Search Results for 'Amy Mood'

Evaluate Your Current Kitchen – Amy Mood

Amy Mood, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

You’ve been thinking for quite a while that you’d like to remodel your kitchen. Watching home remodeling shows and searching the internet for information has become your favorite pastime. You’re dreaming of a particular new cabinetry style and new countertops. Whether you select a stained wood or painted cabinet, granite or quartz countertop, there is a bigger picture to be considered first.

Woman imagining new kitchen design

For a successful renovation, it’s essential that you evaluate your current kitchen. Remodeling a kitchen isn’t just about making it pretty. What looks good on television, in a magazine, or online is mostly about the “look” of the materials, and sometimes about the work flow. All of this is intended to inspire you to make changes. But you need to focus on how you use the working areas and storage in your own home. What do you like, or not like about the current amount of counter space, storage space, and traffic flow?

Stop and think about what problem needs a solution. What in your current layout drives you crazy, or makes daily tasks feel like a big chore? What is in the current kitchen that simply gets in your way? Whether it’s small appliances that you only use occasionally or everyday clutter, there can be solutions built into the new cabinetry. Kitchen designers know about all the latest cabinetry features that are available.

Schrock Pantry Storage Cabinets

What items need to be stored for daily use (plates, glasses, plastic containers, pots & pans), seasonal use (picnic basket, cooler and BBQ accessories), or occasional use (small appliances, punch bowl and holiday dishes) etc. Taking this inventory makes you aware of when and how you use these items. You may discover that you can give away items you no longer need.

What can you absolutely not live without? Whether that’s a gas stove or an island, making this list will be vital to the design of the new kitchen. What daily tasks need special features in the new kitchen design — cooking, baking, clean-up, entertaining, homework, bill paying, etc.

Who uses the kitchen — adults, children, handicapped or elderly people? You may have heard of universal design, but thought it was only for people with physical handicaps. Actually, universal design includes features that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy every day.

Do you have pets? On the Kitchen Views website you’ll find a section dedicated to pet-friendly kitchen design. []

If all of this seems like a lot to think about, remind yourself that paying attention to all of these details now will result in a new kitchen that makes your life easier for years to come. You don’t have to come up with the solution by yourself. Describe the problem to an experienced designer and they will provide you with a solution, or options.

Take “before” photos – you’ll be amazed when you look back at them later.

Amy Mood, AKBD
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: 508-339-8020

Modern Updates with Brass Hardware – Amy Mood



When it comes to kitchen cabinets, white and gray continue to reign supreme. However, hardware and accessories are starting to see a shift towards warm metal tones such as brass or gold. We may have thought this trend was left behind in the 80s but the styles that we are seeing now are far different from your grandmother’s brass. In current styles with clean edges and modern shapes, these warm tones are bringing timeless style to modern design.

Continue reading ‘Modern Updates with Brass Hardware – Amy Mood’

Universal Design – Amy Mood

Universal design is not just about handicapped access. It’s about design that removes barriers and makes access easier for everyone, from children to grandparents and better flow for every adult. Simple designs that incorporate universal design can be elegant as well as functional. Thus, it is important for kitchen designers to understand the concept of universal design when it comes to one of the most important rooms in the home, the kitchen. Our Mansfield, MA designer Amy Mood recently took a course to become a certified Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and shares her experiences in a short blog post below.

Amy Mood, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

“Universal Design”
by Amy Mood, AKBD

I recently completed a course offered by the National Association of Home Builders to become CAPS certified, which stands for Certified Aging in Place Specialist.  The course was fascinating and has really raised my awareness for products intended to make spaces accessible to all, whether aging in place or limited in some other capacity.

Of course, any good kitchen design starts with cabinetry and I have found Kraftmaid Cabinetry’s “Passport Series” one of the best in terms of the type of cabinets offered as well as available door styles and finishes that are standard to their line.  All of the Passport Series’ base cabinets include roll-outs, pullouts or drawers and some other nice features include a base tambour cabinet and even a pull-out table unit.

For more information, you can visit Kraftmaid’s website on Universal Design or your nearest Kitchen Views showroom to see styles and finishes first hand or to speak with a kitchen designer.

Amy Mood, AKBD
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: 508-339-8020

Painted Cabinets or Stained Cabinets: Pros and Cons – Amy Mood

Amy Mood, AKBD, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

Can’t decide whether to go with a painted cabinet or one with a stained finish?  This is a question that many of our customers go back and forth with when deciding on the details of their new kitchen.

Most of the pictures that we see in current design magazines or on home improvement programs show beautiful kitchens in varying shades of whites that create light, bright, open spaces.  Who wouldn’t want that, right?  While they look great in print, they may not be the most practical choice for everyone.

Before deciding, here are a few things to consider…

Does the added expense of a painted cabinet work with your budget?
Bear in mind that painted finishes are considered a premium and come with an upcharge, typically 10 or 15 percent more than a traditional stained finish.

