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Knowledge, Knowledge and More Knowledge

The dictionary defines cabinets as a cupboard with drawers or shelves for storing or showing off things. In the trade they are called millwork, upper cabinets and base cabinets. They are a big part of a kitchen budget.

Not too long ago, dovetail joints inside the drawers were almost all you needed to detect high-end cabinets. That gap has blurred as more makers offer high-end features on low-end lines. It is possible that you can have these and other once-exclusive features and still wind up with shoddy product. It is not the domain of this book to be a cabinet buying guide but I felt it important to mention. A good place to start is Consumer Reports.

Open Shelving with Corbels

Cottage Kitchen Cabinets

Keep cabinets light in colour and draw notice to them with old-fashioned freezer handles or large wooden knobs, beadboard or batten doors, and hardware metal finishes like oiled or antique bronze, or even copper.

Furniture-style cabinet details.

In the far past, cabinets as we know them were not built-in to the home; freestanding large wooden chests called armoires which believe it or not used to store arms and armour, pie safes - wooden cupboards with tiny holes brought in by Pennsylvania Germans in the 19th century, and presses used to extract (juice or oil) by squeezing fruit, vegetables, etc. were the norm in kitchens.

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Therefore it is only natural that you bring out that time period by adding defining furniture features to your built-in cabinets. I suggest the addition of bun feet

Bun Foot

Bun Foot

beneath lower cabinets. By placing exposed feet on lower cabinets you get the look or furniture and ease of use of custom cabinets. Cary forth the look by placing corbels beneath upper cabinets and shelving. Give the illusion that a built-in cupboard or dresser (typically with open shelves above) isn’t attached to the wall or floor by painting the millwork in a contrasting colour.

Cottage kitchens typically have open upper cabinets.


But it is nice to have some of your items behind doors to keep dust at bay. Using seeded or clear glass doors in upper cabinetry works great. Colourful dishes and serving pieces are on show so your kitchen has the outward look of being cheerfully cluttered.

Beadboard on the fronts of cabinets add charm and beauty to any kitchen. Wainscoting, a subway or patterned vintage tile backsplash, simple crown moulding to top the cabinets and touchable country accents all present the cottage lifestyle. Beadboard shouts “cottage,”. This classic grooved paneling is a lasting top pick. It is easy to install, and a natural for adding warmth and character to new or existing cabinetry.

Countertops and Backslashes

In your cottage kitchen honed rather than polished finishes for counters and hardware are fitting. There is no hard and fast rule here. Countertops are one of those personal additions to your kitchen. There are many modern and some not so modern finishes to consider. The only material that I find totally wrong in a cottage kitchen is stainless steel.

Granite Counters

Granite is the countertop material of choice when there are no other things to think about – like your budget. It sets out class and style in your kitchen. As the use of granite becomes more widespread, the price comes down. The beauty of the stone gives eye-appeal to even the most modest kitchen.


  • no two counter tops the same;
  • holds up to heat; comes in a range of almost 3000 colours;
  • looks lasting and valuable;
  • lasts a lifetime;
  • new sealers are almost maintenance-free;
  • 2nd highest hardness rating after diamonds; has a high value to home buyers.


  • expensive, but becoming more affordable;
  • requires some work to keep;
  • absorbs stains if not sealed;
  • knives can become dull if you cut on it;
  • can crack if stressed or improperly installed.

Engineered Stone

Made up of 93% quartz particles and is found in a larger range of colours than granite. It has a nonporous surface that resists scratches. It’s easy to maintain, without the annual sealing required by natural stone. This is a material that would not have been available to the cottage kitchens of yesterday.


  • Resistant to stain and acid;
  • easy care.


  • Expensive.

Solid Surface

Because solid surface counters are just what they’re called, solid, any scratches can be sanded out. The countertops are custom-made to fit your kitchen cabinets.


  • comes in a rainbow of colours and patterns;
  • seamless;
  • stain resistant.


  • vulnerable to hot pans and stains which can damage the surface;
  • can be moderately expensive.


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In your gjConstructs designed home, you live in a world of beauty… beauty that is achieved by grace and line, skillful combining of materials and harmonious blending of colours. “Simple Elegance” is the expression used by customers in describing first impressions their gjConstructs designed home.

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