Benefits of Choosing RTA Cabinets

rta cabinets

When choosing cabinets for your home, there are a variety of options to consider. Remodeling your home- whether it's just the kitchen or a few rooms together- is an easy way to increase the value of your home and enhance your quality of living. However, remodeling these days can be quite costly. This is where DIY ideas such as ready-to-assemble (RTA) cabinets come into place. If you're looking for a quick and easy assembly, are remodeling on a budget or love do-it-yourself projects, then ready to assemble cabinets are your best option. Here are a few benefits of choosing RTA cabinets.

The price. RTA cabinets are commonly considered an affordable alternative to custom-made cabinetry. They retail for only a fraction of the cost of custom cabinets, which comes in handy when you're on a strict budget. Since customization and assembly are eliminated from the process of buying RTA cabinets, you'll save a ton of money. Since these cabinets are easy to install yourself and come ready to assemble, there's no need to spend tons of money on carpentry tools, expensive contractors and more. The shipping is also generally less expensive since the pieces can be flat-packed.

The time. Since RTA cabinets don't need to be custom made, the lead time is far quicker than custom kitchen cabinets– which can take months to be completed. Due to their popularity there are so many manufacturers and companies producing RTA cabinets all over the US, so your shipping time will also be quicker (typically 1-2 weeks compared to 6-8 weeks for custom cabinets). The cabinets are always fully stocked and ready to ship, so you can start and finish your remodel sooner than you thought possible.

The ease. RTA cabinets are shipped with the parts and directions you need to install and assemble them yourself. Most RTA cabinets can be easily assembled using items such as a hammer, nails, wood glue or a screwdriver. For example, the doors are pre-hung on the face frame for easy installation. If you do need extra help with the installation, there are a ton of resources available online- including videos, tutorials and step-by-step photos. With the popularity of these cabinets, a new DIY culture of home remodeling has become more and more apparent online. If you're still looking for help, some companies will install the cabinets for you upon delivery. And even if you do end up hiring a contractor to help with the assembly, you'll still be saving money in the long run opposed to purchasing custom cabinets.

The look. RTA cabinets are available in a wide variety of popular styles- ranging from handsome maple to practical Thermofoil. With so many different colors, stains, grains and details, there is a cabinet style out there for every kitchen. RTA cabinets use common hardwood to create the cabinet frames, doors and drawer fronts and then use plywood for the inside. The all-wood construction is durable and handsome, making them a fine alternative to the poorly-constructed particle board versions you see at mass retailers. Why not spend a fraction of the cost and get the same quality look as the high-end custom cabinets?

Spring Cleaning: Your Kitchen

The term “spring cleaning” can be applied to a variety of different areas of your home: your closet, your garage, or even your bathrooms. But one area that can probably benefit the most from a good spring cleaning is your kitchen. Since the kitchen is used daily for food preparation, dining and much more, making sure it's always clean and organized is a must. With the new season approaching quickly, now is the best time to spend a weekend spring cleaning. Here are a few areas to focus on cleaning and some tips and tricks.

clean cabinets

Your cabinets– Your kitchen cabinets hold everything from dishes to food, so you want them to look good on both the outside and inside. For the inside, empty out the contents and give the cabinet a good dusting. Get rid of any dust, crumbs or debris that has collected. You can always line your cabinets with paper or linens to help with this. Before putting the contents back in the cabinets, get rid of anything that is broken, old, stained or useless. For the outside of your cabinets, give them a nice cleaning with some cleaning products (you can generally use soap and water, but each type of wood or surface requires different cleaning products). This will get rid of any fingerprints or stains and make your cabinets look like new.

pots and pans

Your pots and pans– Over time, your pots and pans can take quite a beating. If you use them infrequently, it's a good idea to give them a good cleaning to get rid of any dust. If you use them often, chances are they have some build-up or damage from frequent cooking. If this is the case, give them a deep clean to get rid of any build-up, scratches or debris. Each material requires different cleaning methods, so be careful to use the appropriate one. Generally, a soft cloth and white vinegar gets the job done on stainless steel.

range hood filter

Range hood, stove and oven– Starting at the top, it might be time to check and replace the filter in your range hood vent. These need to be changed periodically and cleaned, so spring is the perfect time. Give your stove a nice cleaning to get rid of any grit, food debris or burnt spots. Most ovens have a self-cleaning feature, which makes the final step fairly easy. If not, you can always give the inside a good scrub with baking soda and water (or a store-bought oven cleaner). Let it sit and then scrape any debris off and you're good to go.

