kitchens

 

White Kitchen Cabinets and Kitchen Design

Today the most popular type of home improvement homeowners are wanting and doing is kitchen remodeling. Kitchens are the main attraction and social center of your home for preparing meals for your family and for friends a comfortable place to socialize and gather. Kitchen design and planning is most important step for you to achieve the personal look, practical use and customized to meet you and your family’s lifestyle and needs. One of the most popular colors kitchen designers choose is white. White kitchen cabinets can be used to make a subtle design statement or portray a very dramatic distinctive look. The color white speaks for itself and depending on the style of kitchen cabinetry and door style you can create a look that fits your personality. White kitchen cabinets are used for many different décor such as contemporary, traditional, country, French country, English, shaker and many more. There are also many choices of material used for kitchen cabinets like; plastic laminate, white painted wood, high gloss lacquer, vinyl foil, white stain and white washed finish – all having their our design statement. Each of these styles has a distinctive look and can reflect your own personality.

White kitchen cabinets make color choices for accessories and countertops somewhat easier to choose an accent color theme throughout the kitchen and surrounding rooms. Using white color cabinetry in any of the styles mentioned can accomplish a design which is timeless and stay stylish for years to come. Contemporary style white gloss finishes give a very sleek modern look, while white painted wood raised panel door styles can give a warm traditional feeling in a kitchen. The flooring and countertop colors are the main accent areas and can drastically give different moods with different colors. A white traditional style cabinet with wood flooring is very popular and makes the kitchen feel very inviting and warm. Adding granite countertops to this combination again can totally change the mood of the kitchen depending on the color and texture.

The color choice for appliances is also very important and contributes to the total design statement. I would suggest if you are planning a traditional style kitchen use matching white wood front decorator panels on the dishwasher and refrigerator fronts as they will blend in better with the total look and use your choice for ovens, cook tops and sinks as stainless steel or black. In a contemporary style kitchen many designers choose to accent all appliances with contrasting colors to create a more dramatic look. In the past many people felt that white kitchen cabinets were only for showrooms and thought white was too much work to maintain. With today’s new wood finishes and synthetic materials white kitchen cabinetry is as easy to maintain as any other stained color. White kitchen cabinets have been in style for the past 20 years and show no signs of going out of the style trends to date. It is much easier to change color themes from time to time by changing window treatments, placemats and countertop accessories with new accent colors if you choose.

outdoor wet bar, gazebo

kitchen appliances   kitchens and bathrooms

outdoor kitchens kitchenaid 72" deluxe grill   kitchen remodeling

 

Some of the most popular improvements to a house today are; kitchens, bathrooms, basements, additions, hardwood flooring, specialty paint finishes, faux, custom wood mouldings & trim, garage conversions, attic space, adding decks and screen rooms, and home theater rooms. Families are finding that in many cases they would rather invest in remodeling their home than moving. As the real estate market is in a slump home improvements are on the rise, but before you plan on doing major improvements you need to have an idea of the present value of your home and how much  the project you are planning to do will cost. Decide on a total budget cost and list your priorities of the improvements you are planning. Next evaluate these three factors- will the cost  this project still keep you house within a the selling market value?. Will this improvement provide a more comfortable living quarters for you and your family to enjoy? can you afford this home improvement?

Remodeled Kitchen

remodeled kitchen , white painted cabinets glazed finish distressed

These kitchen cabinets were  refinished in white painted distressed finish. Some new cabinets were made ti match like the oven and micro cabinet. The island is all new cabinetry finished in an espresso custom stain with a natural oak butcher block countertop. New appliances include a Viking wall oven and Viking 30” built in refrigerator on the other side of the kitchen with a wet bar matching the island finish.

custom cabinets refinished

 

 

Refinishing your kitchen cabinets- staining, painting or antiquing. A great way to update your kitchen is by refinishing all of the fronts, doors and drawers. This can be done by stripping off the old finish and applying the new painted or stained finish. In the following pictures the esisting cabinets parts- doors and drawer front were sand blasted to remove the old finish and also to give the wood a distressed look. The fronts and box frames are maple and they were sanded before the new finish was applied. The frames were primed- 1 coat, then painted by brush -2 coats and then a clearcoat was applied- 2 coats. The doors and drawer fronts were sprayed in the shop.

