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 ~

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Are HGTV Remodeling Shows Realistic?

by pmcalary
If you ask almost any kitchen design professional they will immediately shout NO!  In fact on Linkedin kitchen forums and at industry events nearly all kitchen designers and remodelers routinely complain about how misleading HGTV renovation shows are.  Professionals believe that these shows make our lives harder.

PBS shows like This Old House or Hometime are factual and try to give accurate and interesting glimpses into renovations. Conversely HGTV cares very little if anything about accuracy. Their renovation shows are reality television created to garner ratings. It frustrates real professionals when our customers bring up things they have seen on HGTV. For example customers will often believe they know the correct way to do something, what a realistic time line might be,  the cost of a project, and the possible calamities that might befall a project all from the over dramatic and fact free shows they have enjoyed on HGTV.

Nearly every HGTV remodeling show will have a “Construction Surprise” during the remodeling project. The TV personality (show hosts are not real renovation professionals who remodel homes when not on TV) will tell the homeowners something like “I’m so sorry Bob and Jean but this turns out to be a load bearing wall and it will cost $5000 extra to remove it.” Real professionals must determine what is load bearing and what is not before even giving an estimate. When contractors and design professionals know what they are doing surprises almost never happen and if they do they are small ones and inexpensive.

Unfortunately seeing these unprofessional surprises routinely on HGTV  frightens homeowners into believing that their projects might have similar surprises. Unscrupulous contractors can use this misconception to over charge home owners and under bid honest professionals. This is especially frustrating to the knowledgeable pros that bid jobs accurately and stand behind their bids.

Celebrity renovators like Alison Victoria from HGTV’s show Kitchen Crashers are not real. You cannot become an expert designer and renovator 2 years after leaving The University of Nevada Las Vegas with a degree in psychology. Professionals know that it takes at least a decade of experience along with talent to become a competent kitchen designer and to direct remodeling projects. And the information obtained from HGTV is less real than their hosts.

If you enjoy HGTV reality remodels think of them as simply entertainment. Your kitchen designer and general contractor will breath a sigh of relief. And if you hire competent professionals for your kitchen renovation you can expect no HGTV type surprises.

As my favorite TV chef would say at the end of her show …Bon Appetit!

If you would like to work with a professional remodeling company, call Cabinet-S-Top at 330.239.3630 or visit their one-stop designer showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256.

Monday, July 17, 2017

3 Tips for a Glamorous Kitchen Update

Style a sleek, modern space with innovative
surfaces using these tips from Cambria

Who doesn’t dream of a fabulous kitchen remodel? Given the amount of time we spend in the kitchen — prepping, cooking, baking, cleaning, entertaining — we crave a stylish space that draws us in, a retreat that aesthetically rivals the rest of the house.

A chic, updated kitchen is also one of the best ways to increase the value of your home. Ask any real estate agent which room upgrade carries the best return on investment and the kitchen will undoubtedly be at the top of the list. But it also can be one of the most overwhelming rooms to remodel. Where to begin?

Unlike the living room, which you might style around a piece of artwork or a rug, in the kitchen you want to start with the biggest features and work backward. Three areas in which to achieve maximum impact are cabinets, countertops and appliances. From there, everything else — flooring, paint, lighting, backsplash — can fall into place.

Keep reading for some tips from Cambria, a manufacturer of pure, natural quartz surfaces, on creating a unique and elegant kitchen that can be the highlight of your home.

1. Go Bold 

Don’t be afraid to make a statement. While we may be used to seeing subtle patterns on kitchen countertops, a more elaborate surface can perform double duty as a work of art. Use marble look-alike quartz for a beautiful, easy-to-maintain version without the hassle. Coordinate your paint, backsplash, flooring, hardware and decor with the undertones in your counter to make the design pop.

For example, to bring out the metallic flecks in your kitchen island, try adding polished nickel or unlacquered brass finishes for an elegant touch. Accentuate countertop veining by painting perimeter cabinets the same color or finding complementary ceramic tile or stone flooring. Stain your island cabinets to contrast with your countertops for a dramatic effect. And don’t forget to add personality with an artistic backsplash or unique barstools.

2. Go Sleek

There’s something about a modern kitchen that feels clean and hip, even if you’re just reheating leftover meatloaf for dinner. A white-and-gray palette is on trend, the ideal backdrop for high-tech innovations like induction cooktops, touch-on faucets and appliances controlled from your smartphone. Simple (or hidden) hardware, strong horizontal lines and limited ornamentation can help make your kitchen shine.

If you decide on lighter-hued surfaces, be sure they’re stain-resistant, as nothing detracts from a state-of-the-art space like a coffee ring or a splash of red wine. A clean, modern kitchen is ideal for small spaces, as minimalist design allows for increased efficiency and functionality. Durable, low-maintenance surfaces streamline a kitchen even more. Now if only you could get a robot to do the dishes … 

3. Go Luxe

Is your style elegant and sophisticated? There’s no reason your kitchen can’t be too. Tying your home’s overall design into the kitchen is essential for open-concept living. But remember that high-end doesn’t have to mean high-maintenance.

