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Brass’s Big Comeback: JWH Chats with Washington Post


brass makes a comeback

Brass fixtures selected by Carrie Parker Interiors

The Resurgence of Brass

Earlier this month, the Washington Post reached out to Jennifer Howard of JWH Design & Cabinetry about an emerging—or more specifically, reemerging—kitchen design delicacy. Brass fixtures have significantly grown their presence in the modern kitchen, and for good reason.

“The resurgence of brass in home design is bringing a new level of warmth back to kitchens,” says Howard.  

This article by Megan McDonough presents a selection of “splurge” and “save” design options. Selected by Howard and the JWH Team, these design ideas are coupled with both pricing and sources.  They’re fun ideas for homeowners so that they, too, can add a creative touch of brass to their kitchens.

Stainless steel and chrome fixtures in the kitchen have taken a back seat to another alloy.  In comparison to its two-compound cousins, brass proves to be a more durable option. Brass faucets will resist calcium and soft water corrosion. Their lifespan and functionality will exceed that of the ever popular stainless steel and chrome faucets.

Beauty & The Beast

Alongside anchor-strength, aesthetics plays a large role in the reemergence of brass in kitchens. This is why we are now seeing brass fixtures explode onto different facets of the kitchen; breaking the rule of the many traditional kitchen accessories.

The softness of brass subtly reflects a warm environment back into the kitchen. Brass has a richness that plays beautifully with contrast when paired with other kitchen appliances. With a smooth and sleek posture, brass is a brilliant way to splash bits of visual effect throughout an outdated kitchen. Isn’t it ironic how something that has for so long been associated with antique is now revered as a staple in kitchen modernity?

Whether it be cabinet fixtures, light fixtures, or even flashy drink coasters, brass will grab eyes while offsetting tones of a cooler nature; stainless, white, and grey shades. It is no wonder that brass fixtures are currently exploding in home design. With the alloy’s beastly strength and its luxurious glow, this kitchen design delicacy is truly the kitchen’s new beauty and the beast.

JWH Interview for US News and World Report.


JWH Interview on renovations

JWH Interviewed by US News and World Report

This is not one of the JWH Construction Management Team working hard on this outside deck. But the JWH Team is busy on renovations of all sizes and shapes– from NY to CA.

Given the breadth of experience in new residential construction and home renovations, US News and World Report reached out to Jennifer Howard, owner and principal designer of JWH Design & Cabinetry, for insight into the upcoming  trends for renovations in 2018.

Appearing the US News Real Estate Section The article by Maryalene LaPonsie “7 Home Renovations to Consider for 2018” appeared Friday, March 9, 2018.  With renovation tips from Jennifer Howard, Nick Hodapp, associate broker with Atlas Real Estate in Denver, and Mike Kinane, senior VP of home equity for TD Bank, there are plenty of points to consider for your home.

Kinane adds that February is the month homeowners start to address financing for their renovations with their bankers.  This adds time to the overall project planning so factoring in these 30 days needs to be part of the project schedule.  He further elaborates on the future of home equity loans for renovations in 2018, offering reassuring advice for homeowners and investors, in the Miami Herald on January 17, 2018.

Unsure about whether to add on to your existing home?  Jennifer Howard says to think twice before bringing in the backhoe: “Working within existing space, as opposed to adding extra square footage to a home, has gained traction over the past few years,” she says. “It seems to be our biggest request right now.”  She believes this makes sense in terms of renovation timing, overall investment, and potential real estate tax increases.

Creative ideas for renovations that improve flow and function, overall aesthetics, AND add value to real estate is the expertise and passion of JWH Design & Cabinetry.  Check out other JWH Before & After projects .




The Heart of the Home: What 2018 Has Cooking for Kitchen Trends


We have all heard the saying, “Home is where the heart is.”

But where, exactly, is the heart of the home? What corridor pumps life into this beloved sanctuary? In which room do delicious feasts originate, ready to spread joy and life to eager smiles?  Where do friends and loved ones gather for cherished moments of laughter and great meals?  Home is a place where everyone is family, where love lurks in every crevice. The special place where the days start and end with nourishing meals for hungry souls.  The heart of the home is surely the kitchen.

With each new year, dedicated designers strive to bring art and genius together for an innovative display of the latest design trends. Whether it be color, lighting, or storage, each year brings the opportunity to invigorate and improve the design world.  We are excited to show you what the kitchen’s got cooking for 2018.

