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The Classic White Kitchen

05-17-18

Kitchen design trends come and go –harvest gold and avocado, RIP—but one thing remains:  a white kitchen. Whether it’s sleek and modern, clean contemporary, elegant traditional, or charming farmhouse, white cabinets take center stage in any kitchen and will stand the test of time.

Most kitchen colors and finishes have their season in the sun, and if they don’t disappear altogether, they take a backseat. The exception is the white kitchen.

At one time in our history, white was the only cabinet color. White continued to be the main color of kitchen cabinets throughout the 1940’s. And although the 1950’s saw an explosion of color in the kitchen, a white kitchen was still the preferred choice.

While white lost its top billing in new kitchens during the 1960’s and 1970’s in favor of wood finishes, painted cabinetry began making a slow comeback by the end of the 20th century.  The 21st century welcomed a new age of spacious and beautiful new kitchens filled with stunning door styles, exquisite stone countertops, and delightfully soft cabinet colors with a white kitchen taking its ‘most popular’ status once again.

White is clean and bright

White hangs onto its top billing because it’s clean and fresh. The look for kitchens today–regardless of style– is bright, cheerful, and inviting. White brightens the kitchen because light reflects off white surfaces. And if doors with glass inserts are added, which is very popular in white kitchens, they brighten the room even more.  White has been shown to also brighten your mood!

A white kitchen makes a space feel larger

A white kitchen gives the feeling of expanded space. By JWH Designs.

White enlarges the kitchen

Okay, it may not actually add square feet to your kitchen, but another reason white is so popular is because it can make even a small kitchen look more spacious. A white kitchen will ‘’open’’ any size kitchen and make it look airy and expansive.  This JWH Kitchen won “Best Use of Small Space” by Westchester  Home Magazine.

White is “omnicompetent”

White is universal, it works well for any kitchen style. And it has the uncanny ability to do all things well. It has the clean simplicity that exemplifies the contemporary style and the sleekness of modern. A white kitchen exudes elegance and it’s classic so it’s the perfect color to compliment the traditional style. White is light, bright, and casual which also describes the cottage style—what could be more perfect for that summer at the beach feeling?  It’s charming, inviting, and ideal for the farmhouse style. It’s crisp, it’s cool, it’s coastal! Any and every style can be made better with a JWH white kitchen!

White is the perfect neutral

White cabinetry is the perfect neutral to use in virtually any color scheme. It enhances any color it’s teamed with and brightens rooms with dark walls or floor colors. If you would love to add a dramatic black or navy-blue island but don’t want to darken the kitchen, pair it with white cabinetry to open up the room and accentuate your dark island.  The dark gray or black cabinet colors are stunning, but they do tend to darken a room if you don’t have abundant natural light.  Team them with a white island, countertops and backsplash. Perfect!

White cabinets also look great with any appliance color.  Black and white is a classic. Stainless steel and white will brighten and create spaciousness in the kitchen. White is a must for a monochromatic white kitchen. White appliances are making a comeback—most designers will tell you they never really left.

Dark mahogany island top featured in this white kitchen

The perfect neutral to transition to other spaces. By JWH Designs

White adds resale value to your home

If you want to add value to your home keep your kitchen bright, light, and white. If it comes time to sell your home, it will sell faster, and perspective buyers are attracted to elegant kitchens with white cabinets.

White makes economic sense

And lastly, with major remodeling projects reaching into the tens of thousands—serious cash.  You don’t want to make major changes more than once or twice in your home’s lifetime.  When your kitchen needs some new color, a white kitchen will make it very easy to change your color scheme.  New countertops or backsplash, or just add a quick and painless coat of paint to your walls. Need some inspiration?

Timeless, classic white cabinetry is somewhat a jack-of-all-trades.  It adds class and sophistication, or elegance and charm, and it can make kitchens look expansive.  White tones down bright colors and brightens dark colors.  It makes us feel good, and  adds value to the home. Is it any wonder it’s the most popular color in kitchen today?

