Welcome to Kitchen Views’ Designer Blog

Kitchen Views at National Lumber is a kitchen & bath design company with seven unique design showrooms. 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. Don James is working out of our Warwick, RI showroom and has his first blog posting this week. Diane Long is working out of our Berlin, MA showroom, and we will have a blog posting from her soon.

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!

Appliances for a New Kitchen

Appliances for a New Kitchen

by Ed Nunes

Image © Kitchen Views

Image © Kitchen Views

So, you have decided to renovate your kitchen. Congratulations! A kitchen remodel includes not only selecting new cabinetry and countertops. Appliances are usually updated at the same time, and additional appliances are often desired.

Ideally before a kitchen design begins, appliances such as refrigerators, microwaves, wall ovens, cook tops, and range hoods should be selected. Your Kitchen Designer can provide you with “standard” sizes, however for those specialty appliances, where specific cabinet cut-outs, decorative appliance door panels or tight clearances are needed the word standard does not apply.


Available either as a venting unit over the range or built-in into a wall or base cabinet, microwaves are also available as a countertop model. Venting units are equipped with an exhaust blower. They can be either vented directly outside or as recirculating units.


Standard dishwasher units are 24” wide. They are typically installed next to a sink and select models can feature a wood door panel to match the cabinetry.

Range Hoods:

Widely used if the range is wider than 30”, range hoods are offered in a variety of materials and finishes. They also feature different size motors to match the needs of your range.


They provide a clean and stylish look to every cooking area. Kitchen size should be taken into consideration as the oven is often installed in a tall cabinet, reducing the amount of counter space.

Wall oven:

Available in either single or double units, it is mostly used when selecting a Cooktop, or perhaps as a secondary oven. It can be featured in a tall cabinet, easier to access, or below the counter in a base cabinet. If a single oven is selected a microwave can be installed over it (tall cabinet only).


By far the most critical unit in any kitchen, ample room should be allowed for the refrigerator doors to open fully. Bins and drawers should also be easily accessible. Please provide your Kitchen Designer with the model selected. He or she can then find the appropriate location in the Kitchen for easy access and use.

It is important that appliance specifications are provided during the planning phases. Prior to placing any cabinet order, it is equally advisable that the appliance list is reviewed to be certain they are current and have not been discontinued or redesigned. Replacement units don’t always have the same dimensions or clearances.

Ed Nunes
Kitchen Views, New Bedford, MA

Accessory Options for Cabinetry

Accessory Options for Cabinetry
by Brandy Souza

If you haven’t explored the world of kitchen cabinetry lately, you may not know about a few interesting options available from some of our cabinet manufacturers. Here are several examples of interesting cabinetry and kitchen accessory options you may want to consider during your next kitchen upgrade.

Schrock Tablet Holder

Schrock Tablet Holder. Image © Schrock Cabinetry, Fair Use

Tablet Holder

Mounted under 12″ deep wall cabinets, there are pull-down acrylic tablet holders which are moveable forward or backward with a slight side to side rotation. Typically, these holders have cut-outs for a charging cord. There are other types of tablet holders that can be mounted under counters, as well.

Schrock Power Pod

Schrock Power Pod. Image © Schrock Cabinetry, Fair Use

Power Pods / Charging Station

This pop-up accessory telescopes up from the countertop approximately one foot for access to electrical sockets and USB ports for your electronic devices. It helps eliminate the need for awkwardly placed power outlets and gives you a convenient charging spot for your mobile devices.

Schrock Wall Message Center Cabinet

Schrock Wall Message Center Cabinet. Image (c) Schrock Cabinetry, Fair Use.

Wall Message Center

This cabinet is only 3″ deep, 12″ wide, and fits at the end of your wall cabinets. It includes a magnetic whiteboard for family messages; key hooks, pencil holder and fixed plexi shelf fronts for your miscellaneous gadgets.

When you start to design your next kitchen with Kitchen Views, consider these accessory options to help organize these modern necessities.

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

Choosing a Color Scheme for Your Kitchen

Choosing a Color Scheme for Your Kitchen

by Lee Turner

When considering the color scheme for your kitchen, many people think about some of the traditional palettes. If this is the way you decide to go, you will want to accent these palettes with more colorful, contemporary colors in the lighting, stool or chair fabrics and window treatments. These are easily replaced when you tire of them, or fashion changes.

One of the new color trends in cabinets is gray. Cabinets may be a painted soft shade of gray or more in the field of battleship gray. There are also light and dark shades of gray stains on maple cherry or even oak, which add more texture to your kitchen space. Grays may be used in the island, with white cabinets on the perimeter, or light gray can be used on the perimeter with darker shades on the island. Keep in mind that with white, color contrasts can be much stronger. For example, black on white can be very overpowering. Grays can help tone down complimentary colors that may ordinarily be overpowering and give a calming, cooling effect to a kitchen. Keep in mind, there are so many shades of gray that you will need to choose your other colors carefully. Gray is best used as a complement, and if it’s your primary color, be sure to add visual interest with white, off-whites or other colors.

