What's New

Greenwich Renovation

Removing an expensive Christopher Peacock Kitchen that didn’t function well, provide the necessary storage, or allow the proper flow, was a tough decision for this CT family.  See the remarkable Before and After Photos on Houzz.  Hiring Jennifer Howard for the new design and cabinetry was an easy decision and their first right step.  Donating their used kitchen to charity through Green Demolitionswas their second right step.  And hiring the JWH Construction Management Team to coordinate their project from start to finish, was the third and final right step.  The result:  a whole new look and function for this fabulous Greenwich Kitchen.

JWH classic kitchen

A pop of color and texture in a classic white Kitchen

“Rearranging a few interior walls and doorways can make all the difference,” says designer, Jennifer Howard, who presented the idea for combining a messy storage closet and awkward walk-in pantry, to create a fabulous Wet Bar and hidden “Office” for this working Mom.   Relocating and increasing the main window let in more light and created a generous clean-up area, with symmetry and storage in the right places.  Kids’ can serve themselves in the coffee/snack area featuring the newest Miele convection oven/microwave, without getting in Mom’s way while she is working at the 48″ Wolf range.  And the new tall Pantry with the magnetic chalkboard doors added a charming touch and accessible storage.  Once presented with the realistic 3-d perspective views, the Clients were instantly on board and the fun began.

new JWH Bar

Creating something out of nothing

A classic white Kitchen evolved, with 1″ thick doors and 2″ thick marble countertops– as seen in many home magazines lately.  But JWH added unique bits of character in the layout and finishing details for this Client.  The custom blue-gray stained Island is a great accent in this large space.  The nickel wire-front cabinets combine practical storage with an open look.  The blue-gray stain repeats inside these wire cabinets and again in the open shelves next to the Wolf range. And the dark magnetic chalkboard and funky glass backsplash at the Bar keep this Kitchen from getting predictable.

The 10 week start-to-finish project was coordinated by the JWH Construction Management Team.  The combination of our JWH design details and drawings, expertly executed in the field, allows for quick and seamless project for our happy Client.

JWH Kitchen Design Winner: After

To benefit a local charity, JWH offered their expert design services to one lucky winner in Old Greenwich, CT.  The “before kitchen”, in much need to updating, was the perfect challenge for Jennifer Howard and the JWH Team.  Experience with architecture and building, allowed JWH to rearrange the critical spaces in this Kitchen to maximize the function, flow and overall look.  See all the Before and After photos on Houzz.com.

JWH designs new kitchen for charity                 JWH Creates a Winning Kitchen

Form and Function are the Winning Combination                                      JWH Kitchen Design Winner in CT

“Clean, modern lines with warmth and function,” as requested by the Client, inspired the design with our JWH Custom Frameless Cabinetry.  The stainless Sub Zero and Wolf appliances are a crisp contrast to the painted cabinets and honed “jet mist” granite countertops.  The solid walnut top on the center Island, built by  our JWH Millshop, provides a warm and comfortable surface and further compliments the light floors. Utilizing deep drawers and concealed countertop storage keeps all the cooking needs close by for this busy cook/Mom.

The Walk-in Pantry set with a diagonal door was a great JWH solution to walkway challenges with the Island, and provided extra storage without adding extra cabinetry expense.  The frosted glass door lets light in and out, and conceals the contents and evidence of “real life.”  An added bonus and now family favorite!

The custom buffet was designed built after the project to match the Kitchen, with a distinctly modern furniture flair.

The transition from the Kitchen to Butler’s Pantry is short on space, but  the interior glass shelves and lights, as well as the smokey mirrored backsplash, expand the space visually.

This winning Kitchen was also recently featured on the Old Greenwich-Riverside Kitchen Tour, helping to raise even more money for this local charity!


Tudor Kitchen Before and After

Classic details lines with a modern look

Open space for family and function

Before JWH Design & Cabinetry

The challenge for JWH

Catching up on the photography of our recent renovations, this Tudor Kitchen is a prime example!  Keeping the same footprint, and antique leaded windows, JWH combined separate interior spaces to create an open Kitchen space with room for cooking, family meals, and entertaining. This new Project uploaded on Houzz shows the Before and After photos that are worth a thousand words!

The before spaces are recognizable, from the previous table area, to the windows over the kitchen sink, and even the “challenging” long wall.  Removing two interior walls, thick with plaster and old pipes, allowed us to create one continuous space from the newly built-in banquette across the Kitchen to the Family Room seating, and even a bonus Kids’ homework space tucked in a corner.  Our JWH Construction Management Team coordinated the process from permits through painting.

