Top 6 Kitchen Remodel Ideas to Add Luxury to Your Home

Top 6 Kitchen Remodel Ideas to Add Luxury to Your Home

The kitchen is the soul of the home, having a powerful influence on our houses and lives; it is where the family gathers daily and is a space for entertaining friends. That is why homeowners want kitchen remodel ideas that will accentuate the best of this central living space and why homebuyers are willing to spend up to 53.5% of the remodel’s cost more when purchasing the home. 

At Middlefork, we are in the business of bringing your most upscale, dreamy kitchen remodel ideas to life. Read on to learn more about the most sought-after and trendy kitchen remodel ideas our clients are requesting.

  1. Open-concept floor plan

An open-concept floor plan removes the walls that separate the kitchen from the rest of the living space. An open floor plan allows the living room, kitchen, and often dining room as well to become a single, barrier-free space. This makes the space appear larger, improves traffic flow, opens up natural lighting, and brings people together. 

  1. Spruced Up Kitchen Island

A kitchen island becomes the focal point of the kitchen and is a popular gathering place in the home. It can be made more functional by adding a stovetop, sink, or other amenities that make cooking a breeze. We’re also seeing a trend in larger luxury kitchens of adding two islands, providing additional space for storage, appliances, and seating.

  1. Hidden Built-Ins

A “hidden” built-in refrigerator gives the kitchen a sophisticated, custom look and opens up the floor plan with more space. It also streamlines the kitchen significantly, removing the bulky or uncoordinated look that many fridges can have in a kitchen. Additionally, you can customize your kitchen with enclosed, pull-out trash and recycle bins that are hidden from view, cabinets that open to reveal sets of drawers, and cabinets that work around unusual shapes and floorplans. Want a built-in, hidden wine refrigerator? Your kitchen remodel ideas can be completely customized to tuck away and special features you want to blend into your kitchen’s design.

  1. Smart Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen remodel ideas that bring your kitchen into the 21st century will be practical and make life easier. A smart microwave is voice-activated, so you can speak cook commands while your hands are busy chopping. It also has automatic humidity control, so your food doesn’t dry out. Smart faucets are touchless, and smart refrigerators allow you to keep a food inventory and shopping list through smartphone apps, helping to streamline not just your cooking but your life as well! 

  1. Unique Flooring

There are many luxurious options for flooring to consider in your kitchen remodel. Handcrafted, ceramic, or natural stone tiles can create beautiful, unique mosaics, custom and unique to your kitchen. Pebbles can also be turned into a high-end floor mosaic, making your floor a true work of art. Another option is choosing exotic hardwoods, like Brazilian Walnut or Australian Cyprus, as the base of your remodel. 

  1. Design Details 

When mapping out your kitchen remodel ideas, don’t forget to consider the design details. The colors you choose can change the size, shape, and feel of a space. Choose light and bright colors for the walls, backsplash, and cabinets to make the kitchen feel larger. A white ceiling can make the ceiling seem higher. On the contrary, you can choose dark colors to make a vast space feel smaller and cozier.

A statement light fixture can double as a work of art and set the stage for the kitchen’s style. Try using large lantern pendants, or woven rattan pendants that will add rustic charm, or create a modern minimalist vibe with iron geometric cage pendants, glass orb pendants, or black netted pendants. Have a more modern style? A billiards-style pendant with hanging wires flaunts a contemporary style. 

If you’re ready to start designing the kitchen of your dreams in the greater Chicago area, learn about what you can expect in a kitchen renovation, and then send us a message, and we will turn your kitchen remodel ideas into a reality!

Create Your Dream Custom Home with a Chicago Home Renovation Loan

Create Your Dream Custom Home with a Chicago Home Renovation Loan

Do you love your community, school district, or home’s historical significance but feel limited by particular features and dated designs? A custom home renovation allows you to achieve the best of both worlds by staying in your current home while updating all the elements that just aren’t working for your family. A Chicago home renovation loan is an excellent way to jump-start your journey to a more luxurious home and increase your property value at the same time. 

