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Tips from the JWH Team: Bold Colors!


Looking for a quick and painless way to transform your living space from ho-hum to dazzling? Add some color! Whether it’s a brightly patterned armchair or an unexpected accent of coral on a dining room wall, a splash of color has a way of converting the bland to bubbly. You may not want to paint an entire room in trendy colors like acid green or amethyst, so we’ve come up with these four sneaky ways to incorporate color in your home design without going overboard.

Bold color choice

Bold and beautiful front doors in Paris.

Punch up the front door.

Your front door is the first thing people see when entering your home and their last impression as they bid goodbye. Your front door is quite literally the portal into your abode that most every guest will pass through. So why keep it standard and boring? Let your front door be the piece that sets the stage for the rest of your home. From cool turquoises to heritage red, the front door is a statement piece in its own right. Decide what color best represents your interior design scheme, and go from there!

Add new life to bookshelves.

We all have a set of bookshelves somewhere in the home. Whether your book collection is found in a standalone unit or books are displayed on built-in wall shelving, you probably haven’t put much thought into making them over. From colorful paint to funky wallpaper, updating the back of your display cases is an unexpected way to add color into an otherwise neutral design scheme. Choose a color that matches the room’s theme; keep it more conservative with a muted ombre grayscale or really liven it up with brightly painted rainbow hues. This update is a quick and simple way to change the feel of an entire room.

Don’t forget the ceiling.

We’ve all come to expect an accent wall incorporated somewhere in a home’s design scheme. However, a painted or patterned ceiling is a design aspect that feels a little less expected, since most of us choose to stick with the safe choice of a white ceiling. It’s easy to increase personality in your living space without completely changing your current setup:

bold color choice by jwh

A pop of unexpected color in “Her” Closet brings a smile!

-add drama to a stark white kitchen with a dark gray or navy ceiling.

-a brightly colored ceiling is perfect for bathrooms with monochromatic finishes.

-metallic colors add depth and a reflective quality, opening up smaller spaces.

Swap out the sink.

What’s the one element in your kitchen or bathroom that just ties everything together? If you can’t think of one, maybe it’s time to upgrade the sink. Yes, the sink. While most home designs stick with safe neutral basins, an unexpected pop of color in the sink can create a look that is sophisticated, playful or nostalgic that you just can’t get from a white scheme. From the red-orange or robin egg blue retro to the ultra-refined look of an iron cobalt, the sink is a surprising spot to add a splash of color.

Looking to start a project? At JWH Design & Cabinetry, we bring our creativity and expertise to projects of all sizes and  styles. Every client and every job is unique to JWH and receives the individual attention it deserves. Call for a consultation today!

Tips from the JWH Team: Reclaimed Wood


Mixing old and new woods

Mixing JWH Custom Cabinetry with reclaimed wood details

In recent years, reclaimed wood has been making its way into home design in a major way. From wall treatments to dining tables, people are finding creative methods to use re-purposed elements, and it’s no wonder why. Reclaimed wood adds warmth and infuses spaces with Old World charm and history that is not the same as new materials. Here are some of our favorite ways to incorporate this eco-friendly element into your home design.

Salvaged Wood Wall

Want to instantly inject texture, warmth and farmhouse-flavor to your living space? Add an accent wall made from salvaged wood. This is a great way to balance a neutral space, create a focal point and make a huge visual statement in any room. When selecting what kind of wood to use, the options are endless: Reclaimed wood comes in a myriad of colors, finishes, and textures sourced from shipping pallets, boats, barns, sheds, mills and even your own home remodel. A powerful architectural feature, a salvaged wood wall can be customized into your very own at–home art installation.

Reclaimed Wood Flooring

When adding new flooring, consider using repurposed wood for your new stomping grounds. Both aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly, using reclaimed wood averts the greenhouse gases that are produced when unwanted building materials are incinerated. While the imperfect character of reclaimed wood makes it not as easy to find as traditional flooring options, this flooring material can make for a stellar standalone statement piece right under your feet.


