Beyond-the-Box: Personalizing Kitchen Design

Creating Extraordinary Kitchens from the Common Cabinet

Every day, our designers create spaces that are as unique as our customers. As one designer said, “I see every kitchen as a challenge to create something fresh and new, to personalize it for my client.”

A designer will achieve some effects by combining cabinet units in new ways, stacking shelves on drawers to create hutches, tucking appliances in unconventional corners, and adding decorative elements to upgrade ordinary to specialty best. Our factory helps out, modifying cabinets to fit non-standard spaces and supplying components to meet special style requests. We don’t take all the credit—the customer is an equal partner in creating any design. Below are just a few examples of what we can do.

kitchen cabinets with glass doors on both sides and ornate crown molding

Elegance and Light

The cabinets above feature glass …

Have a Seat: How to Build an Entryway Bench or Window Seat

Is there a space in your home just begging for a bench?

You can use kitchen cabinets to create a cozy snuggle spot in a bay window, a shoe bench for your entryway, toy storage in a kid’s room, or a breakfast nook. Build the bench from drawer and door units, or create a storage chest with a piano-hinge top. Add a matching beadboard seat back and some colorful cushions, and you have it—storage, seating and a focal point, all in one project. Our designers are masters at combining cabinet units to create custom benches.

The irresistible window seat bench

A natural landing place for guests and the after-school crowd, a kitchen window seat simply shouts, “Come in and stay a while.” Typically dominated by hard surfaces, a kitchen welcomes …

Trending: Color it Bold in 2015

2015 home décor will feature dramatic and bold pops of color. In furniture and cabinetry, designers and homeowners are moving away from monochromatic decorating schemes. In some designs, soft, neutral-toned grays and whites serve as backdrops for bright accessories and lively patterns. We are also seeing a return to cabinetry finished in rich wood tones, accented with black, white, metals and colors. Below are two very different examples of the use of color in the kitchen.

small kitchen with white cabinets, blue glass backsplash and window seat

Color in a Compact Kitchen

A small space can easily be overwhelmed with color. In the kitchen pictured above, that problem is resolved beautifully. A perimeter of white cabinets creates a light, bright space. Blue and aqua tones in the backsplash are subtly echoed in vases, pottery and pillows. The glossy surface of the …

Storing Your Wine: Rack, Cooler or Kitchen Counter?

Do not be intimidated by the traditional mystique of the wine culture.

Good wine is no longer the exclusive province of the elite. And only extraordinary vintages and the few wines that improve with age warrant an investment in a custom cellar.

wine bottle, glass and runlet with grapes in cellar

The average spend on a bottle of wine today is less than $20.

If you are a typical wine enthusiast, you will spend between $9 and $20 for a bottle of good table wine, and maybe as much as $100 for a special occasion. You will probably keep a few bottles on hand, and are younger than the traditional oenophile (wine connoisseur).

maple kitchen island with wine rack in endSo, for wine that will be consumed within a few weeks, storage requirements are simple. Keep it at a stable temperature between 50° and 70° to …

Tessa’s Remodel: Chapter 4: Cabinet Installation

The New Kitchen Takes Form

Designer Tessa and husband Jake work together, leveling a base cabinet in their kitchen

We have been following Tessa and Jake as they remodel their kitchen. In this post, see how Tessa, a creative and experienced designer, and Jake, a practical perfectionist, work together to create a beautiful space from semi-custom cabinetry.

Cabinet installation was a group project, keeping Tessa, Jake and Tessa’s dad busy for quite a while. Tessa helped Jake meet his high standards for construction as he and her dad fulfilled her unique design, knitting disjointed spaces together into a graceful whole.

Leveling Cabinets:
Take No Shortcuts!

As a team, they leveled, shimmed, then leveled again so the base cabinets would provide a strong and stable foundation for the countertop. Since their house was 50+ years old, they knew the floors would be irregular, but were …

Tessa’s Remodel Chapter 3: Delivery & Kitchen Tearout

The Transformation Begins

In this series, I am following one of our CliqStudios kitchen designers through her remodel project, from start to finish. This post describes the phase where Tessa and Jake’s cabinets were delivered and the old ones torn out.