Custom home renovations can add significant value to your property and bring new life and increased satisfaction for homeowners. Our clients consistently express the world of difference completing their custom home renovation made for them, and their only regret was not starting the process earlier. We work side by side with our clients and ensure every detail of their home renovation fits their family, personality, and lifestyle and suits the standards of our prestigious Chicago neighborhoods.

Although there are a variety of Chicago home renovation loans, the two most common include conventional loans and the FHA 203K loan.

Conventional Chicago Home Renovation Loans

When it comes to conventional loans, there are both private and government-backed. Government-backed conventional loans tend to have the lowest interest rates and more consistency from lender to lender. However, each lender sets its own rules regarding private conventional loans, so exploring those details with your lender is a must.

Non-conventional loans have some advantages worth exploring, including higher loan limits, no limitations as far as what can be rehabbed or added, and they can be used to remodel second homes and investment properties. 

Chicago FHA 203K Loans

FHA 203K loans are either Standard or Limited. The Standard or “full” version allows for structural changes and has a higher rehab fund limit, whereas the Limited option does not allow for structural changes, and the total repair funds can not exceed $35,000. These types of loans can not be used on investment properties or luxury items such as swimming pools; however, they are easier to qualify for compared to common conventional renovation loans in Chicago. 

You have many options when creating your dream custom home with a Chicago home renovation loan. As you begin the process, you will discover what works best for you! 

Ready to start your luxury home renovation? Contact us to set up a consultation to start living in the home of your dreams!

How to Maximize Outdoor Space While Living in the City

How to Maximize Outdoor Space While Living in the City

The choice between moving to the city, the suburbs, or to a rural area often comes down to one thing: access to outdoor space. Many people think they either have to live in the city with nothing but concrete outside or somewhere far outside the city with a lot of land, but we believe that there’s a happy medium to be found! While it’s true that living in the city typically comes with less square footage outdoors, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of the space you have and create a true oasis right in the heart of the city.


Have some extra space close to the exterior walls of your home? Rather than letting that space go to waste, create a charming courtyard out of it! These open-air spaces are an excellent way to add some life to the outside of your home. Stock your courtyard with fountains, planters, benches, plants, anything that fits your fancy to create your own little slice of heaven right outside your door.


Perhaps this is the most straightforward suggestion, but many people don’t think of the multitude of creative ways they can incorporate greenery into their outdoor space. Even something as simple as planting a big, leafy tree outside can provide extra privacy as well as the feeling of being up in the canopies when you look outside your window. You can also add greenery in smaller ways like adding planters to your front porch, planting vines on a trellis, or lining your fence with rose bushes.

Multi-level back deck

Creating next-level back decks is one of our specialties! Adding multiple levels to your deck area allows you to create several intimate-feeling spaces while still hosting large groups of people. Grill on the upper level, chill on the lower level, create whatever atmosphere you like, and facilitate great conversation with pods of seating where people can enjoy one another’s company. Another way to make your back deck even more epic is by adding high-quality lighting; use lanterns, path lighting, or quality string lights to keep a moody and magical atmosphere!

Indoor/outdoor flow

The best way to make sure you’re truly utilizing your outdoor space is by making it easily accessible! Large french doors or folding glass doors that completely open up your home to the fresh air are an excellent way to bring the outdoors in! On nice days, keep the doors open to let in a cool breeze and create indoor/outdoor flow that makes it feel like the two areas are one.

Small gardens

You don’t have to live on a sprawling ranch to have a garden! Building small gardens into every nook and cranny of your outdoor space creates a sense of vitality and helps to soften back decks or courtyards that can easily feel too cold or lifeless. Get creative and think outside of the box when it comes to planning out small gardens; see in the photo above how small gardens were built into the sides of the bench, in raised planters along the walls, and in the area between levels of the deck!