The cabinetry has been designed to be classic with a modern twist.  Clean lines, a mixture of slab and flat panel doors, partially exposed face frames and concealed hinges, are offset with the open walnut shelving and iron brackets.  Staying away from the common “white” cabinet, the paint color is a long favorite of this homeowner’s, having traveled with her across the country from her previous home.  The light countertops and backsplash add a beautiful contrast. Steel was needed to span a few spaces, but the JWH Construction Management Team has the expertise to make it work.  The rustic beams create a warm, finishing touch, after being located in a PA barn by our partner Millshop.

From our initial 3-D perspective views, the Client and our JWH Design Team were able to work through all the details before the project ever started.  The result for JWH:  a streamline process from beginning to end.  The result for our Client:  results beyond expectation!

Professional Photos on JWH

Inviting Living Spaces

Enjoying Cooking and Hanging out with the Family

It is so exciting to finally get to professionally photograph our Clients’ homes when they are “done.”  Capturing the results of carefully planning, creative designing, and hard work in the finishing, is very satisfying to me (as the Designer) and the rest of our JWH Team.  Great photos have been captured by photographer, Mick Hales, and have been uploaded to our JWH website.

Here is the link to a fabulous Kitchen as part of a whole house transformation, including the Master and Kids’ Baths.   Our JWH Team was brought in before these Client’s evens signed contracts on this home.  In much need to a total overhaul, Jennifer Howard and the JWH Team designed architectural changes that would improve the flow, function and aesthetics of this fabulous family home.

The second project has been a work in progress for 5 years.  Starting with the Master Bath, moving on to the Living and Mudroom, and then culminating in the Kitchen, with plenty of time in between each project.  We love our loyal JWH Clients!

New Houzz Photos

Fabulous Kitchen and Family Room Photos

First Look at Our Newest JWH Photos on Houzz

We are in the process of uploading professional photographs from our recent waterfront project to Houzz.  We captured the many rooms in this fabulous home that feature our JWH Custom Cabinetry:  Kitchen, Bar, Great Room, Family Room, Master Bath, Spa Bath, His and Her Offices and even the Kids’ Bedrooms.  The photos also  include custom furniture designed by our own JWH Interior Designer, Bridget Curran.

The Kitchen, Great Room and Family Room are included in the new Project on Houzz.  Grab the photos you love and add them to your Ideabook.  Offices and Bathrooms to follow…

The Importance of Accessories

Soothing shapes and colors

Soothing shapes and color offer a pleasing centerpiece

While staging a recent photo shoot in a Client’s newly constructed home, we were faced with the challenge of accessorizing the expanses of countertops, table surfaces, and comfy couches. Choosing the right accessories is the last step of the project and is too often overlooked.  Perhaps this challenge seems daunting and the choices are endless, or the Client just needs a breather after a long project… all of the above are reasons to postpone, but the effort is worth it.  The right accessories make the biggest difference in a room’s appearance, and once they are placed properly, they become part of the overall look and need no more attention.

When choosing the right accessories it is important to keep in mind the style of the room you are decorating as well as color schemes and scale. The goal is to find pieces that complement the room without overpowering it and making it feel cluttered.  Houzz.com describes a designer’s definition of a vignette as a “pleasing picture formed by grouping several objects — think of it as a pocket-size table arrangement that tells a story about you and your home.” The rules for designing a vignette are similar to those of accessorizing an entire room.

Entry table with accessories

Taller focal point in the center

The first step is to choose an anchor or a statement piece. These are typically larger accessories and the most important to the home owner; the rest of the accessorizing is tailored to the anchoring piece.  The formation of the rest of the accessories is the trickier step. Coordinating pieces should have complimenting elements of each other without appearing too similar. Elements to keep in mind are color, size and texture. While the size of the accessories should vary, be careful of the placement of different sized pieces. For example, when accessorizing a table, height should be matched on either end to prevent the vignette from looking lopsided.

Looking through the lens of a camera quickly identifies areas in need.  Professional photography for magazines and websites offer great visual solutions.  Choose the right interior designer to guide you in these finishing details or start experimenting by trial-and-error.  And don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through your accessories!

Personalize your accessories

Complimentary colors used for accessories


JWH Renovation Project Featured!

The annual House and Garden section of the Rye Record features a fabulous renovation project by Jennifer Howard and the Team of JWH Design & Cabinetry.

Renovated Kitchen and Family Room Photos

A breath of spring in this JWH Kitchen and Family Room

Here is the link to the article and photos, published in the Rye Record, May 19, 2015.

The renovation project, which started as a dark, cramped, and oddly asymmetrical kitchen and family room areas, transformed into an open, inviting and light-filled space for this young family to enjoy.  JWH coordinated the project from initial consultation before the home was ever purchased, through the architectural and cabinetry design process, permits, construction and the finishing touches!  With a client living in NYC with young twins, our ability to offer “one stop shopping” resulted in a streamlined process from start to finish.

