Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Design Recipe: How to Get a Farmhouse-Style Kitchen

by Yanic Simard

Discover the essential materials, colors and finishes
that make this popular style beautiful and functional

Looking to give your kitchen a dose of down-home charm? Few things capture that aesthetic better than a farmhouse-style approach. To get the look right, here are some of the top signature elements of a farmhouse-style kitchen, reinvented for today.

The Basics

Farmhouse style in today’s kitchen is all about creating the look and the atmosphere of a traditional kitchen found on a family farm, with casually mixed ingredients that add up to a special style recipe with lots of humility and a welcoming attitude.

Despite being somewhat modest, these kitchens are also incredibly beautiful, carrying a style that exists entirely outside the trends. Plus, they’re quite functional.

Essential: Freestanding Furniture 
Maybe the No. 1 defining feature of farmhouse style is the use of freestanding furniture, rather than the typical built-in type of cabinets, islands and appliances you expect to see in more modern kitchen styles.

In this kitchen, for example, you can spot a rustic table for an island, a tall pantry cabinet and even a charming Smeg fridge all standing on their own, which avoids a matchy-matchy look and lends a casual atmosphere.

A furniture-style island, in particular, gives a farmhouse kitchen some of its essential casual appeal. It offers the sense that the room was built over time and has its own personality, rather than having been constructed all at once from a cabinetry catalog.

A leggy furniture piece that you can see through, like this island, also helps the space feel more open, so even the most humbly sized kitchen can feel big enough to do some real home cooking.

The Palette

Farmhouse kitchens can come in a range of palettes. After all, the style is meant to show lots of warmth and personality. However, a typical farmhouse kitchen draws from colors and materials you would expect to see in an actual country or farm setting, like brick, stone, wood and soft welcoming hues.

When dabbling in bursts of color, look to heritage hues that suit the timeless air of this style, rather than ultra-saturated, trendy hues that can feel too modern. Of course, if you prefer a contemporary take on farmhouse style, then feel free to go wild. 

The yellow shown here is Good Morning Sunshine by Benjamin Moore. 

Essential: Milk Paint

In Colonial America, paint mixed with milk was a popular choice for dressing walls and furnishings, and it gave a special, soft matte finish. These days, actual milk paint is often prized for being environmentally friendly, but even when the real thing isn’t being used, the matte finish and muted colors make great inspiration for farmhouse style.

Matte finishes give a softer sheen that is friendly to imperfections, but they aren’t always easy to wipe clean, so make sure to choose a “washable matte” or something similar. To match this surprisingly happy blue-green hue, try Sherwin-Williams’ Waterscape.

Material: Beadboard and Paneling

Farmhouse homes are rich with inviting texture, and nothing brings rugged tactility to your walls, floors and cabinets like beadboard and wood paneling. Whether painted or stained — or clear-coated to show off as much natural grain as possible — the appeal of this simple stripe pattern shines through.

This kitchen repeats the beadboard that faces the sides of the island as a backsplash material, for a beautiful look that feels contemporary and historic at the same time. 

Use a looser paneling, as shown in the previous photo, for a woodsy, cottage-like appeal, or a tighter beadboard, as shown here, for a subtler and more polished take.

Detail: Humble Hardware

Many kinds of cabinet hardware can work with farmhouse style, but a top choice is the cup pull, shaped to be perfectly functional and not flashy. You’ll also notice latching pulls on the upper and lower cabinets, which give a historic air and satisfying click when opened and shut.

To avoid having fingerprints show on the hardware, I suggest using a brushed or antiqued finish. For pleasing sparkle to balance out other matte surfaces, use a polished steel or brass, as long as you’re ready for just a little more upkeep.
Fixture: Apron-Front Sink

Another small signature of farmhouse style is the apron-front sink. These sinks come in porcelain, steel, stone and other materials, and they bring this material to the forefront rather than just inside the cabinet.

This turns the humble and functional sink into a decorative feature, celebrating the hardworking spirit of true farm homes. 

An apron-front sink needs a special type of cabinet to house it, so if you want to include one, make sure to plan for it early in your renovation process.
Essential: Warm Wood

Whether on the floor, the cabinetry or in little touches like dining stools or a freestanding hutch, warm and inviting wood is practically a must-have in a farmhouse kitchen.

Knotty, local woods add lots of rustic character to ensure that your kitchen is unique yet classic. Look to subtle, slightly red or orange stains to bring out the inviting warmth of the wood and reveal the knots and grain.

Material: Weathered Metal

There are few better foils to warm wood than crisp metal — and, of course, true farmhouses contain many a metal pail or tool — so it makes sense to find touches of metal in a farmhouse kitchen.

