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Kitchen Cabinets

Your kitchen is not about the color of your cabinets, or the latest gadget.  Your kitchen is about you, your family, and your life.  A kitchen becomes truly luxurious when it's designed for you and the way you live.

Before beginning to plan your kitchen, we recommend giving some thought to these questions.  Your answers might surprise you and lead you in some unexpected directions.

What mood do you want to set?  Do you prefer the serenity of a modern, sleek kitchen, or the happy, cozy clutter of a more traditional kitchen?  How you answer this question will determine which path you take at this important design crossroad.  For instance, if you prefer a clean modern line, you might want to choose a more pared down, sleek looking cabinet, and invest in extensive interior storage solutions so you can keep the clutter off of your countertops.  If you prefer a more traditional look, you may want to choose more decorative details like corbel brackets, mantle hoods, mouldings, or glass doors.  You may want to design your kitchen with more open display space too.

How much activity do you really want in your kitchen?  These days, nearly everyone wants an open floor plan, with the kitchen as the heart of the home.  But sometimes the open plan can seem "too open" once executed.  So ask yourself this...when you cook, do you want to have the whole family cook with you?  You might want to design your kitchen with enough counter space so two "teams" can work at once.  You may even want to consider a prep sink.  If you're the type of person who wants to cook, but have others out of your way and watching, then you might want to consider an island with your cooktop on one level and have seats and countertop for your family and guests at a higher level.

Do you like to cook and entertain, or entertain without cooking?  If you love to cook and have cabinets bulging with spices, special pots and pans, and collections of dinnerware, then investing in extra cabinetry makes sense.  You should look at options such as a butler's pantry, super pantries, and lots of upper cabinetry for storing glassware.  Many people report that they prefer to buy foods from a special store or deli or take certain shortcuts when they entertain.  If this describes you, then you may want to eliminate some upper cabinets, and invest in organization for your lower cabinets, putting most of your items there.

Be honest--are you a good housekeeper?  Do you leave crumbs on the counter and dishes in the sink, or are you a neat freak?  How you answer should affect the materials you choose.  If you are naturally neat, then you can choose any material with confidence.  But if you're not, then you may want to avoid tile floors with hard-to-clean grout, stainless steel appliances that show fingerprints, and light painted cabinets that show every little scratch and drip.  Instead, choose a laminate or hardwood floor, wood or dark-painted cabinets, and stainless steel alternatives that don't show fingerprints.

What are your favorite things to do in the kitchen?  Do you love to linger over the morning paper with your coffee?  Then an investment in a built-in coffeemaker and special cabinet for your mugs and coffees makes sense.  Do you love to bake?  Then a lowered countertop just for kneading, outfitted underneath with special drawers for your baking pans and cookie cutters would be well worth the effort.  Do your kids do their homework while you are making dinner?  Then a special homework perch with a raised counter might be the answer, with special drawers or cubbies for storing their supplies.  Cabinets today are so specialized, you can create your very own activity zones.

Kitchen Countertops

There are many choices for countertops in today's kitchens with the most popular choices being laminate, solid surface, quartz, and granite.  There are pros and cons to each material.  

The most economical choice is still the laminate countertop.  Gone are the days of the old butcher block pattern.  With hundreds of different patterns, textures, and finishes, it is also the most popular.  We are proud to carry the Wilsonart, Formica, and Pionite brands of laminate.  Once you have chosen the perfect color and finish, you will need to choose the front edge style, and whether or not you would like to have a backsplash.  Hate cleaning around the rim of your drop-in sink?  Now you even have the option do an undermount sink with your laminate countertop!

Another alternative is the solid surface countertop, and your imagination is your only limitation.  These tops are custom made for your cabinets after a template is made by the fabricator, and can be made in almost any shape.  They are smooth and sleek, and seams virtually disappear.  Sinks can be completely integrated and are available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.  Because the material is solid, it also becomes a renewable countertop if it becomes scratched or damaged by heat.  There are several different materials used to fabricate solid surface: 100% acrylic, 100% polyester, and a blend of the two.  The brands offered by Cabinet Concepts are Corian and Staron solid surfacing. 

Quartz and granite countertops are some of the most beautiful and luxurious surfaces available, and typically the most expensive.  People often ask what the difference is between quartz and granite.  

Granite is a product of nature and has a unique beauty that cannot be matched in manufactured countertops.  Granite is quarried from all over the world, and no two slabs are alike.  It is also porous, which means that it needs to be sealed periodically.  

Quartz countertops are an engineered stone.  Because of the manufactured quality, it is nonporous and does not need to be sealed like granite, and is considered maintenance free.  Over the years, quartz has come a long way in the colors and patterns it has to offer, and some think that it even rivals granite.  Quartz also comes with a limited warranty.  Cabinet Concepts is a dealer for Cambria, HanStone, Viatera, Silestone, Caesarstone, and Corian Quartz.

All stones can be damaged by force and no stone is chip-proof.  Objects hitting the countertop edge or around the rim of the sink could cause chip.  Stone countertops are not heat resistant, and can be damaged by sudden and/or rapid change of temperature, especially near the edges.  The use of a hot pad or trivet is always recommended.  When cleaning either surface, normal cleaning should be done with a washcloth and water, and if necessary, mild dishwashing soap.  Most general purpose cleaners have chemicals in them that can break down sealers and the stone over time. 

Kitchen Hardware & Accessories

Hardware is considered to be the jewelry of the cabinet--the finishing touch.  It can be minimalist and blend in, or it can be a showpiece all its own.  There are hundreds of styles to choose from.  We proudly carry Jeffrey Alexander, Hafele, Siro, Amerock, and Belwith-Keeler brands of hardware.