Slab Dining Table

There’s no better way to add history and character to your meal table than by using a re-purposed slab of wood. A furniture store just can’t replicate the quality and personality that the heavy vintage beams of reclaimed wood bring to the table. Bring the outdoors in by attaching an entire wood slab to a metal base; have some fun by reusing a lane from an old bowling alley; or create a rustic design from cobbling together scrap wood pieces in varying sizes, finishes and colors.  There are tons of opportunities to exercise creative freedom with this project.

Repurposed Wood Ceiling

Whether you’re aiming for rustic cabin or city chic, using reclaimed wood on an unexpected ceiling space may be all that’s standing in the way between you and your dream room. From weathered barn wood to freshly sawn lumber, adding exposed beams or milled planks are a great way make dramatic impact without sacrificing valuable floor or wall space.

If you’re lacking in the design inspiration department, Houzz and Pinterest are great resources to gather ideas, find architectural motivation and showcase style preferences with your designer.  If you’re ready to realize your vision for your home, contact the experts at JWH Design & Cabinetry. With more than 20 years of experience designing kitchens, libraries, baths and family spaces, we’ve got the tools and know-how to get you on the path to success!



Tips from the JWH Team: Before a Kitchen Renovation


Design and Budget Considerations for a Kitchen Renovation:

Creating a kitchen space that fits your desires, your lifestyle and your budget can be a challenge.  Here are some few practical tips as you begin the research and exploration process BEFORE diving into your kitchen renovation.

Kitchen Renovation by JWH

Careful planning before your kitchen renovation

Allocating Project Costs:

While every project is different, this is a helpful budget formula that fits many kitchen renovations.  For an average kitchen renovation project of $100K (at least in this neck of the woods), these ratios tend to hold true.

  • Cabinetry and hardware: 28%
  • Appliances and ventilation: 22%
  • Design and installation: 15%
  • Counters: 10%
  • Walls, doors, ceilings, floors and windows: 15%
  • Plumbing and electric: 10%


A big consideration for the budget, as well as daily function and enjoyment, is the refrigerator.  Spending on the higher end “built-in” models will fit flush with the surrounding cabinetry, which is an advantage whether your kitchen is large or small, but they carry the biggest price tag.  Counter-depth models are half the cost of the built-in options.  They measure 24”deep, the same as the base cabinets, but then you have the added thickness of the door itself and handle, often adding another 4-5” that needs to be considered for walkway clearances.

Microwaves tend to take up a lot of space, whether it’s on the counter, above a cooktop, or built in to the cabinets, and they range widely in price from a simple GE Profile that fits compactly in a wall cabinet ($200), to the fancier microwave drawers ($3000.) A convection microwave can eliminate the need to purchase a double oven because it also serves as a fast-speed oven.

A professional range is often the eye-grabber when appliance shopping.  It can also be the wallet grabber with costs well north of $10,000.  Keep in mind that it still won’t cook for you…

Additional appliance options can seem endless—and often confusing. Consider your space restrictions, how you really cook, and then get good advice from a reliable appliance vendor.

Cabinetry, the backbone of your Kitchen:

Custom, semi-custom, and stock cabinetry are important considerations for the look, function and budget you are trying achieve.  “Stock” cabinets are quick, easy and cheap—and they can often fit the bill, as long as you have realistic expectations about the aesthetic options and long term quality.  “Semi-custom” cabinets offer more customization and finish options, with quality varying from inferior particle board to all-wood.  An all-wood cabinet with wood drawer boxes and real paint finishes can achieve a good look and hold up under daily use.  “Custom” cabinetry allows the most design flexibility and should also provide long lasting durability and value for your home.  Custom cabinets do not have to be outrageously priced, though they tend to be among fancy retailers who are supporting multiple showrooms, national advertising, and commissioned sales persons.

