Sometimes even a tiny space can turn into a beautiful built-in. The shallow recess in the dining room in this home already existed and it was enhanced by an installation of Waypoint Living Spaces style 650 in Maple Honey. Both the upper and lower sections were constructed from standard wall cabinets. The bottom cabinet is built on a furniture-style platform to act as a base cabinet.
Long, sleek bar pulls give a clean and contemporary look. Even though the counter space is not deep, it is very useful for extra landing space in the dining room.
Since this Dallas TX home was already schedule for photography, we ordered a set of aluminum frame doors and photographed it both ways. Which one do you prefer?
This slender dining room built-in features ribbed glass in Maple Honey open frame doors. The style shown is 650S.
A quick change to aluminum frame doors on the upper section gives a little different look to the Maple Honey built-in.
Even a very small space can make a home more convenient and comfortable.
With the holiday season upon us, I got to thinking about preparing and serving all those family and friends and it made me wish for a butler’s pantry. Oh, and a butler to go with it.
Butler’s pantries were popular in the grand houses at the turn of the 19th century. Picture glass-door cabinets to the ceiling filled with fine china, silver, a myriad of serving pieces and a big sink for flower arranging.
The pantry at The Biltmore Estate, Asheville, NC. The home opened on Christmas Eve in 1895. Photo compliments of The Biltmore Estate.
The most elaborate version can be found in the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. There, the kitchen is in the basement (I am glad that changed) and food was taken upstairs to the butler’s pantry on one of two dumb waiters. I’ve been lucky enough to visit America’s largest home twice and both at the holiday time. Believe me, it is worth the trip.
Today, butler’s pantries still exist in larger homes and are located between the kitchen and the dining room. They may be smaller and not have a butler on duty to guard the silver but they too house china and serving pieces and, to me, they are the perfect place to have an extra sink and dishwasher if a lot of entertaining is done in the home.
Here a butler’s pantry in a beautiful traditional home in Florida features glass door cabinets with glass shelves and interior lighting to show off the contents. Open shelves in the middle are for displaying platters and other pretty items. The room is given a modern touch with the use of Medium Bar Pulls in Satin Nickel. The style is Waypoint’s 612D in Cherry Java.
Light rail molding is decorative, that’s for sure but its real purpose is to hide under-cabinet lighting.
Today lighting is getting thinner and thinner and while most wall cabinets have a ¾” recess in the bottom, a light rail is still helpful obscuring the fixture itself. Your goal is not to be blinded by the light while sitting in the next room.
A sidebar here on the location of under cabinet lights: their placement to the front or back of the bottom of the wall cabinet has to do with the type of light fixture. Many of the newer LED fixtures need to be placed closer to the front to get a good cone of light on the countertop. Older style fluorescent fixtures (still available today) are designed to be placed tight to the back wall. Your designer will help in advising you on the proper location for the light of your choice.
Here are some more choices in light rail. One might be perfect for your kitchen.
Traditional Light Rail Molding is perfect for a country kitchen. Notice how the light rail extends to the wall and caps off the beaded board backsplash.
A slim molding can also act as a light rail. Here Single Bead Molding does the trick.
These two photos show how top and bottom molding can match up for a consistent look. These two molding treatments are mirror images of each other…one as a light rail and one as a top molding treatment.
Any room can benefit by paying attention to the details. Light rail molding is a detail that will pay off in function and good looks.
Sewing is gaining in popularity again, mostly due to the interest in quilting. There is also renewed interest in sewing for fashion (you only have to watch a bit of reality television to know that) and even home décor. The development of computer based embroidery machines has also taken sewing to a whole new level. Believe it or not, the website powerbiz.com list home sewing as one of the top 10 businesses for work-at-home moms.
I am a sewer too and have been since junior high school. Over the years I have sewn everything to lined pinch pleated draperies to flower girl dresses and many a Halloween costume. So it was great fun to work on this built-in sewing center designed to fit into a niche in the second floor of an older home. This charming area features just about everything a serious hobby sewer could ever wish for: plenty of storage and clever ways to be organized. I know lots of serious sewers collect fabric and the tall utility cabinet is outfitted with Deep Rollout Trays that can hold a generous stash of fabric. There are lots of drawers too and I especially like the use of the small drawers more commonly used in kitchens for spice drawers. Here they are perfect for storing thread and other small items. A generous row of wall cabinetry adds additional storage. The light rail beneath all those wall cabinets conceals under-cabinet light fixtures for even task lighting.
Have two sewing machines? One can be tucked away in a base cabinet outfitted with a Deep Roll Out Tray for easy access.
Using a decorative hood as a focal point are an easy way to add a knock-out look to any kitchen. We started this topic last week. But if you missed it, click here. This week we’ll talk about a couple more ideas on how to get a super look.
This painted white kitchen has a definite coastal vibe and part of the charm is the site-built hood with a stucco finish. It is painted to match the Maple Linen cabinets and features graceful curves, corbels and molding to the ceiling.
Another popular way to handle the area around a cooktop or a range is to create a hearth-style grouping of cabinets. This is a nice look in tradional homes.
Decorative tile can be installed just behind the cooktop or in the entire area. You often see a pot filler faucet in these applications.
Being on the practical side though, I want to discuss the amount of space a hearth-style range or cooktop surround will occupy. The reality is that it takes a minimum of 60” for a 30” range. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends a minimum of 12” on one side of a cooking surface and 15” on the other. Since a hearth-style arrangement mimics a fireplace, it should be symmetrical. That’s where the 60″ comes from 2 x 15″ plus the 30″ range. This is something your designer will help you with. Not every kitchen can handle a hood as large as this, but if the space is available it can be a great look.
From a design standpoint, I love getting new products to work with. It increases creativity and certainly options. Waypoint Living Spaces is always adding new product to their line and here are the latest:
A deep, rich brown color on maple called Espresso follows today's need for darker richer finish. Shown here is Style 510S, the design features the Raised Panel Arched Valance and increased depth wall cabinets.
For a more contemporary look, choose Aluminum Frame doors with factory installed Frosted Glass center panels. Not available in all door sizes and styles.
The fourteenth in our series of glass inserts, Frosted Glass adds a contemporary look. It is also appealing because it is semi-obscure which means it will help partially hide some of the contents of the cabinet while giving the beauty of a glass insert.
Wall Top Hinge cabinets add variety to a cabinet installation. They are available in 15" and 18" heights and in 30" and 36" widths. The wood grain is horizontal and doors may be ordered with framed doors for decorative glass installation. Not available in all door styles.
The Wall Top Hinge cabinet is also available with Aluminum Frame doors and comes with Frosted Glass factory installed. Not available in all door styles.
The heavy duty hinges for the Wall Top Hinge cabinet are easily adjustable. Shown here with matching Interior on the cabinet.
I especially like the Wall Top Hinge cabinets in a baking zone because the door can be left in the up position while making cookies or cakes. You never have to close the door with flour-coated hands to get it out of your way; and I like that a lot! Change is a good thing and these new products and finish are sure to add zip to any kitchen or other living space.