Incorporating Blue Colors Into Kitchen Cabinets and Designs

For many years, even decades during previous generations, the conventional wisdom held that kitchen cabinets should generally be a natural or neutral tone. Cabinets, as some of the largest and most prominent design elements of any kitchen, were thought to be foundational pieces that should be relatively plain and leave room for more colorful accents in other areas.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re here to inform you that times have changed. While our custom kitchen cabinets are absolutely still available in a variety of neutral colors, we’ve also seen a big spike in popularity for several brighter and more adventurous color schemes in recent years. One of the top color types that’s gaining steam here: Blue shades, which hold several potential aesthetic benefits. Let’s look at the trends that have led to our current state, plus some tips on incorporating blue into your cabinets and choosing the right shade to complement the rest of the kitchen.

incorporating blue kitchen cabinets

Emerging Trends

As we noted, neutral colors were the automatic go-to for kitchen cabinets for a long time – and still are for many people. In these situations, more colorful shades are generally used as accents and complementary elements.

But as modern design pieces like stainless steel fixtures, glass-heavy designs and others became more popular, so did some changes in cabinet trends. More homeowners became interested in brighter shades to create a more distinctive look, using cabinetry painted in different colors, including blue.

Incorporating Blue into the Kitchen

So how do you incorporate some blue into your kitchen cabinets and other areas? There are a few potential themes here.

In some cases, homeowners may feel that going all blue with cabinetry would be overdoing it, overwhelming viewers with a bit too much color. In these situations, you can use blue coloring in select areas – maybe only cabinets on your island are fully blue, for instance, while others on the main walls have blue accents mixed with neutral colors.

For some, though, a fully blue design is attainable using lighter blues. These add warmth to a kitchen and work well as an undertone, particularly if the kitchen receives plenty of natural light during the day. But as recent trends have shown, this area really comes down to individual creativity and preference.

Shade Choices

If you’ve chosen to include blue in your kitchen cabinets and color scheme, it’s important to get the shading right. Darker blues are known as elegant colors, but as we noted above, you may have to limit them to avoid overwhelming people and making the space feel too crowded.

As we also noted, lighter blues are great for warmth and a welcoming feel. This is particularly true in smaller kitchens and those with natural light.

For more on incorporating blue into your kitchen cabinets and overall kitchen design, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities or custom woodworking projects, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying New Cabinets

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud to serve as your one-stop shop for all custom cabinets, vanities and other custom woodworking projects. We have hundreds of stain and glaze formats available, with the latest technology used for everything from functionality to aesthetics.

For our wide range of customers, our top priority is to make the process of selecting and installing custom woodwork simple and easy. There’s one area where you can help us, and yourself, out here: Asking yourself a few very basic questions about your home’s needs and your personal desires before we consult with you to determine the right products and materials. Here are a few broad question types you should be considering in advance of purchasing kitchen cabinetry or any of our other quality materials.

questions before buying cabinets

What’s the Budget?

It may not be the most attractive question to answer, but it’s one of the most important. Determining your general budget range and where you want that money to be spent is vital for laying out the foundation of your entire project, whether it’s a full-on remodel or a minor cabinet upgrade.

What Do I Like and Dislike About Current Cabinets?

Are you fully replacing all your cabinets, or just looking to upgrade a certain area? In either case, taking some time to list out the positives and negatives from your current cabinets can go a long way. If some of them are remaining in the space, you may want to mimic some of their qualities in the new cabinets you choose.

A few areas you may want to consider include color, style and modernity, size and storage space, height, opening and closing capabilities (some older models may begin to squeak when opened, or may even become more difficult to open over time), and even the actual location of the cabinets themselves.

How’s My Storage Space?

We mentioned storage above, and it’s a top priority for many purchasing new cabinets. Consider what you plan to store in your cabinets, and whether this changes your needs. Think about not only general cabinet depth, but also height. In some cases, homeowners go as far as measuring the space and comparing it to major items or appliances they plan to store.

Which Cabinet Add-Ons Do I Need?

Finally, consider which items you want to add onto cabinets for increased organization and layout purposes. Possible items here include storage racks, slide-out shelves, spice racks, holders for pots or pans, spaces for trash bins, soft-closing doors or drawers, and potentially even a wine rack for certain cabinet types.

For more on the questions you should be asking yourself in advance of purchasing new kitchen cabinets, or to learn about any of our other materials, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Advice for Self-Installing Home Bathroom Vanities

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud of the huge variety of bathroom vanities we offer our clients. We carry traditional, rustic and modern bathroom vanities in numerous different specific styles, with a wide selection of paints, stains, finishes and other design factors.

