Updating your kitchen? We asked designer Mick De Giulio — who designed his first kitchen when he was 19 and has 3,000 projects under his belt — to give us a list of what he thinks are the essentials.
1. Natural Light Look for ways to maximize light, from eliminating cabinets next to windows to using transparent or reflective materials like glass and stainless steel.
2. Comfort I like to incorporate soft seating, a TV, and — when I can — a fireplace, to make the kitchen the coziest place in the house.
3. Visual Texture It's the mix of woods, countertop materials, and finishes that creates warmth, personality, and mood.
4. Stainless Steel The consummate neutral, it looks great with everything and will never go out of style. I love its organic quality — it develops a well-worn patina over time.
5. An Island If space allows, an island is essential. It's the social center of the kitchen.
6. A Great Sink Accessories such as an integrated colander and a sliding cutting board make working there more efficient.
7. Integrated Refrigeration Creating cabinet facades to hide refrigeration units gives me a tremendous amount of design freedom. By eliminating a large, boxy element, I can make a kitchen feel more room-like.
8. High-Performance Appliances Today, high-efficiency burners and ovens with convection and self-cleaning are really indispensable.
9. A Hook Every great kitchen has a hook, that one unique element that just pulls you in. It could be a hood, a sink, a pot rack.
10. A Kitchen Designer Kitchen design is complicated, and the landscape is constantly changing. Hiring a professional is perhaps the most valuable investment you will make.
11. Ice Cream In my opinion, no kitchen is complete without it.
For a price already included in HOA fees, every home, school, and busi
"I am a first time home buyer and Michele was awesome from the very beginning. She called and took down exactly what I wanted, and sent me about 40 listings that fit my description within a couple of hours. She had viewings scheduled immediately after I sent her my list of favorites. She was very accommodating on the viewing schedule and worked around my availability. I found the house I wanted during the first set of showings. Michele had the contract ready later that evening and had everything sent to the realtor that same day. She is an excellent negotiator and got me an incredible price on my home. She is fun to work with and very personable. Even though this was my first time buying, she made it very easy for me to understand the process and what all I needed to do. I would recommend her to anyone looking for a new home."