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Style Magazine

Kitchen Reinvention

Jan 31, 2010 04:00PM ● By Wendy Sipple

Photos courtesy of BI Design

These days, more than ever before, savvy homeowners have discovered that renovating their house is an exciting way to get a new, upgraded home – without changing their address.

Especially when it comes to resale values, experts say updating a kitchen or bathroom could be the best money you ever spend on your house.

A Firm Footing in Design

One local designer knows firsthand the value of kitchen and bath remodeling. Craig Badolian started in the flooring business at a young and impressionable age. “My father was one of the founders of Carpeteria in the ‘60s and started me in the business when I was just a kid,” he recalls.

Badolian felt a natural progression toward the interior design industry, an interest that literally took him around the globe. In 2001, he decided to go back to school as a student of design – at two of the finest academies in the world. “I started my studies in interior architecture and design at the Marbella Design Academy in Marbella, Spain, and finished with a degree in interior design at the Florence Design Academy in Florence, Italy.” Today, as owner and lead designer of BI Design, he incorporates his worldly experience with architecture and design into new construction and remodeling projects throughout the greater Sacramento and foothills area.

Heart of the Home

Badolian’s passion and focus lies in kitchen and bath design and remodeling. “It’s no secret the most important investment in remodeling is usually with regards to the kitchen,” he says, a fact he claims is really pretty simple to understand. “Because we spend more than 70 percent of our time when awake in the kitchen, it’s important to concentrate on the function and aesthetics of the space.”

But, the designer says, it’s not only important to update your kitchen in order to enjoy your home now, it’s an important consideration for the future. “A well designed kitchen can be a real draw for potential buyers should you choose to sell your home,” says Badolian. “In today’s real estate market, your home needs to be the best looking on the tour, and the kitchen gets the most criticism.”

From Kitchen to Great Room

From the start one local remodeling job by BI Design seemed to happily take on a life of its own. “This project was a referral, which started as a simple cabinet project,” says Badolian. “It quickly grew to be a complete great room remodel with a new kitchen, entertainment center, fireplace, flooring and plaster wall finishes.”

Best of all, the design style the homeowners sought was one with which Badolian was intimately familiar. “The homeowner wanted a Tuscan-style interior to remind them of their Italian roots,” he explains, laughing. “Because I lived and studied design in Italy, the Tuscan style came naturally to me. We used materials from Italy, various custom architectural details and traditional Tuscan designs to accomplish the desired style.”

Badolian says the homeowners also wanted to maximize the function and circulation of the space, something he reports as a common theme in kitchen remodels. “By changing the location of the appliances, adding more storage to the cabinetry and enhancing the overall flow, the homeowner was able to maximize the use of the space much better than before.”

Despite the vast expansion of the project from the original cabinetry job, Badolian says the job went quite smoothly. “The design process took approximately two to three weeks and construction took approximately eight weeks for the kitchen.”

Invaluable Investment

Just looking at the way remodeling can take a “nice” space and make it “fabulous” seems to more than validate the expenses that go along with a renovation. Yet Badolian says especially in challenging economic times, homeowners tend to be leery of throwing money into home enhancement projects. “In a time when many homeowners are contemplating their monthly mortgage payment versus the negative equity in their home, today is harder than ever to justify improvements or remodeling,” he says.

But, Badolian says it is actually the best time to make such a commitment. “It’s now when many homeowners are realizing they will be staying in their homes longer and want to be comfortable with their surroundings” he says. “Home remodeling is not only an investment in real estate, but also in your lifestyle,” he says. “The type of return you get from this investment is invaluable.”