Custom storage option

Deep drawer storage for pots


Recommended basics for every kitchen include a double trash pull out (for garbage in the front and recycles in the back), cutlery divider for everyday silverware, adjustable dividers for cooking utensils (in wide drawers only), a spice organizer (in a wall cabinet rack or drawer), and tray dividers.

Designing with drawers offers instant and easy storage in a good kitchen design.  The one-step operation for quick access to snacks, dishes, storage items and even larger cookware items, and is ideal for kids and busy cooks. Rollout trays give more flexibility for various height items (like small appliances) and allow better access to items at the back of a deep base cabinet, but this is a 2-handed operation not recommended for kids in a hurry.  Click here for more fun storage options on Houzz.

Corners can be tricky and expensive, but the storage can be very efficient with a good lazy susan, “magic corner” or Lemans swing out unit.  These are definitely worth adding if space and budget permit.


Granite countertops are still the workhorse choice for kitchen countertops, but they peaked in popularity several years ago.  Marble appears in all the top design magazines and is a beautiful choice…if you don’t ruin them.  They are NOT for every cook, or every family.  Hard marble (also called interchangeably with quartzite) offers more day-to-day protection from acids, oils and hard water, but it is still a natural surface that will show the test of time.  Marbles can range in pricing from very reasonable to outrageous!  Engineered stones, offer a virtually worry-free, maintenance-free surface and, thank goodness, the quality of choices in a reasonable price range is increasing on a daily basis.

This is just the tip of the iceberg—flooring, hardware, lighting, plumbing fixtures, backsplash and of course, the new island stools, will each require their own decision-making process.  Starting with the right floor plan, the right team, and realistic expectations about your kitchen renovation, will make all the difference in the end result.

The design experts at JWH Design & Cabinetry will help walk you through these important decisions you create the kitchen of your dreams!  Feel free to call or email for your free Showroom consultation today.

Tips from the JWH Team: The Basics of Backsplash


Six Backsplashes to Tie Your Kitchen Together

When it comes to designing a kitchen that wows, it’s all in the details. There’s prime real estate behind the range that’s a great spot for creating a focal point for your kitchen. Functionally, backsplashes are a way to protect walls from stains and splatters, but today they also serve as an eye-catching centerpiece that can tie together your entire kitchen theme. Here are a few options that may very well be a perfect fit for your kitchen design.

Think out of the Box:

With the rise of the “industrial look”, adding a backsplash of recycled brick or salvaged corrugated metals gives a modern and chic look. Re-purposed antique wood will add a rustic feel and warmth.  With the exception of behind the cooking area, which needs to be non-combustible materials for code (and your safety),

Porcelain or Ceramic Tile

Still the most popular backsplash choice, there are a huge variety of ceramic and porcelain tiles to adorn your kitchen with. Tiles are scratch, heat and water resistant and very durable. The range of shapes, sizes, and patterns available make tile an affordable and practical way to add creativity to the kitchen.  A bold color can liven up a neutral kitchen palette!



Glass comes in large seamless panels, giving your kitchen a more sleek and refined look. Tempered glass is harder than ordinary glass and much more scratch resistant. Easy to install by screw or glue, glass sheets can also be customized by screen-printing artwork or digital images on the panels, for a super creative and one-of-a-kind look.

Stainless Steel

For a more industrial vibe, stainless steel captures the heart of modernity beautifully while remaining an affordable and heat-resistant option. To create a minimalist marvel in the kitchen and to achieve greater visual depth, choose a flat sheet of steel for your backsplash, or opt for textured stainless steel mosaic tile to provide contrast and emphasize sleek kitchen finishes.


A perennial favorite for backsplashes, stone works well in both traditional and creative out-of-the-box settings. Because no two slabs are exactly the same, a unique look is guaranteed every time. Choose between honed granite with an understated matte finish or polished granite, which is more shiny and eye-catching. Something to remember: slabs of natural stone are a costlier option for backsplashes, often having to be milled down in thickness from 1 ¼” to ¾”.  It also should be sealed regularity due to its porosity.