Today’s Kitchen Island Styles

05-11-18

Today’s Top Kitchen Island Styles

Traditional Island Style

No one can deny that the kitchen island has become one of the most functional parts of today’s kitchen. In fact, many may argue this facet is the most functional part of the modern kitchen. It can be used for cooking, food prep, clean up, serving, baking, eating, homework, chatting with guests, and sometimes a combination of all of the above. With glistening hardware, finishes that rival that of high-end furniture, and rich stone countertops, today’s kitchen island styles are as beautiful as they are functional.

There are many variables that go into the design of a kitchen island. An island must be the right size and the right shape for the kitchen. Furthermore, it must have a clear-cut job—or jobs– to do, and it must define the style of the kitchen; be that Traditional, Contemporary, Old World, etc.

Basically, there are three styles Traditional, Contemporary, and Transitional. The latter is a combination of Traditional and Contemporary. However, of the three, many exciting sub-styles sprang from the Traditional style such as the very popular Farmhouse style.

Traditional Island Features

In the race to win first place in popularity, Traditional runs neck in neck with Contemporary. Some years Traditional wins by a nose, and some years the popular vote goes to Contemporary. But regardless of the official race score, Traditional will always win the heart of America. Its graceful door styles, charming turned millwork, and beautiful finishes help create captivating kitchen islands. Traditional style islands can be almost any finish and certainly do not have to match that of the other cabinetry.

White is currently very popular and always will be. New colors are coming out continuously, often enhanced with rich glazes like coffee or olive. Gray is a big color for Traditional islands. Wood finishes are also seen.

Traditional islands often boast tons of storage space behind their elegant doors and drawer fronts, but they also pack some heat: dishwashers and dishwasher drawers, steam, conventional and microwave ovens, cook or rangetops are common additions. Usually, an extra sink or possibly the main sink is located on the island. Apron sinks are very popular in Traditional style islands. Bookshelves and eating counters are also popular.

Traditional Characteristics Include:

  • Raised and recessed panel doors and drawer fronts
  • Beaded and plain inset cabinet construction, often with exposed hinges
  • Turned table legs, corner posts, carved corbels, turned feet, legs and decorative end panels
  • Glass display doors
  • Painted finishes with or without glazes
  • Rich wood finishes
  • Bookshelves
  • Impressive ogee and stepped countertop edges

Although the island is the workhorse of the kitchen, don’t attempt to pack too much into one island. If necessary, and you have enough room, include two islands. Limit any appliances to the side where your main work triangle is located and use the other side or sides for eating and/or storage. You don’t want to run circles around the island when preparing dinner! As far as Traditional countertops, stone takes it usually in the form of granite or marble. These are not only elegant but durable. Other countertops for Traditional islands include rich teak wood countertops and quartz.

Contemporary Island Features

Simple cabinet and countertop lines

Contemporary islands have clean lines and an uncomplicated appearance. Contemporary is a simple elegance born of natural materials, colors and textures–rich earth tone shades of brown, tan, cream, sage, rust, and gold and innovative materials like recycled and ‘’green’’ products. Natural finished wood, often exotic, stone and rock, gleaming metals—usually chrome, nickel or stainless steel—and sleek simple hardware, lighting and faucet design. Polished metals are beginning to take a backseat to brushed or satin. As far as decorative features, it’s the opposite of Traditional but unlike Modern, the Contemporary style is not devoid of décor. It is never cold but, in fact, very comfortable and inviting.

Rather than the gracefully paneled cabinet doors of a Traditional style island, Contemporary islands feature classic Shaker or slab door styles and drawer fronts, open shelving, simple stools—often backless, sleek state-of-the-art appliances, and sophisticated countertops with neat, unpretentious edge styling. Countertop materials run the gauntlet from wood to stone to innovative forms of solid surface. Pro-style and stainless steel appliances are almost textbook in Contemporary style kitchens.  Range tops and ranges, under counter refrigeration and dishwashers, are usually stainless steel.

