Welcome to Kitchen Views’ Designer Blog

Kitchen Views is a kitchen & bath design company with six unique design showrooms; located at four National Lumber locations in Massachusetts, at National Building Products in Warwick, RI and now at Oxford Lumber in Oxford, CT. From contemporary to traditional cabinetry, countertops, decorative hardware and more, our designers will even come to you. We serve the Greater Boston area and all of New England. This blog has been dedicated to offering you the best kitchen remodeling advice from our design experts here at Kitchen Views.

We have recently welcomed two new designers to the Kitchen Views team. Gabe Cabezas and Danielle Valenti in Oxford, CT joined the team when the National Lumber Family of Companies added Oxford Lumber and Building Materials to the family earlier this year. There showroom has been completely remodeled and you can get a peek at it on the Kitchen Views website. If you are in the area, please stop in to browse through the new kitchen vignettes and bathroom cabinetry displays.

If you’d like to keep up with the blog via email, you can easily subscribe using the box at the right. Also, if you have any feedback, questions or concerns, be sure to leave a comment!

How to Begin the Kitchen Remodeling Process


That long overdue decision has been made, and you are finally going to remodel the kitchen! The anticipation is exciting, not to mention overwhelming. But already the anxiety begins as the questions begin to pop.

Where do we begin?

There are many questions to ask as you begin the kitchen remodeling process. Where do we go for help? The best place to start is an experienced kitchen designer. So what does the designer do, and will their services cost anything extra? It depends on where the designer works – whether he or she works for a showroom or independently. Ideally, you want your designer to have design expertise that includes interior design, as well as kitchen design. This is so you can have someone who can advise you with the other design elements of the kitchen (i.e. flooring, backsplash options, wall color, etc.)

Where to start?

When do we start, and how do we start? Will my kitchen designer help me to coordinate all that needs to be done with the kitchen remodel? Start by shopping for a good, knowledgeable, talented, and patient designer! Yes, the design process can be lengthy and tedious, and the installation time will be longer than you had anticipated, and certain things will go wrong. You’ve likely heard some horror stories, and they are scary, to be sure. Get connected with a good designer who can help keep the issues to a minimum and under control.

What about countertops?

Who does countertops? Can I get those through my kitchen showroom? Typically, design showrooms have go to distributors for countertops. They know the best people in the business, so the job will be done well.  Will my designer be able to help with that? Countertops are typically a major component of a kitchen remodel, so your designer should be well-versed in them. They can help you to understand the differences between various countertops, such quartz and granite. Here’s a helpful guide on our blog about selecting countertop materials.

How do you find a good designer?

Where do you find a good designer? Research kitchen websites and information networks (i.e. blogs, etc.) plus check out their reputation online.  Then, go into a kitchen showroom in your area and speak with a designer. Remember, there are a lot of talented designers out there. But you want to find someone whom you will actually want to let into your life for awhile. Of course, if you are in the New England region, we hope you will check out Kitchen Views. In addition to talented designers, we have the backing of parent company National Lumber, a family owned and operated building materials business with over 80 years’ experience.

The most important part of finding a designer is someone who listens to your ideas and understands your own wants and needs. When it comes to any kind of remodeling, you want a designer who is not only professional, but is a helpful friend to guide you through the various questions and challenges you may have.

Once you find the right designer, let your new design friend help you through the process. Follow his or her lead and things will fall into place as they should. Then finally watch as the new kitchen evolves from a drawing or computer generated rendering to the beautiful kitchen your designer promised you!

Kitchen Views designers are chosen for their expertise in project management as well as having design talent. As part of National Lumber, a family owned and operated company that has been serving builders and homeowners since 1934, Kitchen Views provides you with a dependable resource for all your remodeling needs, building materials, and services.

Please call 1-508-DESIGNS [337-4467] to find a showroom and designer in your area.

Kitchen Views

The Importance of Measuring Kitchens

Although measuring a kitchen is crucial to a successful design, many of us have developed a fear of the tape measure. The basic idea in measuring kitchens is to indicate every place where the walls are interrupted by a permanent object, like a window, door, pipes, or other obstacle.

So here are a few tips that may help:

(IMPORTANT: Be sure to measure all in inches rather than feet! Measure the total distance of all walls – usually four – from corner to corner.) 

  1. Measure the total distance of all walls (usually four) from corner to corner.
  2. Measure the width of each window and door in that wall area, from trim to trim (casing), even if no cabinetry is planned in that area.
  3. Indicate the distance from each obstacle, or window or door outside trim, to the nearest corner of the room.   Include any plumbing, electrical, and heating item’s location to the nearest corner.
  4. Indicate the ceiling height, or soffit height, by writing down the smallest number of several measurements taken around the room.  Measure from the finished floor.
  5. Be sure to also measure all appliances to be used in your kitchen, including the width, depth and height in most cases.
  6. For those that are of a “built-in” style, such as double ovens, please indicate the “cut-out” dimensions of each. Following these steps will make your kitchen experience much more productive, and fun!