Using too much sleek, polished metal in your space may push the look toward a more modern or transitional sensibility, but don’t be afraid to work with weathered or antiqued metals like galvanized steel, antique brass or blackened bronze. Add these through light fixtures, storage bins, accessories and brushed-finish appliances.

Splurge: Timeless Appliances

If you’re going to splurge in your farmhouse kitchen, one of the best places to do so is on the oven and other large appliances. If you choose too many typical contemporary models, they may seriously interrupt the timeless look.

A generously sized and traditional-looking stove like this one suits such a space beautifully.

Detail: Open Shelves

Although they may feel like a modern trend, open shelves are actually a classic staple that is both beautiful and functional.

Simple floating shelves, or a hutch or island with an open cabinet, give you a spot to display beautiful everyday essentials like pitchers, glassware or storage jars, along with collectibles or the “guest china,” so you can still enjoy these items every day even when they aren’t in direct use.

Essential: Vintage Elements

Speaking of displaying treasured heirlooms, a farmhouse look benefits from the inclusion of some vintage furniture pieces as well. Colorful chairs with worn paint, an antique light fixture or a well-weathered table bring a sense of history that gives your kitchen a lived-in feel.

Detail: Eat-In Kitchen

Not every kitchen has room for a full eat-in space, but if you can work in a small table or even a place to dine on your island, it will bring that perfect sense of welcome to complete your farmhouse look.

For extra style, mix and match your seating, and let your guests pull up the chair of their choice.

Looking to remodel your kitchen with the farmhouse style?  Let Cabinet-S-Top help you.  Stop by and speak with one of our expert designers to get started.  Located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Monday, October 9, 2017

10 Quick and Easy Cleaning Hacks

by Leslie Reichert

Save time and money with these tips for keeping your microwave,
toilet bowl, garbage disposal and more in tiptop shape

1. Microwave manager. Leftover food inside your microwave can be a real pain. It becomes burnt on more and more as you continue to use it. To give it a quick clean, try microwaving a bowl of lemon juice until the juice starts to boil. It can take anywhere from 30 seconds to three minutes depending on the power of your microwave. Once it steams up, wipe all the walls of the microwave with a microfiber cloth. The natural acid in the lemon juice will work to remove buildup.

2. Ring remover. We pour every nasty chemical we can find into our toilet to remove that ring in the bowl. Instead, try using a pumice stone on the stain. The ring is actually a buildup of minerals on the porcelain, and it can be removed by using such a stone. The pumice is harder than the minerals yet softer than the porcelain, so it removes the stain without scratching. Most large retail chains now sell pumice stones specially designed for cleaning toilets.

3. Fresh bowl. Now that you’ve removed the toilet bowl ring with a pumice stone, it’s time to freshen it up even more. Pass on expensive cleaners and simply pour a few capfuls of mouthwash into the bowl to remove buildup and smells.

4. Beat the stink. Garbage disposals have food buildup that tends to get left behind even when you run the disposal for an extra moment. Leftover food starts to rot almost immediately, which leads to a smelly kitchen sink.

Fight this buildup by cleaning off the blades of your disposal. Just throw a few ice cubes down inside, add a few tablespoons of salt and run the disposal for a few minutes.

5. Razor’s edge. A simple way to remove burnt-on food from glass-topped electric and induction stoves is to use a flat razor. If you place the razor at a 45-degree angle, it will get under the buildup without scratching the stove-top.

6. Squeegee time. Using a squeegee in your shower will remove most of the soap scum on the walls and glass doors. If you get into a routine of wiping the shower down with a squeegee, you may never have to clean soap scum in your shower again.

7. Bathroom buddy. Need an extra hand cleaning things in your bathroom? Enlist your dishwasher. You can pop things like the soap dish, toothbrush holder and drinking cups into the dishwasher so they will get cleaned and sanitized.

8. Fairer faucet. Minerals building on your shower faucet? They can easily be removed with distilled white vinegar. Look for bottles labeled “cleaning vinegar,” which is more acidic than cooking vinegar. Place the vinegar in a sandwich baggie and wrap it around the faucet head with a rubber band for the evening. The mineral buildup should be gone the next morning.

9. Throwing shade. One item that often gets overlooked when cleaning are lampshades. You can quickly clean them with a lint roller. By rubbing the lint roller over the flat areas of the shade, you will remove built-up dust. If there are crevices or seams that are missed by the roller, use a clean paintbrush to remove the extra dust.

