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...

The Kitchen Triangle

Developed in the early 1900s, the kitchen triangle places three traditional work areas: the sink, the refrigerator and the stove in a triangular configuration. The suggested distance between each leg of the triangle measures between four and nine feet. The sum total of all three should be between 13 and 26 feet. By placing these three elements relatively close to each other, the design gives the cook easy access to each appliance and makes meal preparation more efficient. Not everyone agrees. First, they say the kitchen is no longer limited to three key appliances. For example, the microwave is a standard appliance that often substitutes for the oven which in turn may be separate from the range. Second, it’s not unusual these days for the kitchen to be used by multiple cooks attending to individual dietary needs. Along with that, kitchens are often where social gatherings take place, kids do homework, and adults attend to home office needs. There’s no arguing that the triangle is effective in limiting the amount of steps needed to prepare a meal. However, if you’re looking to remodel your kitchen to accommodate more than one cook or to use as a multi-use room, review the placement of your major appliances first. Before you remodel, let Cornerstone help you determine the optimum design for your family’s...

150 Shades of Gray

Did you know the trend towards gray interiors started in Scandinavia? It wasn’t until about six years ago when the color caught on in the United States. Rather than become passé, the popularity of gray continues to rise. According to Andrea Magno of Benjamin Moore, gray interiors are evolving and they’re seeing an increase of gray on cabinetry and trims. But picking the best shade of gray for your home can be tricky. Since grays have undertones of blue, purple or green, you’ll want the shade that’s compatible with the surrounding tiles, furnishings and fabrics. For instance, there’s a big difference between cool and warm grays.  Cool grays are better for modern interiors while warm grays work better in traditional homes. There’s also a middle ground often referred to as French grays. Traditionally trims around gray are lighter shades of gray or whites. Now we’re seeing more trims in the same or even a darker gray.  Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute agrees. She sees gray with gray trim as a trend and feels people should give more grays a chance. If you’re ready for gray walls, cabinets or trims, it’s best to get samples of your three favorite grays and paint a poster board with each one. Check them out over a period of one day (or more) to see how they appear in varying degrees of light. This way you get it right the first...

Does “Lazy” Susan Do Justice To This Kitchen Accessory?

When it comes to corner-placed cabinetry, the best way to maximize your storage capacity is to install Lazy Susans. Not taking advantage of them will waste precious space and force you to search through the items in front to get what you want which is stored behind.  Lazy Susans make access to foods and kitchen utensils safer by bringing the items you need more often within easy reach. Consider them the smart spin on cabinet storage. You can customize your Lazy Susans by choosing one, two and three shelf configurations. They can also be ordered in various diameters to hold small to large appliances. Even small items like spice bottles are easier to separate and organize. No longer just plastic, the selection of materials varies from wood to polystyrene to wire chrome.  The next consideration is to choose from the configurations that range from full circle and D-shaped to half-moon and kidney shapes. It depends on what fits best for each cabinet configuration. Deciding how much you want to spend and how visible you want them to be will guide your selection also. Obviously Lazy Susans aren’t lazy, but if being able to reach whatever we need easily makes us “lazy” - so be it. Lazy Susans make kitchen tasks safer and allow us to indulge in all the kitchen gadgets we want without the guilt of where to store...

The Kitchen Island

When it comes to kitchen design, islands add style, personality, function; and come in multiple configurations. Is the client’s kitchen big enough for a stand-alone island, or will it only accommodate a peninsula? Do they want it built-in, or mobile?  So many choices can confuse homeowners making it crucial to ask them questions before anything goes on paper. What Clients Need (Or Just Want) From Their Kitchen Island The number one issue is function. Is the emphasis on food preparation, socialization, or a combination of the two? Will it house appliances? Sinks, under-counter refrigerators, and stove tops influence placement of other appliances to maximize activity flow and efficiency.  If a sink is embedded in the island, there needs to be room for a dishwasher on either side. If it’s the stove, they’ll need either a top mount or down-draft vent. The amount of food preparation influences the amount of storage needed. What and how many utensils need to be nearby and easily accessed? A number of factors determine countertop height - starting with seating and what types of bar stools are desired. Is this a place to snack, or will it replace the kitchen or dining room table? Do they prefer one or multiple countertop heights? Since kitchens are not static, traffic flow needs to be adequate. Architect Thomas Ahmann suggests three feet on either end and at least 42 inches on the working sides. Another consideration is passage when cabinet or appliance doors are open. How should it be lit? Pendant lighting is popular but some feel pendants interfere with the view. If the island has a stove,...

The Versatility of Shaker Cabinetry

As stated in our previous blog about Shaker cabinets, the trend in cabinet design continues to lean towards beauty, simplicity, and functionality – a perfect formula for this style.  Around since the 1800’s, the Shaker profile stays true to its generations-old simplicity. Not surprisingly, it’s as popular as ever today. But what if your client doesn’t follow the crowd? Not everybody wants the same as everyone else. Therefore, we adapt these cabinets to fit modern tastes with some twists. Whether your clients prefer country, contemporary, even an industrial look – the squared off shape easily adjusts to changes using different cuts, finishes and hardware. It starts with the characteristics and styles of the cabinetry itself. Shaker cabinets offer a number of options. Due to the frame and panel profile (also known as rail and style construction), pure Shaker style cabinetry is very plain.  Adding a slight beveled finish keeps the cabinets simple, yet gives them an elegant touch. Larger units can be divided into sections with pieces known as mid-rails, mid-stiles…or strips of wood or metal known as muntins. Some clients need lots of storage and using rows of big drawers maximizes storage space. For added flourish, we can include design features such as beaded or raised panels. 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. The various characteristics of the grain defined the cabinet’s beauty. In addition, we offer woods like cherry and walnut for an even richer look. When it comes to an antique or simply unique version, we can...