If you have any questions on measuring your kitchen, please see our Measuring Guide (PDF) or contact one of our professional kitchen designers at Kitchen Views.

Kitchen Views

2016 Design Trends Move Toward Versatility

Brandy Souza, Kitchen Views General Manager

Homecrest dark gray cabinetry and white counters

HomeCrest Cabinetry

2016 Design Trends Move Toward Versatility

Trends are developing toward elements to make kitchens more versatile – from how the space is used, to how it is decorated. Technology is making its way into kitchens with items such as Tech Top by LG, which charges your cell phone, exercise tracker, or portable speaker automatically.  The wireless charging transmitter is embedded into the countertop surface, so when you put down your device it can be recharging while you do other things nearby, such as prepare and eat meals.

The popularity of white cabinetry is being challenged by gray stains and paints. This neutral color comes in a range from lighter to darker, works well with other neutrals, and enhances a wide range of accent colors.

Look at new finishes for hardware such as brushed bronze, rustic oil rubbed finishes and polished finishes that complement a wide array of design styles. Selecting a finish that doesn’t show fingerprints easily would be a good choice for busy households.

Single level islands have become the most popular because they comfortably sit people of different ages and sizes, while offering a comfortable height for meal preparations.

The popular choice of material for countertops is moving away from granite that requires surface maintenance to keep it sealed, to quartz that is gaining ground because it carries warrantees, is non-porous and has a high resistance to stains. Quartz comes in a wide variety of colors and patterns, but white is the trending choice of color.

By designing the layout with versatility of tasks in mind, your kitchen will be ready to handle both the constant and the changing needs of its occupants. By selecting cabinetry, countertops, and decorative hardware that are the most versatile colors and finishes, your home will remain stylish for many years to come, with only simple changes to appliances and accessories as needed. Trusting an experienced designer to guide your selections will give you the best return on your investment.

Brandy L. Souza
Designer & General Manager
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
120 Welby Rd, New Bedford, MA 02745
Office: 508-990-8020 x3163
Fax: 508-742-1498

An Open Kitchen Floor Plan Increases Function and Inspires Creative Cooking

Fluted columns, multi-level work areas and mixed materials add to the charm of this versatile kitchen

Re-configuring an undersized floor plan into an open floor plan requires being open to new ideas. Sometimes,  removing a preexisting support wall allows us to expand and combine living spaces. This improves visual sight lines and traffic flow. The new configuration also allows for more countertop work areas and storage space. With the added square footage, you can also add a great deal of fashion to the new space.

In this particular example, fluted cherry wrapped columns conceal the required supporting post. The columns also add additional layers of visual interest to the multi layered work stations in this island. Soapstone along with wood top counters adds a casual inviting atmosphere fusing old world charm with rich detailing and warmth of Brazilian stained cherry wood.

K VChef's kitchen (2)

Here, we also combined materials in the cabinet selections, mixing painted maple in a vintage oyster married with a coffee glaze, which adds additional texture. Once you meld the warmth of cherry wood to the oyster ample, it evokes a versatile timeless appeal.

Custom cabinet lines allows for rich detailing. Using faithfully recreated traditional details can provide instant ambiance and layers of interest. In the example above, the door styles we selected were a traditional classic raised panel beaded inset with 5 piece drawer fronts. For the display cabinets, we chose Prairie-style doors with seeded glass accents and open book-ends. The clipped fluted corners on all cabinet ends amplify the attraction of detailing in this kitchen.

K Vchef 7 (2)

An open floor plan also allows details in the cooking area to be enjoyed by everyone. Here you can see an example in which cooktop ventilation is hidden beneath beaded detailing of the wood hood, mirrored below in the beaded back splash. Architectural decorative legs anchor the cooktop below. A streamlined stainless steel farmer’s sink fuses ideas of yesterday with the materials and clean lines of today. In a space like this, any chef can feel inspired.

Open kitchen layouts allow you to have a space you can organize your life around, with just the right blend of personality and functionality. We can call that “room for living.” One moment, you can be preparing pasta. The next, you’re uncorking a bottle of Cabernet at the seating area. There you can be pouring it with close friends and family without ever actually leaving the kitchen. An open layout adds a social element that traditional closed-in kitchens simply don’t offer.

Function is the new fashion in this open kitchen design

For a chef that loves to cook and entertain, a closed-in space can leave one uninspired. It also leaves out of the social indulgence that an open floor plan offers. The newly designed reconfiguration and combining of two rooms now allows for full family participation. Function is the new fashion.

