Fall Decorating Trends

Fall-Kitchen-0697With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, this is the perfect time to start thinking about easy changes you can make to your home décor. A little fall redecorating can make your home nice and cozy as we gear up for winter and the holidays.

Cozy Up Your Kitchen and Dining Area

Besides baking pumpkin bread and experimenting with your own version of a chai latte, your kitchen can take fall on in the décor department. There’s nothing better than a cozy, fall kitchen, filled with delicious smells and your favorite people. Many choose to serve meals directly in the kitchen, at a small table or bar, instead of the dining room. As nights get longer, perhaps the family will enjoy sitting down to eat a meal together. Use this as an excuse to bring out the fall centerpieces (come on, they have to be good for more than just one Thanksgiving dinner a year!). Swap out your disposable napkins for rust colored cloth ones. Autumn colored curtains are great for those long nights. Instead of bright summer flowers, opt for a vase filled with branches or a fall wreath.

Add Interesting Light Sources

As the nights grow longer, you’re going to need some extra light around your home. Since you’re probably going to be gathering around the fireplace more often as the days grow colder, light up vintage vases with candles to make an eye catching display on your mantle. Now is a great time of year to focus on mantel décor – from string lights in soft autumnal colors, to those glowing pumpkins at Halloween, you’ll enjoy having a little more light in your life. Don’t forget to use the natural light of the sun during the ever shortening days. Open those shutters and blinds to let the light in, or opt for sheer window coverings (especially in the kitchen), that will give you privacy and light at the same time.

Integrate Nature

Our New England habitat is one of foliage, light filtering through the trees, and beautiful fall colors throughout our dense natural places. Chances are you’ll have a bunch of striking fall leaves to use in your decorating. Make a foliage bouquet by arranging your leafy treasures by color and size, and sticking them into a rustic wooden box, wicker basket, or vase. Survey the ground for pinecones and sticks, which can be integrated into your mantel display or into a fall wreath.

Fall Accents

From luxurious, comfortable seating to autumnal artwork, a few little changes can make your home feel warmer for the fall season. Add throw blankets to your living room, pumpkins and gourds to your kitchen and outdoor areas, and some natural fall accents (see above) to your mantel.

Curate A Gallery Look

If you want to add some storage to your living room space (or any room’s space, really), you can opt for an open cabinet display. Wall-mounted storage creates boxes in which to display your favorite things – from family photos and mementos to your fall decorations. Don’t over indulge; be careful to keep your displays sparse in order to achieve a gallery look, instead of a cluttered look.

Even a busy kitchen can be quiet – with Blum Soft Close

Every home cook knows how noisy a kitchen can get amid the bustle of cooking a meal, baking, or just fixing snacks for the kids. Groceries are dropped onto the counter to free up a hand to open a cupboard and put things away. Dishes rattle as the dishwasher is unloaded. Drawers clatter closed and cabinets slam shut.

Blum® Soft Close drawers and hinges bring a bit of quiet to the kitchen. With a range of high quality Soft Close slides and hinges, Blum® has taken the clatter out of the kitchen – leaving only exceptional function, beautiful design, and a blissfully peaceful kitchen!

Soft Close drawers run smoothly even when they hold lots of weight. Mechanical and electric opening support systems allow convenient, hands-free access to kitchen storage – or the trash drawer when your hands are full!

Northwoods Manufacturing offers a range of Blum® Soft Close hardware. We invite our customers to visit the shop and try out the Soft Close drawers and doors to see (and hear) how quiet they really are – and to find the right style for your new kitchen.

Our Northwoods customers agree that Soft Close hardware helps create a fabulous kitchen atmosphere. One customer, who works nights and catches up on rest during the day, was continually awakened by the slamming of kitchen drawers and doors. Once they installed Soft Close hardware, the whole family was happier – and well rested.

At Northwoods, we joke that the only drawback to using Soft Close hardware in the kitchen is that you can’t vent your frustrations by slamming doors – or drawers!

We are so proud to carry Blum® hardware that we’re offering a free upgrade to Soft Close hardware for any customer who orders a custom kitchen from us through April 30.

Visit our Northwoods website or call 877-788-5532 to learn more.

Kitchen Design from a Chef’s Perspective

Have you ever walked into a friend’s kitchen and admired special features like double wall ovens, or a perfectly placed island with loads of convenient storage space or a kitchen energy that just feels smooth and easy?

Some of that great kitchen design may be pure good luck, but chances are much of it results from a kitchen designer who understands the flow of a superior kitchen layout. And if you can find a kitchen designer who is also a great cook, you’ll win the kitchen design lottery!

