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 Doors – Today’s Best Look And Fit

Cabinet Doors – Today’s Best Look And Fit In January, we wrote about the surge in Shaker style cabinets.  Defined as a full overlay or euro-style doors, they’re easy to personalize with a multitude of hardware options yet fit the trend towards simplicity and functionality. But let’s not forget there’re other options. Here we discuss the three major cabinet door mountings with some pros and cons of each. Cabinet Door Lingo As far back as the early 1900s, Inset Cabinet Doors were built into most kitchens. Held in place by hinges mounted on (or just inside the cabinet face frame), the door and drawer are on the same plane as the leading edge of the cabinet box. Usually, the hinges are visible when the door is shut.   This style reduces cabinet space inside, and smaller drawers and hardware require extra blocking in the box. Price wise, it costs more than the others. However, this simple, traditional look is over 100 years old. Hardly a fad, Inset Cabinet doors aren’t going away anytime soon. Modernizing the inset door created Partial Overlay Cabinet Doors. Just as the name suggests, they partially cover the finished face frame.  The ability to install more functional hardware allows a little more room for storage space over Inset Cabinet Doors. The problem is with the overall look. The space between doors and drawers gives the appearance of dotting, rather than defining the entire surface - diminishing their popularity. Full Overlay or Euro-style Doors are the latest and again, the name defines the style. Doors and drawers completely cover the box surface leaving very small gaps...

CNC Equipment

Chris took a short video showing the action of the “CNC” machine. (AKA Computer Numerical  Control) This equipment is state of the art technology that greatly improves your satisfaction with your granite countertops. The computer converts the design produced by computer aided design software (CAD) into numbers.  Numbers can be considered to be coordinates of a graph and the control the movement of the cutters.  The computer controls the cutting and shaping of the material resulting in a much higher quality edge detail. Some manufacturers are still doing this work with hand held routers.  The CNC saves processing time which saves labor which lowers your cost. Notice in the video that the machine applies water constantly to the cutting surface to lower the temperature of the machine and the granite.  The CNC has a large selection of tooling to give you exactly the edge you want on your countertop. One more way that Cornerstone Cabinet Company “Exceeds...