Choosing Oak Cabinets

oak cabinets

Choosing the right type of wood for your cabinets is crucial. The right wood species can change the entire look of your room, so it’s important to read up on the pros and cons of each wood before purchasing. Oak cabinets are a popular choice among homeowners due to their durability and beauty. Here are a few things you should know about oak cabinets before choosing them for your home.

Oak cabinets are very durable. This hardwood will hold up through the slamming of doors, storage of heavy food items, and grease splatters from cooking. Oak cabinets can easily be cleaned with a wipe-down of a wet rag. This makes oak cabinets an investment, since they will stand up to use for years to come.

Oak cabinets can easily be customized to your liking. The neutral wood color can be changed with an application of paint, glaze or stain of your choice (just make sure you sand the wood first to create an even and smooth surface for the substance to adhere to). Oak's natural grain lines add beauty to your room, but can easily be covered if they clash with your decor. So whether you like a natural look or want a more glossy finish, it can be accomplished by choosing oak.

Oak cabinets are also very versatile. As mentioned above, they look great in almost any type of room- including traditional and rustic spaces. They bring a lovely warmth to any space and will stay in style for many years to come.

oak kitchen

oak kitchen cabinets

Make Your Kitchen Appear Larger

Sometimes the size of the rooms in your home is beyond your control. You want to have enough space in your kitchen to prepare and serve meals, but sometimes you have to sacrifice a little. Whether you own the house or are just renting, there are a variety of things you can do to help make your kitchen appear larger.

One way to make your kitchen appear larger is to highlight the height of it. If you’re looking to remodel your space, choose taller and thinner cabinets to create the illusion of height (the same goes for appliances and décor items). Opt for lights that are installed into the ceiling and not ones that hang down, which will only make your kitchen appear shorter.

Another way to make your kitchen appear larger is to use lighter colors. White cabinets create an open space and evoke a clean and light look. Try swapping out your old cabinets for white ones or using a light colored paint or glaze to touch them up. When choosing a floor color or pattern, keep it simple and light as well. A nice wood grain or simple stripe will make the eye think the room is bigger.

Bring in adequate lighting for your space to keep the room from getting too dark. Natural light can certainly do the trick, but installing small lights under cabinets or close to work spaces will add space to countertops. If possible, replace your cabinet doors with glass- it will open up your kitchen and bring your eyes to the depth of the cabinets.

A simple way to create space in your kitchen without a remodel is to re-organize everything. Cluttered countertops and cabinets only make your space appear small. Consider hidden storage options, shelving in your pantries, and island countertops to create extra space.

Lastly, eliminate anything that is too flashy or muddled. Opt for simple hardware, a basic floor tile and only keep appliances and items in sight that you use daily. Bold patterns and large décor items will overwhelm the space and take away from the space.

Pros and Cons of Dark Cabinets

dark kitchen cabinets

An easy way to make a statement with your kitchen remodel is to bring in dark cabinets. Whether you are starting from scratch or choose to give your old cabinets a makeover, picking dark cabinets will provide your space with a sophisticated and bold look. Although dark cabinets feature many benefits, they do require a little bit of work to keep up with. Here is a list of some of the pros and cons of dark .

 

dark cabinets

 

Pros:

  • Dark cabinets offer a versatile look. The dark colors easily contrasts well with almost any color- especially lighter or brighter colors. This gives you so many options for your home decor items, hardware, kitchen appliances and more.
  • Dark cabinets provide a clean appearance. The simplicity of dark cabinets- specifically black or very dark brown ones- offer a clean and classic look. This coordinates well with those looking for a more modern or sleek kitchen, which is currently very popular.
  • Dark cabinets add drama. When a kitchen seems boring or bland, dark cabinets will instantly transform the look of the cabinet. This added drama makes it appear that you spent lots of money on your kitchen. Luckily, with the affordable options out there, you can get this look for a low price if you know where to look.

dark cabinets

Cons:

  • Dark cabinets need to be cleaned often. Food particles, dust, water splatters and more will show up easily on darker surfaces. For this reason, dark cabinets need to be wiped down with a damp cloth frequently to keep them in top shape.
  • Dark cabinets show scratches and dings easily. A simple solution for this is to be extra careful when using your cabinets or to purchase a cover stick or varnish to match with your cabinet door.
  • Dark cabinets can make your kitchen look heavy. To counteract this, make sure you introduce lighter and brighter colors in your decor and hardware to even out the color scheme. Dark colors can make a room look small, so it’s important to open up the space and include lighter accents to avoid this as well.

Make Your Kitchen Eco-Friendly

There are a variety of ways to help keep each of the rooms in your home as eco-friendly as possible. A popular option for your kitchen includes choosing the right type of cabinets. In addition to how you remodel your kitchen, you can help the environment in other ways such as choosing the right foods, appliances and cleaning products.

One way to “go green” in regards to your kitchen is to use eco-friendly cleaning products. There is a large market out there for all natural products. It’s important to check the labels when shopping to ensure that the products are in fact eco-friendly. If shopping for new products isn’t in your budget, you can use a lot of household items to get the job done as well. Baking soda and water, lemons and vinegar are all natural cleaning agents that work on different areas of your kitchen. Keep your family and food protected from harmful chemicals by choosing eco-friendly products.

Choosing eco-friendly appliances and accessories is another way to help the environment. An easy way is to look for the Energy Star symbol and choose brands that state in their company policy that their

products are energy efficient. Items to pay special attention to are efficient range hoods, induction cooktops and refrigerators to save energy and power. Pay attention to the lighting in your kitchen- simply switching your bulbs to energy-efficient ones can make a large difference. Investing in a water filtration system/faucet is far more eco-friendly than drinking from plastic water bottles.

