Yearly Archives: 2019

Why Wall Cabinets Remain Vital in Modern Kitchen Design

As new modern kitchen design themes like open floor plans, exposed walls and greater emphasis on islands have become more popular in recent years, some may be wondering what happens to cabinets for storage space as a result. With more and more homeowners converting kitchens into areas that are for more than just cooking, and also serve as social and gathering areas among other potential purposes, do cabinets still have a major place in the kitchen?

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re here to tell you that the answer remains a resounding yes. We stock a wide range of kitchen cabinets, from base cabinet options to versatile utility cabinets, plus one style that’s extremely important for any open floor plan or island design: Wall cabinets. Let’s look at why most designers recommend keeping wall cabinets as part of your design even if you’re going for an island theme, plus the benefits they provide.

wall cabinets modern kitchen design

Storage and Aesthetics

You may not have thought much about it before, but your lower wall cabinets in the kitchen hide a number of items and elements you’d likely rather not be seen by guests. While we tend to think of storage in cabinets as reserved for cooking materials like pots and pans, there are actually several other possible considerations as well.

Namely, we’re talking about home components like pipes, water hoses, wiring or various cables that may run through the room. Lower wall cabinets are often primary storage areas for these components, which you certainly don’t want to expose in the kitchen for both aesthetic and safety reasons.

Temperature Concerns

Many don’t consider this as even a related area to cabinets, but they can provide significant value when it comes to insulation and temperature control within the kitchen. Especially in older homes that might have cracks or other temperature issues with main walls, extreme outdoor temperatures may seep in and impact the kitchen. If you have quality lower wall cabinets, however, they can make a big difference in indoor temperature and keep your heating and cooling bills down each month.

Multi-Purpose Benefits

On top of this, lower wall cabinets and countertops above them are a perfect combination for multi-purpose use, particularly when multiple people are attempting to use the kitchen at once. While island designs are great for aesthetics and space, they can become inconvenient when two or more people are trying to prep food, cook and perform other duties in the area all at the same time. The best possible combination here involves both island space and other countertops with lower wall cabinets underneath them, allowing for multiple cooking and work spaces.

For more on why wall cabinets remain vital pieces of modern kitchen designs, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Phone Apps That Assist With Home and Kitchen Remodeling

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re proud to play a prominent role in many kitchen remodeling projects through providing high-quality kitchen cabinets in several formats. From base and wall cabinets to utility options and vanity cabinets, we have all the materials you need to get started on one of the foundational elements of any kitchen.

We utilize technology regularly to assist our efforts, and you can do the same as a homeowner. There’s an app for everything today, as they say, and this is true for the kitchen and cabinet remodeling world as well. With this in mind, here are a few apps to consider to assist with your kitchen remodel.

apps home kitchen remodeling


The Roomsketcher app is a free one that allows users to generate their own kitchen layouts, floor plans and other diagrams. You can test various features and fixtures to see how they’ll fit in a given space, even receiving a 3D image that allows for full viewing.

On top of all that, you don’t have to be an experienced interior design pro to use Roomsketcher. It can be used by average citizens easily and with great results.

Easyhome Homestyler

Another free app that allows for the creation of floor plans and styles is the Easyhome Homestyler, which is available on both Google Play and iTunes. It also produces a 3D image with a realistic appearance, helping you visualize what the space will look like.

Houzz Interior Design Ideas

Yet another free app is Houzz, which some people call the “Wikipedia of interior design.” It has a huge array of photos and themes from previous home remodels, plus an area where you can search and save your favorite pictures to browse later. You can refine your search to include only the styles you’re interested in, plus receive ideas and tips from professionals who frequent the app. It’s available for both iOS and Android phones.

IKEA Room Interior Planner

IKEA has an app that allows for kitchen visualization, one that is free but has several in-app purchases available. It allows you to fully plan out your space well in advance, using IKEA furniture from a variety of galleries. It’s found on both Android and iOS.

Home Design 3D

Another free app, and perhaps the most popular home design app across all mobile phones, is the Home Design 3D app. This app has both 2D and 3D options for visualizing an entire house, not even just a single room. You can add and subtract elements and colors, even altering areas like wall thickness and general room layout all at once.

