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Woodhill Gallery Designer Blog http://woodhillgallery.com/blog Tue, 09 Jun 2009 21:28:52 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 en hourly 1 How to Keep Your Sanity During a Kitchen Remodel http://woodhillgallery.com/blog/2009/06/how-to-keep-your-sanity-during-a-kitchen-remodel/ http://woodhillgallery.com/blog/2009/06/how-to-keep-your-sanity-during-a-kitchen-remodel/#comments Tue, 09 Jun 2009 21:28:52 +0000 jkaufman http://woodhillgallery.com/blog/?p=34 This post is really just a guide to the whole process of kitchen design, from dreaming about your dream kitchen, to understanding the process, to final installation.  The more organized you as a homeowner are, and the more research you do, the easier and less overwhelming your remodel will be.  When you have decided that a new kitchen (or bathroom) is in your stars, these simple steps will help you be prepared for the job in front of you!

1.  Begin by looking through magazines, books, websites, anything that you find that brings you inspiration.  Start a file folder with clippings of things that you love, even if they aren’t all kitchen related (paint chips, tile samples, flooring, etc. are all encouraged).  This will help your kitchen designer get a sense of your style.  Your kitchen designer should be up on all the latest products available and can make suggestions based on your style and, bringing us to our next point, your budget.

2.  Have a budget in mind and do not be afraid to discuss it with your designer.  A budget will help us understand what is realistic for you and guide you accordingly in the right direction for everything from countertops to cabinet boxes.  Don’t be shy about it.  The sooner everyone is on the same page, the better we can all work efficiently together. 

3.  Understand the services that your supplier offers.  Some suppliers just sell product.  Others do design work and consultations.  Others have a staff of installers that will complete the entire job in house.  Take to your designer about where your dealer falls.  Woodhill Supply sells product and offers free design consultations and services.  We would be happy to recommend a contractor that we have worked with in the past, however they will not be directly affiliated with Woodhill and often will price their work seperately.  Be sure to include the cost of materials AND labor in your budget.

4.  Take some basic measurements of your space to bring with you when you come in for your consultation.  Measure along the walls, and mark the widths of your windows and doors from the outside of the casings.  This will give us a preliminary floorplan to put on our computer and begin our layout.  We will come out and double check measurements as needed, and do a final measurement once we have hammered out our final design together.

5.  The whole process from start to finish can take anywhere from 8 weeks on up.  Find out estimated lead times for the items you are ordering to help you plan.  Hang-ups do occur, and it is important that you are realistic about your time frame.  When cabinets are delivered, do a “once over” checking for any damage BEFORE you begin tearing out your original kitchen.  This will save both you and your contractor a lot of stress.  Cabinets might need to be reordered, which unfortunately can take anywhere from 2-4 extra weeks.  Take into consideration that contractors have busy schedules, and keep them updated throughout the planning and ordering phase.  It is a good idea to bring your contractor along to a meeting if you are making lots of changes so that they can ask questions and give you an acurate estimate on time and labor.  We are always available to answer any questions that your contractor might have, and you should feel free to give them our contact information.

In terms of organization, it is very helpful to unpack things cabinet by cabinet into clearly marked boxes. This will make finding things easy while you are without a kitchen, and unpacking even easier because your familiar organizational system will be somewhat intact.

6.  Often times cabinets need to be installed before the countertops are even ordered.  Depending on the material you are using, there might be templating and fabrication time that will happen between when the cabinets are set and the countertops are delivered.  It is a good idea to plan on this time lag as it will give you the most precise countertop measurements, no matter what.

7.  Finally,  your remodel is complete!  Invite friends over and cook a memorable dinner in your new space!

We know that remodeling is stressful and will try our best to make the process go as smoothly as possible.  As a consumer, you have every right to ask as many questions as possible.  Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have!  The more we discuss, the less chance there will be for surprises down the line.  We hope that aside from the dust and inevitable mess that comes with a remodel, you enjoy the project and get involved!

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A Country Kitchen Mini-Rant http://woodhillgallery.com/blog/2009/03/a-country-kitchen-mini-rant/ http://woodhillgallery.com/blog/2009/03/a-country-kitchen-mini-rant/#comments Sat, 07 Mar 2009 17:42:53 +0000 jkaufman http://woodhillgallery.com/blog/?p=27 Lately, in design blogs, I’ve been seeing a lot of curtained sink cabinets (See left and below) and honestly, I’m not sure what’s going on here. Are the occupants so strapped for cash that they’ve had to resort to using their cabinet doors as firewood? Was there a break in by the frump fairy that all the sudden decided to perform an impromptu kitchen remodel?

skirt_skink_kitchen3_2 My personal opinion? THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE FOR A CURTAINED SINK CABINET!!!
With the plethora of options out there for cheap cabinets, skirt_kitchen_3run to your nearest cabinet supplier and buy replacement doors if yours are damaged beyond repair or, for some reason, looted. If you are going for that country chic look, try repurposing window shutters as doors to break up the monotony of cabinet fronts. Or, if you just have to have that fabric in your kitchen, take a cue from 50’s era hutches and give things a modern update by placing the fabric inside the cabinet door frame, like this photo taken by Jessica Jones for http://www.orangebeautiful.com/.
jessica_jones_bathroom_cab1
There are so many creative ways to spruce up your kitchen aside from those mentioned above. Here are just a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Buy colorful storage boxes (even dollar stores can yield treasures) and place them on industrial metal shelving units under your counters to hide your clutter and add personality.

