3 Mudroom Storage Solutions for Mess Management

Fall is in full swing with school, sports, and messy houses! Fall weather means everyone is about to start bringing the outdoors inside. Leaves, mud, snow, salt. How can you eliminate the mess? It’s time to utilize your entryway and mudroom areas. Creating custom storage solutions can make your trips in and out of the house fast, easy, and mess free. Leave the sports gear, backpacks, and boots at the door! Whether you want a complete entryway or mudroom transformation, or just need a few pieces, Brunsell has plenty of options that are right for your family. Continue reading

Remodel Like a Pro

While some things are often described as having a “timeless” quality, it is more often than not that the description only holds weight for so long. Trends have a shelf life and there are few items/looks that can escape that fate. With the change being inevitable, it’s time to remodel. This can easily become an overwhelming process, especially from a financial standpoint. We’re going to go through a few ways that you can save money when you decide those trends have worn their welcome. Continue reading

In Praise of Curves

Roundness seems to be a universal human pleasure.”

–Eric Jaffe, for Fastcodesign.com

Marilyn Monroe, Corvettes, the Guggenheim—gentle curves have serious appeal, but so often homeowners don’t think to feature them in the permanent structures in their homes. Think about the woodwork in most homes. From mantels to crown molding and from cabinetry to closet designs, there tends to be a glut of corners and hard angles, more miter-saw work than jigsaw-work. Continue reading

Return of the Kitchen Larder

In pre-fridge days, back when your grandma’s grandma and her grandma’s grandma were wee, kitchen larders were as common as dirt. Without refrigeration, these storage spaces provided the next best thing—a cool, clean area that could extend the shelf life of food. Generally, the larder would be near the kitchen and on the side of the home that got the least direct sunlight. If it were a cabinet-style larder, it would be equipped with shelves and cupboards. Little windows covered in fine mesh would be incorporated, to fend off flies while allowing for circulation of air. If it were a room-style larder or even a detached larder, it might also have insulated containers of ice, and ceiling hooks for hanging game. Continue reading

Bright, White, and Out of Sight: The Latest Trends in Kitchen and Bath Design

Photo credit: Andrea Rugg, for Building Design & Construction

Photo credit: Andrea Rugg, for Building Design & Construction

It’s been three months since the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) issued its annual Kitchen & Bath Design trends report. Based on trend predictions from member-designers who answer a survey, the thing is practically a crystal ball most of the time.

We think it’s nice to see if a trend grows real legs, has staying power, gains traction, sticks—whatever you want to call it—before shining a spotlight on it. (Otherwise, everyone runs out and impulsively spends a quarter of their annual income on dusty-rose bath fixtures and avocado-green kitchen appliances, only to spend the next 40 years wondering what the heck they were thinking.) Continue reading

How to Tell If You’re Buying Quality Kitchen Cabinets

When they’re brand new and professionally lit in a showroom, pretty much all kitchen cabinets look handsome, even the bad ones. That’s not an optical illusion; it’s a façade. And it’s one that can get shoppers into trouble, leading them to mistake good looks for good quality. But most of us know, at least by the time we’re old enough to be buying kitchen cabinets, that all that glitters is not gold!

What are you to do, then, if you weren’t a cabinetmakers kid? How are you supposed to know quality cabinetmaking when you see it? Here are some tips to help you separate the wheat from the chaff, so you can get exceptional kitchen cabinets that are more than just a pretty face:

  • Front pieces should be solid wood and relatively free of imperfections—no sanding marks, knots, or color or grain irregularities, etc.
  • Corners should have mortise-and-tenon joinery, preferably with long tenons and deep mortises. (Tenons are wood tongues, and mortises are slots carved out of wood into which tenons fit. Dovetailing is the most widely recognized mortis-and-tenon joint.)
  • Drawer fronts and cabinet panels should be made from solid wood.
  • Drawer sides should be made from hardwood that is more than a half-inch thick.
  • Side and floor panels inside the cabinet should be least a half-inch thick.
  • Side panels should be routed with a groove to support the drawer base.
  • Floor inside the cabinet should be fitted into the routed side panel.
  • Shelves inside the cabinet should be least three-quarters of an inch thick.
  • Hinges should be adjustable to align with the face frame.
  • Door panels should not be glued or fastened into their frames. They should be fitted into deep, lightly padded grooves routed into the frames. That way, their natural response to humidity changes over time—expansion and contraction—won’t cause cracking or warping.
  • Each drawer should be supported by two side-mounted slides rather than a single slide.
  • Shelves should be adjustable and supported by metal—rather than plastic—brackets.

Bottom line, the worth of kitchen cabinets makes itself known over years of use. But if you know what to look for in cabinet construction, you won’t need to wait all that time to find out if you chose wisely.

Brunsell Lumber - Kitchen Cabinets

Brunsell’s custom cabinets are built by true artisans in our mill. We work with clients to come up with designs that fit their budget and style, giving them as much unique as they want. Because we use time-tested craftsmanship and pour or hearts into our kitchen cabinets, their good looks don’t fade, and they stand up to whatever you dish out. Come take a walk through our showroom to see what high quality craftsmanship looks like, and maybe find the right cabinets for your home!

 

Woods That Pair Well Together

You’ve heard of blended wool, but have you heard of blended wood?

If you’ve ever walked into a room in which the furniture, flooring, and trim use only one wood species, you know that too much matching can backfire. Same, same, and same can make a room look flat and bland. It’s good to mix up woods in a room. It can also be good to do it within a single piece of woodwork—whether a piece of furniture, a banister, or cabinetry.

brunsell-lumber-banister

In our custom millwork shop, we blend woods into one-of-a-kind pieces all the time. Sometimes customers come to us with specific species they want combined. Mostly they look to us for guidance, and we’re happy to give it. Continue reading

Why Custom Cabinetry?

Before mass production of cabinets was possible, pretty much all cabinetry was custom-made—designed for a specific person, space, and function. Some of it was beautiful. Some of it merely got the job done. But all of it all was made by hand to satisfy the specific needs of the person buying it. The industrial revolution changed that. Continue reading