garbage bin

Garbage and waste storage– An often-neglected area of the kitchen is the waste baskets and pull-outs. Give your garbage cans a thorough cleaning with a basic bleach-and-water solution and let them dry. If your bins have seen better days, replace them with new ones. This is also a great time to stock up on garbage bags and store them for future use.

stainless steel sink

Sink and garbage disposal- Your sink can always use a good scrubbing- and now is the ideal time. Disinfect your sink with a cup of bleach and a sink full of water. Rinse it out and use a wipe to give it a nice shine. Don't forget to shine the faucet and knobs as well. If you have a garbage disposal, try running a lemon through it to get rid of any bad odors. If you have a clogged sink, use a store-bought product to clear this problem up.

Wine Storage Ideas

Whether you have an entire basement or just a small corner in the kitchen, you can easily show off your wine collection with the right form of storage. Avid collectors may dedicated an entire room solely to show off their collection, while others have specialty storage in their kitchen for their favorites.

When deciding which type and level of storage you will bring into your home, you must take a variety of factors into consideration. First, you need to clear out and find a space to fit your collection. Popular areas include the kitchen, the living room or a wine cellar (for larger collections). Then you have to choose what type of storage you'd like. Popular storage ideas include wine closets/pantries, lattice wine racks, bottle racks, X-racks and more. Lastly, decide which wines are to be consumed soon and which should be stored for long-term aging. Keep popular wines out in the open for guests, and store finer wines for special occasions in another place. Remember that factors such as light, humidity and temperature affect the wine's condition, so keep that in mind when choosing storage spaces.

Here are a few of my favorite wine storage ideas.

This interesting and unique wine holder is made from PVC pipes. Not only does it provide storage for your favorite wines, but it also serves as a decor piece. Learn how to DIY one of these yourself here on Houzz.

lattice wine rack
These lattice wine racks are a great option for kitchens. They easily fit in an empty space or where a cabinet would be installed. Add a stemware rack underneath to store wine glasses and you have your own mini bar right at your fingertips!

wine x racks
These “X” racks store a few of your favorite bottles. These innovative wine storage racks are great for a kitchen or living room area where guests can clearly see your selection of wine. They take up very little space and fit wonderfully in a corner or bare space in your home.

If you have an empty closet or pantry space that's not currently in use, why not convert it into a wine closet? This saves space and money and provides you with plenty of space for storing wines by type, age, etc. Dividers, shelves and drawers help to easily separate wines, wine glasses and other necessities. See more inspiration here at Houzz.

Houzz features a variety of unique and cool wine cellars as inspiration. Try keeping track of them by labeling each bottle and grouping similar types, flavors and ages together. Some avid wine collections even invest in wine room management software programs to keep track of their bottles.

undercounter wine storage
If you're lacking space in your kitchen, storing wine under your countertops or in your kitchen island is a great idea. You can keep them out in the open like this photo from Better Homes and Gardens, or add a lock or door to keep them away from children or animals.

Spotlight on Artesano Iron Works

Hand Forged Iron Door Pull from Artesano Iron Works

When choosing decorative hardware, it's important that the pieces are of high quality and will add interest to your home. A brand that goes above and beyond this is Artesano Iron Works.

Artesano Iron Works features custom, hand-forged iron work masterpieces and beautiful hardware. Utilizing century-old techniques, they create decorative hardware while preserving the old world traditions. Their items feature exquisite attention to detail, custom designs, and are created with a personalized design process- all of which sets them apart from competitors. Their items blend function and aesthetics for the perfect addition to your home.

Artesano Iron Works specializes in iron (hand-forged and cast) and bronze, but also works with other mediums such as natural stone, wood and leather. Their hand forged hardware products include a wide range of items including door knockers, pulls, knobs, towel bars, bathroom hardware, shutters, hinges, fireplace screens and more. In addition to hardware they design and create custom projects around the world. Projects big and small, their team will work from concept to installation. Using traditional methods their highly skilled artisans create unique pieces that are works of art themselves.

In their 10+ year history, they have a portfolio of over 5,000 designs. They have galleries in New York and Pennsylvania, which you can check out here.

