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...

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....

The Latest Styles And Color For Kitchen Cabinetry

                        Every year, Las Vegas hosts the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS). This show is attended by companies in the industry to see the latest trends in kitchen and bath design including our own Chris Boulton! Naturally cabinetry plays a huge part and this year was no exception. As you’ll see, shaker and flat-front door styles, which have been popular for years, continue to reign. While white and wood doors dominate remodel projects, some companies at the show ventured into dark and dramatic colors like blues and greens. There were even some bright colors. So what does this mean for kitchen design in the future?   When it comes to remodeling, white continues to be the top choice with both cool and warm white shades. Wood cabinets come in second only to white and include both light and dark shades. What stood out was combining both shades within the doors to add an artistic touch. Gray is the third most popular for upgrades in remodels. Gray and other neutral colors stay popular because they are so easy to work with. Here’s what’s new: How about dark, dramatic cabinet colors? Colors like dark brown, flat black and deep charcoal are becoming more prevalent. One reason is because dark cabinetry can be off-set with light countertops, floors and ceilings. It’s a flip from dark countertops over white cabinetry. When it comes to colors, blue and green are the most popular. Research shows the blue is a top color for kitchen islands that contrast with the perimeter cabinets. Green walls...

Updating Trends in Bathroom Remodels

When it comes to bathrooms, the three upgrades getting a lot of attention are double sinks, mirrors and lighting. More than just appearance, they upgrade how well your bathroom functions. When it comes to sinks, 69% of renovations include a two-sink setup. One way to increase storage is to place the sinks far enough apart so you can install a full-sized cabinet between. This way the most used items are stored within easy reach. Another factor is the type of sinks installed. The most popular type is under-mounts (64%) followed by drop-ins (16%) and vessel sinks (11%). Vessel sinks placed on top of countertops leave more space for a cabinet drawer underneath. But if an under-mount or drop-in is your preference, small tilt-out drawers can be built in to keep small items, like makeup and shavers at your fingertips. Double mirrors pair up well with double sinks and some homeowners opt to upgrade to three or more mirrors. Additional features include anti-fog systems, LED lighting and hidden outlets. Mirrors mounted on customized cabinets offer additional storage and allow for space for lighting and outlets. Lighting is important not only for looks, but for safety. The goal is to keep lighting even both day and night.  As a result, the majority of bathroom remodels now include wall lights or recessed lights to eliminate shadows and glare. The shower should have its own light along with lights over the toilet and any niche areas in the bathroom. Increasing in popularity are in-drawer and toe-kick lights. Toe-kick lighting is especially helpful at night because it delineates where the floor ends and the...

Shake It Up!

Shaker cabinets have been the most popular way to refresh your kitchen and keep it timeless for the past several years. Shaker cabinets are defined by five-piece doors with flat recessed panels and no bevel on the frame. They are typically made of quality hardwoods like birch, maple, pine, chestnut, cherry, ash, hickory, oak, and poplar. The hinges are usually hidden. The simple construction also referred to as rail and stile, is a clean, classic look. Shaker style was developed by members of the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, an 18th-century Christian sect who fled to the American colonies. They were called “Shaking Quakers” because of their overexcited behavior during worship services, but they lived a simple life which included making all of their own furniture. Utility and attention to form and proportion marked Shaker craftsmanship. They were the first to regularly integrate cabinetry into architecture. Because Shaker style is adaptable to many design schemes, the squared off rectangle shape cabinetry can accommodate most finishes and hardware. Although white paint or natural stain is on trend for a moderate, transitional style, Shaker pairs well with the marble countertops of traditional kitchens and can be painted in the most modern pop colors for contemporary enthusiasts. Shaker cabinets can also be everywhere you can imagine.  They can be built not only in the kitchen, but the laundry room, living room or bathroom. Shaker doors can be easily combined with matching five-piece drawer fronts or simple slab drawer fronts for maximum storage capacity in a full wall unit.   Cornerstone Cabinet Company uses only top-quality manufacturers like Oakcraft and...

Kitchen Countertop Options

Choosing a kitchen countertop isn’t all about looks! Durability, maintenance and cost are all factors.  If you select a favorite and it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, chances are that there is a similar style in another material that will work.  However, regardless of whether it is granite or concrete, you must care for it appropriately to maintain its beauty. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, granite is the top choice in kitchen countertops.  It is available in a wide variety of colors and no two pieces are ever exactly alike. Granite can be polished to darken and shine the stone or honed to make it soft and matte. Similar natural stone materials, like marble and limestone, are softer than granite and require more delicate use. Quartz, a combination of mineral, color, and resin, is not cheaper than natural countertops, but is a durability superstar.  Hot pots, serrated knives, abrasive pads, and most stains are no match for quartz. All natural stone countertops must be sealed periodically to keep them looking great, but quartz does not require sealing. Concrete countertops are gaining popularity because they can be completely customized with pigments. Concrete is available in several different finishes: trowel (smooth), ground (sanded to expose the sand aggregate) and pressed (a tool is used to reveal marble-like veining). Extreme changes in temperature may cause concrete to warp or curl, damp sponges left on the countertop can cause discoloration, and acidic spills may mar the surface. To keep concrete countertops in shape, seal them four times per year and wax them with a paste every two to three months. Wood...