Maximize Storage Space with Custom Kitchen Cabinetry

Clever cabinet design ideas to meet your unique storage needs.

Maximize Storage Space with Custom Kitchen CabinetryCustom cabinetry offers tremendous benefits over factory-made cabinets. First of all, there is simply the quality issue. Custom cabinets are built and designed almost like furniture, not slapped together from pressboard, so they have an extremely long service life and will not warp, crack, or bend.

Secondly, there is the design aspect. With custom cabinetry, you aren’t just choosing colors and panel designs from a selection of pre-made options. Instead, you have complete control of the design process from start to finish. In addition to letting you achieve the exact look you want in your kitchen, this design freedom also enables you to tailor all the practical aspects of your cabinetry to your specific needs. In other words, you get to make sure you get the storage solutions you want.

For a start, you’ll be able to eliminate gaps and wasted space around appliances and walls with cabinetry built to the exact dimensions of your space. You’ll also be able to choose whether to extend the cabinets all the way up to the ceiling to maximize enclosed storage space, or leave a gap to be used as a shelf for displaying little-used or decorative items.

You may also want to consider incorporating some of these unique storage ideas into your custom cabinetry:

Pull-Out Spice Rack: Your spice collection can take up a lot of cabinet space, especially if you don’t like to stack spices on top of each other. Installing a special slide-out rack to corral your spices in orderly rows can be a big space-saver and an organizational boon.

Hidden Dish Towel Rack: Keep dish towels accessible but out of sight with a fold-out dish towel hanger or rack attached to the inside of one of your lower cabinet doors.

Island Wine Rack: In addition to providing extra counter space for food prep or casual dining, a kitchen island can also provide bonus storage. One interesting way to use this space is by turning the narrow end of your kitchen island into a wine rack. This will keep your wines handy while also adding some design interest to the island.

Appliance Cabinets: If you love the convenience of kitchen appliances like microwaves, coffeemakers, blenders, etc. but don’t appreciate the cluttered look they create on your countertops, consider creating a permanent, hidden home for them with a custom appliance cabinet. You can have an outlet built into the cabinet or a secret hole left in the cabinet wall to let you run your cords to an existing outlet.

Cookbook Bookshelf: If you love to cook, you may want to consider adding a built-in bookshelf to one of your cabinets to keep all your cookbooks organized.

Seating + Storage: Need a place to “store” your guests while you cook? You can create a custom bench seating area along the back of an island or in a corner of the kitchen. Be sure to maximize the space under the bench by installing deep drawers or shelves.

Busting the Myths about Marble Countertops

Marble countertops are easier to care for than you may think.

Busting the Myths about Marble CountertopsMarble is simply a beautiful stone. White marble in particular is an excellent choice for kitchen countertops. The overall tone of the stone delivers a clean, elegant, bright look while the veining of the stone keeps your white countertops from appearing cold or sterile.

Unfortunately, many people are afraid to get marble kitchen countertops due to various marble myths, such as:

Marble is Expensive

Not all marble is expensive! The cost of a given stone depends on a variety of factors, including availability and demand. For example, one luxury marble, Calacatta marble, is expensive because it is rare and highly sought after for its bright white color and dramatic dark veins. However, Carrara marble looks very similar to Calacatta at a bargain price. Carrara marble is abundant, but it tends to have finer, lighter veins which give the stone a grayer cast. It is also a bit more porous, which means it requires more care and maintenance.

Marble Isn’t Meant to be Used

One common misconception people have about marble is that it is a luxury stone that is not really meant to be used—think marble floors in a king’s palace. However, in reality marble is not just for people who maintain their homes in a perfect, showroom-like state of cleanliness and order. Marble can stand up to hard use, including daily cooking in your kitchen. It’s actually very helpful for baking because the cool surface is ideal for rolling out or kneading dough. The key is you have to know how to clean and care for your marble to keep it looking beautiful.

