Kensington Wood Countertops exhibit a striking visual appeal and lustrous finish. Kensington is the second wood species in a series of specially curated woods, hand selected and sourced by Grothouse.
The appearance of Kensington countertops are often described as a cross between Walnut and Zebrawood, with hardness and characteristics like Sapele Mahogany. Kensington wood countertops, butcher blocks, bar tops and tables are exclusively available at Grothouse.
One material that is – and always has been – environmentally friendly is wood. North America has an abundance of forests with beautiful woods used to craft high quality furniture, such as custom wood countertops. North American Wood Countertops are made from responsibly harvested wood that is harvested, replanted, and renewed to an almost limitless degree.
North American Wood Countertops
Below are some of the most popular North American wood species used for countertops designed for use as kitchen countertops.
Cherry makes up 3% of the commercially available hardwoods in the United States. It is prominently used to craft high end furniture and cabinetry worldwide.
Ash makes up 4% of the commercially available hardwoods in the U.S. It is best known as the wood used to craft baseball bats due to its shock absorbency, but it is also used for furniture, flooring, cabinetry and other millwork.
Hard Maple makes up approximately 8% of the commercially available hardwoods in the United States, and is prevalent in the northern and eastern states.
A small percentage of maple trees produce special figure such as bird’s eye or curly maple, which is sought after for its visual interest and appeal. Hard maple is very heavy and strong and has a fine, uniform texture with a close, straight grain.
Walnut makes up less than 1% of the commercially available hardwoods and grows throughout the eastern U.S. Walnut is one of the most popular wood countertop choices for kitchens today.
White Oak trees grow across the eastern and southern U.S., comprising 15% of the commercially available hardwoods. White oak is used to make furniture, cabinets, flooring and millwork and is the preferred species for wine and whiskey casks.
According to an article written by Robert Dalheim of Woodworking Network on August 17, Japanese car manufacturers are considering substituting wood for steel in order to make vehicles lighter. With wood pulp being 20 percent lighter than the weight of steel and five times as strong, wooden car parts are at the top of Japanese researchers’ considerations for reducing the weight of a vehicle.
As manufacturers move toward churning out electric cars for a mainstream consumer base, reducing the weight of a vehicle will be crucial. Automobile suppliers are hopeful because a reduction in car weight would require fewer batteries, saving costs.
Cellulose nanofibers are currently being used to create various products, such as ink and transparent displays. These fibers are obtained by breaking down wood.
In cars, the chemically treated wood fibers will be kneaded into plastics while simultaneously being broken down into nanofibres, slashing the cost of production to roughly one-fifth that of other processes. This process is referred to as “the Kyoto Process,” named after Japan’s Kyoto University who’s leading the research.
“This is the lowest-cost, highest-performance application for cellulose nanofibers, and that’s why we’re focusing on its use in auto and aircraft parts,” said Hiroaki Yano, professor at Kyoto University who leads the research. Yano’s team is working with several automakers in Japan to complete a prototype car built with cellulose nanofiber parts. They hope to complete it by 2020.
“We’ve been using plastics as a replacement for steel, and we’re hoping that cellulose nanofibers will widen the possibilities toward that goal,” stated Yukihiko Ishino, a spokesman at DaikyoNishikawa, which supplies parts for Toyota and Mazda.
Timber Neutral fashioned this three-ton solid wood bathtub, along with other wood tubs, for Amelie & Max, a retailer in Toronto. “The goal was to make a 100% natural object and a reflection of the organic nature of wood and true to the spirit of the tree,” said Fiona French of Timber Neutral.
Timber Neutral states that there is something within the fiber of wood that no other material can capture – the vitality and uniqueness of an organic object. The tubs are said to be the fusion of high-tech craftsmanship and the originality and form of solid wood.
Each tub is made from a solid, single 6,600-pound block of wood that has been painstakingly carved down to create a two-person tub. Each tub is unlike any other, and is sold at retail cost of $34,000 at Amelie & Max.
Harvested in Columbian forests, the trees must be very large to produce such a large block of wood, so Timber Neutral goes to lengths to make the case that the harvesting is sustainable. Each tub is given an individual identification, bearing the personalized name of a tree, reflecting both the personality of the bath and its exotic origin.
While Timber Neutral has no plans to continue making these massive wood tubs, a few of the limited collection are available in North America and sold exclusively through www.amelieandmax.com.
Wood shelving is a major design trend seen in spaces of all styles. Wood shelving can be designed for creative storage solutions out of necessity or decorative desire.
Part of the reason for this trend is because wood is an excellent shelving surface due to its natural kindness to fine china and crystal. When finished with Grothouse Original Oil™, wood shelves can be sanded and re-oiled to look like new after years of use.
