General Woodcraft Blog

Taking the Pain Out of Designing Your New Kitchen

Posted by Chris Nolan on Wed, Jun 28, 2017 @ 06:00 AM

We get it. You’ve been planning on remodeling or updating your kitchen for years and you’re finally ready, only to find out:

  • The new kitchen of your dreams is out of your budget range

  • You found the right price for a kitchen but 5613_Montgomery_Kitchen_Left_F-1-011636-edited.jpgit doesn’t meet your needs

  •  The kitchen designer doesn’t understand your needs

We feel your pain. We hear similar stories every day. We understand that updating your kitchen can be a painful process – but it doesn’t have to be. Planning and designing your new kitchen can be fun! We have the experience and sophistication to meet your dream kitchen goals while helping you stay within, and manage, your budget.  Here’s how:

Our Kitchen Design Process is simple and user friendly:

Start by scheduling an appointment that will work for you, so you don’t have to hurry or worry

 Bring in all your goodies, because we want to know what you are looking for. Magazine clippings, sketches, any ideas or ‘must haves” are great. The more you know about what you want, the easier it is to help you get there.

 If you like us, and think we may want to work together, please invite us over to your place. We will schedule an appointment to come visit your home. Please don’t worry about any clutter or mess – that actually helps us get an idea of your possible need for additional storage. We’ll take some measurements and learn more about your hopes and dreams for a new kitchen.

 As soon as we have a set of preliminary drawings ready for you, come on over to our place and we’ll review them with you. What works best for you, what doesn’t work and more will be discussed. We promise to be patient and very good listeners. This is a great meeting, because you get to see what your new kitchen can become. (I’m starting to get excited.)

 Approve your final drawings. We will make the necessary changes and invite you back over to review your final design. (Oh my gosh, I’m so excited now!)

 Relax and let our team do what we do best – deliver the kitchen of your dreams. (This new kitchen is so beautiful, I can’t wait to invite our friends over!)

 And they lived happily after.

 If  your home is anywhere between New Haven, CT and Narragansett, Rhode Island, we can help make your new kitchen design come true. Scedule an appointment to come visit us at our Kitchen Design Studio in New London, CT. We love what we do, and you can, too.

_________________ SCHEDULE A COMPLIMENTARY  1-HOUR CONSULTATION WITH OUR KITCHEN DESIGN TEAM __________________________

Tags: kitchen design

Kitchen Design Trends Worth Following

Posted by Amy Cornell on Thu, Jun 18, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

 

Kitchen trends from House and HomeTrends come and go, and kitchen design is no exception to the ever changing rules of style. Today we're sharing a few hot kitchen design trends worth following as illustrated in this stunning kitchen renovation (see photo). 

Bi-Color (AKA Two Tone) Cabinets: Painting base cabinetry and upper cabinetry in different colors adds interest to kitchen cabinetry. Consider this concept during the kitchen design process if you have a small kitchen because it visually expands the room. Tall cabinets that reach the ceiling painted the same color will make the space appear larger still.

Gold: Donald Trump and Mr. T rejoice; brass and gold are back. Gaining popularity in small doses after a long shutout from kitchen design, gold-tone metals are appearing in drawer pulls and lighting fixtures. As show here, they can be paired beautifully with nickel and chrome finishes and add great warmth amongst stainless steel, marble and tile.

Open Shelving: If you like this trend, most quality cabinet manufacturer can create custom shelves to match the color and style of your cabinetry. Most kitchen designers suggest open shelving be used sparingly. It's a big commitment to keep dishes as tidy as a photo stylist. Something to consider during the kitchen planning phase.

We love what we do ... and you will too.

If you live in Connecticut or Rhode Island, and would like to find out how General Woodcraft can transform your existing kitchen into something truly beautiful, please contact us today.  

Schedule a 1-hour Complimentary Kitchen Consultation

Kitchen Photo Gallery

Custom Kitchen Cabinetry and More

Schedule a Complimentary 1 - Hour  Kitchen Design Consultation

Tags: kitchen planning tips, kitchen design, kitchen designer

How to Select the Right Kitchen Company

Posted by Amy Cornell on Fri, May 29, 2015 @ 09:30 AM

General Woodcraft Kitchen

Secrets to an Amazing Kitchen Design: Part Three 

You're gaining momentum with your kitchen renovation project. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of your talented designer, you have a stunning kitchen plan in your hot little hands. Time to choose the right kitchen company to supply and install your cabinetry.

Disclaimer: This article assumes you aren't planning to buy cabinetry from overzealoushomeowner.com and install them with your cousin Lefty. If you're not a master carpenter, I beseech you, leave the heavy lifting, measuring and power tools to the professionals. 

