Make a Big "Splash" this Summer

This day and time  – anything goes with your kitchen backsplash… from D.I.Y. unique finds to professional works of art – it’s a place to express your style!

Penny Backsplash
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Crossville Tile at KBIS2014

While there are current trends emerging everyday (you will see some in this post) we all seem to have our favorite backsplash material of choice.

classic beadboard – my favorite

Here’s a little “background on backsplashes” … (A backsplash is the wall space between the bottom of a wall cabinet and/or appliance and the base cabinet and/or appliance. This area needs to be constructed using materials that are easy to clean up from messes or “splashes” that occur during cooking.)

To even shed more light on the subject we sat down with our corporate designer Karen Sayler to get her expert opinion.

  • What were the biggest backsplash trends for this year?  “Backsplashes became more prominent –features with a lot more emphasis on physical and visual texture.”
Bosque Wood Tiles by Ann Sacks is FSC certified and low VOC sealers – ECO-thinking


  • Has anything surprised you about these trends? “Not with backsplashes becoming more prominent, but the variety of materials being used for this purpose is rapidly expanding, and that is a good surprise.”
Ann Sacks – cowden bell gator
  • Environmental friendly products is this a hot topic for backsplash materials? “There is an attempt at eco-friendly products for backsplashes, but I don’t think we have really seen a product that truly encompasses the complete life cycle of the product yet…or at least not on a mainstream level.”   


  • When designing a set for a trade show do you have different requirements or procedures for the backsplash then when you specify when working with a homeowner?Absolutely.  The walls break apart, move, and are transported on semi-trucks half way across the country.  That makes it harder to do more complex designs or to use glass tile.  In terms of glass tile, if there isn’t a back coating on the tile you will see the wall color through it due to how we install the tile versus using a traditional mortar bed and buttering the back of the tile.”
Tile work at KBIS 2013 getting ready – Crossville Tile


  • What do you see trending for 2015? “More diverse materials for backsplashes such as wood, leather, painted glass, translucent materials with led back lighting.  Also there has been a spike in utilizing the striking beauty of natural materials grain patterns (such as a linear grained marble) to create gorgeous “art” work in the space.”
  • Personal question – what’s the craziest material you have ever created a backsplash out of or what is the one trend that you loved? And would still spec. today if you could :0) “Craziest material would have to be some old rough-hewn lumber that I then faux painted with multiple layers and colors.  One trend that I have loved that is a timeless classic is subway tile.  It never goes out of style, and I would spec it today knowing it would be relevant tomorrow.” 

Thank you Karen for your time and sharing your knowledge with us!

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What's Your Bathroom Style?

What’s your Bathroom Style? 

coastal - beach

Whole Home Design – Designing Clean Mud Rooms

As we continue our journey through Whole Home Design  – we have now entered the Mud Room  a room in a house designed especially for the shedding of dirty or wet footwear and clothing and located typically off the kitchen or in the basement  – circa 1950 – a hard-working space that at times is joined with laundry areas, the pantry and possibly equipped with an extra 1/2 bath.

Just because it’s called a Mud Room doesn’t mean that there will ever be mud in the space, but it’s a wonderful addition to your home that can help; organize, prevent wear and tear on the rest of your home and a unique space to add your own personal style.

Enjoy our salute to the Mud Room  – one of the hardest working rooms in the home!

VNA_MPL_PIM Mudroom1_300m_Fotor_Collage BEL_MDF_GLRJAV1_300M Picture 135 HAR_MPL_DIVandNATLaun56_R172 MDS_MPL_SEA_Mudroom_R1_S mudroom Mudroom-entry-cabinets_72M SDY_MPL_NMG-OAK-PMC-mud_room_72M

2013 2nd Place Winner for Large Kitchen Design Category

Matty Adler at Schell Brothers in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware; won 2nd Place in the Large Kitchen category of our 2013 Design Contest.


While the client doesn’t really cook she wanted a grand kitchen that could handle entertaining.

PictureaThe large space was so large we wanted to create smaller, intimate spaces within the kitchen. This was achieved by creating various zones:

• Zone 1 is the main cook area. This houses the range, refrigerators (2 30” fridges paneled and placed side by side)


• Zone 2 is the prep area between the two kitchen islands. Equipped with an additional sink and dishwasher, this space is located in close proximity to the main cooking area.