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Oak Butcher Block Countertops, Do It Yourself

I recently remodeled my kitchen and refinished the existing custom wood cabinets to distressed white painted, added a Viking wall oven and made new wood cabinets for the cook top island. In another area of the kitchen I also replaced the existing wet bar with new custom wood cabinets that have recessed style doors, stained espresso finish with an oak butcher block countertop. The dark espresso stained bar coordinates well with the white painted kitchen cabinets. For the bar sink countertop I purchased an already made oak butcher block slab then cut it to size and customized the edging by adding  a 1 ½” built up edge to give the appearance that the bar top is 3” thick. The oak wood countertop accents nicely with the dark finished bar cabinets.

I decided to make the new island cabinets the same color as the wet bar with a real wood butcher block countertop. I had planned on purchasing a stock size butcher block slab for the island but was having a hard time finding the slab size. The custom top had to be 28” x 82” to install the Thermador six burner cook top in.  Being a cabinetmaker, I didn’t want to pay the high price for someone else to make the custom butcher block top which would cost over $800 and take 6-8 weeks to get

If you are an experienced woodworker you may want try to do it yourself, maybe make a cutting board or small top before you attempt to make a large countertop or table. Making your own butcher block countertop probably isn’t cost effective, the rough lumber alone will cost as much as buying an already made stock size wood countertop. The more I thought about the cost of buying a new custom butcher block top and waiting six weeks, the more I was convinced to make it myself. The cost of the wood to make this top was around $350. I figured if the top didn’t turn out too good I would use it temporarily for a couple of months until I ordered one.

Butcher block countertops can be made from almost any species of hardwood some of the most popular are- oak, rock maple, cherry, ash and walnut. I chose oak and used - 1x2x8’ long and needed about 30 pieces which cost about $275. I saved some money on the oak because I wasn’t filling in the center space of the cook top cut out which is 19”x43”. I just needed enough to make the two slabs on the sides and two 5” wide strips on the length of the countertop.

do it yourself butcher block countertop

 I first cut all the 1” x 2” oak 19” long which would be used for the 2 slabs on both sides of the cook top opening.  I laid them all out with the good side facing down on a flat workbench as that would be the top surface. I glued one side of each of the 1x2’s, about 23 pieces together with Titebond III Ultimate     wood glue. While the glue was still wet I set the oak strips using a 24” framing square to flush the ends before clamping.

After they were set square I used 2 bar clamps on each slab to clamp the laminated boards together. The clamps were tightened to close all the gaps between the strips and squeeze out the excess glue. This made two slabs approx 19” x 19” that would be laminated later to the longer laminated pieces for the length of the countertop. I left the clamps on for 24 hours so the glue would totally cure and bond the oak strips together. When the clamps were taken off I scraped off the excess dried glue on the edges and then trimmed the slabs on a table saw keeping the square side against the fence so all edges would be square for assembling to the longer 1x2 oak strips.

how to make oak butcher block

Next, I precut ten 1x2’s for the length of the countertop, five for each side would be laminated together. I laid out the cut pieces with the good face up. I started by gluing and nailing one long 1x2 to the one side of each of the smaller slabs and did the same on the other side of the slabs. When butcher block tops are made in a factory they are not nailed together, I did this because it was easier to temporarily hold the 1x2’s in place until they were clamped. This worked fine because the nails are on the side that is not seen in the finished countertop. Next, I glued four more long oak strips on each side making up the total width of the countertop- 28”. I used four bar clamps and tightened them until all gaps were closed and the excess glue squeezed out of the joints. I left the butcher block clamped for 24 hours so the glue would be totally cured.

The next day I removed all the clamps and was now ready to add a 1x2 oak band around the perimeter edge of the countertop. I allowed a 1 ½” in the overall size of the top for this edging. This edge strip would also cover the end grains of the laminated pieces and it would have mitered corners just like any wood trim on a countertop edge. I let the edge trim dry for a couple of hours and was now ready to sand the surface and bottom of the butcher block slab. Before sanding, the excess glue residue must be scraped off.

