Choosing Between Single- and Double-Sink Bathroom Vanities

single 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

smaller bathroom space 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

proper color kitchen cabinets

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.

Choosing Proper Color For Kitchen Cabinets, Part 1

choosing color kitchen cabinets

At Swirl Woodcraft, we can help you with every element of your selection process for our traditional, modern and rustic kitchen cabinet options. One of the most common areas we help clients with here: The color and tone of their cabinets.

While you may prefer to consider factors like space and practical use first, the color of your cabinets is more important to your overall kitchen remodel than you might think. Let’s look at some basics on how common colors impact mood, plus some areas to consider while choosing your colors – in part two of this blog, we’ll also go over some of the benefits of both darker and lighter shades for your cabinets.

choosing color kitchen cabinets

Colors and Mood

Colors have a strong association with human psychology, and they’re known to impact our general mood and happiness. Some common cabinet colors, plus the mood they can help evoke for many people:

  • Black: Black cabinets are often a major contrast, given that most kitchens contain lighter colors. Black works very well with angular designs, plus with many traditional cabinets in rooms where your walls and countertops are lighter.
  • White: White cabinets are the most popular color out there, with a calming effect that’s great for the kitchen. White is also known to make rooms feel bigger than they are, which is perfect for smaller kitchens.
  • Grey: Greys are also popular due to their neutrality – they offer a wide range of accent possibilities.
  • Blue: Blue cabinets are becoming more popular in both the kitchen and bathroom. Lighter blue shades offer warmth to any kitchen, and bright undertones plus natural sunlight are great for adding elegance and beauty.

Our remaining sections will go over some factors to consider when choosing your color.

Kitchen Design

As you begin looking to narrow down a huge list of options, keep your kitchen’s overall design in mind as an assist. If you have a modern kitchen design, you might be best served looking for brighter, louder colors; if your kitchen is traditional, on the other hand, maybe classic creams and whites are the way to go.

Kitchen Size

Another important basic area to keep in mind is the size of your kitchen. As we noted above, certain light colors can help smaller areas feel larger – but if you already have a large space and aren’t worried here, darker colors are great as well.

Future Value

If you are considering selling anytime in the future, or even if you haven’t specifically thought about this, keep home value in mind. Potential future buyers may not be as attracted to outlandish or unusual colors.

Browsing for Inspiration

Spend some time browsing online galleries, design magazines and other publications to find your favorite designs. These are great resources for viewing certain color combinations and accents – they often provide the inspiration for your choice.

For more on choosing the right color and tone for your cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen or bathroom remodeling services, speak to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Replacing Kitchen Cabinets Rather than Refacing

replacing kitchen cabinets refacing

When it comes to kitchen cabinets, you have a couple options at your disposal if you’re looking for upgrades. Generally speaking, the two primary choices here are either refacing your cabinets or replacing them entirely.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we have a huge variety of kitchen cabinets, from traditional options to modern choices and many more. What are some of the situations where our new cabinet services are preferable to refacing your cabinets? Let’s go over some of the basics here.

replacing kitchen cabinets refacing

Purposes of Refacing

For those who have not taken part in it before, cabinet resurfacing is a relatively simple process that involves leaving the existing framework in place. However, some kind of surface replacement material is used to change the look and feel of the exterior cabinet areas, such as doors and drawer fronts.

And for some projects, refacing is great and all you need. It can be done quickly, usually in just a day or two, and usually isn’t the kind of project that uproots the entire kitchen. For those who enjoy the structure and charm of their original cabinets but want a bit of an aesthetic upgrade, refacing is the way to go.

However, refacing does not cover several structural or layout issues that cabinets might be part of. Our next few sections will go over these and some situations where replacing cabinets is the proper route.

Cabinet Condition

In many cases, the existing cabinets in the kitchen are experiencing one of several issues. These may include:

  • Wear or damage: Like other materials, cabinets can wear down over time. This might happen faster if you purchased cheap cabinet materials originally, or if water damage has taken place in your home and affected cabinets. Cabinets that have been damaged too much simply don’t make sense to reface or repair.
  • Age: Any cabinets painted before 1978 may be covered in unsafe lead, and not all refacing contractors are licensed to safely remove this before resurfacing. In addition, this process can be costly and take up lots of time.

