Posts Tagged 'brandy souza'

Adding Personality to Your Glass Cabinet Doors

I love to design with glass doors in kitchens. It really adds a unique touch to bring out a kitchen’s personality. We have all seen the standard glass doors and the standard mullion doors, but it is time to step it up with the new mullion doors that have come out in 2012.

Below are some mullion styles you may have well seen before:


The new mullion styles are fun, different and a great way to show off your kitchen’s unique style. Here are a few examples from our Dynasty and Omega lines:


With these new mullion styles you can make your kitchen into a place that expresses your home’s true character. This personal touch is one of the many options our kitchen designers at Kitchen Views can show you. Book an appointment today at one of many locations and please view our website at Our budget calculator will start you on your path to planning your dream kitchen.

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

Cool Cabinet Options Lead to Happy Meals

This article is from Kitchen Views Magazine’s Premiere issue, Fall 2008:

Mother and children preparing Thanksgiving dinner in home kitchen

“Cool Cabinet Options Lead to Happy Meals” with Brandy Souza

A kitchen that works around your family’s needs can make mealtime easier, which means the chicken won’t burn while you’re looking for the pot holders.

“Having an organized kitchen isn’t as hard as it may seem,” says designer Brandy Souza. “Just think of your cabinets as the foundation – everything builds on them. With the right cabinet in the right place, you move around the kitchen effortlessly.”

With today’s choices in sizes, configurations, storage solutions, materials and price points, you can make your kitchen work for you.

“Do you need a snack cabinet for the kids, or a pet cabinet to keep the kibble out of sight? A 5’2″ cook might prefer a lower island, while someone taller might want dishwasher drawers on either side of the sink. Now is the time to choose options that will make life easier,” says this family-savvy planner and mom of two toddlers.

Since budget is part of any cabinet discussion, Brandy recommends asking yourself how often you plan to make over your kitchen. If your answer to that question is ‘never again,’ choose a timeless design that won’t soon look outdated.

You’ll also need to decide between stock, custom and semi-custom cabinetry. With custom you can create any size, style or shape. “If we can draw it, they can build it,” Brandy says.

Semi-custom is not quite as flexible, but the choices are still plentiful. Stock cabinetry offers fewer options, but they are truly affordable.

“Don’t forget to think about visibility. If you have a deep cabinet you’ll want to be able to see what’s in the back to avoid turning groceries into science experiments,” Brandy warns. “Rollout trays are a great way to accomplish that, or check out the many pantry accessories that are now standard in most cabinet lines.”

For her own kitchen, Brandy has her dream cabinetry but compromised with Formica countertops while her children are small. “That way I don’t have to worry about Play-Doh and Kool-Aid. As soon as they’re older, I get my granite,” she says with a wink.

Collaborative Creations: Brandy Souza & Lawton Design Studio

This article was featured in the Fall 2009 issue of Kitchen Views Magazine.

This wet bar features Greenfield cabinets with the Ashford doorstyle finished in Bisque; the mahogany countertop was custom-made.

Long before the first power saw is plugged in to begin most major kitchen renovations, a critical team has to come together — the designer, who will plan how the new kitchen will look and work, and the architect, whose job at minimum is to handle underlying structural issues.

When the two work together especially well, the benefit to the homeowner can be tremendous.

Architect Mark Lawton and designer Kyra Lawton of Lawton Design Studio relax in South Dartmouth.

Such is often the case with Brandy Souza, manager of the Kitchen Views showroom in New Bedford, MA and an expert in kitchen design, and Kyra and Mark Lawton, a husband-and-wife architecture/design team in South Dartmouth ( For three years, Brandy and Kyra Lawton in particular have combined forces on a variety of projects both in and out of the kitchen. Where one’s work ends and the other’s begins can be tough to sort out, but the results often are stunning.

Brandy Souza, Assistant General Manager of Kitchen Views

Brandy Souza, Assistant General Manager of Kitchen Views

“We always come up with a fresh idea for each new project,” says Brandy. “We want to take a design as far as we possibly can and we don’t want it to look like anyone else’s.”

For the homeowner, that usually means a room or rooms that look like no others.

