General Woodcraft Blog

Pet-Friendly Kitchen Design

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

 

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Americans 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. Most folks could use a little less company underfoot in the kitchen, however. 

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 may help avoid a sprained ankle, or two one day. 

man's best friendPet 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 counter top 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.

white dog close up pixabay

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.

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

Bowdler widescreen

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 stressful - endeavors? Kitchen design and installation. Going at it alone is unnecessary and ill advised if you are not savvy in the design, engineering and a handful of other skilled trades.  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. 

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.

mission style kitchen with rustic lodge style lighting and modern appliances

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

1. 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.

 

Tags: kitchen planning tips, kitchen design, kitchen designer

How to Start Your Kitchen Design Process

Posted by Amy Cornell on Tue, May 05, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

Secrets to an Amazing Kitchen Design: Step One

Gesmondi-C1_-_2.jpgCongratulations! You’ve decided to redesign your kitchen. For a brief blissful moment you imagine the sweet sounds of sledgehammers tearing into outdated cabinetry and popcorn ceilings. Rather quickly and cruelly, giddy anticipation often turns to panic in the face of SO MANY impending renovation decisions. The kitchen design process can be a little overwhelming. We will show you in this article where to begin.

FIND YOUR STYLE - Deep breath. The best place to start when embarking on a kitchen redesign is to determine your style. Traditional kitchen? Contemporary style? Something in between? OK, you may think you know, but try this: collect photos of kitchens and spaces that speak to you. The resulting “albums” will uncover common threads to help you select cabinetry profiles, lighting, colors, and so much more. What you didn’t know about your tastes might surprise you.  Jot down your ideas. Make a folder. Have some fun!

WHERE TO LOOK - Magazines, pictures of friends' kitchens, Instagram, newspapers, Google image searches, cabinet manufacturer's websites. These are all good tools and places to start your kitchen planning. Websites like Pinterest and Houzz offer great collections of gorgeous kitchen photos. Create “books” and “boards” of what piques your interest while familiarizing yourself with kitchen design trends. Discover what you love about kitchen cabinetry, island design, custom molding and more. Find a gorgeous color that makes your heart race? Save it. Could be the show stopping paint color for your new kitchen island.

LOOK WITHIN – How, and who, will use your new kitchen? Are you and your spouse 6’-3” entertainers that need extra tall cabinets and ample space for dining and parties? Do you bake so much your friends call you “Cake Boss”? Have a houseload of kids? Teenagers? Empty nester? Maybe you have a dog at your feet for whom you’d like to carve a little under counter space. Consider too what’s working (or not) in your current kitchen. 

When you are ready for professional help, all of this information and your photo homework will be used by an experienced kitchen designer to help create the kitchen of your dreams. 

Stay tuned for our next installment - how to identify the right designer for your kitchen project. 

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

 

Tags: kitchen planning tips, cabinetry, kitchen design

Glass Cabinet Doors Create Kitchen Charm

Posted by Amy Cornell on Fri, May 01, 2015 @ 09:00 AM

 

general woodcraft custom cabinetryA great way to personalize your kitchen cabinetry is with custom glass front cabinet doors that showcase your style and your treasures. Glass options abound and styles vary to suit your taste: traditional, transitional, contemporary, etc . This photograph features Greenfield Cabinetry's full inset shaker style kitchen cabinets with opaque reeded glass.  If you want some sparkle on your kitchen cabinets, while maintaining some privacy, opaque glass is a great alternative to clear. Other popular glass choices include bubble, etched, clear, leaded, patterned and more. 

 

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

 

Tags: kitchen cabinet design, cabinetry, kitchen design, trends

Personality Drives Kitchen Design

Posted by Amy Cornell on Tue, Apr 28, 2015 @ 07:00 AM

Custom Kitchen Island General Woodcraft Cambria

This modern custom kitchen by the General Woodcraft design team in New London, CT was wholly inspired by its dynamic homeowners. Our kitchen designers fell in love with their client's creative spirit and were driven to create a space that was unique and stylish without any hint of fuss or pretense.

Kitchen design features custom cabinets by Signature Cabinetry. Lower: quarter sawn white oak with horizontal graining and nickel drawer pulls. Upper: stainless framed white upper cabinets with frosted glass. General Woodcraft Inc installed the polished Cambria countertops which also laminate the vertical ends of the custom kitchen island.

Let our kitchen design team help you express your personality with a beautiful new kitchen.

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

 

Tags: kitchen design, kitchen island, Kitchen Installation