Once a 1980’s staple, the mirror is making a strong comeback in the kitchen.  Based on Feng Shui principles, designers are creating the illusion of more depth and space with a mirror backsplash, especially in an area without windows and natural light.  Antique mirror with a darker hue and worn finish offer a subtle look without being too distracting.  Mirrored tiles, ranging in size from large subways or herringbone mosaics, create a great play on light with a modern twist.

While every material has both pros and cons, do your research and scan the myriads of photos showing the array of available options.  Houzz is a great source to gather your ideas and share with your designer!



Tips from the JWH Team: Design Trends


4 Hot Kitchen Design Trends

After spending 5 days in San Francisco getting ready for the opening of the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year, as well as finalizing the cabinetry designs for another Client’s major home renovation, it’s fun to see (and share) the design trends that are spanning both coasts.

The industrial look

The last few years have seen a sharp increase in the industrial look. Merging efficiency with an unassuming contemporary ease, it’s easy to see why this style is gaining popularity. Some hallmarks of the industrial look are exposed brick and pipes, minimalist furniture, utilitarian appliances, and wood and metal surfaces.  In this photo, the full wall of black brick is a great contrast to the painted and weathered wood cabinetry finishes, and the sleek stainless Thermador appliances.

An easy way to incorporate this look is to add industrial light fixtures or a unique pot rack (if your ceiling heights allow!)  Caesarstone countertops in “raw concrete” compliment this look and provide a hardworking durable surface.  Hardware and fixtures are shown with mixed metals of stainless, brass, and oil-rubbed bronze.

Multi-function storage

While kitchen storage is not an issue that will soon disappear, trends are moving toward making this part of the kitchen battle easier. Custom kitchen designs are creating storage solutions from multi-tiered drawers, slender pullouts, deeper drawers for appliance storage, and toe-kick drawers.

If you’re looking for ways to add more kitchen storage and get organized, think outside that proverbial box. Filling in space with added cabinets and interior accessories is a natural solution.  But as open shelving increases in appeal, (and are easily added in existing kitchens) organization can be both functional and decorative.

Handle-less drawers and cabinets

With the move toward a more modern kitchen, cabinets and drawers are increasingly sans pulls and knobs, creating a more linear, clean look. Come to find out, cabinet and drawer handles are more of a choice than a necessity; and thanks to hardware manufacturers’ new technology, cabinets and drawers will never be the same again.

Not every kitchen can pull off this look, but if you want to add a simple, chic handless design, there are several ways to go about it. Hydraulic, easy-close cabinet doors, push-to-open doors, and custom options are all viable options that will add function and sleekness to your kitchen design.

Classic black and white

Some looks fade as time passes, but the classic black-and-white kitchen is here to stay. This high contrast look of stark white cabinets against black granite countertops and hardware remains one of the most timeless and adaptable kitchen designs. This trend can be tailored to fit almost every kitchen theme. The bottom line: You just can’t go wrong with white.

Whether you want to go modern, traditional or rustic, black and white will work with your design scheme. The easiest way to pull off black and white in the kitchen is to add warmth in the form of rustic hardwood floors, natural stone counters, and rich-wooded islands. A softer white leans closer to the rustic side while a stark white oozes modernity.

If these photos and ideas make you antsy for your own “Kitchen of the Year,” the JWH Design & Cabinetry Team is ready to help. Contact us today and find out how we can help you realize your kitchen remodeling dreams!

Tips from the JWH Team: Easy Updates


Ready to make some quick updates to your kitchen, but not quite ready to commit to a full remodel?  It’s not as daunting as it seems: Small changes can add up to big results. Whether you’re looking to add style, function or a boost of energy to your eating space, these 5 ideas will inspire you to make changes that will have maximum impact on your kitchen.

Before the JWH Update

Before Photo

JWH cabinetry paint finish

Professionally sprayed cabinets

Open Things Up

Make a small kitchen feel bigger by opting for open shelving instead of upper cabinets. If you’re not ready to ditch the cabinets, remove cabinet doors to make a display for pretty plates and keep your most used cookware handy. If you choose this option, you’ll have to work a little extra to make sure you keep your goods organized. Group together similar colors, shapes and sizes to create a streamlined and purposeful look.