Outdoor fireplace

Outdoor fireplaces are a must-have in a chilly city like Chicago to ensure you can use your outdoor space all year long. When the weather starts to turn, light up a fire and stay cozy enjoying family time outside rather than being cooped up all winter! We like to go beyond common fire “pits” that sit on the ground of your outdoor space and rather opt for full, professionally-built outdoor fireplaces. You can even add a mantle, lighting, and other decor to dress it up even more and really make your outdoor feel like an extension of your home!

Ready to start planning your own outdoor oasis? Contact us to get started!

How to Improve Air Quality & Reduce Allergens in Your Home

How to Improve Air Quality & Reduce Allergens in Your Home

Whether your allergies peak in spring, summer, or fall, or you’re someone interested in cleaning the air in your home for other health reasons, improving your air quality is of extreme importance to today’s homeowners! Good air quality in your home contributes to better health and sleep, easier breathing, and reduced odors too, so taking time to invest in improving your air is more than worth it in the long run. Here are our top tips to improve air quality & reduce allergens in your home no matter what time of year!

Chicago Greystones

Chicago Greystones

The Greystone: Chicago’s most iconic building style that has developed nationwide notoriety due to its unique, sophisticated appearance. These understated yet beautiful homes are a staple in many Chicago neighborhoods in the same way that brownstones are in New York. 

Contrary to popular belief, the term “Greystone” actually has little to do with the size, type, or location of the home; rather, it refers to the limestone building material that is used on the home’s facade, giving the homes their namesake “grey” appearance. At Middlefork, we have built and renovated a number of greystones and they’ve truly become some of our favorite projects to work on! Creating or preserving a home that reflects a piece of Chicago history makes us proud Chicagoans and these homes provide a bit of beauty to any neighborhood they grace. 

What Does it Mean to be a “Luxury Home Builder?”

What Does it Mean to be a “Luxury Home Builder?”

You’ve likely heard of more than a few different types of home builders: tract, spec, semi-custom, custom…but what does it mean to be a “luxury home builder?” All of these different types of builders have their own specialties and clientele, but luxury home builders are who take home building and customization to a whole new level. 

Unique Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas

Unique Small Bathroom Remodel Ideas

The powder room, the guest bath, the half bath, whatever you choose to call it; these small bathrooms are some of our absolute favorite rooms to create and remodel! Guest bathrooms are the perfect example of packing a punch in a small space with endless opportunities for distinctive design elements that show off your personality (and, not to mention, impress your guests!). Here are a handful of unique small bathroom remodel ideas to get your wheels turning when dreaming up your next renovation: 

A Chicago Kitchen Renovation: Old World Meets New

A Chicago Kitchen Renovation: Old World Meets New

Have you heard the phrase “go big or go home?” That phrase encapsulates how we feel about doing a Chicago kitchen renovation. The kitchen is the heart of the home and deserves to be treated as such, so a kitchen remodel is your opportunity to really pull out all the stops! Spiffing up the kitchen not only simplifies hosting and increases your home’s value, but it also provides more opportunities for connection with your family during everyday life. When the kitchen is a pleasant place to be, your family will naturally gravitate there and can create bonding experiences around cooking or just gabbing at the kitchen table. 

How to Preserve Character During a Home Remodel

How to Preserve Character During a Home Remodel

We’ve all seen it: that person who pours a ton of time and energy into completely gutting and renovating an old home, and in the end, it all turns out a bit…vanilla. Sure, they have the fanciest kitchen gadgets and everything looks crisp and clean, but when there’s nothing to capture your eye and attention it all turns out a bit boring! Our modern-day society tends to be all about the latest and greatest, but there’s something to be said for one who prioritizes and choses to preserve character during a remodel. By highlighting your home’s distinctive features, you’ll end up with a unique home design that’s sure to capture your guests’ attention and feels more like “home”! 

How to Create a Home Designed for Entertaining

How to Create a Home Designed for Entertaining

If you love hosting parties or family gatherings, you know how the space you’re in can make or break your hosting experience. From a home’s layout to its features to even its finishes, there are so many factors that can either make hosting a breeze or a downright struggle. So, how do you create a home that’s the ultimate entertaining hub? Here are our top recommendations to consider when building or renovating to create a home designed for entertaining.