Subscribe via email

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Subscribe Now: Feed Icon

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Michigan condo stands out on it's own

Doesn't this 'before' kitchen look all too familiar?

The typical laminate cabinetry with an oak trim. While it serves it's purpose of storage it certainly doesn't say anything about the home owner.

Here is our "before" with the typical soffits (what's a soffit? It is the drywall box above the wall cabinetry)
And now, the "after"...oh yeah!

Here is what I did for this sweet client in conjunction with her talented remodeler:
  • Removed the soffits and ran taller upper cabinetry right up to the ceiling, now our client gained a foot of space in each cabinet for additional storage!
  • Used a clean door style (Hancock Maple from "Quality Cabinets") in a soft beige tone.
  • By measuring her new appliances, I was able to use every inch available for cabinetry and create her Refrigerator appear more built-in without the high cost.
  • We put in 9 new drawers for storage and organization
  • Having her floor tile run in a diagonal pattern creates a wider appearance in her kitchen
  • The dark green granite creates a rich finish and sheen

What is so wonderful about this project is, you don't have to have HUGE amounts of space to create a beautiful kitchen that has great design and function!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

A Florida kitchen re-design

Many of our 'before' pictures are in need of an intense makeover.
This Florida kitchen, is not our typical "bad" kitchen, the design layout works, and the space is large. However, the cabinetry material does not suit today's beautiful available materials.

So..along with the 1980's lawn ornament of pink flamingos, out goes this champagne washed Oak raised panel kitchen, shown below here:

Grab yourself a fresh squeezed O.J. and make yourself at home in this beautifully re-designed kitchen:

Choosing a pillowed raised panel Cherry wood door, with stain and glaze adds new warmth to this space. (featured here is "Medallion Cabinetry" Cherry Valencia in Pecan Burnish)
In addition to the new look, the design was tweaked by adding varied heights with the cabinetry and crown. We added a new large pantry space equipped with large roll outs inside, as well as a glass cabinet coming down to the counter top for additional storage as well as ease of use. With the client's selections of new paint, back splash, granite tops and wood flooring, the whole kitchen exudes a warm elegance that is sure to please for years.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oak cabinetry revival

For a Thanksgiving treat, I thought I would showcase this kitchen from "Medallion Cabinetry" due to it's lovely warm hues..and surprising wood use of Oak.

It's not your Mother's old Oak anymore, it's updated by combining two cabinetry styles:
First seen is the "Bella" slab with the grain running vertically in the soft 'Wheat' stain.
The furniture-like upper cabinetry is in the "Gable" door style in a Quartersawn Oak, in delicious dark 'Walnut.'
This kitchen embraces how today's modern kitchen isn't just cold contemporary and definitely not the overly busy patterned Oak wood of yesterday.

As I hope you enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday with your family, ask yourself...'are you thankful for your kitchen design?'
You can be...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Bath re-design on a dime

When re designing a space, you don't always have to start from zero.
In this master bath, I designed a spa-like space by keeping the walls, the tiles, the plumbing and electrical all in the exact same space. The only differences are; new cabinetry and layout of cabinetry, granite counter top with under mount sink, new faucet and new mirrors. Voila..this dollars stretches well beyond the cost, into a beautiful zen-like space.

Above, is the "BEFORE" with a short 30" height vanity, two storage drawers, laminate top with an outdated sink, and a small mirror. Blech..

Below is my simple but beautiful "AFTER" design...ahhhh...much better!

By using new cherry cabinetry from our "Medallion" line, the dark Espresso stain creates a modern look. Installing mirrors along the "L" shape wall instantly brought in more light as well as making the space seem larger, not to mention..functions much better.

Increasing the drawer space from the original design, from 2 NINE. Who doesn't need more drawer space in their bath?
Mixing a contemporary waterfall polished chrome faucet with a more traditional door, creates a transitional look. Don't be afraid to get creative with accent elements. I carried the polished chrome throughout by matching it to the cabinetry knobs, and shower head.

Placing a lighter granite on top with chocolate flecks brings in the white tile that surrounds the walls and floors, along with the new espresso cabinetry. Shocking enough, this granite piece was also a remnant piece, which means it was on SALE! Don't forget about the remnant pile, you can often get a stone slab for a fraction of the cost, and usually get more exotic patterns that aren't often as readily available.

By lifting the vanity height from 30" high, to a 36" height (kitchen height) often creates a much more comfortable height to wash your face, brush your teeth, etc., as shown in the new design.

The pillowed raised panel door design is a bit different than a traditional square raised panel. I love how soft it looks, almost as if carved from blocks of chocolate. In a bathroom and small room designs..have fun with it, get brave and creative with your choices.
All these changes were made by not TOUCHING the original tiles, walls or plumbing and looks brand new and totally updated, don't you think?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What a brand new kitchen looks like on a budget...