10. Keyboard cleanser. Keyboards are a haven for germs and rarely get cleaned. You can quickly clean them with a Q-tip and rubbing alcohol. Just dip the Q-tip in the rubbing alcohol and rub the keys and in between them. Make sure the Q-tip isn’t too wet to avoid excess rubbing alcohol dripping into the keyboard.

Cabinet-S-Top, 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256
330.239.3630 ~

Friday, September 22, 2017

Your 7-Step Guide to Choosing Window Treatments

Bring style and functionality to your windows
using these pointers from Hunter Douglas

Window treatments top off a room beautifully. Plantation shutters conjure images of tropical villas, while cellular shades bring on the sleek and chic. Don’t forget Roman blinds, roller shades, sheers … and the list goes on. With so many eye-catching options, how do you choose? Start with these seven considerations, courtesy of window-treatment manufacturer Hunter Douglas help you select the ideal window treatments for your home.

1. Privacy and Light Control 

Determine your window treatments’ optimal opacity. Do you want soft light diffusion, room-darkening options or a mix of both? Are you looking for total privacy or a more flexible approach? Many blinds, such as the cellular shades seen here, offer top-down/bottom-up options for versatile light and privacy control. You can fine-tune your shades to both block onlookers and let in sunshine. Some systems also have sheer and room-darkening panels that operate independently for further customization.

2. Insulation and Sun Protection

Up to 50 percent of your home’s heating and cooling energy can be lost through its windows. If you’re looking to enhance energy efficiency, try a window covering that helps regulate your home’s temperature. Shades with a honeycomb structure, for instance, trap air to keep rooms toasty in the winter and cool in the summer.

Open your shades during bright winter days to catch the sun’s rays, and close them at dusk to lock in the warmth. Conversely, shut them during hot summer days to block the heat. Many blinds also offer fabric with UV protection to safeguard your furniture, flooring and art from sun damage.

3. Window Shape and Size 

Measure your windows for the exact width, height and depth, and keep the shape in mind. Standard picture and rectangular windows can accommodate all styles, but that doesn’t mean tricky-shaped windows are left in the dark. Shutters can be made to fit circles, arches and French doors. Cellular shades can be manipulated to suit triangles and trapezoids. Roller panels, shutters and sheers can glide effortlessly over sliding doors. Not even skylights are off-limits. You can also combine your window treatments to achieve the right light filtering and privacy.

4. Operating System 

Ease of use, accessibility and safety all come into play when choosing your window-treatment operating system. Automated systems are ideal for hard-to-reach spots or times when you want to stay cuddled up on the couch. You can schedule their movements via an app, link them to your smart-home system or use a remote control. 

If you’re concerned about safety, consider a cordless or retractable cord system. Looking for something in the middle? Try a wand-operated motorized covering. To conjure up a perfectly day-lit space, simply pull down on the wand to lower your shades and push up to raise them.

5. Room Conditions 

Pick a window-treatment material that suits your room’s environment. Bathroom window treatments, for instance, need to hold up against heat and humidity. Faux-wood blinds, such as the ones seen here, can withstand shower steam. If you go with faux wood, look for realistic graining on the louvers. Composite, vinyl and aluminum blinds are also a good option for hot and humid areas. If you want a softer aesthetic, try antimicrobial fabrics that resist mold, mildew and bacteria.

6. Maintenance

Read the care instructions and consider your cleaning tolerance before purchasing window treatments. Dust all shutters, shades and blinds regularly. If you want to limit maintenance to a quick blast with your vacuum cleaner and a bit of spot cleaning, select a more robust covering. Delicate window treatments can require professional cleaning to keep them in top-notch condition. You can also select fabric that repels dust, soil and stains to simplify care.

7. Design Style

Choose window treatments that fit in with your home’s aesthetic. There are options for every style, whether you prefer country cottage, crisp minimalism, old-world traditional or boho chic. For example, sleek fabric shades suit the luxe contemporary vibe of the living room seen here.

If you like a more natural look, consider reed, grass or bamboo shades in a warm neutral. Bold more your M.O.? Go for sculptural, colorful shades dusted with mica for a mesmerizing shimmer. Whichever window treatments you choose, they’re bound to bring beautiful, practical panache to your home. 

Cabinet-S-Top, 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Friday, September 8, 2017

Whip Your Baking Center Into Shape

by Patricia Lee

Here’s how to corral your supplies and ingredients
to make creating treats a sweeter experience

Do you love baking but find that the thought of getting all the supplies out — and fitting everything back in the cupboards afterward — is enough to send you on a trip to buy your cupcakes and macarons instead? If so, it’s time to organize and pare down your supplies. That way, when your next baking inspiration hits, you’ll know where everything is.