Marble is High-Maintenance

Now, just because you do have clean and care for marble doesn’t justify its reputation of being high-maintenance. Marble is actually just as easy to clean as any other countertop material, provided it has been sealed to keep stains from penetrating deep down into the stone’s pores. Most messes need just a bit of warm water and dish soap to remove, and any worrisome potential stains can usually be lifted out by leaving a paste of baking soda and water on them overnight. Don’t be afraid of marble because it needs to be sealed—many people find they never need to reseal their countertops after they have been sealed once professionally.

Marble Gets Ruined by Scratches

Marble is a relatively soft stone, and it is vulnerable to scratches as well as to etching from acidic foods and drinks. However, it is not true that one scratch will ruin your marble. If you are concerned about scratches, you should simply choose marble with a honed finish. This type of marble countertop has been sanded to give it a soft, matte look that hides scratches exceptionally well. Countertops with a polished finish, by contrast, show scratches and etch marks more clearly.

Tips for Incorporating Trends into Kitchen & Bath Design

Learn how to stay on trend without constant renovations.

Tips for Incorporating Trends into Kitchen & Bath DesignIncorporating the latest design trends in your home is very exciting—at least until the trend passes you by. Then, what once appeared to be the cutting edge of fashion quickly begins the long downward slide into ridiculous. Of course, if you wait long enough your outdated design could develop “vintage” appeal.

However, if you want to put your home on the market without taking a big price cut or invite guests over without being embarrassed, you can’t afford to wait for trendy to transition to vintage. Instead, you’ll have to renovate your home to remove the awkward, dated items and replace them with an updated design.

Start with a Strong Foundation

Needless to say, the cycle of renovation and demolition can be expensive—not only in terms of money but in terms of the inconvenience of having portions of your home under construction for days or weeks. Therefore, our number one tip for using trends successfully in your home is to start with a strong foundation with timeless design appeal, and incorporate the latest trends only in areas that can be quickly and easily updated. This will save you from frequent costly and time-consuming renovations, but still allow you to enjoy an up-to-date look in your kitchen or bath.

Here are some examples of the kinds of easy projects we’re talking about:

Paint a Wall: Repainting a wall is one of the easiest ways to incorporate the latest designer colors into your kitchen or bath. For example, you might choose to paint the wall space between your kitchen counter and cabinets this year’s Pantone color of the year, Marsala. This is a rich, warm, wine-like hue that pairs well with white cabinetry or light-colored wood cabinetry. When tastes change in a few years, you can easily cover up the Marsala paint with a couple of layers of primer and choose a fresh new shade. This is much easier than redoing a tiled surface or replacing a colored appliance or plumbing fixture.

Get Cabinet Hardware: Rather than installing new cabinets every time tastes change from rococo to utilitarian and back again, consider choosing a plain fronted cabinet and updating your cabinet hardware to stay on-trend. You can easily change the look of your entire kitchen just by switching out the hardware.

Get New Lighting: Having a bright and airy bathroom is increasingly important according to top designers. One way this is being achieved is with a greater abundance of mirrors, including mirrored vanities. Rather than going to this extreme of the trend (which by the way was tried in the 30s and 80s) consider simply updating your light fixtures in order to bring more light into the space. Be sure to choose your lightbulbs carefully to deliver the right quality of light.

Get New Faucets: Jacuzzi tubs and sunken tubs were all the rage a decade or so ago, but they’ve reached their peak. Now, people are leaning towards more old-world style soaker tubs, including clawfoot tubs and slipper tubs. Considering the hassle and expense of tearing out an entire tub and surround every time tub trends change, we recommend choosing a classic tub and then only updating your faucet set when you feel the need for a change. Given the neutral backdrop of a high-quality, classic white tub, the choice of faucet set can make a dramatic statement.

Whether you need to complete a big renovation to recover from overzealous application of a trend in the past, or are just looking for a few new on-trend accent pieces, Mission West Kitchen and Bath has what you need.

4 Good Reasons for a Kitchen Remodel

If you don’t love your kitchen, you deserve to make some changes.

4 Good Reasons for a Kitchen RemodelA kitchen remodel can be a big investment, so naturally many people want to make sure their desire for a new kitchen is justified before moving forward. Ultimately, this is a very personal decision, but we’ve collected the top 4 justifications for a kitchen remodel here to get you started.

