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Homes Are Made in the Details

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Oct 04

Homes Are Made in the Details

     Building your own home is quite possibly the most exciting and rewarding endeavor for anyone to undertake. It starts with the perfect home design, and a perfect location, in a perfect neighborhood. But, it is the personal items we fill our homes with that reminds us there is a family living in that home. Every new event in our live is reflected in our homes from the way they smell to the art on the wall. By using one or ALL of these options your new home design will start to take shape.

Option # 1: Get the Kitchen You WantMINER 9

Who wants to settle for a cookie-cutter space that someone unpacked from a box and stapled onto your walls? Not us. But these days we’re all looking to improve what we have without forking over our retirement funds. By using a mixture of paint, paper, vintage finds and dash of expert execution those classic made-to-order looks can be yours.


Option # 2: Custom Wall Art

Finding a piece of art off the shelf at Meijer’s grocery store is not a hard feet to accomplish. People will come into your home and look at those pieces and think, “well doesn’t that look nice. Everything matches so well.” Because getting things to match is easy but finding those items which cannot go untouched by your guests is another animal altogether. Opt out of buying and start creating.

If you would like custom art pieces please send drawings or ideas to Lighthouse Cabinets at CustomCabinetsMichigan.com


Made by John Brooks of Lighthouse Cabinets


Option # 3: Refurbish Your Leftover Furniture

I just bought a home last year and the thing that drove me crazy was how I was not able to use my old furniture like it was used in my apartment. Let’s get real for a moment, my apartment didn’t have anything fancy in it, lots of leftover gifts from family, but I mixed and matched until somehow the place shined. However, when I moved to my home there were vanities and dressers that didn’t match anywhere. And if you’re a craftsman like me you probably could throw some paint on it, or put some casters on it to make it fit. Usually it is not that simple.

By stealing ideas from Pinterest or Etsy and mixing it together with your existing furniture it is possible to come up with a lethal blend of character and design.


Lighthouse could take your old furniture and turns it into art!

Redesigning you home will change your life in ways most of us take for granted. Although it is improbable to look at every piece of furniture or every nick-knack we have lying around the house but when we do there is a story to tell. By taking something from our past and redesigning it to fit our present we change or stories from simple narrative to epic tails of creativity.

Designing My NEW Kitchen

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Aug 22

The kitchen is the heart of every home, where families cook, entertain, and relax. Whether you’re building a new home or remodeling an existing kitchen, and by those regards planning for the mood of the kitchen sets the tone for the rest of your home.

The kitchen is the most expensive and challenging room to build or remodel. But it’s where everything happens — talking, cooking, scheduling — so it’s important to make the space functional, comfortable, and attractive. Making sure your kitchen works for your family requires more than simply selecting beautiful finishes. You’ll also need to make smart design decisions that create a safe and accessible space.

Steps to Success: 

The very first things every home owner must do when thinking of their new kitchen is how they are going to maneuver through it. A rule to follow is the “Triangle Rule” which means whichever 3 items are going to be used most often must be in a clear line of one another. (Example: I love cooking breakfast which means I am cracking eggs, cooking bacon, toasting toast. Also, cleaning while cooking is very important to me because who wants to put freshly cooked pancakes next to a pile of wrappers and broken egg shells? If I want to flow well in my kitchen, my kitchen must have a large surface area around my stove with a trash and dishwasher within a couple steps from the stove. Which makes my Stove, my Trash and my Dishwasher the 3 items which must be in clear sight of each other)

10x10 Standard Kitchen Floor Plan

Electrical and Ventilation 

A kitchen must have at least one wall-switch controlled light, with the switch placed at the entrance. At least 8 percent of the total square footage of the kitchen must be windows or skylights. It’s also important to have task lighting over every work surface.

For all cooking surface appliances, install an outdoor-venting ventilation system with an exhaust rate of 150 cubic feet of air per minute. Installrange hoods or microwave-hood combos at least 24 inches above a stove or according to manufacturer instructions. If a microwave is placed below the countertop, the bottom must be at least 15 inches off the floor. Allow 15 inches of clear space above the refrigerator.



Now that you’ve got your workflow and functionality mapped out you can start looking at the most important feature, the colors. The easiest issue homeowners run into is only imagining one item at a time. Some features look great by themselves but putting a white granite top with a white antique style door will surely hurt your eyes to look at it.

You must look at what this kitchen is going to say and what mood you wish our kitchen to envelope. By attempting for an elegant look most homeowners reach for a stone countertop with smooth finishes on the cabinet doors. Or if you are more the type who enjoys the cabin feel, simply, changing the cabinets from a frameless to a framed cabinet can alter the finished look of your kitchen.


However, it does not take mush to go too far on the details so remember that adding trim and detail can bring a level of elegance to your project but too much can look like a garbled mess as demonstrated below.


Designing a beautiful kitchen is significantly more than picking out a nice cabinet door or a nice countertop finish, it takes time and imagination to visually build your kitchen from the ground up. But, take your time and work through what will be best for you.

Whatever you cannot manage we will help with. Happy designing!

No Comments
Aug 18

Custom Library Ladders by Häfele


You know you want one.