Update Hardware

Replacing cabinet knobs and drawer pulls remains one of the most easy and affordable ways to bring new life to your kitchen. If you’re looking for a sleek and modern look go with a polished nickel finish. Satin or antique brass has made a re-entry into design so this could be fun to try.  With all the kitchen hardware choices out there, you’ll find that an upgrade is a simple and efficient way to breathe life into a ho-hum kitchen.  Click “Update Hardware” to see the wide variety of choices from Top Knobs, available through JWH.

Look Up

Ceilings are an unexpected place to add dimension to your kitchen. Add a quick pop of rich color with a fresh coat of paint or install new recessed lighting in various sizes. Instead of using the same old pendant lamps, opt for oversized trendy commercial-grade fixtures for an industrial look. Add some sophistication with a traditional coffered ceiling. For maximum impact, tin-ceiling tiles can be painted to fit to your current color scheme.

Add a Splash

A classic white subway tile backsplash is an inexpensive way to add pizazz to kitchens. For a more exotic look, add a brightly colored Moroccan tile backsplash or iridescent glass in a herringbone pattern. For a dazzling effect, extend the backsplash all the way up to the ceiling. This small but potent change may be just what you need to transform your kitchen in a pinch. Artistic Tile has plenty of ideas to spark your imagination!

Look Down

From installing faux bois floors to slapping on a fresh coat of paint to laying porcelain tile, sprucing up your kitchen floors is a surefire way to give your space a facelift.  For a low-maintenance option select engineered flooring; it’s available in a wide variety of styles and is one of the most affordable options when it comes to installing new floors. Bamboo remains a more eco-friendly and ergonomic flooring choice, while a cork kitchen floor adds a unique texture and a padded feel.

Updates for a JWH Kitchen

Paint, countertops, hardware and lighting give this JWH a new look.

Need help? The JWH Design & Cabinetry Team comes armed with creative design expertise to improve layout, function, flow and long-term value of your kitchen remodel project.  Designing with high-quality custom cabinetry, we can fully execute our creative “out-of-the-box” space planning, interior design and kitchen cabinetry solutions. Contact us today and find out how we can help you realize your kitchen remodeling dreams!

Tips from the JWH Team


6 Creative Kitchen Storage Solutions

There’s nothing quite like opening a cabinet door to grab a dash of kosher salt for your charcuterie, and finding everything is in its proper place. The hallelujah chorus faintly playing in the background, you close the cabinet door and walk away feeling that all is right in the world. When it comes to keeping order in the kitchen, getting a little creative with storage is key. These six simple, effective storage tips will have you on your way to keeping your kitchen running like a well-oiled machine.

Hide appliances and utensils.

It’s the first rule in Kitchen Organization 101: The less “stuff” that’s stored on the counter, the cleaner your kitchen will feel. Hide larger appliances like toasters, stand mixers, and food processors behind an appliance garage door. Stash dishwashing materials behind closed doors. Add a narrow pullout under the sink to create storage space for dish soap, scrubbers, sponges, and towels.

Use hooks.

If you’re a baker, you likely have a few oddly shaped mixing blades for your Kitchen Aid Mixer. For utensils that don’t typically fit into a drawer, save space by hanging them from small hooks inside your cabinet. The idea is to make your life easier by finding convenient ways to access your most-used utensils.

Add storage to an island.

An island serves as an anchor for your entire kitchen, providing extra workspace, storage space, and eating space. To maximize the functionality of your island, include an under-counter beverage refrigerator, deep drawers to store pots and pans, and even a butcher block built into the countertop for knife and utensil storage.

kitchen knife storage

JWH Custom Cabinetry knife drawer

Boost space with baskets.

