Islands- The Heart of the Kitchen

Islands. Aren’t they all great? Hawaiian Islands, Fiji Islands, …Kitchen Islands! Yes, let’s talk kitchen islands. Islands are designed for all different reasons; however, they all share the common purpose of being the heart of the kitchen. Not only are they physically the center of the kitchen, but they are also a place where family and friends can gather. Today, let’s discover the different functions for islands and how each of them fulfill their own role as being the heart of the kitchen.

Furniture Piece Islands

Furniture piece islands may not incorporate functions such as cooktops and sinks, but they do add character and aesthetics to the kitchen. Typically, furniture piece islands have the ability to fit in smaller kitchens because of their size. They often provide the perfect element of charm to a kitchen. Below are a couple of islands that add a finishing touch to each of the spaces they occupy.

This beautiful custom island is the rustic charm of this kitchen.
This beautiful custom island is the rustic charm of this kitchen.
This island, characterized by its unique storage solutions, stands out among the other cabinetry.
This island, characterized by its unique storage solutions, stands out among the other cabinetry.

Islands Made for Function

Some islands are designed with a greater purpose than just desireable aesthetics. Cooktops, sinks, and so many other functions can be incorporated into an island. This allows for preparing food while entertaining guests. It also frees up some of the surrounding countertop space. Below are a few islands that were definitely designed with function in mind while still looking fabulous at the same time.

This island is PERFECT for this large kitchen! A cooktop, storage, and beauty all incorporated in one piece!
This island is PERFECT for this large kitchen! A cooktop, storage, and beauty all incorporated in one piece!
This butcher block countertop allows accessible heights with the push of a button! How cool of an island would that be? Perfect heights for chopping, serving, and everything in between!
This butcher block countertop allows accessible heights with the push of a button! How cool of an island would that be? Perfect heights for chopping, serving, and everything in between!

Islands for Seating and Entertaining

How about an island with functionality AND room for everyone? Due to the trend of open spaces, many islands are being designed with seating incorporated. This brings family and friends together multiple times throughout the day for different purposes whether it’s a meal, snack, homework, or family game night. Take a look at these islands with seating! Which is your favorite?

Unconventional seating for this island makes for a beautiful, relaxing space. Perfect for morning coffee!
Unconventional seating for this island makes for a beautiful, relaxing space. Perfect for morning coffee!
What about an island that doubles as a table? The seating makes this kitchen an inviting room.
What about an island that doubles as a table? The seating makes this kitchen an open invitation.
A cooktop, sink, storage, AND seating all in one! This island has it all!
A cooktop, sink, storage, AND seating all in one! This island has it all!

When picking out your kitchen, decide what purpose you want your island to serve. Is it to add a little charm to the room? Is function your desire? Maybe you want your kitchen to be a space that everyone gathers in? Whatever the purpose, remember that the island is the heart of the kitchen!

Ashley Robinson, Public Relations and Social Media Specialist

How To: Turn Your Inspiration Into Reality Through Color

Inspiration touches everyone. This blog is about ways to incorporate that inspiration through color in your own home.

You don’t have to be an artist to be inspired. Inspiration actually happens in real everyday life for everyone, if the time is taken to acknowledge it.


Step 1: Discover your inspiration. 

Maybe your inspiration comes from something sentimental such as your grandmothers kitchen wallpaper that you spent hours looking at while helping her bake your favorite pie. Maybe it stems from nature such as the ocean or a flower that you watch bloom every spring. It could be something as simple as a bright red front door on a house that you pass everyday going to work. Whatever your inspiration is rooted from, there are ways to bring it to life in your own home.

Step 2: Choose where to display.

Inspiration can be displayed in all kinds of ways throughout a home. It can be as extreme as a wall color or cabinet color and as minor as a few small decorations. If you are really inspired, maybe give a room a motif to carry out your inspiration through several details. Craft rooms, offices, kitchens, and bathrooms are a few rooms that are perfect for inspiration. A wonderful example of inspiration put to use in a little girl’s bathroom is the shown below.

Color911 - Cabinets Salmon small

Step 3: Choose a color.

When choosing a color, it is important to pick something that won’t get old fast. This may be easier said than done considering even the brightest of colors are exciting for the first few months. If you have any doubts about such dramatic change, start small. Pull the color into the design through small details. Sometimes an accent wall will do the trick. Sometimes it’s okay to go over the top with color. After choosing a location, decide the color and how much of it you want displayed. Below are a few ways that color can be minimal or maximal.  Basically, if you love it, go for it.

