Posts Tagged 'dennis serge'

Completing the Ensemble: The Importance of Quality Decorative Cabinetry Hardware by Dennis Serge

Dennis Serge of Kitchen Views

Customers face a great many decisions when designing or renovating their kitchen. For whatever reason, choosing the hardware for their new cabinetry can sometimes be one of the more daunting selections. Frequently, the questions my clients ask me fall into one of three categories:

WHAT COMBINATION OF KNOBS AND PULLS (HANDLES) IS BEST FOR ME?
Some people like the simplicity of using knobs throughout the kitchen. Others, especially in a more contemporary design, will use all pulls. Most folks seem to prefer a combination — knobs on the doors, pulls on the drawer fronts, or vice versa. Also, consider how the pull or knob feels when you pull on it. A pull might look great, but if it doesn’t feel comfortable to you then it will quickly become annoying. One great thing about visiting our showroom is that you can try out the function of decorative hardware that is installed in our inspiring kitchen vignettes. The truth of the matter is that there is no right and wrong here. The deciding factor is what is most functional for your family and looks the best in your eyes.

This drawer pull has crisp features that look great. But delicate hands might find this pull uncomfortable to use.

This drawer pull has crisp features that look great. But delicate hands might find this pull uncomfortable to use.

WHAT HARDWARE WILL CONTRAST WELL WITH MY NEW CABINETS?
Beyond the obvious observation that a highly stylized, contemporary hardware will tend to look out of place on very traditional, raised panel cabinetry, consider what style is currently popular and see if you think they are a good match for your cabinets. Plain chrome and polished brass hardware can look nice on certain styles of cabinetry, but for the most part they have given way to finishes like brushed chrome, oil rubbed bronze, and other weathered type finishes. These should remain popular for years to come, and are not a “trendy” choice like some glass hardware, hardware with inserts, and other styles that a customer might tire of a few years down the road.

This cabinet pull with curved shape and textured surface works well with traditional or contemporary cabinetry.

This cabinet pull with curved shape and textured surface works well with traditional or contemporary cabinetry.

HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY FOR MY HARDWARE?
Here the old adage applies, “you get what you pay for”. Don’t be afraid to ask if the hardware you are considering is solid metal or an alloy, of if there is a warranty on the finish. If the hardware is too inexpensive or poorly made, it can literally begin to tarnish in just a few months. Hardware is the finishing touch on your new kitchen, and it can be a focal point that enhances or detracts from the overall appearance you are trying to achieve. As an example, imagine if you will, watching a glamorous actress stroll down the red carpet in an exquisite designer gown, and then seeing that she is wearing obviously cheap dime store costume jewelry. It ruins the whole ensemble. It’s much the same with cabinet hardware. Don’t make the mistake of skimping on the hardware to save a few dollars at the end of the project.

The finishing touches make all the difference.

Dennis Serge | Showroom Sales & Design
Kitchen Views | 71 Maple St, Mansfield, MA
dserge@kitchenviews.com

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Take Your Countertop Samples Home – Dennis Serge

Dennis Serge, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

Today, an increasing number of customers are choosing to enhance the beauty of their remodeled kitchen by selecting more high end countertops, particularly Granite and Quartz. When choosing which stone color is right for you, I would caution you to remember one thing. Do not base your decision solely on the small hand samples available in the showroom. To be sure, these can be very helpful in narrowing down the choice of which colors are appealing, and they are useful in eliminating colors that may be too light or too dark, or colors that do not contrast well with the cabinet finish that you have selected. However, these samples are generally too small to display all of the pattern variations and nuances of color and shading that can be seen in larger slabs of the stone.

To ensure your ultimate satisfaction with the product you choose, I strongly suggest that you do two things. First, once you have narrowed down your initial choices, arrange to borrow the samples, take them home and look at them in the conditions of your own home. Variations in lighting can have a subtle effect on color and highlights in the stone that many people do not realize. Many times I have heard customers comment that, when viewed in the natural light of their own kitchen, some samples looked slightly different than they appeared to be in the showroom. In some cases, this has caused customers to change their minds regarding a particular color.