No longer relegated to the study, library ladders come in an array of styles and finishes to improve space usability and generally class up the place.

Residential uses for library ladders include use in kitchens, closets, libraries or other storage areas. Commercial uses could be anything from corporate offices and libraries to wine tasting rooms or retail stores. Available library ladder styles include straight or bent ladders, contemporary or sunburst pattern wheels and your choice of upper roller or hook assemblies.

Add beauty, style and functionality to any room with a library ladder. Natural hardwood finish options include Birch, Cherry, Mahogany, Maple, Red Oak, White Oak, Walnut or Alder. Available plated finishes are Chrome, Nickel, Copper, Brass and Bronze. Power-coated finishes include Matte Black, Gloss Black, Beige Metallic, Matte White or Gloss White. All hardware, including wheel housing, upper roller assembly, handrails, brackets and bolts will be matched to the chosen finish.

Article Origin: https://www.hafele.com/us/en/info/services/hafele-to-order/library-ladders/44555/#SearchParameter=&@QueryTerm=ladder&FF.followSearch=9836&PageNumber=1&OriginalPageSize=12&Position=1&OrigPos=1&PDP=true

3D Custom Signs

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Aug 09

It’s been 7 years since we purchased our Computer Numerical Control (CNC) Router and in the last year we have only started scratching the surface of what the capabilities are. Earlier this year, we had a customer ask for a complexly shaped sign which, at the time, was out of our capabilities. After a fair amount of head scratched Lighthouse Cabinets decided to dip a toe into the world of custom sign making.

For anyone who has designed objects in 3D or has cut objects with a CNC router you will know the troubles with putting what was imagined in your head into a model on the computer. But, now that we’ve put in our time and examined our own capabilities we can proudly say “We are very capable in designing and constructing 3D signs.”


This GDX sign is about 4′ x 8′ in overall dimension and was finished with a ChromoBase (automotive finish).


The base is made of 3/4″ MDF with track lighting built in. The 3D top portion was cut from a 2″ thick MDF with a 5/8″ ball nosed router bit.

This sign is something we put a great deal of care into making and is far less expensive than having it constructed out of metals, plastics or foams. So, think of us the next time you decide to make a custom sign.

Antique Is In!

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Jul 29

Welcome! This photo gallery has pictures of kitchens we feature in our Tier III: Stock Line.

Antique White Kitchens – Trends: Cream and antique white kitchens are timeless. Unlike color tones and wood stains that can shift with fashion tides, a well-designed off-white kitchen should never look dated. You’ll find hundreds of photos of traditional kitchens on this site featuring antique white as either the central color or as a contrasting accent in two-tone kitchens.

Antique White Kitchens – Everyday Use: As opposed to pure white kitchens, antique white kitchen cabinets tend to be a bit more practical. Since dark stains and smudges stand out visually on a bright white surface, antique white kitchen cabinets may require less frequent cleaning and gentle dusting than a pure white kitchen. Still, cleanliness is key. Knowing this in advance can pay off with a lifetime of enjoyment in your modern cream or antique white kitchen.




Estimating a Remodel’s Return on Investment

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Jul 19

Estimating a Remodel’s Return on Investment

Setting the Budget

Two workmen installing a sink countertop
The numbers reported below are national averages; in general, the Pacific states region outperformed the rest of the nation despite slightly higher costs. For example, on the West Coast, a minor kitchen remodel averages a cost of $23,603, with a return of 84.1 percent. In the East North Central (Great Lakes) region, however, the same project costs $22,239, with a return of just 63.7 perecent.Minor Kitchen Remodel, Mid-Range
The 2010-11 report puts the national average price of a mid-range minor kitchen remodel at $21,695, averaging a return of72.8 percent (down several point’s from last year’s 78.3 percent) a year later. What is a minor kitchen remodel? According to Remodeling, it’s a 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of cabinetry and countertops. The cabinets get refaced with new raised-panel wood doors, drawers and hardware, but the boxes stay. Laminate countertops and vinyl flooring are removed and replaced with the same material, but in updated colors and patterns. You also get a new, energy-efficient wall oven and cooktop, a new mid-priced sink and faucet, wall covering, and a new paint job on your trim.

Major Kitchen Remodel, Mid-Range
A major kitchen remodel at a mid-range price will run an average of $58,367, according to the report. A year later, you can expect to recoup 68.7 percent (down from 72.1 percent) of that. This 200-square-foot kitchen features a 3-by-5-foot island, 30 linear feet of semi-custom wood cabinets, laminate countertops, and a double-bowl stainless-steel sink with single-lever faucet. Add new energy-efficient appliances: wall oven, cooktop, ventilation system, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and custom lighting. Finish up with new vinyl flooring and paint for the walls, trim and ceiling.

Major Kitchen Remodel, Upscale
Price tag: $113,464, according to the report, with an ROI of 59.7 percent (down from 63.2 percent). It’s an easy bill to run up in a 200-square-foot kitchen with 30 linear feet of custom cherry cabinets with interior accessories, natural stone countertops, and an imported ceramic or glass tile backsplash. Appliances include a built-in refrigerator, cooktop, 36-inch commercial-grade range and vent hood, built-in warming drawer, trash compactor and built-in microwave/convection oven. Then add a high-end undermount sink; designer faucets; built-in water filtration system; general, task and under-cabinet lighting; cork flooring; and cherry trim.