RoomScan Pro

Finally, for those doing a large-scale renovation or remodel and wishing to skip the need for a contractor to draw floor plans and determine door and window locations, the RoomScan Pro app is a paid app that handles much of this for you. You can render a floor plan and then make adjustments on your own. This app has a bit of a learning curve, so plan for a bit of extra time here. It can be found only on iOS, though a platform called Magic Plan seems relatively similar for Android users.

For more on apps to assist you with a kitchen or home remodel, or to learn about any of our quality kitchen cabinets, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Basics, Benefits and Drawbacks of Gloss Cabinet Finishes

Recently in this space, we discussed everything you need to know about matte cabinet finishes. Matte finish, which refers to a smooth, shine-free surface, is a popular modern style for not only cabinets, but also several other design or aesthetic areas.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re proud to offer a wide range of color options for our kitchen cabinets, from base cabinets to wall cabinets and many more, and we’ll also advise you on everything you need to know about finish. Opposite to matte finish is a style known as gloss finish, or high-gloss finish – here are some basics on gloss finish for your cabinets, plus some pros and cons to consider if you’re selecting it.

benefits drawbacks gloss cabinet finishes

Basics of Gloss Cabinet Finish

High gloss first became popular in the 1970s, where it was seen as a modern, chic style that added shine and sparkle to any design. It’s sometimes also called ultra-high gloss or 100 percent gloss, depending on the specific supplier and certain materials that are used.

In opposition to matte finish, which absorbs light and flattens it out, gloss cabinet doors come with a shiny, light-reflecting finish. This style is perfect for contemporary kitchen styles, those with flat cabinet doors and sleek, modern style points.

Benefits of Gloss Finish

There are several reasons why buyers often gravitate toward gloss finishes for their cabinets, including the following:

  • Space considerations: While matte finishes are known to somewhat compress areas, making them a limited option for smaller kitchens, gloss finishes are the opposite. Their light reflection actually helps spaces feel larger and more open than they actually are, meaning any size of kitchen goes well with gloss – they make smaller kitchens feel larger, and larger ones feel even more spacious.
  • Light absorption: Down similar lines, you don’t have to worry about darker light shades absorbing light out of your room with gloss finishes that reflect it right back out.
  • Simple cleaning: Gloss cabinets are very easy to clean, requiring just a non-scratch cloth and no expensive cleaning materials at all.

Drawbacks of Gloss Finish

There are a few potential downsides of gloss finishes, however:

  • Noticeable imperfections: Light reflection from gloss is great in several areas, but it may also increase the visibility of scratches, fingerprints, dirt or other smudges that reach the surface. This is fine if you have a few seconds to easily clean the area, but some people prefer matte because it hides these kinds of imperfections a bit more easily.
  • Dark colors: Down related lines, darker colors for gloss cabinets might not be advisable if you have small children or pets who might touch or otherwise damage the cabinets – scratches or finger marks are much more noticeable than on lighter colors.

For more on why gloss finish might be the perfect choice for your new cabinets, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Basics, Benefits and Drawbacks of Matte Cabinet Finishes

While color is naturally one of the top aesthetic considerations for any new cabinets in your kitchen, finish is also a vital factor to consider. Referring to the final application of color or lamination that gives your cabinet that truly complete look, cabinet finish comes in a few different formats.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re happy to offer our expertise and any information you might need on finish options for your kitchen cabinets, from base cabinets to wall cabinets and many other options. One finish format that’s rising in popularity over recent years is the matte finish – what are some of the basics, pros and cons of this finish style? Let’s take a look.

benefits drawbacks matte cabinet finishes

Matte Finish Basics

Matte finish, a common modern type found in many homes, refers to a finish that’s a smooth, shine-free surface. Matte finishes are considered an inherent opposite to gloss finishes, which have a greater luster and are meant to “shine” or reflect light.

In most cases, the choice between matte or gloss (or another finish type) comes down to personal preference. But there are also several notable factors to consider in terms of the texture, sealing and protection offered by each – our next couple sections will go over these factors for matte finishes.

