Fun with Kitchen Remodeling

What, you don’t think “fun” and “kitchen remodeling” belong in the same sentence? Having gone through one myself, and written about countless others, I think the sentence is possible if you go into it with the right expectations.

Hardwood Artisans has recently gotten into the business of kitchens, and the new Fairfax showroom has cabinetry on display to show the kind of work they do:

Cabinetry in the new Fairfax showroom

Cabinetry in the new Fairfax showroom

As you might guess, cabinetry from Hardwood Artisans isn’t cheap – in fact, no cabinetry ever is, according to this great write-up on the HGTV Web site. Cabinetry accounts for 35 percent of your remodeling budget – the biggest chunk of all line items, including labor and appliances.

As they say, you get what you pay for. So check out the cabinetry General Manager Greg Gloor and co-owner Mark Gatterdam built for their own kitchens:

Mark’s kitchen, with Craftsman-inspired cabinets.

Mark’s kitchen, with Craftsman-inspired cabinets.

The warm glow of the cherry wood on Mark’s cabinets is a nice counterpoint to the black granite counters and backsplash.

The warm glow of the cherry wood on Mark’s cabinets is a nice counterpoint to the black granite counters and backsplash.

Greg used bamboo countertops for his kitchen, along with the custom cabinetry.

Greg used bamboo countertops for his kitchen, along with the custom cabinetry.

Going back to HGTV, I tend to think its programming gets a little goofy at times, but the articles on its Web site are very informative. (Full disclosure: I’ve written a couple of them!)

Here are some other great links to kitchen remodeling on that site, which are worth printing and keeping. This one talks about finding a good contractor, and this one details how to set a budget, plan, and even pay the remodeling bills.

Another great resource for researching remodels is the National Kitchen and Bath Association, or NKBA for short. I found a good all-around article with consumer tips here, which talks about when — and why – to update, and there is an exhaustive Q&A that gets down to the nitty gritty of every aspect of kitchen remodeling, right here.

And if you want to know how the marketers have you figured out as a kitchen consumer, read this interesting article about a survey of more than 3 million households, which asked people about their searching and buying habits for kitchen upgrades.

So once you have your remodeling plan, you’ve set aside enough money for each of the line items (including those unexpected expenses that always enter the equation), you’re ready to have fun, right?

Speaking of fun…

Owner Ricardo Berrum is working with a couple who who just ordered a kitchen plan for their DC condo. They came back to Hardwood Artisans after buying a piece of furniture from us 20 years ago.

Part of the new kitchen plan includes custom-carved drawer fronts of quarter-sawn white oak, which the customer provided.

“That’s most likely the reason they went with us,” Ricardo says. There are about 20 panels that the couple purchased 10 years ago. “We’re going to try to use all of them and integrate them into their kitchen,” he says.

Carved drawer face

Carved drawer face

We’ll post pictures of the finished product in 10-12 weeks, once the project is installed.

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