Spruce Up Your Cabinets with Decorative Hardware

One way to easily improve the overall aesthetic of your home is by adding decorative hardware to your cabinets. Popular hardware decorations include pulls, knobs, and handles. Choosing the right type of cabinet hardware will draw attention to the cabinets and enhance the beauty of your room. Here are a few ideas for adding new hardware to your cabinets.

plain cabinet knob

Match your hardware to your existing décor. If you have a stainless steel sink, choose matching cabinet pulls to pull the room together. Keeping similar colors and materials together in the same room provides a pulled-together and classic look. The finishes of the hardware is also something to take into consideration. Match your cabinet hardware finish with that of your kitchen. Popular finishes include stainless and brushed metal, a matte finish, an antique look or textural designs.

kitchen cabinet knob

Keep it simple if you want your cabinets to blend in. If you want another item in your kitchen to stand out, keeping your pulls and knobs simple will do the trick. Choosing colors and materials that are simple and match closely to the color of the cabinets themselves won’t take the attention away from other areas in the room.

funky knobs

Add funky hardware to spice things up. Drawer pulls come in a variety of shapes and sizes other than the standard circular knob. Try whimsical pulls shaped like animals, food or everyday objects. Other options include knobs and pulls that are made from recycled materials, such as glass or rocks. To completely change the look of your cabinets, change the size of the hardware. Larger pulls can even out the kitchen’s proportions, while smaller pulls may make the cabinets look larger.

Choosing Pine Cabinets for Your Home

When choosing a type of wood for your kitchen or bathroom cabinets, there are many factors to take into consideration. You want a wood that is affordable, strong and attractive. A great option that features all of these attributes is pine. Here are a few of pine’s standout qualities.

Pine is relatively inexpensive. Compared to fine woods such as oak or walnut, pine is a widely available and less expensive alternative. The range in price of pine can vary slightly, so look into the different types of pine the manufacturer or store offers.

Pine takes on many different styles. Whether you’re leaving it plain or applying a stain, the look of your pine cabinets can easily be transformed to fit your ideal image. By staining pine a darker color, it will resemble more expensive types of wood- without the hefty price tag.

Pine is durable. Typical wear and tear that cabinets receive won’t show up as easily on pine, so you can go years without having to replace or fix up your cabinet fronts.

Pine has a natural look. For those who want a rustic look for their traditional or country kitchen, pine is a great option. The knotting that is frequently seen in pine is what gives it this look. Since pine has a natural color, it blends nicely with your home décor and other furniture pieces. The natural warmth that pine cabinets can bring to a room is one of its top selling points.

Pine is a popular wood choice. Unlike some of the hard-to-get wood species, pine is quite often available and used by contractors and companies.

Pine is good for the environment. Pine trees are a fairly abundant tree and grow quickly.

 

 

The Benefits of Maple Cabinets

Choosing the right type of cabinetry is one of the most important aspects of your kitchen design. There are so many things to look into- the size, style, finish and, most importantly, the wood species. Choosing maple as the wood for your kitchen cabinets has many benefits. Not only is it a handsome wood, but it offers durability and versatility as well. Maple is a timeless classic that has been used in a majority of kitchen remodels for years, and here are a few reasons why.

maple kitchen cabinets

Maple is very versatile. Because maple takes stains, glazes and paints very well, you have more control over the color and appearance of your cabinets. If you have a particular design or color scheme you want your kitchen to have, maple can help you easily achieve this.

maple cabinets

Maple is durable. Maple is extremely durable, which makes it a great choice for kitchens where the cabinets may endure a lot of wear and tear. Maple will also withstand changes in temperatures (specifically humidity) and won’t crack or warp like many other types of wood. Since it is so strong, you can expect maple wood cabinets to last for over thirty years if they are properly taken care of.

maple cabinets kitchenMaple has a beautiful appearance. Maple has a smooth and even grain, which is very pleasant to the eye. It is generally light in color with a reddish tone. Since it takes color so well, maple cabinets can be easily stained to resemble a more expensive wood, such as cherry or walnut.


white maple cabinets

Maple has a lower price than other woods. Maple cabinets are one of the more affordable, quality woods to choose when remodeling your kitchen. Compared to woods with a similar appearance, such as cherry or walnut, it has a decent price point.