We’re also here to offer expertise to those looking to install one of our beautiful modern vanities in their bathroom. If this is your first time taking on such a DIY project, you should take care to approach things properly and take the right precautions. Let’s go over several important areas to consider as you plan out bathroom vanity installation.

self-installing bathroom vanities

Tools and Equipment

For starters, ensure you have all the proper tools and equipment required for the job on hand before you get going. There’s nothing worse than being a third of the way into an installation before realizing you have to stop and head to the home improvement store for a tool you don’t have.

A few tools you may require for your vanity installation include: Hammer, tape measure, drill, leveling tool, caulk, marking pencil, wrenches (preferably adjustable), bucket, safety glasses, safety gloves, chisel, knife and potentially others. The specifics here will depend on the precise vanity you’re installing – your manufacturer’s guide will list any other tools you might require.

Plumbing Areas

Once you have your tools organized, it’s time to ask an important question: Do you need to re-do or replace any plumbing areas during your installation? Many systems will be set up such that very limited changes are needed, or perhaps even none at all. But in other cases, even the most handy homeowners will need to call professional plumbers to assist them with this area.

If you’re performing your own plumbing upgrades here, be sure to keep the water valves under the sink off. In addition, keep a bucket around to collect any residual water that leaves drains.

Leveling

As you’re preparing to install the vanity into the wall, use your leveling tool to measure from each side of the wall. Make sure the entire vanity is fully even before you secure it.

Drawers and Doors

One pro tip on the heavy lifting section of the installation: Remove all the doors and drawers from the vanity before installing. This not only makes it weigh less, but removes parts that might fall out or become damaged during the actual installation.

Testing for Leaks

Finally, once your vanity is in place, open each valve one at a time to confirm there are no leaks in your new sink. If you do locate a leak, you can attempt to tighten the pipe that’s causing it. If this doesn’t work, try plumber’s tape or plumber’s putty, or simply call a plumber for assistance.

For more on installing a bathroom vanity, or to learn about any of our custom kitchen cabinets or other woodworking projects, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Utilizing Custom Cabinets Throughout the Home

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud to offer not only a wide range of beautiful kitchen cabinets, but also numerous additional custom woodworking projects. If you have a wood-themed design in mind for any part of your home, our cabinet makers and woodworking professionals are here to help you realize it.

One area that sits somewhere in between these two poles: Utilizing our quality cabinetry for areas other than the kitchen or bathroom, by far the two most common locations where cabinets are generally found in a home. These aren’t the only home areas where cabinets can be valuable, though – here are a few others you might consider.

utilizing custom cabinets throughout home

Dining Room

As long as you keep things classy and tasteful, you can carry over your kitchen’s cabinet design into areas of the dining room as well. In some cases, homeowners performing a remodel will purposely extend their theme in precisely this way for an aesthetic effect.

In addition to the visual, these cabinets can be highly practical. They’re perfect for storing fine china, pitchers, serving trays and even wine glasses you might not want to mix in with the clutter of the standard kitchen. If you have enough space, you can also utilize these cabinets for alcohol storage for hosting guests.

Basement

Finished basements are a popular remodeling project these days, and cabinetry can contribute to the space here in several ways. They’re once again both functional and beneficial from an aesthetic standpoint, helping hold things like movies or video games if you’re using the basement as a kids’ chill room. In other cases, cabinets can serve as vital elements of a converted living space in the basement. By matching them with surrounding walls and floor designs, you’ll have a great-looking and highly functional space.

Laundry Room

You may care a bit less about the aesthetics of your laundry room, but cabinets can be a huge practical draw here as well. They’re great for storing everything from detergent and dryer sheets to various other chemicals – even those that are used in other areas of the home, but you want to prevent access to from pets or children. Many people create an area in their laundry room where they store all their major chemical cleaners, far away from prying hands or paws.

Entryway

The home’s entryway is the transition between the outdoor and indoor spaces, and cabinets can play multiple roles here. They’re great for storage of shoes, boots and other similar pieces, plus can offer a great place for kids to leave their backpacks or school books. In higher areas, you can also leave storage space for your keys, purse, jacket or other items.

Home Office

Finally, if you’re someone who works from home often or keeps a home office, cabinets are highly valuable in these spaces. They bring a professional atmosphere while also providing you simple storage solutions for any documents, files or other materials.