The effectiveness of the partnership is all the more surprising because their styles are considerably different.

“Kyra’s very contemporary,” says Brandy. “And I’m more traditional.”

“We challenge each other. We respect each other’s choices,” Kyra says.

Because Kyra also is a designer, Brandy’s job many times is to bring to the conversation up-to-the minute knowledge of what myriad suppliers are offering. If a new countertop is hitting the market, Brandy knows about it.

One recent project showed how unique their work can be.

This three story tower, designed by architect Mark Lawton, was added to an existing summer retreat.

The trio collaborated on the interiors of a three-story tower designed by Mark Lawton that was added to an existing home on the South Coast of Massachusetts. The master suite is on the first floor, a game and media room on the second, and on the third floor a wet bar/lounge sits high among the oak and birch trees.

“It’s our favorite room,” Mark said, referring to it as a “sky room.”

While the Lawtons did much of the design work, Brandy was intimately involved throughout the process.

Dynasty cabinetry was selected for this country kitchen in Wellesley, another team effort by Souza and the Lawtons.

“She would help us visualize things and make it all more real,” Mark said.

Kyra said she and Brandy work so well together in part because they get along so well.

A dramatic two-sink vanity featuring painted inset cabinetry by Greenfield provides ample storage in the master bath. Matching panels on the Jacuzzi along with the built-ins at each end complete the elegant design.

“We would be friends even if we didn’t work together. I trust her,” Kyra said. “She goes the extra mile the way I go the extra mile.” And so they do, from one project to another, from the Boston suburbs to the shores of Rhode Island.

Read more Kitchen Views Magazine articles at

Berenson Hardware’s New Aspire Collection

Brandy Souza, Kitchen Views at National Lumber

Kitchen Views is now offering the new Aspire collection from Berenson Hardware. This is a very clean, modern designed handle and the knobs come in three finishes: brushed nickel, brushed tin, and polished chrome. This is a great handle that fits with a contemporary or transitional styled kitchen. You can order these at any of our 8 locations at $4.88 for the knobs and handles from $7.58 – $52.00 depending on length.

Berenson Hardware Aspire Collection

Kitchen Views offers a variety of decorative cabinet hardware brands covering a wide range of styles and prices.

Brandy L. Souza
Assistant General Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
120 Welby Rd, New Bedford, MA 02745
Office: 508-990-8020 x361
Fax: 508-742-1498

New Trends in Backsplashes

If you’re looking for the latest trends in kitchen design, you can always speak to a Kitchen Views designer. We also showcase the latest in backsplashes at our newest showroom in Warwick, Rhode Island.

Pictured below is the first vignette you’ll see walking into our beautiful Warwick showroom. This display was designed by Brandy Souza, who chose a basketweave patterned backsplash to complement the granite countertops, as well as to add both texture and color.

Basketweave backsplash made with aqua to match the Kitchen Views logo at the Warwick, RI showroom

Basketweave backsplash made with aqua to match the Kitchen Views logo

Backsplashes have gone from simply being useful in protecting walls from water, to opportunities for adding accent colors and creating a focal point in the kitchen.

The photo below is of a showroom vignette designed by one of our Warwick, RI designerswith a “metal plus blends” backsplash, a mixture of glass and stainless steel – excellent for a more contemporary look.

Metallic sparkle backsplash in the bar display at the Kitchen Views showroom in Warwick, RI

Metallic backsplash in the bar display

Stop in at any of our showrooms for inspiration! Visit to find a showroom near you!

Brandy Souza: Tiffany’s Never Had It So Good!

Brandy Souza, Kitchen Views at National Lumber

In the fashion world we “dress up” our outfits with jewelry that represents who we are and how we want people to see us. In the kitchen design world, hardware is our jewelry and should represent the same qualities. With all the new glass and specialty metals, why would you ever put a plain pull, handle or knob on your new cabinets? I have worked with contractors and retail clients alike that want to “just put something on” to get it over with. Make no mistake, rushing or settling for just any hardware will make your choices harder when you want to change in the future. The holes have already been drilled and you then have to settle for another hardware piece. My recommendations for hardware are simple, pick something out that you truly love and represents who you are.

