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.        ...

Floating Cabinets Are The Rage! 

More and more designers are including floating vanities as part of their design.  Floating cabinets are suspended off the back wall and off the floor by approximately 10 inches. This can vary depending on design.  The front of a floating cabinet is suspended out from the wall 21 inches typically.  Make no mistake.  The weight of the cabinets is such that the front of the cabinet will push down, forcing the back of the cabinet away from the wall. You also have the weight of the sink and the counter top to consider. The cabinets are heavy and most cabinet manufacturers do not reinforce their cabinetry to compensate for the weight suspended away from the wall.  Some custom manufacturers integrate webbing into the design of the cabinet and are designed not to have the steel brackets.  There is just too much weight for the backs of the cabinets to withstand the downward gravity. We have seen many installation applications that have failed - metal straps or extra screws.  Cornerstone has engineered a steel bracket for the cabinets to sit on.  We professionally install our custom designed brackets regardless of the way the cabinets are manufactured.  Many designs incorporate the floor tile to transfer up the wall underneath the floating vanities.  Under cabinet lighting accentuates the luxury bath and can be integrated into the bottoms of your floating cabinetry.  There are also many moldings that can accentuate the floating cabinetry as well. Floating cabinets are stylish, sexy, contemporary, and can enhance the space of your bathroom.  With proper installation and design, a floating vanity can be the focal point of your...

A Kitchen Makeover

Remodeling your kitchen is a big decision. Cornerstone is always available to answer questions, help with the design and, of course, handle the installation. Here is an inspiring story! Reader Kitchen: A Kentucky Makeover for...