The Top Ten Design Trends For 2013

Includes quartz composite countertops and hardwood floors.

The New Year has begun and new styles are already being developed. Design trends are evolving, and whether you prefer traditional or contemporary, there is bound to be something just for you.

With that said, an interior designer affiliated with Neil Kelly Co. reveals in what the average homeowner currently likes best in this countdown:

10. Kitchen — Clean and simple leads the pack, and that means contemporary style. Perhaps the preference indicates a need for a less-fussy life in the kitchen.

9. Countertop — Quartz composite is the top choice, and yes, it is replacing the great granite top. Quartz composite seems to be the best, no-maintenance finish.

8. Hardwood floors — This one has been coming for a while now, moving up as the floor of choice. There is a richness and beauty to a good hardwood floor that is timeless.

7. Glass backsplash — Not the same old, same old mosaic tile, but instead a glass and stone tile mosaic. The interest in this combination makes sense since it gives visual interest as well as texture. A back-painted solid glass backsplash also fits this theme, particularly in contemporary kitchens.

6. Simplicity for the sink — The double sink is out. The deep single sink is in.

5. Kitchen color — Deep gray, as in charcoal, is in. It is taking the place of — or at least competing with — stainless steel.

4. Stone finish — Calacatta marble is the choice, and it’s one that works in both contemporary and traditional settings. It is especially popular in the bathroom.

3. Texture and sparkle — Accents of gold and/or silver with glossy glass tiles and nickel fixtures burst forth this year.

2. Multigenerational living and living longer on your own – Easy-to-work-in kitchens and safer baths are becoming very popular, and are the cutting edge of this trend.

And the winner is…
1. Healthy home — Green is in. Homes that are free of toxins and are more energy-efficient have been growing more and more popular, and have become the No. 1 priority for this year.

Great Advice For Your Next Kitchen Remodel

I was recently perusing the internet and came across a great blog article about your next kitchen remodel. You can find it by following the link below.

Kitchen Refashioning

Ten Common Kitchen Mistakes To Avoid

Yahoo! Homes reports how to curtail a kitchen disaster.

The kitchen is the place where a lot of life happens from cooking and socializing to preparing a quick snack, according to Yahoo! Homes. It needs to be both beautiful and functional. To follow that standard, here are 10 mistakes to avoid when designing your kitchen:

1. Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen triangle.

Experts refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity, and it requires careful planning and unobstructed access.

As a standard, the sum of all the legs in a work triangle should not be less than 10 feet nor greater than 25 feet, regardless of your kitchen’s shape or style. If the sum of the legs in the work triangle is too small, people will be tripping over each other and if too large, food preparation could be a very tiring task.

2. Don’t waste storage space.

Because built-ins are expensive and the overall size of the area you’re working with may be limited, one big design mistake is not including enough storage.

If the kitchen is small, consider installing extra long upper cabinets with moulding for extra storage space. Place lighting or greenery along the molding to draw the eyes up.

Install shelves across the backs of the lower kitchen cabinet, which can preserve about 4 square feet potential storage area. Otherwise, the kitchen will feel smaller than it is because you will constantly be trying to find more storage space.

3. Don’t ignore countertop workspace.

Consider all the kitchen activities that require a countertop, as well as appliances that are permanently located there. You might want to fit as much open horizontal surface areas in a kitchen as possible. This may be achieved by adding an island or breakfast bar to an L-shaped kitchen.

4. Don’t settle for poor lighting.

Lighting is not just for ambiance, it can be a safety factor when it comes to handling sharp kitchenware.

Rooms generally need three types of lighting: general lighting for overall illumination, task lighting and accent lighting.

Consider adding lighting directly above all the main working areas, perhaps using pendant lights or a series of mini-pendants. Also, installing under-cabinet lighting is an additional way to ensure that the counters have sufficient lighting for common kitchen tasks.

5. Don’t forgo a backsplash.

While budgeting or designing a new kitchen or kitchen remodel, often the backsplash area is completely left out of the plan. Installing a backsplash behind the oven and extending it above all the counters will save you money in the long run when it comes to cleaning steam and grease. It is much easier to clean grease off a backsplash made of tile or metal than wall paint or wallpaper.

6. Don’t forget to ventilate.

Good ventilation keeps the stench of last night’s dinner out of your kitchen. Inexpensive range hoods simply circulate dirty, stale air, while a good ventilation system will help improve the quality of your indoor air and also help keep your kitchen cleaner.

Effective ventilation systems also help extend the life of your appliances, and although they can be an investment, if you have a kitchen that opens to a living area or family room, they will make life easier, cleaner and more pleasant for everyone.

7. Don’t choose the wrong kitchen island.

Kitchen islands offer additional storage and preparation space, but choosing the wrong island or placing it in the wrong spot can waste a lot of space and create a bottleneck in the kitchen.

At minimum, an island should be 4 feet long and a little more than 2 feet deep. Experts say that unless the kitchen is at least 8 feet deep and more than 12 feet long, one shouldn’t even consider an island.

8. Don’t ignore your recyclables.

As recycling is here to stay, be prepared to manage your trash efficiently and incorporate trash sorting bins into your kitchen design, whether they are out or under your sink.

