Traditional, Modern or Rustic Kitchen Cabinets: What’s Your Style?

custom kitchen cabinets

Here at Swirl Woodcraft, our cabinet makers offer three main styles of kitchen cabinets — traditional, modern and rustic — to serve the needs and tastes of all our Salt Lake City clients. But really, what is the difference among these three styles, and which one is right for you?

custom kitchen cabinets

Traditional Kitchen Cabinets

Traditional kitchen cabinets tend to have a more ornate design than the other two styles. These cabinets often have more lines, more carving, more beveling — more depth.

Some have described the traditional style as “Old World,” but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you like a formal feel in your kitchen and dining room, traditional cabinets should definitely be your choice. But while traditional kitchen cabinets do have a “grownup” feel to them, you can still choose complementary furnishings and decorations in a more comfortable, livable style.

Modern Kitchen Cabinets

Modern kitchen cabinets are sleeker and less fussy than traditional kitchen cabinets. There are fewer lines, fewer places for dust to settle. These cabinets are sleek and smooth, sometimes unadorned even by hardware.

Modern kitchens are clean and without clutter; surfaces are flat and bare. It may be described as somewhat spartan, but it’s really just pure and straightforward.

Rustic Kitchen Cabinets

A classic choice, rustic kitchen cabinets fit nicely into a country cottage or farmhouse style décor. Think knotty wood with a light stain to let the natural grain show through. If you’re going for an antique look, you may want to try pairing this style with iron hardware.

Rustic kitchen cabinets are a popular choice in Salt Lake City, where many residents enjoy a mountain-themed décor with lots of natural materials and accents.

Custom Cabinets in Salt Lake City

The great advantage of hiring a cabinet maker to build your kitchen cabinets for you is that you get exactly what you want. So it’s important to determine your style ahead of time.

Modern kitchen cabinets pair well with stainless steel appliances and marble or solid color countertops. Rustic kitchen cabinets fit nicely with butcher block countertops and an apron sink. With traditional kitchen cabinets, you have a lot of wiggle room for design because they are so basic. Traditional may be the most versatile of the three options.

Custom Woodworking in Salt Lake City

Swirl Woodcraft has been handcrafting cabinets for more than 30 years, and you can see our handiwork in homes all over Salt Lake City and the surrounding area. Take a look at our galleries of traditional, modern and rustic kitchen cabinet styles, and consider one of our other custom wood pieces such as our bookcases, libraries, hutches, mantels and more. Contact us for more information or an estimate.

Read This Before Getting a Custom Built-in Bookcase Made

Custom Built-In Bookcase Considerations

Due to many prominent figures appearing in public with their bookshelves in the background via Zoom and other video conferencing platforms, bookcases have become trendy again. They have now become more than just a means of organization. They have become an aesthetic part of the home and a reflection of one’s taste.

Thus, many are going to expert craftsmen such as Swirl Woodcraft to get custom bookcases in Salt Lake City, especially the built-in type. But whether it is for organizational or decorative purposes, you must weigh certain things before commissioning a cabinet maker in Salt Lake City to build you a bookshelf.

Custom Built-In Bookcase Considerations

Ready-Made vs. Custom-Made

You would think that a custom-made cabinet like a bookcase would be much more expensive than ready-made ones from the store. However, when it comes to durability, most store-bought bookshelves pale in comparison to the former, making built-in bookcases a better choice in the long run.

Do Built-In Bookshelves Increase Home Value?

When integrated into one’s home thoughtfully, built-in bookshelves increase home value. The configuration should be versatile enough to suit your current needs and the prospective next owner’s needs. Bonus if it’s made of sturdy material and can last a long time.

The color of built-in bookcases also increases your home’s value upon resale, especially if they are neutral tones. Technically, permanent fixtures like shelves are considered a wall unit and are left for future homeowners, so the more they can treat it like a blank canvass, the better.

Final Word

At the end of the day, whether you are getting a built-in or movable bookcase made, it all boils down to quality. And when it comes to high-quality custom bookcases in Salt Lake City, you can trust Swirl Woodcraft to deliver. We have been a trusted name in the city for more than two decades and keep an expansive inventory of wood, hardware and finishes to bring the idea you have in mind to life. So if you need to hire a pro, check out what we have to offer.

