Kitchen Designer Tessa’s Remodel

In this series, I am following 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.

Episode One: Husband Jake says, “Take your own advice”

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.

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

They 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 …


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.

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 …

Personalize Your Kitchen for a Soft and Inviting Space

In the kitchen pictured below, white painted Shaker cabinets, matching refrigerator panels, and bar pull hardware establish a clean, crisp style. The upper tier of glass-door cabinets with mullion frames displays a collection of bright, rustic pottery. Open bookshelves, fanciful pendant lights and wicker stools soften and invite. Far from boring, sterile or cluttered, the beautifully decorated space says much about the owner and achieves the balance that is a trademark of transitional design.
white kitchen with glass door display cabinets
From the art-glass rooster to the teapot, touches of red ring the neutral-colored kitchen pictured below. Wide pine floorboards and an apron sink enhance the overall effect— a trip back in time to the traditional country kitchen. Yet the chef’s stove and hood make it clear this is a serious workspace for the modern chef. You …


See Our HGTV Ad

by Becky Gamble on June 12, 2014 @ 3:43pm

in Uncategorized

See Our HGTV Ad

Video script:

There’s a new way to shop for kitchen cabinets, called You’ll get factory-direct savings, up to 55% less than home store prices, with designer features, all-plywood construction, even soft-close, dovetail drawers. Plus, take the CliqStudios Challenge to compare any competitor quote, and see the quality you can get for thousands less. Only at That’s Cliq with a Q,, The Designer Kitchen You Buy Online.…

Transitional Style: Yours, Truly!

Are you looking for a kitchen design that is fresh and unique, but has a comfortable, familiar feel? It sounds like you are a candidate for transitional style. This hard-to-define concept inhabits a vast space between traditional and contemporary, and offers a perfect canvas for your personal statement.

Perhaps your style is clean and simple, bordering on contemporary. But you want a place for Great-Grandma’s flowered china cocoa pot. Establish the tone of the room with Shaker cabinets in a painted finish. Then modify one or two cabinets to display heirlooms and art through clear glass doors. Voila! A transitional space that, with one foot in each century, tells worlds about you and what you care about.


Design by Karla Reck

In the kitchen pictured above, the farmhouse sink, a …

CliqStudios Featured on HGTV BathCrashers was pleased to collaborate with Bath Crashers on a luxury remodel project. In this popular DIY network show, a crew led by licensed contractor Matt Muenster ambushes unsuspecting homeowners in the aisle of a home-improvement store, and before they know it, their home is graced with a completely transformed bath, replete with luxury features.

A full bath remodel involves electrical, plumbing, cabinetry, tile, paint, and finishing. Coordinating contractors, deliveries, and permits so a project can be completed in a short time is an amazing achievement. Everything has to fall into place perfectly.

Luxury bath-closet combo with dark birch Shaker cabinets and floating vanity

CliqStudios contributed semi-custom cabinets in Dayton Birch Sable for the bath-closet combo. Fitting the space with cabinetry involved some interesting challenges. With a few modifications and collaboration between our team and the installer, we were able to …

How to Prepare for a Kitchen Designer Session

One of most important steps in planning a kitchen remodel is to consult with a professional designer—as early in the process as possible. Whether the service is free (as at CliqStudios) or you are paying by the hour, a little preparation will help you get the most from your time together. We suggest you have the following at hand when you have your first design session:

Measurements of your kitchen. You can start the design process with rough dimensions of your space, but early in the process, you will want to provide precise measurements. Our Measuring Guide includes a video and step-by-step downloadable instructions. And our design team is always available to answer any questions.sketch of kitchen floor plan with measurements

Pictures of your current space. Your designer, never having used your current space, will …


Classic Style with a Personal Touch

by Becky Gamble on May 8, 2014 @ 3:27pm

in Uncategorized

Classic Style with a Personal Touch

Design by Jilda Mastrey
Sometimes it is the little touches in a kitchen that pull everything together, personalizing the space and creating the right sense of balance and polish. The two-toned kitchen above, with classic Shaker cabinets in white and gray, is an excellent example. My client, Lynn, sent me the dimensions and appliances, and the final kitchen, with relatively few changes, reflects my initial design.

gray and white kitchen with shaker cupboards and marble backsplash

The gourmet cook stove deserved a dedicated range hood with the appropriate capacity, so the microwave tucked under the peninsula. The cooking station became the primary focal point in the room. Glass-door cabinets frame the cook station and bookend the room.

From the inside corner (seen more easily on the rendering below than in the photo) to the left and right of the cooking …

Will My Painted Cabinets Stand the Test of Time?

Kitchen designed by Kara Lepley, built by Todd Zitzkat from Simone Development.

Painted kitchen cabinets, often in white or linen, create a light, bright space, and provide excellent opportunities for creative decor. Yet, our designers are often asked, will the painted finish on my cabinets hold up?

white painted kitchen cabinets

The answer is, “yes.” Your painted finish should hold up well to normal use. Our materials, our process, and testing conducted by KCMA all assure you the finish meets high standards of durability. With basic care and maintenance, your cabinetry will be beautiful for many years to come.

Start with the Right Materials

Our painted face frames, drawer fronts, and door frames are constructed of solid hardwood. To prevent cracking and shrinking due to temperature changes and humidity, we craft inset door panels …