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....

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 counter-top 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 counter-top 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, anything...

The Trend Toward Open Kitchens Remains Strong

Several of our blogs talk about how the kitchen is the heart of the home. More and more families want to encourage interaction using multiple islands, banquette seating and more space. This means taking down non-supportive walls and removing big over-the-island hoods. It utilizes cabinets designed to both maximize storage and integrate with the rest of the home. Nearly half of current remodel projects make kitchens more open to adjacent spaces and it requires more thought to how finishes and materials for the added rooms work together.  Again, cabinetry is the key to function and appearance. We discussed changes in cabinetry in Remodeling trends for kitchen islands in 2020. One way is to contrast island cabinets with perimeter cabinets using different shades of one color; or a different color altogether.  Another is to make cabinets more colorful as stated in the latest styles and color for kitchen cabinetry. Kitchen lighting is also seeing a change. While recessed lights are still popular; pendant lighting along with under-cabinet and toe-kick lighting works together to create a warmer atmosphere. This combination eliminates glare and shadows. And don’t forget the rooms the kitchen opens up to. Whether a dining room, living room or great room, it takes more planning to pull the entire area together. One way is to have square and rectangular cutout shelves in the adjacent room echo the shapes of the kitchen cabinet panels. Another small but important detail is hardware. Matching - or better yet – using complementary finishes for door and drawer handles throughout is a great way to pull the rooms together. Because open kitchens are more...

Are We Seeing A Change From White In The Kitchen?

According to the latest research, white continues to be the top color choice for kitchen cabinets. However, search the web for kitchen ideas and you may notice that the color choice appears to be shifting. Here’s what we’re seeing. Bright and strong colors are still on the fringe but off-white shades are coming on strong. Natural woods like bleached or grey-washed red oak are one way to take the edge off of an all-white kitchen.  If it fits into your budget and you’re looking for a little less pink, you can use white oak. White oak is a little warmer with its golden-brown tones and tendency to be slightly darker. Both woods allow you to bring in white tones with other materials without making the overall effect too white. Gray continues to be popular due to its versatility. Gray has the dual advantage of still being light and bright while it adds a little more warmth. And when it comes to changing color all together, blue and green are seeing the most interest. Like gray, pale pastel blue and green show a similar versatility by warming up the room without giving up the simple, clean lines and appearance you get from white. These “not-so-white” kitchens offer homeowners a way to make a change in a subtle manner. Yet we’re seeing remodel projects looking for a complete change. One way to do this is contrasting dark cabinetry with white or very light counter-tops. It’s a way to makes a bolder statement and leaves other aspects, like back-splashes, ceilings and decor available for contrast with white shades. White kitchens are timeless....