To Frame or Not To Frame…and other kitchen questions

There are lots of questions involved in designing a new kitchen – what type of wood and finish to use, standard or custom-made cabinets, which appliances to choose. The list goes on. One big choice is whether to opt for face frame or frameless cabinets. For many kitchen designers, the choice is clear:
Frameless cabinets are the best option.

Before we go into the benefits of frameless kitchen cabinets, we’ll offer a few words of explanation. Face frame cabinets are commonly used in stock cabinets. Vertical stiles and horizontal rails surround the cabinet box, and the cabinet doors rest on the surface of the frame. In frameless construction, doors attach directly to the sides of the cabinet box. Cabinet makers – and their customers – are increasingly discovering the many benefits of frameless kitchen cabinets:

  • Sleek look of full overlay cabinet doors
  • Elimination of the center post (typically 2-3 inches wide) at the front of the cabinet, allowing easier access to what’s in your cupboard
  • Kitchen drawers are wider and taller when there is no frame to interfere
  • Frameless cabinetry is more economical (and reduces the environmental footprint on our forests), requiring 30 to 40 fewer board feet of wood than face frame cabinetry

To sum it all up, frameless construction will look fabulous, provide increased storage in both cabinet and drawer space, allow easier access, and SAVE you money!

To complement your fantastic frameless cabinets, you’ll want to be sure to select high quality hinges and drawer slides. Soft-close hardware is a preferred choice for many kitchen shoppers, ensuring drawers and cabinets close gently and eliminating the dreaded slamming doors! High-functioning hinges and slides that provide peace of mind AND peace and quiet? Sounds great to us.

For these and your other kitchen questions, call or visit NorthWoods. We’d love to talk shop with you!

Custom Quality

When it comes to creating a kitchen that combines good looks and great function, quality is key. From wood type and hinges to cabinet design and eco-friendly choices, high-quality components will make a big difference in the look, function, comfort, and longevity of your kitchen.

One of the first considerations when building a new kitchen is whether to go with Custom Cabinets or standard stock cabinets. While it may be tempting to walk into a big store and choose cabinets from the display aisles, custom cabinetry will save both time and money in the long run – and look great right from the get go.

One huge benefit of custom-made cabinets is that they’re designed to fit the space, rather than forcing your kitchen area to accommodate the cabinets available. Cabinets designed and built specifically for your kitchen will mean fewer fillers and more usable space for storage, cooking, and enjoying your kitchen.

Today, many custom cabinetry outfits use Computer Numerical Control (CNC) machinery, which puts an even higher level of precision into a custom job, ensuring that each cabinet, door, and drawer fits exactly the way it should. CNC technology also allows cabinet makers to use highly precise joinery methods not otherwise available, which makes for stronger, more durable cabinets.

To see NorthWoods Manufacturing’s CNC machine at work, check out this video. At NorthWoods, we take pride in the exceptional quality of our kitchen design, assembly, and installation. Give us a call – we’d love to show you around our shop and talk kitchen quality!

(And stay tuned here for more Quality Kitchen Tips…)

Let’s get this kitchen started!

Dreaming of a new kitchen, but not sure where to begin? In the modern home, the kitchen is often the most important room – a place where families cook, friends gather, and the news of the day is shared around a meal or a cup of coffee.

Remodeling or updating a kitchen may seem overwhelming, but taken in a step-by-step process, your kitchen project will progress smoothly from dream to done.

The first thing to consider as you begin on a kitchen remodel is the scope of the project. Will you be expanding your existing space or simply reworking it? How much will you be replacing – floors, cabinets, appliances? Is the lighting adequate, or will it need to be updated? Are there enough electrical outlets already in place, or will you need to add or relocate some of them? Do you want to – or need to – update wiring, plumbing, windows, or insulation while you’re remodeling the kitchen

Other details to consider during the initial planning phase are fridge size, oven and range preference, and other specific appliance specifications.

A good contractor can help walk you through these questions and determine the best way to address each one. At NorthWoods, we like to get involved in the kitchen remodeling process as early as possible, and we generally meet with clients and their contractors during this brainstorming phase to find out what they like (or don’t like) about their current kitchen, what kind of cooking and entertaining they do, and the space we’re working with to create a new kitchen.

Working closely with your contractor and kitchen designer and developing a good floor plan will allow you to build your new kitchen on a foundation of solid ideas…a good first step to getting your new kitchen started!


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!