Structural Issues

In other situations, cabinets may be contributing to structural issues in the kitchen of some kind. One common concern here is floors settling, which leads to walls shifting and cabinets that either hang or sit crooked. In other cases of settling, cabinet doors won’t open or close properly.

Once again, refacing will do nothing for these issues. However, full cabinet replacement can involve professional contractors who can repair your structural issues while installing new cabinets.

Kitchen Layout

Finally, replacing the cabinets is a great way to address kitchen layout issues in an intelligent way. Removing cabinets allows you to make a new layout based on updated needs and desires, and you can then fill in your space as you wish.

For more on why replacing cabinets is often preferable to refacing, or for information on any of our custom cabinetry, speak to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Why to Choose Custom Cabinets Over Semi-Custom

custom cabinets semi-custom

From both a design and practical standpoint, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the entire home. It’s generally the center of activity in most homes, and plays a huge role in the value of a given home as well.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we have a huge selection of traditional and modern kitchen cabinets that are perfect for any design or aesthetic you’re looking for. We offer fully customized cabinet options that can be molded to your every desire. How do these custom cabinet products compare to another popular product on the market – semi-custom cabinets – in terms of basics, pros and cons? Let’s look at the important difference points between these two products.

custom cabinets semi-custom

Semi-Custom Cabinets

Most people generally think of cabinets as coming in either stock or custom formats, but semi-custom options are a bit of both worlds. They mimic stock cabinets in the way they’re largely pre-made pieces in terms of the basics – most of the primary cabinet components will already be built and in place. However, there will be several elements of the semi-custom cabinet that will not be decided; things like wood type, finish options, dimensions and various drawer or door sizes can all be chosen individually by the client.

In some cases, semi-custom cabinets are a great choice for those who purchase them. They allow for some mixing and matching of options for design, fit and style, but also stick to a rote format. At the same time, though, it’s important to note that the benefits of semi-custom cabinets break down as you add more options – the price can get so high that it even exceeds the cost of fully custom cabinets in some cases. In addition, semi-custom cabinets don’t have quite the selection of wood and finish options that you might think.

Custom Cabinets

Custom cabinets, on the other hand, are fully personalized from the ground up. They allow you to choose everything from your wood and finish type to every element of design and dimension – the only limitations here are what you can conceive of in your mind.

There are several areas where this benefits you, including maximizing storage space within your kitchen. Custom cabinets are generally considered higher-quality materials, but can be made from recycled wood that allows for more environmentally conscious construction. They offer the homeowner unlimited flexibility in terms of basic aesthetics, storage and construction quality. They do tend to cost more than semi-custom options, but this is made up for and then some in their long-lasting durability – they’ll often last twice as long as semi-custom options due to superior craftsmanship.

For more on why custom cabinets are generally the way to go, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinet and remodel solutions, speak to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Factors in Kitchen Cabinet Door Choice

factors kitchen cabinet door

When it comes to any kitchen remodel that involves cabinets, one of the primary drivers of the aesthetic side of things will be the cabinet door style you choose. As some of the most obvious and front-facing elements of any kitchen, cabinet doors set the tone for much of the space’s design theme.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we have a huge variety of door choices and options for our modern and traditional kitchen cabinets. We can help you select the perfect door style based on your desired kitchen design, including several distinct factors that will help define the rest of the space. With this in mind, here are three of the primary areas we recommend prioritizing as you select cabinet door style.
factors kitchen cabinet door

Overall Look

You have a virtually unlimited number of options available to you, and as we noted above, these often help set the tone for the entire remodel. Are you looking for a more modern, sleek and updated feel? What about a rustic format? Do you prefer a more casual theme in general, or something a bit more formal?

As you consider things here, look at the big picture. Remember that you’ll be living in this space for years, so consider long-term comfort over any passing fads. And if you’re unsure how this area will impact the aesthetic of several other remodeling choices, our pros are happy to guide you.