Election day folks!
A new president..a new and better (hopefully) economy!
Today I would like to share some 'before' and 'after' pictures of an Oak Park kitchen, done on a budget.

Yes, a brand a budget!

What you are about to see was done entirely new, from ceramic floors and back splash, new cabinetry and appliances, with granite counter tops, all installed...for $8,300.00 are the two before shots:....yikes!

And now, thanks to my client, Lyle Schaefer of Century 21-Today Inc., we redesigned the space, it now looks like this.....ahhhhhhh, welcome home:

If you are looking for a new home, have Lyle's trained eye expertise on your side:
Lyle G. Schaefer,
GRI,CRS,ABRAssociate Broker
Century-21 Today Inc.
6755 Telegraph Rd. # 200
Bloomfield Hills, Mi. 48301
Direct line 248-283-2246
Fax # 248-647-7727

Monday, October 27, 2008

A fall treat..for the eyes and the stomach

The crisp smell of Fall weather certainly is here.

I thought I would post a picture of a "Medallion" kitchen that I can practically smell the apple pie baking from to inspire everyone to start thinking, "is my kitchen ready for the holidays?"

See if you find yourself happy with your current kitchen layout..or if there is room to improve.
Designing great spaces for the everyday family is what we do!

Enjoy the picture and a great fall recipe too, below:


2-1/2 cups cooked pumpkin; homemade pureed or canned
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup apple cider
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Combine all ingredients in a heavy 4-quart saucepan. (To make homemade pureed pumpkin, wash a medium sized sugar pumpkin and slice it, removing seeds, and pith, bake at 300 F skin-side up in a roasting pan filled with 1/4 cup water for 1 hour, or until tender. Remove, cool, peel and puree the meat.)
Stirring frequently to avoid burning, bring mixture to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer until thick, 15-20 minutes. (Thickening time will be reduced if using canned pumpkin.)
Recipe yields about 2 cups of pumpkin butter; leftovers may be frozen in airtight container for up to six months.

(recipe from Traverse magazine Nov 2008)

Enjoy on some biscuits, toast or pancakes!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Design going to the dogs? I hope so!

I consider my client's home entrances, whether it be a side door, or front entrance, to be one the most important functions of their home.

It is where you welcome loved ones into your home, and kiss them goodbye with memories of a good time.

It is where the organization in the home starts, by entering in you now have a beautiful place for your purse, briefcase, shoes and other everyday necessities.

Now, for anyone who owns a dog..who wouldn't want a custom tiled in dog wash to gently clean off those muddy paws of your best friend? Wouldn't this eliminate time spent on washing your floors with the paw prints we so commonly see. This entrance comes right off the back yard.

When first walking into your home, it is essential to find a space to breathe, hang up your keys, toss your purse, kick off your shoes, hang up your coat, and set down the bags of groceries. Shown here is a custom cherry locker/bench system that I designed for my client's side entrance. Under the bench section are two large deep drawers for extra storage.

Now, not all side entrances have this much space but in this case, we utilized this room to also function as a laundry room that is pretty enough to dually function as a butler's pantry. Behind the cherry wood cabinetry is the everyday Costco goods every family needs. From extra food storage, to cleaning products, to kitchen linens, this room is a true work horse of the home.
What does your entrance do for you?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


As some of you know, we entered a few of our projects into the Detroit Home Magazine for "Design Awards 2009."

Wish us luck ..and here are a few 'teasers' taken during our 8 kitchen photo session! Thanks again to our talented photographer, Jen, we think they turned out great We won't find out how we did until December, but working with our clients to create beautiful spaces is honor enough!

Hope these images inspire ....enjoy!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Concrete Evidence

Looking for something different & unique for a counter top material?? Ever thought of using concrete? YES...I said, concrete!
A local Detroit based company, by the name of "Origins Concrete Design" will custom make a concrete top for your kitchen, bar, bath or whatever area you any color, any thickness and yes, you can integrate sinks, cutting boards, etc!
There is a lot that goes into the creation of a custom top and it is a material you should educate yourself on before deciding. Derek, from "Origins Concrete Designs" will help you better understand the care and maintenance and what to expect from these beautifully unique counter tops.
These pictures are from Derek's portfolio..enjoy, and be creative in your next project by trying new materials created by local artists & designers! Love the edge detailing here with the dot imprints!

How cool is this trough sink for your next bath project? OR used in between custom cabinetry in your kitchen..remember, this concrete can be made into any color!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Faucet..or Sculptural Art?

In today's kitchen, the sink area is often the main focus area.
Clients want the most beautiful, unique cabinetry and only the best accessories to dress it up.

Kitchen faucets for instance, are one way of creating a signature look. Whether your look reflects a cottage in Cotswold, England or an open loft in SoHo, NYC you can find it locally here at Carlson Home Luxuries.