2. If you really want to encourage a country feel, wooden crates might work perfectly for your open shelved storage needs. Buy a rolling cart and stack your cleaning supplies in style next to the exposed piping under a wall-mounted farmhouse sink. For extra impact, paint the wall a different color and it’ll really pop.
3. Buy some copper or aluminum sheets at your local craft store and try your hand at creating pinhole art by poking holes in your metal to make fun designs. Mount designs like fabric panels mentioned above, in the center of your less then glamorous door panels.

4. Paint can be your best friend for eye-sores, until you have funds for a remodel. And who knows? Maybe after you are through, you’ll love your “new” cabinets so much you’ll buy yourself another ten years! The trend now is to incorporate multiple colors into your kitchen design. You can paint all your wall cabinets one color contrasting with your bases. You can pick a few select cabinets (sink bases and range top bases are good options) to stand out in different colors against the rest of the room.

5. Attach eye hooks to the underside of your counter and buy chalkboards sized to fit in wooden frames. Hang the frames like panels from a hook and let your little munchkins attack them with colored chalk for a kid friendly touch. This will keep little ones out of open shelving much better than cloth and look a whole lot more creative.

If these ideas don’t get your wheels turning, Better Home and Gardens has two great slide shows on cabinet fixes: to update bland builders cabinets, click here, or to get some fun kitchen makeover ideas, click here. By all means, let your imagination flow and avoid that ugly skirt with a more modern and eye-pleasing approach!!

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Going Green In 2009 http://woodhillgallery.com/blog/2009/02/going-green-in-2009/ http://woodhillgallery.com/blog/2009/02/going-green-in-2009/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2009 14:09:07 +0000 jkaufman http://woodhillgallery.com/blog/?p=8 With the state of the economy, global warming and the depletion of natural resources, it seems everywhere you look people are talking about reducing their environmental impact. It seems that although we are headed for a recession, instead of buying new property people are using their savings to fix up their current houses in the hopes of turning a bigger profit once the housing market turns around. This is especially clear working closely with contractors in the Cleveland area where the housing market is one of the worst in the country.
Here is my advice to anyone wishing to spruce up their bathrooms and kitchens for future value: Go green.

I’ve compiled a list of some very cool items I’ve found to revolutionize your remodel and cut down on future spending:

1. The Profile 5 toilet
with hand basin by Caroma
profile-toilet4
This innovative (and I might add space-saving) Australian product is a perfect answer for a small, Eco-conscious powder room. The waste water from washing your hands in the sink is stored in the tank to be used for the next flush. Not only are you saving money by conserving water, you are also saving by buying one combo unit as opposed to a separate sink and toilet. Find out more by clicking here.

2. Sustainable Cabinetry
125_11v_tre1Wooden cabinetry is primarily a north American phenomenon now-a-days. Europeans have adopted a modern sleeker style of frameless cabinets made from synthetic materials because of the expense of wood. Because wood is such a staple for bathrooms and kitchens in this country, there has recently been a push to introduce more sustainable options into the wood species repertoire. This vanity cabinet from Showplace shows the environmentally friendly lyptus offering. Lyptus is short for eucalyptus and is a very fast growing wood with a beautiful grain. Because of it’s speedy growth rate, it can be harvested and replanted with minimal environmental impact. For more info on Lyptus, click here. Bamboo is also a good choice. Stay away from particle board, which often uses formaldehyde and other harmful VOC’s in it’s composition.

3. Recycled Material Countertops
lg_cobaltbath11Looking for a striking way to add color and personality to your bathroom countertop? Look no further. Many companies are working to create countertops made of recycled glass and concrete that are made specifically for your application. The concrete and glass can be handpicked and colored to match your design scheme, whether your goal is a morning wake up call filled with bright happy colors or a zen-like spa retreat filled with neutrals. Concrete gives you the ability to undermount sinks, just like granite or quartz surfaces.

4. Environmentally Conscious Bathroom Textiles
Bamboo and organic cotton are making headway into the land of interior design. These bamboo towels come in luscious colors, and with their soft texture, you’ll never know that while you are toweling off in luxury, you are saving the planet from the chemicals used in processing traditional textiles.csh08_vf97
209552_666_mAlong with towels, you can find selections of bath rugs, bath robes and shower curtains in Eco-friendly materials that are anything but frumpy and ugly.
To find more of these products, try clicking here at The Company Store. For the shower curtain to the left, click here.

5. Eco-Conscious Hot Water Heaters
choose-water-heater-3Tankless hot water heaters and solar hot water heaters can both cut down on your heating bills while supplementing your old conventional hot water heater’s output. Tankless heaters only turn on when hot water is actually needed. They avoid the energy consumption of traditional tanks by running cold water through a heating element while it is on it’s way out the faucet. It doesn’t require the constant heating of a storage tank like traditional heaters because it doesn’t have one. These tankless types typically run on either electricity or gas.
Solar hot water heaters function by trapping the energy from the sun in absorption panels on the roof of your home. They heat your water either by running it through tubes in the panel itself (similar to the tankless heater, heating only as it is being used), or by heating a fluid in the panel that then heats a reserve tank in your home.
Often, either of these two options are used in conjunction with a traditional tank that serves as a backup. This way homeowners can insure uninterrupted hot water for all their needs.

To really green your space, look for reclaimed fixtures and accessories. Use recycled glass as tile for your shower walls as opposed to fiberglass or acrylic. It might be a bit harder to maintain, but you are reducing waste and harmful VOCs that are used in the process of creating the synthetic materials. Maximize natural light by adding skylights and windows, where possible. This will reduce your dependence on electricity for light fixtures and ventilation. Finally, recycled paper products and Eco-friendly cleaners help reduce your impact on landfills and rid your space of potentially dangerous chemicals. Even small steps can make a difference for the environment and improve your quality of life. Do yourself and the planet a favor and reduce your environmental footprint during your upcoming renovation!

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