Gray kitchen cabinets

Image © Kitchen Views

It’s also important to consider countertops in your color scheme. If you’re going with lighter cabinets, darker countertops can add attractive contrast. However, both cabinets and countertops being lighter colors can work. If you decide on a darker tone for cabinets, lighter tones in the countertops are preferable. You don’t really want dark cabinets and dark countertops as it will just make the kitchen space too dark. Keep in mind that painting cabinets and replacing countertops is always an option to change up color schemes but it’s best to find the best combination during design.

Check with your kitchen designer for what is available, and discover the many different ways to use color in the kitchen.

Lee Turner
Kitchen Views at National Lumber
15 Needham St, Newton, MA 02461
Email: lturner@kitchenviews.com
Web: www.kitchenviews.com

Innovative Cabinetry Options

Innovative Cabinetry Options
by Brandy Souza

Innovative solutions for utilizing every possible storage area have been around for a few years now – long enough to prove they work. But not everyone has heard about them. One of the benefits of working with a professional kitchen designer is that they know about an array of options that you may not have considered. Since you are investing in remodeling, you can have a kitchen upgrade with their guidance, not just a facelift. Think about including these ideas in your new kitchen.

Corner drawers in bistro kitchen

Corner drawers in bistro kitchen. Image © Kitchen Views

Corner Drawer Base Cabinet

For an alternative to the Lazy Susan (some love them, others don’t), this cabinet has three drawers that pull out at a diagonal from the corner. The drawer fronts being either diagonal or at 90 degrees ‘L’ shape. This built-in storage can take full advantage of corner cabinet space that may be otherwise under-utilized.

Toe kick drawer

Toe kick drawer. Image © Kitchen Views

Toe Kick Drawer

Customers have used toe kick drawer options for storage of all kinds, from placemats and trays, to kids’ coloring books. These drawers can be placed in islands, as well. Storage is always at a premium in any kitchen, and this may be an otherwise unutilized space.

Swing out corner shelves

Swing out corner shelves. Image © Kitchen Views

When you start to design your next kitchen with Kitchen Views, consider these options as you ponder the placement of roll-out trays, glass doors, wine racks, spice pull-outs, etc. You may find some room for these and other innovative storage and utility options.

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

Technology to Transform Our Lives at KBIS 2015

Brandy Souza of Kitchen Views

The KBIS show of 2015 was filled with plenty of brands we know and love. All our favorite brands have clearly embraced new technology and used it to make our lives easier. The one take away from this year’s Kitchen and Bath show was that technology is king. Here are my notes from the KBIS 2015 show that demonstrate how technology, design and function come together to better our lives.

Kohler’s Touchless Flush Toilets — just when you thought a heated seat was the best invention added to toilets, now we don’t even have to touch our toilets to flush them!

Kohler Touchless Flush Toilet

Kohler Touchless Flush Toilet

Tech Top by LG — this was really cool. Just place your cell phone, exercise tracker, glucose meter, heart rate meter, or portable speaker on the LG Viatera or HI-MACS counter surface and your battery will automatically charge! Check out their website http://www.lgtechtop.com/ to get the details and demo.

Tech Top by LG - diagram

Tech Top by LG

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer — this product installs under any counter surface and cooks through it with induction technology.

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer signage

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer counter closeup

Viking Incognito Induction Warmer counter closeup shows no visible signs of the technology

The Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven — this design gives a modern, commercial look to your oven. It matches the current French-Door refrigeration trends and allows users to open using one hand. Perfectly designed for ADA needs. The large convection fan with bi-directional movement allows maximum airflow and excellent cooking results.

Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven

The Viking Professional French-Door Double Wall Oven is perfectly designed for ADA needs

MasterBrand Cabinetry — Omega, Dynasty and Homecrest — these are our favorite cabinet lines and they can be used anywhere. Laundry, mudroom, and craft room are just a few possibilities!

Laundry cabinetry

Lots of storage keeps your laundry area organized

mudroom cabinetry

A mudroom never looked so good before! Everyone has everything they need ready to go out the door.

craft area cabinetry

An organized craft area provides everything you need within easy reach

Visit a Kitchen Views showroom and meet with a designer to add these great features to your dream kitchen, or any area of your home.

Brandy Souza, General Manager of Kitchen Views

Historical Roots of the Modern Kitchen by Don James

Don James, Kitchen Views

Have you ever thought about the historical roots of the modern kitchen? As with most things in life that we take for granted today, form really does follow function.

Born and raised in historic downtown Hingham, Massachusetts, I’ve always had an affinity for elements of architectural design and aesthetics. Researching historic facts of architecture has informed my design ability. There is so much we can learn about ourselves by studying the past and the lessons learned by those who came before us.