*The 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report — a joint study done by the National Association of Realtors and Remodelingmagazine — provides national and regional averages. The report estimates the cost of an average home improvement project and compares it to the value it would recoup if the home sold a year later. In 2010, more than 3,000 real-estate agents, brokers and appraisers in 80 cities provided ROI estimates.

Article Origin: http://www.kitchens.com/design/budget-planning/budget-guidelines/estimating-a-remodels-return-on-investment

Black and White

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Jul 12

Clean and Stylish. Today, being bold is more than having bright colors, it is about making a statement. The new trend streaking around high end homes are two-tone color pallets.

Traditional Black and White Kitchen
Dynamic Duo: This color combo, unlike the oddball colors schemes that fancy designers dream up, never goes out of style. Like a bride and groom in traditional garb, this classic combination fits the bill and has serious stylistic staying power. What you do with the design, however, may be another story!

Modern Black and White Kitchen
Complete Contrast: A black and white kitchen needs no other color to be complete. Technically, it only takes two colors to create a color scheme. That said, some people like to add flair to the monochrome blend.

Traditional Black and White Kitchen
More Pizzazz: If you prefer a splash of color, sprinkling in other hues can make things more stimulating. This can be done either in material selection when designing the kitchen or in decor placement after the remodel is finished. In the photo above, red kitchen decor is placed on the countertops and in glass display cabinets to enliven the color scheme.

Black and White Tile Backsplash
Mixing it Up: The ways in which a black and white color scheme can be arranged are virtually limitless. Some designers stagger the main cabinets in white with the island cabinets in black, and then specify the countertops in reverse. Another way is to use the contrasting color on the countertops or bring in black and white tiles on the backsplash or floor. Black and white appliances are also an option, unless you prefer stainless steel.

Luxury Kitchen with Black Cabinets and White Countertops

What’s Your Style? Depending on the design, black and white kitchens can look traditional, modern, luxury, country, or even retro. Before diving into a remodel, take a look at the kitchen style galleries to see which way you want to go with your own kitchen, and be sure to match or compliment the overall character of your home.

Ultra Modern Black & White Kitchen: White base cabinets with black upper cabinets and hood

Pattern Psychology: Consider the effects that these two diametrically opposed colors can have on the ambiance of a room: Broad swaths of white and black in careful placement can provide an elegant feel, while smaller patterns of black and white in sharp contrast may create an energetic and/or fun loving atmosphere.

Traditional Kitchen with White Cabinets and Black Countertops


Retro Kitchens

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Jul 06

Retro kitchen designs are rocketing in popularity as homeowners look to revive the nostalgic fashions of the past. Old-fashioned telephones, retro kitchen appliances, classic memorabilia, and even old-school “futuristic” designs can be used to complete the picture of today’s creative retro kitchens.

The best part is, unlike with most vintage kitchens, you don’t have to be a purist; you can pick and choose retro elements to bring into an otherwise modern kitchen.

A Modern Take on a Retro Kitchen with Curved Red Cabinets, Chrome Accents, Retro Bar Stools
Hot Rod: Here’s a contemporary take on a retro kitchen with curved red cabinets, stainless and chrome accents, and modern-retro bar stools.

Retro Kitchen Decor: Be sure to bring back items of the past when designing a retro style kitchen. Hang an old fashioned telephone or retro kitchen clock on the wall, and add memorabilia on top of a good old retro kitchen table with chrome trim and classic stools.

For a “retro futuristic” look, recall the rockets and ray guns, bubble cars and robots that captivated the futuristic imaginations of people in the 1950s and 1960s…

Retro-Futuristic Kitchen Design with Curved Turquoise Cabinets
Meet George Jetson: This retro-futuristic kitchen features curved turquoise cabinets and a modern com system that lets you gab with friends clear on the other side of town! Far out!

Retro Colors: The most popular colors in retro style kitchens are black, blue, chrome, red, and white. Other excellent retro colors include silver, green, pale blue, turquoise, and yellow. Red kitchen cabinets, white appliances, and chrome accents and knobs are tell-tale signs your home is rooted in the retro style.

1950s American Revival: Let’s face it. Doing a ’50s retro kitchen remodel is a very fun idea. The decade of the 1950s in America had good things going for it stylistically. The clothing, the cars, and even the kitchen appliances were visually appealing in many ways. When one thinks of the American Dream, the classic styles of the 1950s often come to mind. This is what retro kitchen designs are all about.

Retro Kitchen Appliances: Some manufacturers are tapping into the retro revival by creating large and small retro kitchen appliances. Authentic-looking retro toasters, blenders, refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers all have interesting designs that make today’s modern black, white, and steel appliances seem somewhat cold by comparison.

A blue retro-style refrigerator and AGA stove add a classic feel to this kitchen
Cool Cat: A blue retro-style refrigerator and AGA stove add a classic feel to this otherwise “plain Jane” contemporary kitchen. Touch of lemon, anyone?


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