5 Tips for Loving Your New Kitchen Cabinets

Expert advice to follow for beautiful kitchen cabinetry that you’ll love for years to come.

5 Tips for Loving Your New Kitchen Cabinets Whether you are designing a kitchen from scratch or planning a remodel, your choice of cabinetry is obviously very important. Here are 5 tips that will help guide your choice so that you can find kitchen cabinets you will truly love.

Set a Realistic Budget

First of all, it is extremely important to bear in mind that people who buy budget cabinets hardly ever really love them. Quality kitchen cabinets typically account for 40 to 50 percent of your kitchen design budget, and since they also occupy a large portion of your kitchen walls this is definitely not an area of your design you want to skimp on. Before you buy, be sure to research and price your options. If you really want to love your cabinets, it would be wise not to start the project until you have budgeted for the cabinets you really want.

Demand Quality Construction

Another tip for kitchen cabinets that you will love—both right after installation and for years to come—is to make sure you invest in quality cabinet construction. At Mission West Kitchen and Bath, we can direct you to a variety of top brands that offer exceptional, furniture-quality construction. Some of the designers we carry offer totally custom cabinetry as well as semi-stock cabinets.

When in Doubt, Go Light

If you are unsure what color of cabinets you want, your best bet is to opt for a lighter shade, whether this means light colored paint or light colored wood stains. After all, it is much easier to repaint or restain cabinets to a darker shade than it is to lighten a dark color.

Let Your Hardware Shine

Quality kitchen cabinets can last for decades. In fact, in most cases the concern will be that the style of cabinet could go out of fashion before the cabinets themselves actually wear out. One way to minimize the chances of your cabinets going out of style—and maximize how much you love your cabinets throughout their service life—is to choose a classic, low-key cabinet design and let the hardware provide most of the pizazz. You can easily trade out your door handles and drawer pulls as your tastes change over the years and enjoy a fresh look for your kitchen without actually having to replace the cabinets.

Get Expert Help

One final tip to follow for kitchen cabinetry you’ll absolutely love is to get professional help with your selection. This includes not only consulting the design experts at Mission West Kitchen and Bath about the benefits of different cabinetry brands and features, but also getting a professional to measure your kitchen before you send your order to the cabinet maker.

Benefits of a Curbless Shower

Want to incorporate a curbless shower into your bathroom? We have the right drains for the job.

Benefits of a Curbless ShowerWhen designing a luxury bathroom, a separate tub and shower is a must. In addition to providing a more upscale look to the bathroom, divorcing your tub and shower delivers another excellent perk: it allows you to incorporate a curbless shower into your bathroom design.

Sometimes also called barrier-free showers, curbless showers deliver three big benefits:

Bigger-Looking Bathroom: Curbless showers allow the flooring in the bathroom to continue right into the shower stall with no step or lip needed. When used with a glass shower stall, this can really help cut down on the visual impediments that a shower stall normally presents to the flow of the bathroom. It can make a small space seem larger and a big space seem even more luxurious.

Accessibility: By eliminating even the slightest step between the bathroom floor and the shower stall, curbless showers make it easy for individuals with mobility issues to navigate the bathroom. Curbless showers can easily satisfy ADA requirements, and they also appeal to aging individuals who wish to reduce the risk of a fall in the bathroom.

Easy Cleaning: With a totally flat floor surface in the shower, cleaning a curbless shower couldn’t be easier. There’s no need to scrub all those extra angles and surfaces that a shower stall base would ordinarily introduce. Instead the bathroom floor and shower floor can be cleaned in one pass with a mop.

Choosing Your Curbless Shower Drain

Most curbless showers incorporate a sleek linear drain rather than a traditional round or square drain grate. Depending on your bathroom design, there are three main ways to place your linear drain:

  • Front: When a little bit of visual distinction between the bathroom and the shower area is desired, the linear drain can be placed at the threshold of the shower stall.
  • Back: Linear drains can also be placed at the back of the shower area. This is ideal for bathroom designs in which the shower space flows directly into the rest of the bathroom with no shower stall walls of any kind. Naturally the bathroom flooring must be sloped towards the back of the shower for this drain placement to work.
  • Perimeter: Custom linear drains may be created to run around the perimeter of the shower stall. This option works well as an echo of tile motifs that also run around the shower stall.

In addition to choosing your drain placement, you will also be able to choose from different styles and finishes of linear drains to suit your bathroom design. At Mission West Kitchen and Bath, we are proud to carry an excellent selection of designer drains for curbless showers from top brands like Infinity Drain. Please visit our showroom soon to take a look.