Kitchen Trends 2018 x Black and White x JWH Design

The dance between black and white continues in kitchen trends, and one can see it in this Old Greenwich Kitchen by JWH Designs.

Black and White Still Equals Gray

The dance between black and white continues to be a staple in kitchen trends. The bold contrast between the two shades brings both harmony and balance. The two pallets have always been a classic match, and their blended shades continue to thrive as a popular kitchen trend. The wide ranges of grays, updated up with subtle undertones of color, are part of Farrow & Ball’s “new neutrals” collection.  Beautifully coordinated palettes, act as backdrops for contrasting punches of color. As gray evolves into the world of innovation, color trends may have a new king this year.

Storage, Space, and Sanity

Clutter undoubtedly slows us down. It is hard to function efficiently when the gears in your life are clogged. An environment plagued by clutter has been linked to depression, anxiety, and even memory loss! Having a kitchen with inefficient storage or space usage will surely end in a messy nightmare.

No matter the size of the family, or the size of the kitchen, storage is a concern in every kitchen. That’s why it is no surprise that innovative, sleek, and storage efficient multi-tiered drawers continue as a growing kitchen trend. These beautifully crafted designs don’t just capture the eyes, they capture the clutter.

Kitchen Trends 2018 Call for Innovative Storage x JWH Design

Storage is a huge kitchen trend for 2018.  Cabinetry solutions by JWH Designs capture the clutter and restore the sanity.

Clutter does not just come in the form of stuff, but it also walks as general structures (i.e. too many people in your work zone!)  Creative space planning has always been the key to improving flow and function, and will always be in style.

Mix It Up!

One current kitchen trend that we especially love designing is the mixture of different materials for cabinets, countertops, and metals. A sparkling quartz slab brushing up against a textured oak will warm up any kitchen and offers practicality and a touch of bling. Hints of brass cabinetry hardware compliment the clean aesthetics of stainless appliances. The balance of elements makes for inviting partnerships for a unique and personalized result.  The more the merrier.

Contrast a Story

Contrast is everything, and when correlated to light, a story begins to unfold. Abstract shapes that lay stamped on the floor begin to swirl and hypnotize with astonishment, as contemporary wood grain melts from a solid black marble. Traditional methods of brickwork splice majestically with modernism when introduced with a new pattern.  As all are absorbed and reflected off the calming white hues that surround the scene, this kitchen trend could be on Broadway!

Kitchen Trends 2018 x House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year by Matthew Quin

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year featured custom hardware on JWH Cabinetry by the Matthew Quinn Collection.


Cherish Your Heart

As passionate designers, our eyes brim with excitement each year with the coming of new kitchen trends. The innovations in technology and artistic vision are gems that we hold close to our hearts, and such things fuel our dedication to achieve exquisite form and innovative function in each and every custom cabinet.

The kitchen is the home of the heart, so let us cherish it like our own.


Tips from the JWH Team: Wood Hoods


Appliances are always a big decision in any new Kitchen project.  Refrigerators are getting larger, freezers have become separate units, two dishwashers are more common, and of course, there is the fabulous range that wants to be center stage.  So what best compliments that large mass of (expensive) equipment below?  The hood above becomes a more important decision than most people realize.

Finding the right hood for your Kitchen.

The wood hood is a nice compliment to the other Wolf appliances.

Stainless is an easy choice to match the range below, but many people don’t want one more piece of stainless in the Kitchen, and find it more visually pleasing to join the side cabinetry with a custom wood hood. Designed to fit the space perfectly and built to accommodate a powerful  motor, the wood hood becomes a hardworking, functional and beautiful part of the overall ambiance in the Kitchen.

custom wood hood with open shelves

Designed for function and display.






Designed for a vintage home in Rye, NY, this wood hood needed to blend the charm of yesteryear with the function and efficiency of today’s modern kitchens.  Located over a Thermador range, the hidden Thermador insert provides all the power needed to fully vent the space, while being disguised in the matching cabinetry style in the room.  Trying to balance the required hood size while minimizing the visual mass, the radius shelves on the sides allow for convenient storage while also creating a softer look.  Side pull-outs next to the range keep the essential spices and spices close at hand for the cook.

For help designing the best look and function for your kitchen, the JWH Team offers expert advice and creative solutions.

