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...

Light Up Your Kitchen With Universal Design

When we think about lighting, both inside and outside our homes, usually the goal is to use lighting that makes everything look good. What’s more important is to make it even. Since the kitchen tends to be a busy area where much socialization takes place, even lighting is particularly important. Universal Design seeks to eliminate shadows and glare, both of which tend to interfere with sight and can put you a little off balance. It does this by incorporating three kinds of lighting. Direct lighting is the overhead lights that illuminate large areas. Task lighting is found beneath cabinets and is very specific. Accent lighting is in various locations and the most subtle of the three. Depending on how you use your lights means you can make your kitchen daylight bright, soft and romantic…or some combination in between. The goal is to avoid shadows that hide an open cabinet door or countertop that sticks out. Just like shadows, glare is just as dangerous because it also overwhelms the eye and impairs vision. Even lighting is the best way to create the atmosphere you want and still be safe. For direct lighting you’ll need overhead lights like pendants and/or recessed ceiling lights. Task lighting includes lights mounted under the counter to fully illuminate food preparation. Accent lighting comes from either wall sconces or the rising popularity of cabinet toe-kick lighting - both of which complement the other two. Toe-kick lights also delineate the juncture of cabinets to the floor. Dimmer switches are the best way to adjust the amount of lighting for different activities. While toe-kick lighting is usually on...

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 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...
Color Your Best Kitchen Ever With Universal Design

Color Your Best Kitchen Ever With Universal Design

As kitchens continue to evolve to more than just the place for food preparation, there’s another way to enhance the social experience. It’s how you use color to set the atmosphere. “Why Universal Design should be incorporated into your kitchen” introduced the advantages of lever-handled faucets and appliance placements. These features make it easier to perform tasks and still interact with others in the room. Ease of use plus colors that resonate with you and your family create that environment that keeps family and friends hanging around. Color makes objects easier to see. Sight-challenged people are defined as those who need glasses or contacts, no matter how young or old they are. Dim lighting challenges even those with perfect vision. Color blocking is a technique that distinguishes one object from another. It doesn’t have to be as drastic as placing red against blue.  It means using colors and their tones to show contour. This increases the ability to easily distinguish floor to walls, walls to cabinets, cabinets to countertops and so on. Color blocking also aids anyone who’s busy preparing food and drinks. Along with safety, color blocking is another tool you can use to reflect your taste and personality. This is where Universal Design really upgrades your kitchen by giving it that customized look that really speaks about you. It sounds easy, but one thing about color is that it’s complicated. Colors have undertones that make them bright or muddy. Ever notice how many shades of white or black are available? Pairing the wrong shades can ruin an entire project. One way to get the best color scheme...