Apron Front Sinks- Not just for the Farm

Also known as farm house sinks, the apron front sink has changed in many ways, and it is no longer just for old-world or country style kitchens. Today’s farm house sinks are made with more durable finishes such as stainless steel, and fireclay. Both Stainless and fireclay do not have the staining or weight problems associated with porcelain glazed and enameled cast iron sinks. There are many advantages to using this style of sink- so let’s start with the obvious, they look great! In the kitchen, there are few tried and true focal points; one is the combination of sink and window. The look of an apron front sink can give you a great wow factor, so if you aren’t sure your cook top or range are giving you enough pop, this would be a great solution! Another less considered benefit is that the front of a sink cabinet is often the first place water damage will appear after wear and tear on the cabinets. Even the best finishes are subject to problems when you add wood and water, thus an apron front sink can be a great barrier. Are you doing a modern or transitional style? Not to worry, this large and deep basined sink also works well in contemporary style kitchens as you can see in the photos below. The last big advantage to this style of sink is that it’s ergonomic, putting you closer to the sink as you use it which will reduce the reach and bending. This is a big benefit for cooks with back problems, and an improvement for everyone. Apron sinks won’t have anyone fighting for cleanup duty in the kitchen, but they can add grace, charm and a few other benefits.

Floating Cabinets- Why a Floating Vanity may be Right for You!

When it comes to modern bathroom design, nothing is more eye-catching then a floating vanity. Floating cabinetry offers a modern minimalist design that will make a statement while adding some other benefits. floating vanity2 One advantage with floating vanities is that they make a great impact in a small space and can provide some opening of the space to make it feel more “airy”. The computer rendering to the right shows how an asymmetrical floating vanity can offer the additional counter space in a small bathroom without using a smaller cabinet for scale. These vanities are more than just a fashionable trend, if you are looking to put radiant floor heating in your bathroom- a traditional floor mounted cabinet will reduce the floor area and provide less heat output and a floating vanity can also make cleaning the bathroom a bit easier. Whether you want cabinetry for storage or as a statement for a vessel sink, picking a floating vanity will give your bathroom the style and function you want. We recently completed a bathroom remodel in Natick were this walnut vanity floats in a tiled alcove adding drama to the master bath without too much fuss- and that spa like feel is the soothing affect many people are looking for in the master suite. floating vanity 1-karp

Getting a Handle on Cabinet Hardware

You’ve finally chosen beautiful new cabinets to go into your home. You’ve picked the finish, the door style… there is one last detail that can make a major difference with your kitchen or bath renovation, and that is the hardware! Many people know what finish they want to use, it is the challenge of what style, size and use of the hardware. Well selected cabinet hardware is an opportunity to increase the over all design aesthetic. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. The shape and style of the hardware can change the feel of the space, turning shaker style cabinets into a traditional, transitional or contemporary environment. The hardware finish and design can help push your design to a higher level by adding value in it presence, and typically the hardware is less than 1% of the overall budget so spend a little time to get some wow factor built in.
  2. Use more than one size and sometimes use more than one design. Some areas can benefit by adding back plates to a knob to provide some bulk or accent. When a drawer and door rhythm needs help with a balanced feel, the addition of a back plate can add relief from that repetition. Large or over-sized pulls can conjure a sense of quality or purpose when added to a tall pantry cabinet. We have found that by mixing up the size and shape of the cabinet hardware, you can add to the tailored appearance and also create a better working space.
  3. Like so many things in the design world, scale or size is very important. If you have a project with various door/drawer sizes you might need to get the same hardware in a few different sizes so that knobs will not be lost on a wide drawer. There are other benefits to different sizes though, like the tall handle on a pantry cabinet, it offers the little ones in a house to reach the bottom of the hardware so they can get access to the pantry. Pulls that are large enough to drop your hand in make the design work for people with certain disabilities, or can also hold a dish towel at the top of a dishwasher panel. Most manufacturers also make matching or complimentary appliance pulls so you are not restricted to the handles available from the refrigerator you select.

Our designer team gets very excited with any new product designs because we are always looking for something unique to add to our projects. We carry Top Knobs or Schaub which offer a wide variety of ever changing styles, but there is no end to what you can find in the world of hardware. We understand that there is a knob for every person and space, whether it’s a knob on a vanity that needs some bling or oil rubbed pull in a rustic kitchen. Picking hardware for your cabinets doesn’t need to be hard task, and once the right ones are selected the results are always eye catching.




Bathroom Design Trends

A Room with a View.  Homeowners are looking for an indoor/outdoor connection in every room in their home, and the bathroom is no exception.  Natural light lends a livable homey feel, and the sun that enters the room warms the skin, the tile, the water and the air. Flow of Space.  Many of Today’s most desired bathrooms boast little distinction between where the floor ends, and where everything else begins.  The continuation of tile from floor to walls, shower, and tub lend a free flow feel, while gentle color palettes provide a spa-like ambiance. Minimalist Chic.  When it comes to bathrooms, modern and minimal is replacing over-crowded and over-decorated. Slight curves, straight lines, and symmetry create a clean refined look.  Understated faucets and fixtures lend simplicity.  Neutral materials and earth tones are subtle and soothing.  This type of space is conducive to finding peace and serenity and transcends into a timeless look. Private Chambers.  In the past, bathrooms consisted of a combination tub/shower, toilet and vanity with sink.  However, today’s baths function as a space for relaxation and retreat, and in this environment, a separate toilet compartment takes away “rough edges” and adds beauty (and privacy) to a luxurious room.  A closed off toilet chamber also allows for more comfortable sharing of bathroom space.

Text Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens magazine; Photos of Wiese Company Projects