Cabinet & Countertop Inspirations

When it's time to choose the perfect cabinets for your kitchen, one of the decisions you will have to make is whether to choose painted or stained cabinets. Maybe that decision is one you have already made, and you know exactly which you will choose.  Perhaps you are still debating which option suits you best. If so, this information will hopefully make your choice a little clearer.

First, it is important to understand that there is no right or wrong choice. Both painted and stained cabinets are excellent options and provide you with years of satisfaction. It really comes down to personal preference and what you are looking for in your kitchen.

Painted cabinets will have a smooth and uniform finish with no variations in their appearance.  Because the paint adheres to the cabinet's surface, only the color of the paint will be noticeable. In contrast, stain is much thinner than paint. This allows it to be absorbed into the wood, showcasing the wood grain and other unique features of your cabinet's particular wood species.

Paint works well on cabinets made with wood or MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). Once painted, it can actually be difficult to differentiate between the two materials. If you go with stain, keep in mind that it can only be used with natural wood cabinets.

Even in the most careful of environments, inevitable nicks and scratches occur. Touching up a stained cabinet is relatively easy thanks to the wide variety of touch-up markers available. Painted cabinets can be a little more difficult to touch-up due to the fact that the paint is generally sprayed on, not brushed. This is what gives painted cabinets their smooth appearance, but it is hard to recreate that look when trying to repair nicks or scratches with a paint brush.

The last factor to consider, and perhaps for some the most important, is the cost. Painted cabinets are typically 15% more expensive than stained cabinets, so there is an upcharge for the clean, sleek look of paint.

Making the choice between painted and stained cabinets does not have to be difficult if you know your preferences and the look you want to create. If you make your decision based on this information and your personal style, you will achieve the space you desire. 

 


 

With today's busy lifestyles, microwave ovens are an important and frequently used kitchen appliance. Microwaves come in four basic designs ... portable, microwave/hood combination, built-in, and drawer microwave. Determining the best microwave for your kitchen or remodeling project needs to balance a number of factors, including cost, convenience, usage, and aesthetics.

Portable microwaves are very common and are designed to be placed on countertops, portable carts, or on shelves in the kitchen cabinetry. A countertop microwave is typically inexpensive, requires no installation, and can be placed almost anywhere in the kitchen. On the downside, its countertop placement takes up valuable "real estate" in the kitchen, reducing space for food preparation or cleanup.

 

A microwave/hood combination is another common choice. This appliance combines the microwave and venting into a single appliance. This type of appliance is installed over the range or cooktop ... an example is pictured below. This choice is very convenient as the microwave is close to the range, the typical cooking location. By placing the appliance on the wall, it eliminates the need to dedicate countertop space, creating a larger work area. From a negative perspective, they can be difficult for shorter cooks and kids to use and require reaching over the stove, a potentially dangerous situation if the stove is in use.

 

Many remodeling projects are using a built-in microwave combined with a wall oven to create the look of double ovens (pictured below). Newer technology allows the microwave to also cook/bake like a normal oven. It just has reduced capacity. This provides the benefit of two ovens and the convenience of a microwave. From a design perspective, this solution provides a very attractive look and helps maximize counter space. This option is more expensive than the countertop or microwave/hood combination models.

 

More recently, drawer microwaves are becoming popular. This microwave is located in base cabinets, opens like a drawer and loads from the top. As a result, they can be located in numerous spots in the kitchen, making it easy to match location with how the appliance is used. Under counter placement may improve convenience and accessibility for shorter cooks. This newer technology tends to be the most expensive.

 

Our designers would be happy to help in designing your kitchen project, including selecting to best microwave for you lifestyle.  Stop in our Spiceland Indiana showroom to learn more.

 

We don’t often think about the kitchen sink in terms of anything glamorous. After all, its purpose is almost entirely utilitarian. It washes everything from dirty dishes to dirty hands. You may use your sink for basic things, but that doesn’t mean the sink itself has to be basic. Today’s kitchen sinks are created to not only look appealing but also make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. With options in accessories and sizes, your sink can have its own sense of style.

More than just a basin for piling dirty dishes, today’s sinks offer a variety of convenient options for the busy homeowner. Custom cutting boards made to fit inside the sink offer a place to prep veggies and fruit near the sink, making clean up quick and concise. 

 

 

Looking for a way to keep everything handy AND save space? Some sinks offer accessories where everything from your soap dish to your utensil holder can attach anywhere on the basin. 

 

Metal grids made for the bottom of the sink not only give produce a resting place while washing but also protect the sink from the scratches or scuffs of pots and pans. 

 

There are sinks available with a built in knife block and a cubby for larger kitchen utensils, such as spatulas. Other options include hanging racks for dish clothes and sponges as well as built in colanders.

 

 

   Besides the various accessories, the size and shape of your sink can be personalized for your kitchen needs. The more standard double bowl sink is still very popular and quite practical in some kitchens. 

 

Other kitchens are ideal for a larger deep basin sink or perhaps an apron front sink, which looks right at home in both traditional and contemporary settings. If countertop space permits, some may prefer a three-bowl, multi-depth chef sink.  Before deciding, consider the size of your kitchen as well as how you will be using your sink. A large sink might be overwhelming in a small kitchen. Also, if you primarily use a dishwasher and only wash occasional dishes, a single bowl would likely be a better choice for you as opposed to someone who hand washes most of their dishes. They would benefit better from a double bowl sink.

 

There are many decisions throughout the kitchen remodeling process, including choices regarding the kitchen sink.  Our designers can help you navigate these options to make the best decision for your home. Give us a call or stop by our Spiceland Indiana showroom.

Design Services

Spiceland Wood Products works to help you visualize the possibilities for your kitchen, bathroom, or other living space in your home.  Over the years, our clients have confirmed the value of “seeing” their kitchen or bathroom as they review the design and make finish choices.  As part of our process, we utilize cabinetry design software to generate realistic elevations of the finished space or project.  The software even has the capability to include finishing touches in the space … pendant lights, rugs, furniture, or fruit bowls on the countertop … to give a realistic picture of the final product.  Below are a few examples from recent design projects. 

Design 

Final product