Archive for the 'Designer Blog' Category

2016 Design Trends Move Toward Versatility

Brandy Souza, Kitchen Views General Manager

Homecrest dark gray cabinetry and white counters

HomeCrest Cabinetry

2016 Design Trends Move Toward Versatility

Trends are developing toward elements to make kitchens more versatile – from how the space is used, to how it is decorated. Technology is making its way into kitchens with items such as Tech Top by LG, which charges your cell phone, exercise tracker, or portable speaker automatically.  The wireless charging transmitter is embedded into the countertop surface, so when you put down your device it can be recharging while you do other things nearby, such as prepare and eat meals.

The popularity of white cabinetry is being challenged by gray stains and paints. This neutral color comes in a range from lighter to darker, works well with other neutrals, and enhances a wide range of accent colors.

Look at new finishes for hardware such as brushed bronze, rustic oil rubbed finishes and polished finishes that complement a wide array of design styles. Selecting a finish that doesn’t show fingerprints easily would be a good choice for busy households.

Single level islands have become the most popular because they comfortably sit people of different ages and sizes, while offering a comfortable height for meal preparations.

The popular choice of material for countertops is moving away from granite that requires surface maintenance to keep it sealed, to quartz that is gaining ground because it carries warrantees, is non-porous and has a high resistance to stains. Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, but white is the trending choice of color.

By designing the layout with versatility of tasks in mind, your kitchen will be ready to handle both the constant and the changing needs of its occupants. By selecting cabinetry, countertops, and decorative hardware that are the most versatile colors and finishes, your home will remain stylish for many years to come, with only simple changes to appliances and accessories as needed. Trusting an experienced designer to guide your selections will give you the best return on your investment.

Brandy L. Souza
Designer & General Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
120 Welby Rd, New Bedford, MA 02745
Office: 508-990-8020 x3163
Fax: 508-742-1498

An Open Kitchen Floor Plan Increases Function and Inspires Creative Cooking

Fluted columns, multi-level work areas and mixed materials add to the charm of this versatile kitchen

Re-configuring an undersized floor plan into an open floor plan requires being open to new ideas. Sometimes,  removing a preexisting support wall allows us to expand and combine living spaces. This improves visual sight lines and traffic flow. The new configuration also allows for more countertop work areas and storage space. With the added square footage, you can also add a great deal of fashion to the new space.

In this particular example, fluted cherry wrapped columns conceal the required supporting post. The columns also add additional layers of visual interest to the multi layered work stations in this island. Soapstone along with wood top counters adds a casual inviting atmosphere fusing old world charm with rich detailing and warmth of Brazilian stained cherry wood.

K VChef's kitchen (2)

Here, we also combined materials in the cabinet selections, mixing painted maple in a vintage oyster married with a coffee glaze, which adds additional texture. Once you meld the warmth of cherry wood to the oyster ample, it evokes a versatile timeless appeal.

Custom cabinet lines allows for rich detailing. Using faithfully recreated traditional details can provide instant ambiance and layers of interest. In the example above, the door styles we selected were a traditional classic raised panel beaded inset with 5 piece drawer fronts. For the display cabinets, we chose Prairie-style doors with seeded glass accents and open book-ends. The clipped fluted corners on all cabinet ends amplify the attraction of detailing in this kitchen.

K Vchef 7 (2)

An open floor plan also allows details in the cooking area to be enjoyed by everyone. Here you can see an example in which cooktop ventilation is hidden beneath beaded detailing of the wood hood, mirrored below in the beaded back splash. Architectural decorative legs anchor the cooktop below. A streamlined stainless steel farmer’s sink fuses ideas of yesterday with the materials and clean lines of today. In a space like this, any chef can feel inspired.

Open kitchen layouts allow you to have a space you can organize your life around, with just the right blend of personality and functionality. We can call that “room for living.” One moment, you can be preparing pasta. The next, you’re uncorking a bottle of Cabernet at the seating area. There you can be pouring it with close friends and family without ever actually leaving the kitchen. An open layout adds a social element that traditional closed-in kitchens simply don’t offer.

Function is the new fashion in this open kitchen design

For a chef that loves to cook and entertain, a closed-in space can leave one uninspired. It also leaves out of the social indulgence that an open floor plan offers. The newly designed reconfiguration and combining of two rooms now allows for full family participation. Function is the new fashion.