Weekend Warrior Warning aside, let's find a reliable and professional kitchen company.

Transitional open kitchen designWe've compiled a few questions to help you find the right kitchen design and installation company for your needs. First, identify eligible candidates using similar methods suggested to help you select the right kitchen designer:

  • Ask family and friends for recommendations.
  • Visit well-respected appliance, tile and stone suppliers, and ask who they would use themselves.
  • Schedule a time to meet the top candidates in-person to discuss the following:

How long has the kitchen company been in business?

The entire kitchen design process is fraught with risk. A new company that promises the moon isn't worth much if they go under next month. Then what good is your warranty? Ensure that a kitchen design company has been in business for a substantial length of time and that they will actually be able to honor their promise to tune-up their work. 

Are they trustworthy?

Personal references are a great way to determine the integrity and credibility of a kitchen design company, its owners and its employees. Is the company in question in good standing with the local Better Business Bureau and Department of Consumer Affairs?  Does your court's small claims department have a wing in their honor? The internet makes it very easy to conduct background checks on contractors and companies for projects of this size.  There are also many sites like Angie's List, Yelp and more that provide a feedback forum for savvy consumers. Ensure that you will be comfortable and safe having these people in your home, and around your family, for a significant amount of time.

Eclectic custom kitchen by General Woodcraft Inc.Do they care about their customers?

Choose a kitchen company that is concerned about your long-term satisfaction - not just your money. Establish their commitment to customer service. How long will they stand behind their work and their products? (Get everything in writing). Is their warranty up to industry standards? Ask for references and find out if they were treated professionally throughout the project - and afterwards when the warranty was tested. 

Are their kitchen cabinets made well?

Know what to look for when you're shopping for kitchen cabinetry. You want to remain within your budget and honor your style but determine the value by checking out a few measures of quality. Are the drawers dovetailed? How thick are the door/drawer faces and inside panels? Are cabinet shelves adjustable and better yet, do they pull out? Slow close drawers are a wonderful feature. Are the door faces solid wood or composite? This section will be covered in a future blog but these features and more will be covered by your kitchen designer when you select a cabinet manufacturer.

Original transitional kitchen by General WoodcraftWe wish you the best of success with your selection of a kitchen design and installation company! With a designer and kitchen company to provide guidance, let's talk next time about how to establish the right bugdet for your kitchen remodel. 

We love what we do ... and you will too.

If you live in Connecticut or Rhode Island, and would like to find out how General Woodcraft can transform your existing kitchen into something truly beautiful, please contact us today.  

Schedule a 1-hour complimentary kitchen design consultation

Kitchen Photo Gallery

Custom Kitchen Cabinetry and More

Schedule a Complimentary 1 - Hour  Kitchen Design Consultation

Tags: kitchen planning tips, cabinetry, kitchen design

Pet-Friendly Kitchen Design

Posted by Amy Cornell on Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

 

Custom Pet Bed and Kitchen Island by Cook Architectural via HouzzAmericans love their pets and they spoil them rotten. Our devoted friends are never far, following us from room-to-room, determined not to miss out on any of the action (or napping opportunities). Most folks could use a little less of their company underfoot in the kitchen, however. Like when we're juggling hot pans doing the short-order cook thing. Wouldn't a pet cave in your custom kitchen island make life easier?

If you are planning an upcoming kitchen renovation and have pets, consider some of these thoughtful additions in your kitchen cabinetry design. They will keep your animals safe, comfortable and possiby help avoid a sprained ankle, or two. 

custom pet bed cratePet Beds: The kitchen island is the perfect space to house a cozy pet bed and/or feeding station.  If you have the floor space, you don't even have to sacrifice storage. Simply extend the countertop past the back of the cabinet. Small kitchens can carve space too by leaving off the door of a base cabinet to make a narrower niche for smaller dogs and cats.

pet_bowls_two-473540-edited

Pull out dog bowls from PinterestFeeding Time: Many cabinet manufacturers offer pull-out drawers which discreetly house pet bowls. Add a roll-out cabinet with plastic kibble bins beside it and make feeding even more efficient. An easy way to create space for bowls away from feet (without losing storage) is by recessing a base cabinet and adding a little ledge.Quality kitchen companies can help you customize such a space most anywhere in your kitchen or utility room. 

These ideas are just scratch the surface of pet-friendly kitchen design. When you select a quality cabinet manufacturer along with a talented kitchen company, you can create almost anything to delight your furry friends. 

We love what we do ... and you will too.