Design is in the details and nothing enhances a good home design or restoration project like hand forged hardware pieces. Their hardware is made completely at their forge in Pennsylvania, no part or whole is out sourced or prefabricated.

Here are a few of their decorative hardware pieces available at CS Hardware.

This hand-forged iron door knocker has a hammered texture and a matte black finish for an interesting look.

This hand-forged iron drawer pulls will spruce up your furniture.

This hand-forged iron door pull is sleek and stylish.

Bathroom Hardware Options

One of the easiest ways to enhance the look of your bathroom is to update the hardware. Since a complete remodel is usually out of the question if you're on a strict budget, swapping out your old hardware for new additions is an affordable and quick fix. Whether you're looking for a rustic look or a contemporary feel, there are plenty of decorative hardware options out there for you. Here are a few of my favorite picks.

toilet paper holder

The first piece of hardware you can update in your bathroom is the toilet paper holder. Most bathrooms have a simple plastic holder, and although it gets the job done, it doesn't offer much in terms of design. Maybe you don't even have a toilet paper holder, and you just keep it on a shelf or the back of the toilet. If so, this is the perfect opportunity to invest in a nice hardware piece. Whether you want to splurge on a fancy cast bronze option, or prefer to stick to a classic antique copper, there are so many styles to choose from.

towel bar

Another necessary piece of hardware are towel bars. Larger versions can be attached to the wall for hanging body towels, while smaller versions are great for hand towels or washcloths. Towel bars often take up little space and can be installed just about anywhere. They are great for letting towels properly dry, and are a must-have for guest bathrooms. Look for bars with fun details, such as this one with leaf details or one with an antique gold finish.

towel ring

A must-have hardware piece for your sink is a towel ring. Installed on your wall or side of your vanity cabinets, this hardware piece takes up little room. The hanging ring makes hand towels easily accessible while adding interest to your bathroom's decor. Rust-free towel rings will resist water marks, while luxurious bronze rings can transform the entire look of your space.

towel hook

Hooks are another great hardware option to hang towels, washcloths, robes, clothing and more. Since they are so small and are easily installed on just about any surface, you can have plenty of these without spending too much cash. Double-hooks can hold multiple items at once, making the most of your small space. Choose hooks that match well with the rest of your bathroom hardware, whether it be brass, chrome or oil-rubbed bronze. For a kid's bathroom, why not add fun hooks like this monkey towel hook?

bathroom knob

Lastly, you can update the appearance of your vanity cabinets with new knobs or pulls. Sleek, simple pulls are great for more modern-style bathrooms, while elegant knobs look wonderful in more traditional bathrooms.

The Kitchen Work Triangle

kitchen work triangle(source)

The kitchen is one of the most frequently-used rooms in any home. Therefore, it's important that your kitchen is set up for maximum efficiency and ease of use. Having the right furniture, kitchen cabinets and accessories– and placing them in close proximity to each other- can change the entire workflow of your kitchen. This is commonly referred to as the “kitchen work triangle”.

The concept of the kitchen work triangle was established in the 1940s and is still used in many houses today. It focuses on the three main tasks performed in the kitchen (cooking, preparing and storage) and the appliances that help us get them done (the stove, sink and refrigerator). If these three items are in close proximity to one another, and form a triangle shape when connected with imaginary lines, it is easier to be more efficient in your kitchen.

There are a few others rules that the kitchen work triangle should have. These include each leg of the triangle being between 4 and 9 feet, no obstructions (including kitchen cabinets and islands) coming between a leg of the work triangle and that household foot traffic shouldn't interfere between the triangle. However, these don't need to be strictly enforced to have a successful kitchen working space.

Today's kitchens are fairly larger and more complex than those in the 1940s. Microwaves, coffee makers, dishwashers and other appliances all perform specific duties that take place in the kitchen. There are now spots in the kitchen for socializing, working on homework, watching TV and more. If you connected all of these new “areas”, you'd have more of a star shape than a triangle. Still, the main 3 functions listed earlier are crucial to a functioning kitchen, so the triangle concept still holds up to serve as a guideline. With all of your leftover space, you can focus more on decorations and extra appliances without everything being too crowded.

In larger kitchens, it's usually best to keep the work triangle to one section of the kitchen. From there on, you can use the rest of the space for seating or entertaining. This separates the kitchen into “work” and “play” sections, allowing everyone to make the most of the space.

