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Archive for May, 2014

The Importance of a Factory Finish


Part of every consultation is educating our Clients. The process of kitchen design, the realities of construction, the range of design styles and options, and the important facts about cabinetry construction is dire.  There are certain buzz words that associate with “good” cabinetry. Wood, dovetail, motion glides—most of which are confusing to the Client. Unless these terms correlate to the right context, they remain useless.

Cabinetry Construction: What to Know

All wood cabinetry construction is critical for long-term durability.  The reality is that hinges and hardware just can’t hold tight to particle board sides. After years of normal (or active) use, the particle board will meet the inevitable.  There’s little reassurance having a lifetime warranty on a defective hinge. Eventually, you will be left with a useless handle that lay dangling off a crumbling cabinet side.  Most of the kitchens we rip out and replace represent the era of particleboard cabinetry.  IKEA is still in the particleboard business. Although they make some pretty ads, with pretty cabinets and pretty prices, they won’t be so pretty in a few years…

The other important feature is the finish of the cabinetry.  This is what is protecting the wood of your cabinetry. Therefore, the finish is certainly something you are going to see every day for a long time.  Catalyzed conversion varnish is key because it is the strongest finish available. The latter requires special application in the Millshop. Proper prep, application techniques, ventilation and curing time are all important factors in the process. Once the catalyzed conversion finish is fully cured, usually after another 2-3 months in the home, a Magic Eraser and regular touch ups, should keep a painted kitchen looking great for many years.  This just can’t compete with paint finishes in the field.

Classic white inset kitchen

Painted KitchenPainted Classic White KitchenPainted Island for Seating

Cottages & Gardens: Kitchen Trends


This antique farmhouse in Riverside, CT got a JWH Kitchen renovation!

This beautiful JWH kitchen has caught the eye of the Editor of Cottages & Gardens to be featured in this January issue.   This stained dark cherry JWH Kitchen, with Calcutta countertops and stainless appliances, has an appealing “trendy” look to appeal to their readers.  The kitchen looked great enough to be photographed 7 years after being finished for their feature article.  This was a testament to classic design, timeless materials, and excellent quality cabinetry.  Both the homeowner and our JWH Team are proud to be part of this accomplishment!

Space planning is the key to all– and it needs to happen as the first step.  This converted antique barn had all the spaces, but in all the wrong places.   Expanding the footprint was not the right solution since it didn’t actually solve the problem.  Jennifer Howard from JWH Design & Cabinetry was brought in to solve the mystery.  How do you create flow, function and great family living spaces?

Thinking outside the box–literally– was the answer.  Turning the corner with the main part of the kitchen, and connecting to the family/living room, made all the difference.  The narrower portion of the room, previously the main kitchen space, was perfectly proportioned to serve as the “butler’s pantry”  (i.e. snack ares on a daily basis.)  Hidden areas behind the backsplash, that backed under existing stairs, became valuable countertop storage for everyday appliances.  These ideas were well ahead of their time in 2006 and are still functioning beautifully today.  Hint:  this blog has just been updated on 2018!

This family with 4 young children was thrilled beyond their expectations at the time of the renovation.  Moreover, they were impressed when it was photographed and published 7 years after being completed by Cottages & Gardens for the Kitchen Trends issue.

JWH designs beautiful kitchens of all styles

JWH featured for Kitchen Trends in C&G