Contemporary Characteristics Include:

  • Frameless, European style cabinet construction
  • Full overlay doors in a simple Shaker-style or as a plain slab
  • Stone, wood, or solid surface with simple edge styles
  • Natural materials with clean lines
  • Floating shelves
  • Brushed stainless, nickel, or chrome metals

Transitional Island Styles

The Transitional style is a marriage of Traditional and Contemporary, combining elements of both its parents. Transitional islands are often more elegant and decorative than Contemporary but less detailed than Traditional. The cabinet doors include elements of Traditional in styling with framed inset construction, matching end panels, and a mix of stainless steel and paneled appliances.  Hardware can be simple and sleek or oversized for an extra punch. Metals run the gauntlet from chrome to nickel, bronze to copper, with emphasis on mixing metals for added visual interest.

Transitional Characteristics Include:

  • Framed and frameless (European) cabinetry construction is often mixed
  • Door styles are always recessed panel, with a varying degree of detail on the framing bead
  • Hardware can be more decorative but not too decorative
  • Stainless steel as well as paneled appliances, most often the dishwasher
  • Millwork includes simples
  • Countertops are stone or wood with simple edge styles
  • Neutral paint colors, light wood finishes, often exotic

There’s a mix of natural and man-made in Transitional kitchen islands. Cabinet finishes are often neutral paint, mixed with unique wood finishes and exotic woods. Islands are masterpieces of both new and old, natural and manmade, luxurious and simple. You won’t see elaborate cabinet feet or turned legs but squared end posts, feet, and island legs abound. Countertops are granite, marble, and sometimes wood or quartz.

Farmhouse Island Styles

American Country has largely been replaced by the Farmhouse style which made #1 most popular kitchen style for 2018 defeating both Traditional and Contemporary in a stunning upset the likes of which we haven’t seen in many years. But it’s easy to see why America loves the Farmhouse kitchen. They’re bright and sunny, cheerful and comfortable, charming and welcoming. The materials used in this historical kitchen design are, again, natural—rich wood finishes, paint with lots of glaze, either distressed or clean white, ceramic tile, stone, and bronze, copper, pewter, nickel or black metals. The style is decorative, in fact, a controlled clutter is part of the style.

Cabinetry for the Farmhouse Island is simply framed often with corner posts and simple corbels. The cabinet feet and island legs are prevalent but often not quite as elegantly styled as the Traditional style—they tend to be a little heavier and more substantial. The Farmhouse style is attractive to the eye but more solid than the elegant Traditional with a welcoming down-to-earth practical look and feel. Like French Country, the Farmhouse style is flexible and can be very rustic or more traditional in style to suit the owner without damaging the design.

Farmhouse Characteristics Include:

  • Simple framed cabinet doors and drawer fronts, sometimes with glass inserts
  • Hardware is less decorative than Traditional but more so than Contemporary
  • Metals are copper, bronze, pewter, nickel, or black
  • Lighting is simple pendants or iron chandeliers
  • Countertops are granite, marble, slate, soapstone or wood with simple edges
  • Sinks are bronze, copper (often hammered) granite, ceramic, fireclay
  • Faucets are Victorian styled
  • Undercounter appliances are often hidden behind cabinet panels
  • Millwork such as turned island legs, cabinet feet, simple corbels, corner posts

The Farmhouse Island is usually a blend of island and the traditional farmhouse table. These tables in historical farmhouses were massive and used for any number of kitchen chores and large enough to seat a crowd. Island bookcases, bead board, stone or wood countertops with simple countertop edge styles are the order of the day. Farm sinks are almost mandatory and often even a secondary sink will be in the farm style and always with wonderfully graceful Victorian faucet styles. Appliances are often hidden behind cabinet panels and dishwasher and refrigerated drawers are very popular in the Farmhouse Island. Undercounter wine coolers or full-sized dishwashers can also be hidden with matching panels or made to blend in with framed glass doors.

The kitchen island is the centerpiece of your kitchen; prep, serving, gathering, and eating. While style is important, it is nothing without functionality. Make sure your island isn’t just a pretty face, however. Make sure your island gets that job done.

