Build a Smart Kitchen

The kitchen is often called the “heart of the home” but it can also be the brains. A smart kitchen features devices that are connected via Internet technology, Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. They can be controlled remotely with a mobile app or a voice assistant like Amazon’s Alexa. Smart products make cooking more fun, easy, precise and safe. You don’t need a total renovation to create a smart kitchen. Consider a refrigerator that streams music and video, features a touchscreen, adds to a shopping list with voice commands, and has cameras to see inside. A smart dishwasher can be controlled remotely. A touch faucet can pour specific amounts and warm up water with voice commands.  A smart stove connected by Wi-Fi to a mobile app can send get alerts when burners are left on. You can even remotely operate your stove - preheating the oven before you arrive home or shutting it off when cooking is complete. Cabinets play a major role in smart kitchens. Custom cabinets must be designed to work with tech gadgets for maximum efficiency. Having a lot of electrical outlets and a few USB ports right where you need them can make all the difference so they can be installed directly into cabinetry. A beverage station provides extra storage for water, wine, and juice items while keeping your fridge free for more important tasks. A microwave with a recessed control panel built into the kitchen island can make quick snacks accessible for the whole family. A heavy-duty lift that turns a shelf into extra countertop space can be great for infrequently used smaller smart appliances like...

The Future Of Kitchens – Will They Be Open Or Closed?

We know some things in kitchens never change. Appliances may be sleeker, materials improved and color palettes may be broader. But let’s face it, the kitchen continues to be the heart of the home where most of the hard work takes place. Probably the biggest change we’ve seen over the years is to open the kitchen up to the rest of the house. And for good reason… After all, who wants to be isolated from company or the rest of the family while preparing food? Now the question is whether or not open kitchens are here to stay. According to Sam Cochran of Architectural Digest, “Kitchens will continue to be the gathering spaces, with dining nooks and multipurpose work surfaces where you can both roll your dough or type on your laptop. But it’s no longer a universal truth that a dream kitchen must be an open kitchen. “ In fact, many high-end homeowners are adding a second kitchen to serve as a working kitchen. It’s especially popular with those who entertain a lot. Second kitchens or “backstage workhorse kitchens” allow the “social” kitchen to serve as the gathering space.  This way the kitchen continues to be the place to hang out without getting in the way of food preparation. For those who have the space, two kitchens provide room for unhindered food preparation while maintaining the social kitchen we’ve come to...

The Smart Kitchen Trend – What Will Your Dream Look Like?

With the trend in adding a “work” kitchen to the “social” kitchen, let’s look at where kitchen appearance and function is headed. Last February, the Kitchen and Bath Show in Las Vegas showcased a plethora of new views. Many kitchen designers now incorporate fashion-forward features like glass fronts and LED lights on refrigerators. Appliances and cabinetry have chic leather and metal hardware. Back-splashes now feature unusual finishes like shagreen, metal, raw wood and artful murals. Tech is also the buzz and smart kitchens are definitely going digital. Currently Smart-touch faucets turn on and off with just a tap. Refrigerators feature integrated cameras that allow people to check their groceries from both inside and outside the home. Induction cook tops save energy with technology that changes heat settings instantaneously. Now think of dishwashers responding to voice commands and appliances that could communicate with each other to create shopping lists, meal recommendations and cooking instructions. Not only futuristic, these features dovetail with the trend towards Universal Design – the approach that makes living at home easier for everyone at every age. This is why experts believe innovations for the sake of technology alone will be weeded out. They see the market moving towards technology that not only looks sexy, but improves kitchen function and ease of food...

Great Kitchen Cabinet Design Hacks

When building your dream kitchen, first consider your storage needs, kitchen size and shape, and your family’s personal style. Then, keep the following cabinet design hacks in mind: Craft an eclectic look by combining a variety of cabinets such as natural wood, gray and white. Different cabinet sizes and door styles create depth in the room. With a two-toned kitchen, paint the inside shelves of the upper kitchen cabinets to match the cabinets under your counter-top. This contrast will create a cohesive space. Combine cabinets and open shelving to make the most of a small kitchen. Also use sliding doors to help your small kitchen feel less congested. Consider lining only one wall with cabinets. This should provide enough storage while keeping the rest of the room open and uncluttered. If you have a dark wood floor, use light colored cabinets and counter-tops to avoid the kitchen looking too dreary. Choose cabinets that have a red tint to add color to the room while still giving it a natural feel. Contrast glass cabinet doors with solid black cabinets to make a bold statement. White cabinets will reflect natural light and brighten up the space but be sure to spice up bland white cabinets by adding texture. For more storage in your kitchen, install shallow cabinets or modify the inside of the cabinet doors to stash thin items like condiments and paper products. If you plan on entertaining guests, wrap your cabinets around a corner and have the lower set double as a bar. Plan ahead for easy access by installing a cabinet directly above the dishwasher to make it...

Home Office

Our home offices are working harder than ever before! Let Cornerstone help make sure your cabinets are doing their part. Click here to read the article “Create a Home Office That Works as Hard as You...

The Sophisticated Country-Style Kitchen

“Rustic” is a beautiful combination of country cottage and farmhouse decor. Rustic kitchens add instant warmth and charm to a home, and are equally appropriate for both large and small spaces. To create a contemporary cozy look, check out these decorating ideas… No ceramic roosters or toile fabric doilies here! Start with exposed wood beams on the ceiling and a muted color scheme where natural materials will dominate. Salvaged wood with imperfections like knots, weathering, and grooves make the kitchen more appealing. Add a rough-hewn plank, tumbled stone or polished concrete floor. Consider an artisan stone oven or a wood-burning stove in addition to modern appliances. Dark wood can be too imposing for smaller kitchens so choose bleached or primitive painted light wood (oak or pine) cabinetry instead. When combining wood finishes, make sure they are complementary to each other. If you paint, stick with country colors like blues, browns, greens or muted reds. Distressing is optional since Type A personalities may not be able to tolerate intentionally chipped paint. Custom cabinets can also be created to mimic barn doors and a vibrant Shaker-style island can become the room’s focal point. Matte metal and industrial hardware are most appropriate for rustic kitchens because bright and shiny would clash badly. Exposed brick can be a great backsplash or accent wall. Install open shelving to display baskets and kerosene lamps as well as a hanging pot rack for showing off period copper or iron cookware. Add a farmhouse table, metal bar stools or a rag rug to complete the look. Be sure to blend old with new for a rustic space that...