Kitchen Views

Deciding on the Scope of Renovation Work Takes Careful Planning

In our long experience renovating homes, we’ve found there is often a bathroom off the hallway that shares a wall with the kitchen. This makes sense since plumbing was made more convenient for the builder by grouping them together. But usually, the homeowner has only planned to renovate the kitchen. Why do more?

While increasing the scope of the renovation to include the bathroom will increase the cost of the project, it really makes the most economic and logistical sense in the long run. First of all, the bathroom in an older home, although impeccably kept, could be vintage 1960’s but would look like 1940’s next to a brand new kitchen.

Second, construction work is messy and disruptive, a necessary inconvenience to making home improvements. Why go through it more than once? Having a newly remodeled kitchen is exciting and once the construction is completed the homeowner may find that the adjacent bathroom then looks outdated to them. But who wants to start another project when life is just returning to normal? Remodeling both the kitchen and bathroom at the same time therefore makes logistical sense.

Acton, MA kitchen designed by Diane Hersey

Better yet, it makes economic sense too. The footprint of the bathroom is usually small compared to the kitchen, so demolition costs will only increase slightly. The construction crew and contractors for electricity and plumbing are already going to be there, and the dumpster. The time needed to add bathroom lighting fixtures or making minor adjustments to the plumbing is short. Permits and inspections can be done on both rooms at the same time. The cost for building materials will also be minimal since a bathroom vanity is only a small additional cost. There would only need to be one, maybe two, or three cabinets added onto the kitchen cabinet order. This is usually a small additional cost in the grand scheme of things.

The countertop people are coming in for the kitchen, so why not just include the bathroom vanity at the same time? To keep costs low, you might be able to keep the existing bathroom fixtures. The new vanity plus fresh paint and decorative hardware alone will improve the bathroom. If your budget allows, you could consider replacing the toilet with a new water-saving model.

If you are replacing flooring, the additional bathroom area will be a fraction of the cost. Again, the workers are already there, so you are just adding a few square feet of floor covering for a small bathroom. That minimizes the installation costs for everything, as you are not paying large minimum charges for someone to come out to do a very small job at a later date.

So, our advice is to do it all at once. Get the headache over with all at once. Say goodbye to the contractor — and you’ll be thanking your designer, as you enjoy your new kitchen and bath!


Kitchen Views at National Lumber

Treasured Possessions and How They Help Us Define Our Style

When you’re remodeling your home, you want to be able to have your own personality worked into the design process. One way to work personal style into the design is to find a way to display treasured possessions. Another way to define your style is to find design elements that compliment those treasured possessions.

For example, you may like to collect beautiful glassware and use decorative picture frames. In that case, perhaps you would like special decorative hardware to accessorize your bathroom. Decorative cabinet hardware is a great way to express personal style. There are a wide range of styles that make the selections nearly endless. From basic handles and knobs to many different sorts of ornate designs, there are options for every aesthetic.


This feminine bathroom vanity vignette in our Mansfield showroom is an example of personalizing traditional cabinetry with feminine touches, such as the sparkling chandelier and decorative hardware. Imagine adding crystal picture frames and perfume bottles to complete the elegance. If you want a luxuriously feminine vanity, consider Schaub Crescendo decorative hardware, which looks like jewelry.


Keep in mind that fancier hardware can add up in price quickly, so be sure to keep budget in mind and not go overboard. It’s also extremely important that style and function go together with hardware. We have plenty of articles concerning how to choose decorative hardware that you can check out for further information.


In the kitchen, there are many options for display cabinets to show off fancy dishware and other treasured fragile items. In the Kitchen Views showroom in Mansfield, MA you can see how open corner shelves can display large pottery and a cabinet with glass doors can display glassware.

Glass door display cabinets could be either frosted or colored transparent glass, which can add a degree of mystery, or even plain glass to put items on full display. You could also have shelving in areas that might otherwise go unused, such as in cases where a regular wall cabinet may not fit, or otherwise empty wall space. This sort of shelving is perfect for displaying books or knick-knacks, depending on your personal style.


If you’re a wine aficionado, there are many options for open wine cabinets, available from many major kitchen cabinet manufacturers. Some allow you to even show off your wine glass collection. These sorts of cabinets can serve many purposes and if you decide on more custom options, the possibilities are endless.

Whatever your space considerations and how subtle or grand you want your style to be portrayed, try to keep your design choices as timeless as possible. Hardware can typically be swapped out easily, and display cabinets and shelves can be used for just about anything. When consulting your kitchen and/or bathroom designer, be sure to let them know about your favorite things so that they can help you incorporate them into the final design.

Kitchen Views

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