Your Farmhouse Sink faucet

Once you’ve decided a Farmhouse Sink fits your kitchen style, you now have a number of options to customize this critical area.    Previously in our article - “Farmhouse sinks gain popularity”; we discussed the characteristics that differentiate Farmhouse Sinks from modern ones. We included additional features to consider before you purchase. “Different materials customize Farmhouse sinks.” reviews a number of options of materials to choose from – including the pros and cons of each. Now let’s look at the options for placing hardware:  Is there a best location? The three ways to mount hardware are on the sink itself, the surrounding deck, and on the wall. As the name suggests, sink mounted hardware has holes drilled into the sink itself. The type of hardware, either single or double handed, determines the number of holes needed. Single handed faucets with the water temperature and pressure in one assembly only require one hole. Double handed faucets with the water controls separated from the faucet need three. If you add an additional faucet (maybe one for filtered water) it can go up to four. But suppose you fall in love with a collector’s sink that already has holes? Or want to change the faucet style in the future without giving up the sink? If your change requires fewer holes, you can use an escutcheon plate (deck plate at the base) to cover the one(s) you no longer need. Deck-mounted faucets put the hardware in the countertop surrounding the sink - a style well suited to contemporary kitchens. With this option, be careful of how water, dirt, and grime accumulate between the...

Shaker Cabinets Do It all

How to Get the Latest Trend with a Timeless Look As stated in our blog (“Shaker- style Cabinetry and Hardware”) the 2016 trend in kitchen design is beauty, simplicity, and functionality. But what if you want more than what’s trendy today? At Cornerstone, our experience and expertise guide you to the look that says “NOW”; yet stays current well into the future. Shaker cabinets offer one of the best options to refresh your kitchen and keep it timeless. Around since the 1800s, the Shaker profile stays true to its simplicity. It’s adaptability to modern tastes is what makes it so classic. Whether you prefer country, contemporary, even an industrial look – the squared off shape adjusts to changes using different finishes and hardware. So let’s review some of the characteristics of the cabinetry itself. What Defines the Shaker Cabinet Due to the frame and panel profile (also known as rail and style construction), pure Shaker style cabinetry is very plain.  A current popular trend is to add a slight beveled finish to give it another dimension. Larger units can be divided into sections with a piece known as mid-rails, mid-stiles or muntins (strips of wood or metal). Rows of big drawers, not uncommon in kitchens these days, create a repetitious look and Shaker cabinets fit right in. How to Differentiate Shaker Cabinets with Finishes Before the introduction of various finishes, cabinet craftsmen relied on the quality of wood… like maple, birch, and chestnut… to define the cabinet’s beauty. Today, woods like cherry and walnut add an even richer look. But you don’t have to limit yourself to one type...

Different materials customize Farmhouse Sinks

Different materials customize Farmhouse Sinks In  “Farmhouse sinks gain popularity“, we mentioned how this sink is a great way to create a custom kitchen look and feel. Now let’s talk about how to customize the sink itself. Once the province of white porcelain and fireclay, farmhouse sinks are currently as unique as your cabinets, island and appliances. Starting with the traditional materials, here’s a list of other options with some pros and cons of each. Fireclay and Porcelain Sinks Heating and curing clay above 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit produces Fireclay.  This treatment makes a surface that’s hard, durable, and dense. In fact, the density often requires a professional installer to modify the surrounding counter and cabinets to support the extra weight. However, the high heat is what gives Fireclay its high shine and ability to resist scratches and chips. Porcelain, also a ceramic material, is heated to high temperatures, but not as high as fireclay. Similar in looks, it’s more prone to chipping and discoloration. It’s also a little less costly. Copper Copper adds an elegant touch and with time, develops a beautiful patina. If you want that aged look immediately, buy a hammered sink where the manufacturer applied a colored patina. Stainless Steel A more contemporary look that’s affordable is Stainless Steel. Cooks like its durability and how easy it is to maintain and clean. Modern Style You can find a number of variations including different sizes, colors, and mountings. Although traditionally installed as an under mount, it’s possible to get a top-mounted version that eliminates the risk of water finding its way down the sides of the sink....

Farmhouse Sinks Re-gain Popularity

A sink that’s been around for hundreds of years is once again on the rise. In March, we wrote “Farmhouse Sinks — This Time In Color” because we know they add pizzazz to modern kitchens. (Kara, link to 03/30/2016 blog.) Farmhouse sinks originated at a time when there was no running water. Since water had to be carried in from outside the house, the sink was large, deep and close to the body for convenience. Now in a number of sizes, colors and materials, their appearance and function fit today’s active cooks. Old Concept – New Trend The National Kitchen and Bath Association, along with remodelers and interior designers – agree the trend in kitchen design is back to basics. Clean lines, neutral colors and clever storage make farmhouse sinks a natural addition to complete the environment. Their traditional design - deeper than the modern top and under-mount sinks - allows users to stand directly in front of the basin with no countertop or cabinet in between. In the “old days,” it worked well for women who prepared food, washed clothes (sometimes even the baby!) in the sink. Today, cooks love the extra space to clean large pots, big baking sheets, oven trays and large items like barbeque grills. Before You Purchase Consider this before you start shopping: It’s easy to incorporate a farmhouse sink in new construction… but you may have obstacles with remodeling. Unless you’re replacing all the cabinetry around the sink, you’ll probably need to make adjustments. The size and nature of these sinks often require custom cabinetry, plus a different countertop design. Because they’re deeper,...

