen, counter space is at a premium. Kitchen islands give an extra area to locate all those gadgets. Storage is also a big bonus when installing a kitchen island. They can have cupboards, drawers or both, almost doubling storage space. Some islands incorporate sinks or stove tops into the design for those who enjoy cooking a lot. This is also a great way to be able to cook while still being a part of the conversation with guests.

Add barstools or chairs to an island and turn it into an informal dining area, or a place for kids to have after-school snacks. Having extra seating is always a plus.

If the kitchen needs change from time to time, a freestanding or movable kitchen island could be the way to go. Sometimes more floor space than counter space is needed and the island can be rolled out of the way.

For smaller kitchens, islands hinder productivity instead of improving it. They can take up too much floor space and make maneuvering around the kitchen a problem. Expense is another downside to installing a kitchen island. Already have a kitchen island but it’s not looking it’s best? Contact Refinish First to give it an update.

Colorful Kitchens

Homeowners are getting bolder with color choices when painting walls. Some colors go better than others in the kitchen. When looking for the best color to complement newly refinished countertops in the kitchen, its best to keep in mind how each color could affect the overall feeling of the room.

Red is a stimulating color that brings warmth into the room. It can increase appetites and has an energizing quality to it. However, too much of it can overpower a room. Red goes nicely with warm wood tones and can pop when paired with contrasting cooler tones.

White is taken for granted a lot of the time. People see it as boring, but if done right, it can really brighten up the kitchen. Stepping into an all-white kitchen to grab that first cup of coffee, might eliminate the need for caffeine all together. White feels fresh, clean and full of energy.

Blue brings a relaxing vibe to the kitchen. It can also be reminiscent of the beach if lighter tones are used. It doesn’t command too much attention and will provide a tranquil setting. If the kitchen gets a little hectic now and then, try adding some blue hues. It might help to calm nerves and tempers.

For those morning people, yellow is a good choice. This bright and cheerful hue promotes mental stimulation, making it a good color to wake up with. It has been a staple in country kitchens, bringing a cozy vibe to the space.

Bring nature indoors with green kitchen walls. A very positive color, green also helps to relieve stress like blue, but has an energizing quality like yellow. It goes well with white or wood cabinetry.

Whether it’s an accent wall, or the whole kitchen, color is important to creating a mood. It can also enhance or distract from kitchen cabinets and countertops. Just getting started on a new kitchen project? Contact Refinish First to select the right countertop color as the cornerstone of the kitchen.

Choosing a Countertop 101


There are almost endless options when picking the perfect replacement countertop for your kitchen. Among the considerations should be clean-up, maintenance and durability. Often overlooked is the cost and time involved in the countertop replacement process. Refinishing your countertop is always more economical than replacing and your kitchen will be back in use in days rather than weeks.

Whether your existing countertop is made of tile, laminate, Corian®, or even granite, Refinish First can refinish it to get rid of unsightly stains, scratches, chips and burns. We also guarantee our work! Contact Refinish First for a free countertop refinishing estimate today.