Hardware Matching

Before you go too far down any particular path, be sure to give proper consideration to the kinds of hardware you want to use on your cabinets as well. This is true for a number of reasons, but the primary one is this: Not all cabinet hardware works with every cabinet door style you might be considering.

In reality, your choice here comes down to how much importance you place on hardware to begin with. If things like knobs, pulls and other pieces are very important to the look you’re going for, we might recommend choosing them first and then using the door choice as a complement instead of the other way around. There’s really no bad choice here, just whichever area you put the higher level of priority into.

Maintenance Considerations

Depending on your lifestyle and time demands, there might be certain door styles we recommend or don’t recommend. If you’re the busy type who has a full family and lots of responsibilities, you might prefer the traditional flat or Shaker door style that requires very little maintenance – just basic wipe-downs and cleaning. On the other hand, if you live a simpler life and want to enjoy the elements of your home’s interior more intimately, fancier styles that require a bit more upkeep might be just your speed.

For more on any of our cabinet door styles, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Budget and Design Tips for Wine Cellars

budget design wine cellars

In many cases, homeowners taking part in a kitchen remodel don’t even consider an amenity like a wine cellar as one of their options. Some of us intuitively assume these are only for uber-rich people, and definitely not the sort of thing us normal folk can afford.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re here to tell you that this isn’t the case. We can provide beautiful, high-quality wine cellars as part of our custom woodworking services, and we can do so at a cost that doesn’t break the bank or force you to sacrifice other important parts of your remodel. Let’s go over why your budget concerns might not be anywhere near as great as you had imagined, plus some various options for integrating a wine cellar with the rest of your kitchen design.

budget design wine cellars

Budget Concerns and Questions to Ask

It’s true – if you want to, you can spend a virtually limitless amount on a wine cellar depending on your desires for it. At the same time, though, it’s easily possible to design a cellar that doesn’t require you spending an outrageous sum.

The first big step here involves deciding exactly what you want the cellar to be there for. You may simply assume “to hold wine,” but while this is indeed one factor to consider, it doesn’t come close to telling the whole story. A few others that will get you closer to a final budget number include:

  • What kinds of storage do I want? There are several options, including displays, cases, splits or wine magnums.
  • How many bottles do I want to store? A cellar housing a couple dozen bottles will be far less expensive than one that stores several hundred, for obvious reasons.
  • Will the cellar be refrigerated?
  • Should the cellar be large enough for guests? If so, how many should it comfortably hold?

Wine Cellar Integration Options

If you’ve decided a wine cellar is within your budget, your next big task is figuring out how to integrate it into your space. A few basic ideas here, ranging from simple up to highly complex:

  • Cabinetry: A small wine area can begin with nothing but base cabinetry topped or complemented by granite or another storage material. This allows you to display a few bottles prominently, but also store both other bottles and glassware properly as well. Add a small wine fridge to this room and you’re in business.
  • Pantry style: Some choose to go further, creating an all new “butler’s pantry” design for their wine cellar that flows with the kitchen and open living space. These are perfect places to set out drinks or appetizers during a hosted party.
  • Cabinetry wall: You might consider a wall rather than an entire cellar – stacking or tiering bottles is a great format. Some people blend the pantry and cabinetry look, with a pantry foundation topped by cabinetry and granite or engineered stone.
  • Basement: For the truly involved wine lover, a full wine cellar in the basement could be in your future. You have several options here, from smaller rooms to larger areas filled with redwood slats and stone walls. You can also infuse these with lower floor entertainment areas, and some homeowners have gone so far as to dedicate refrigeration to an entire wine cellar itself.

For more on budgeting and integrating a wine cellar as part of your kitchen remodel, or to learn about our custom cabinetry or any of our other kitchen design services, speak to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Cost Breakdown for Remodeled Kitchens

cost breakdown remodeled kitchens

At Swirl Woodcraft, we’re your go-to experts for numerous areas of a kitchen remodel. From kitchen cabinets to wine cellars and numerous other custom woodworking projects, we’ll ensure your home looks beautiful and inviting in one of the most important functional spaces it has.

