Why Do So Many People Choose Cherry Kitchen Cabinets?

By Scott Dostal, CEO
Kitchen Cabinet Value


The most popular kitchen cabinets across all parts of the country are Cherry. Cherry kitchen cabinets are a very popular choice in luxury homes and for high-end kitchen remodeling projects. The price of cherry wood may be a factor in the selection of cherry for these homes, yet the beauty of cherry, as well as its versatility and durability are clearly the primary considerations in the choice.

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The rich beauty of cherry cabinetry is undeniable.

Cherry has been very popular for furniture, flooring, doors, paneling and cabinetry since the early days of European colonization of the U.S. because it is unique among the hardwoods. Cherry is popular in homes because its color, grain, and propensity for unique curls, streaks, patterns and even an occasional pin knot. Each of these features makes the cherry wood selected for a particular piece of furniture, etc. unique.

Cherry has two inherent characteristics that make it desirable for use in furniture, cabinetry, etc. The first is that the tight grain results in a smooth finish.  Smooth wood is ideal for stains and finishes. Cherry seldom requires stain, however. Protective finishes and waxes are typically applied to achieve either a matte or a glossy finish and to protect the wood. A protective finish is especially appropriate in the kitchen due to potential effects of heat and steam.

The second inherent characteristic of cherry that makes it desirable in the home is its tendency to darken over time when exposed to light. This natural “aging” retains the liveliness of the color and grain of cherry wood.

Because cherry is not the hardest of the hardwoods, it lends itself to carving. For this reason, cherry kitchen cabinets often are used for more design-intensive door styles and for unique carving and decorative moldings in custom cabinetry. However, the natural grain and beauty of the wood also can be showcased in the simpler or more contemporary cabinet door styles.

Cherry cabinetry will bring unique warmth to any kitchen, but it is particularly vibrant in a professional style kitchen with copper or stainless steel appliances, range hood, or other accents. In fact, when all of the characteristics of cherry are taken together, each set of kitchen cabinets takes on a particular personality. This is a highly desirable characteristic in a custom kitchen design when creating something unique is a primary goal.

The natural beauty and warmth of cherry kitchen cabinets are the main reason they are popular with so many people. If a homeowner wants to create a truly unique and beautiful kitchen design, it is hard to beat cherry cabinetry. By working with your cabinetmaker, you can choose special pieces of cherry wood that offer unique characteristics – pin knots, grain, etc. – for specific places in your kitchen. The result will be great beauty, personality, and durability. The result will be well worth the additional cost of cherry kitchen cabinets.

Home Prices Rise and Kitchen Remodeling Becomes a Smart Investment Again

By Scott Dostal

There is no denying that when home prices rise, kitchen remodeling becomes a smart investment again. During the last week, you might have heard that demand for existing homes is up about 22 percent (on average) from a year ago. Inventory of available existing homes is up only 17 percent. What is more, home prices in U.S. markets are up about eight percent (on average).

kitchen cabinet value

customized cabinetry offers the beauty and practicality of custom cabinets and a fraction of the cost

In many markets, exiting homes that offer the most desirable features become the object of bidding wars, even bidding up the price of a home by as much as 10 percent over the listing price. Not only is it a good time to sell, it is also a good time to remodel in anticipation of selling in the future. According to HGTV, the top ten features homebuyers want in 2013 are:

  1.  Central air conditioning
  2.  New kitchen appliances
  3.  A Walk-in Closet in the Master Bedroom
  4.  Granite Countertops
  5.  Hardwood Floors
  6.  Ensuite master bathroom
  7.  Kitchen Island
  8.  Stainless Steel Appliances
  9.  Eat-in Kitchen
  10.  One or more fireplaces

Many homeowners were understandably reluctant to invest in home remodeling during the recent economic crisis. However, as the demand for existing homes rebounds and prices increase due to low inventory, the investment in home remodeling begins to make far more sense. In fact, remodeling increased by 12 percent in April alone. Of those remodeling in April, 54 percent said their reason for remodeling was to increase the value of their homes.