Kitchen Views

What is a Transitionally Modern Kitchen?


Transitionally modern – what does that name mean? In many homes, a fully modern kitchen may appear out of place, while a traditional style kitchen may not have the modern amenities that today’s homeowners demand. Blending traditional and modern design elements creates what is called a transitional style.

Here is a Narragansett, RI kitchen designed by Warwick, RI designer Lisa Zompa which shows an example of transitional cabinetry.


From this picture, you can see how these cabinets have both the modern clean lines along with traditionally styled decorative moulding. There’s a modern gas-powered stovetop, but it doesn’t look out of place. Over the stovetop, the sand tone backsplash features pale blue tile insets. Backsplashes are a more modern element, but here it ties the design together by adding visual interest without being overpowering. The stove hood is the focal point in this space, with a shelf providing a perfect place to display decorative items.

The island is particularly interesting. It’s made from cherry wood but the stain color – known as “porch swing” – is meant to mimic driftwood. This adds to the beach-side charm of the kitchen. The large island can comfortably seat four, making it perfect as a casual dining area. On the seating side of the island, there are cabinets used for storing occasionally used items such as glassware and seasonal items.

Another major element of transitional kitchens is that they tend towards an open concept design. This is especially true in this kitchen. There is a bookcase on the end of the driftwood-colored island, which makes for a natural transition from the kitchen to a comfortable seating area around the fireplace (not pictured here). Having a place to display favorite items, such as books and knickknacks, allows the residents to add their personalities to the space, another transitional design element. There’s also a casual dining area adjacent to the kitchen.


By integrating traditional design elements into modern layouts, transitional kitchens retain the charm of an older space while also giving you a kitchen that has modern convenience.  Transitional kitchens contain a great deal of detail. Whereas completely modern kitchens tend towards a more minimal and functional look, transitional kitchens allow for a great deal of design space while losing nothing as far as function.

Kitchen Views designers are experts at blending traditional and modern design elements. Whichever you prefer to lean towards, our designers can find the solutions so you can build and enjoy your dream kitchen.

Brandy L. Souza
General Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
120 Welby Rd, New Bedford, MA 02745
Office: 508-990-8020 x3163
Fax: 508-742-1498

Happy Holidays from Kitchen Views

Decorated window at seating area at Kitchen Views in Warwick

We hope you have been enjoying the blogs from our Kitchen Views designers. They all have great advice, and plenty of valuable information to share. It’s extremely important reading if you are thinking of building a brand new kitchen or remodeling the old one.

Here at the home office, we would like to offer some holiday advice! As we close in on the holidays and the entertaining begins, you should think closely about how you work in your current kitchen, and how it doesn’t work for you!

Those annoying inefficiencies and the awful work flow pattern will magnify itself when more people get in your kitchen to “help” you over the holidays. Perhaps you can cope when it is just you, but add another person, and it becomes a working nightmare. So think about what is going on and make a list. List the things that are wrong and the things that annoy you about the kitchen. Then, don’t forget to make the good list – the wish list!

After the holidays, give the Kitchen Views nearest you a call and make an appointment to see one of our designers. We will sort things out for you and get you started on the road to a beautiful new, and efficient kitchen!

Take care, and have a great holiday season!

Kitchen Views

Evolving Placement Choices for Kitchen Appliances

Evolving Placement Choices for Kitchen Appliances
Choosing to have separate cooktop and wall oven


Image © Kitchen Views


Cooktops can provide more flexibility to your appliance placement options than traditional single unit kitchen stoves. For example, you can choose to have a cooktop in a traditional setting against the wall with a range hood, with the option of putting storage below for pots and pans.

Another popular choice is to have a cook top placed in an island, which some people prefer so that they are facing family or guests while they cook. A new favorite type of cooktop (shown here) is induction because it provides a clean and stylish look to every cooking area.

Image © Kitchen Views

Image © Kitchen Views

Wall Ovens:

Available in either single or double units, a wall oven is mostly used when selecting a separate cooktop, or perhaps as a secondary oven. It can be featured in a tall cabinet, which is easier to access or below the counter in a base cabinet. If a single oven is selected, a microwave can be installed over it, as long as you have a tall enough cabinet (see photo above).