Your Kitchen Layout Doesn’t Work

If you do a lot of cooking at home, it is essential to have a kitchen layout that works for you. Otherwise you risk the irritation and frustration of continually having to deal with problems like the oven door bashing into the dishwasher door in a small galley kitchen, the refrigerator being too far from the prep area in a large open plan kitchen, or the kitchen sink being too small to fit all your dishes. A lack of counter space and storage space is also a common kitchen layout complaint. Remodeling your kitchen can provide the solution to your problems, especially if you are careful to choose high-quality custom kitchen cabinetry that will allow you to choose the placement of your sink, appliances, and storage spaces down to the exact inch.

Your Kitchen Needs Major Repairs

If your kitchen has major structural, electrical, or plumbing problems, you may be facing a big repair project. Why not take advantage of the demolition work that will be going on and tack on a few extra tasks to get your dream kitchen? For example, if you are having to open up an interior wall to deal with a mold, pest, or rot problem, you might as well consider if you might want to get rid of the wall entirely to create an open floor plan. Or, if you’re having to repair the ceiling in your kitchen due to water damage from above, you might want to consider refreshing your kitchen lighting design.

Your Home Value Needs a Boost

If your kitchen is looking dirty, damaged, or dated, a kitchen remodel is an excellent idea. Research has shown that year after year, moderate kitchen remodel projects with budgets of roughly $20,000 to $50,000 have consistently showed a strong return on investment year over year, even during the recession.

You Don’t Love Your Current Kitchen Design

Whether you flat out hate the style of your current kitchen or just don’t love it, your dissatisfaction can be a completely justifiable reason to renovate. A recent survey showed that nearly half of all remodeling projects undertaken immediately after closing on a home were kitchen remodeling projects, which just goes to show that many people agree that their kitchen has a big impact on the personality of a home, and in order to make it your own you may need to make significant changes.

Fortunately at Mission West Kitchen and Bath we have all the essentials you need to finish your kitchen remodel with designer panache. Please visit us soon.

Reap the Benefits of a Granite Countertop

Looking for a beautiful, durable kitchen countertop? Our granite countertops are ideal.

Reap the Benefits of a Granite CountertopIf you’re considering remodeling your kitchen, or if you’re building a new home, the choice of countertop is very important. Not only do you need to choose a material that looks great and helps tie your whole kitchen design together, you also need to make sure your countertop is durable enough for daily use. Fortunately, a granite countertop can meet these needs and more. Here are some of the top benefits of choosing a granite countertop from Mission West Kitchen & Bath for your kitchen.

Granite Fits Your Budget

First of all, it’s important to understand that there is a granite option for just about every budget. The cost of the granite countertop will depend on the rarity of the stone you select, where it is sourced from, and the size of seamless piece you require.

Granite Looks Great

Because granite is a natural material, no two granite countertops will ever look exactly alike. So you are guaranteed a unique look for your kitchen. Plus, because most granite contains quartz crystals, it looks fantastic in sunlight and will reflect light in subtly different ways throughout the day and under your kitchen lights at night. There are hundreds of different color choices and patterns available so you’re sure to find a shade that complements your kitchen design.

Granite is Versatile

Granite works well in just about any setting, so whether you are going for a traditional or modern look you can use granite. Plus, granite’s hardness gives you many different options for the cut of the countertop itself. Unlike softer materials like marble, granite can hold arches, curves, and crisp 90 degree angles so you can have a nice beveled edge on your countertop.

Granite is Durable

Granite is extremely durable, and will easily last a lifetime if given even the most basic care. It can’t be cut, scratched, etched, or marked by normal kitchen activities, including cutting food or setting hot pots on your countertop. It is also resistant to acids. For more porous types of granite, you have the option of boosting the stone’s natural durability even further by sealing it every 5 to 10 years.

Granite is Easy to Care For

Granite is very easy to clean, even if you’ve gotten a stain on it, and in fact it has been shown to be the most sanitary countertop material available. If your granite does become damaged, it can be repaired, either by polishing out a scratch or by filling any chips with colored epoxy.