Why Solid Wood Bathroom Vanities Are a Great Choice

bathroom vanities

The cabinet makers at Swirl Woodcraft of Salt Lake City know only too well the value of an expertly constructed wooden cabinet. You may think that splurging on real wood in the bathroom is a waste, but in fact, it’s just the opposite.

bathroom vanities

Salt Lake City Cabinet Makers

Bathrooms are a moist and humid environment, there’s no doubt about that. And kitchens can be as well. But that’s why in both cases, these rooms are equipped with exhaust fans. Not only is moisture bad for some types of building materials, but it also promotes mildew growth and hastens food spoilage. Luckily, our climate here in Utah is not humid, so outdoor air is not a threat to our homes.

It is true that moisture can warp wood and cause it to swell and expand. If your home was flooded, it could spell disaster for any wooden structures that spent time underwater.

However, real solid wood holds up much better to any type of moisture in the air than wood substitutes. If your current bathroom vanity is made of MDF, particle board, pressed wood or another substitute for solid wood, you may have noticed moisture taking its toll. These types of bathroom vanities are covered with a thin veneer or even thick paper, which can peel back after years of exposure to humidity, allowing moisture to penetrate the fibers beneath it.

Real wood is solid, and it is much less vulnerable to any type of moisture penetration.

Bathroom Vanities: Sturdy & Beautiful

Further, when we build our cabinets, we coat them with a stain and a sealer to protect them. This not only acts as a moisture barrier, but it also allows you to clean the cabinets more easily without scratching or harming them. Remember that many homes are made with wood siding, which stands up to rain, snow, hail, sleet and even relentless sunshine, demonstrating that properly sealed wood is incredibly durable.

So a real, solid wood bathroom vanity will actually hold up better than most any other kind. And it will be so much more beautiful! The beauty of real, solid wood cannot be overstated. The craftsmen here at Swirl Woodcraft enjoy their work making cabinets because it’s truly a labor of love for them. They’re artists.

Swirl Woodcraft Custom Woodworking

If you’re planning a bathroom remodel, talk to the team at Swirl Woodcraft about a real wood bathroom vanity. We make traditional bath vanities as well as modern bath vanities, and we offer custom woodworking too. We want you to have the perfect bathroom vanity for your Salt Lake City home. Contact us today to learn more.

Properly Caring for Painted Kitchen Cabinets

caring painted kitchen cabinets

While certain elements of cabinet care and basic cleaning will be relatively similar across several cabinet varieties, there will be others that depend on the type of cabinet in place. One particular type of cabinet that may have a few different care items than some others, and also one that’s very popular today, is the painted cabinet.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to offer a huge range of traditional, rustic and modern kitchen cabinets with several color and style options available, including painted cabinets, sand-blasted cabinets and several others. What are some of the top tips we offer to clients on care for painted cabinets? Here are some basic areas to keep in mind.

caring painted kitchen cabinets

Standard Cleaning

Just like any other kitchen items you use regularly, painted cabinets will need to be cleaned regularly. Painted or stained cabinets actually do a better job at concealing dirt and other messes than some other types, but you still need to perform basic cleaning regardless.

This involves using a soft, clean cloth that’s dampened with some water and mild dishwashing soap. As long as you perform this sort of task regularly, at least once a month or so, you should never have to use too much force or elbow grease – but if cabinets are left without cleaning for months, you may find some tougher buildups or stains that take harder work to be rid of.

Spill Care

Painted cabinets are not waterproof, contrary to some myths that might be out there. This means that if drips or spills take place, they can affect the cabinets.

For this reason, prevention of this sort of thing is the name of the game. In addition, any spills should be immediately wiped up and dried to prevent any staining and damage to the cabinet. Also be sure to pay close attention to sources of water and liquid, as keeping these dry will play a role in protecting cabinets.

Scratches or Chips

Just like paint on any other area, such as a car, may chip, so might paint on cabinets. The most common cause of this or scratching issues is actually poor installation, so be sure to take great care in this area. In other cases, items like jewelry, silverware or even fingernails may cause these issues. In these cases, some basic touch-ups to paint and finish may be necessary for your cabinets.

Hairline Crack Prevention

Finally, wood components in cabinets may expand and contract if your interior goes through major humidity changes. To avoid this, ensure your home stays at a regular humidity range – our pros will be happy to inform you of the ideal range for any cabinet you purchase from us. And if resulting cracks, known as hairline cracks, do ever form, they luckily are not a form of structural damage.

