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This couple was looking to transform a spare bedroom into a comfortable inviting place to work at home.  A warm stain and glaze over maple with a high degree of attention to detail transformed this room into a delightful and functional retreat.  I think Brendan and Trevor have certainly worked their magic here!



Have you ever wondered what you can do with a little bit of leftover space in your home?  This client had an L- shaped space approximately 7′ X 8′.  This is not such a small space, you may say, however when the request is for an English Pub Bar it’s not so much!  In addition, this home owner wanted the option of being able to see the large screened TV on the opposite wall of the adjacent family room.  My design solution was to use a lot of paneling and mouldings to create the proper feeling.  I paneled the back wall and inserted a large mirror which would reflect the  TV so that you could see it while sitting at the bar.  We added a bar sink in the corner which was easy as the kitchen sink, and therefore the plumbing,  was right on the other side of the wall.  We wanted an upper cabinet to store glasses but were unable to utilize the wall space to its left because of the kitchen pass through.  The solution was to add another mirror over the sink which gave us good balance and lightness in the midst of all the wood.  An ice maker, beverage refrigerator and built-in “kegerator” were also included.  I am pleased to say our clients are thrilled with the design, craftsmanship and function of their new English Pub Bar!  Next post: Wood You??



Since the current financial climate has most of us staying in our current homes for the time being, 2010 might just be the year to bite the bullet and create the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of.  Prices have never been as competitive and choices have never been as abundant as they are now.
Planning a new kitchen involves a mine field of details.  A mine field because some of those details can make or break the project.  How do you get from start to finish?  It can certainly be an overwhelming prospect, especially if it’s your first time.  The secret is to break it down in small chunks.  The steps are measuring, creating a plan on paper, ordering, demolition and installation.
Begin by measuring the space you have to work with.  Then, if you are currently living in the home think about what you like and what you’d rather not live with anymore.  Collect ideas.  Use magazines and books. Look around your house for clues that will tell you what style and color palette will be right for you.  Before a working plan can be developed you will also have to decide what appliances you’ll be using.  Some are standard sizes but refrigerators vary as do microwaves, wall ovens and cook tops. If you want to really explore the variety and pricing available in cabinets it can be worth your while to hire a professional kitchen designer to draw detailed plans with elevations. That way it will be easier for you to obtain pricing that will be comparable from one line to another.
When ordering your cabinets make sure to read your contract carefully.  Your kitchen dealer should take all the time necessary to outline every detail of each cabinet.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions not only about the product you’re ordering but also about the process and scheduling of the job.
Don’t remove your old cabinets until your new cabinets are on hand.  Remember disposal of old cabinets must be addressed.  Sometimes your old cabinets can be recycled for use in the garage.  Talk to your installer to see if this is a feasible option in your particular situation.
Installation of new cabinets generally won’t take more than a few days.  Usually base, or lower, cabinets are installed first so that the counter tops may be templated.  You’ll want to get this done as soon as possible as once your tops are installed you will actually be able to use your new kitchen.
Always bear in mind that with so many details something is sure to go at least a little awry.  Maybe a finished end on a cabinet is missed or someone among the large number of people you count on to make your kitchen a reality could, heaven forbid, make a mistake!  Relax it happens and there is always a solution.  For this reason it is a good idea to pad your budget to help compensate for these unanticipated occurrences and when you have to wait a few extra days remember it’s small in the scheme of things.  You will have your beautiful kitchen just the way you want it for years to come.  The important thing is that it’s done right. This stunning kitchen by Holiday Kitchens features lots of natural light, great storage with cabinets extending to the counter top and a multi-functional island. Next post: East meets West…


                                                 Brendan Donovan & Trevor Collins

Welcome to Kitchens for Living! As many of you know I was with Masters Kitchen Gallery since its inception, fifteen years ago plus!  We had a nice long run and for that I’m very grateful.  At Masters, whenever we needed total custom cabinetry we turned to Brendan Donovan.  Since the economy has brought about so many challenges to our business, I have noticed that the segment of our industry that has thrived is the cabinet shop.  It is here that one can still find the beauty and soul of a hand-crafted product with flexiblility in price, thanks to low overhead.  I’m very excited to be working with Brendan and Trevor  and thank them for welcoming me to the team.  In the coming posts I will show you what we are working on and how these projects just might relate to you and what you are dreaming about for your own abode. If you have questions about your own kitchen or suggestions drop me a line.  I’d love to hear from you.

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