Category Archives: kitchen trends

FIVE ACCENT LIGHTING TECHNIQUES FOR CUSTOM KITCHENS

Custom Kitchen Lighting… So Many Options for Accents!

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As a custom home builder we have had the opportunity to install a wide variety of accent lighting in custom kitchens.  Depending on the desires of the customer, home design and home style there are many options for kitchen accent lighting.  The five most popular in our experience at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC has been 1) underneath upper kitchen cabinets, 2) above upper kitchen cabinets, 3) hanging light fixtures above kitchen work areas, 4) underneath lower kitchen cabinets, and 5) jam switches.

1)      Underneath the Upper Kitchen Cabinets:  Often popular in custom kitchens are accent lights hidden underneath the upper kitchen cabinets, these can be hidden by the upper cabinets so that only the light itself is seen reflecting onto the kitchen counter.  Fluorescent or halogen light fixtures are great for this area, with a different glow, tone, and warmth offered by each.  These lights are usually designed to be powered by one or two light switches in the kitchen so that all of the under cabinet lighting is lit with the power of one switch rather than turning each one on individually. Continue reading

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CUSTOM HOME KITCHENS AS A GATHERING PLACE!

Kitchen Design and the Multiple Uses of Kitchen Islands

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An elegant home with everything one could hope for—from unique living spaces to a custom kitchen just meant for entertaining.  In recent years, kitchen trends have changed significantly.  A shift has taken place from the functional wall of cabinets to architectural spaces where window walls and work islands are replacing the row of look-a-like cabinets along each wall.  Complimenting the architectural style of a home, kitchen cabinets look like independent pieces of furniture grouped in furniture-like arrangements.  Stained alder wood is a popular material used for custom kitchen cabinets, mixing stained cabinets with painted and glazed alder wood cabinets.  Long gone is the small window sink placed between cabinets, but replaced by larger windows and plenty of natural light. 

Many Americans are spending more time at home and entertaining at home, increasing demand that kitchen spaces be aesthetically pleasing and great entertainment areas.  As custom home builders, at Woodridge Custom Builders LLC we have see this transition.  Our custom home buyers want style, natural light and room to gather and socialize in their kitchen.  Many also are seek abundant storage space with state of the art kitchen appliances.  Space, often at a premium, requires that every inch count.  Continue reading

CUSTOM HOMES… THE AT-HOME COFFEE BAR

Our Love for Coffee Hits the Master Suite

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In custom homes built by Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, a new trend is to include a coffee brewing area or ‘coffee bar’ in the master suite and/or kitchen.  For some coffee lovers, getting the coffee maker going in the morning is as important as starting the shower and grabbing the morning paper.  So for coffee lovers requiring that cup of Joe in the morning while getting roused, up and ready to face a great day, it makes sense to these coffee lovers to include a coffee bar in the master suite.  Placing a small coffee maker in the master suite minimizes the numerous trips to the kitchen to start the coffee, to get the cup of coffee, and possibly a refill. 

The photos below highlight, a coffee bar area was built into this master suite area.  The space was actually designed as one of two large master closets.  These custom home buyers decided one of the closets was too large and its particular large size of no use them.  So they reduced the size of one of the master closets and created this coffee bar.  The coffee bar is about four feet wide.  The area includes a 48” granite countertop that includes a wet bar sink for obtaining water for the coffee and an under-counter refrigerator for storing cream.  Since only one of the homeowners was a coffee drinker, the under-counter refrigerator also stores bottled water and bottled orange juice.  Upper cabinets provide storage for cups, filters, coffee and other supplies.  This area, although an afterthought to the original house plans, provides a functional and delightful use of the space.  Decorative wallpaper with a coffee theme and coffee accessories add to the charm of the coffee bar.   

