Monday, March 30, 2015

10 Pair-Ups for Black in the Kitchen

by Laura Gaskill

Combine black with other colors to add drama, polish and  
It also can make a kitchen look more spacious

It can be cool and modern, elegant and traditional, or something in between — black in the kitchen may be having a moment, but this classic color isn’t going anywhere. As in other rooms, remember that a little bit of black can go a long way, so consider the size of your room and the amount of natural light before committing. From cabinetry and tilework to floors, here are 10 ideas for incorporating the deepest, darkest hue into your kitchen design.

1. Black and white striped tile + polished concrete. Give simple subway tiles a fresh treatment by alternating horizontal rows of black and white tile. Varying the width of the stripes makes the look more dynamic; stainless steel appliances and polished concrete counters add a sleek, modern note.

Tiles: Gloss White and Gloss Black, Johnson Tiles

2. Black floors + warm gray walls. Black stained wood floors and white cabinetry are warmed up by “greige” walls, a cozier alternative to stark white. Dark floors paired with a lighter hues on the walls and ceiling can make a room feel taller. Bright window shades and stools, plus a large framed beach photograph, give this space a playful feel.

3. Bicolor black and white walls + oak counters. Can’t decide between black and white? Split the difference: Paint the lower half of the kitchen black and the upper half white for a creative look. In this kitchen a line was drawn around the room and everything below it — including the bottom portion of the upper cabinets — was painted black, and everything above it white.

Paint: Off Black and All White (oil eggshell), Farrow & Ball

4. Shiny black appliances + aqua cabinets + brass hardware. Black appliances and a black sink surround add a polished note to this pale aqua kitchen. The bright brass gooseneck faucet and hardware stand out like jewelry against the watery-hued cabinetry.

5. Black counters + chocolate backsplash.Who says black and brown don’t go together? On the contrary, sleek black counters paired with glossy chocolate brown subway tiles make for a rich combination. The rest of this kitchen was done in crisp white, which keeps the space feeling light and spacious.

6. Black counters + black grout + white tile. For such a simple, easy change, swapping out light grout in favor of dark makes a big impact — not to mention it’s easier to keep looking clean! Classic white subway tile installed in a herringbone pattern calls attention to the spaces between more than if it were laid in straight rows.

7. Black cabinets + black trim + dark stained wood floors. If your kitchen is part of a larger, open-plan space, deep, saturated color can make the space feel kitchen-like. In this room, dark stained floors, black cabinets and black trim are enhanced by sculptural Tom Dixon pendant lights and a Carrara-marble-topped island.

8. Black cabinets + white and wood. Black cabinetry paired with white counters is a clean, simple and modern look. Stylish pendant lights, plus a few details in white and wood — like the paint-dipped stools shown here — keep this combination from feeling too simple. 

9. Black lower cabinets + white subway tile + white floors. Increase the sense of space in a small kitchen by using black on lower cabinets, and forgo uppers in favor of open shelves installed on a glossy white subway tile wall. High-gloss finishes on cabinet fronts and tilework help maximize light.

10. Black cabinets + pops of color. Sometimes what you put on your counters and shelves is just as important as the material they are made of. Here, a handful of brightly hued accessories pops against jet-black counters and cabinets.

Cabinet-S-Top can help you glam up your kitchen by adding black.  Stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Big Ideas for Compact Kitchens

by Sara Emslie

Check out these stylish storage ideas for kitchens both small and large

Even the smallest of kitchen spaces needs to deliver big when it comes to form and function. No matter how awkwardly shaped or compact your cooking space, design tricks can help make even tiny corners work hard and look good too. These kitchens offer ideas for getting more from less and giving a high-function space a clean, uncluttered appearance.

Use open storage as display. If your tiny kitchen is part of a larger open-plan space, consider an island with built-in open shelves. This will add storage and display space and help separate food prep, cooking and clean-up areas from those for other living functions.

Use attractive tableware, accessories and cookbooks to create a pleasing display.

Store high (and seamlessly). A clever way to add storage in a tiny kitchen is to position it high up the wall. Installing storage above seating, such as a built-in bench, can be a particularly smart use of space.

For a clean, contemporary feel, fit the cupboards with push latches, removing the need for a door handle and creating a seamless finish that gives the impression of more space. A ladder stored away — perhaps inside a bench seat — can be used to access high cupboards.