Image © Kitchen Views

Kitchen size needs to be taken into consideration, as the oven is often installed in a tall cabinet, reducing the amount of counter space in the perimeter of the kitchen. Some clients have chosen to put ovens in the island.

When designing your next kitchen, be sure to consult your kitchen designer about proper appliance placement for your individual needs. If you’re interested in the configurations above, make sure that your cabinetry and kitchen layouts will work for these options.

Kitchen Views

Choosing a Color Scheme for Your Kitchen

Choosing a Color Scheme for Your Kitchen

by Lee Turner

When considering the color scheme for your kitchen, many people think about some of the traditional palettes. If this is the way you decide to go, you will want to accent these palettes with more colorful, contemporary colors in the lighting, stool or chair fabrics and window treatments. These are easily replaced when you tire of them, or fashion changes.

One of the new color trends in cabinets is gray. Cabinets may be a painted soft shade of gray or more in the field of battleship gray. There are also light and dark shades of gray stains on maple cherry or even oak, which add more texture to your kitchen space. Grays may be used in the island, with white cabinets on the perimeter, or light gray can be used on the perimeter with darker shades on the island. Keep in mind that with white, color contrasts can be much stronger. For example, black on white can be very overpowering. Grays can help tone down complimentary colors that may ordinarily be overpowering and give a calming, cooling effect to a kitchen. Keep in mind, there are so many shades of gray that you will need to choose your other colors carefully. Gray is best used as a complement, and if it’s your primary color, be sure to add visual interest with white, off-whites or other colors.

Gray kitchen cabinets

Image © Kitchen Views

It’s also important to consider countertops in your color scheme. If you’re going with lighter cabinets, darker countertops can add attractive contrast. However, both cabinets and countertops being lighter colors can work. If you decide on a darker tone for cabinets, lighter tones in the countertops are preferable. You don’t really want dark cabinets and dark countertops as it will just make the kitchen space too dark. Keep in mind that painting cabinets and replacing countertops is always an option to change up color schemes but it’s best to find the best combination during design.

Check with your kitchen designer for what is available, and discover the many different ways to use color in the kitchen.

Lee Turner
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St, Newton, MA 02461

Technology to Transform Our Lives at KBIS 2015

Brandy Souza of Kitchen Views

The KBIS show of 2015 was filled with plenty of brands we know and love. All our favorite brands have clearly embraced new technology and used it to make our lives easier. The one take away from this year’s Kitchen and Bath show was that technology is king. Here are my notes from the KBIS 2015 show that demonstrate how technology, design and function come together to better our lives.

Kohler’s Touchless Flush Toilets — just when you thought a heated seat was the best invention added to toilets, now we don’t even have to touch our toilets to flush them!

Kohler Touchless Flush Toilet

Kohler Touchless Flush Toilet

Tech Top by LG — this was really cool. Just place your cell phone, exercise tracker, glucose meter, heart rate meter, or portable speaker on the LG Viatera or HI-MACS counter surface and your battery will automatically charge! Check out their website to get the details and demo.

Tech Top by LG - diagram

Tech Top by LG

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer — this product installs under any counter surface and cooks through it with induction technology.

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer signage

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer counter closeup

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer counter closeup shows no visible signs of the technology

The Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven — this design gives a modern, commercial look to your oven. It matches the current French-Door refrigeration trends and allows users to open using one hand. Perfectly designed for ADA needs. The large convection fan with bi-directional movement allows maximum airflow and excellent cooking results.

Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven

The Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven is perfectly designed for ADA needs

MasterBrand Cabinetry — Omega, Dynasty and Homecrest — these are our favorite cabinet lines and they can be used anywhere. Laundry, mudroom, and craft room are just a few possibilities!

Laundry cabinetry

Lots of storage keeps your laundry area organized

mudroom cabinetry

A mudroom never looked so good before! Everyone has everything they need ready to go out the door.

craft area cabinetry

An organized craft area provides everything you need within easy reach

Visit a Kitchen Views showroom and meet with a designer to add these great features to your dream kitchen, or any area of your home.

Brandy Souza, General Manager of Kitchen Views

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