For more on how our cabinets can be used all over the home, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

High-ROI Remodeling Areas to Boost Home Value

For any homeowner, regardless of your specific situation, knowing the value of your home is very important. Whether you’re planning to sell in the near future or just looking to stay as informed as possible in case things change down the line, understanding and working toward raising home value is a valuable, intelligent approach to take.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we offer several remodeling and upgrade areas that are known to be some of the highest-value home renovations available. From modern and traditional kitchen cabinets to bathroom vanities and several other custom woodworking areas, we provide you with high-quality materials that tend to bring excellent return on investment. Let’s look at the three home upgrade areas that are known to provide the most value, plus what we offer for you in each area.

high-ROI remodeling home value

Kitchens

For decades, the kitchen has been considered both the foundation of most homes and the highest-value upgrade area. It’s the central gathering area in almost all homes, somewhere where everyone from the core family to a larger group of friends can gather and socialize.

In 2019, more and more buyers are looking for clean, modern-looking kitchen upgrades. Neutral, minimalist tones are all the rage, with stainless steel appliances and practicality being prioritized. This extends to cabinets as well – buyers want a variety of storage options and potential add-ons, and we have brushed or metal and fluid lines available in all our cabinets that give a distinctly modern feel.

Bathrooms

Bathrooms are the other major home area that generate high-value returns when they’re upgraded. This is particularly true of bathroom vanities, which help tie the entire space together.

We have a huge variety of bathroom vanity products on hand for you to choose from, including several vanity tops that offer a few different styles. We offer sealing technology that will protect against stains or any other kind of mess, plus make cleaning and maintenance far simpler. You can complement a new vanity in several areas, from tiles on the floor to an accent wall if appropriate.

Outdoor Areas

Some other factors buyers are looking for today include curb appeal and space for social gatherings, and you can accomplish both with some intelligent outdoor design. Decks, patios, porches and similar areas all serve as extensions of your indoor space, chances for you to complement their aesthetics while also making the outer areas of the home look and feel appealing. Our pros are happy to offer several pieces of advice on how your outdoor upgrades will interact with and contrast your kitchen and bathroom upgrades, plus recommendations on which areas offer the highest value.

For more on making home upgrades that will keep property values high, or to learn about any of our custom kitchen cabinets or bathroom vanities, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Tips on Choosing a Mirror for Your Bathroom Vanity

There are certain home upgrade purchases that tend to go hand-in-hand, and one great example here is the bathroom vanity and the bathroom mirror. Almost always linked and placed together, bathroom vanities and mirrors go together like spaghetti and meatballs, as some would say.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud to offer a huge variety of traditional, rustic and modern bathroom vanities for you to choose from. We’re also happy to help you choose the perfect complementary mirror for your new vanity no matter what your needs and desires are for the bathroom space – let’s go over some of the important factors in determining exactly which mirror you need, including a few unique styles you may desire.

choosing mirror bathroom vanity

Countertop Width

The primary factor that will play a role in the mirror you select? The width of your bathroom countertop. The mirror will almost always be placed on this countertop, and therefore it’s the measurement you should use to define the mirror size.

Generally speaking, you want to go for a mirror that’s a couple inches shorter than the overall countertop, often placed flush with the vanity itself. Based on this broad assumption, here are some of the popular bathroom vanity sizes and the mirror size ranges you should consider along with them:

  • 24-inch vanity: 22-23-inch mirror
  • 30-inch vanity: 28-29-inch mirror
  • 36-inch vanity: 34-35-inch mirror
  • 48-inch vanity: 46-47-inch mirror
  • 60-inch vanity: 58-59-inch mirror
  • 72-inch vanity: 70-71-inch mirror

The above assumptions are made for a single mirror, though there are other options as well (more on this below).

Mirror Height

Mirror height is also an important factor to consider, especially if anyone using the bathroom space is particularly tall or short. The mirror needs to be tall enough that no one’s head will be cut off, while countertops and vanities need to be free of blockages if there are any shorter people utilizing the space. If height is an issue for a mirror you already own, you can consider placing the mirror a bit higher on the vanity.

Wide Mirrors

In some cases, buyers may prefer a mirror that’s wider than the countertop or vanity it’s set on. This is less common due to the awkward way this can look if it’s not done well, but it’s easily possible to purchase a mirror a couple inches wider than your countertop.

Double Mirrors

Others may prefer a double mirror look, a very popular modern arrangement that’s mostly used for double-sink vanities. Double mirrors for single sinks may look awkward, though some may have the creative juices to arrange it well.