The purpose of your kitchen is to prepare and store the food you and your family consume. Paying extra attention to your food choices can make a large difference for the environment. Shop locally when you can- farmer’s markets and family-owned shops are great alternatives to supermarket chains. This not only reduces shipping costs, but lowers the amount of fuel emitted into the air due to transportation.

A few other ways to keep your kitchen eco-friendly is to participate in your town or city’s recycling program, start composting your kitchen waste and conserving your water use when washing food or dishes.

All About Shaker Cabinets

The simplicity and versatility of shaker style cabinets have made them a popular style in kitchens and bathrooms over the years. Due to their high demand and attractiveness, they are carried by a large percentage of cabinet distributors and manufacturers.

This popular style of cabinets began with the religious group known as the Shakers in the late 1700’s. They valued simplicity, which is reflected upon in the style of the cabinets. Their hard-working lifestyle and solid craftsmanship is still carried over today in the Shaker style cabinets.

Shaker cabinets have a variety of notable features that set them apart from the rest. The first of these features is their shape. Shaker cabinets feature a raised square-paneled door front with matching square corners. The edges are sharp and defined with no fancy curves or details. The square doors lay flat against the cabinets for a clean look.

Another notable feature of Shaker cabinets is their simplicity. Since there aren’t as many nooks, curves or special details as other cabinet styles, these are extremely easy to clean and take care of- a simple swipe here and there will keep them looking great. Most Shaker cabinetry features dovetailed wood joints, which makes the cabinets sturdy and durable without the use of glue or nails in the corners. These simple hinges mean there is little decoration or embellishment as previously mentioned.

A final feature of the Shaker cabinets is their versatility. Because they feature a plain and clean style, these cabinets blend in with all types of décor. Whether your kitchen or bathroom is contemporary or traditional, you can easily integrate Shaker cabinets into your space. Shaker cabinets can take on a variety of colors as well, such as a wood stain for a traditional look or black/white cabinets for a modern look. The clean and linear design will always be in style, so there’s no need to worry about having to switch out your cabinets in a few years for something trendier.

Keeping Your Kitchen Safe for Children

magnetic cabinet lock

The kitchen is a place for cooking, eating and spending time with family and friends. However, these happy activities can turn into a disaster when poor safety comes into play. It”s important to keep your kitchen safe, especially if there are young toddlers and children in your home. The following tips and tricks will help to prevent any mishaps and continue to keep your home a safe and relaxing place.

An easy way to keep your kitchen safe is with locks. Locks prevent children from getting into items such as cleaning chemicals or sharp kitchenware. There are a variety of locks on the market today, many aimed at preventing children from getting into cabinets. There are even innovative options such as magnetic locks that are placed inside the drawer to keep the door tightly shut, preventing any pinched fingers from an attempted entry.

Slider stops are another item that can make your kitchen more secure. These prevent the cabinets from being pulled entirely out of the counter, resulting in items falling upon a child.

As simple as it sounds, making sure your cabinets and appliances are properly installed will also keep your kitchen safe. Loose screws can fall and end up in a child”s mouth and cabinets that aren”t properly secured can tip or break if a child tries to climb them or explore.

Having a toy bin in the kitchen with either kitchen toys or regular toys will provide children with a distraction. They are less likely to explore restricted cabinets if they have a cabinet or bin of their own to play with.

Moving hazardous items to top shelves is another simple way to prevent any mishaps. Rearranging the contents of your cabinets won”t take long and will benefit you in the long run.

Other options include safety gates, which help to prevent children from entering the kitchen or certain parts of the kitchen, and outlet covers to to prevent children from electrical hazards.

Common Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

kitchen remodel

Your kitchen is one of the busiest rooms in your home. It's where you cook, eat and congregate as a family. So when deciding to remodel this popular room, it’s important to make the right decisions. With all of these important decisions to be made, there are bound to be mistakes. Luckily, due to trial-and-error of many remodelers before, there are some common mistakes people make and easy ways to prevent or fix them.

Changing your plans halfway through your remodel. It's far more effective to thoroughly plan and take your time when considering what you want your kitchen remodel to look like. Not spending enough time or doing enough research can lead you to want to change your entire vision halfway through. These design changes will increase your stress, budget and timeline, so it's best to be extra prepared and stick with your original vision.

Not enough storage space. Kitchens require tons of storage for utensils, food and cleaning products. Utilizing your cabinets, pantries and other storage spaces is crucial. Look into space-savers such as storage racks and cabinet pull-outs for your remodel. You can never have enough storage space!

-Paying too much attention to trends. The latest trends in kitchen cabinets, islands or tiles may only last for a few months. You should consider if something that's so trendy will still look good a few years from now. It's best to stick to a classic look and layout and then feature small accents that incorporate the trend- that way they can be replaced and changed with something new to suit your taste.

-Ignoring the lighting. Lighting is one of the most important aspects of any room in your home. Lighting is especially important in the kitchen, since you need clear vision for cooking and working effectively. Take into consideration the placement of the lighting, the type of the lighting, and the amount of natural light coming in from windows.

Forgetting about kitchen smells. It's inevitable that your kitchen will sometimes smell from the previous day's meal, but there are certain decisions that can be made to help with the bad odors. The first is proper ventilation. A good

ventilation system will help to improve the quality of the air, keep your kitchen cleaner and provide a more pleasant smell by venting the odors. The second decision dealing with smell is where to conceal the trash in your kitchen. You want to make sure there is enough room for a sizable garbage bin (unless you want to be dumping the garbage three times a day with a smaller bin). You also want to take into consideration recycling options and make sure the bin concealed to prevent odors.

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.