Benefits of Matte Cabinet Finishes

There are a couple notable benefits of matte finishes in your cabinets:

  • Texture: In many cases, matte finishes are primary options for larger kitchens that contain open floor plans and lots of space. This is because matte finishes do a great job of adding texture and layering to other gloss areas, which are often found on countertops and other kitchen sections. Matte finishes bring a sleek look that helps class up any room.
  • Concealing: Matte finishes are great if you’re the kind of homeowner who doesn’t want to be cleaning cabinet surfaces of smudges, stains and scratches too often. These kinds of marks show up more often with gloss finishes, but matte finishes show subtler appearances and do not reflect light in the same way.

Drawbacks of Matte Cabinet Finishes

There are a couple downsides of matte finishes as well, depending on your needs:

  • No seal: While matte finishes do conceal many stain or smudge types, they don’t actually prevent them in any way. They’re just harder to see.
  • Cleaning difficulty: Down similar lines, matte finishes can be a bit tougher to clean precisely because you can’t always see the imperfections as easily. Matte finishes are also a bit more susceptible to streaking or absorption of stains.
  • Small spaces: For smaller kitchen spaces, matte finishes may make the area feel compressed due to absorbing light. If you’re trying to increase the perception of size, you might want to look elsewhere.

For more on the benefits and drawbacks of matte finishes, or to learn about any of our other kitchen cabinet materials or options, contact the pros at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Basics on Installing Under-Cabinet Lighting Options

While cabinets in any room in your home can serve multiple purposes, the primary one in a majority of cases is functionality. Cabinets are highly valuable for everything from storage to organization, particularly in major rooms like the kitchen and bathroom where items and clutter can easily build up.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, functionality and practicality are major features of all our cabinet options, from base cabinets to vanities, utility cabinets and many others. One major add-on that speaks directly to functional areas of cabinetry: Under-cabinet lighting. Let’s take a look at the basics and purposes of lighting underneath cabinets, plus detail some of the best options out there if you’re looking to add some light to these areas.

installing under-cabinet lighting

Purposes of Under-Cabinet Lighting

Lighting should be a vital consideration in any room with cabinets being installed, particularly kitchens – which we’ll use as our example room for the rest of this blog. Lighting is hugely important in several areas of the kitchen, potentially including the counters and other spaces directly below cabinets.

Generally speaking, under-cabinet lighting serves three broad purposes:

  • Tasks and function: Many modern kitchens are organized in a format where overhead cabinets sit above countertop spaces, allowing for simple reach and storage while also preparing food or other items. In these cases, under-cabinet lighting can be a vital tool for being able to see well in these areas, including those that may not be exposed to much natural light due to sitting underneath cabinets. There are angled lighting formats available if you’re looking to highlight particular areas here.
  • Safety: Work in the kitchen can often pose some minor risks, such as knife cuts or burns on hot surfaces, but proper lighting helps minimize these risks. Most modern under-cabinet lights will come with dimming options, allowing for whatever level of light is needed – you can even keep them on at night for a little visibility in case you or the kids happen to get up.
  • Ambiance: Finally, under-cabinet lights are highly valuable for a room’s ambiance and feel. You can use these lights to help create and further a variety of moods or aesthetics.

Lighting Options and Themes

Some tips and themes to consider when selecting under-cabinet lighting:

  • LED options: In most cases in 2019, you’ll want to choose LED lights that are low-voltage and energy efficient. These options use just a fraction of the energy as other lighting options, and will last longer to boot. They’re also safe to the touch and affordable.
  • Colors: LED lights come in several color options, though we generally recommend neutral and natural light colors.
  • Custom fitting: We’ll assist you with custom-fitting areas for your light installs.
  • Wiring: There are plenty of formats that allow this kind of lighting installation to be done without involving any intrusive wires.
  • Dimmer switches: As noted above, most modern lighting options will come with dimmer switches to allow you to customize light levels.

For more on under-cabinet lighting options, or to learn about any of our custom cabinetry, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

When Replacing Cabinets Beats Refacing Them

When your kitchen cabinets are beginning to wear down or you want a new kitchen design, or even if you’ve recently moved into a new home and are looking to alter your cabinet appearance or function in some way, you’ll be faced with a major decision: To reface the existing cabinets, or replace them? Refacing refers to a process of replacing old cabinet drawers and doors, with veneers attached to frames that can create a new style and functional space.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we have a wide variety of base cabinets, vanity cabinets, wall cabinets and many other choices if you’ve determined the time is right to replace cabinets during your home remodel. There are several situations where refacing simply isn’t possible, or isn’t advised at all due to high costs and low success rates. Here are some of these situations, plus why replacing cabinets might be the right choice for you.

 replacing cabinets beats refacing

Low-Grade Cabinets

Refacing is a strong process that can use lamination and other formats to help strengthen an existing cabinet, but there are limits to the materials it can impact. If your previous cabinets are low-grade options made with particle board or some other cheap material, refacing often simply won’t be possible.