1. Centralize Your Supplies 

Consider keeping all your baking items together. Many ingredients and tools are unique to baking and can be kept separate from other kitchen items. You’ll want to store your ingredients in a dark, cool spot, so keep that in mind as you determine where to place your baking center. If space allows, a rolling kitchen cart is one way to keep your stand mixer off your counter yet close at hand and easy to use.

Your stand mixer can be used directly on the cart without lifting or moving it and your ingredients can be stored in the space below. When not in use, the cart can be easily rolled to a more inconspicuous spot, freeing up space in your kitchen.

If you prefer to keep your baking items in the core of your kitchen, I would still recommend grouping items together for ease of gathering and tidying up afterward. Once you’ve determined a dedicated baking area, it’s time to review your items.
2. Toss Expired, Ineffective Ingredients

It’s easy to overlook expiration dates when there are no visual or olfactory clues of decay. There’s no question when milk has spoiled, but what about flour or baking soda or vanilla or sprinkles?

Currently, no federal regulations are in place for food product dating, except for infant formula. In an attempt to minimize confusion, the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Food Marketing Institute encourage companies to limit product dating to two categories: “Best if used by” (product may not be as fresh after the date but is still safe to consume) and “Use by” (product may be less safe as it ages beyond the date). It may be comforting to know that most of your food will probably fall into the former category.

But what does that really mean for your everyday life? Personally, I would be embarrassed to bring a cake to a dinner party made with safe but stale ingredients. Therefore, for my own pantry, these categories make sense to me:
  • Ingredient will spoil or lose its effectiveness and should not be kept past its expiration date or long after its “best by” date (milk, nuts, frosting, yeast, butter).
  • Ingredient can be kept past expiration date with monitoring. Potency will decrease with time or ingredient may eventually become rancid or stale (baking soda, baking powder, imitation extracts, flour).
  • Ingredient can be kept indefinitely with proper storage (sugar, pure vanilla, corn syrup, honey, salt).
When reviewing your ingredients, also consider which items, realistically, you will not use again. Perhaps you had a unique baking project and are left with supplies that wouldn’t be sufficient for another batch or no longer make sense, such as icing decorations for a baby shower. Let them go, as this will free up valuable space to keep your often-used items organized and easily accessible.

3. Sort and Edit Accessories

Next, find a large space to spread out, gather all your baking accessories together and sort them into categories. These categories might include measuring items, mixing bowls, baking trays, baking pans, decorating tools and appliances. Once all the items have been sorted, sift through each category, removing unused items and duplicates. Complete one category before advancing to another.

Consider your current lifestyle. If you no longer need to bake five dozen cupcakes for your child’s birthday parties, you might be able to reduce the number of cupcake pans you own or give up your cupcake carrier. If you have a bullet blender, a nut chopper may be redundant. However, the one supply category I would advocate keeping duplicates of is measuring cups and spoons. If you have a dedicated baking cart, it might be more convenient to keep an extra set with the rest of the baking supplies.

4. Invest in Airtight Storage Containers

To maximize the freshness of your ingredients, minimize air contact. Investing in airtight containers can save you money in the long run by extending the shelf life of your ingredients. 

Choose containers that stack and line up well together, keeping in mind that square or rectangular ones may create more usable space than round ones. Select containers large enough to hold the typical amount of ingredient you purchase, so you don’t always have half a bag of something sitting around. 

I recommend grouping small and random items — cookie cutters, cupcake liners, bottles of food coloring, small appliance parts — into containers to keep them organized. Clear containers or clearly labeled opaque ones will make organizing and finding items easier. Before you buy, be sure to measure your space to ensure the containers will fit well.

5. Reduce Recipe Clutter

I used to have a three-inch binder crammed with recipes. But I only ever used about 12 of them. Most of the others I either tried once and never used again, because they were too complicated or didn’t taste good, or I hadn’t yet got around to them. I found myself turning more to the internet for recipes, so I got rid of the paper copies and began saving my favorite recipes digitally, including scanned versions of my favorites from the binder. 

Digital recipes work best for me, but if they don’t for you and you prefer hard-copy recipes, then recycle all your unused recipes and preserve your remaining ones with sheet protectors. 

6. Organize Your Supplies

After you’ve pared down your ingredients and supplies, you can organize your space. Keep your most-used items in the front for easy access. If space allows, storing your bakeware vertically, using something similar to a pot lid organizer, will provide you with a clear view and easy retrieval. Otherwise, nest your bakeware. Seasonal items can take a backseat if they’re used only once a year. Organize according to how you use your items so that your baking spot works best for you.