Sioux indians (mid-1800s) gathered around the cooking fire

Sioux Indians (mid-1800s) gathered around the cooking fire

Settlers of the American West gathered around the Chuck Wagon

Settlers of the American West gathered around the Chuck Wagon

We are inherently drawn to the source of our nourishment, but most of us don’t think about it consciously. Without a building, we are drawn together around the cooking fire. This shared experience forges emotional ties. Family loyalty is strengthened by these everyday routines.

The kitchen is now truly the heart of the home, however, this wasn’t always the case. From the colonial period up until the mid-20th century, most kitchens were an afterthought in the planning of a house.  They were simple rooms predominantly for food storage and minimal food preparation. They lacked space and no one could say they were “designed.” The cooking methods and tools of the day were primitive, which left kitchens dysfunctional for centuries.

Typical kitchen in the early 1900s

Early 1900s

Typical kitchen 1920-1930


Typical kitchen in the 1940s


It was not until the late 19th century that iron stoves became commercialized and municipality systems for gas, water and electric became readily accessible. Once these advances took place, kitchens were poised for transition, and the kitchen industry was born.

The industrial period led to scientific studies of productivity that considered efficiency dealing with movement and spacing, from which came kitchen design concepts that took into account the process of food preparation. The stove, sink, refrigerator and counter space were identified as key work areas and were now being spaced according to a well-thought-out design for maximum efficiency.

Starting in the 1950s, household work came into vogue depicting the “perfect” middle class household. As a result, even more emphasis was placed in the kitchen. Traditionally, the kitchen had been built at the back of the house, away from living areas. The advancement in technology, flooring, lighting, etc., changed the location of the kitchen within the home.

With this new focus on kitchen appliances, and the development of suburban neighborhoods, competitiveness required that upwardly mobile families had state-of-the-art kitchens. “Keeping up with the Jones’” became a way of life. These modern appliances had become both necessities and status symbols.

With pride in their modern kitchens, families were happy to gather at the kitchen table to eat meals together, instead of in a separate dining room. Kitchens were becoming the place that brought the family together. This was the beginning of the concept of a kitchen as “the heart of the home.”

This period of rapid development from the 1950s through the end of the century saw the family gathering place being improved. With homeowners willing to invest in modern kitchens, designers explored color choices and new materials (such as the aqua blue 1960s kitchen shown below), storage options inside the cabinets, and new configurations to eating areas (such as the 1970s picture with seating around an island instead of a stand-alone table).

Typical kitchen in the 1950s


Typical kitchen in the 1960s


Typical kitchen in the 1970s


The 1980s saw a change in kitchen layouts, which most people didn’t realize was moving them out of “the heart of the home.” Kitchens began to be designed with work islands in the center, to provide more work space for meal preparations. The kitchen table got pushed to the side, or back into a designated dining room. Individuals went to their bedrooms or a designated family room and/or entertainment area during their recreation time.

Typical kitchen in the 1980s


Typical kitchen in the 1990s


How many people understood that this physical separation was creating an emotional rift in their family? There is no one factor responsible for the shift in American society. But any honest observer recognizes that we went through a turbulent period with jobs requiring relocation or frequent travel, a rise in the divorce rate and a generation that was out there trying to “find itself.” Perhaps that’s why we’ve finally seen a shift back to the importance of family, whatever form that family takes.

Today’s kitchen is the focal point and gathering place for family and friends. Kitchen islands have transitioned back to include seating for the family to gather in the kitchen, at least for casual meals. The family is also being brought together with the contemporary concept of an open floor plan. This could include a dining area as well as a family room and/or entertainment area. Parents want a line of sight to see small children playing while they do their kitchen tasks. Older children working on homework or playing video games are still “part of the family” instead of off in their bedrooms alone. The family cook may have felt separated from the family, alone behind a wall. With open concept layouts, the person preparing meals can easily converse with the family. The concept of the kitchen as “the heart of the home” has been expanded to include a larger family living area.

It’s where family bonds are made, a place where kids do homework and preparing meals with one another is a pleasant activity. Today’s kitchen is fully integrated into your lifestyle and deserves to be stylish and functional.

contemporary 2014 open concept kitchen and living area

This open concept kitchen and living area layout is a good example of what we have discussed as a contemporary style.

Traditional cabinetry details are included in this contemporary open concept kitchen.

Traditional cabinetry details are included in this contemporary open concept kitchen.


This open concept kitchen includes two large islands, with natural flow into the family living area.


As you can see from these examples, there are endless variations on the theme of open concept. Your kitchen should reflect your aesthetic and your lifestyle.

Don James | Showroom Sales & Design
Kitchen Views | 3356 Post Road, Warwick, RI

Don graduated from Wentworth Institute of Technology’s Architectural Engineering Program. He began his career in 1986 hand drafting kitchens for other designers. Don’s notable skill in conceptual design has earned him a reputation as one of the areas premiere kitchen designers.

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