We're also animal lovers at General Woodcraft. Our talented kitchen design team can help you to create a kitchen that you - and your pets - will enjoy for years to come. If you are within driving distance of our New London, CT kitchen design studio, schedule a complimentary one-hour consultation.

Kitchen Design Photo Gallery

Custom Kitchen Cabinetry and More

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Tags: kitchen cabinet design, cabinetry, custom kitchen cabinets, Small Kitchens

How to Select the Right Kitchen Designer

Posted by Amy Cornell on Fri, May 15, 2015 @ 09:22 AM

Secrets to an Amazing Kitchen Design: Part Two

sleek modern kitchen design

Maybe it's me, but there seems to be direct correlation between a home improvement project's return on investment and the amount of stress absorbed in the process. What's topping the list of worthwhile (albeit potentially stressful) endeavors? Kitchen redesign and installation. Going at it alone is not a necessary evil, however.  A professional designer can manage your kitchen project (renovation or new construction) for a fraction of your project's total cost. Best of all they can save you considerable time, money and aggravation - while ensuring your vision is successfully realized, on time and on budget. 

Why hire a professionalCreating a beautiful and functional kitchen requires knowledge of many specialized trades: architecture, construction, plumbing, safety and environmental regulations, interior design, product knowledge and more. Professional kitchen designers are trained in the aforementioned areas and working with one not only ensures your visone will ensure your kitchen is not only stylish but ALSO operational, safe and functional.

Transitional custom kitchen by General Woodcraft IncHow much will their services cost? The National Kitchen and Bath Association estimates that a professional designer's fees average about 4% of the project budget. That seems like a small price to pay to avoid costly design errors during the kitchen planning process. And because they are kitchen planning experts, they will help you source budget-appropriate products and cabinet manufacturers to achieve your vision. (Good news if you have found the kitchen of your dreams in Celine Dion's new Palm Beach mansion). 

How do you find and identify a qualified candidate? References are always a great place to start. Begin with your trusted friends and neighbors. Don't be shy if you've been in someone's home whose kitchen you admire. If they used a designer, they'll be flattered you asked and happy to share the information. You can also ask reputable builders and vendors who work in the industry. If the designer is associated with an established kitchen company that will be here fifteen years from now, all the better.

Once you've completed your initial homework (see Amazing Kitchens: Part 1), it's time to schedule a brief consult with your design candidate(s). Here are a few essential points to discuss:  

Transitional Kitchen by Sarah Wilmer1. Experience - How long have they been designing kitchens? Ask to see photos of completed projects. Before and after photos are a surefire way to measure their talents. Request references too - the more the merrier. If you're able to speak to the references, you should ask them about the designer's work ethic, communication, ability to conceptualize their client's style in their design, and ability to stay within their proposed budget and time line. And most importantly, did they do what they said they would do?

2. The Kitchen Inquisition - You have questions for your designer but they should have many questions for you, too. They should ask you about the things we discussed in the last installment and more: define your style, what would you like to see - and avoid - in your new kitchen, who will be using the space and how. They'll also discuss your budget and goals.

Tranisitonal Coastal Kitchen by General Woodcraft

3. Realistic - Any designer worth their merit will help clients establish realistic expectations for their kitchen plans. Based on your existing space and final goals their experience and product knowledge will help you to formulate an initial project budget. They should also be forthright about their own limitation - time and otherwise. If you envision your new kitchen designer on the remodel site everyday and available for midnight crown molding chats, you should clarify your expectations in advance. And in writing.

4. Homework - In order to translate your dream kitchen into reality a good kitchen designer should send you away with some homework.They will suggest websites for you to peruse (often of cabinet manufacturers they think match your budget and aesthetic). They'll surely want to add to the photos you've already collected as they drill down to elements that will be the foundation for your new kitchen. If you've come with a spouse they will undoubtedly see some differing visions and ask you to discuss what's most important to each of you and some areas of compromise.

Traditional kitchen custom island General WoodcraftI've finally found the right designer! When you've met with all of your potential kitchen designers you will undoubtedly feel most comfortable with one. They will share your design aesthetic and leave you feeling in good hands. In the next installment of this series we will discuss how to choose the right kitchen company. 

We love what we do ... and you will too.

If you live in Connecticut or Rhode Island, and would like to find out how General Woodcraft can transform your existing kitchen into something truly beautiful, please contact us today.  

Schedule a 1-hour complimentary kitchen consultation

Kitchen Photo Gallery

Custom Kitchen Cabinetry and More

Schedule a Complimentary 1 - Hour  Kitchen Design Consultation

Tags: kitchen planning tips, kitchen design, kitchen designer