Monday, December 21, 2015

Vanity Hardware That Adds a Stylish Touch to the Bath

By Becky Harris

Round, square, classy, sassy — distinctive knobs andpulls put the finishing touch on your bathroom cabinets

Just as a necklace enhances a little black dress, or smart cuff links punctuate a classic suit, cabinet hardware can infuse a bathroom with your personal style. If you’re accessorizing a new bath, or craving a quick, inexpensive way to change things up in an existing bathroom, consider your vanity’s knobs and pulls. Doing something special with this small detail can have a big impact on the look of the room.

Glass knobs. These sparkly classics provide just the right dose of fanciful flair. Although sometimes associated with the Victorian era, glass knobs didn’t become popular until World War I, when metal was in short supply.

Pros: They add shine and throwback glamour.
Cons: They need more cleaning than other types of knobs.
They’re good for you if: You feel as though your bathroom is lacking pizazz.
Styles they work with: Traditional, Arts and Crafts, colonial, glamorous, eclectic, Victorian-era, cottage, Italianate.

Ring drop pulls. Today’s clean-lined trend means we sometimes wind up with rectilinear overload. Large rings play nicely with round vessel sinks. And they add needed curves to rooms with lots of straight-edged tile, mirrors, counters and cabinets, as in the photo at left.

Pros: They are an attention-getting detail that can dress up a vanity.
Cons: They can be a little harder to open than other styles. 
They’re good for you if: You have an affinity for door knockers.
Styles they work with: Anything from classic to traditional to contemporary.

Square drop pulls. Like ring pulls, they have an interesting shape and movement. Here, square drop pulls complement the rectangular chain-link wallpaper pattern — a good example of relating the hardware to other design elements in the bathroom.

Pros: The clickety-clang knock of the pull hitting the cabinet face will alert you to any guest snooping through your vanity!
Cons: The pull’s knocking can eventually chip the finish on the cabinetry.
They’re good for you if: You want to add dimension and interest.
Styles they work with: Traditional, Arts and Crafts, eclectic.

Square pulls. These modern squares are surprising and artful.

Pros: The way they jut out from the cabinet face creates a sculptural effect.
Cons: They’re too specific for widespread appeal during resale (though they can be switched out with ease). Fingerprints show on some polished finishes.
They’re good for you if: You like geometric shapes.
Styles they work with: Modern, contemporary, transitional, glamorous, eclectic.

Novelty hardware. Whimsical knobs and pulls, such as elephant heads (pull on the trunk) or these starbursts, left, are an easy way to make a statement and give personality to a room.

Pros: They show off your style.
Cons: They can lack widespread appeal and be harder to open than typical knobs.
They’re good for you if: Your bathroom bores you, but you can’t afford big changes.
Styles they work with: They’re particularly good for a cottage look but will transform any style to one deemed eclectic.

Cleats. Ocean references are a natural for bathroom decor, especially if you live on the coast. Vanity pulls in the shape of boat cleats — T-shaped rods around which rope is wrapped — add to the casual beach feel of this bath.

Pros: They bring in a functional nautical touch that doesn’t push full theme ahead.
Cons: They aren’t as easy to pull as traditional handles.
They’re good for you if: You’re within 10 miles of the water, or you’re landlocked and want to pretend you’re on the coast.
Styles they work with: Cottage, nautical, coastal, transitional, traditional, eclectic. 

Custom. With custom hardware, you’re limited only by your imagination and budget. These curved handles were designed and fabricated for this bathroom.

Pros: You’ll get something perfect for your room while supporting a talented craftsperson.
Cons: Expense.
They’re good for you if: You’re tired of the usual designs.
Styles they work with: Everything.

Bin pulls. More often seen in kitchens and offices, these pulls bring farmhouse style to a bathroom.

Pros: They’re easy to use and a classic accent. They also can be very affordable.
Cons: They stand out as a rustic detail and may not be right if you want a sleeker look.
They’re good for you if: You like down-home charm.
Styles they work with: Shaker, farmhouse, country, traditional, cottage, eclectic.