The Future of Lighting is Here: Why LED is Taking Over & How to Incorporate them into Your Home

05-04-18

Energy Efficiency Paves the Way for Incandescent Extinction

It has been nearly a century and a half since Thomas Edison introduced the incandescent light bulb to the American public. Although he did not invent the light bulb, he did create a prototype that effectively and economically gave American consumers the opportunity to bring electric light into their homes. However, over the past six decades, the incandescent light bulb grows closer and closer to archaism. The future of home lighting has begun to formulate as the new light-bulb sheriff is in town: the Light Emitting Diodes Bulb (LED).

Good reason correlates to the massive shift from incandescent to LED. Firstly, incandescent bulbs are only available with Warm Light, which results in a yellowish hue that is not suitable for every room. With LEDs, you have the choice of using Warm Light, Cool Light, and Daylight—but we will cover more of that later in this article. The biggest reason for the growing number of LED lighting in American homes is the mass advocacy of energy efficient appliances. Not only does the latter help out our environment, but it helps us save money in energy expenses.

According to Energy.gov, LED lighting towers over incandescent in regard to energy efficiency. This report compares the difference between a 60W incandescent bulb to a 60W LED bulb; the results, staggering! Switching from an incandescent bulb to LED can save you 75%-80% in energy usage and cost. Furthermore, the LED has a lifespan of 25,000 hours, while the incandescent typically stays lit for merely 1,000 hours. One does not need to look far to see why the switch from incandescent to LED has become widely prevalent.

LED Lighting: Three Temperatures = Three Different Light

However, with innovation comes great challenge. Most people are not aware of the different qualities shed by LED lights. Measured in Kelvins (K), LED lighting provides a vast spectrum of light color and brightness. The lower the number of Kelvins, the warmer the light. A Soft White (warm light) bulb shines at about 2700 K, producing a yellower light for a warmer environment. The next option is a Cool White bulb (cool light)—typically 3000-4100 K—which produces a brighter white hue in the room. Finally, there is the Day Light Bulb, which clocks in at the highest amount of K (5,000-6,500 K). This light creates a bluish glow in the room, giving the room a “daylight” or even dreamy atmosphere.

With so many choices, how does one know which LED lighting is right for which room? What kind of light is appropriate for a kitchen—a bathroom—a bedroom? This wide variety of light choice can come as a complicated issue. That’s where the JWH Design and Cabinetry Team comes in!

Which Rooms Best Basks in Warm Light

As mentioned before, Warm Light emits a yellower hue into a room’s atmosphere. The latter concludes in a warmer environment, specifically one that is great for unwinding from the day. For a place like a kitchen—a room whose space is dedicated to preparing meals—a warm light proves to be inefficient. You do not want to be slicing and dicing in a room with a soft yellow tint for light; this is a recipe for an accident. Nevertheless, this does not mean that there is no place for warm light in your home.

Bedrooms, living rooms, hallways, and bathrooms—depending on your preference—are all places where warm light can exist efficiently. When you come home from a hard day’s work, you do not want to try and relax in a brightly lit room. Unwinding comes best with a warmer environment. Furthermore, places like hallways only use light at night, so a warm light is recommended for illuminating these passageways. In summary, anywhere in your home that is dedicated to relaxing or is associated with nighttime should incorporate the usage of warm light.

Cool Light for a Brighter White

Cool light luminescence correlates to a brighter environment. This type of LED lighting is perfect for the kitchen or a bathroom—bathrooms can use any light, it is really up to your preference. As we explored earlier with Warm Light, no one wants to prepare meals in a sleepy environment. That is why bright white Cool Lights are essential. These LED lights will efficiently aid in cutting, cooking, and hosting events.

The kitchen is the liveliest room in the house; dinner and cocktail parties, social gatherings, family dinners. A kitchen is a place for sharing food and good times with one another. You would not want people dozing off during dinner, or yawning in the middle of a social gathering. The liveliest room in your home deserves the liveliest of light.

Inviting Day Light into Your Home

Day Light is commonly used in professional environments. However, there are various possibilities of incorporating Day Light LEDs into your home. Out of all the LED lighting types—although all three work for this particular room—Day Light is most recommended for bathrooms. As many of you begin the day in this room, it should be able to wake you up; a room that embodies alertness. Nonetheless, incorporating both Warm Light and Day Light into your bathroom may better suit your needs.

