Gorgeous Black Woodgrain Kitchens

Are you ready for this? Black kitchen cabs have been the talk for awhile but most of the time it’s black painted cabinets, not woodgrain. This kitchen does the whole black thing but dials it back just a tad by letting the wood show through. I love it!


polygon homes on flickr

This whole thing just works for me. It’s not too dark thanks to the beautiful white counters, which appear to be something along the lines of a Silestone White Platinum.

Silestone White Platinum Counter

It really doesn’t end there. I’m liking a ton about this kitchen:

  • The layout is nice and easy – great for real life
  • I like the big island with nothing (like a sink or cooktop) in the way
  • Even though I thought I was over stainless appliances, they work here
  • I know it’s strange, but I like the little metal nailheads on the stool covers!
  • The white on white crown molding…goood

The only thing I’m not sure of is the floor. Another color would have been better.

Onyx Stain on Quartersawn Oak

Here’s another one:


I’m in love with the black stain thing. I was kind of into the whole black painted cabinet thing. I even wrote a post about spray painting your cabinets black a couple of years ago, but something about it just didn’t totally jive with me.

This jives. I guess it’s the woodgrain. Especially the “quartersawn” oak which has a much different grain than what you usually think of when you think of oak. This is very linear, no big color variations. Usually just vertical grain in two alternating shades: dark, light, dark, light, dark, light…

The image above is from Kraftmaid

So what about you? You dig? You can see the top kitchen in a white color scheme and vote on your favorite at Black vs. White on Remodeling Guy.

Winning Kitchen Storage Ideas

Sometimes we need just a little more space, or just the right space, to keep everything in order in the kitchen.  I love, love, love seeing my pretty dishes and vintage pyrex bowls so I wouldn’t want to hide them away in a regular kitchen cabinet.  Decorating with what you use can keep it all in reach and look beautiful at the same time. 

Here are some fabulous ideas for storage in your kitchen.


Our old kitchen had lots of space, but not a ton of storage.  Something like this freestanding armoire could holds tons of holiday china and become a beautiful accent you’ll never want to do without.  I love the green!



Open shelves are one of my favorite things!  Just stack all your colorful dishes and you’ve decorated your kitchen with style.  Now it looks like a kitchen that actually gets cooked in…that’s a good thing!


What should you do with all those small appliances that you love?  How about cubbies??  This is a fun way to organize everything so you can find it when you need it.  On a side note, I just got an ice cream make like this one and it rocks!


So much space gets wasted!  Go all the way to the top with your cabinets and make your kitchen HOT!  You’ll love all the extra storage space you get and it only makes your kitchen more beautiful.

I hope you found a kitchen storage idea that works for you.  Think outside the box of ordinary cabinets and make your kitchen your own.

I love my colorful dishes and display them on open shelves. What’s your favorite thing to display in your kitchen?


Have a Breakfast Nook You Can Be Proud Of!

ImageEverybody luuurrrvves a great breakfast nook!

They have the potential to be one of the most comfortable and cozy spaces in any home.

Here are a few inspiring photos and tips to help you transform your nook into your own little slice of heaven!

This little nook to the right is a great example of creatively imagining a space that is both functional and beautiful!

The use of horizontal wood boards as wall paneling and then painting that an accent color is brilliant!

While it may be a little bit pink for me personally, it’s really a great space that looks like an inspiring spot to start the day!

Connect Built-In Seating and Storage


Built-in seating, commonly referred to as banquettes, is a great way to save space while gaining big in terms of liveability!

Nobody loves the feeling of having more empty chairs around the table than full ones. If you’re like me, it just makes you miss your kids wherever they may be at the moment.

The cool set-up above works comfortably for two without seeming empty yet is easily expanded to seat up to five for a larger gathering.

When It Comes to Windows, Think Outside the Box


These windows make this space sing! Designs like this are getting easier and easier to come by so don’t give-up too quickly! Modern woodworking machines are bringing the costs down and the result of something like this is breathtaking!

The simple chandalier, bright white walls, and unobtrusive open beam ceilings are all ideas you could incorporate into your perfect sun-kissed corner.

A Cleaner Approach


If you’re more comfortable surrounded by clean lines and soft, warm tones, then maybe the highly customized dining area shown above is up your ally.

Top-of-the-line cabinetry and custom cushions work together with just the right shade of paint and some fantastic looking interior brickwork to create a space that is elegant, functional, and very, very comfortable.

The wall-mounted lighting makes that corner look like a great place to kick back with a book or a magazine. Is this one your dream spot?

What About a Simple Splash of Color?


Sometimes the difference between “blah” and “bam!” is as simple as a little bit of color! Find a table at Goodwill or Habitat and hit it with some sandpaper and paint and you’ll soon be greeting each day with a smile!