Chris Rentz of NorthWoods Manufacuring started out designing commercial office projects for Northwoods, but was soon recruited to jump into designing residential kitchens. The reason? Chris loves to cook, and he’s good at it, too! Whether he’s cooking for one or for a hungry crowd, Chris knows his way around the kitchen.

And he knows what it takes to design a great kitchen space, too!

Here’s what Chris has to say about designing kitchens from a home chef’s point of view:

I’ve cooked forever. I cooked with my dad as a kid and worked in restaurants through high school, then started dabbling in more traditional gourmet fare as an adult. I designed my own kitchen years ago, so designing kitchens for our customers is really fun.

I look at kitchen design from a cook’s point of view. When I’m designing a kitchen for a customer, I consider what I myself would look for as far as conveniences and layout. Because of my cooking experience, I have a good sense of where things should be located for the most convenience.

I really enjoy meeting with customers and finding out how they use their kitchen space, then coming up with unique design ideas to make their kitchens suit their cooking needs and personalities. I’m constantly learning new tricks to making kitchens awesome, functional, and personal for our customers.

Ready to design your perfect kitchen? Give Chris a call at Northwoods to get started!

Healthy Kitchen Choices

There’s more to planning a great kitchen than selecting appliances and designing cabinets. You strive to create healthy meals in your kitchen…and there are ways to make healthy choices in the design of your new kitchen as well.

Here are a few factors to consider for environmental health – both in your home and beyond – when it comes to your kitchen:

Wood type and origin: In a global economy, you may not know where the wood for your new kitchen cabinets originated. Check with your kitchen cabinet designer to find out. Many local cabinetry companies use hardwoods from the northeastern United States and Canada. And they should be able to tell you whether your cabinets are constructed from FSC-certified wood, too.

FSC is the Forest Stewardship Council, an independent international organization committed to fostering responsible forest management. FSC-certified wood products are harvested from sustainably managed forests with an eye to protecting water quality and old growth forests and preventing the use of hazardous chemicals. Find out more about the benefits of FSC-certified products at us.fsc.org.

Potential pollutants

Formaldehyde, which is routinely used as an additive in plywood adhesives, can pose health threats. There are alternative products available, including the use of soy-based glue in place of formaldehyde. Your cabinet maker should be able to tell you whether their products contain formaldehyde and other potential pollutants.

Certain wood finishes off gas more than others, releasing harmful vapors. Look for Low-VOC finishes to reduce the level of harmful gasses into your home. Low-VOC finishes are available in both water-based and solvent-based options, so you can select a finish that suits your taste, will look great, last well, and keep your home the safe environment you want it to be.

The staff at NorthWoods is well-versed in all things kitchen. We’re happy to discuss the options with you, and we take great pride in both our craftsmanship and our part in being good stewards of the environment – both in your home and in our local and regional forests.

Kitchen Bells & Whistles

Once the general floor plan of your new kitchen is drawn up, the designing fun kicks into high gear! Now it’s time to decide on the specific details of your kitchen – what NorthWoods Manufacturing owner Bill Rutherford calls the Kitchen Bells & Whistles.
From tip-out sink drawers and lazy Susans to features that help organize cutlery, pantries, appliances, and pots and pans, there are plenty of options to consider. The choices continue to cabinet door styles, wood finish options, and under cabinet task lighting – all little details that make a big difference in the overall look and functionality of a kitchen.

Creating a great kitchen can be pretty personal. Some people know exactly what they want before the planning begins. Others need a bit more time to consider the options. A new or remodeled kitchen is a big investment in your home, and it’s important to take the time and get the guidance you need to explore the myriad choices available and select the features that will work best for you and the kitchen you want to create.

Facing so many kitchen choices can be a bit overwhelming. Looking through home magazines or visiting websites is a great way to become familiar with the variety of alternatives and to develop ideas of how you’d like your kitchen to look and flow.

Houzz – a home design, decorating and remodeling website – is a terrific starting point. Here, visitors may peruse thousands of photographs and layout ideas, as well as get a look at the multitude of kitchen Bells & Whistles – wood type, cabinet styles, counter and backsplash materials, sinks and faucets and appliances and more. At Houzz, you can even create a personal “idea book” for your new kitchen to share with your designer.

So, go ahead – flip through home magazines, check out the great ideas at Houzz and other sites, put together ideas for your dream kitchen. Then give NorthWoods a call. Our designers will help bring your dream kitchen to life!