How much maintenance are you willing to devote to your cabinets?
A painted finish will require some extra care over a stained cabinet and will show every day smudges and dirt more easily than a wood tone will.  Also, like any painted surface, no matter how good the finishing process is, it is possible to develop a chip here and there if struck by a hard object.  I would recommend purchasing an extra touch up kit from your cabinet manufacturer for any future needs.

Will the seasonal changes to a painted door bother you?
All wood expands and contracts with the seasons, especially here in New England, and cabinets are no exception.  In the winter you can expect for the joints on your cabinet doors to become more evident as humidity levels drop and the air is drier, particularly if you have a wood burning stove.  This will be more noticeable on a painted door over a stained door.  You may even see small fractures in the paint finish where the joints are and this is considered a characteristic of the paint finish and not a defect.  Some manufacturers use more stable materials (i.e. MDF) as the center panel of their doors in lieu of solid wood to lessen this effect. (For more on the effect of seasonal changes on cabinets, see Bob Russo’s post, Cabinets and the Winter Time.)

Stained Cabinets with Light Walls and Countertop

An example of stained cabinets in a kitchen with light walls, floor, and countertop, which helps give a light and airy feel to the space.

Not sure you want to make the leap to a painted cabinet? There are options to consider.  You can still achieve a light and airy feeling in your space with a stained wood cabinet by keeping your counter top, floor and wall and lighting selections on the lighter side.  There are also many choices in thermofoil and decorative veneer laminates to consider.

Samples are available to view at your nearest Kitchen Views showroom along with some expert advice to help you sort it all out.

Amy Mood, AKBD
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: 508-339-8020

Great Testimonial for Designer Amy Mood!

Amy Mood, Kitchen Views at National Lumber, Mansfield, MA

Amy Mood, Kitchen Views at National Lumber, Mansfield, MA

We would like to share this customer testimonial that we just received for kitchen designer Amy Mood from a homeowner in Mansfield, MA:

“I just want to let you know that we started working with Amy in September regarding remodeling our kitchen and she was terrific from day one to just last week when this project was finally done.

She was helpful during the selection of the cabinets and countertops. And we had been to another place in Plymouth prior that was just horrendous. It was a breath of fresh air to work with Amy. She was helpful and friendly all the time. She responded to all calls and emails promptly and understood the stress we were going through with this project.

I work in the service industry and know that people tend to just write letters when they have complaints and not when they are happy. I wanted to make sure someone knew how great she was at her job and how happy we were to be able to work with her. We would recommend her to anyone! Thanks for your time!”

5 Tips for a Kid-Friendly Kitchen from Amy Mood

Kitchen with plenty of seating space

This kitchen designed by Amy Mood was planned with kid-friendliness in mind, and with functionality to grow with the family.

Kitchen Views designer Amy Mood says there are a few things that can make a kitchen child-friendly:

  1. For little kids the height of the seating area is key. Don’t leave them out of the action with tall stools they can’t easily climb up.
  2. Countertop corners should be rounded to prevent injuries during collisions. At particular ages, a sharp corner on a counter is right at eye level.
  3. Built-in step stools can be concealed under cabinets, but they’ll be put to such good use (as playsink or stove, drawing surface, etc.) that you’ll rarely find them concealed.
  4. Safety latches are getting more attractive all the time. The latest use magnets with special keys that need only be waved in front of hidden locks to release them.
  5. The new induction cooktops that heat only magnetic pots and pans but otherwise do not produce heat are probably the best solution to the age-old challenge of keeping children from attempting to imitate Julia Child without supervision. They’ve been popular in Europe for years but are only just catching on in the United States.

While tailoring a kitchen to children can make sense at times, there’s something important to remember: Kids are going to get bigger really fast.

Granite vs. Quartz Countertops: Amy Mood

Amy Mood, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

Granite vs. Quartz… What’s the Difference?
by Amy Mood, AKBD

Two examples of Granite countertops

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this question… well, I’d probably still be designing kitchens… But my answer has actually changed over the years, especially recently. It used to be that if you wanted a beautiful one of a kind countertop with variation and movement, that natural granite was the right choice for you — as long as you didn’t mind the maintenance associated with it. For those who did not want to add to their “To Do” list and have to think about sealing their countertop periodically, then a Quartz countertop would be the likely choice; the tradeoff being that the patterns were very uniform in appearance because it is a man-made product.

Six samples of Cambria's latest colors

Six samples of Cambria’s latest colors

Well, the new evolution of Quartz countertops is actually offering consumers the best of both worlds: beautiful, super-durable countertops that most would be hard pressed to tell apart from a natural material. Plus, they need little more maintenance than soap and water cleanup. In fact, I recommend that you view some of these Quartz slabs much like you would with a Granite slab, because of the variation.

Some of my favorites are by Cambria, and Silestone has just released some great options, as well. Some of their countertops actually have the feel of Carrara Marble, which many would like to utilize in a kitchen, but are fearful of damaging. You can view these products through the Countertops section on the Kitchen Views website with links to the manufacturers’ websites, or better yet see them in person at your nearest Kitchen Views showroom.