Hope this helps!  Jennifer & the JWH Team

Tips from the JWH Team: Shedding Light on LED


Clear up the confusion about LED lighting

Designing with the right LED lighting for your kitchen.

It’s an ongoing challenge to learn about the “new” LED (light-emitting diode) products and find the right fixtures with the right features. As much as designers (and homeowners) wanted to trade in their incandescent and halogen bulbs,  good LED products were not ready for the design demands of the kitchen and bath industry.

Choosing the right color produced by an LED has been a big battle between the designers who want the best color for the setting and the companies producing the options.  Since the color of the light corresponds to the energy of the photon and the energy band gap of the semi-conductor (technical factors over which we have no control), we had to wait to see what products would be introduced.  So we tested, we waited, we tested, and we waited some more.

But finally the waiting is over and we are specifying LED lighting for the whole house, not just the undercabinet, in-cabinet, and accent lighting in the kitchen.  The lower energy consumption, low heat emission, long life (30,000 hours of more!), durability and small sizes allow us to build in lighting in fun and functional spots:  opening the corner base cabinet to illuminate the often-hidden contents; under a “floating vanity” to create warm ambiance and a helpful night time glow; along the front of open shelves for those hard-to-read book titles.

The color varies from warm to cool:  2700-3000k is considered warm and 3600-5500k are cool.  I have yet to see anything above 2700k that is warm enough for our liking!  But at least the range allow us to select the light output that best suits the task and setting.  A few added benefits:  the cost is reasonable, the wiring and installation are relatively easy, and your won’t be changing any bulbs!

Hope this helps!

Jennifer & the JWH Team

Tips from the JWH Team: Kitchen Storage


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.

Tips from the JWH Team: Eco-Friendly Updates


4 Eco-Friendly Kitchen Updates

Are you looking to update your kitchen to a more energy-efficient and eco-friendly space? Look no further! Going green with your remodeling project means you’re trading up your current design for a healthier, energy-conserving, and ecologically responsible model. Here are a few ways to incorporate eco-friendly elements into your kitchen design.

custom cherry checkerboard countertop

“Butcher block” counters using smaller end-grain cherry.

Appliance Updates

Sure, we all want to reduce energy consumption and save on utility costs. Choosing Energy Star products is one surefire way to get energy-efficient models that are both tested and rated. To be considered an Energy Star model, appliances must be 25% more efficient than the federal standards for energy consumption. Some states offer rebates for purchasing Energy Star appliances. There are two price tags on every appliance: the purchase price and the operation cost. The results have a ripple effect: The consumer saves money on operating costs by reducing energy use without compromising the performance of the appliance. A few examples of this win-win situation:

– Replacing an old refrigerator with an updated Energy Star refrigerator could save you up to $260 in energy costs over the next 5 years.

– An Energy Star dishwasher will save you dollars and about 3870 gallons of water over its lifetime!


Green countertops come in a plethora of designs, but share these core values: eco-friendly manufacturing process, sustainable content and high durability.  A recycled paper countertop is made of 100 percent postconsumer recycled paper and petroleum free resin and pigment, giving a soapstone look with a superior heat-resistant quality. Salvaged wood can add a historic flavor and character and makes for a great island centerpiece. Butcher block can make great use of repurposed materials since it is composed of smaller bits of wood. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource, and it’s a very hard and strong wood, making it ideal for counter spaces.


Because of it’s one of the fastest-growing plants on earth, there is always a surplus of bamboo, making this option ecologically friendly. This flooring is relatively easy to maintain, water resistant and extremely durable. Cork flooring has unparalleled thermal and acoustical qualities, is warm to the touch, and cushiony to walk on. Add to that an earthy visual texture and the insulating qualities of carpet, and it’s no wonder cork is becoming a go-to choice in eco-friendly flooring.

Kitchen Cabinets

Green cabinetry used to be limited to modernized bamboo boxes. But these days, there are a variety of eco-friendly cabinet options available. Sustainable kitchen cabinets feature formaldehyde-free glues and finishes with low volatile organic compounds that give off low or no toxic fumes. Work closely with your designer to find a cabinet that offers sustainable manufacturing methods and that use environmentally responsible products.


If you’re ready to make the switch to a healthier, energy conserving and eco-friendly space, JWH Design has the expertise and knowledge to help your kitchen live up to its true potential, adding value to your home and the environment.