In the event that you run out of cabinet or drawer space, never fear: baskets are here to save the day! Use the brilliance of a basket to neatly organize towels, snacks, and utensils without adding additional clutter to counter spaces. Artfully arrange fresh fruits in a countertop basket for a twofold reward: more storage space and an aesthetically pleasing enhancement to your eating area.

Add an extra pantry.

Whether your pantry is bursting at the seams with food, or you don’t have a pantry at all, a surprising way to add a storage area is by utilizing the empty space alongside the refrigerator to create a vertical organizer. A tall pullout with shelves allows for added storage space for snacks, spices, utensils, and whatever else you need to stash in a pinch.

Take a Lazy Susan spin.

Despite her name, Susan is anything but lazy. This brilliant kitchen standby has saved the masses from emptying entire cabinets in an attempt to get to an item in the back. A Lazy Susan works wonders for making essentials easy to find. Instead of consigning this spinning wonder to a deep cabinet, add one to the pantry for simple retrieval of kitchen utensils.


If you’re ready for a custom solution to your storage needs,  call the experts at JWH Design & Cabinetry. Our Team specializes in space planning with 20 years of experience designing fabulous kitchens, family spaces, libraries, and baths. Browse our Design Portfolio to see our custom cabinetry projects and let us help you turn your dreams into reality.

Kitchen of the Year 2017


The JWH Team is proud to be part of this major design event! JWH Custom Cabinetry will be a main feature in the beautiful Kitchen of the Year!  Here is the first press release from House Beautiful:


JWH Design & Cabinetry Sponsor

04.06.17  House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year is returning to San Francisco to celebrate its tenth year and will be open to the public from Saturday, April 29, through Monday, May 29, at the 2017 San Francisco Decorator Showcase.

This year’s Kitchen in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco is being designed by Jon de la Cruz of San Francisco’s DLC-ID, who will bring his expert ability for creating modern, timeless and inventive interiors to the showcase. His design will honor a love of food and entertaining, and celebrates the kitchen as the new American living room.

Stay tuned for more updates from House Beautiful and the big kitchen reveal!

JWH Design and Cabinetry is excited to collaborate with Jon de la Cruz on this year’s Decorator Showcase.  Follow us on Instagram for photos and updates.  @jwhdesigns @delagrammar

Southport Beauty Photographed


Kitchen renovation

Flow and function are the main features of the JWH Kitchen.

We spent a beautiful afternoon in Southport CT last week with photographer, Mick Hales, and our lovely Client, capturing photos of her new JWH Kitchen and Master Bath.

A project that started as a renovation unexpectedly became “new construction.”  The footprint of the home provided plenty of space, but critical design details and function were lacking in the architectural plans.  Jennifer Howard and the JWH Team shared their expertise in architecture and space planning to rearrange these spaces.  The layout of the first floor included the Kitchen, Breakfast Room, side entry with Mudroom, Laundry, Desk Area, Walk-in Pantry and Powder Room, as well as the adjoining Family/Living Room and Dining Room.   The first floor Master Suite provided a challenge to accomplish the specific storage needs and “wish list” for this Client, including the double door shower with curbless entry.

The side entry location now makes sense with a clear path to the Kitchen for carrying groceries and letting in the natural light.  Careful planning of the appliances achieved the goals of a dedicated “smoothy station,”  baking area with easy access to the ingredients and appliances, two clean up areas with dishwashers, and plenty of storage for collections of beautiful glass and silver.  The large Island with seating on three sides is a great spot for casual meals and conversation. The details of the JWH Custom Cabinetry were a collaboration with the Client who is an accomplished Interior Designer. The fabulous light fixture over the Island, carefully selected hardware, and gorgeous marble slabs were all handpicked by the Client herself.

Appliances for smoothies

Dedicated spot for making daily smoothies.

“I look at each project as a puzzle that needs solving.  When the pieces come together, everything works.  This is what makes every project fun and exciting for me,” says Jennifer Howard, owner and principal designer.  To view more JWH projects visit , Houzz or call 914-967-6020.