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Archive for May, 2017

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. This 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 salespersons.

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. However, 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. You can also opt for textured stainless steel mosaic tile to provide contrast and to 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 is 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, all the while finalizing the cabinetry designs for another Client’s major home renovation, it’s fun to see (and share) the kitchen 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 an ongoing issue, 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. Nonetheless, 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 routes to take. They will certainly 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. In fact, 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!