If you're planning on remodeling your kitchen or starting from scratch, it is the

perfect time to try to incorporate the kitchen work triangle into your space. The extra planning and money you spend will save you time and energy in the long run. Placing your appliances too close together can make your kitchen feel cramped, while spacing them too far apart makes preparing food a hassle. Keeping the kitchen work triangle in mind when remodeling will make a large difference.

If you have a small kitchen, like a 1-wall kitchen in an apartment for example, the kitchen work triangle may not be feasible. In this case, it's best to do everything else you can to make your kitchen work for you. Keep important appliances and frequently-used accessories and utensils close to one another for easy reach and use. Make the most of your cabinets by maximizing their storage space with pull-outs or door racks.

Hardware for Raised and Flat Panel Kitchen Cabinets

When choosing your kitchen cabinets, you have a variety of styles and specifications to pick from. These can include the size, color, style and hardware of the cabinets. Two of the most common styles of kitchen cabinetsare raised panel and flat panel.

raised panel cabinets

Raised panel cabinetsare a traditional style that is found in many kitchens. On these cabinets, the panel protrudes slightly and is often accompanied with a matching raised panel around the door’s perimeter. Raised panel cabinet fronts require high quality craftsmanship to ensure that the doors are integrated into the cabinet box. A popular type of raised panel door is the cathedral style. This door style gives an elegant look with their Neo Gothic design. They feature an exaggerated arch at the top of the raised panel, which is usually used on the upper cabinets.

flat panel cabinetsFlat panel cabinets, which are also sometimes referred to as having slab doors, are constructed from a single flat piece of material- usually wood, laminate or steel. There are no raised or recessed parts, which provides a simple design with clean lines to blend with your home’s style. This type of cabinet adds a contemporary look to your room. For those who prefer clean and sleek designs, these are a great option.

Now that you know the difference between these two types of cabinet doors, it's time to choose the right hardware for the cabinets. You may think that any type of hardware (knobs, pulls, hooks, etc.) will do, but there are certain styles, colors and types that look best on each type of cabinet door.

For raised panel cabinets, you want to focus on more intricate and ornate hardware to balance out the design of the door. Raised panel cabinets can sometimes appear more like a piece of furniture than a plain cabinet, which allows you to use hardware that you would typically find on fancy furniture, such as detailed drop pulls, like this wrought iron bail pull. Backplates are another type of hardware that works well with raised panel doors. This also can give the cabinets a furniture-like appearance, like this antique brass backplate. Choose pulls with fun accents, such as this small rosette pull, to add a hint of embellishment to your kitchen. Lastly, you can't forget about knob options. Wood knobs mesh well with the traditional style of most raised panel cabinets.

For flat panel cabinets, minimal and subtle hardware usually looks better. Stainless steel pulls are a popular choice, since they add a modern touch. Tubular and flat styles are your best options for these types of pulls. Recessed pulls add depth to the flat panel, creating a professional look that you'd see in offices. These pulls, like this rectangular flush pull, don't stick out as much as other options. For a simple and affordable option, wire pulls are always a classic choice. They often feature little to no detail, allowing your sleek cabinets to take center stage.

Update Your Home With Wood Carvings

Whether your style is simple or eccentric, an easy way to update the look of your home is with wood carvings. Wood carvings can be used to accent your existing furniture or update the look of your room entirely. They are an affordable and easy way to give your home a finishing touch without a complete remodel. Whether you're using these wood carvings for aesthetic purposes or for their function, they will instantly update the look of your home. Here are a variety of different types of wood carvings and what they are commonly used for.

wood star applique

Appliques and medallions This type of wood carving is typically used for decorative purposes, especially on plain furniture, cabinets, mantles and more. They are intricately carved with lots of detail, making them an instant conversation piece in your home. They can be glued or nailed to furniture as you please for an architectural detail. Popular examples of wood appliques are rosettes, grape onlays, circular medallions and traditional scroll designs.

wooden feet

Feet– Wooden feet are used to update the look of the bottom of your table, chairs or sofas. They are available in a variety of wood types and details to match with your existing furniture. This area is often overlooked by many homeowners, but appreciated by those with fine taste. Wooden feet can also help to make your furniture more stable.

wood pilaster

Columns and pilasters– Wooden columns or pilasters can be placed on ornamental trim or other flat surfaces to your liking. These wooden columns are a great way to bring the rich history of architecture into your own home. You can use larger pilasters or columns to separate rooms and walls for a more open feel, as they generally guide the eye upward to make the room appear more spacious.