Our countertop selection gallery at our design showroom in Mansfield, MA

Our countertop selection gallery at our showroom in Mansfield, MA

Once you have gone through this process and made a choice that you are comfortable with, the next thing to do is arrange to travel to the fabricator’s warehouse to view actual slabs of the stone. This provides the opportunity to see a much larger sampling, note the variations that occur, and select the pieces that will be most appealing to you. Some people view traveling to the fabricator as an inconvenience, but I believe it is a necessary one. These countertop materials represent a substantial investment, costing at least several thousand dollars in most cases. Just as you would not purchase an automobile with taking a test drive, do not commit to purchasing any stone countertop without first taking a look at what the fabricator offers.

If you take the time to follow these two relatively simple steps, you can rest assured that your new countertops will be a wonderful and attractive enhancement to your beautiful new kitchen.

Dennis Serge, Showroom Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Tel.: 508-339-8020  Ext. 5617
Fax: 508-261-6426
dserge@kitchenviews.com

Bring Your Cabinet Door Samples Home – Dennis Serge

Dennis Serge, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

Regardless of which cabinet manufacturer you choose to supply your new kitchen, one of the most important decisions you will make during the design process at Kitchen Views is choosing the door style and finish color for your new kitchen. Here is a very helpful hint. Once you have made your selection, arrange to sign out a sample door in the style and color you have chosen and take it home with you. Showroom lighting can be dramatic and varied and is not always similar to that of a normal residence.

Sometimes a finish color may not look the same in the showroom as it does at home. So, bring that sample home for a few days so that you can look at it carefully on a sunny day, a cloudy day, and at night when the lights are on. This way you can be certain you will be satisfied with the color once your new cabinets are installed. Every so often, I have had a customer come back and tell me that the sample looked “different” when they got it home, and, in a few instances, I have had clients change their color selection as a result. As the old saying goes, “better safe than sorry”.

Dennis Serge, Showroom Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Tel.: 508-339-8020  Ext. 5617
Fax: 508-261-6426
dserge@kitchenviews.com

Dennis Serge: Cabinet Hardware “Insurance”

Dennis Serge, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

When selecting the hardware for your new cabinets, it’s a good idea to order at least two pieces more than what you actually need, especially if the hardware is special order. Put the extras away in one of the drawers, so that you will have them handy in the event that a piece of the hardware on the cabinets should get damaged or broken.

Two years ago, I had a customer who bought some very nice cabinet hardware with porcelain inserts, but purchased only the exact number of pieces that they needed. Recently, the porcelain on two of the handles broke. The customer came in to get replacements, but the manufacturer had gone out of business and we could no longer match the hardware. As a result, the customer had to go through the trouble and expense of replacing all the hardware in the kitchen because they hadn’t gotten a couple of extras to begin with. So, those extra two pieces of hardware stashed away in that drawer – they’re cheap insurance!

Dennis Serge
Showroom Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Tel.: 508-339-8020  Ext. 5617
Fax: 508-261-6426
dserge@kitchenviews.com

Dennis Serge: How to Clean Wood Cabinets

Dennis Serge, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

“Milder is Better: How to Clean Wood Cabinetry” by Dennis Serge

I am frequently asked about the best method to clean wood cabinetry. It’s really quite simple. Although there are commercial products available over the counter, most manufacturers recommend using a clean, damp cloth with a mild solution of dish-washing soap and warm water. Then rinse with a separate clean damp cloth and wipe dry. The emphasis here is on the word ‘mild’. Too strong a solution may dull or discolor the cabinet finish. If you elect to use a commercial cleaner, check to make sure the ingredients do not include ammonia or bleach as they can potentially damage the cabinet finish.

If something spills on your cabinets or they are splattered from cooking, it should be cleaned up immediately. But, again, use a soft clean cloth. Do not try to wipe up using a sponge or a dish towel because they are likely to contain grease or food particles that could harm the finish. Never attempt to clean your cabinets with any abrasive products, scouring cleansers or pads. Also, avoid any harsh chemicals or mineral spirits.