How to Choose a Clawfoot Bathtub

4 important considerations for choosing a new clawfoot bathtub

How to Choose a Clawfoot BathtubMillions of clawfoot bathtubs were made between 1890 and 1940, when this style of tub was the de facto choice for every American home. Clawfoot tubs are enjoying a renaissance these days, with modern manufacturers offering new design twists on this classic fixture. Here are the 4 most important factors you’ll need to consider when picking out a clawfoot tub for your bathroom.

Tub Size

The very first factor you are going to want to consider when choosing a clawfoot bathtub is the size. While the original style of clawfoot tub typically measured 5 feet long, today you have many more options to choose from. If you are a tall person or have a lot of space to work with you may want a 6-foot-long tub, and if you are trying to fit a clawfoot tub into a smaller bathroom you might want to size down to 4 or 4.5 feet.

Tub Shape

There are actually several different shapes of clawfoot bathtubs to choose from. The most traditional shape is often known as a “roll rim” tub and has one flat end (typically placed into a corner) and one rounded end for the bather to lean back against.

Slipper clawfoot tubs are also a very traditional shape. This tub has a high back at one end to make it more comfortable to sit up in the tub while bathing.

If you like more symmetry in your clawfoot tub shape, consider either a double-ended clawfoot tub or a double-ended slipper tub. With both of these tubs, the bather can face either way comfortably—or even share the tub with another bather without anyone getting stabbed in the back by a faucet.

Plumbing Placement

You will also need to think about where you want the faucets and drain to be placed when picking out your clawfoot bathtub. With a double-ended tub, the holes for the plumbing (aka “drillings”) will always be on the side of the tub, and with a traditional roll rim tub they will always be on the flat end.

However, you can still choose whether you want the faucets to be mounted on the tub itself or on the wall or floor beside the tub. If the faucets are to mount on the tub, you may be able to choose between having them run through holes drilled in the side of the tub or through holes in the rim of the tub.

Material

One final consideration for picking out your clawfoot bathtub will be whether you prefer a cast iron tub or an acrylic one. Cast iron with a porcelain finish is of course the traditional choice, and while it does tend to look and feel more historically authentic, if you chip or scratch the porcelain it will be difficult to fix. Acrylic tubs are actually a bit easier to scratch, but any scratches need not turn into permanent blemishes because it is relatively easy to sand and polish them away.

To see our selection of clawfoot tubs in person, come visit our showroom.

Kitchen Ventilation: To See or Not to See?

Concealing vent hoods with custom cabinetry can help you achieve the look you want in your kitchen.

Kitchen Ventilation: To See or Not to See?Every kitchen needs ventilation, including a dedicated plenum, vent, or hood over the range or cooktop. This vent provides several very important functions:

  • Removing cooking odors from the room
  • Preventing grease and smoke residue from accumulating on counters, cabinets, and walls
  • Reducing humidity to help deter mold growth

Depending on the type of vent you choose, your kitchen ventilation can also have a big impact on the visual appeal of your kitchen.

The first choice you will need to make is whether or not you want to see the actual metal vent in your kitchen. For contemporary or modern kitchens, a sleek metal range hood can actually work quite well. A variety of colors and styles are available

If you have your cooktop in a kitchen island, you will actually be forced to go with a metal range hood since there is no way to conceal the vent in a cabinet or wall. Considering that the vent will be front and center in your kitchen you will obviously need to choose your vent carefully, to ensure that it is attractive enough to serve as a focal point in the kitchen. If you really want to go high end, you might consider a range hood that normally rests against the ceiling but can be lowered into place when you need to use it.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons why you may not want to see your metal range hood. Perhaps you don’t think the look complements the style of your kitchen, or maybe you don’t want to give up precious cabinet space to a bulky vent hood and chimney.

Fortunately, you can easily conceal your vent with the right custom kitchen cabinetry.

If you have a small range and do not plan to do all that much cooking, you might even be able to get away with installing a smaller vent that can mount on the bottom of the cabinet above the range. You will lose some of the interior cabinet space to the vent, but you will retain the sleek look of an uninterrupted row of cabinets.

Another option would be to have a special “cabinet” created to house a larger vent hood and chimney. In this case, the cabinet would not conceal the presence of the vent, but it would conceal the metal, replacing it with a wood surface that matches the rest of your kitchen cabinetry. This option is actually ideal for large kitchens, because the unique shape of the vent cabinet helps to add interest to the wall of cabinets.

If you are interested in custom kitchen cabinetry for your home, please contact us today to see samples from some of the brands we carry.

Countertop Trends

Discover the latest trends in countertop materials and design.