9. Be careful not to be too trendy.

Since designs come and go, consider choosing a kitchen design that won’t go out of style. The trending color of the season has a short half-life, and you may never receive your return on investment.

10. Don’t avoid professionals.

You can save money if you take on a design project on your own, but if you don’t totally know what you are doing, you can waste a lot of time and energy in the long run. Hiring a professional can save you a possible safety hazard, but kitchen designers also know the latest trends and manufacturer’s details. They can also help you identify your specific needs and translate those details into an efficient plan according to your taste.

Care For Your Cabinet Doors (Part One)

One of the biggest factors resulting in damage to the cabinetry in your home is a lack of maintenance. Over the years, I have seen everything from the finish peeling off the doors to the upper cabinets nearly falling off the wall. There is a cure for this and believe it or not, it is so simple virtually anyone can do it.

Doors make up the majority of what is seen of your kitchen cabinets. One of the biggest problems with doors tends to be the hinges. Hinges bear the brunt of the motion of the door and the screws that hold them can, over time, work their way loose. Loose hinges screws will soon lead to other problems like a crooked door or marring of the cabinet or the door where the loose hinge is rubbing. If a hinge becomes loose or worn, sometimes it will squeak or click when it is opened and closed. The cure for this may be as simple as tightening some screws. If a squeak continues you may try a shot of lubricant. If the hing is tight and lubricated and you still have a squeak or click, your hinge may need to be replaced.

Another problem I commonly find with doors is that the finish has failed. This may be the result of any multitude of reasons, including but not limited to water damage, children, pets, and old fashioned wear and tear. The three most common places for this type of damage are the doors below the kitchen sink, the area surrounding the knobs or handles on all doors and the lower doors in a high traffic area.

Occasionally, you will have a knob or handle work its way loose which tends to be more annoying than anything. I have seen this happen as a result of the threads on the screw holding the knob/handle in place to be stripped but most of the time it is due to normal wear and tear.

If your cabinets are painted, you may want to keep a jar of matching paint and a touch up brush handy. However, if your cabinets are stained there are a few different options you may choose (each determined by the root problem). First if the door has been scratched or deeply marred to the point of seeing raw wood, you may consider trying to find a stain to match and touch up the door the best you can. If the varnish has been scratched and the color is not compromised, you might try a furniture scratch cover product like “Old English” made by Min-wax. Unfortunately, there is no easy fix for major damage like dents and breakage.

Please remember, these are only temporary fixes and you will eventually need to replace or reface your kitchen cabinets. But until then, make your kitchen shine and last longer by first keeping the cabinets clean. (For this I recommend a mild de-greaser like Murphy’s Oil Soap.) Then be sure to stay on top of any minor damage that may occur and don’t forget to keep an eye on the hinges and their screws. Keep a screwdriver handy in a drawer or somewhere near the kitchen to take care of any problems as soon as you see them. A little maintenance goes a long way and can save a lot of money in the long run.

What Is The Best Wood To Use?

Recently, I posed the question, “What would you like to know about kitchen cabinetry and household mill work?” One person responded with: “What are the best woods to use?”

This is not an easy question since the answer would vary according to each person’s needs. For instance, in a home with any number of children, I would not recommend cherry or alder cabinetry or trim. These woods are too soft and too expensive to withstand the constant barrage and abuse that children afford. Oak is a very strong and durable wood which will hold up well to constant use and can be made to look very nice. I usually describe oak to be a very utilitarian wood which lends itself to use in a home that is “lived in” versus a home that is a “show place”.

Maple is a very versatile wood. This wood also is hard enough to stand up to heavy use and, with the exception of the occasional blotch, will stain to most any color. Maple generally has a very straight, smooth grain which does not show when painted.

Walnut is a most beautiful naturally dark wood. It is easy to work with and looks great with or without a stained finish. The biggest drawback to walnut is its cost, often two to three times the cost of other woods. I would recommend saving walnut for the smaller projects, like the grandfather clock, hope chests and jewelry boxes.

Pine is a great wood for building rustic cabinetry. Much like cherry and alder, it is soft and can be easily scratched, dented and broken. Pine is very easy to work with and will make beautiful cabinets as long as you are willing to look at the knots.

These woods are, of course, not the only woods that are available. They are simply the most common and what I see in most homes today. There are of course many exotic, and more obscure woods that may work very well and look amazing in your home.

When it comes right down to it, the question does not have a clear cut answer. So, the generic answer to the question would have to be: “The wood that best meets the needs in your home.” My only recommendation would be to at least try to build using domestic lumber. This supports other American families and capitalizes on the resources we have in our own back yard (so to speak).

I will try in the near future to post some articles concerning the different strengths and weaknesses of these and other different types of wood. But until then, if you have any questions concerning your kitchen cabinets or the mill work in your home, be sure to give us a call, we’ll be glad to help.

Montgomery Fireplace Mantel

This fireplace mantel was quite a challenge on the design side. When I went to meet with the customer, she was uncertain of what she wanted. All she was sure about is that she wanted it white, not too ornate and that she wanted the height and width dimensions to be the same as the existing piece. Her existing piece was a poorly made, warped and very narrow hanging shelf mantel with no decorative legs.