• Zone 3 is the bar/entertaining area. This space is equipped with under counter appliances, glass cabinets for glassware and is located outside of the main kitchen area as to not interfere with anyone preparing food.

• Zone 4 is display and counterspace. This area has glass fronted base cabinets facing the dining area to double as display cabinetry. In between is spacing for the grand-kids to eat while watching TV in the great room. Stacked above the wall cabinets are glass fronted cabinets that are lit at night to cast a warm glow over the kitchen and provide added display space for the owner’s collectables.



The kitchen was done in both Glacier Pewter and Espresso. The Espresso was done at each end of the kitchen on the bar area and the 60” of paneled refrigeration. This broke up the long expanse of white cabinetry and tied in with the espresso finish on one of the islands. The White Diamond Granite helped to pull the color palette together for a cohesive design in this very large space.


Whole Home Design Week

This week we are discussing Whole Home Design and illustrating how Wellborn Cabinetry can be used in every room of your home and sharing our ideas  – design ideas from our dealers and other resources.

You might ask, “Why does Whole Home Design Matter to me?”.  If any of the statements below are a major concern to you while building or remodeling then you need to consider “Whole Home Design”.

  • work with fewer suppliers for cabinetry and storage needs
  • create design consistency
  • organized spaces is a must
  • maximize space (every inch of space is important)
  • design smarter in all ways
  • designing for the future – aging in place
  • own a quality product that lasts
Media Center, Desk Space, Storage, Open Display Area and Wainscoting all by Wellborn create a consistent design theme, utilizes a 10″ x 15″ space efficiently and it’s all built in the USA.

So join us here and across all our social sites for a look into Whole Home Design and how this concept can help you design spaces that are made just for you!


2013 Design Contest – 3rd Place Large Kitchen Winner – Crystal Kennedy


3rd Place in the Large Kitchen Category goes to Crystal Kennedy; Pacific Northwest Cabinetry with her amazing transformation of not just a kitchen but an entire space for one happy family. Please enjoy her story below.


This beautiful 90’s home had been updated throughout except, notably, for the kitchen. The home housed
many a family gathering for up to 20 and they were ready to create a space they could proudly host and cook
for everyone in. We were excited to help give them their dream kitchen.

  • Dated oak cabinetry and granite tile tops.



  • Rooms lacked adequate lighting and made the kitchen appear dingy.
  • Cooktop on the island chopped up their prep space and didn’t have proper ventilation.
  • Wanted at least 2 ovens for multiple people to be able to help cook.
  • Countertops were cluttered; they wanted more storage to hide appliances.


  • Space was not used efficiently making it hard to store everything away.
  • They had many devices to plug-in and currently had to plug them in their main work areas.
  • No seating in the kitchen.
  • Wanted a warm and inviting kitchen – not too formal.
  • They wanted a ‘wow’ factor somewhere in their kitchen since it was open to most of their home.
  • They wanted to tie together their adjacent Family room and the kitchen to make it feel like one space.


  • Moved the cook surface to the back wall – creating a beautiful focal point, providing more than adequate ventilation and opening up their island for more work space


  • Madison Maple cabinets in the Crème Mocha  provided a bright, yet warm and traditional feel to the kitchen. It paired perfectly with the Sienna Cherry kitchen island and Sienna Mantle and built-in cabinetry in the adjacent room.
  • Bringing the cabinetry to the ceiling provides a more grand feel. The upper cabinets are all fitted with glass doors and interior lighting to provide a more open feel and a beautiful ambient light.


  • Paneling on the refrigerator and dish washer helped hide some of the stainless steel and give a homey, furniture feel to the space in general.
  • Cottage mullion glass doors on the pantry storage provided a beautiful accent and gave a wall of cabinetry. a varied and open feel while providing them with lots of much-needed storage and a place for their appliances.


  • The Titanium antique granite countertop gave them a durable solid surface with a softer, lightly textured finish. that gave the kitchen a much more natural and comfortable feel over highly polished granite.
  • A farmhouse sink provided a large single sink for cleanup of even the biggest stock pots and added to the warm and homey feel of the kitchen.


  • Adding seating to the end of the island gave family members a place to pull up a chair.
  • A built-in charging drawer gave them a perfect space to hide their devices but still have them in the kitchen the hub of their activity.

