Nov05

How to Clean Painted Cabinets

by Becky Gamble on November 5, 2014 @ 10:22am

in Uncategorized

How to Clean Painted Cabinets

When Bad Things Happen to Good Cabinets

Grease spatters from cooking. A stray crayon mark. Chocolate chip cookies. As a high-activity zone, your kitchen faces some stiff challenges. Factor-finished painted cabinets can provide many years of beauty. However, in the face of food spills, fingerprints and household grime, some maintenance will be necessary to preserve that bright new finish. Here are some tips on how to clean painted cabinets with a minimum of fuss.

kitchen with white cabinets along the walls and green painted cabinets in the island
Design by

Regular maintenance: Weekly, simply dust cabinets with a soft damp cloth (a microfiber rag is great) and dry with a soft towel. Avoid using a dripping wet cloth, which could result in moisture getting trapped in corners. Do not use polishes, oils or wax.

Daily care: The key is to wipe up spills when …

A Modern Kitchen for a 100-Year-Old Brownstone

A Classic Brownstone Presents Interesting Challenges for Designer AJ

In a wood frame house, a remodeler has almost no boundaries. Windows and doors can be moved, and plumbing and wiring redirected through new or existing walls. Not so a classic brownstone. That is built to last—exactly as originally constructed. So creating a modern kitchen for a 100-year-old Hoboken, New Jersey, townhouse presented designer AJ Johnson and architect Rob Hegedus with some distinct challenges.

kitchen in brownstone row house viewed from dining room
Design by AJ Johnson

As you can see in the photo above, the ceiling in the adjacent dining room is finished with ornate crown molding. Matching trim would have had to be custom milled or crafted in plaster. The remodel budget was tight, and so those options were not on the table. AJ was pleased that CliqStudios …

Wide Open Kitchen: Design for Entertaining

Now is the Time to Define Your Style as a Host

Whether it means having two or three friends in for wine and cheese, or preparing a full holiday dinner for 20, entertaining puts you—and your kitchen—on stage. If you are planning a remodel, the entertainment season is an excellent time to define your style and design for entertaining.

large open kitchen with peninsula, island, bar and look-through wall to living area
Design by Sammi Lindemann

The Open Kitchen: An Entertaining Natural

An open kitchen design is the most popular solution for today’s casual, inclusive hosts. The kitchen pictured above is a perfect example, with work island, beverage center and breakfast bar, open on three sides to the dining and living room. It handles a few or a crowd with aplomb.

If your current kitchen is fully or partially enclosed, consider eliminating one …

Use Stock Cabinets to Build a Buffet, Hutch or Dry Bar

Are You Searching for the Perfect Piece for the Dining or Family Room?

Skip the furniture stores. There is an economical alternative that will be a perfect fit and complement your home’s style. Start with stock cabinets. Use modifications, decorative features and a unique design to create a piece that will fit in your space and blend gracefully into your decor.

Since you won’t be working with fully custom cabinets, the design will be a bit like assembling a jigsaw puzzle. In order to explore all possibilities, work with a kitchen designer who has extensive knowledge of available inventory and possible modifications. By using semi-custom cabinets (stock cabinets with modifications offered), you will avoid the cost of custom cabinetry while getting exactly the features you want.

computer-generated rendering of cabinets used to create a buffet wall and entry locker zone
Design by AJ Johnson…

Oct22

Top 5 Features Kitchen Designers Recommend

by Becky Gamble on October 22, 2014 @ 2:44pm

in Uncategorized

Top 5 Features Kitchen Designers Recommend

white glass-door cabinets flank custom wood range hood all finished with crown molding and light rail trim

The difference between “nice kitchen” and “Wow!”

We asked our designers what they use to create that special look and feel. They agree, the answer is often found in special features and modifications, extra touches that dress up standard cabinets.Here are their top five recommendations:

cherry cabinets with mullion doors (glass-front doors)

Mullion doors

Shipped ready for glass inserts, mullion doors are a classic style that dresses up any kitchen. They can be fitted with a wide range of glass styles, and typically are lit from within.

With or without mullion bars, a section of glass door cabinets serves both as a focal point and display case.

top of maple cabinets trimmed with deep crown molding

Crown molding

Available in styles to complement any design, crown molding creates an elegant effect across the upper line of cabinetry. Observe the carefully mitered corners. Installation is a …

Design a Kitchen for the Long Term

maple cabinets with glass front doors above raised dishwasher

Simple features to make your kitchen safer and more efficient for everyone

If you plan on being in your home for some time, a carefully designed kitchen will help not only as you age, but when life challenges you with a back injury, broken leg or other limitation. Our designers have a host of strategies to make kitchens safer, more accessible and more efficient for every member of your household. Below are just a few examples.

Vary counter heights

Because we are all different. Tall or short, you deserve a correctly positioned workspace to prevent back strain and make your work easier. A blank space under one section of counter will let you work comfortably from a kitchen stool.

Raise the dishwasher

It can be that simple. By including a …

Creating a Fireplace Room Library with Cabinets

fireplace with ceiling height stone facing framed by white shaker display cabinets with glass doors
Design by Sammi Lindemann

The Sweeny family’s favorite spot is their “fireplace room,” a haven from Michigan’s cold autumn winds.

There Alecia, Rick, Owen and Sidney curl up to read a book, watch TV and do homework. Alecia and Rick planned to combine the room with another to make a more functional space. In addition to updating and extending the space, the remodel was a perfect opportunity to add much needed storage to the 1960s home.

Alecia did, in her words, “a ton of research,” before choosing CliqStudios for her cabinets. She found the design service an unexpected and high-value bonus. Working with Sammi Lindemann, she developed the beautiful design you see pictured to the left.

The brick on the fireplace, central feature in the updated space, had been painted …

Create a Locker Zone for Your Family

Trap coats, boots and backpacks at the point of entry

Jacket on the chair back, shoes in the middle of the entry room, backpack on the kitchen counter—it’s amazing how much house one family member can populate in the first minute home. Automate organization and eliminate clutter by creating a locker zone in your family entry.

What is the primary entrance path for your family members? A mudroom, laundry room, even a hallway to the garage may have unexploited potential for storage. Talk to your designer about ways to transform it into a natural landing place for incoming gear.

mud room with boot bench, cabinets, shelves and coat hooks finished with beadboard panels
Design by Nikki Schnitzler

A shoe bench is a natural invitation to stop, shed footwear and stash it. Cubbies, cabinets or shelves will provide storage for purses and backpacks. A drawer …

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

Creating Elegance

The cabinets above feature glass doors …

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 …