Ready To Reap the Benefits of Granite?

Come to Mission West Kitchen & Bath’s showroom to see some of our superior granite countertops in person and learn more about the benefits of adding granite to your kitchen.

6 Simple Ways to Create a Cozy Coffee Shop Vibe in Your Kitchen

Fun kitchen updates that can turn your home into a favorite gathering spot.

6 Simple Ways to Create a Cozy Coffee Shop Vibe in Your KitchenAmerica’s love affair with the coffee shop is still going strong. However, it’s not always convenient to head out to the local coffee shop when you need your morning (or afternoon) brew. Creating a cozy coffee shop vibe in your own kitchen can help you enjoy the coffee shop experience any time you want, without having to face the high retail markup on your favorite drinks and snacks. It will also give you a more intimate and private space to meet up with friends. And it’s not that hard to achieve! Here are 6 simple suggestions to get you started.

Embrace Warm Colors

First of all, you have to set the mood with the right color palette. Rich, warm tones are especially helpful. You can incorporate anything from dark espresso colored wood to creamy café au lait cabinets depending on your preferences. What you probably don’t want is a sterile or industrial look.

Add Seating

A comfy place to sit and sip is obviously essential to the coffee shop experience. Depending on the space you have available in your kitchen, you may have several options. First, you might consider creating bar or counter seating. If you can have this bar face a window, it will really mimic that coffee shop experience of sitting and watching the world go by. Next, you might consider adding a comfy chair or two. If there’s not room for overstuffed chairs, you could add a tiny table and chairs similar to the outdoor seating you might find at a coffee shop.

Get a Wood Countertop

What is it about exposed brick and wood that just screams coffee shop? While adding brick walls to your kitchen might be a bit of a stretch, you can easily find a beautiful wood countertop at Mission West Kitchen and Bath.

Install a Fancy Faucet

Coffee shops are full of all kinds of sleek-looking modern gadgets. One way to add this aesthetic to your kitchen is to install an eye-catching kitchen faucet with surprising, modern lines.

Hang a Blackboard

One fun addition for creative types is a blackboard, which can be used in traditional coffee shop style to post a menu for guests or just to write silly or inspiring messages for your family members. The blackboard can be any size, and you can even consider using blackboard paint instead of hanging an actual blackboard.

Create a Coffee Cabinet

Creating a coffee cabinet is an excellent way to keep all your coffee accoutrements organized. Plus, you can display or hide your coffee stuff as the occasion demands. Be sure that the cabinet maker includes access to an electrical outlet in the cabinet and also consider adding special touches like a row of hooks or a small shelf for storing mugs.

Learn About Lightbulbs Before Buying Your Next Light Fixture

The type of lightbulb a fixture accepts is essential to its design impact.

Learn About Lightbulbs Before Buying Your Next Light FixtureLight fixtures are an extremely important and yet often overlooked element of interior design. Whether you are designing from scratch or looking for a replacement for your overhead lighting, task lighting, or wall sconces, it is important to ensure that the fixtures you choose not only deliver the desired design impact, but also deliver the right amount and type of light. This is essential to show off the room to its best advantage and to ensure that the room is functional for its intended use. For example, you wouldn’t want to install a fixture that gives off soft, moody light over your kitchen counter where you’ll be doing prep work with lots of sharp knives. Nor would you want to install the bright, directional task lighting that would be good for a kitchen counter in your elegant dining area.

Fortunately, at Mission West Kitchen & Bath we can help guide you to suitable designer light fixture options that will accept the types of lightbulbs needed to achieve the lighting effects you want.

Types of Lightbulbs

The mechanism by which the lightbulb actually produces light is very important, as this affects the color and brightness of the light that can be produced. Often, fixtures are designed to use one particular type of lightbulb, making it difficult or impossible to switch bulb types once your fixture is installed. This makes it absolutely essential to consider your choice of lightbulbs (ie light color and quality) before choosing your fixtures.