Eco-Friendly Cabinets

If you are concerned about staying eco-friendly while remodeling your home, there are a variety of ways to do so. One of your options is to choose eco-friendly cabinets. Eco-friendly cabinets offer many benefits other than being good for the environment- they also can improve your home’s indoor air quality and reduce toxins you would be exposed to. From using renewable materials to choosing locally-made products, helping the environment is easier than you would think. Here are a few ways to do so:

Use recycled materials. One of the most common recycled materials to use is reclaimed wood. So many people throw away perfectly good cabinets that can be reused. By simply refinishing or repurposing these used cabinets, you can get them to look the way you want and save a tree from being cut down. This is also an affordable option since you are only paying for the changes you are making- and not paying the price for the new wood cabinets entirely. Salvaged wood also offers a rich history and gives the wood personality, which is a look that many homeowners are looking for. Lastly, consider cabinets that state that they are made from reclaimed lumber or are certified as sustainable wood- some companies may offer these options.

Use renewable resources such as bamboo. Bamboo is becoming a popular and affordable option for those who are remodeling their home. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource that takes a short time to grow (it regenerates in less than a decade), compared to popular cabinet wood types. It is also naturally stronger and harder than most other hardwoods, so your cabinets will stay in shape and continue to look great for a longer time. For those who worry about the aesthetic, bamboo has an interesting grain that makes it a popular decorating alternative. Other notable wood substitutes include boards made from fibers such as rice, wheat or even sunflowers.

Buy cabinets that are locally made. By choosing cabinets that are locally made, you’ll avoid shipping the heavy items and therefore reduce the use of fossil fuels to transport them. You’ll also be helping to support local businesses instead of larger retail chains.

-Try not to replace the entire cabinet. Kitchen cabinets that are durably built and made of quality materials can last for 50 years or more. Instead of tearing down cabinets just because they are old or outdated, try adding new hardware or repainting/refinishing the doors to change their look. You could even try removing the cabinet doors and opt for shelves instead.

Cabinet Finishing Techniques

cabinet finishes

The right type of finish can add warmth and depth to your cabinets and bring your kitchen or bathroom to life. There are a variety of cabinet finishing techniques to choose from, each providing a different appearance. The proper finish will give your wooden cabinets a beautiful look and help to protect them for years to come. Here are a few of the most popular cabinet finishing techniques.

Glaze– A glaze is a semi-transparent color that is applied over a stain. The glaze is applied to the wood and then wiped off by hand. It then settles into the grain and gives a nice, even wash of color and detail. This cabinet finishing technique adds depth, dimension and a slight sheen to your cabinets. When applied to the corners, glaze accentuates the carved details of the door for an artistic look. You can also control the amount of glaze applied depending on what look you are going for. An even and consistent coverage produces a more subtle appearance, while a heavier and more varied appearance gives a dramatic look. Since glazes come in a variety of tinted colors, it’s important to take the natural wood color into consideration when choosing a glaze to apply on top of it.

Stain– A stain is an easy way to enhance the natural beauty and grain of the wood. It gives a transparent color for a more natural look. Before applying a stain, the cabinet’s surface must be sanded so that the stain can absorb evenly. After applying a stain, you’ll notice that the wood’s natural characteristics-such as streaks, knots and the grain- become more prominent and create lighter and darker spots of color on the cabinets. The color of the stain also can vary across different parts of the door due to the grain.

Distressing– This technique gives a rustic finish with natural imperfections, such as dents, wear marks and scratches. This gives a sense of age and can resemble an antique piece. Distressing is more visible with glazed finishes, so take that into consideration when choosing the finish.