Cleaning cabinet with soft cloth

Finally, sometimes the question will come up about waxing or polishing wood cabinetry. The answer is it’s not necessary and not recommended. These products, especially furniture polish, may provide a nice look when first applied, but after numerous applications they result in a waxy build up on the surface. This causes a hazy, dull appearance and can be extremely difficult to remove.

So, when cleaning your wood cabinets the cardinal rule is “milder is better”. If you always take care to use the mildest possible solution to clean your cabinets, the finish will remain beautiful for many years to come.

Dennis Serge
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple Street, Mansfield, MA 02048
Tel.: 508-339-8020  Ext. 5617
Fax: 508-261-6426
dserge@kitchenviews.com

Dennis Serge: Cabinet Overlay

Dennis Serge, Designer at Kitchen Views in Mansfield, MA

In this era of instant communication and access to just about anything on the Internet, I have noticed that the customers who come into our showrooms are much more well versed regarding cabinet terminology and construction features than they ever have been before. I have also noticed, however, that there still seems to be confusion in some people’s minds when it comes to discussing cabinet “overlay”.

Basically, there are three terms to remember, standard or partial overlay, full overlay, and inset. In all three, the cabinet box size does not change — the differences are in the size of the doors and drawer fronts.

STANDARD OR PARTIAL OVERLAY

Partial Frame Overlay

When viewing standard overlay cabinets, the front frames of the cabinetry are visible around the doors and drawer fronts. This is also sometimes referred to as a traditional overlay and is still a popular choice, particularly in older, more vintage homes. It also has the advantage of being the least expensive option.

FULL OVERLAY

Full Framed Overlay

On full overlay cabinetry, the doors and drawer fronts are over-sized and virtually all of the cabinet framework is hidden by them. Although a more expensive option than the standard overlay, there are two advantages to this construction. First is accessibility. Full overlay cabinets with double doors do not have a center stile between the doors as part of the frame that you need to reach around or behind. Many customers are very appreciative of this feature. Also, most manufacturers will offer a wider variety of door styles to choose from in full overlay than they do in standard.

INSET

Inset Overlay

Inset doors are the most expensive of the three options, and until recently were usually available only from the manufacturers of custom cabinetry. In this option, the doors and drawer fronts do not overlay the cabinet frames at all. Rather, as the name suggests, they are inset flush with the cabinet frame. This can create some dramatic effects and the rich look of fine furniture.

Let your Kitchen Views design professional help choose the overlay style that is right for your tastes, your home, and your budget.

Dennis Serge
Showroom Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St
Mansfield, MA 02048
Tel: 508-339-8020 x 5617
dserge@kitchenviews.com

Wood Grain Characteristics

This week’s featured designer is Dennis Serge of our Mansfield, MA kitchen showroom. You can view his designer portfolio here.

“Wood Grain Characteristics” by Dennis Serge

When deciding on a wood specie for their new kitchen cabinets, customers should be aware that the beauty of a stained cabinet finish comes from the natural characteristics of the wood with its variations of color and grain. Shadings of light and dark and other features such as mineral streaks contribute to the distinctive appearance that makes each piece of cabinetry unique. The grain and texture of the wood may range from even and consistent, to dramatic variations of color and tone that contribute to making a genuine wood cabinet so attractive. These natural and unique characteristics of stained wood finishes should serve as a reminder that every wood component is different, and the look of the finished cabinetry in a complete kitchen may vary from that represented by a color block or a door sample. Customers at Kitchen Views can rest assured that the designer they work with will take the time to explain these wood grain variations thoroughly, as part of the process of helping the customer make a well-informed decision and ultimately providing them with a kitchen they will be proud of.

Dennis Serge, Showroom Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
71 Maple St, Mansfield, MA 02048
508-339-8020 x 5617
dserge@kitchenviews.com


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