Are you shopping for new kitchen countertops? Before you make your decision, you might want to read up on the latest countertop trends.

Trending Materials

Countertop TrendsAccording to Consumer Reports’ coverage of the 2015 Design & Construction Week in Las Vegas, the following materials are starting to gain traction against traditional kitchen countertop materials like granite and marble:

Quartz: This is actually an engineered stone, made from a blend of stone chips, resins, and pigments. It is very versatile, with the ability to mimic granite or marble as well as create the shimmery look of real quartz. It comes in a variety of hues from neutrals to bold colors.

Laminate: Of course, laminate is not a new material in the world of kitchen countertops. It has been an affordable staple for many years, but the latest crop of offerings is much more stylish with top designers like Jonathan Adler helping to create new textures and patterns for the modern kitchen.

Concrete: The look of concrete is coming back. For consumers who are unwilling to deal with such an easily damaged material, the respected brand Caesarstone has the answer. They have created a line of countertops that look like concrete but can resist heat, stains, and abrasion like quartz. At Mission West Kitchen & Bath we have a broad range of Caesarstone countertops in our showroom.

Trending Designs

We’re also seeing some significant trends developing in how designers and homeowners are using countertops:

Waterfall Countertop: In a waterfall countertop, the same material used for the horizontal work surface is extended down to the floor, covering the side of the cabinetry. Waterfall countertops are most often seen on kitchen islands, but may be used on peninsulas as well.

Matching Countertop & Backsplash: Using the same material for the countertop and for a tall backsplash is also a growing trend. We are increasingly seeing large pieces of marble or granite applied where traditionally we would have seen tile.

Mix and Match Island Countertops: There is a growing trend of using butcher block material on kitchen islands and stone or laminate on the rest of the countertops. We have also seen stone in a contrasting color palette used on islands.

Laundry Room Countertops: More and more designers are recognizing that the laundry deserves to be more than an afterthought in a closet or basement. Instead of shelving and tables for storage and folding, they are adding high-quality countertops and cabinetry like you would see in a bathroom or kitchen.

For a Sink that Really Makes a Statement, Consider Sculptural Faucet

Faucets don’t have to be boring. Our selection of designer faucets proves it!

For a Sink that Really Makes a Statement, Consider Sculptural FaucetFaucets are obviously an important part of any kitchen or bathroom. They do have to be functional so that you can easily access the water you need for cooking, washing, drinking, etc. But functional does not have to equal boring!

Here is just a sampling of the sorts of eye-catching faucets you might consider for your kitchen or bathroom. Find the right one, pair it with the right sink and you’ll see it is possible to elevate something as seemingly mundane as a faucet to the status of a piece of art in the kitchen or bath.

3-D Printed Faucets

One of the most exciting developments in the area of sculpture-like faucets comes from American Standard. This company is offering a line of designer faucets that are 3-D printed to order. This one-off production allows them to create beautifully intricate faucets that could not otherwise be mass-produced.

Waterfall Faucets

Sometimes called open faucets, waterfall faucets may be mounted on the wall or even the ceiling. They allow the water to flow over the lip of the faucet like a waterfall rather than out of a traditional faucet spigot. With this kind of faucet, the movement of the water itself can become part of the sculpture.

Vintage Faucets

Some types of vintage or vintage-inspired faucets can also take on the appearance of a sculpture or a work of art. This is especially true if they have a quirky profile, lots of joints, an appealing weathered finish, and/or an appearance of being crafted by hand.

Ultra Modern Faucets

Faucets with an aggressively modern, minimalist look can also make a big artistic statement in a room. Depending on your tastes, you might get one with such sleek lines it’s hard to tell how to work the faucet, or one with some industrial edge to its levers or knobs.

At Mission West Kitchen & Bath, we have tons of designer faucets to choose from that go far beyond the traditional knob and spigot look. And don’t worry if your fancy new faucet needs a dramatic new sink to match–we can help you with that too. We even have stunning countertop options if you need to redo the entire space. Please stop by our showroom and we’ll help you find just what you’re looking for.

Best Bathroom Lighting Tips

Simple but effective advice to help you choose the right light fixtures for your bathroom

Best Bathroom Lighting TipsLighting a bathroom can be a challenge. Light fixtures must be chosen carefully to give the right amount and quality of light, and placed appropriately to support the overall aesthetic of the room. This is especially important in small bathrooms or bathrooms that have no natural light at all.

