Mr. Jackson
@mrjackson

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...

From kitchen to living room

As stated in “Banquette seating – will it work in your kitchen?” the trend in home design is to make the kitchen a place to gather, yet openly transition into other rooms. Kitchen islands play a key part as they go from food preparation countertop to banquette seating – making the transition seamless.   Any style is adaptable so it doesn’t matter if your home is industrial, modern, traditional or a fusion of something between. The way to pull it together is to coordinate…not match…the cabinetry you have in both areas.  Matching looks contrived. Coordination gives you more versatility and a natural feel. These days, farmhouse style is seeing a resurgence. This style is particularly easy to work with due to using a mix of antique finishes with a pallet of subtle colors. The same goes for rustic. Modern and industrial styles may present a little more challenge. Here the versatility of shaker cabinets offers a number of variations that tie rooms together. For example, a window seat with storage beneath may have wider or deeper frames and be a different but complementary color to the kitchen. The same can be done if you have cabinets surrounding a fireplace or beneath a buffet nook. Another way to coordinate any style is with glass doors and open shelves. A mix of these in both the kitchen and adjoining room could show off similar dishes or art collections. We tend not to think about having cabinets in the living area, yet they are the best way to store items you want to have handy but not always out in the open....

When Two Kitchen Islands Are Better Than One

The trend towards large kitchens continues to grow. More than simply meal preparation, modern kitchens now have specialized food and drink preparation stations. Even more important, kitchens are the focal point for more friends and family interaction. All of these features require more countertop space which leads to larger kitchen islands. If this describes your home, think in terms of having two kitchen islands instead of one. With the right layout and configuration, dividing one large island into two improves traffic function and flow. When it comes to function, two islands divide the work stations so that food preparation and clean up are more efficient. For example, set up one island exclusively for food preparation. The other island houses the sink and dishwasher for clean up. Or divide islands to separate the work station while the second island is a bistro style for others to eat and socialize. And there’s no reason why the islands have to match. Contrast them with one open underneath and the other lined with cabinets to organize and store kitchen items in one place. You may host events where one island is needed to create an elongated buffet. Sometimes an extra large work area is necessary. Consider a drop leaf that connects one to the other. The biggest advantage to two islands is to facilitate traffic control, especially in busy kitchens. One big island forces traffic around it. Two smaller islands create an additional route for everyone to move about.  It also shortens steps from one side to another.  Dividing a big island into two is one way to transform your kitchen. Before you...

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...