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Kitchen Upgrade: Dreaming, designing, and crafting

The kitchen has often been called the ‘heart of the home’. With so many folks currently spending abundant time in their homes, we’ve become aware of a growing desire to update or overhaul this essential room. 

Custom Kitchen cabinetry by NEWwoodworks
Material choices and options vary wildly—using rugged elements in modern environments or keeping the space sleek and ‘clean’. What’s important is solving the needs and wants, meshing the goals, of different people and their activities in the kitchen. Photo (c) Scott Hemenway. 

“Why a custom kitchen…” Rob D’Alessandro, general manager of our fine woodworking group, NEWwoodworks, mused. “Well, we like to tailor the kitchen to exactly what the client wants and needs. If we can match, and hopefully enhance, the way they cook, serve, eat, entertain, and live, then they will use, enjoy, and make more good memories at home.”

Over the last 200 years, our culture has gone from one room cabins where gathering around the hearth was simply a way of life, to the affluent days of the butler’s pantry and galley kitchen separate from the dining/social areas of the home, to a revival of the central hearth concept appearing today in the form of ‘open plan living’.

Custom Kitchen Cabinetry by NEWwoodworks
An open floor plan has a relaxed, easy flow, and allows the chef(s) to stay connected with surrounding conversations, games, homework, chores, and more. Photo (c) Scott Hemeway. 

The kitchen is a multi-functional space for a modern family. Using different surface heights, or changes in materials, we create cues that areas are for varying activities within the same space. “'Wood where the elbows are' lends comfort for both enjoying meals and a flexible workspace. Add another level or surface topped with quartz or slate and it suggests cooking & messier activities,” continued Rob. 

Custom Kitchen Cabinetry by NEWwoodworks
'Wood where the elbows are’; material use and height variation define spaces within a Keuka Lake kitchen. 

We focus on using sustainable and durable materials, such as reclaimed wood for cabinets, and either a man-made quartz that can stand up to years of cooking and entertaining, or natural materials that bring a softer touch, like slate for tops. We always keep in mind the source, where our materials are coming from, and convey what comprobable alternatives, that better for people and planet, are available.

Custom Kitchens created in Design from NEWwoodworks
Various software, including REVIT and Cabinet Vision, are used to draft kitchen plans, bring in color tones and texture elements whenever possible to help everyone visualize the final space.

Common questions to ask when you’re looking to redesign: How often do you cook? How many people are usually in the kitchen? How many people are you cooking for on an average night? Do you host frequent parties or larger gatherings? What do you really dislike about your kitchen? What do you really enjoy about it? Do you have a favorite wood species? Countertop material? What kind of storage space or display space would you like? What’s your ideal timeline?

Custom Kitchens created in software to help our craftsmen

“We enjoy seeing elements morph and evolve over the course of planning. Our goal is to create a layout that will accommodate both present and future needs always within an aesthetic and space that relates to the surrounding home,” said Rob.

Diana, one of our design and fine woodworking team members, expanded saying, "When designing for a whole house, you can often draw a connecting thread between details used in the kitchen and in other spaces of the home, such as built-ins in a dining room, or furniture in a neighboring space. A great way to give your house a more holistic feel, using similar materials throughout keeps the design aesthetic alive as you move from space to space. If you have a favorite species, don’t be afraid to use it throughout the house. Or if your budget requires, use a complimentary wood species in secondary spaces like guest bathrooms while keeping cabinetry details similar to the main space."

Local timber frame custom kitchen cabinetry
Photo (c) Scott Hemenway

What elements will your new kitchen have? See our “Kitchens” gallery for inspiration and reach out to our team today with your ideas.

Read more about the Heart of the Home in our past blog post.



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