Heirlooming– This finishing technique recreates the natural process of wear for an authentic, aged finish. First, selective sanding will expose the underlying wood to give an impression of the natural wear process. Then the corners and edges are softened and the surface is distressed. Finally, the glaze is applied. This process is very hand-detailed, which helps give the cabinets a beautiful, artistic look.

Burnishing– Burnishing creates the warm, traditional look of furniture that many homeowners are looking for. To begin this technique, the wood is randomly distressed and over sanded. Then a stain is applied for a burnished effect. Lastly, a glaze is added to high-wear areas to provide a softened appearance.

Pros & Cons of White Kitchen Cabinets

white kitchen cabinetsWhite cabinets have been used in kitchens throughout the years and are still a popular choice for interior remodeling today. When choosing your white cabinetry, there are many different options to choose from. You can install white thermofoil cabinets, reface your old cabinets or paint your existing wooden kitchen cabinets white. To figure out if these timeless kitchen cabinets are what you want for your remodel, it's best to look at both the pros and cons.

white cabinets

Pros:

-White cabinets brighten up a room, which provides a more welcoming feel and even a larger look to your kitchen.

– If you choose a more modern laminate veneer for your white cabinets, they will resist dirt and cracks and clean easier than painted white cabinets.

– White goes with almost any color, style and hardware design. The extremely versatile color can make a kitchen appear more modern or traditional depending on what finishes and colors you pair it with. You have many more options of tiles, appliances and décor items with white cabinets than a specific color.

-If you plan on making changes to your kitchen's décor or appliances in the future, the white cabinets will still match with your ever-changing room.


white kitchen

Cons:

-Like almost any product in this color scheme, white cabinets may easily show dirt, smudges, scratches or food particles from cooking.

-They show signs of aging, such as cracks or discoloration, far more easily than cabinets in other colors.

-A glossy white finish on cabinets can reflect light and possibly cause glares.

-White cabinets can make a kitchen seem plain and bland if there isn't much excitement in the décor or other parts of the room. Many people associate a room that is too white with being sterile and cold- which is not what you want others to think when they walk into your kitchen.

4 Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

Utilizing the space of your cabinets is an easy and effective way to organize your kitchen. By simply adding a few accessories into your kitchen cabinets, you can maximize your storage space and keep all your items at an arm’s reach. Here is a list of a few of the products that can be used to help organize your kitchen.

tray dividers

Drawer Inserts & Dividers. Whether it”s a utensil drawer, a spice drawer or even the classic junk drawer, finding the item you”re looking for can sometimes be a difficult task. Drawer inserts help to separate the items into different sections based on similarity and size. Vertical dividers can be inserted into cabinet storage for separating plates, baking sheets and cutting boards to reduce clutter. A utensil tray organizes your cutlery and other items effectively, allowing you to find the specific item you need. Choose a tiered tray for perfect organization of small items, such as spices.

Lazy Susans. Lazy Susans are a functional and practical way to keep smaller items, such as spices or canned foods, organized. They are great for storage-especially in tricky corner spaces of a cabinet, and rotate with a smooth and quiet swivel.

mixer lift

Appliance Lifts. Appliance lifts (such as the popular mixer lift) save space by being stored away when not in use. Made with flexibility in mind, these lifts attach to any custom-made shelf. They rise effortlessly and securely lock into place when in use. These are a great alternative for products you may not use every day, since you need the space for items you use more frequently.

shelves in kitchen

Shelves. Shelving units help to divide the clutter into smaller segments, which ends up creating extra space for even more items. Try including shelving underneath the sink- metal shelves can be fitted around the plumbing to hold cleaning products and supplies.

Choosing the Right Type of Cabinetry

RTA Cabinets

When deciding to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, one of the most important aspects is the cabinets.  Since the cabinets are such a large part of your home renovation project, it’s important to choose an option that fits within your budget, time frame and existing home décor.