Amy Mood, AKBD
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: 508-339-8020

Amy Mood: The First Ever Kitchen Power Grommet

Mockett Kitchen Power Grommet

Mockett Kitchen Power Grommet

“The First Ever Kitchen Power Grommet” by Amy Mood

Here’s something to keep in mind when designing an island into your kitchen.  All islands need to have a power source built in to them in order to safely plug in any small appliance that you may want to use there.  Typically the problem, especially on a single level island, is where to locate it inconspicuously, but in a spot that will be functional.  No one really wants to cut in to a decorative cabinet side or to have an outlet be a “focal point”.

One great solution is a pop up power grommet.  They are designed for kitchens or any place that liquids could spill.  There is a clear rubber ring around the top that forms a seal when the unit is closed, preventing water and other liquids from getting in.  To use it, you simply pull up on it to lock it in place and push a button on the bottom and push it back down when you are done.

What a great solution to one of those “little details” make the difference in a kitchen design!

Amy Mood, AKBD
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: 508-339-8020

Kitchen Design Doesn’t Have to Be Black and White


The striking blue wall color in this photo adds vibrancy to this kitchen with traditional white cabinetry and black countertops. Remodeling your kitchen is one of the best times to put a splash of color into your home. Painting the wall another color is a fairly easy, inexpensive way to change the ambience of your home.

White kitchen cabinets have been extremely popular for many years. On the flip side, black cabinets, when paired with lighter countertops and other colors as accents, are also growing in popularity. But, of course, kitchen design doesn’t have to be black and white. There are so many color options available. The trick is to not overpower the space with too much color coming from foundational elements. But since black goes with everything, you may actually find that you have a different range of color choices that you may not have considered with white, neutral cream or gray cabinetry or countertop.

Usually, monochrome kitchens focus their color palettes on white, grays, and black, then include accents of color in their backsplashes, countertops, flooring, and accessories. By having a contrasting color for cabinets in the island, for example, you can add depth to the visual design of your kitchen. If your kitchen is too white, it can look washed out and some of the details of the cabinetry can be overlooked. But if you select an unusual custom color cabinetry and end up not being happy with it later, that will be expensive to change. However, if you splurge with paint to accent your cabinetry, you can always repaint it later.


North Kingstown, RI Kitchen Designed by Lisa Zompa. Image © Kitchen Views

Darkly stained wood cabinets are another popular option when you don’t want your kitchen to look whitewashed. Keep in mind that the overall visual effect will be dramatically different depending on your choice of countertops and/or backsplashes.

Here are two examples of how different it looks when you choose either dark or light countertops with dark cabinets.


Black hutch designed by Lisa Zompa. Image © Kitchen Views



Media Kitchen designed by Lisa Zompa. Image © Kitchen Views

If you really want to make a strong statement, black countertops and/or backsplashes are a great complement to lighter colored cabinets. Black is bold, especially when set against plain white, off-whites, silvers, or grays.



New kitchen designed by Amy Mood. Image © Kitchen Views

Whatever you decide to do, there are a range of color palette options available. You want to keep in mind the style of your home and the neighborhood you are in. While having a stunning kitchen is cool, if it doesn’t fit the rest of your home, that will hurt your home’s potential resale value. However, if you don’t care about reselling your home, you can go wild with it. Consult your friendly local kitchen designer to discuss the colors you have in mind.

Kitchen Views

Bathrooms: 2 Sinks, or not 2 Sinks? That is the Question.

Schrock cabinetry master bath with double-sinks

Schrock cabinetry master bath with double-sinks. Also, note that a wine rack is re-purposed for towels. Picture courtesy of Schrock.

The most common request we get for bathrooms is a double-sink vanity. Unfortunately, in a lot of bath spaces, there just isn’t enough room. Kitchen Views has done double-sink vanities as small as 48” wide. The problem with 2 sinks in anything under 60” wide is there are no drawers whatsoever. The only storage ends up under the sinks, fighting for space with the plumbing.

For true comfort, the preference would be 72” wide. Certainly with anything less than 60” wide, there really isn’t enough elbow room for 2 people side-by-side using sinks at the same time. Don’t get two sinks just because it’s a trend and “everyone is doing it”. First, consider how often two people get ready at the same time. If it’s rare, put the sink in the center and go for lots of drawers on either side. If you do find that two people regularly do have to get ready at once, think of it, like your kitchen, in terms of “stations”. Put the sink on one end. Put drawers on the other end. The sink end is the “Wash/Shave” station. The drawers end is the “Blow-dry/Makeup/Prep” station. Having the storage, and not being in each other’s way, creates a much calmer start of the day.


Double Vanity in Bathroom Designed by Kitchen Views’ Amy Mood

The real secret is having a great designer, who will find ways to exceed your expectations and create a room you will enjoy for years to come. With our large selection of cabinet brands and a vast array of bathroom vanitieskitchen cabinets and accessories, there are also some great bath cabinets and accessories available to maximize even the smallest bathrooms.
Kitchen Views at National Lumber

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