For more on how to care for painted cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities or other services, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

More Signs Your Cabinets Need Replacing

signs cabinets need replacing

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basic signs telling you it might be time for new kitchen cabinets. These signs are often a mixture of practical needs and aesthetics, or could be related to damage that’s occurred on current cabinets in other situations.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to offer a variety of traditional, rustic and modern custom kitchen cabinets for all our clients to consider – but in addition, we also offer expertise and tips on several related themes, including whether your current cabinets have run their course and are in line for a replacement. What are some of the other reasons you might need to replace your kitchen cabinets? Here’s a primer.

signs cabinets need replacing

Layout Changes

In many cases, changing out cabinets will be a necessity based on other structural or layout alterations you’re making in the kitchen. Let’s say you’re taking out a wall in the kitchen, for instance, and adding a deck off the side. If there are any cabinets that are on this wall, first and foremost, they’ll obviously have to be taken out.

In addition, though, further changes might be needed. Especially for aesthetic build-outs in the kitchen, custom-made cabinets are ideal for the upgrade, but you need to ensure they will fit in your new setup – another good reason to go with new materials.

Material Changes

In a previous year or generation, metal cabinets may have been installed in your home. They may have seemed wonderful at the time, providing a sleek modern look, but are they still in great shape?

Chances are they aren’t. Metal cabinets tend to show all the dings and dents that take place over the years, plus don’t hide scratches whatsoever. They dull easily and do not provide a great aesthetic, plus can’t really be altered in any way. For many, changing out previous metal cabinets to a better material is a singular reason for replacement.

New Appliance Adjustments

Finally, what if you’re making some significant appliance changes to the kitchen that will impact cabinets? Many older appliances you might be changing out will not be the same size or dimensions as previous ones, and in many situations, this will significantly alter the layout of the entire kitchen – including the cabinets. This area features a mix of both practical and aesthetic areas; not only do you want cabinets that work with any new appliances you’re installing, you want them to look great together and provide a similar aesthetic – which won’t happen if you’re placing old, worn cabinets next to brand-new appliances.

For more on how to know when it’s time to replace kitchen cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities or other woodworking projects, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

When to Consider Replacing Kitchen Cabinets

when replacing kitchen cabinets

In certain cases, the entire kitchen space in a home will give you clear signs that a major remodel is needed. Not all remodeling projects are comprehensive, however, and there are some cases where subtler signs of issues may dictate focusing the remodel on a particular feature of the kitchen – with cabinets being a common consideration here.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to offer numerous selections when it comes to kitchen cabinets, with options ranging from traditional cabinets to modern, rustic and many other styles. In addition to providing a wide range of custom cabinets and other woodworking products, we’re also here to assist clients with their remodel – including some of the signs your current cabinets might be giving you that it’s time to move on. This two-part blog will go over several of these signs for homeowners to keep in mind.

when replacing kitchen cabinets


The first sign here is likely the most obvious, and also the most common: The cabinets have begun to fall apart, either in small or large ways. You may have noticed that certain attached hardware, such as doors or knobs, are becoming loose or even falling off. Shelving may be pulling away from the wall, or perhaps paint is fading significantly in visible areas.

In many cases, this is due to cheap or flimsy material used for the cabinets when they were first installed. In these cases, re-painting or resurfacing these materials won’t do any good – they won’t become stronger, and will simply fail again in short order. Replacement is necessary when this is the case.


Have you noticed strong odors that are clearly coming from your cabinets? Unfortunately, odors may make their way into wood, at which time it can be difficult to get them out. They can be from mold, food, mildew or even pest invasion in some cases, and many of these smells will not go away once they’ve embedded themselves. Often, the most cost-effective (and healthy, in the case of mold) solution is to replace the cabinets.

Simple Aesthetics

In other cases, your cabinets may still be functional, but creating a very poor aesthetic. Maybe they’ve experienced significant cracking over the years, or perhaps they have chipped paint, broken corners or worn-down coloration. Some of this is natural after many years of use – cabinets are not meant to last forever, and if you’ve had yours for many years, they may have simply served their purpose.

As we noted above, small repairs and patch-overs here will only go so far. Eventually, the much more cost-effective move is to simply replace the cabinets altogether for a new look.