Another room that Day Light can shine in is the kitchen. Houzz recently featured this stunning LED lighting project by Mal Corboy Design. A mixture of the bright white Cool Light and the bluish dreaminess of the Day Light causes a euphoria to float around the kitchen. Not only does the design allow for kitchen use efficiency, it embodies a certain magic that would make anyone tingle with visual astonishment.  How this light affects your color selection for cabinets, countertops and paint needs to be a critical part of the equation.

LEDs Lighting the Way to Our Future

Besides the vastness of design opportunities, LED lighting also provides a homeowner with the honor of living green. With such a savings in energy, LEDs are the leading bulb in energy conservation.  Not only does this mean a better future, but it means more money in your pocket.

With the growing abundance of LED lighting in American homes, it is important to know the difference between the different types of light emitted from LEDs. Warm Light is best used in areas of your home that are used for relaxing, or nighttime activities that require a winding down. Cool Light is perfect for kitchens or any lively room—such as the laundry or mudroom—in your home. Finally, Day Light is best incorporated in rooms that should wake you up—such as a bathroom or a kitchen.

The possibilities of fixtures and bulb combinations are endless. With such great environmental qualities and financial saving, it is no surprise that LED lighting will illuminate the path into our future. A brighter light for a bright day.

 

Wood with Character: A Key to Kitchen Design

04-27-18

 

The Natural Look

Each piece of natural wood has its own distinct features—its own face—its own unique character. It’s no wonder that natural wood finishes have adopted their common reference: character wood.

People have been using natural wood in their homes since the dawn of civilization. It warms our insides, dazzles our eyes, and brings us closer to nature. To top it off, it acts as a powerful and sturdy building material that keeps our homes living on, well into the centuries.

There are dozens of character woods to chose from. However, with dozens of styles comes an infinitude of design possibilities. From the complexity of chestnut cabinets to the boldness of a knotty pine backsplash, character wood exceeds merely furniture and floors. A delicate French oak or a burly walnut makes for a great addition to any kitchen’s character!

The 4 Faces of Character Wood

There are four main different parts of a tree from where character wood derives. Each part of the tree provides its own customized aesthetic quality and accommodation in the designing process. However, if one looks deeper into the many waves and grains of character wood, one will dive into much more than just unique aesthetic value; they will delve into the natural wood’s unique story.

Burly 

The natural burl in pine.

Have you ever pondered at a tree and noticed eye-like features running up its rustic trunk? Those are called burls. They are extremely condensed knots that a tree exhibits after a period of stress; drought, a storm, or maybe the relocation of a domesticated tree.

Correlative to their dense strength, burls or “knots” can be difficult to work with. They are commonly incorporated into custom-crafted furniture or accessories.  The JWH Design & Cabinetry Team has taken on the challenge of building custom “knotty pine” cabinets in this wooded, lakefront home in upstate NY.  The right amount of warmth and durability make this an ideal material to add character to the kitchen and baths in this special vacation spot.

Crossroads

The point where a tree’s trunk splits into two—or more—directions is called the crotch of the tree. Crotch wood is a heartily brawn gorgeous display. It is challenging to incorporate this form of character wood into a kitchen design. The finger-like figures are reluctant to be manipulated in shape or size. The pure natural essence of crotch wood, however, is enough to make anyone want to take on the tedious task. character wood island top

Character wood coffee tables are frequently seen because they are smaller and easier to craft. Nonetheless, some designers take it a step further and incorporate these wood into hardworking surfaces like island tops. It doesn’t matter what shade the wood is, or what color scheme surrounds the space. One thing will be for certain: the natural beauty of a wood countertop is an astounding site, indeed!

Spalting Out Color 

Have you ever found yourself lost in a mesmerizing daze when peering into the dark black grooves flowing through a piece of character wood? This deep and vivid color comes from a process in the wood called spalting.