The most common types of lightbulb technologies include:

  • Incandescent Bulbs: This is the traditional type of lightbulb that we all grew up with. They produce soft, yellow-white light that radiates in all directions from the bulb. This light can be directed by the light fixture, or by the addition of reflectorized coatings inside the bulbs that help focus the light. Incandescent bulbs are not very energy-efficient, but they are quite versatile.
  • Halogen Bulbs: Halogen lightbulbs produce bright, white light very similar to natural sunlight. The bulbs can produce intense light even at smaller sizes, making them ideal for task lighting. However, they do get quite hot making it important to choose a light fixture that will not cause a fire hazard if it overheats.
  • Xenon Bulbs: This type of lightbulb produces a light similar to halogen bulbs, but at lower temperatures. Xenon bulbs can be even tinier, making them ideal for strip lighting and under-cabinet lighting.
  • Fluorescent Bulbs: Compact fluorescent bulbs, or CFLs, are becoming increasingly popular as replacements for regular incandescent bulbs. However, they tend to be a bit bulkier than incandescent bulbs making it difficult to switch to CFLs without having the bulb protrude from the light fixture. They come in varieties producing either warm or cool light tones.
  • LEDs: Highly energy efficient LED lighting is becoming more and more popular for home lighting due to improvements in color and light quality. Right now the most popular application for LED lighting is under-cabinet lighting.

6 Design Tips for Small Bathrooms

Achieve a big design impact in a small space with these tips.

6 Design Tips for Small BathroomsWhether you have an older home built during the era when a 5×8 foot bathroom was considered ample or are designing a modest powder room for a new home, fitting your grand design ambitions into a tiny space can be challenging. Here are some helpful suggestions of how to achieve big design impact in your small bathroom while also maximizing available space.

Ditch the Bulky Vanity

While a large vanity cabinet does provide helpful storage, many small bathrooms just can’t support a large vanity. Instead, consider installing a sink that takes up less space but delivers a bigger visual impact. One option would be a slimmer cabinet topped with a dramatic vessel sink. Another possibility is a wall-mount sink which seems to hover above the floor. Finally, you might consider a pedestal sink. This type of sink has been a powder room staple for decades, and you will have your choice of traditional or contemporary shapes.

Use Task Lighting

Another excellent design tip for a small bathroom is to add task lighting to help create the illusion of a larger space in a small full bath. For example, if you add a pair of wall sconces flanking the vanity and a recessed light above the tub or shower it will make these two parts of the bath feel like separate spaces and thereby help the whole room seem bigger.

Open Up the Shower Area

Curbless showers are becoming increasingly popular, and lucky for you this design trend is a small bathroom’s best friend. By eliminating the bulky step into the shower area, and by replacing shower curtains with sleek glass doors or dividers, you can help remove barriers that would otherwise make your small bathroom seem cluttered.

Install a Low Profile Toilet

Compared to a traditional two-piece toilet with an elongated bowl, a low profile toilet can save quite a bit of floor space in the bathroom. One option is a one-piece toilet, which has a slimmer profile while still allowing for the same comfortable bowl size. However, for a really modern look try a wall hung toilet. These toilets come in a variety of shapes and can give you 9 more inches of clearance in front of the toilet.

Use Vertical Space

When floor space is at a premium, you can use vertical space to add more storage and interest to the room. If your small bathroom has high ceilings, you can make use of that space with slender floor-to-ceiling bathroom cabinetry. If your bathroom has low ceilings, you can create an illusion of more vertical space using décor elements like a ladder towel rack or an artistic screen panel.

Create a Focal Point

While a small bathroom can’t support too many competing visual elements, you can and should consider creating a focal point in the bathroom by using one really amazing statement piece. A common choice is to focus on the vanity, perhaps using a vessel sink or a fantastic designer faucet set to create your focal point. Another possibility is to create a recessed niche for storage in the shower and surround it with dramatic decorative tile.

Whatever route you decide to go with your small bathroom, Mission West Kitchen & Bath is here to help with all the high-end designer products you need from solid wood bathroom cabinetry to quality designer plumbing fixtures.

Which Type of Toilet is Best for Your Bathroom?

Pros and cons of the top 3 types of toilets.