Add an unexpected piece of art, a conversation (center) piece, chic barstools and a statement light fixture to make your kitchen truly feel unique. And don’t forget to accessorize. Small details can create an opulent feel: Think fresh flowers, dimmable lights, designer linens, ornate hardware or a cluster of votive candles.

It’s hard to believe that kitchens used to be relegated to the back of the house, far removed from family living and intended purely as a workspace. Today, a sophisticated, well-designed kitchen is seen as one of the surest paths to luxurious living in your home.

With a beautiful kitchen, you may find yourself dusting off that stack of neglected Bon Appétit magazines and tackling more elaborate recipes, or polishing your silver for the first time in months. Guests may linger longer in your fresh new entertaining space, as every good dinner party ends up in the kitchen. As the last of the stragglers leave, pour 
yourself a glass of pinot; with the right design choices, cleanup won’t feel like a chore in your new haute haven. 

Cabinet-S-Top is an authorized dealer of Cambria Quartz and can assist you in choosing the right countertop for your home.  Visit our showroom located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Monday, July 10, 2017

Kitchen Fix: Where to Stash the Stand Mixer

By Becky Harris

No lifting, please! Stand mixers may be small, but they’re heavy.
Here’s where to keep them so they’ll be easy to use.

Not too long ago, several astute readers noticed something in a story they didn’t agree with: a stand mixer placed on a high shelf. While it was probably there just for the photo shoot, the readers brought up a good point. These countertop mixers weigh a lot and are not easy to move around. Here are the latest storage solutions for keeping this heavy small appliance stored somewhere that’s easy to access.

Solution: Out in plain sight.
Who it works for: You use your stand mixer not only for baking but also as a fun, colorful accessory. It’s like the statement necklace of your kitchen’s outfit.

So here’s the thing: Part of the reason I’d shell out a few hundred bucks for one of these mixers is because they are very cool-looking and come in super cute colors. I don’t know how anyone could buy a happy pear-green KitchenAid mixer and then not want to look at it all the time. But I can relate to needing the counter space it requires, so we’ll go through a variety of options.

Solution: Tucked under an upper cabinet. 
Who it works for: You want to look at your mixer but want it to live in a tucked-away space.

These homeowners can still enjoy looking at their turquoise mixer, but if they need that primo counter space for unloading groceries or laying out ingredients next to the refrigerator, they can shove it out of the way.

Solution: A pullout drawer. 
Who it works for: You think stand mixers add to countertop clutter. You have a strong back, don’t use the mixer often and want to add a little arm workout in with your kitchen duties.

A sturdy pullout drawer like this one keeps the mixer close by without taking up prime kitchen real estate. Be sure to let your cabinetmaker know you plan to store something heavy here so he or she can check the weight rating for the drawer slides.

Solution: A mixer lift. 
Who it works for: You want super easy access to the mixer with minimal physical effort. You’d rather give up lower cabinet space than countertop space, or you want to use your mixer on an island in the middle of the room.

Open the cabinet door and — voilà — you can pull the mixer up and out with ease, do your mixing right on the shelf it sits on, then stash it away when you’re done. Installing an electrical outlet within the mixer’s cabinet makes things even easier. Also, think about where you’ll be doing your baking tasks when you install this. For example, being able to do plugged-in mixing at an island is a relatively new option that might not have been available the last time you remodeled your kitchen.

Solution: A custom pullout shelf that’s lower than standard counter height. 
Who it works for: You use a wheelchair or need a seat while baking.

This custom setup is for a home that follows universal design principles. The cabinet door flips up and a shelf that houses the mixer pulls out. As you can see just behind the mixer, there’s an electrical outlet in the back of the cabinet. 
Solution: Appliance garage with a sliding shelf.
Who it works for: You want to use the mixer on a perimeter countertop but don’t want to look at it all the time.

This arrangement is so easy: Lift or roll up the appliance garage door and slide out the mixer, which sits on its own pullout.
Here’s an example of an appliance garage with bifold doors that blend right in with the rest of the cabinetry.
Solution: Stash it in a baking cabinet.
Who it works for: You love to bake and you want a dedicated station for gathering ingredients, rolling dough, measuring and mixing.

A baking station is a dream for those who love to bake. With all of today’s clever storage solutions, you can set up a baking cabinet complete with stand mixer, ingredients, baking sheets, muffin tins, measuring cups and everything else you need efficiently in one place. It also provides a surface where you can roll out and knead dough.

Solution: An appliance garage that opens on two sides.
Who it works for: Your kitchen may have more than one small appliance working at once, and you cannot stand wasted corner space.

Sometimes corners in a kitchen are full of wasted or blind space. This designer made the most of that, which left a lot of room for a nice adjacent window. This solution is smart because you could pull out the coffeemaker and the mixer at the same time and have plenty of space to do so. And hey, it can even suit different moods. Want to look outside and watch the birds or gaze lovingly at that killer Heath Ceramics tile while you mix? It’s your choice.