Cabinet-S-Top loves to help you get organized.  Stop by our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630

Monday, August 14, 2017

Best of the Best

Thank you everyone who voted for us.
Cabinet-S-Top has been voted
 "2017 Best Home Remodeler in Medina County"!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

13 Fresh Ways With a White Kitchen

There’s a reason this look has staying power.  Here’s a 
baker’s dozen of ideas for making your white kitchen shine

White-on-white kitchens have been a classic look for many years. Why does this trend endure? For starters, white connotes cleanliness, makes small spaces appear larger, and brightens rooms that are naturally dark.

Although many all-white kitchens are just lovely, some can appear a bit stark or cold. To help clients warm up their white, I recommend a variety of strategies, such as mixing metals and adding contrasting paint, fabric or wood. Read on for inspiration for personalizing your white kitchen so that it stands out from the crowd.

1. Warm metal accents. Copper, bronze, brass and polished nickel are just a few of the metals that can warm up an all-white kitchen. The gold sconces above the window and the white pendant lights, with their subtle hint of gold, add warmth and a touch of luxury to this all-white kitchen.

2. Color and metal. Moving beyond metallics alone, a single contrasting color when combined with metals can create drama in a white kitchen. In this photo, a modern white kitchen intermingles black pendants and countertops with gold seating. This combination contributes to the room’s sleek contemporary look.

3. Wallpaper. I love wallpaper, especially in kitchens. Wallpaper can introduce color, movement and dimension to a white kitchen. When applied to a lone wall, wallpaper can create a dynamic focal point, as shown in this photo. The bright white cabinets and crisp white walls are softened by the shades of blue in the fish swimming on the side wall. This kitchen’s under-the-sea motif is enhanced by the blue tile on the back wall and the sea urchin-shaped pendant lights.

Unlike the previous photo, where the wallpaper takes center stage, here a gray-and-white paisley wallpaper provides a muted backdrop that enhances the quiet elegance of this white kitchen.

4. Colorful island. Wood-stained islands often appear in white kitchens because of the richness and contrast they bring. This kitchen shows a creative alternative, pairing a chartreuse island with a chartreuse Roman shade. Together they lend a whimsical, personalized feel. To give your white kitchen a personal touch, consider painting your island your favorite color.

This kitchen — with its bright red island, contrasting black countertops and graphic floor — is a bold example of a one-of-a-kind white kitchen.

5. Tile rug. Layering in a rug is a great way to introduce color and texture to an all-white kitchen, but some clients worry that a rug could be an added source of dirt as well as a possible tripping hazard.

This clever kitchen resolves both issues with a tile rug instead of a fabric one.

6. Backsplash. A tile backsplash also can bring color and texture to your white kitchen. But who says a backsplash must be tile? This kitchen has a counter-level window in lieu of a tile splash. The window faces a luscious succulent garden, thus creating a green vista for an otherwise monochromatic kitchen.

7. Painted ceiling. A painted ceiling can bring unexpected color to your white kitchen. Ceilings are often painted a shade of white, regardless of the room’s wall color. Instead, they can be considered the fifth wall and a canvas ready for color — think of yourself as Michelangelo painting the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling for inspiration! The kitchen in this photo has a painted yellow ceiling juxtaposed with a blue-and-white striped runner in the kitchen’s center. These two elements create a vibrant feel for this primarily white kitchen. Dark countertops heighten the room’s drama.

Unlike the energetic yellow ceiling in the previous photo, this light blue ceiling evokes a tranquil feeling for this kitchen.

8. Statement hood. Sometimes a large hood together with dramatic backsplash is all the design statement you need in a white kitchen, as shown in this photo.

9. Art wall. The trend for fewer wall cabinets to create more openness in the kitchen is evidenced in this photo. This kitchen takes advantage of its lack of upper cabinetry by creating an artistic focal point behind the hood with tile.

10. Wood. Real wood can add a warm organic element to your white kitchen. Islands, floating shelves and countertops are great potential kitchen additions in wood. This photo shows a live-edge bar top.

11. In lieu of marble. Traditional white kitchens often are presented with marble countertops and white subway tiles for a classic look. This kitchen also feels classic, but in a new way, thanks to Azul Macaubas counters and a soft white-and-blue mosaic tile backsplash.

12. Beyond stainless. Another way to bring color to your white kitchen is with colorful appliances, as seen in this kitchen. Turquoise appliances and a turquoise-tinged backsplash wall brighten this space.

13. Colorful fabric. Consider window coverings and pillows for your kitchen. Colorful and patterned fabrics can add visual interest to a white kitchen, as shown in this photo. 

Ready to start designing your kitchen remodeling project?  Stop by Cabinet-S-Top at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256.  Expert designers are on hand to help you get started.  330.239.3630 ~