Sustainable Remodeling

Remodeling is a great option if you are living in an improved housing market. The effort to upgrade over moving feeds makes it economical to stay put longer and customize what you have. It’s why we work with high-quality companies…such as Oakcraft and Timberlake…to install cabinetry our clients can live with long term. Looks and efficiency still motivate changes. What’s under the surface determines ease-of-use and durability. It’s Better Business To Make Cabinets That Last Manufactured woods like particleboard reduce costs. But those savings are lost if they affect indoor air quality. Many manufacturers have removed urea-added formaldehyde to make them NAUF (No Added Urea Formaldehyde) compliant. But it’s possible they use other VOCs or volatile organic compounds that will gas-off over time. Another problem with particle board is that it doesn’t stand the test of time. Its mixture of sawdust and glue is more susceptible to moisture. While that may seem immaterial in a climate like ours, it needs to be factored in for cabinets placed near dishwashers, showers or hold sinks. Manufactured woods don’t hold hardware as well. They’re more likely to strip and chip than wood and plywood that can last 50 years. If you screw a hinge into hardwood, it will stay there until someone comes along to unscrew it. As unlikely as it is for people to live in their homes for 50 years, quality construction increases overall home value and factors into remodeling options. Another way to cut manufacturing costs is to glue and pin or staple drawers and shelve ends together. With a little investment, the better method is dovetail construction where...

Guiding Clients To The Right Hardware For Their Kitchen

  The head-spinning number of decisions needed to model the kitchen makes it the most complex room in the home to design. In “The Kitchen Island“ post, we pose a number of questions to consider before designing what’s often the ‘heart’ of the kitchen. The same goes for choosing hardware. Some may like the look of doors and drawers with no hardware - and think they’re saving money. But over time, especially in active kitchens, oil and dirt from hands can eat away the finish (even when home owners are fastidious about washing their hands!). Narrow down the possibilities by learning how the kitchen will function. When cooking’s a passion, easy-to-grasp hardware that doesn’t snag clothing works best.  This style also applies to older residents and anyone who experiences sore or stiff joints. Knob styles work well in kitchens mostly used as a place to gather or where cooking isn’t a priority. The choices range from minimal design to ‘bling’. Here’s where individual taste really makes a statement. For families with toddlers, drop down handles are a good choice as they’re harder for little ones to operate. Another consideration is how wide drawers are. Hardware that’s too small not only gets lost, but may be inadequate to open the drawer. The accepted rule of thumb is to use two knobs or pulls for drawers 18 inches or wider. The alternative is to use oversized bar pulls. Where To Start Living in a desert doesn’t limit choices to just Southwestern or Contemporary. Different kitchen styles help determine what type and size hardware complement the overall look. But this still leaves a...

Cabinet Hardware – Jewelry for Your Kitchen

Even if you’re a consummate shopper, by the time you get to hardware for your cabinets and drawers, you may be experiencing that ‘deer in the headlights’ feeling. If so, here are some tips to note when deciding what style and size to use for those finishing touches. Knobs, Cups, Drop Handles or Pulls Recessed pulls are built into cabinet facings. They’re great for active galley style kitchens because they won’t snag or hook clothing. Just be sure they’re something you can live with because they can’t be converted to another style. Sometimes hardware choices depend on who uses the kitchen the most. Easy-to-use Bar Pulls are favored by designers trained in Universal Design. The ability to get your hand through the pull to open the drawer or cabinet makes this optimal for elders and anyone with arthritis-like conditions. Larger sizes are more expensive but easier to use, and for wider drawers, they eliminate the need for two pulls. Just be aware that chrome, brass, or any shiny finish shows scratches more easily. Drop Handles consist of two pieces with a dangling pull hanging from a mounted piece.  They make built-in cabinets look more like furniture - but can be harder to use. Some like them because they give toddlers more difficulty, but that also goes for anyone in a hurry. One drawback is over time; they can nick and scratch the cabinet finish. Cup Pulls (or Bin Pulls) are upside-down cups that give the kitchen a minimalist, vintage feel. They go well on Shaker style cabinets to create the clean, understated Nordic appearance that’s popular today. Knobs offer...

Bathroom Trends

The master bathroom “sanctuary” is trending!  We are seeing more homes designed with his and her bathrooms as well as his and her bathroom spaces, both having the luxuries that make your master bathroom a retreat. Cabinet towers sitting on the countertops offer a separation between his and her spaces.  They can be designed with drawers and doors or even open shelving for your towels or decorative items. Creative storage solutions for blow dryers and other small bathroom appliances accentuate the need for functional and convenient storage solutions.  Built in charging stations are becoming a need for most homes. The bathroom is an excellent option as it keeps device lights out of your sleeping area – function and design.  It doesn’t get better than you master bathroom retreat. Rev-A-Shelf offers adjustable shelves and bins perfect for curling irons and hair...

Scottsdale Contemporary Kitchen & Bath

We recently completed this project featuring Shaker style doors in the kitchen. Kitchen Shiloh cabinets are 54” tall with stacked uppers, Shaker style doors with clear glass. Hardware is from Hardware Resources - Sutton style with a satin nickel finish. Countertops from MSI International are quartz with arctic white and lagos azul coloring. Master bath Executive height cabinets are 36” tall. Chrome hardware.        ...