Love the seaside? Try Sietto’s hand blown glass knobs and handles.

Sietto’s hand blown glass cabinet knobs and handles

Want the latches your grandmother had? Try Berenson Hardware.

Berenson hardware latch

And for the nautical bath? Laurey has fun hardware for anywhere that needs a little personality.

Laurey hardware - starfish

Now let’s talk (hold your ears, Tiffany) price. Individual hardware can range from $1.00 to $25 a piece depending on the quality of the hardware and the availability. There is a price difference in plated metals and solid metals. Plated metal pulls and knobs do not carry much of a warranty and usually show ware in a year or two where solid metal hardware usually have a lifetime warranty.

There are many choices of jewelry for your cabinets, but in the end, the Views should be Yours.

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

*All products mentioned in the blog are available through any one of our 8 locations.

Brandy Souza: “The Work Triangle”

Brandy Souza - Kitchen Views Designer

Brandy Souza – Kitchen Views Designer

Brandy Souza is this week’s featured Kitchen Views designer. You can view her portfolio here and her last blog post here.

“The Work Triangle” by Brandy Souza

Kitchens can usually be categorized by the above layouts. The L-Shape, the U-Shape and the Galley are the general layouts of kitchen spaces. The triangle describes the total measurement between the fridge, stove and sink. With the addition of many new appliances in some kitchens, that triangle now may represent the appliances you most use.

Other triangles to consider:  What’s the triangle from the TV to the refrigerator to the microwave and can you navigate to get beer and make popcorn during an NFL commercial? Or the veggie fridge to the prep sink to the steamer. Maybe two triangles are needed for two cooks – one for prep and cleanup and the other for cooking. The work triangle can include the most used appliances or workspace that the homeowner uses.

Whatever your kitchen planning needs, Kitchen Views can be there for you every step of the way!

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

What on Earth Does “Door Overlay” Mean?

Brandy Souza, Kitchen Views at National Lumber

In the language of cabinet design, what on earth does “door overlay” mean?

When speaking with a designer about renovating your kitchen, have you been asked about your preference for “door overlay”? While you are quite familiar with the current cabinets you use daily, most homeowners would just shrug their shoulders at this question. Yet it’s an important consideration when planning your new kitchen. We’re here to educate you on the available products and their construction so that you can make informed decisions.


Here are four common door overlays, with basic descriptions:

Framed – Full,  Framed – Partial, Inset,  Frameless


Framed = Full or Partial, the cabinet box face is seen around the cabinet door and drawer. This is a traditional cabinet style.

Inset = the cabinet door and drawer face are set into the cabinet box. This is a traditional furniture style.

Frameless = the cabinet box is not “framed” on the front, and only the cabinet door and drawer face are seen. This is a modern, European style.


Now, going beyond surface appearances, here is what the term “door overlay” indicates in the basic construction of the cabinet:

Framed cabinets have a ¾ inch hardwood frame that is attached to the sides, top and bottom and overhangs each side ¼ inch. The door sets on top of the frame. A full overlay is a larger door that leaves a small amount of face frame to be viewed. A partial overlay means that the door is smaller, revealing more of the frame. If you can stick two or more of your fingers between the doors, you have a partial overlay cabinet.

Inset cabinets are a framed cabinet that has the door inset into the frame. This provides a look more like furniture. However, changes in humidity will have an effect on the functioning of doors and drawers. In New England, humidity levels change with the seasons. Because the door is set into the frame, it can stick during summer when the wood swells in high humidity. When humidity decreases in winter, you can see spaces around the doors as the wood contracts. You will not see these problems if you control the humidity at around 50 percent year-round with the use of air-conditioning in summer and humidifiers in winter.

Frameless cabinets are essentially a box with finished front edges but no face frame. The door and drawer front completely cover the box front. This allows wider drawers and gives you full access to your cabinets with no “lip” in the way as you move items in and out.

For answers to any more of your cabinet or design questions, please call us at Kitchen Views 508.DESIGNS [337.4467].


Brandy L. Souza, General Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
120 Welby Rd
New Bedford, MA 02745
Office: 508-990-8020 x 3163
Fax: 508-742-1498

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