Depending on your bathroom layout and design, you may need to incorporate some or all of these 3 key types of bathroom lighting:

  • Task lighting
  • Ambient lighting
  • Decorative lighting

Fortunately, Mission West Kitchen & Bath can help you select the right fixtures for each of these functions. We have a wide selection of high-quality designer light fixtures to suit just about any style.

Read up on these bathroom lighting tips to get ideas for your project, and then stop by our showroom to browse quality fixtures in person.

Task Lighting Tips:

  • Wall sconces mounted at eye level provide excellent illumination for tasks like shaving and makeup, without creating shadows that could make you look old
  • Bathroom task lighting should provide 75 to 100 watts of illumination, which translates to 24 to 26 watt CFLs or 20 to 25 watt LEDs
  • Use softer task lighting in a powder room. 45 watts of illumination should be sufficient
  • Consider putting your master bath task lighting on a dimmer. That way, you can turn it up bright when you need to, but leave the light low for an easier transition early in the morning or late at night

Ambient Lighting Tips:

  • Ambient light should be placed so that all spaces in the room are lit evenly
  • Tucking sources of ambient light into and around architectural elements like cove or cantilever details can hide the fixtures and create flattering indirect lighting
  • Don’t forget to consider how your mirrors are going to reflect and direct ambient light

Decorative Lighting Tips:

  • Make the most of any accent niches or art pieces in your bathroom by illuminating them with appropriate accent lighting such as a recessed directional light
  • Designer pendant lights can add pop to your bathroom design and also help fill up otherwise blank space above a tub

Candles are another excellent option for decorative lighting in a bathroom. Whether you use a wall sconce or leave the candles on the vanity or tub rim, be sure they are well away from any flammable items

Top 9 High-Tech Toilet Features

Shopping for a new toilet? Today’s crop of high-tech toilets have some impressive features to offer.

Top 9 High-Tech Toilet Features These days, when you shop for a new toilet to update your bathroom, there’s more than just looks to consider. Today’s high-tech toilets also offer a dazzling array of features. Here are some of the most common ones you might want for your new toilet.

Automatic Seat Control: With some models, the high-tech toilet experience starts as soon as you enter the room, with sensors detecting your arrival and automatically lifting the lid of the toilet. Almost all models allow you to raise and lower the lid and the seat at the touch of a button, so you don’t actually have to lay hands on the toilet itself.

Cleansing: A bidet-like cleansing function is an absolute must for a high-tech toilet. With many models such as the Duravit SensoWash Stack offering the ability to personalize the position, pressure, and temperature of the water streams, there’s never been a better way to clean up after taking care of business.

Drying: Naturally any toilet with a cleansing feature has to have a drying feature as well. Many models offer a choice of air temperatures and fan speeds.

Heated Seat: The days when people used to keep the seat for their outdoor WC indoors during winter to avoid freezing their fanny are long gone. But even so, no one enjoys a chilly commode. Today’s high-tech toilets almost all offer heated seats, and the Kohler Numi even has a foot heater.

Air Purification: There’s no need to have an ugly can of air freshener cluttering up your space when you have a high-tech toilet. Many models include air purification features to eliminate embarrassing odors.

Self-Cleaning Features: A few high-tech toilets are designed to cut down the time you have to spend scrubbing the bathroom each week. Some have anti-microbial finishes and the Toto Neorest actually spritzes the bowl with electrolyzed water before use to give each flush 80 percent more bowl-cleansing power.

Touchless Flush: It practically goes without saying that a high-tech toilet should offer touchless flush capability. Even a standard toilet can benefit from a touchless flush kit, which helps reduce the spread of germs by keeping everyone’s fingers off the flush handle or button. Some high-tech toilets incorporate motion sensor technology to trigger the flush, others flush automatically when the lid is closed, and one model can even be controlled by your smartphone (though it’s hard to imagine you would want to do this).

Nightlight: Having a subtle nightlight built into the toilet can be a real convenience when visiting the facilities in the dark of night. However, some high-tech toilets go out on a limb with up to 7 different colors of lights, which can seem gimmicky.

Music: A little music can be nice when you have concerns about using a powder room near where friends, family, or guests are congregating. Some high-tech toilets actually have FM radio built in, which may be a bit excessive for a trip to the john but could make a nice replacement for the old fashioned shower radio when talking a bath or shower.

5 Points to Consider When Choosing Rain Shower Head

Enjoy a beautiful and relaxing shower with the right rainfall showerhead in your bathroom.

5 Points to Consider When Choosing Rain Shower HeadIf you’ve ever enjoyed a rain shower at a spa, you’re probably eager to bring that gentle and relaxing shower experience home so you can feel like you’re at the spa every day. Thanks to the wide variety of rainfall shower heads on the market today, you can definitely achieve this.