An important rule of kitchen remodeling: do not tear out your cabinets until the new ones are delivered, inventoried and inspected, and you have a temporary kitchen in place. It was an exciting day when Tessa took this picture and knew she and Jake were ready for the transformation to begin!

Cabinets in boxes stacked in garage

Temporary Kitchen

Tessa and Jake kept their temporary kitchen plan to a minimum—a Pizzaz pizza cooker on a small living room c table. They would also leave the sink hooked up until the last minute, and the refrigerator …

Tessa’s Remodel, Chapter Two: Design

Personalizing Their Space

In this series, I am following one of our CliqStudios kitchen designers through her remodel project, from start to finish. This post describes how Tessa created a design that is both functional and personal.

When Tessa and Jake decided to go forward with a new kitchen, they knew it would be the one and only time they would remodel that space, so it was important to get it right. Tessa has a passion for cooking and feels strongly that the kitchen is the heart of the home. It was time to for her to apply her talents to her own design.

sable birch cabinets in beverage center, refrigerator and pantry cabinets

When laying out the design, Tessa began with fundamentals—landing spaces next to the cooktop and refrigerator, a good work triangle, and carefully planned storage. She chose …

Tessa’s Remodel, Chapter 1: Jake says, “Take Your Own Advice”

The Kitchen Designer Looks at Her Own Space

In this series, I will follow one of our CliqStudios kitchen designers through her kitchen remodel, from start to finish. In the following post, Tessa and Jake discuss the scope and direction of their project.

tessa and jake standing in front of house holding a sold sign

Tessa has designed more than 10,000 kitchens since 2001. When she and her husband Jake bought an aging house, naturally a new kitchen was first on her mind. She reluctantly agreed with Jake, however, that it would have to wait a few years while they dealt with more pressing issues.

Galley kitchen with white cabinets and breakfast booth ready for remodel

kitchen tool drawer blocked from opening by intersecting drawer pullThey were in the house less than three weeks before Jake came totally on board, agreeing they needed to remodel the kitchen NOW.

Their first priority was to improve function. Idiosyncrasies of the 1960-era construction and design …


Kitchen Tips: Lighting Dark Corners

by Becky Gamble on July 14, 2014 @ 2:51pm

in Uncategorized

Kitchen Tips: Lighting Dark Corners

Search out the dark spaces in your kitchen. None, you say? How about that corner base carousel? Do you really know what has fallen behind? And does the counter-top task lighting stop short of the corner, leaving a shadow in the back? Is the glare from the counter-top lighting so irritating when you sit down that you turn it off? In new construction, remodeling, or updating of a kitchen, careful attention to task and access lighting will generally provide high value for a modest investment. Below are some suggestions.

cherry cabinets with undercabinet countertop task lighting

Dimmer switches mean dual-duty. Add a dimmer switch to your under-cabinet lights or island pendant and you have suddenly gained warm, inviting ambient lighting for dining or evening hours.

Direct counter lights toward the wall. Under-cabinet or track spots are a …

Today’s Kitchen: Lighting with Style

Is your kitchen a gathering space, a work site, or an expression of your personal style? The typical kitchen serves those purposes and possibly more. No one lighting solution will fill the bill. Instead, you need a tiered solution that can singly or in combination provide overall ambiance, light a work area, or spotlight art and fine dishware. Wire lighting for each purpose on a separate switch, add a dimmer, and illumination can be fine-tuned to any occasion.

chandelier in windowed corner of kitchen

Achieve a sense of harmony by selecting light fixtures to complement other features in the room. In the image above, pendant lights reflect the style and color of the faucet and cabinet hardware while clear globes enhance the light, bright effect of the mullion cabinets.

Elegance is in the details. Trim molding …