Although these homeowners elected to use a coffee maker that rests on the counter, there are more and more built-in coffee makers designed for home use.  At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, our custom home buyers visit with Andy Welemin of Westar Kitchen and Bath, Tempe, Arizona ( www.westar-sw.com) for assistance with appliances when making selections for a custom home.  Westar Kitchen and Bath represents a wide variety of appliance manufacturers, including those that produce terrific built-in coffee-makers and under-counter refrigerators.

 

MANY USES OF THE UNDER-COUNTER REFRIGERATOR IN CUSTOM HOMES!

Chilled to Perfection!

 http://www.woodridgecustombuilders.com

Under-counter refrigerators seem to be showing up everywhere lately.  In the custom homes built by Woodridge Custom Builders LLC we have placed them in kitchens, wet bar areas, coffee bars, home offices, garages, and guesthouses.  Woodridge has also placed them in the master suite.

Popular brands for these refrigerators include U-line, Sub-Zero, GE, Viking, and Kitchen-Aid.  Some of these units have pull out drawers, and glass doors.  The glass doors can be switched to an endless number of alternatives from the standard appliance look to matching kitchen cabinets. Continue reading

CUSTOM HOME KITCHENS… WHAT’S HOT, WHAT’S NOT!

At Woodridge Custom Builders LLC, it’s our business to know what is popular for custom homes.  Some styles come and go quickly while other trends seem to have more staying power.  It is amazing how long the faux finishing craze has lasted, in fact, the finishes seem to get better and better the longer the style sticks around.  Current kitchen styles are particularly important since the kitchen is a predominant area of the house. To get it right it begins with a good set of house plans and home design.  Outlined below are features designed and built into some of the homes constructed by Woodridge Custom Builders LLC.  For the most part… by the lists below, anything goes!

 What’s Hot for the New Custom Home!

  • Kitchen islands rather than kitchen peninsulas
  • Cabinets and islands that look like stand-alone furniture
  • Cabinets made of a variety of materials from traditional stained cabinets to distressed, painted and glazed cabinets
  • Multiple cook kitchen designs
  • Mixing cabinet colors
  • Dark alder wood with a glaze-finished on cabinets
  • Granite countertops
  • French doors
  • Outdoor kitchens including a grill, sink and refrigerator
  • Kitchen-like spaces in the master bedroom for coffee-making areas and under-counter refrigerators for morning juices and bottled water
  • Wine storage, from shelving to niches to wine refrigerators
  • Stainless steel appliances
  • Commercial grade ranges
  • High kitchen ceilings
  • Large windows, no longer reserved for the space above the kitchen sink
  • Large islands.  Really large islands
  • Pendant lighting
  • White cabinets
  • Under counter icemakers
  • Useful pantries
  • Natural stone flooring
  • European Apron front sinks
  • Multiple ovens, sometimes a full-range and wall oven/microwave combination
  • Cabinets with corner posts and/or hand-carved corbels
  • Oversized range hoods, designed with mass and constructed with mantels, and niche
  • Stylish stone backsplashes with decorative elements scattered throughout
  • Hand painted scenes or still life tiles located behind the cook top or range
  • A fireplace in the kitchen or dining nook
  • Under counter refreshment refrigerators located on an island, just for bottled water, or sodas.  No need to open the full-size refrigerator just for water or have a water dispenser in the refrigerator door
  • Round kitchen tables
  • Soft under cabinet lighting
  • Two dishwashers
  • Sofa and chairs in the dining area so family and guests can comfortably hang out with the cook
  • Great kitchen lay-outs ergonomically designed with form and function in mind
  • Tuscan style kitchen themes
  • Modern style kitchen themes

 What You’re Not Likely to Find in a New Custom Home!

  • Whitewashed oak cabinets
  • Blond cabinets
  • White appliances
  • Cathedral arched cabinet doors
  • Laminated counter surfaces
  • Low ceilings
  • Soffits
  • Ceramic tile counter tops
  • Fluorescent lights
  • Sliding doors
  • Kitchen desk areas
  • Wallpaper borders
  • Dining chairs with wheels