Custom build a pantry cupboard. Well-planned storage makes efficient use of space and can help keep your kitchen organized. Consider a custom all-in-one pantry cupboard if you’re designing a kitchen from scratch. Install custom storage baskets for shelves and rail bars and baskets for cupboard doors to make the most of the space inside.

A cupboard pantry can be used to store everything from food to china and kitchen equipment. And when the doors are closed, it’s all neatly out of sight.

Integrate built-in appliances. Shop around for appliances that will work in compact spaces and consider integrating them into your kitchen design. The framework needed for integrated designs eats up a little more lateral space, but the result will be a neater look.

Think laterally, too — dishwashers are available as pullout drawers and can be paired with a storage drawer with the same front for a fuss-free finish. Microwaves and ovens can be fitted into a bank of wall cupboards, freeing up counter space for other kitchen essentials.

Think industrial. Utilitarian styling is ideal for making the most of a compact kitchen. It echoes the kitchens of days gone by, and its robust aesthetic says it means business, despite being a tiny space. Look for subway tiles, industrial factory lighting and Shaker-style units that combine beauty with utility.

Squeeze in an eating space. Having a space for sitting and eating in a kitchen, no matter how small, doubles the room’s functionality, making it feel more substantial.

A compact breakfast bar, for example, can be both a dining area and an additional work surface for food preparation. To save space, choose bar stools that can be tucked under the counter when not in use. Try giving this tiny tabletop a separate visual identity with bold accessories, such as bright artwork and standout lighting.

A fold-out, wall-mounted table is another option for a small kitchen.

Highlight character with color. Flashes of vivid color are ideal for adding a wow factor to a tiny space. It might be small, but it can still have presence. 

Against a pure white background, neon shades really stand out, so use these to emphasize any design features that have character and style. Maximize the different sizes and configurations of drawer and cupboard fronts to create eye-catching color combinations and design appeal.

Stick to a restricted palette, though, and keep clutter stored so as not to overcrowd your little kitchen.

Go for top of the line. Being small on space doesn’t mean a kitchen can’t be big on style. Adopt a high-end approach for fixtures and hardware in an otherwise minimal space to give a compact kitchen a designer look.

Smart handles, inset lighting, state-of-the-art integrated appliances, contemporary faucets and molded draining boards are all design features often found in larger, more expensive kitchen designs, but they can add a big style hit to a tiny kitchen too.

Need a designer to help you integrate these smart ideas into your kitchen?  Contact Cabinet-S-Top located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Monday, March 2, 2015

7 Reasons to Give Your Bath Zone a Living Room Vibe

by Natasha Saroca

With a few living room–like touches, you can transform your bathroom
 into a practical, relaxing retreat that’s overflowing with personality

Desire a bathroom that’s inviting, comfortable and practical and reflects you? Then look to your living space for design and decorating inspiration. Doing so will encourage you to look at your bathroom through new eyes and see ways you can adopt living room design ideas to enhance your bathing space, as well as address common bathroom problems. If you’re a little on the fence about this design approach, cast your eyes over the 12 beautiful projects below, each of which highlights the reasons it’s worth looking beyond the bathroom for design inspiration when it is time to tackle your bathroom makeover project.

1. It will encourage you to experiment with wall treatments. Are you bored with your floor-to-ceiling bathroom tiles? Then take design cues from your living zone and ditch wall tiles in favor of wallpaper, wood wall panels or a striking painted feature wall instead. This statement-making en suite is a fitting example of just how well this design trick can work. Take away the bath and toilet, and the space could be easily mistaken for a living room, don’t you think? Notice, too, how the leggy cabinet and artwork hanging on the wall add to the room’s living room vibe.

If you prefer wall tiles, as you feel they’re a more practical surface for your bathroom, steer clear of plain wall tiles and opt for patterned, textured or wood-look designs instead, as they can mimic the look of wall treatments commonly used in the living zone but have the practical benefits of tile.

2. Your bath zone will feel homier and full of life. Bathrooms can sometimes feel cold and clinical, usually because they tend to feature a lot of white or other neutral tones, reflective surfaces and sharp angles, and because they are generally free of decorative accents and personal touches. Introducing housewares and other furnishings that you’d usually find in a living area to your bathroom is one way to remedy this problem and infuse your bath zone with warmth and life. Here a wonderful selection of eclectic decor — from the boat wall accents to the red vintage-style birdcage that sits on the top shelf — injects the bath area with charm, a welcoming air and a hearty dose of visual appeal.