Throughout the initial consultation I asked her a number of questions and observed the styles and designs of her furniture and mill work in her home. This gave me some clues as to how to design the fireplace mantel in such a way to meet her expectations and compliment its surroundings.


I must admit the customer was very skeptical and called me several times throughout the project to question my design. But, when I arrived for the installation, her apprehensions melted away and she was very pleased with what she saw. To see more pictures of her fireplace mantel, go the the Fireplace mantels tab in the Gallery and click on Montgomery Mantel.

Pull-Out Trash Cans

When designing a kitchen, I always do my best to incorporate a pull-out trash can. This line of accessories is, in my opinion, one of the most valuable additions you can add to your kitchen. They not only help to keep the kitchen clean, organized and tidy by hiding away the unsightly and often smelly garbage, but can also be used to create a convenient and simple way to recycle in your home.

Pull Out Trash Can

There are a number of different options available in pull out waste containers. Your first option to consider would be the frame which can be made of either the traditional white wire, wood, or chrome. The decision for your frame will probably be influenced by the style of your kitchen.

The next option is the slide construction. This can be a simple white roller bearing slide, a ball bearing full extension slide, and more recently added to the line has been the full extension soft-close slide. Your choice of slide will probably be guided by your budget since the soft-close slides can be a bit more expensive.

There are several companies that produce these pull-out trash cans. Two of the most popular are Rev-a-shelf and KV (Knape Vogt). They offer a variety of sizes, styles and colors to choose from and cover a wide price range. This makes it more possible than ever for anyone and nearly everyone to have a pull-out trash can in their kitchen.

If you would like to know if a pull-out trash can would work in your kitchen, please give us a call and Procraft Woodworks will be glad to help.

Bower’s Kitchen Update

Here is a kitchen which has seen some magic from Procraft Woodworks. When I walked in, the kitchen was dated and in desperate need of an update. The owners didn’t know exactly what they wanted, but they knew they had a budget and wanted to get the biggest bang for their buck.



We added end panels to their lower cabinets, built a raised panel back to cover up the paper covered particle board back that was on their island and made new side panels for their double oven  and upper cabinets.We could not add a larger crown mold because we were limited in height by the soffit. 

We also removed the window at the sink and framed it in with trim that matched the cabinetry. We added light rail around the bottom of the upper cabinets and new toe kicks under the base cabinets.img_6113


They had a desk adjacent to the kitchen/dining room that they wanted to incorporate more fully into the kitchen. We built an upper cabinet with glass doors and now they are able to use it as their china cabinet.



img_6117We then replaced their old laminate counter tops with granite and installed a tile backsplash. This has really transformed their kitchen at just a fraction of the cost of tearing it all out and building new.

Facts About Your Return On Investment (ROI)

PROJECT                                                       TYPICAL $ RANGE                                           ROI

Minor Kitchen Remodel                                     $19,000 – $25,000                                            83 – 88%

Major Kitchen Remodel                                      $25,000 – $100,000                                         85 – 88%

Bathroom Remodel                                              $13,000 – $44,000                                           78 – 90%

Bathroom Addition                                              $30,000 – $62,000                                           65 – 79%

Master Suite Addition                                         $70,000 – $120,000                                        69 – 72%

Family Room Addition                                         $60,000 – $80,000                                          65 – 72%

Sunroom Addition                                                $55,000 – $75,000                                          59 – 63%

Siding Replacement                                              $9,000 – $15,000                                            80 – 90%

Window Replacement                                          $10,000 – $18,000                                          79 – 82%

Sources: Compiled from multiple sources including Knoxville News-Sentinel, Remodelers Council of the National Association of Home Builders, Remodeling Magazine, and the internet.

Integrity, Simplicity And Value

When searching for a professional to perform any sort of service in your home, you should of course, look for a few certain characteristics that set them apart from the status quo. No one wants to pay for shoddy craftsmanship or poor quality products, so when looking for the right person to do the job, what do you look for?


Does this person/business stand behind the product or service they provide, or do they simply sell you something and quickly move on to the next customer? Do they have a reputation for caring for their customers and fixing any problems that may occur? Integrity goes beyond the product and service in the way someone acts and performs in your home. Are they honest, clean, and professional and do they treat you with the respect you deserve as their customer?


As a homeowner, simplicity can be hard to find in such a complex world. When you are able to find a professional who can simplify your life by taking care of all the worrisome tasks and headaches that often accompany any project, you have found a gem. Hiring a truly skilled business person can make your part of any project much simpler.


Too often in today’s world consumers mistake “inexpensive” or “cheap” for value. Though value is associated with the cost, it sometimes has nothing to do with money. Think of this; if it costs $250 for a car with no engine or wheels versus a $2,500 for a car that runs and has good tires, where is the value. The value is, of course, in the good car with the good engine and tires. You are able to more efficiently use the good vehicle. Similar principles apply to projects in your home. Do not always look for the cheapest and quickest turnaround. Quality, integrity, and simplicity create value. And though value may cost more, you will find it is worth it in the long run.