Mike Carlson has been a friend of mine, and Midwest Cabinet, for some time now and when I refer my clients to his amazing showroom in Brighton, I know they will be 'wow-ed.'

Take a look at some of my favorite faucets that Carlson Home Luxuries offers and see if this won't inspire a gallery viewing at your next dinner party!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Homeowner: "So, I'm on a I have options?" Me: "YES!!!"

First off...KUDOS to one of our cabinetry lines "Quality Cabinets" for ranking highest in satisfaction for cabinetry brands among Builders and Remodelers. We are happy to be a dealer and design with "Quality Cabinets" products.

I believe one of the main reasons that "Quality" is a favorite among Builders, Designer, Remodelors is that we offer a great price point, but still many design options to choose from.

For instance, one Maple door can come in up to FIFTEEN (go on 'fifteen to view it all!!) different stain, stain/glaze finishes! Having so many choices for clients, make for beautiful cabinetry that is unique in every design application.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Soak your Monday Blues away.....

Monday...probably the least favorite day of the week. Especially now in Michigan, the weather is a little gray and wet outside.
However, isn't that the perfect excuse to come home, scroll your ipod to play some jazz, open up that bottle of Cabernet and slink into your amazing master bath.
What's that??? You don't have an amazing retreat of a master bath?
Well, you could have one just like this photo: custom designed using cabinetry from Midwest Cabinets.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhh................Monday's not so bad now.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008



We have a talented young photographer, Jen from JK Photography of Grand Rapids coming tomorrow (9/11) to shoot eight..yes, EIGHT kitchens tomorrow, for us at Midwest Cabinet & Counter. We are starting at 8 am in Detroit, move to Grosse Pointe, then to Huntington Woods and finishing in Commerce Township.

We hope to capture a bit of what we work on throughout the year. Some of the projects we will be photographing are modern, spacious lofts, some small but beautifully designed kitchens, others transitionally classically cool.

A BIG thank you to Jen, for helping us out with this..we look forward to viewing all the upcoming (and I know) fantastic images!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Kitchen Remodel in Royal Oak, Michigan

Shown below is a Royal Oak kitchen remodel that I designed, along with my good friends, Megan and Ryan.

Can you believe that this kitchen is only about 120 square feet?

  • Go vertical: One HUGE difference you can do is take the cabinetry up. up. up to the ceilings. No soffits! That will give your kitchen, additional space of approximately 12" in height for one cabinet...imagine all the space added up all around!!
  • Choose wisely for your space: By choosing a simple door style ("Quality Cabinets" in Hancock Cherry shown here) it lends to a more clean and contemporary feel. The space seems larger, taller and horizontally wider.
  • When opening up walls, make both spaces work: The peninsula bar area backs into their dining/family room, so by lifting the counter top height to a bar height of 42" high, it keeps the working space and the main sink hidden, along with any prepping mess.
  • Use all your walls! We had a short shallow wall when you first enter kitchen, that now is their 'bar area.' Both the upper and lower are the same depth, allowing for storage and display behind the glass showcases their stemware. Perfect for entertaining.
  • Coordinate your colors: Ryan and Megan did a beautiful job, picking colors that all work well together. Their cherry cabinetry is a warm red, along with their paint color and their natural brick which is original to the house. Stainless accents are seen throughout on their appliances, cabinetry hardware, lighting and plumbing fixtures. Granite counter tops are the perfect compliment, bringing all their colors together.

It was a pleasure working on this kitchen with close friends..and now their new daughter, Eden, will get to enjoy it too! :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Design Envy-Product Post #3

Living and designing in Royal Oak, I meet many talented designers. One being, Gretchen Kramp who is an avid artist in creating her own hand made ceramic tiles, and lives in Royal Oak. You may have already seen her work featured at Detroit Zoo and sold in many boutiques in town.

What you may not know, is her tiles are available for your kitchen, bathroom and any other room you may be thinking of remodeling. Her fun, quirky, or classic tiles are sure to please many different styles. Here are some of my favorites, ready to purchase at her online store.

If you are looking for something beautiful and unique..take a peek at her work. They look amazing in a back splash focal point, butler's pantry, powder bath..and certainly pretty enough on their own.

Support local artists in your home!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Simply put, being organized is the key to time management.

Does this sound familiar; searching through your drawers for that whisk, pulling out seven pots to get to that fry pan, knocking over your garbage can when working between your cook top and refrigerator.

For most, that is probably every night while attempting to cook a simple family meal.

As your kitchen designer, I can help find 'homes' for all your kitchenware to live..and be at your fingertips, so you stay organized enough to put Martha Stewart to shame.

Take a peek at these photos from our "Medallion Cabinetry" line for some helpful ideas and inspiration!

It's a beautiful sight...get on your white gloves, and enjoy your new kitchen!