Functional storage including 2 bin wastebasket with servo drive for hands free use, spice pullouts, base
corner pullouts and deep drawers made much better use of the space they had.
A full 36” range, separate oven and convection microwave gave them effectively 3 ovens and a microwave
and cooktop to work with – allowing many family members to cook at once.
Interior, undercabinet and recessed ceiling lighting with a better layout provides much better lighting throughout the space.
Installed stained oak floors in the kitchen and family room made the 2 spaced feel more cohesive.


The finished kitchen is a wonderful, open kitchen with a warm traditional feel and elegant touches – perfect
for this family.


2013 Large Kitchen – Honorable Mention: Crystal Kennedy Pacific Northwest Cabinetry

Design Contests are a wonderful way to share your Wellborn Cabinet projects, gain brand exposure and win some money. $$$

This 1990’s home, while spacious and open, felt like it didn’t have enough storage or countertop
space. It also felt dated with the white tile countertops and the builder grade thermofoil doors
were starting to fall off their hinges! These clients were ready for a modern update and we were
up for the job!


  • Tile countertops were impossible to keep clean space was used inefficiently – they needed more storage.
  • Cabinets didn’t go to the ceiling, so the tops were just dust catchers.
  • They like the classic white-painted look, but didn’t want the boring look they had now.
  • The island was pretty much unusable with the cook top placed in the center of it and the ventilation didn’t work well.Picture10
  • The walkway between the refrigerator and the island was too tight and made the refrigerator difficult to use.


  • Wanted the microwave off the countertop.
  • They were tired of the red paint!
  • Love the look of marble, but don’t like the maintenance.



  • Moved the cooktop to the far wall to get it off of the island and give it better ventilation and a beautiful focal point at the same time.


  • Removed the built-in pantry with bi-fold doors and replaced it with a floor to ceiling cabinet with pullouts.


  • Relocated the refrigerator to the pantry wall.
  • Installed the microwave at a comfortable shoulder height and added pullout pantry storage above and below it.


  • Prairie Maple Cabinetry finish Divinity is installed stacked to the ceiling.
  • Lit glass cabinetry provides great ambient light and a beautiful focal wall.
  • Under cabinet lights and new pendant lights brighten up the area and add great accents and interest to the space.
  • A functional island the contrasting Prairie Maple Sienna offset the monochromatic white kitchen.
  • The island houses the oven just offset from the cook top.
  • Seating for 2 at the end of the island provides a place for the family to sit and talk while they are working.
  • Matching end panels and arch valances provide simple yet elegant details to the space.


  • Staining the oak floors to a medium sable tone gave warmth to the space overall.
  • Brazilian Arabescato Quartzite countertops provide the look of a Carrera marble but has the hardness of granite and won’t stain like marble will. It was the perfect solution for what she was looking for.


  • A soft, warm grey paint on the walls contrasted beautifully with the white cabinetry and complimented the quartzite.

The finished kitchen, while in a similar footprint, changed the way this couple lives in their space
and gives them the updated elegant look and feel they wanted for their new kitchen!

a wonderful job by Crystal Kennedy of Pacific Northwest Cabinetry.


Island Designs on Houzz

Friday adventures at work usually include creating the weekend social plan and searching for any new trends, products or Wellborn Cabinet projects on Houzz. There’s a lot of gorgeous designs out there, if you have designed any projects with Wellborn Cabinet make sure that you mention that in your description and keywords when you upload on Houzz, we would love to share your work!

Today on Houzz my main goal was to find as many unique islands designed with Wellborn Cabinet as I could within a reasonable time frame (of course) I mean really how long could a person actually stay on Houzz?

Now matter how unique or beautiful an island is – if it doesn’t serve the purpose for which it was designed it can be an eye sore or just in the way.

Several things to consider before designing a space with an island:
1. Is this your first island? Will this island create a new traffic pattern in your kitchen? Will that change be comfortable and convenient for the users of the space? (Maybe your designer can mark off the floor with tape to illustrate your new traffic patterns – just so you can visualize the space better.)

2. What activities will you use your island for?
*prepping, cooking, cleanup and gathering spot
*do you need water or power for hand-held appliances or for built-in appliances?
*do you need a seating area?
*Your activities can dictate the overall dimensions of the island – Will you need different heights at your island?

3. Storage
The island is a wonderful space to claim extra storage for your kitchen, a place just the children’s snacks or a great place to store items for guests – – easy access & easy to find.

These are a few of the things to think about and consider before adding an island to your kitchen design.

We hope you enjoy our island selections from Houzz.