One of the single most common questions we get from our clients: How much will my remodeling project cost? And while you have to understand that we can’t always give you a concrete answer here – costs depend on a huge variety of factors, most notably your budget – we can at least point you in the right direction when it comes to the percentages of your budget you should use on various remodeling areas. We’re using a full remodel process here as our template – you can obviously adjust this based on your partial remodel needs.

cost breakdown remodeled kitchens

Cabinetry

For a full kitchen remodel, you should be planning to devote roughly 30 percent of your total budget to your kitchen cabinets. Keep in mind as you consider this figure, however, that it doesn’t only include the raw cost of materials – it also includes design fees and any other expenses that go toward your cabinets, including installation. But as some of the bulkiest and most practically useful elements of your kitchen, the cabinets should naturally take up one of the largest percentages of your overall costs.

Various Appliances

Moving down the list a little bit, your various kitchen appliances should be next and take up roughly 15 percent of your overall renovation budget. Appliances include things like sinks, faucets, handles, and many free-standing items like toasters or coffee-makers.

If you’re running up against a budgetary limit, appliances are often a great area to save. You can simply live without that high-quality blender for a little while if it means you get the cabinets, countertops and other essential items you need first and foremost.

Countertops

We mentioned countertops just now, and they’re another significant budgetary factor. All else equal, we recommend devoting roughly 10 percent of your overall budget to the cabinets – this is even factoring in the generally high expenses of certain countertop materials like marble or granite. If you go with a cheaper material, you might be able to get away for a bit less than 10 percent of the total budget.

Other Areas

So if you’ve been doing some napkin math while reading along here, you’ll see that we’re at 55 percent of the budget taken up for cabinetry, appliances and countertops – so where should the rest go? Well, to several areas:

  • Demolition, disposal and various construction expenses form the contractor on your project
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Paint and color considerations
  • Tile choice and style

For more on budgeting for your next kitchen remodel, or to learn about any of our custom cabinetry options, speak to the pros at Swirl Woodcraft today.

Why Kitchen Cabinets Should Come First

kitchen cabinets come first

For any kitchen remodel process involving them, kitchen cabinets are one of the most important considerations. They’ll make up one of the largest percentages of your overall budget, and will be some of the central visual and practical elements of the kitchen.

At Swirl Woodcraft, we have a wide selection of traditional, rustic and modern kitchen cabinets. And we’re here to tell you that not only are cabinets an important part of the kitchen remodel, they should probably be the very first element of the remodel you even consider. Here’s why this is the case.

kitchen cabinets come first

Room Foundation

For starters the cabinetry of your kitchen will serve as the foundation for the entire room. Cabinets are some of the bulkiest and most space-consuming parts of the kitchen, meaning they set the baseline for the full room’s layout.

Not only do cabinets help dictate space utilization, they often determine what kinds of appliances should be purchased and where these should be placed for the best practicality and aesthetic combination. If you go about purchasing expensive appliances before determining your cabinet choices, you could easily run into a situation where some of those appliances simply won’t work for your cabinet format – and you’ll be out that money.

They Last Longer

Another reason for considering cabinets first? Simple: They last longer than virtually any other part of your kitchen. Our high-quality cabinets will last literally decades – you might swap out styles or hardware choices somewhere along the line, sure, but the base materials will often remain in your home for a lifetime.

This is in stark contrast to other kitchen materials, none of which will generally last this long. Appliances and kitchen finishes need to be replaced or re-done every few years at least. It make sense, then, to consider cabinets first when remodeling your kitchen; they’ll be the longest-lasting foundational elements, meaning the rest of the kitchen should adjust to them, not vice versa.

Tougher to Replace

Down similar lines, various other parts of the kitchen are easier and cheaper to replace than cabinets. If anything goes wrong with an appliance, for instance, replacing this is far easier than a full remodel to replace your cabinets. The same is true for faucets, countertops, tile and other areas. The cabinets are not going anywhere once they’re installed – at least unless you want a major hassle and expense so soon after a remodeling project.

If you’re on a limited budget, countertop choice becomes even more of an early priority. Setting a baseline for your costs with some of your most expensive items will make it easier to budget later on as well.

For more on why cabinets are so important to consider early in a remodel, or to learn about any of our custom cabinetry or bathroom vanities, speak to the staff at Swirl Woodcraft today.