Cabinets 101: A Guide to Cabinet Types

Cabinets 101: Modular vs. Semi-Custom vs. Custom Cabinets When you are cabinet shopping, navigating all the available options can be overwhelming. Your neighbor did custom cabinets – do you need to? Your sister only spent $6,000 on her whole kitchen – is this an option for you? Here is how I explain it! Cabinets are manufactured in one of three basic modes: Modular ($), Semi-Custom ($$), and Custom ($$$). The choice you make for your own project will probably be based on a few factors:  your budget, the style you like, the color or finish you want, and the interior options you are … [Read more...]

Kitchen Design: Let there be Light!

By Sue LeVee, Kitchen Designer In a previous article I talked about accent lighting, a subject that I am a bit obsessive about: This time I want to discuss all 3 types of kitchen lighting – there is hardly a kitchen remodel that doesn’t involve adding lighting. I guess we used to cook in the dark! A well designed kitchen will incorporate 3 types of lighting: Ambient, Task, and Accent. If you want some other design tips, visit Momu WA.   Ambient Lighting: This is the general, overall light in the room. Typically it is provided by a central overhead fixture … [Read more...]

Cabinets 101: Framed vs. Frameless Cabinets

A guide to kitchen cabinet construction When a client begins a kitchen project, one of the first choices we discuss is the cabinetry. Most of us will only purchase a new kitchen a few times in our entire lives, and yet it is a major purchase, and we need to make educated choices. This is where ‘Cabinets 101’ comes in - basic information that a consumer should consider. Here is a great place to start when learning about cabinets: In the world of cabinets there are 2 main branches: Framed and Frameless. This refers to the two different ways that cabinets are constructed. Rather … [Read more...]

Kitchen Design: The Work Triangle

So, we are heading back to basics. And I mean back: this design concept has been around since the 1940s. I am talking about the legendary work triangle. When a designer is laying out a kitchen, there are 3 primary work areas to consider: the sink (prep and clean up area), the range and the refrigerator. Drawing an imaginary line from the sink, to the range, to the refrigerator, and then back to the sink gives us our triangle. The Infographic at the bottom of the page has great examples! We want our kitchens not only to reflect our taste and style, but also be … [Read more...]

Kitchen Design: Focal Point

By Sue LeVee, Kitchen Designer In a companion article I am discussing putting together styles inspired by kitchens in London with different color palettes, and I found myself repeatedly referring to the Focal Point. So I decided to take a moment and talk about why you need to consider this when designing your kitchen!       Focal point  noun: a center of activity, interest, or attention When putting together a color palette, I like to consider the room’s focal point, or “the star of the show”. What area or item do you see ‘popping’? Where is the eye … [Read more...]

Universal Design: Designing for people of all sizes, ages and physical abilities

By Sue LeVee, Kitchen Designer   Kitchens are such an important space for all family members to comfortably use; these guidelines are important for every designer to have in mind! “Utilize the principles of universal design to ensure your home meets the needs of all people. The worldwide movement applies to everyone, so it's sometimes called "aging in place" or "design for all." No matter the name, the theory remains the same: Your home should be welcoming and accessible to a wide variety of people, regardless of their age, size, or … [Read more...]

Kitchen Design: Going Gray

That phrase makes me think of my hairdresser, but I’m talking about gray being used in design. More and more clients are “going gray” in their kitchen spaces. It offers a versatile, refreshing change from the stand-by neutral cabinetry choices. In an article on Houzz, Jennifer Ott writes “Gray is continuing its run as a popular neutral hue in homes. It's still a bit of an unconventional choice as the predominant color in a kitchen, but that is quickly changing, as evidenced by the increasing number of gorgeous gray kitchens appearing on Houzz.” And there are so many choices! Gray is … [Read more...]

Kitchen Design: Cool Cabinets for Kids

When it’s time to organize or update your child’s room, you may not immediately think of cabinetry. Cabinets are for kitchens, right? Wrong!  -Bet that was a surprise  :)Cabinets are a flexible, versatile way to add storage and function almost anywhere. Cabinets come in so many styles, and colors, and sizes; just about any need you have can be addressed with cabinetry. And in the situation where a client has very exacting specifications, we can accomplish anything with custom cabinetry. These two pictures of children’s rooms are great examples of the many storage goals we can … [Read more...]

Kitchen Design: Kitchen Trends 2014

Spring is here, a time that many of us get the urge to refresh and renewal. For many families this includes a remodeling project, and kitchens are at the top of the wish list.   This year, homeowners continue the demand for clean lines and classic shapes. The white painted Shaker-style door, always a design staple, is seeing increased demand. To keep this look fresh and new, cabinet manufacturers are offering a variety of shades of white, from bright white to creamy, from warm tones to trendy grays. Couple this with a renewed interest in inset door styles, and we have fresh … [Read more...]

Kitchen Design: Comparing Countertops – So Many Choices!

A Countertop Guide Your countertops can be the focal point of your kitchen, or the unifying element, or even the neutral backdrop. Here is some information to help you with your investment: In 2009, Consumer Reports tested different countertop options. The countertop materials were rated in 5 different categories, and we still use this information today, to help our clients choose their countertops. In 2014, Consumer Reports put together a new study, comparing 7 top countertop materials. It offers a simple overview of how these materials performed. Quartz (also called engineered … [Read more...]