Tips from the Team: Layout Options


5 Kitchen Layouts worth Considering for your new Kitchen:

The kitchen is, without a doubt, the most used room in our homes. Over the years, this area has evolved from utilitarian place made to whip up dinners into a warm, social hub where families congregate for fellowship. Kitchens come in all shapes in sizes, from the classic galley style, expanded U-shape, to the out-of-the box modern curvaceous layouts.

JWH Kitchen layouts

Determining the best layout for your Kitchen is the first step!

The kitchen work triangle is used to determine the efficiency of a kitchen’s layout. The primary tasks in a kitchen are performed between the cook top, the refrigerator and the sink. When these three elements are in close proximity (but not too close and not too far!), the kitchen will perform optimally. Here are the five most popular layouts for today’s kitchen.

Galley-Style Kitchen 


When short on space, this style is a cut above the rest. Two parallel counters make all work points easily accessible, while the narrow walking space provides more cozier quarters. A sink on one side and a range on the other make for easy food preparation. A galley-style kitchen makes the best use of every square inch of space.  If the walkway between the counters is tight (36”-48”), this becomes a challenge for more than 1 person to work in the space.  On the contrary, if the space gets too wide (7’+), which is still too tight to add an island, there will be a lot of carrying across the middle.   (A rolling cart can be the solution in this case.) 60”- 78” in the middle is the sweet spot for ample workspace and traffic flow.

L-Shaped Layout

An L-shaped layout takes advantage of 2 adjoining walls.  Typically used in small to medium spaces, this design comes standard with a main wall of cabinets with the sink or range and a short grouping of cabinets in an L-type configuration. Incorporating an island is also an option for added storage and food preparation area, and keeping guests out of the work zone.

U-Shaped Layout

A U-shaped layout maximizes the cabinetry and countertops but utilizing all 3 walls.  If the room is large enough to accommodate an island in the center, while maintaining 42”-48” walkways on all sides, this becomes a central landing spot between the major functions.  A prep sink sometimes finds a practical home on this center island.  Word of caution:  if the major appliances end up on opposite sides of the room, the island can also become a walk-around obstacle!

G-Shaped Layout

A beefed-up version of the U-shaped layout, this design is best suited for those who want to maximize every square inch of the kitchen, but don’t have space for the clearance required around an island (mentioned above).  The G-shaped floor plan ideally includes a peninsula to keep the space feeling open, and to keep guests/kids out of the work zone.  This layout can feel cramped, especially if the cook ends up trapped, and the many cabinet corners in the layout can be difficult and expensive to accessorize for the best access.

One-wall kitchen layout facing the water.

One-wall kitchen layout allows the fabulous view of the water!

One-Wall Layout

Generally found in lofts or studio spaces, the one-wall kitchen, or “Pullman kitchen,” maximizes the efficiency of the main interior wall.  Including an island with the main sink opposite is ideal, but often a narrow table might have to serve as a central landing, prep and serving point.  This may also sound like a simple layout, but great design is needed to pull off the function, visual balance, and overall aesthetics of this one-wall kitchen.



Still not sure of the best layout for your new kitchen?  Space planning by a professional is the first critical step.  This is truly the passion and expertise of our JWH Team.  Check out our new Before and After Photos to see the dramatic results of our “out-of-the-box” creative thinking.  Then give us a call  at 914-967-6020, and let’s explore the possibilities together!

Tips from the JWH Team: Small Kitchen Updates


Small Kitchen Updates With Maximum Impact

Do you love your kitchen, yet long for a more updated space? We understand why you want it to look its best!   When a total kitchen reboot is not a possibility, a few of these modest updates are just enough to bring your kitchen to the next level.

Personalize your accessories

Jump on a color trend!

Color Trends

It is easy to jump on the latest color trends without making an all-in commitment.  A coat of paint on the walls, the inside of a glass cabinet, and even colorful accessories can keep your style looking current and fresh.   A quick trip to HomeGoods could be just the pick-me-up your kitchen needs.

Update the Lighting

Lighting is always a focal point, whether intended or not.  If the lighting in your kitchen is subpar or outdated, do something to change it!  Replacing an overhead light fixture is much easier than you may think.  Online sources are endless for a contemporary chandelier, colorful pendants, and even industrial-style track lighting.  Size and scale are important, so it is important to verify these details before ordering.  Fixtures cannot be returned after being installed, and even before installation, the return costs can be startling.  But the addition of new lighting will add ambiance, warmth and character to your kitchen—go for it!