Beach themed houses are characterized by the color you see when you walk in. This coastal kitchen piece shown below is sure to catch every eye.
The beaded board back panel of this furniture piece displays a pale blue. This hint of color changes the feel of the entire piece.
The beaded board back panel of this furniture piece displays a light yellow. This hint of color spruces up this rustic furniture piece.
The beaded board back panel of the hutch in the center of the wall is painted a beautiful blue. When put together with the other two furniture pieces, you can really see how accents are a perfect way to display colors and inspiration.

Step 4: Do it and Enjoy it.

Make your inspiration happen! After making all of the decisions, it is time to get to work. After the process is complete, sit back and look at the masterpiece and story that you have created.

Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.’s ColorInspire Program allows you to choose from the color decks of Benjamin Moore, Valspar, and Sherwin Williams. With this program, the possibilities are endless! Click here to start turning your inspirations into a colorful reality by finding a Wellborn dealer near you!

Ashley Robinson, Public Relations and Social Media Specialist

Define Your Unique Style

When thinking about your dream kitchen, what type of cabinets come to mind?

Is it rich dark stained cherry wood?

Maybe it is a clean crisp white paint?

Do you picture yourself having a rustic kitchen complemented by different techniques?

You are not defined by any specific design style and have the freedom to come up with your own. To some of us, that vision may still be undiscovered. Whatever your style, here are a couple of categories to help you determine the look you imagine your kitchen to have.


Green Haven Home Kitchen Perimeter: Hanover Beaded Inset Door Style in Maple with Evergreen stain and Java glaze Island: Hanover Beaded Inset Door Style in Cherry with an Espresso stain

Sometimes all a cabinet needs is a simple stain to allow the true beauty and character of the wood to shine through. Dark, medium and light tone stains each can create a completely different look depending on what they are paired with. Your style can contain a kitchen with all stained cabinets, or an island can be the perfect place for a stain to pop out amongst a beautiful paint color.


Hoffman Media Home Kitchen

You can’t go wrong with a paint. A timeless white or neutral is something that will catch everyone’s attention for the life of the cabinetry. Tired of playing it safe? Maybe a bright bold color is what you need to craft an environment created by your own inspiration.

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 8.23.56 AM

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 1.58.00 PM



Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. offers ColorInspire, a program that allows you to choose from the color decks of Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams and Valspar making your imagination your only limit.


A number of techniques can be added to a cabinet to add character and a certain look. These techniques include rub through, spattering, burnishing, dry brushing, small dents, worm holes, carved edges, rasping and glazing. Each of these techniques create a unique, one of a kind look for cabinetry allowing your personality to shine.

Antique Finish Technique
Antique Finish Technique
Vintage Finish Technique
Vintage Finish Technique
Olde World Fish Technique
Olde World Finish Technique
Seaside Finish Technique
Seaside Finish Technique

Cottage, Heirloom and our Carriage Finish Technique.

Add a special touch

Aside from stains, techniques and paints, there are a number of different glazes that can be added to give detail to the cabinet design. Wellborn’s Brush Finish, a special application of Fawn glaze on top of a paint, is the perfect addition to any door style. Brush Finish is available on Glacier, Divinity, Crème and Vanilla. It gives the paint an overlay of a subtle brush stroke of glaze providing depth to the finish. This is accomplished by hand brushing each individual cabinet giving each a unique overall look.

Maybe it’s time to “Define your Unique Style.”

Ashley Robinson, Public Relations and Social Media Specialist

Design Details that Matter

When you’re planning the perfect space we all want to make sure that every detail is perfect… Right? That when someone enters your home they get it… Right?  and they can see how all the pieces fit perfectly together… Right!

I am always in awe of Southern Living Custom Builder Homes and the Southern Living Idea Homes because when I view these homes or I’m lucky enough to attend and see the homes in person it all fits  (every detail) like a glove. Just Perfect!

So enjoy some of the design details that have been spotted in one of the Southern Living Custom Builder Homes from this summer.

Builder: Dillard-Jones Builders, LLC. 

Photographer: Fred Rollison

Cabinets: 1

No singing the blues in these kitchens!


Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 8.23.56 AM

Different Hues of Blue  –  the perfect “palette picks” for this kitchen design by Amie Freling

A recipe of hues and neutrals mixed with metals and shapes create a transitional space that is fun and functional at the same time.


More Blue Inspiration from Schell Brothers and Echelon 

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 1.49.31 PM


Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 1.58.00 PM


Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 1.54.28 PM





Flowers in the Kitchen

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” 
― Claude Monet
Flowers (picked or potted) can brighten up a kitchen or any space in your home – What’s your favorite type of flowers for the kitchen?

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
me 075
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!

me 073




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.