At Cabinet-S-Top, we offer a wide-variety of hardware to accent your kitchen or bath.  Stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Thursday, December 3, 2015

9 Places to Put the Microwave in Your Kitchen

by Yanic Simard

See the pros and cons of locating your
microwave above, below and beyond the counter

The classic kitchen work triangle organizes foot traffic from the fridge to the sink to the stove, in an attempt to make cooking and preparing meals flow more smoothly. But what about the other major, although sometimes smaller, appliances that many of us use every day? Take the microwave, for example. You can place a microwave high, low, out of sight or within easy reach, and there are pros and cons for every choice. Here’s a look at those advantages and disadvantages, so you can figure out the kitchen configuration that’s right for you.

1. Below the counter. Don’t have much counter or upper cabinet space to spare? Consider replacing a lower drawer with a microwave cabinet.

Pros: Leaves the counter clear and the sightline open, especially when paired with airy upper shelving.

Cons: If the microwave is too low, moving dishes in and out of it can be a nuisance. Plus, if you have curious small children, this could be a dangerous option.

2. Integrated into cabinetry. A sleek custom option for those who love the look of beautifully featured appliances.

Pro: The height can be customized for the best reachability.

Con: If it’s placed too far from a counter, the danger arises of holding a hot plate and having nowhere to quickly set it.

3. In a spare cabinet. This option is such an easy DIY fix. I used it in my own kitchen to keep the appliance out of the way between occasional uses.

Pro: Like an integrated style, this setup lets you put the microwave at a convenient height (or in an underused cabinet to save space), at little cost.

Cons: Neat freaks will be annoyed when others leave the door open or leave crumbs in the crannies. Also, opening the cabinet door might be a bothersome extra step for those who use the microwave very frequently.

4. Angled corner cabinet. A convenient option for large kitchens where deep corners will otherwise go unused.

Pros: Fills a corner and faces into the room for ease of use. Makes better use of a deep cabinet that might otherwise contain hard-to-reach items.

Con: Some space will be unused behind the microwave and behind other appliances or drawers.

5. Over the range. Not always the most beautiful option, as opposed to a sleek hood fan, but effective for making the most of limited space.

Pro: Microwave and hood-fan combos do double duty to save space in a compact kitchen.

Cons: If the microwave is too high, reaching and seeing in will be difficult for many users. It also replaces a sculptural range hood for a somewhat less elegant look, and typically is not as effective at venting.

6. At a drinks station. A smart option for a butler’s pantry, basement bar station or other secondary food-prep space.

Pros: Moving the microwave to a side station puts it near the coffee machine for quick breakfasts or snacks, and away from the primary chef in a busy household.

Con: It’s not ideal to have the only microwave far from the fridge or main prep space if it’s used often for cooking.

7. In an appliance garage. An excellent, trendy option for those who wish to hide multiple appliances between uses.

Pro: Keeps small appliances hidden at counter height for ease of reach.

Con: Uses extra space as opposed to simply keeping items on the counter.

8. In the island. Keeps the microwave out of sight without completely covering it up, and makes strategic use of the island, which can often otherwise end up as odds-and-ends storage.

Pros: Saves the main cabinets for storage. Also, you can position the microwave away from the main cooking area, so someone who isn’t doing the main cooking can use it without worrying about bumping into the one who is.

Con: A low microwave will be harder to reach, especially if the counter has a deep lip.

9. Over the oven. This “chef’s kitchen” style isn’t shy about showing off stainless steel appliances. It’s great for balancing out lots of timeless wood with a modern touch.

 Groups the appliances together for a sleek, integrated look. Also allows for a larger microwave for heavier use.

Con: Sometimes puts the microwave too high or the oven too low for some users to reach.

Need help figuring out the design of your kitchen?  Stop by Cabinet-S-Top located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH 44256 and let one of our designers assist you!  330.239.3630 ~