For more on the factors you should be considering while selecting a mirror for your new bathroom vanity, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or other custom woodworking products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Impact of Humidity on Wood Kitchen Cabinets

When it comes to cabinets or any other item made primarily from wood, humidity is a factor you have to consider. Referring to the level of moisture in a given room or area, humidity plays a role in cabinet quality due to the way it impacts the size of wood at a given moment.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to explain how humidity may impact any of our beautiful rustic, modern or traditional kitchen cabinet options. Here are some basics to know in this area, including how the typical Utah climate plays a role here.

impact humidity wood kitchen cabinets

Humidity Level Basics

In most cases, the cabinets in your home will be manufactured at a humidity range in between 40 and 50 percent. This is considered a fairly average range for most humans to be in, and one that ideal homes will generally sit in most of the time as well. It also allows for some fluctuation in basic range due to cooking, showering or other related activities.

Utah, however, is known as an extremely dry place. It’s common to find lower humidity levels than other places in the country, particularly during the winter, when things dry out even more than normal. When humidity reaches the 20 percent range or even below, cabinets are at risk of shrinking due to the impact this has on wood. Similarly, if you overreact and swing your home’s humidity beyond 70 percent or so, you risk swelling of wood cabinets that can significantly impact their alignment and function.

Tracking Humidity Levels

If you’re worried about cabinets shrinking or swelling due to humidity, the first step is to purchase a digital hygrometer, an instrument that measures humidity in the air. This can be bought at any home improvement store, and can give you a quick reading of the humidity percentage at any given time.

Controlling Humidity

Humidity should never go below 20 percent for any reason, and should always be above 35 percent during non-freezing weather. If your humidity is regularly too low, you can invest in humidifiers – either for the whole home or for specific rooms that have these issues. Be sure not to overcorrect and humidify things too heavily, however, as this can lead to swelling.

Signs to Look For

One sign that you’ve gone too far with your humidity levels, apart from the cabinets beginning to swell, is condensation on the windows. This means the outdoor humidity level is far lower than that inside your home. This will actually usually be the first thing you notice – it takes cabinets a few days or weeks to respond to changes in humidity, so you may not notice these changes right away.

For more on humidity and your cabinets, or to learn about any of our custom cabinetry or bathroom vanities, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Choosing Between Single- and Double-Sink Bathroom Vanities

When you come to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft for a new bathroom vanity, you’ll have a few important choice areas to consider. You’ll choose from our traditional, rustic and modern bathroom vanities, for starters, and also consider color, style and several other important aesthetic and functional factors.

Another big choice many homeowners are faced with: One sink or two? There are numerous options available in both styles, each of which comes with their own set of benefits and potential drawbacks depending on your needs. Let’s go over some simple facts on each and weigh the pros and cons before you make your choice.

single double sink bathroom vanities

Basics of Each Format

Firstly, let’s define the options and some specifics. As the name obviously suggests, single-sink vanities contain just a single sink installation and plumbing connections. They’re sized between 16 and 72 inches, and can either be wall-mounted or freestanding if you choose.

Double-sink vanities, on the other hand, have two sinks installed. They will generally feature a cut countertop that allows for both sinks, plus faucet installation. Double-sink vanities require proper spacing, meaning the smallest options are usually around the 48-inch range.

Single-Sink Vanity

There are several benefits to a single-sink vanity:

  • Simple installation: Single-sink vanities are much easier to install than double-sink vanities. There’s only a single faucet to deal with, and only a single set of corresponding plumbing connections to worry about. This generally leads to a cost savings for installation, as well.
  • Space: As we noted in our size comparison above, single-sink vanities can be much more compact than double-sink vanities. This is great if you have a small bathroom space and need to maximize it, or need more room for storage space. Vanities can’t generally have a drawer under a sink, but only having one sink means there’s usually enough room for an additional drawer if you need it.
  • Counter space: In addition, having only one sink but a larger vanity width allows you tons of countertop space for whatever items you need.

There are also a few negatives of a single-sink vanity, namely that they can be difficult for two-person living arrangements. One sink is often not enough for two people who share the same bathroom space every day, and may look strange in a larger bathroom space designed for two people.

Double-Sink Vanity

Some pros of the double-sink vanity:

  • Convenience: Having multiple sinks is much more convenient in many cases, particularly for shared living.
  • Clear spaces: While single-sink vanities may offer more counter space in some situations, this encourages some folks to be messy and leave clutter. A double-sink vanity encourages you to keep the area neat, on the other hand.

While it may sound strange, as we explained above, double-sink vanities may actually have less counter space than their single-sink counterparts. You also have to deal with more plumbing, so you should be sure there’s a real need for both sinks before choosing this option.

For more on choosing between single- or double-sink vanities, or to learn about any of our custom cabinetry, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodraft today.

Maximizing Smaller Bathroom Space With Vanity Installation

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud of the way we can help our clients create beautiful and functional designs in their kitchens, bathrooms and other areas of their homes. We’re not a cookie-cutter cabinet maker – we design custom cabinetry, bookcases and other home items, plus work directly with clients to create unique designs that will last a lifetime.