If you are designing a new bathroom or remodeling an old one, the toilet may not be among your top priorities from a design perspective. Yet the toilet is certainly a centerpiece of any bathroom and should be chosen carefully. After all, your toilet is likely to get flushed 2,000+ times per year. Make sure you enjoy every flush by carefully considering the following styles and features before selecting your new toilet.

Choosing the Right Type of Toilet

As a first step to choosing the right toilet for your bathroom, you will probably want to narrow it down by toilet construction. You can choose from:Which Type of Toilet is Best for Your Bathroom?

  • Two-Piece Toilets: The two-piece toilet with tank and bowl connected by bolts is the classic model familiar to all Americans. This type of toilet is ideal for a traditional or vintage style bathroom. One shortcoming is that it is possible for the bolts joining to the two pieces of the toilet to rust or leak after a number of years, but many people appreciate that this type of toilet has a better price point than other types.
  • One-Piece Toilets: One-piece toilets offer an updated look for the bathroom with sleek, uninterrupted lines and a slim profile. They are ideal for smaller bathrooms and people often tuck the tank beneath a countertop extension to save space in the bathroom. The one-piece design prevents any issues with rusty bolts and is also easier to clean.
  • Wall-Hung Toilets: Wall-hung toilets are the most exciting type of toilet from a design perspective. They provide a very European look with the tank completely concealed within the wall and only the bowl exposed. Round, square, and octagonal shapes are available, often with matching bidets.

Extra Features to Consider

Beyond the type of toilet construction, there are many other features that can enhance the look and performance of the toilet:

  • Touchless Technology: Touchless technology enables a hands-free flush to help keep bathrooms more sanitary.
  • Dual-Flush: Dual-flush systems help conserve water by offering the choice of two flush strengths for different needs.
  • Bowl Shape: Depending on the size of the bathroom, you might want a space-saving round-front or compact elongated bowl instead of the larger elongated bowl shape.
  • Toilet Height: Chair-height toilets provide a more comfortable experience, especially for those who may have mobility issues.
  • Skirted or Non-Skirted: Skirted toilets conceal the trapway beneath the bowl for a sleek look as well as a smooth surface that is much easier to clean.

Designing a Family Bathroom

Flair and functionality meet in the ideal family bathroom.

Designing a Family BathroomDesigning for kids doesn’t have to be cutesy or dull. At Mission West Kitchen and Bath, we have all kinds of quality designer elements that will aid you in creating a family bathroom that is both functional and beautiful. Whether you are designing a family bathroom to be shared by the kids or by the entire family, you will no doubt want to consider some of the following elements.

Double Vanity

In any shared bathroom, whether it is the master bath or a family bath, installing a double vanity is an excellent way of helping to create private domains in the shared space. We have many wonderful furniture-quality vanities to choose from in styles from traditional to modern. If you have kids, we suggest choosing drop-in sinks or undermount sinks rather than vessel sinks, as vessel sinks can add extra height that makes it difficult for smaller children to comfortably use the sink.

Ample Storage

Having plenty of room for storage in a shared family bathroom is also important. This can be a mix of concealed storage for cleaners and personal items in bathroom vanity cabinets or display storage for towels and such on open shelving. We can help you design custom storage solutions so all elements will match.

Durable Materials

In any high-traffic or high-use area, you want to be sure you are using durable materials that can stand up to the demands placed upon them. This can be especially true when kids are involved, as sometimes kids can be rougher on furniture and fixtures than adults. We can help you find durable, easy-to-clean bathroom countertops as well as solid wood bathroom cabinetry that will not warp or split if kids splash too much in the bathroom.

Sleek, Simple Fixtures

One final concern to keep in mind when designing a family bathroom is that keeping the fixtures sleek and simple may provide a better experience for all. Single-lever bathroom faucets are easier for kids to use than faucets with knobs that may be tough to grasp or turn. They are typically easier to clean too. You may also want to choose a skirted toilet model, as the exterior of this type of toilet is much easier to clean than a standard model. Skirted toilets have the added benefit of looking quite fresh and stylish for a family bathroom that meets the traditional needs of the family without being stuck in a traditional look.