This is because cabinet refacing requires a decent foundation. Cheap materials are liable to break down during the refacing process, or not long after, costing you even more on the back end.

Full Remodel of Kitchen Layout

Cabinet refacing is mostly meant for cabinets that will retain their prior configuration, or will be changing very little here. If you’re changing up the entire kitchen or moving cabinets to a new area, they can’t be refaced and must have replacements in new areas. There are some situations where you’ll reface certain cabinets, but also install certain new ones during a partial remodel.

Metal Cabinetry

They aren’t too common anymore, but metal cabinets and frames used to be very popular for their durability. They still might be found in some older homes, but unfortunately, their strength and material means they can’t really be refaced.


While refacing services can go a long way in terms of changing up and improving the appearance of your cabinets, they can’t really make an impact when it comes to smells. Whether you’ve left rotting food in a cabinet or some other odor has found its way in, unless you can remove it in some other way, cabinet replacement will be needed to completely be rid of it.

Simply Beyond Repair

And finally, there are cases where even if your prior cabinets are made of strong, modern materials, they’ve just worn down over time. Maybe this is due to heavy use or poor care, or perhaps some combination of both. If your cabinets are dealing with rot, water damage, pest infestation or swelling due to humidity that cannot be reversed, replacement might be your best bet.

For more on situations where cabinet refacing is not possible or unadvised and new cabinets are needed, or to learn more about any of our kitchen cabinets or remodeling services, speak to the staff at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Impact of New Cabinets on Weight and Health

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re proud to offer a wide range of kitchen cabinets for your home remodel. From base cabinets to vanities, wall cabinets and many other choices, we have everything you need in the cabinet world to create a beautiful, functional remodeling project.

And while the primary benefits of our products are generally found in the way they make your kitchen both more functional and aesthetically pleasing, there’s one trickle-down result here that generally receives no consideration whatsoever from the general public: The impact new countertops can have on the health and eating habits of those in the home. Let’s look at the issues many Americans have with health related to how they eat, plus how installing new cabinets might in part help change eating habits and raise the health levels of the entire family.

impact cabinets weight health

Americans, Eating Out and Obesity

There’s a significant trend when it comes to Americans and the way we eat: Compared to other developed nations, we eat many more meals outside our own homes from other establishments. In addition, we tend to eat at a higher speed than other similar countries.

What does this lead to? That’s right, higher levels of obesity. And while there are several factors that go into these high levels, researchers and medical professionals have repeatedly identified a lack of time available as one of the top reasons for them.

Benefits of Home-Cooked Meals

This lack of time has decreased the number of home-cooked meals being eaten by the average American, and these meals can be very valuable. They’ve been proven to help promote a healthier diet in children, for instance, and may even help raise their grades. They also show significant benefits for the entire family in terms of both the health of the food they eat and the time they spend together – a family meal each evening for dinner can go a long way to strengthening the overall family dynamic.

How Cabinets and Storage Help

So how do cabinets relate to all of this? Well, you might be surprised just how large an impact they can have on the ease and convenience of cooking at home. New, well-conceived cabinets can revolutionize your kitchen’s storage space, allowing you to install items like appliance garages, pull-out racks and other space-savers that make keeping the kitchen organized a breeze compared to your old layout.

Not only does this make things simpler for you, it does so for any kids in the home as well. Cleaning up after both cooking or eating will be easier for them, making them less likely to look to less healthy meal sources. It may seem a small chance, but many are shocked at how big an impact cabinet installation can have on eating and health habits for the entire family.