At Cabinet-S-Top, we want to make your kitchen function with ease. Stop in and meet with one of our expert designers to get started.  Located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH  44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~

Monday, July 3, 2017

Details That Count: 17 Designer Tips for a Great Kitchen

By Barbra Bright

Get ideas for camouflaging your outlets, adding tasklighting and avoiding common kitchen annoyances

Great design is all about the details — especially those that, when done right, you don’t notice at all. As a kitchen designer, I have a number of special techniques to create gorgeous kitchens that function beautifully. Here are 17 of my best kitchen design secrets.

All About Outlets

1. Color-coordinate the outlets. 
Local building codes often state that there must be an electrical outlet every 4 feet in the kitchen. White outlets are seemingly the color of choice for electricians — and therein lies the bane of my design existence. With their glaring contrast, white outlets in a nonwhite backsplash detract from the beauty of the tile. Fortunately, you can avoid this dilemma by coordinating your outlets and wall plates with the color of your backsplash tile, as shown in this photo.

 2. Install undercabinet plug molding. One option for a clutter-free backsplash is to install plug molding beneath the wall cabinets.

3. Mix outlet styles. I always ask clients if a toaster or a coffee maker will live on their counter. If so, I add a wall outlet behind that appliance since it will always be plugged in. Otherwise, the electrical cord will be visible as it dangles from the plug molding above. Remember to combine a mixture of outlets and plug molding into your design.

4. Go for pop-up outlets. Another option for an outlet-free backsplash is a pop-up outlet that disappears into the countertop. These are especially useful in places where there are no wall cabinets to hide a plug molding strip.

5. Turn the outlet sideways. If wall outlets are your desired solution, install them sideways and closer to the counter for a less obtrusive profile than the common vertical orientation.

6. Create a charging station. A plethora of devices need charging these days. Create a docking drawer with a hidden charge station so that you can keep your smartphones and iPads out of sight.

Lighting Secrets for Style and Function

7. Provide task lighting. 
The primary purpose of undercabinet lighting is to illuminate the countertop, which in turn makes food preparation easier on the eyes. That’s why it’s known as task lighting. Always install the task light toward the front of the cabinet, not toward the back. If the light is stationed closer to the back wall, it primarily highlights the backsplash tile and not the counter, defeating the purpose of the light. 

8. Make cabinets glow. In the past, lighting the interior of a wall cabinet meant that each shelf had to be glass. The light source came from the top of the cabinet and needed to penetrate the shelves to illuminate those below. The farther away from the light source, the dimmer the shelf. 

But times and lighting have changed, and these days, I prefer to install an LED lighting strip on both sides of the cabinet. That way, each shelf can glow, as shown in this photo. Hide the LED strip behind the cabinet’s face frame. If it’s a frameless cabinet, embed the strip in a prepared groove in the cabinet’s side wall.

Appliance Tricks

9. Hide the dishwasher with paneling. Whether or not you are paneling the refrigerator, consider paneling the dishwasher for a clean, harmonious look, uninterrupted by a stainless steel appliance next to the sink. In this photo, the dishwasher lies to the left of the sink.

10. Conceal the microwave. Microwaves are still an integral part of most kitchens for reheating beverages and leftovers. Most clients prefer them out of sight rather than occupying valuable counter space. One option is to keep them hidden in a wall cabinet with a lift-up door, as shown in this photo.

Hood Smarts

11. Don’t crowd the hood. When using a chimney hood, always leave at least 2 to 3 inches between the hood and the wall cabinets to the left and right. Visually, the hood will not look cramped, and the sides of the cabinets will stay cleaner longer.

12. Rethink glass cabinetry next to a hood. Glass cabinets create a lovely focal point when placed next to a hood, but are they practical? Unless you’re prepared to constantly clean the glass of the grease and grime emanating from cooking, it’s best to install them elsewhere.

Avoiding Annoyances

13. Define the zones. 
Think in terms of prepping and cleanup zones when planning your kitchen. Do you really want your cleanup sink to be in the island filled with dirty dishes? Put the prep sink on the island and tuck the cleanup sink out of the way.

14. Maximize prep space on an island. I love symmetry, and for years, I would center the sink in the island. But unless the island was 9 feet long, the prep area on both sides of the sink was limited. These days, I hold the sink to one side of the island to allow for maximum prep space.

Another consideration when placing a sink in an island is the height of the faucet. The taller the faucet, the more of a focal point it becomes.

15. Countersink the screw. The cabinet next to a Lazy Susan cabinet with a bifold door often shows scratches over time. That’s because the head of the screw holding the Lazy Susan’s cabinet hardware in place protrudes and scrapes across the adjacent cabinet when the door is being closed.

Here’s an easy fix: Just have your contractor countersink the screw so that the head of the screw is flush with the wood and no longer protrudes.

16. Account for lid storage. Having to store pot lids can be a nightmare. There are many ways to solve this problem, but my favorite is to create a divider in a pullout drawer, as shown in this photo.

17. Clear the decks. Don’t forget to add accessories like a soap dispenser and an air switch to keep clutter off the counters and backsplash.

Getting ready to remodel? Cabinet-S-Top can assist you in the design details to create a great kitchen. Located at 1977 Medina Road, Medina, OH 44256 ~ 330.239.3630 ~