Starting with the right layout is the key to the perfect ending. The peninsula Bar cabinets with double sided glass cabinets above, provide a transition from the hallway into the Kitchen, without obstruction the view or the light.  The awkward angles in the Family Room are disguised by the bookcase and TV unit, which instantly brought this 60′s addition up to date, without needing to do any exterior work.

This transitional kitchen with crisp white cabinetry in our Craftsman Series, includes stainless hardware by Atlas Housewares, Pental Quartz countertops, and a 1×6″ glossy white glass tile backsplash.  Designed to be both beautiful and functional, the appliances include a 36″ Wolf range and pro style hood, Sub Zero refrigerator, Jenn Air microwave drawer, and Sub Zero wine refrigerator.


Ready for Summer!

This Jersey Shore home is in the final stages– just in time for summer at the beach!

Jersey Shore JWH project

New construction on the Jersey Shore features JWH Cabinetry

Our JWH Kitchen features a 48″ Wolf range with a custom wood hood, 36″ Sub Zero refrigerator/freezer and 30″ Sub Zero tall wine unit, 2 Bosch dishwashers, and a Sharp microwave drawer.  The oversized cherry Island, shown in a custom dark stain, allows generous space for prep and clean-up, as well as seating for 6.  The stools on the sides can be slid into a “niche” and out of the way when not in use.  The Bar area is designed for entertaining with plenty of counterspace and glass cabinets above, and also for daily function with a second sink, dishwasher, double trash unit, and snack drawers.

The full overlay doors and drawers provide a clean, transitional look and are well-suited to tolerate the changes of humidity of the nearby ocean.  Our durable catalyzed conversion varnish paint finish, prepped and finished in our JWH Millshop, will provide the needed durability in this busy vacation home.

Beachfront cabinetry by JWH

Almost ready for entertaining summer guests in this JWH Kitchen


Raising Our Expectations For Mother’s Day

A treat for working mothers

A vision of relaxation on Mother's Day

As a crazy busy, full time working Mom (and recent Grandma), I really look forward to Mother’s Day.  The idea that the day is all about “me” is a relaxing thought.  Often unrealistic, but I’m always optimistic.  My wishlist for the day has always been pretty basic:  a cup of coffee in bed, accompanied by a child-made breakfast, which can range from a bowl of cereal to a plate of cookies, and of course, a homemade card.  Ideally this is also a day where everyone is nice to me and each other.

As I read this fun article from Houzz (while sitting at my desk at 7:30 am on a tired Monday after a busy Sunday), I wondered if I dare raise my expectations to a more ambitious Mother’s Day.  I am reminded of what we did for my Mom as kids, which started with “watery eggs and burnt toast”, according to her recollections, and included planting the outdoor flower pots.  She was not critical of our color selections, and was thrilled to save her nails from the dirt.  This idea greatly appeals to me since I am never in possession of a decent pair of gardening gloves.

The other ideas, like helping set up technology, re-organizing a closet and even just relinquishing control of the remote—these made me laugh and might actually make it onto this year’s wishlist.  My oldest son could easily clean up the files on my home laptop and make sure it is syncing with the office computers.  My second son could make sure the Sonos music system is working on the wireless speakers outside so I can enjoy a sunny day in a lounge chair.  My fashionable daughter would do a fabulous (and ruthless) job weeding out everything in my closet that she hopes to never see me wear again!  My youngest son, who is my biggest helper on a daily basis, would not be horrified at the idea of collecting the “bombs” left by our dog around the yard.  Nothing ruins Mother’s Day more quickly than Mom “stepping in it.”  And perhaps the baby (19 months and into EVERYTHING) would agree to not remove the batteries from the remote and then hide it.  Or maybe we just hide the remote from him.

The perfect ending to the day would be a family dinner. Take out, leftovers, or a gourmet creation by my talented husband—it’s all the same to me, as long as I see smiles of those who make me grateful to be a Mother.

This is who makes me a Mother

The Makings of a Busy Mom

Reclaimed Wood Gets A Second Chance

Reclaimed wood

The character of reclaimed wood offsets the cool metals

Introducing reclaimed wood into your Kitchen gives instant warmth and charm to your home.  From flooring to furniture, open shelving and cabinetry accents, to actual beams across the ceiling:   the choices of where to add this accent is plentiful, although reclaimed wood itself is not.  Many of these older trees are gone and the wood is no longer available.  Younger trees are less dense so the resulting color is unmatched in older trees.

Working with reclaimed wood in custom cabinetry and countertops is a fun and creative challenge for our Millshop.  The first step is often foraging through old barns in mid-Pennsylvania looking for a hidden treasure.  The longer planks can be used for countertops and wide shelving.  The shorter pieces work well when incorporated into the cabinetry design.

A recent find produced 6 rustic beams that are the perfect finishing touch for our client’s tudor home.Tudor renovation with reclaimed wood beams

Installing reclaimed wood beams in this new JWH Kitchen

Exquisite form. Innovative function.

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