For more on signs your cabinets are giving you that they require replacement, or to learn about any of our custom cabinets, bathroom vanities or other woodworking products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Why Fall Might be Ideal for Your Home Remodel, Part 2

fall ideal home remodel

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the reasons why the fall season we’re currently in often makes sense for certain home remodeling projects. From contractor availability to the way paint dries in cooler temperatures and more, there are several potential advantages to scheduling your home remodel at this time of year.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to provide a wide range of kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities and other custom woodworking products to assist with a variety of home remodeling projects. While part one of our series mostly touched on the reasons why fall is often ideal for these kinds of projects, today’s part two will look at the specific sorts of projects that are often best carried out at this time of year, plus some basic tips on each of them.

fall ideal home remodel

Kitchen Remodels

There are several reasons why a kitchen remodel is often perfect for the fall period. Many trace back to areas we discussed in part one – many contractors have freer schedules, for one. For another, many kitchen remodeling jobs include some kind of painting or repainting needs, which are great at this time of year because of the improved way paint reacts with cooler temperatures.

In addition, there’s the holiday theme to consider. Whether you entertain guests or just have family gatherings around the holidays, much more cooking and entertainment time is common – and the kitchen is a big part of this. If you schedule kitchen remodeling now, during the fall period of the year, the kitchen will be finished and ready for any increased use or attention it gets during the early winter.

Bathroom Remodels

Down similar lines, if you’re planning to have guests in your home during the holidays or any period of the winter, getting that bathroom remodel you’ve been thinking about done now will go a long way. Bathrooms are some of the most common home locations used by guests, and you want them to be in great shape. Even if guests aren’t part of your plans, performing this task now instead of waiting until winter, when certain parts of the process will be much less convenient, is often prudent.

Window Themes

Finally, is your home dealing with older windows that struggle to prevent temperature loss? The fall is often the ideal time to replace them with modern windows providing better air themes. Getting this done before the winter, where such air loss risks could cost you hundreds a month in excess heating bills as your furnace struggles to keep up, often saves you huge sums and presents great return on investment.

For more on why fall is a great time for many home remodels, or to learn about our kitchen cabinets or other products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Why Fall Might be Ideal for Your Home Remodel, Part 1

fall ideal home remodel

Have you been putting off a home remodel such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, waiting for the ideal time to perform it? In many cases, the fall season we’re just entering now is your best bet for when to pull the trigger.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to assist with numerous home remodeling jobs with our custom woodworking products, from kitchen cabinets that serve as the foundation of many kitchen remodels to bathroom foundations to bathroom vanities that often do the same for bathroom remodel jobs. Why is fall often an ideal time for those who are considering certain home remodels, and which kinds of remodeling projects tend to be best carried out during this time of year? This two-part blog will look into both of these areas for those looking to nail the perfect timing.

fall ideal home remodel

Scheduling Themes

One of the first reasons the fall is great for many homeowners in need of a remodel: It’s not the most popular season for this sort of thing. Remodelers tend to be busiest during the spring and summer seasons that correspond to higher home sales, and while they aren’t just sitting on their hands doing nothing in the fall, schedules will often be lighter.

This means you will generally have a wider range of times and appointment dates you can schedule, a convenience for many busy homeowners. It also means that in many cases, contractors simply have more time to think about your project and attend to every detail.

Paint and Temperature

Many remodeling jobs throughout the home will require painting at some point, and this is another area where the fall time of year is often ideal. For one, paint reacts better to cooler temperatures than the peak heat of the summer, allowing it to dry and settle optimally.

For another, paint is just one of several possible elements in a remodel that may produce harmful fumes – others include dust, adhesives, sealants and various building materials. Fall, though, is a perfect time of year to open up several windows and circulate fresh air throughout the space for ventilation without worrying about major temperature loss and a resulting spike in your utility bill.

No Material Shortages

Finally, the slightly slower schedule for many contractors in the fall holds another major benefit: Lack of significant material shortages. While these aren’t exactly common among top manufacturers of various materials, they’re still technically possible, and are much more likely during the busy spring and summer season for various remodeling areas. For those who want to be sure they have strong selection available, waiting to source products until the busy season dies down can be a good move.