One great example here? Our selection of bathroom vanities, which includes modern, rustic and traditional vanity styles. One group of people that might be worried about their options when it comes to the vanity selection: Those with smaller bathroom spaces. But never fear – we have numerous options and tips for you to maximize this space and get a vanity that complements your design and practical needs. Here are some tips our installers and design professionals will work with you on if you’re installing a bathroom vanity in a smaller space.

smaller bathroom space vanity installation

Vanity Position

The first and often most important factor here is the physical position of the vanity, which makes a big difference in a smaller space where every square foot is important. In many such cases, the best choice is to place the vanity in a corner or along a wall, thereby removing any possibility of useless gaps in space. Corners, in particular, are popular locations due to the way they allow you to put mirrors on both wall sides.

Storage Considerations

One of the primary concerns of those with smaller bathroom spaces, particularly with a vanity about to use up another chunk of square footage, is ensuring there’s enough storage. The bathroom is supposed to be a clean and relaxing area, but it can quickly turn into a high-clutter zone if there’s nowhere to put anything.

One good solution here for many people is to also install a linen closet. This will allow for easy storage that doesn’t take up too much space.

Medicine Cabinets

Down similar lines, medicine cabinets can often kill two birds with one stone. Not only are they a perfect additional storage space for smaller bathroom items like toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and various creams or ointments, they also add a mirror and significant function to the area as well. And on top of this, medicine cabinets are very popular these days due to their simple, visually pleasing characteristics.

Using the Walls

There are a few good ways to utilize your walls to maximize space in the bathroom around a vanity. We already talked about installing vanities directly on the wall itself, but you can also consider additions like shelves, wall-mounted cabinets or towel racks in the nearby area so they don’t take up any walking space. You can also consider installing a large mirror above your vanity on the wall – these are practical, of course, but they may also increase the perceived size of the bathroom to those who enter it.

For more on how to maximize space when installing a vanity in a smaller bathroom, or to learn about any of our bathroom vanities or kitchen remodeling services, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Choosing Proper Color For Kitchen Cabinets, Part 2

In part one of this two-part blog, we went over some of the simple details on selecting color for your kitchen cabinets. We talked about the psychological impact different colors have on mood and happiness, plus some additional kitchen factors that should play a role in your color choices.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re here to help you with all traditional, rustic and modern kitchen cabinet needs. In part two of our series, let’s go into a few broader details when it comes to a big theme in color choice: A lighter or darker shade? Here are some benefits of each.

proper color kitchen cabinets

Benefits of Light Cabinet Shades

  • Era-proof aesthetics: While certain kinds of darker shades may go in and out of fashion as trends come and go, lighter shades – particularly whites – are timeless. They’re never “out of season,” so to speak.
  • High stock: Lighter cabinets are the more popular choice among homeowners, meaning they’re stocked heavily and readily available in a variety of options.
  • Room size: Lighter shades are known to increase our perception of the size of a room, whether we’re talking walls, doors or even cabinets. If you want to make a smaller kitchen feel bigger, opt for lighter cabinets.
  • Complementing: Lighter cabinet shades do very well complementing your various kitchen accessories, plus other colored areas of the kitchen like walls, backsplashes, countertops and others. They also do very well with natural light for those looking to emphasize this in the kitchen space.
  • Home value: Many buyers value some combination of these factors we’ve just listed, meaning new light cabinets often raise your resale value.

Benefits of Dark Cabinet Shades

  • Unique design possibilities: Darker cabinet shades are more central than most lighter shades, often a great way to break up the monotony of an otherwise boring space. They also come in great variety.
  • Luxurious: Darker shades like walnut, maple and others down these lines often lend a formal, luxurious feel to any room. Homes going for a classic, rich look will often choose darker cabinets.
  • Coziness: Darker colors make spaces feel cozy and homely, particularly blacks and darker grays, which are known as welcoming colors.
  • Showing damage: Darker cabinets hide certain small bits of damage, such as minor scratches or food stains. For homes with pets or children, or even those with kitchens where lots of cooking will take place and you want to minimize the appearance of any messes, dark colors might be the right choice for you.
  • Large spaces: While lighter shades can be helpful with making a smaller room feel larger, darker shades are perfect for breaking up the monotony of a larger space. Particularly if you already have lighter floors, countertops or walls in the kitchen, consider accenting them with darker cabinets.

For more on choosing between dark and light cabinet color shades, or for information on any of our kitchen cabinets or how we can help with your kitchen remodel, speak to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft.