Category Archives: Uncategorized

Thinking About Painting Kitchen Cabinets? Read This First…

I admit it: I love Pinterest, and I especially love looking at kitchens on Pinterest. But I’m surprised how often I see pins about painting kitchen cabinets because when you weigh the hassle involved in painting vs. replacing, it seems that replacing makes more sense. Let’s look at reasons why people choose to paint…and why maybe they shouldn’t.

Painting kitchen cabinets: the cost and the labor
People say they plan on painting kitchen cabinets because they want a new look but don’t want to spend the money on new kitchen cabinets. That makes sense except that time is money, and it takes a lot of time to paint your kitchen cabinets.

First, there’s the prep work. All the doors must come off. The hardware must be removed. The old paint or stain has to be removed or sanded off, and any dirt or grime removed. The surface must be clean, clean, clean or the new paint won’t adhere to it. Invest in really good quality paint, because it will take a beating in the kitchen.

Then there’s applying the paint. First you apply the primer, then sand that, then apply two coats of paint, sanding between coats. Some people say you have to use a sprayer so you don’t have brush marks and that adds another layer of complexity and work as you tape off practically your whole house to make the spraying a possibility!

Then when you’re finally done, you put everything back together. In addition to taking a lot of time, painting cabinets also takes up a lot of room, and you won’t be able to use your kitchen during this time. Plus, not all cabinets can be painted.

And if you don’t have the time to do all of this work, you’re going to pay someone to do it, and that won’t be cheap.

Replacing kitchen cabinets: the drawbacks
If you’re considering painting kitchen cabinets, it might be only a temporary fix. If the cabinetry is not right, why paint it? It could be it’s not configured well for your kitchen so cuts down on storage space. It could be it’s old school and lacks modern amenities like clever storage solutions or pull out drawers behind the doors. Maybe there’s wasted space where you could add a pantry if you got new cabinets instead. Or maybe you don’t even like the looks of the cabinets you currently have. Does it make sense to invest all that time and money in painting over something you don’t even like?

Painting kitchen cabinets: the color
Then there’s the color. Some people assume they have to paint their kitchen cabinets to get a particular color, but a kitchen cabinet manufacturer with a color-matching programcan do the same thing. And when the kitchen cabinet manufacturer applies the color, it will be with the right kind of paint—durable and made to last in a busy kitchen.

Painting kitchen cabinets: really the solution?
If you’re considering painting kitchen cabinets vs. investing in new ones, make sure you do the math. Add up all of the costs including the labor hours and the time you’ll be without a kitchen (which means eating takeout). Weigh that against the costs of semi custom cabinets that can be exactly the style you want, with all the modern amenities, and built to last—with finish built to last as well.

And if the painting wins, go for it! Just make sure you understand the real costs of painting rather than replacing before you start.

To Soffit or not to Soffit: Kitchen Soffit Solutions

Are you designing your new kitchen and trying to decide whether or not to have a soffit above the kitchen cabinets? There are definitely reasons for and against having a soffit, as well as several ways you can approach that space between the top of the wall cabinet and the ceiling. Consider these kitchen soffit solutions…

Kitchen soffit solutions: Plenty of soffit space
Reasons against a soffit above kitchen cabinets include difficulty in cleaning the space and too little room to make use of it for either storage or display. A kitchen such as the one pictured here has generous soffit space, and alternating heights so the homeowner still has the advantage of taller cabinets in some places (with the extra storage that comes with the height) yet lower cabinets elsewhere so the soffit is generous in space. That makes plenty of room for plants and pottery to be displayed and easy cleaning and dusting when needed.

This airy kitchen uses plenty of soffit space for displaying baskets, while the “cabinetry” enclosing the vent hood extends all the way to the ceiling.

Kitchen soffit solutions: Double-stacked cabinets
Some homeowners choose double-stacked cabinets, putting shorter cabinets on top of the normal wall cabinets to fill up that soffit space. The kitchen pictured here uses double-stacked cabinets, although the homeowner opted for a bit of soffit above the kitchen cabinets. Double-stacked cabinets like these are a nice kitchen soffit solution because they fill up the space and provide dust-free storage, but the shorter cabinet on top visually breaks up the cabinets, adding visual appeal.

Kitchen soffit solutions: Transom cabinets with glass fronts
Another option uses glass-front cabinets as the shorter cabinets, as in this kitchen. The soffit is totally enclosed, eliminating the need for dusting, but offering a way to display lovely plates and glassware. Glass-fronts on the transom cabinets also gives the kitchen an airy feeling.

This kitchen also uses glass-front doors on the transom cabinets, with solid decorative “cabinetry” around the vent hood, and over the sink, providing a pleasing visual break to the repeating pattern of the paned glass door fronts.

Kitchen soffit solutions: Getting creative with cabinets
The owner of this kitchen took a novel approach to the soffit above the kitchen cabinets: It is left open in some places and enclosed in others, with every other cabinet double-stacked. The homeowner gets the advantage of the extra storage space, but doesn’t overwhelm the kitchen by taking all of the cabinets to the ceiling. With the dark cabinets used in this kitchen, it might be oppressive to have all of them ceiling high.

This kitchen has another creative approach: double stacked cabinets broken up with only the occasional glass-front doors.

You can see you have several options if you’re wondering about soffit vs. no soffit! But no matter the kitchen soffit solutions you choose, you can rest assured you made the right choice for you.

2017 Kitchen Appliance Trends Showcase Style, Function and Convenience

Here at Wellborn Forest Products, we tend to be all about those cabinets, because that’s what we do: We build beautiful semi custom cabinets for new kitchens and remodels. But we aren’t totally obsessed with cabinets! We are equally obsessed with all things kitchen, including cabinets.

So in keeping with a new year (and keeping up with kitchen trends), we took a look to see what’s going on in kitchen appliances these days, and whoa! A lot! Here’s a breakdown of what we discovered, divvied up into what we deem to be the big-picture categories: style, function, convenience.

Stylish kitchen appliance trends
You’re able to choose the perfect semi custom cabinets for your new kitchen because so many choices are available to you. So you should be able to choose the perfect style in appliances too, and in 2017, you can!

Poking around, we see that white appliances are making a comeback, updated with stainless steel trim so they don’t look out-of-place in your new kitchen. Industrial style appliances are a suggested trend, although we think that’s been said before so we’ll see.

Retro looking appliances have been around for a long while, but they might finally be getting popular! Along with that retro look, we’re seeing a surge in color in appliances—yes, color. Goodbye, white, black and stainless steel. Hello, teal, cantaloupe and sky blue! (Although not every manufacturer is so generous with their palette, BlueStar offers gas ranges in a choice of 190 colors!)

Still like things muted? Red ranges aren’t for everyone, that’s for sure! But the white/black/stainless options can be boring. So check out gray appliances—yes, gray. They aren’t stainless steel and metallic, but actually gray in color, usually with stainless steel trim. Sharp! And not a surprise given the continued popularity of gray kitchen cabinets.

Functional kitchen appliance trends
Pulling together a new kitchen or kitchen remodel isn’t only about the style, however, as the functional trends prove. We are seeing appliances that are designed for more precise food storage and to enable healthier cooking, but also appliances geared toward an aging population.

Ovens top this list as they now come with alternative door types. You’ll find French door ovens, with two smaller doors that open sideways (vs. the one pull-down door of before). These are handy in kitchens where space is an issue. Ovens with side-opening doors are also getting more popular as people age and mobility is affected. A side-opening door at counter height makes an oven usable once again for someone in a wheelchair!

Speaking of, smaller appliances are also a hot trend, as families install living areas for elderly parents or adult children. These smaller appliances include dishwashers only 18 inches wide, two-burner cooktops, and smaller refrigerators.

In line with this trend, we also see under-the-counter refrigerators that can be used to put chilled items closer to where you are cooking, like the stove, but we can also see this kind of refrigerator working for someone with limited mobility as well.

As far as the healthier cooking, steam ovens are a new rage, as is induction heat for cooktops. Both promise to enable more precise, healthier cooking. Food storage is right there too, with refrigerators now offering specialized storage zones that promise to keep food fresher longer.

Convenient kitchen appliance trends
In addition to style and function, convenience is ever a popular trend in our busy world, and technology is enabling convenient appliances in several ways. Internet-enabled ovens, for example, can be monitored from your phone, so you can preheat the oven when you leave the office. And automated appliances can “talk” to each other to ensure all dishes are done at the same time, whether cooked in the oven or the microwave.

These are just a few of the appliance trends we are seeing, proving that kitchens will continue to be the heart of the home with style, function and convenience of utmost importance. And semi custom cabinets will continue to enhance these rooms as well, when you choose exactly the kind of cabinet style and finish you want from Wellborn Forest Products!