When a tree is alive, it is prone to becoming infested with fungi. This fungus transforms the color of the grain in the tree’s lumber. Sometimes transformations manifest as luminous streaks throughout the wood’s texture, while other times it blackens the grain to an exquisite char.  Each piece should be appreciated for its individuality.

Figure it to be Curly

Another form of character wood shines in the texture—especially cherry maple. When the texture of the wood proves to be inconsistent or has a curly figure character, many home design opportunities arise. The touch to the skin is one special part of the curly figure experience, but what catches the eye is the inconsistency of light. Since curly figure character wood has a bumpy, canyon-like surface—although slight in size—when one moves about the room, the light will shift and mutate in with the surface’s many grooves.

Character wood adds even more impact when repeated within the space.  The contrast of a lighter stone floor and limestone countertop keeps the room feeling light and inviting.

Character Wood the JWH Way

The JWH Design & Cabinetry Team loves incorporating character wood into cabinetry designs, decorative beams, countertops and even custom furniture.  Our Millshop in central PA has access to many species of reclaimed woods, often being rescued from local barns. Whether it be sleek countertops or a daringly rustic backsplash, we can customize any piece of wood to your specific liking.

Currently, our Millshop “Sample of the Month” is a breathtaking character chestnut that will compliment any room’s setting. Kitchens, libraries, even bedroom cabinetry takes on a whole new look when incorporating character wood. If you can quite imagine your spaces looking so great, check out these fabulous spaces from House Beautiful.

Kitchen Remodel Trade-Offs: What Best Serves You & the Ones You Love?

04-04-18

Sub Zero Gallery

Inspired kitchen design ideas featured at Sub Zero/Wolf  Matthew Quinn

 

What’s Your Ideal Kitchen Experience?

Remodeling your kitchen may seem like an intimidating journey. However, like the beginning of accomplishing any great feat, you must take it step by step. Before you delve into such a project, consider the aesthetic facets and the functions of your kitchen that mean most to you. This is when some good old fashion reflection comes into play.

What in particular did you love about your old kitchen? How often do you host parties? Or cook dinner? Do you require more counter space or storage space? In shorter words, how do you use your kitchen the most? These many queries may begin to overwhelm, but there is an easy way to restore order to such wild running considerations.

Grab a piece of paper and jot down some kitchen features that prove to be of great importance to you. It may be what utensils you use most, or where you would like pots and pans to reside. Maybe it’s space for group cooking or sanctuary for a secluded haven. Take into regard important features that you absolutely need to encounter your version of the best kitchen experience. Each and every time you step foot into your kitchen should exceed pleasant encounter. In fact, it should exceed amazing!

Now that your thoughts have found order, it’s time to take the next step to solidify that kitchen dream into tangibility. These kitchen remodel trade-offs to consider are just what you will need to get the job done.

What’s Your Every Day Activity to Special Gathering Ratio?

Before entering a kitchen remodel, you must take a moment to consider how often you host guests. Is it just you and your husband 364 days a year, while merely one day is dedicated to hosting friends or family? If so, constructing a gargantuan kitchen may not be wise. Maybe considering an efficient, well-oiled kitchen-machine is the path to take. A kitchen that isn’t over the top for everyday use, but is ready for battle when that special occasion presents large numbers.

However, if you are known to host several or more annual gatherings—perhaps weekly or monthly—then focusing on a heavy-duty, multi-functional, large kitchen will be a significant kitchen remodel trade-off to consider.

JWH kitchen cabinet project

This JWH Renovation maximizes the flow and function of the Kitchen and Dining Room for their active family.

Sit Down With Your Future for a Chat

Have you ever sat down with your future for a chat? Well, if a kitchen remodel is on your mind, now is the time to do so. Although our future is overall unpredictable, having a conversation with our future paints a pretty solid picture of what to expect.

Are the kids taking off their diapers, or are they putting on their graduation gown? Is this kitchen going to be your last? Or in other words, is this culinary space going to be the kitchen of your forever home? How many people will your kitchen be serving twenty-years from now? Taking into account these future scenarios will greatly be involved in the kitchen remodeling process. Maintaining a delicate balance of appropriate space and efficient functionality that stands the test of time is key.