Wood shelves are often designed for use as open shelving because their open nature makes a space feel larger. Open wood shelves are a great substitution for traditional closed cabinets. Another popular design option is to use wood shelves for cabinets with glass doors. The shelves act as a beautiful backdrop to display dishes and other items.
Designs with Wood Shelving
Jon de la Cruz was perfectly on trend with his design for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017. Custom black walnut wood shelves grace the 12-foot high walls. Exposed brackets anchor each wood shelf. Capturing the ethos of pared-down, timeless elegance, the shelves serve as a dramatic accent for custom pantry organization by Blisshaus.
Custom White Oak wood floating shelves gilded in Anvil™ Argentum metal finish were designed by Matthew Quinn for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016. The shelves were designed to match the bar top.
For House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014, Steven Miller designed custom Peruvian Walnut wood shelves to showcase bowls and other dishes in black cabinets with glass doors. The shelves were customized for organization perfection, with laser engraved labels on the front for bowls, drinking, dessert and more. Custom crafted to match the Peruvian walnut countertop, the shelves pop against the silver sparkling backsplash.
Another form of wood shelves is in the form of shadow boxes. Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry designed two Sapele mahogany wood shadow boxes to complement the cabinet surround in this display. The shadow boxes make for some unique looking shelves with plenty of space to showcase decorative items.
House Beautiful is celebrating its tenth annual Kitchen of the Year 2017 at the San Francisco Decorator Showcase in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco, California. This year’s 625-square-foot kitchen was designed by Jon de la Cruz of DLC-ID. This being a 1904 historic home, the kitchen features amazing architectural details: 12-foot ceilings, open pantry shelves, a beautiful mix of new and old materials and many windows.
For the kitchen, de la Cruz focused on beautiful functionality by combining his expertise in cooking with his deep knowledge of design history. The space features multiple stations for cooking, baking, breakfast and family dining — as well as innovative storage and display ideas. This was a necessity for the family of 10 that live in this home.
Featured in the breakfast nook are vertical ceiling-high, open pantry shelves made of American Black Walnut Wood crafted by Grothouse. The Black Walnut Wood Shelves capture the ethos of timeless elegance, serving as a dramatic accent for custom labeled jars and superb pantry organization by Blisshaus – also referred to as The Pantry Detox.
Taking customization even further, the shelves feature laser engraving on the front. Jon de la Cruz’s favorite part of the kitchen is the s’mores section, and we happen to agree!
This dream space was unveiled on April 29, 2017 and was open to the public until May 29, 2017. Click here to take a tour of the kitchen with Jon de la Cruz and House Beautiful’s Editor in Chief Sophie Donelson.
Be sure to pick up the October issue of House Beautiful to see the full kitchen. Join us on Instagram to see more of House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year 2017 and the San Francisco Decorator Showcase home via #HBKOTY and #sfshowcase.
Grothouse also crafted a Rift Cut White Oak wood bar top gilded with Anvil™ Argentum metal finish, which is a real metal coating that replicates the appearance of nickel silver.
Grothouse manufactured matching floating shelves constructed of a smooth composite substrate to match the wood bar top. The shelves are also gilded with Anvil™ Argentum metal finish. The bar and the shelves are sealed with Durata® waterproof permanent finish in Satin sheen.
Grothouse Wood Surfaces is honored to have been a part of this absolutely stunning design by Matthew Quinn for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016. To learn more about Anvil™ Metal Countertop finishes, click here.
White Kitchens and wooden surfaces have stood the test of time. The timeless appeal of this combination creates a space that can be enjoyed for a lifetime. White kitchens have been the most popular for over 20 years and continue to be the most commonly installed cabinet color. But did you know there are over 1,000 shades of white to choose from? This blog post highlights some of our favorites of white kitchens.
White Kitchens with Wooden Surfaces
In 2007, this kitchen served as a backdrop for a skit on the television show Saturday Night Live. The countertops are crafted of Sapele Mahogany wood and sealed in our Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish.
In 2009, Waterbury Kitchens designed this kitchen to include white cabinets and African Mahogany Wood Countertops.
In 2012, Mick De Giulio designed this space for House Beautiful Magazine’s Kitchen of the Year. The white cabinetry is paired with two Walnut Wood Countertops sealed with our Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin sheen.
In 2013, Auer Kitchens designed this white kitchen to include a Walnut Wood Countertop sealed with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Matte sheen.
In 2014, Wood-Mode, Inc. incorporated a distressed Sapele Mahogany Wood Countertop into the bar area of this white kitchen.