However, it is important to choose your rain shower head carefully if you want to get the best results. Here are the 5 most important points to consider.

Is Your Bathroom Style Sophisticated Enough?

First of all, you need to consider your current bathroom design. Is it sophisticated enough to support a rainfall shower head? Let’s be honest, just sticking a rain shower head into a bathroom that hasn’t been updated in decades isn’t going to look right. You may want to consider redesigning your entire bathroom to help make sure it supports the spa-like vibe you’re hoping to achieve with your rain shower head. Mission West Kitchen & Bath offers many resources to help you do this, including beautiful contemporary plumbing fixtures, custom bathroom vanity cabinetry, and quality bathroom countertops.

Wall or Ceiling Mount?

Originally, rainfall showerheads were all ceiling mounted. However, because running plumbing through the bathroom ceiling can be a big project, wall-mounted options are increasingly popular. These showerheads can mount right where your old showerhead did, yet still deliver the overhead rain shower experience because the shower arm arches out over and above your head to point the showerhead straight down. Wall and ceiling mounts obviously look very different and tend to have different price points as well, so you will want to choose carefully.

Choosing the Shape

Rainfall showerheads generally come in either a square or round shape. The choice typically depends on what the rest of your bathroom looks like. Square heads typically work better with contemporary bathrooms that already have a lot of angular elements in them such as a square bathtub.

Choosing the Size

Rain shower heads come in sizes anywhere from 6 inches across to 10 inches or more. Larger sizes obviously deliver a larger area of “rain” for your shower, but if you have bad water pressure, a larger size with more nozzles will make the problem worse. Smaller showerheads with fewer nozzles will have more pressure.

Choosing the Finish

Finally, once you’ve narrowed down the type, size, and shape of rainfall showerhead you prefer, you may have the option of choosing the finish. Depending on the manufacturer you may have dozens of finishes to choose from including different metal tones, brushed, polished, oiled, or rubbed finishes, etc. Don’t worry about matching the rest of your bathroom plumbing fixtures exactly—these days it is common to mix and match as long as the finishes complement one another.

How to Design the Perfect Kitchen Island

Use these design tips to help you decide what you’re looking for in a kitchen island.

How to Design the Perfect Kitchen Island In today’s era of the open-floor-plan kitchen, dining, and living area, kitchen islands are an absolute must-have for most homes. Not only does an island help create a bit of definition to for the kitchen space without interfering with sight lines to the rest of living areas, an island also provides extra counter space. This is often an essential part of making an open-floor-plan kitchen functional, especially in cases of renovations where the third wall of the kitchen has been lost.

With a kitchen island having such an important role in both the look of the home and the functionality of the room, naturally you want to be sure you get the perfect one. While there is no magic formula for designing the perfect kitchen island, taking a look at what’s hot—and what’s not—in kitchen island design will help, as will considering your specific needs and budget.

Here are some tips to get you started.

Work the Triangle

First off, think about the functional aspects of the island. Most kitchen tasks involve moving in a triangle between the sink, the stove, and the fridge. In an open floor plan kitchen all of these items might have to be in a row on one wall, or at best in an L shape if you have two walls. But add an island and suddenly you can start working that super-triangle and become very efficient in the kitchen. It’s typically easiest to add a sink to the island, but you could also put your cooktop there. Adding a cooktop will require adding an exhaust hood of some sort, so be sure you consider how that will affect your interior design.

Think Big

Kitchen islands are trending bigger and bigger these days. Don’t be afraid to give your island a large footprint. Just be sure that there is ample clearance around the island for working comfortably in the kitchen. Also, if you have chosen natural stone countertops, be sure you have budgeted for the cost of a large slab of stone to cover your entire island.

Beware of Pre-Fab Cabinets

Since your island has no back to press up against a wall, it is very important to ensure that the cabinetry looks amazing from every angle. Think very carefully before you settle for pre-fab cabinets on this important focal point of your home. Ordering custom cabinetry for the island will give a much richer look as well as provide you with more design flexibility in adding features such as a wine rack or decorative panels to the island.

Include Seating, But Not Bar Seating

In days gone by, it was common for kitchen islands to have two levels, one for prep work and a higher one for casual dining. This multi-level look is out! But that doesn’t mean you have to give up on the idea of your kitchen island doubling as a casual eating space. This is still very common, and some designers are planning for as many as 6 people to sit around some of the truly jumbo-size islands being built. Choose your seating based on your needs for entertaining or dining with your family. Using backless stools rather than your usual dining chairs will help keep everything looking sleek and spacious.