What is Financially Viable?

When exploring kitchen remodel trade-offs, another large aspect that needs to cross the mind is financial efficiency. Make sure you keep in thought what is going to benefit your kitchen experience and your property value. Two basic questions can achieve a solution to this predicament:

-Is this feature going to save me time, thus, money?

-Is this feature going to advocate a property value increase?

Take some time to monitor your kitchen activity. Does a large family induce large amounts of dishes every night, concluding in hours of you scrubbing plates and pans? If so, investing in an eco-friendly dishwasher may be a good route to go. Such an investment will not only free up your time, but it will increase the value of your home.

Energy Star for Eco Friendly

Add an eco-friendly dishwasher (and rebates).  Just look for the Energy Star label!

Show or Go?

Although in a perfect world the dream kitchen offers exquisite form and innovative function. However, a perfect a world coincides with the impossible. Cash is usually limited, so comparing aesthetic visuals to effective performance is dire. Sometimes you can’t have both, so considering these trade-offs proves essential.

What will resonate most in your ideal kitchen experience? Do have a large family? A larger, maybe a bot intrusive, stove top would be the best option. Functionality to feed the whole family outweighs aesthetics any day. On the contrary, is it just you and your partner? In the latter case, you have the wiggle room to invest in a more aesthetically pleasing alternative.

Time’s Face Off with Patience

Remodeling your kitchen is a very exciting event. Many people may find themselves actually blinded by this excitement. Rushing into a kitchen remodel without thinking about important factors is not a sight uncommonly seen.

Think about your schedule. Work, kids, or hobbies. Does work fly you all around the globe on a consistent basis? Will a long remodel process really affect your life in this scenario? Probably not. The same would be true for someone who is retired. Although home more, a homeowner who is retired is generally more relaxed. Watching the remodel process may even become a fun learning experience. We’ve seen the latter countless times.

But what if you do not fit in any of the above? What if work is turbulently busy all the time? Dealing with a kitchen remodel when you require relaxation after a long day may be a little much. One would want to trade-off sanity for time and get the job done quicker.

Kitchen Remodel Trade-Offs? Check!

Now that you have systematically achieved what is most important to you in your kitchen, you’re ready to embark on a marvelous journey; you are ready for a kitchen remodel! To get the ball rolling, contact the JWH Design and Cabinetry Team. We can make your kitchen transform from “blah” to “awe.”

Brass’s Big Comeback: JWH Chats with Washington Post

03-20-18

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.

03-13-18

JWH Interview on renovations

JWH Interviewed by US News and World Report

Play It Smart

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.

The US News Real Estate Section published Maryalene LaPonsie’s “7 Home Renovations to Consider for 2018” on March 9, 2018. Specialists shared their insight suggestions for homeowners. Financial plans and cheap design tips from Jennifer Howard are there to help the vision. Nick Hodapp, an associate broker with Atlas Real Estate in Denver, shares his knowledge on smart planning. Also, Mike Kinane, senior VP of home equity for TD Bank, gave his insight on responsible renovations. Combined, the three specialists share how to save on style and plan accordingly for home renovations.

Planning is Key

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

03-08-18

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

09-24-17

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 of the Kitchen.

custom wood hood with open shelves

Designed for function and display.

 

 

 

 

 

A Splash of Today & Yesterday

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. It also remains disguised in the matching cabinetry style of 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

09-16-17

Clear up the confusion about LED lighting

Designing with the right LED lighting for your kitchen.

Testing & Waiting

It’s an ongoing challenge to learn about the “new” LED (light-emitting diode) products. Finding the right fixtures with the right features is not an easy task. 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 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 semiconductor (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.

Let There Be LED Light!

Finally, the waiting is over! Now we are specifying LED lighting for the whole house, and 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 incorporate lighting into fun and functional spots. We can open the corner base cabinet to illuminate the often-hidden contents, or under a “floating vanity” to create a warm ambiance and a helpful nighttime glow. Possibilities go as far as 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 allows 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 you won’t be changing any bulbs!

Hope this helps!

Jennifer & the JWH Team