Tips for Working with Your Kitchen Designer

Your kitchen designer is tasked with making your dream kitchen a reality. From managing your budget to managing your expectations, a kitchen designer has a lot on their plate—here are a few tips on how you can be a great client.

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How to Know When It’s Time to Replace Kitchen Cabinets

The New Year is just around the corner, which means many homeowners will begin planning renovations for 2018. If you’ve been thinking about replacing your kitchen cabinets, but you’re not sure whether to wait, consider the following scenarios:

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Three Things Your Kitchen Designer Needs to Get Started

So you’re ready to renovate your kitchen—now what? A good place to start is a consultation with a certified kitchen designer to help walk you through the myriad of decisions that come next. When it’s time to sit down and talk business, it’s good to come prepared with a few things to help your designer give you the best advice.  Continue reading

New Kitchen by the Holidays

If a new kitchen is on your 2017 wish list, we’re here to give you a nudge and to let you know it’s time to start planning! A typical kitchen renovation can take up to 19-20 weeks, so if you’re hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year, it’s time to act.

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Finishing Touches

Choosing the finish for your cabinets is a hugely important decision in the kitchen remodeling process. A cabinet needs to be built to last, but designed for love—the goal is to love the way your cabinets look just as much in ten years as the day they were installed.

Paint vs. Stain

Closeup of painter apply vanish to inlaid trimIt’s the ultimate question when it comes to kitchen cabinetry: do you want a painted finish, or should you let the natural beauty of the wood shine through with a stain?

If you are interested in painted cabinets, ask your designer a few questions about the kinds of paint a manufacturer uses; type of paint can affect everything from wear to water resistance. Also ask about manufacturer recommendations for paint touch-ups in the future.

Choosing stain means that wood choice is even more important. Talk to your kitchen designer about whether you want a rustic, natural look or something more clean, modern and uniform.


Glaze finishes can be applied to either painted or stained finishes, and are used to enhance color, architectural detail, or wood grain. Choosing to add a glaze finish allows you to further customize your cabinetry. Glazes are often used to create an antiqued or aged look, and sometimes are used to create a pattern like wood grain or marbling.


Worm holing is a technique used when distressing wood to achieve a vintage or worn look, by simulating the placement (at random) of small, naturally occurring wood holes, like you would expect to find in older species of wood.

High Gloss

Thought it seems counterintuitive, a high-gloss finish on a kitchen cabinet actually fights fingerprint smudges better than matte finishes—at least according to This Old House’s guide to painting kitchen cabinets. This is a particularly great option for those looking for a mix of modern and retro design in their new kitchen.


Veneers are a good option for homeowners on a budget. A veneer consists of a very thin layer of wood that is adhered atop the surface of a less-expensive wood. Many high-end brands offer veneer options, including Wood-Mode products; choose from a variety of exotic species of wood, or opt for an uber-modern stainless steel finish.

Adding your finishing options to your cabinetry vocabulary will help you navigate the world of custom kitchen design. Need a full-time tour guide? Stop in to Cabinets & Designs and speak with one of our certified kitchen designers today!