 Next I used 60 grit sanding belts on a Bosch 4”x24” belt sander to flatten the surface. This first rough sanding must be done cross grained to make the top surface even if you don’t have a planer. The bottom was done first and then the top. The bottom doesn’t have to be perfect as it won’t be seen. After several passes on the top with the 60 grit, I changed the sanding belt to120 grit for a smoother surface. This sanding is done with the grain NOT cross grain. This will remove all other imperfections in the surface from saw cutting and sanding.

oak butcher block island top custom made

If you want to shape the edge of the countertop now is the time to do it. With a router use a roundover or ogee shaped bit. As with any routed edge, make a few passes around the countertop cutting a little each time.  Don’t make the full depth cut of the router bit in one pass because the oak may splinter or the router bit will get too hot and leave burn marks on the shaped profile. Now for the final sanding, use a vibratory sander with 220 grit fine sandpaper on the complete surface of the top and edges to remove all previous sanding marks. When done sanding vacuum off all loose dust and it is ready to stain or apply a clear finish.

I prefer a clear wood finish instead of an oiled finish. If the butcher block is going to be used for cutting I would suggest using oil, this will treat the wood and help prevent splintering and liquids being absorbed into the surface. For my project I applied six coats of Sherwin Williams waterborne polyurethane varnish. This gives a furniture finish which is easy to clean and is very durable. If you choose to use this type of product you must sand with 400grit sandpaper between all coats for adhesion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hardwood Floors, Colors, Designs & Patterns

 

Hardwood floors have become very popular in recent years and different from the past, hardwood flooring has become a customized design statement rather than just an alternative type of flooring for ease of care. Older wood floors were traditionally of red or white oak and commonly 3" strip material and usually ¾" thick boards. Patterns were usually found in more expensive homes only and for the most part strip flooring was installed parallel with the length of the room. The older installed wood floors were nailed in place on site as raw lumber then rough sanded and then finish sanded with a walk behind flooring machine and the stain applied followed by a varnish or polyurethane coating which required regular paste waxing and buffing to maintain the sheen. Today's wood floors are usually of a prefinished board ranging in thickness from 3/8" to ¾". Many more species of woods are readily available in wood flooring at affordable prices making them very popular in home remodeling and new construction.

Choosing the type and color of wood flooring for your project is only half of the decision, the other half is selecting the style of board, board width and the direction which to install the strips or planks. Darker colors give the room a formal appearance and will define the room size visually, while lighter colors will give the appearance that the room is larger and allow other items in the room to stand out. Wood flooring species include red oak, white oak, ash, birch, maple, pine, cherry, walnut, teak, rosewood and other exotic woods which are more expensive and harder to find. Keep in mind that woods as teak, cherry and rosewood naturally darken with age and will be more prominent in areas exposed to daylight. The most common hardwood or softwood board widths are 21/2" - 3" strips, 4" to 7" planks, or smaller parquet style squares. The different board widths and the direction in which they are installed can dramatically affect the total appearance of the room by either highlighting the floor pattern or keeping color and patterns subtle. Along with those choices you may want to add patterns inlaid of different wood species, colors or different material such as ceramic tile to accent an area or border.

Installing the wood flooring diagonally makes a statement that it was installed professionally rather than just running boards parallel with walls which is the least expensive method of installation. By adding borders or different inlaid patterns is a way to express your personal touch to the room's décor. Using different colors of prefinished wood is the easiest way to add accents and details and by using the same brand of products in different colors will assure that matching width and thickness will be the same and professional looking. For borders consider using the main color around the perimeter walls 12" - !8" wide parallel with wall and miter the corners at 45 degree angles. Next install accent color wood strips at your choice of width parallel with base color and miter the corners also, after the accent color install the base color wood diagonally within this outline area. There are endless designs for inlaying custom wood floor patterns and accents. If the new wood floor is replacing carpeting there will be a noticeable difference in the loudness of sounds and echoes in that room and surrounding areas. It is common to lay down an area rug on top of the hardwood floor as a way to absorb sound making the room warmer, quieter and give a comfortable feel to the décor.

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