wood corbel

Corbels and supports– Wooden corbels and supports blend function and beauty together in your home. Shelves and other structures are supported with these wooden carvings, which also can be used solely as a decorative accent.

wooden baseboard

Baseboards, mouldings and rails– These wooden items can be used to cover up uneven edges, cover the joint between the wall surface and the floor and protect your walls from abrasion and furniture. They also add a decorative touch to your room, which is an added bonus.

wood island leg

Island legs and turnings– Wooden island legs and turnings can be used on tables, and are often used in the kitchen. They are available in a variety of heights to match with the measurements of your table or island. These legs help support the table and also add style to your room.

wooden valence

Valances– Place a wooden valance above your window or door to add dimension to the room. Decorative grooves, patterns and arches on valances are an attractive way to spruce up your windows.

wooden opening

Openings– French Rinceau openings are a lovely piece of architecture that instantly warms your home. This elegant wooden structure often features intricate and elegant details such as an ornamental or floral motif.

wood pediment

Pediments– Wooden pediments are a simple way to transform the look of your doors and windows. Although they are pricier than other options, their elegant appearance is well worth it.

CS Hardware Attends NAHB International Builders’ Show

On January 22-24, CS Hardware attended the NAHB International Builders' Show (IBS) in Las Vegas. The IBS is the largest annual light construction show in the world. The show attracts builders and suppliers alike, and features the latest and most advanced building products and services. Hands-on demonstrations and working models are other stand-out features of the show.

There are a large variety of reasons why businesses should attend the IBS. It allows them to see new products, get important information on a national level and to talk with others in their field. You'll get to see new products and trends before they hit the store and get a leg-up on the competition. Building relationships is also a crucial part of trade shows, and IBS is no exception.

This year's show featured over 900 exhibitors and more than 100 education sessions. Timothy Stepanski, Marketing Manager of Custom Service Hardware, commented on the success of this year's show, saying that they had a record-high traffic for CSH.

“All of the vendors around us said they saw a huge increase in traffic from 2012”, Stepanski said. The overall mood of the attendee was very upbeat about 2013, and CSH's hottest item was their rolling barn door hardware.

Below are three videos from the trade show.

This video shows CS Hardware's rolling barn door. This product takes the excellent craftsmanship and superior technology of their Quiet Glide rolling library ladder and applies it to a rolling interior barn-style door.

This video features the bi-fold hidden door. This product can be used to conceal a seldom used room, create a hidden safe room or turn a door into a functional storage and display area.

This video shows the hidden door bookcase.

What is Edgebanding?


Whether you are a carpentry pro and want to tackle making your own furniture or just a homeowner looking to enhance the appearance of your existing furniture, edgebanding can help get the job done.

Edgebanding can come in a variety of formats, including the popular peel-and-stick kind. This is especially easy for those who are doing a woodworking project themselves and want to get the project done quickly and easily. Other types require primer, glue, hot melt adhesives or a household iron.

Edgebanding comes in a variety of sizes and finishes to match with your existing furniture or carpentry needs. It is available in a variety of materials as well, with popular options including wood, wood veneer, PVC and acrylic. It typically is sold in rolls at hardware stores and is available in different thicknesses to match your home project. You can find edgebanding to match perfectly with your furniture's color, grain and wood type. It's easy to change the entire look of your furniture by applying edgebanding to it- you can take a simple plywood table and turn it into a rich maple with the help of this product.

Edgebanding is often used to cover the exposed sides of lower quality materials like plywood, PVC or particle board. By replacing these surfaces with wood edgebanding, it gives the piece of furniture or item a higher quality appearance. People who make their own furniture also often use this product.

When applying edgebanding, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, you should make sure that the surface you are applying it to is clean and smooth. Any dust, moisture or residue needs to be cleaned off so that the strips will stick properly. Next, always start with a larger piece- this way, you can cut it down to fit perfectly as needed. Lastly, after the edgebanding is applied, carefully trim or sand the surface. The material is very delicate, so be careful to use a fine sandpaper and to not be too rough to damage the material.

If you are going to be using edgebanding often (especially at the professional level), it may be smart to invest in some proper machinery. Edgebanding machines and edge trimmers are just two examples of products that can speed up the process and make it easier as well.