For more on how installing new cabinets might impact kitchen convenience and your health, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinets or home remodeling services, speak to the pros at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Cabinet Layout and Ease of Kitchen Cleaning

For those who use the kitchen as the central hub of their home, including often having guests over, cleaning will be more important for this room than any other in the home. But in many situations, especially when tidying up after social gatherings, this can be a real headache.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we’re here to tell you about one area that may have more of an impact on kitchen cleaning than you had ever considered: Your kitchen cabinets. If you’re designing a new kitchen remodel using our high-quality cabinets, you can plan things out to make cleaning and organization far easier than it may have been in the past. Let’s look at three areas that are important here, and showcase how quality cabinets can make your day-to-day life a little simpler in the kitchen.

cabinet layout kitchen cleaning

Item Storage

One of the key factors in kitchen cleaning, particularly if you regularly host gatherings, is to keep clutter away from major areas. One of the best ways to do this during the design phase of any kitchen remodeling process is to evaluate your old kitchen as it stands – what are the items that take up lots of space, either in countertops or in cabinets? How can you create new areas for these items to be placed in?

You might be very surprised at how much additional space is really available in your kitchen when it comes down to it. Utilizing it property with well-fitting cabinets can go a long way to improving your available workspace, plus simply making it easier to clean common areas and keep the entire room sparkling.

Labeling and Fighting Clutter

Down similar lines, you can take things even further by improving your labeling and basic recognition in the kitchen. This is a hustling, bustling area, and having dedicated locations for some of your most common items can go a long way.

We’re not even necessarily talking about big items here, though these are important as well – what about small items like keys, purses, wallets, sunglasses and others we always tend to misplace on our way in and out? Between these items and things like cleaning products, kitchen appliances and dishes, and numerous other pieces in the room, having a well-organized cabinet and layout situation is highly beneficial for making cleaning simpler and easier.

Quality Cabinets

Finally, no matter what you’re prioritizing when it comes to storage and organization, high-quality cabinets are the way to go. They stand the test of daily use, even if you’re switching up storage solutions regularly. Instead of wearing down and looking downtrodden quickly like low-quality cabinets can, talk to our pros about the best products on the market that will hold up for years.

For more on how the cabinet design phase can help make kitchen cleaning easier, or to learn about any of our kitchen cabinet products, speak to the pros at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.

Considerations Before Painting Your Cabinets

Kitchen cabinets are some of the defining elements of your kitchen and even your entire home’s design, and the color scheme they follow is one of the biggest factors here. A simple tweak in color for your cabinets can impact the entire aesthetic of your kitchen, and may impact decisions you make on everything from countertops to tile, accessories and more.

At AWA Kitchen Cabinets, we have a wide range of color options for our kitchen cabinets to help with your home remodeling needs. Another choice that some of our buyers look to is painting their cabinets on their own – this is often a great way to get a unique pattern, but it’s also a route some people take for the wrong reasons and without considering the pros and cons. Let’s look over some of the basics here, including a few situations where painting your own cabinets might not actually be the best approach.
considerations before painting cabinets

Many Colors Available

For starters, as we noted above, we have a huge variety of color options already available in our cabinet models. We have every popular style out there today available, plus several others that are a bit more unique – such as cinnamon glaze or our espresso shaker dark tone.

In addition, we can help you color-match to the rest of your kitchen. Our pros have tons of experience with complementary colors within design, so we can assist you whether you have or haven’t already chosen other design themes for the kitchen remodel. If your only goal with painting is to get a great color that complements the rest of the space, you might be able to accomplish this for much less cost and hassle.

Cost and Labor

Speaking of the costs of painting, they can be significant if you aren’t careful. A few areas to consider here:

  • Prep: To paint cabinet doors, you first have to remove the doors themselves plus all their hardware. Then you have to sand or otherwise remove the previous paint and stain, plus any debris, so the new paint will stick. Then, of course, you have to invest in quality paint.
  • Application: Then you have to apply primer and then two coats of paint, with sanding in between coats. Some people use a sprayer, which costs extra and requires taping all over the place.
  • Re-attaching: And once you finally finish, you have to put everything back together properly. If you’re inexperienced with this kind of work, you may risk losing or damaging parts. And on top of this, the kitchen will be largely out of commission during this period while you paint.
  • Outside work: And if you don’t feel like taking the above steps above, you’ll have to hire out – which costs additional money.

If you’re interested in learning more about our color options and why you can often skip self-painting, or for information on any of our cabinet store options, speak to the pros at AWA Kitchen Cabinets today.