There are four main types of cabinetry to choose from- custom, semi-custom, stock and ready-to-assemble (RTA).

 

Custom

In an ideal world, every customer would be able to have custom cabinets in their home. They allow for the upmost customization, are made with precise attention to detail and are expected to last for a long time. The end result is a room that can be admired by guests and appreciated for years to come.

A benefit of choosing custom cabinetry is that they can be made to match any color, style or fit- allowing you to get as close to your dream home as possible. A disadvantage to custom cabinetry is the expensive price tag and the slower delivery time.

 

Semi-custom

The process of semi-custom cabinetry differs from the others in that construction begins once the details of the order have been finalized. The cabinetmakers take pre-built pieces and then finish them to suit the customer’s taste in size, shape and style.

Semi-custom cabinets are the perfect balance between stock and custom- allowing you a lot more flexibility in your choices of features and a shorter delivery time as well. Semi-custom cabinets are ideal for those who have a small kitchen or bathroom and don’t want to waste space on fillers. A disadvantage to semi-custom cabinets is that the level of quality can differ greatly among companies- so make sure to do your research beforehand. There also is a bit of a wait (usually around 4 weeks) for your cabinets to be completed depending on the amount of customizations.

 

Stock

Stock cabinets are made in bulk by manufacturers and are then readily available for immediate purchase or delivery. They are constructed to last a life time- however with the changes in home styles or your own personal taste in décor, you may not want to keep the same cabinets your entire life.

A benefit is the reasonable price and the quick delivery time or in-stock availability. Since many of the customization and ordering options are limited, stock cabinets are an easy way to get the job done fast. A disadvantage to stock cabinetry is that there are a limited number of colors, sizes, styles and finishes (since they are constructed before the customer places their order).  If the color or size doesn’t match exactly to your desire, you would need to re-paint or use filler strips to get the look and fit you want.

 

Ready-to-assemble (RTA)

RTA cabinets are a simple way to increase the value and look of your home without putting in a ton of money. Due to improvements in manufacturing, a decline in the economy and a new type of “DIY” culture, many cabinet manufacturers and homeowners alike are looking for cheaper alternatives when remodeling their home. There are now more companies producing and selling these RTA cabinets than ever before.

These ready-to-assemble cabinets are sold with all the hardware and assembly accessories needed for a consumer to easily assemble themselves. Usually the company will provide an instruction manual on their website, or you can find video instructions online at various home improvement websites or DIY blogs. If you would prefer to have a professional assemble them, or simply don’t have the time to do so yourself, that can be done as well.

Cabinets and Colors

When it comes to finding the right color combination for your new kitchen or bathroom makeover, start with the cabinets and don’t reinvent the wheel. Find a color wheel and use it.

Many people start with wood or wood-grain colored cabinets, either custom or stock. They find a style they like, and they think that’s the end of the redesign. But then comes the walls the cabinets will match with, and the sometimes puzzling decision of paint color scheme. For all but the lightest of wood, white is a safe complementary choice. But you might not want to be “safe” in your new room redesign. You might be looking for more of a bold statement than a neutral backdrop. Either way, remember the complementary color wheel.

You can be bold, but maybe you should start with conservative before you go bold. Most cabinets are brown, or in the range of yellow-ish to orange-ish, with brown in between on the standard color wheel. Opposite that range? Sometimes surprisingly, it is the blues and greens. Makes sense, really; what is nature but browns and greens contrasted with the blue of the sky? The big decision is: Do you want your complementary color to be “cool” or “warm”? Soft blues and greens, or bright blues and greens? Either will work, but stay away from too much of a bright, warm color or it will dominate rather than complement

The first step, remember is deciding on your cabinet style and that leads to the complementary and contrast wall and trim colors. And remember, if you’re looking for cabinets, think CSHardware and its Ready to Assemble (RTA) product line of kitchen and bath cabinets!

Thanks, as always.

Ken, for CSHardware