For more on why fall is often an ideal time for home remodels, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or other custom woodworking projects, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Measuring Kitchen Space for New Cabinets, Part 2

measuring kitchen new cabinets

In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basic steps you should be taking while measuring and laying out your kitchen space ahead of new kitchen cabinet installation. Measuring for basic dimensions and other qualities of the remodel is vital, allowing you to purchase the proper materials and avoid any wasted purchases.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re proud to offer a wide range of kitchen cabinets, from traditional kitchen cabinet options to modern, rustic and many others. In today’s part two of our series, we’ll go over some additional tips for measuring a given room for new cabinets, in this case your kitchen, including all the final steps leading up to your eventual selection.

measuring kitchen new cabinets

Note Any Obstructions

We finished off with basic horizontal and vertical measurements at the end of part one, and the next major step in the process involves recording any significant obstructions present in the kitchen. When we talk about obstructions, we’re referring to things like pipes, radiators, vents or any other elements that absolutely cannot be moved within the space for any reason, even to install new cabinets.

These obstructions must be carefully labeled and noted. This will allow you to avoid them while planning for various cabinet and other installations.

Identify Appliances and Utilities

Down related but differing lines, you should also take the time to identify any large appliances, fixtures and even furniture pieces that you want to keep in the space once your new cabinets are installed. Some of these can be moved to new locations if needed.

You should also note major utilities present like water supplies, power sources, heating and air vents, outlets and light switches. Mark the location and center point of all permanent such features.

Assess Final Floor Plan

Once you’ve taken both the above steps, you should be finalizing your completed floor plan for the kitchen remodel and cabinet installation. Double-check all measurements to ensure they’re accurate.

From here, look into your basic needs and desires. Consider the storage space you require in the kitchen, plus the aesthetics and desired appliances you have in mind.

Make Your Cabinet Choice

Finally, it’s time to make your choice for cabinet size and material. This is a much easier choice once you’ve laid out the basic dimensions you have available and your layout, allowing you to narrow down your options significantly from the jump and avoid major hassle. Speak to our team if you’re interested in a certain style or color – we’ll be happy to point you in the right direction.

For more on measuring your kitchen space for new cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or other custom woodworking products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Measuring Kitchen Space for New Cabinets, Part 1

measuring kitchen new cabinets

Within many kitchen remodeling projects, kitchen cabinets are the central piece involved in the remodel. They may not be the only element of the kitchen being changed up, of course, but given their size and the way they tend to define much of the rest of the space, cabinets are often one of the foundational pieces the rest of the remodel is built on.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re happy to provide a huge array of kitchen cabinets for all your remodeling needs, from modern kitchen cabinets to traditional and even rustic styles. One area we’ve assisted many clients with: Measuring their kitchen space for new cabinets and other elements of the remodel, which is a vital task to ensure you purchase the proper materials and sizes. This two-part blog series will go over several steps we’ll recommend when it comes to measuring a room for new cabinets.

measuring kitchen new cabinets

Gathering Supplies

First and foremost, gather the proper supplies for this project. They include:

  • A tape measure that spans your entire kitchen (at least 16 feet and usually up to 25 feet)
  • A pad of grid paper
  • A pencil or pen, plus another writing utensil in a different color (some use a highlighter)
  • A single person recording the measurements (others can help with the logistics, but the same person should take each reading)

Here are the steps we recommend following once you’ve collected your supplies.

Draw Floor Plan

Using your grid paper, sketch out your basic kitchen layout while marking things like doors, windows, outlets, light switches, utility lines and various vents. In many cases, homeowners first take photos of their kitchen to use as a reference for their sketch.

Know that for your first draft sketch, things do not have to be perfectly to scale. However, they should be relatively neat and easy to read, as this will serve as your guide moving forward.

Measure Horizontally

Once you have the basic floor plan in place, it’s time to begin your measurements to define the exact space. Always use total inches for your measurements in any area.

Begin from one adjoining corner of the wall and work clockwise, taking horizontal measurements of each wall at a 36-inch height. Measure from one edge of the wall to the other, skipping windows and other fixtures. Label each wall with its own number.

In addition to measuring the full wall lengths, also go back and record smaller segments, such as those confined by a window or any other fixture. Number these as well so you can refer back to them later.

Measure Vertically

Now it’s time to record vertical measurements, moving from the floor to the windowsill, then from the windowsill to the top of the window, then from the top of the window to the ceiling. From here, measure from floor directly to ceiling in at least three different spots – this is particularly vital for older homes where ceiling heights might vary.

For more on measuring your kitchen for new cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities or other products, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.