With half of the top features buyers want in homes related to kitchen amenities and features, the first room of the house to consider remodeling must be the kitchen. According to Forbes, the average cost of kitchen remodeling is:

                Low budget remodel                      $7,133

                Mid-range remodel                        $22,390

                High-end remodel                           $54,942

A more important question for many homeowners is how a kitchen remodel will affect the price of the home at resale. According to the remodeling industry, the cost vs. value assessment looks like this:

                Major kitchen remodel                 Cost: $53,931     Resale Value: $37,139    Recouping 69% of cost

                Minor kitchen remodel                 Cost: $18,527     Resale Value: $13,977    Recouping 75% of cost

HGTV estimates the impact on resale value of the home slightly higher at 80 – 105 percent of cost.

In terms of remodeling an existing space, the kitchen is typically the most expensive room of the house to upgrade. Enlarging the space adds further cost. What makes kitchen remodeling so expensive? In most cases, cabinetry and appliances account for more than half of the cost. Kitchen remodeling costs (on average) break down this way:

  •   35% Cabinets
  •   20% Labor
  •   20% Appliances
  •   10% Windows
  •    5% Fixtures
  •    3% Fittings
  •    7% Other

Cabinets, as the largest portion of the kitchen remodel cost, are significant:

                High-end Kitchen Remodel cost                                $54,942 (average)   x  35%  =  $19,229.70
                Mid-range kitchen remodel cost                               $22,390 (average)   x  35%  =  $  7,836.50
                Low budget kitchen remodel cost            $  7,133 (average)    x  35%  =  $ 2,396.55

There are, of course, several grades of materials and workmanship in kitchen cabinets. There are also several ways to buy kitchen cabinets, including the pre-manufactured modular units now offered by some companies. Your choices will be limited, and units will come in “standard” sizes.

There is another way to buy high quality cabinets, get exactly what you want, and get custom sizes and features. What is more, they can be installed in your kitchen, with granite countertops, for as much as 60 percent less than the cost of the custom cabinets you might want. The process, called customization, takes high quality cabinets in standard sizes and a cabinetmaker resizes them to specification. They can also be fitted with organizational inserts, customized for refrigerated drawers, and used to create unique units for special items.

Home prices are rising, making kitchen remodeling a very smart investment for those thinking about selling in a year or two. With cabinet customization, you can have kitchen cabinets of higher value for lower cost, thus increasing the percentage of your investment you can recoup when you sell your home. You can increase the value of your home and increase the amount of the remodeling cost you will recoup when you sell your home.


Challenges of Using an Antique Bathroom Vanity

By Scott Dostal

Using an antique bathroom vanity or converting a piece of antique furniture into a bathroom vanity is a very popular design trend. However, there are challenges associated with using antique furniture to create a bathroom vanity, as well as using an antique and adapting to modern plumbing.

There is a significant difference between using an antique piece of furniture and using a modern bathroom vanity made in the

Kitchen Cabinet Value

This antique bathroom vanity used an oak dresser

style of antique furniture. The modern “reproductions” are designed for modern plumbing. In addition, they typically are made with wood that has been treated and sealed to prevent damage from steam and moisture. In most cases, careful measurements allow homeowners to choose a style, have it delivered, and install it by simply making the appropriate connections to pipes.

Working with antique furniture presents certain challenges. Some homeowners have the required skills to convert an antique into a bathroom vanity. Others will want to shop for the perfect piece of furniture and have a skilled cabinetmaker do the work of converting it into a vanity. A third alternative is to buy a converted antique vanity from one of the dealers who specialize in converting antique furniture for this purpose.

Bathroom vanities often are made from antique sideboards, servers, hutches, dressers, washstands, chests, trestle tables, sewing cabinets, or Victrola cabinets. All of these furniture items can be converted to either one- or two-sink vanities, depending upon the width of the item.

Several decisions must be made before the conversion can begin:

1.       Perhaps most important, is the question if the antique of sufficient value that it should not be damaged or altered. In this case, the antique might not be the best choice for use as a bathroom vanity because the finish and, potentially, the wood will be damaged by moisture and steam.

2.       Will you use the antique in its current condition, or will you refinish or paint it?

3.       Are you willing to cut holes in the surface, the back, and the bottom of the antique? If it is a taller piece (such as a server or sideboard), will you remove legs to make it the correct height?

The challenges of using an antique bathroom vanity are these:

·         You must choose the antique carefully to ensure a correct fit in the bathroom and with the current placement of plumbing. Although you can have pipes moved, doing so will substantially increase the cost of your bathroom remodel.

·         Once you decide whether you will use the antique in its current condition, refinish it, or paint it, you will need to waterproof the antique on both the inside and the outside. Without waterproofing, the wood will absorb water and steam, causing warping and, possibly, mildew.

·         Next, you must decide what type of sink you will use. A vessel sink might require the least alteration of the antique, but it might also be too high, if the antique is a taller piece of furniture.


Kitchen Cabinet Value

Adding a sink uses space in the cabinet of this antique bathroom vanity made from a sideboard

You will then need to decide whether you will cut a hole in the surface of the antique for the sink, or you will remove the surface and replace it with a “countertop” material, such as marble, granite, etc.

·         The next step will be to modify the cabinet(s) and drawer(s) to accommodate the correct location of pipes and install the pipes, with connections to the sink you have chosen.

·         You will then be able to complete the modifications of the antique to enclose drawers and cabinets for your use. You might also decide to install dividers or organizational inserts to make the vanity more functional.

·         Finally, install the faucets and other fixtures you have chosen to complete your décor.

Although there are challenges in using an antique as a bathroom vanity, you can overcome them. These challenges will be within the skills of some homeowners. Others will need to engage the services of an expert cabinetmaker. Whether you do the work or you hire someone, the result will be a unique bathroom that is exactly what you want.

Happy remodeling!

5 Reasons to Choose Wood Kitchen Cabinets

There are many excellent reasons to choose wood kitchen cabinets in your new home or a kitchen remodel. There can be no question that wood cabinetry is one of the most beautiful options for any kitchen design or kitchen remodel. As we work with clients who are replacing cabinetry, we hear many questions and concerns. Here are five reasons homeowners give us for choosing wood cabinets for their kitchen.

1. Wood cabinetry goes with every kitchen décor style and with every appliance finish. Whether your

wood kitchen cabinets from kitchen cabinet value

these glazed maple cabinets are a good example of the beauty of wood kitchen cabinetry

kitchen is colonial, country, Shaker, traditional, eclectic or contemporary, there is a wood finish and a wood color that is the perfect complement to your style, your color choices, and the exterior material of your appliances.

2. Wood cabinets will bring warmth to any kitchen. This is an important consideration for homeowners today, when the kitchen is – once again – the center of the family’s life. Kitchens can feel sterile, due to the amount of metal, glass, and enamel finished items included. Nothing brings warmth to the room like the rich hues of natural wood finishes. Wood cabinetry also introduces depth and texture, making the kitchen warmer.

3. Wood cabinetry can last a lifetime. Wood cabinets are easy to maintain, and they are durable. Unlike laminates, the finish on wood cabinets will not bubble from heat and moisture. Modern finishes are strong enough to resist most damage from drips and spills.

4. Wood cabinetry, if damaged, is easy to refinish. A small kitchen fire, a bad spill, or other accidents might damage cabinetry. Unlike many other materials, it is possible to strip wood cabinets of remaining finish, sand to smoothness, and refinish back to its original beauty. Many of these repairs can be made with no appreciable impact on the value of the cabinetry.

5. Wood cabinetry is widely perceived as a high-value material. Installing wood cabinetry in your home or in a kitchen remodel is perceived as an investment in the home. Guests will notice your choice. More important, appraisers and future buyers will value your home higher because of this and other investments in the home.

The most common reasons we hear from homeowners about why they choose wood cabinets for new kitchens and remodels clearly point to durability, appearance, value, and versatility. These and other considerations have consistently made wood cabinetry the top choice of homeowners.

If you are thinking about new wood cabinetry for your kitchen, and you would like to have quality cabinets at the best price, call us.

10 Unique Storage Ideas You Can Use

Many homeowners say their biggest kitchen challenge is finding adequate space for everything. The first step in increasing storage in any kitchen is to maximize the space you have, often by using dividers, caddies, lazy Susans, etc. Many organizational items are available from your local hardware or home improvement store. Another alternative, especially in a country kitchen, is to get creative with the way you store things. Here are some examples of 10 unique storage ideas you can use.

shaker cognac cabinets, kitchen cabinet value

Shaker cognac kitchen cabinets

1. Cookie cutters are difficult to store – awkward shapes, inability to stack neatly – unless you get creative. One great idea is to stack them over the vertical rod of a paper towel holder. Then find a corner for it, or place it on a shelf in the pantry or in a kitchen cabinet near the baking area.
2. Add your own vertical rods (curtain rods, towel rods, a baking rack) in a base cabinet to organize and make trays and cutting boards accessible. The same can be done with chargers and platters.
3. Add a small armoire or a Shaker pie chest in your kitchen. It is a great place to store linens, odd-shaped bowls and platters, spices, baking needs (flour, sugar, etc), or even dishes. If you choose one with glass panels in the doors, you have a great place to display attractive or antique dishes.
4. Reaching the back of base cabinets can be difficult for many people. One way to make items accessible is to remove the doors and put items in large baskets or trays you can pull out for easy access to the contents. Add something decorative over the front of each tray or basket (a napkin or towel) to make the area attractive and appealing.
5. Make fruits and vegetables accessible while placing them out of the way by replacing the center of the drawer front with a wire mesh or tooled tin or copper insert. This provides air circulation for the fruits (especially apples) or vegetables inside. Similarly, remove cabinet doors and use large baskets or wood trays for fruits and vegetables. There is plenty of air circulation, and they are easy to pull out.
6. Finding a good place to store cookbooks can be challenging in many kitchens. One solution is to place a small bookcase on the counter or at the end of a counter. Cover the top with the same material used for your countertop and matching wood to create a seamless appearance. If you are concerned about dust, germs or moisture harming them, add glass-paneled doors.
7. If you need a place to store wine, consider adding a wine rack or a wine cooling refrigerator in an island. Another alternative is to add a cluster of box shelves on a wall.
8. If your kitchen includes an area for casual dining, consider adding a banquette or a bench against a window or in a bay window. Include storage under the seats for seasonal or seldom-used items.
9. Now that the trend in kitchen design has cabinets extending to the ceiling again, you can raise the cabinets and add an open shelf beneath them for glassware, bottles or cooking oils, or any number of smaller items.
10. Use countertop “garages” (some are made by SieMatic) for your small appliances. They provide easy access and the appliances are hidden from view when not in use. Some “garages” have flip-down doors. Others have motorized doors that lower at the push of a button.
We are happy to share 10 unique storage ideas you can use. We hope something in this list will help you with your kitchen storage challenges. Remember, you do not have to settle for standard cabinetry. Any kitchen cabinet can be customized – probably in just the way you want.

Do you have unique storage solutions? Share them in a comment!

How to Estimate Kitchen Storage Needs

Many homeowners believe there never can be too much storage space in a kitchen. Others might say extra storage space is simply an incentive to fill the space with unnecessary items. The decision to install new kitchen cabinets or to remodel a kitchen should begin with an honest assessment of how the kitchen space will be used by your family.

kitchen cabinet storage, kitchen cabinet value

One of many kitchen storage solutions

The challenge for many people is how to estimate kitchen storage needs.

The first step in the estimation of storage needs is to determine how you will use the space. For many families, the kitchen is no longer a discrete room or space. Today, in many homes, the kitchen is combined with a family room, a breakfast room, or a work area. In other homes, the kitchen is the place where guests and extended family are entertained. For the most part, the kitchen has become the center of a family’s activities (whatever they enjoy).

The second step in estimating kitchen storage needs is to determine what kind of storage space in needed or desired. If the family will eat most meals in the extended kitchen, it might make sense to store dishes and flatware, near the table. It might also make sense to put a dishwasher in that area. If there will be a work area (perhaps a place for children to do homework or for bill paying, etc.), there might be a need for a desk or bookshelves or computer connections.

The third step is to determine the types of storage required in the kitchen. Do you want glass door cabinets to display china, glassware, or food containers? Where will you keep small appliances when not in use? Do you want to organize your kitchen around the type of cooking or other food preparation most commonly used? For example, if you have children, you might want a snack area that is readily accessible to them with storage for cold water or other drinks, storage for microwaveable snack items (popcorn, for example).

Fourth, determine how much cabinet and surface area you have now. There is a simple formula for this. Measure the width and depth of your existing cabinets or other storage areas and counters, as well as the number of shelves in each cabinet: cabinet/shelf/drawer width x number of shelves/drawers x cabinet/shelf/drawer depth = storage space.

Fifth, estimate the additional space needed and the amount of space you would prefer to use differently. For example, if you plan to create a snack area or zone, you might want a refrigerated drawer for drinks or a small under-counter refrigerator. If you do a lot of baking and you want to create a baking area separate from the usual cooking zone, you might want a second oven, and dedicated storage spaces for ingredients, bake ware, etc. Decide where it is most convenient to store each type of item you use frequently.

On the other hand, if you do not do much cooking, you might want to save the trouble of calculating the storage needs of a kitchen, you can follow the guidelines available from the National Kitchen and Bath Association.  http://www.bhg.com/home-improvement/kitchen/planning/kitchen-planning-guidelines/?page=1

A final note: When you estimate kitchen storage needs it is wise to tailor your remodel less to personal tastes and more to recommendations if you are planning to sell your home in the next few years. You might do only minimal cooking and need minimal storage, but the next owner might have different needs.

What is the Smartest Way to Buy Kitchen Cabinets?

Nobody wants to spend more than necessary when building or remodeling. The kitchen is typically the most expensive room of the house (or one of the most expensive). Cabinetry is one of the largest costs in most kitchens. Whether you want to save time, save money or find a way to add specialized cabinets and organizational devices without going over budget, it is important to explore your options. This is why so many homeowners ask, “What is the smartest way to buy kitchen cabinets?”

There are five ways to buy kitchen cabinets. Your decision about buying cabinets for your home will factor in installation and assembly time and cost, prices, availability of what you want, your ability to work with standard cabinet sizes only, and the number of specialty cabinets or cabinets with organizational devices you need.

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1. Knock-down cabinets –You can usually take these least expensive cabinets home from the store on the day you purchase them. You will probably need to assemble them. They are available only in standard sizes and will have little, if any, customization and typically do not include organizers.

2. Stock cabinets – The next step in price, stock cabinets are mass-produced in a factory. Choices will be limited to a few styles and finishes (usually the most popular at the time). They are also available in standard sizes only.

3. Semi-custom cabinets – Semi-custom cabinetry is also available only in standard sizes. However, you will find more varieties in styles and finishes. This is a good option if you want a specific style in a particular finish.

4. Custom cabinets – Custom cabinets have been the traditional way to get exactly what you want in your kitchen cabinetry. As the name implies, you can have anything you want in your cabinets – any wood or material, any finish, any style, any accessories, and any sizes. This is the most expensive way to purchase cabinets, but the result will be unique.

5. Customized cabinets – By choosing the semi-custom or stock cabinets you want and engaging a good cabinetmaker to customize them, you can create the kitchen you want without paying the price of custom cabinets. In this case, you buy the cabinets in the style and finish you want. The cabinetmaker then modifies the cabinets (invisibly) to the custom sizes you need and adds the accessories, organizers, and specialty cabinets and drawers you want. This option gives you the best of both worlds – a custom kitchen at a much lower price.

How to Overcome Space Limitations in Small Kitchens

Many people prefer small kitchens because everything is nearby when one is preparing meals. The most common challenge we hear is how to overcome storage space limitations in small kitchens. If you face this challenge, you should know two things before you begin a kitchen remodel.

kitchen cabinet value small kitchen storage

The first thing you need to know is that once again, the current trend is to use wall cabinets that extend to the ceiling. The preference for cabinetry that reaches to the ceiling or cabinets that are mounted to leave space above the cabinets changes periodically. We have been in a period when wall cabinets did not reach the ceiling. The thinking was that because people typically could not reach the top shelves of cabinets, they were a waste of space. Some ignored the space above the cabinets and others used the space for decorative items.

The current trend is to use wall cabinets that extend to the ceiling. In a small kitchen, where storage space is precious, the extra space is important – in many small kitchens, it provides an additional eight to 12 linear feet of space (or more). These top shelves are an ideal place to store seasonal or seldom used items.

The second, and perhaps most important, strategy for overcoming storage space limitations in small kitchens is organization. Organization and organizational devices are critical to maximizing the available storage space in any kitchen. The first principle of kitchen organization is to use every inch of space wisely. Remember that cabinetry can be customized to provide the precise space you need. For example, instead of using a shelf in a standard cabinet for spices, consider installing a spice cabinet that is mere inches wide, but built to make your spices accessible when it is pulled out. The same design can be used to provide accessible maximized space for canned goods. The same approach can be made to a unit beside a wall-mounted oven or beside a pantry cabinet that is fitted with the appropriate racks to store pots, pans, and lids. This reduces wasted space in base cabinets and makes everything more accessible.

We install in cabinets a surprising range of dividers, lazy Susans, racks and other devices to maximize every inch of space. We also do this in many large kitchens. Many homeowners are surprised to discover that we can find or create an organizational device to meet most storage needs in small kitchens. Many homeowners are more surprised to discover how organization can make minimal cabinet storage space ample.

If you are facing the challenge of how to overcome storage space limitations in small kitchens, give us a call before you start remodeling. We can show you how to maximize your storage space and install these customizations at a surprisingly low price.

Match Kitchen Cabinet Style to a Home’s Architectural Style?

Once upon a time, half a lifetime ago, homeowners, architects, and designers were careful to match wood, color, and kitchen cabinet style to the architectural style of a home. Colonial and Georgian homes consistently had specific types of cabinetry in the kitchen and bathroom. In particular, kitchen cabinet doors were of a predictable style. Encountering a kitchen that diverged significantly from expectation was arresting.

Today, although many homeowners prefer the traditional match of kitchen cabinet style and architectural style of the home, the old rules do not apply. Further, there is greater freedom to use the cabinet style and kitchen design you like, rather than follow outdated rules. It is common now to see sleek contemporary cabinetry in a farmhouse kitchen or a Georgian home. For those who wish to know or follow the traditional combinations, a quick overview is available here.

Many other homeowners, however, are following one or more current trends in kitchen design. The first of these trends reflects our reluctance to be bound by tradition. Instead, homeowners are remodeling or designing kitchens that suit their personal taste and needs. As a result, you can find any type of cabinets combined with stainless steel appliances and counter tops to create a “professional” or “gourmet” kitchen in any home – even a southern colonial.

A second trend today is mixing woods and styles in a kitchen. This mixing of kitchen elements reflects the popularity of adding an antique piece as an accent piece in a kitchen. Many kitchens mix cream-colored cabinets with a darker wood (like walnut) and another (like cherry).

Yet another trend in kitchen décor is painted cabinetry. Cabinets of any style are painted whatever color appeals to the homeowner. Different colors or shades are combined until the desired effect is achieved.

When purchasing any cabinets, you should pay attention to the quality of the materials used in construction and the quality of workmanship. You can then choose the style and décor that suits your personal taste. You can then design your kitchen or your remodel in the traditional way, or according to the trend that appeals to you. Either way you can have an attractive, functional, and unique kitchen that meets your needs and reflects your personality.