Put a Rug on It

While the kitchen isn’t the first place you think to add a rug, that does not mean they don’t come with plenty of advantages. If your kitchen is predominantly neutral, a brightly patterned rug could be all you need to add a pop of color to an otherwise lackluster space. If you have a sleek and modern kitchen, adding a textured rug can add much needed warmth and visual dimension.  In front of the sink, an easily washable rug adds some cushion and catches water which protects both your feet and your floors.  In other areas, a good vacuum should be enough to keep an area rug in shape.  Houzz often has well-priced rugs with free shipping.  It’s worth a try!

Mixing up the metals for a new look in hardware

Mixed metal hardware

Update Hardware 

It’s all in the details: Swapping out something as seemingly insignificant as cabinet knobs and drawer pulls can create a huge impact. If your cabinets are adorned with ho-hum contractor grade pulls, now may be a great time to upgrade to something a little more modern and unique to your style.  If replacing single knobs on doors, you may have the option for adding a second hole for a pull.  If you are replacing pulls, it is important to measure the “center to center” distance of the screw heads on the back side.  (Filling and re-drilling holes takes some of the fun out of this otherwise-quick upgrade.)

Add a Fresh Coat of Paint

Nothing says “update” like a fresh, new paint job. Whether you’re sticking with the same color, or trying out an out-of-the-box bright, painting is one of the easiest and most affordable way to instantly transform your cooking space. A bay leaf green is great for most neutral spaces, while a cool, sea-breeze color brings the beach indoors. Paint an accent wall in an unexpected hue or use wallpaper with a bold print to add a spark to an otherwise neutral setup.  Checking out the Pantone or Benjamin Moore Color of the Year could give you trendy inspiration.  And the new ColorSnap app by Sherwin-Williams makes it fun to try out different color options without investing in the sample jars.

Cabinetry painting is a little trickier, and best left for the professionals to avoid a chipping mess.  But if you have good quality wood cabinets, this is a route worth exploring for a total update to your kitchen.


Looking to take on a larger project? 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!

A Look At Home Accommodations For The Visually Impaired


Home accommodations for comfort and safety

A common disability among seniors is failing vision. If you have a senior loved one coming to live with you, you may feel overwhelmed by all the changes that need to be made. But the good news is there are many simple accommodations that can be made to ensure that a person with a vision issue will be safe and comfortable in your home, so start with the small things and work your way up.

The first step is to sit down and work out what your loved one’s daily activities will be within the home. Take a look at each room carefully and identify things that might become trip hazards, such as the turned-up corner of a throw rug or the spindly leg of a chair. Think about lighting, organization, and how to find important items with ease.

Here are some of the best ways to get started:

Don’t forget the exterior

When you think about making modifications to your home for a visual impairment, you might be thinking solely of the interior, but the outside of your house may need some work too. If there are steps, they need to be marked with reflectors or painted with a bright color for easy navigation. Your address should be easily visible from the street or painted on the mailbox. Small, solar-powered lights should be added to walkways and around steps.

Check out your lighting

The lighting in your home should be functional as well as help provide safety. Add floor lamps, wall fixtures, and battery-operated lights to closets, dark hallways, stairways, and any other areas of the home that don’t get much natural light. Keep windows open as much as possible or get sheer curtains to let in natural light, which is preferable for many individuals living with a vision impairment.

Think about flooring

While hardwood or laminate flooring is preferable for individuals with a disability, it may not be feasible for everyone. However, carpeting should be in good shape, and throw rugs should be replaced or tacked down well to the floor. Rugs should never be placed near stairs.

In the bathroom

The bathroom is one of the places in the home where the most accidents can occur, so it’s important to make it as safe as possible. Grab bars should be installed in the shower, and non-slip mats should be placed in the bathtub and on the bathroom floor.

It’s also a good idea to paint the walls a contrasting color behind the sink and toilet to make them easier to see. Many bathrooms are equipped with white-on-white fixtures, so having a dark color behind them will help your loved one navigate more easily.

Remove clutter

Each room in your home should be free of clutter, especially walkways and hallways. Push furniture back against the wall and refrain from keeping things on the floor unless absolutely necessary. Let your family know that they’ll need to be responsible for cleaning up after themselves and not leaving items on the floor or on the stairs.

Author: Jackie Waters (