The exposed brick wall and open shelving, along with the rustic wood vanity that resembles a well-worn sideboard, give the zone a decidedly living room–like feel, too

It’s not unusual to spy a photo gallery wall in a living room, so why don’t you create one in your bathroom, too? This feature wall idea is an ideal solution for any bathroom that feels lifeless, but especially compact bath areas where you’re limited when it comes to choosing design elements or decor that will work in the small space. The gallery wall in this bathroom not only adds a touch of personality to the otherwise unadorned space, but gives it visual interest, too.

3. It makes you look beyond standard bathroom storage. Medicine cabinets and vanities are fairly standard inclusions in any bathroom, but if you find that your space underperforms in terms of available storage, we suggest raiding your living zone (or even your kitchen, dining area or bedroom) to find a possible solution. In this master bath, an antique storage unit takes pride of place in the room and has been charged with the task of providing additional storage space for towels and other bath-time essentials. Photos and decorative accents are also scattered across the shelves to give the setup a custom, personalized touch.

Open shelving and other living room storage options, like credenzas, also can double as stylish and practical bathroom storage solutions, as you can see here. Bookcases, glass-door cabinets and sideboards are a few other suitable options.

Open shelving in the bathroom is not for everyone, as it does require a little extra effort come cleaning day to wipe up dust and moisture on the surface. But if you are happy to spend a bit more time maintaining your shelving, ignore the critics and incorporate some in your bath zone.

If space is at a premium in your bathroom and you don’t have room to accommodate multiple storage units, why not convert an old, well-loved piece of furniture into a vanity instead? I love the vintage cabinet that takes a starring role in this contemporary bath zone — notice how it adds a touch of charm, character and visual appeal to the clean, simple scheme.

4. It will enhance your bathroom’s soothing, relaxing vibe … Want to make your bath area feel infinitely more peaceful and inviting? Introducing soft furnishings that are usually found in the living zone to your bathroom is one way to do just that. Think rugs, upholstered chairs and ottomans, and breezy curtains — these soft, cozy additions will help balance the sleek finishes and angular lines that are prominent in many bathrooms. Just be sure to choose pieces made from a material that’s resistant to moisture, or remember to waterproof the furnishings before moving them into your bathroom.

5. … Plus, it’ll make your space more practical. While bringing soft furnishings into your bathroom will help transform the space into a relaxing bathing area and chill-out zone, these additions provide plenty of practical benefits, too. For example, upholstered seating provides a comfy spot where you can sit while you’re waiting for your tub to fill up, or where elderly people or those with mobility issues can rest while they get dressed or do other bathroom tasks. Curtains can provide privacy (a must if your bathroom has large windows that face out onto your street or outdoor entertaining areas) and protection from harsh sunlight, while rugs can double as generously sized floor mats that provide extra coziness underfoot.

6. It gives you an excuse to bring entertainment into the bathroom. If you spend a lot of time getting ready every morning in the bathroom or relaxing in the tub or shower at night, you might like to consider introducing some entertainment (like the waterproof TV pictured here) into the space. You might like to catch up with your favorite TV show or the nightly news while soaking in the tub. If a luxe, high-tech addition like this isn’t for you, why not sit a radio or docking station on your vanity to keep you entertained while you bathe instead?

Are you a book lover? Personally, I’m not really a fan of reading in the bathroom, but if it’s your thing, the bookshelf-inspired setup pictured here might pique your interest.

7. You can create a space that ties in beautifully with the rest of your home.  Drawing inspiration from your living room when revamping your bathroom has more benefits than simply making the space more relaxing, personal and practical. It will also make your bath zone feel and look like an extension of your living space and surrounding areas, and ensure that it reflects the unique character and charm that are at the heart of your home.

This elegant bathroom provides a fitting example; the design elements — such as the ikat-patterned ottoman, factory-style light, shag-rug-like floor mat and crystal chandelier — echo features used in the home’s living room and other spots around the house. The result is a dwelling with a cohesive, harmonious and custom look that flows from room to room.

This elegant bathroom provides a fitting example; the design elements — such as the ikat-patterned ottoman, factory-style light, shag-rug-like floor mat and crystal chandelier — echo features used in the home’s living room and other spots around the house. The result is a dwelling with a cohesive, harmonious and custom look that flows from room to room.

Cabinet-S-Top is a kitchen and bath remodeling company located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH ~ 330.239.3630 ~