A close look reveals some attention to detail has gone into the space shown above. The assortment of pillows perfectly ties the table with the window shade and wall colors.

Very nice!

No Breakfast Nook?

Don’t fret, just do a bump-out addition! Take a close look at this one:


I love color, so it’s sometimes tough for me to get into very subdued designs, but this really looks fantastic. The way the table and benches cantilever out with no support really look neat.

The cool thing about this space is that the whole entire thing could be added to any home as a bump-out addition. It’s less expensive than you might think and the added space can be invaluable!

I wrote a post about Bump-Out additions over at RemodelingGuy if you want to read more about that.


Well there you have it. A few ideas that you can use to create a breakfast nook you can be proud of!


~ Tim


Photo sources: Ashley Anderson,  CentsationalGirl, bhg.com, Olivia Kiraly, 28media


10 Country Kitchen Inspired Budget Tips

We’ve taken a few great looking country kitchens and pulled out 10 tips to save you money on your kitchen remodel budget. Did we miss anything?


1. Framed DIY Chalkboards – Skipping the whole set of upper cabinets has two key benefits.  First, it opens up the room and creates a feeling of spaciousness many kitchens yearn for.  Second, it saves a ton of money!  The drawback can be huge expanses of open wall space.  Paint a section with chalkboard paint and frame it with wood that compliments your cabinets.  The addition of some small shelves like seen above complete the look and make-up for some of that lost storage!

2. Make Use of inexpensive furnishings – A table like the one above can be a garage sale find for $20!  Even a new one probably wouldn’t set you back more than $100.  Compare that to a thousand dollars or more for an island cabinet and counter surface.  The metal shelving unit is another great solution that won’t cost much and provides a nice contrast to the wood in the room.

3. White Appliances and Fixtures – Creating a design that works with white appliances will save you a bundle. White appliances are consistently less expensive, sometimes by more than 30%.


4. Learn a little carpentry! – Open shelves like the ones above are very easy to cut from simple 1×8 or 1×10 lumber.  The brackets can be either made or bought.  I found some on Amazon.com that were similar for about $12 bucks.  Decide to take your skill level a notch higher and you can cut these out yourself for a fraction of even that cost. (Hint: The wood beadboard paneling on the wall makes securely mounting shelves about a gazillion times easier)

5.  Consider a smaller sink area – This farm sink looks awesome and farm sinks certainly cost a bit more than drop-in sinks do.  But the picture above demonstrates a different kind of economy – space economy.  This farm sink is a single bowl model that is half as wide as some of the larger sinks.  That space savings means a smaller bottom line budget and less to clean too!


6. Hunt for bargains on tile flooring – Flooring is one of the most wide ranging cost items in any remodel.  Its also one of the areas where serious money can be saved.  The image above shows a porcelain tile floor that is exactly the kind of thing I see on clearance pallets all the time.  Don’t shop only at the big-box stores.  Go to the nearest large metro area and visit dozens of tile suppliers in one day.  You’ll often find them in the same areas making it easy to visit a half-dozen suppliers in a couple of hours.  They always have close-out selections for crazy prices.  The catch:  you have to take delivery now, so be ready or have a storage spot lined-up.



7. Keep paint choices simple – The more paint colors you have, the higher your budget will creep.  More colors means more paint, more tools, and more time.  If you’re paying a painter, that means a lot more money.  Even if you’re DIY’ing it, you’ll save cash by keeping paint choices to a minimum.  I’d never advocate skimping on your design goals for this (I love colorful spaces), but as you can see in the photo above, one color can look fantastic!

8. Combine Spaces – The kitchen above gives new meaning to the term “Eat-In-Kitchen”.  In a smaller home, doubling up on space like this can mean the difference between a house working for your family or not.  It can save tens of thousands of dollars on the cost of a room addition or a larger home.  Small spaces often work out much better than you expect and result in great times with family and friends, so if you can use the same space for cooking and eating, go for it!


9. Um… well, let’s see… There must be a money saving tip in this awesome kitchen somewhere. Cheap cabinets, nope…not even close.  Flooring… it doesn’t get much more expensive than this.  Don’t even get me started on that awesome unit against the wall under the windows.  Windows!  That’s it – lot’s of windows save money on lighting cost while creating a happy and inviting space!

Moving on…


10. Don’t be afraid of “eclectic” – A kitchen like the one above is the kind of space that is filled to the brim with things the owner loves from the bottom of her soul!  Items like that unique baker’s rack/cupboard and the antique table with bench seating are too authentic to be contrived.  This is the kind of space that can only happen over time.

Just start collecting things you love and putting them to work.  After awhile, a look all your own will develop and you’ll love everything so much it will feel like it didn’t cost you a dime!

~ Tim