How to Prepare for Valentine’s Day Dinner

Preparing Valentines Day Dinner can be stressful, but with the right food preparation surface and advice your meal can be a success.

How to Prepare for Valentines Day Dinner with Custom Wood Countertops Butcher Blocks
How to Prepare for Valentine’s Day Dinner

The first step in preparing Valentine’s day dinner is to select the recipes you want to make as an appetizer, entree and dessert. Choose something that you and your date will both enjoy and that you have confidence to make to ease stress.

Allrecipes provides plenty of appetizer inspiration, from crab-stuffed mushrooms to brie cheese fondue. Country Living offers over 40 romantic dinner recipe ideas like butternut squash ravioli, bucatini with winter pesto, pancetta and brussel sprouts linguine and more. The Food Network made a list of decadent chocolate desserts perfect for the holiday, like chocolate raspberry mousse candy cake and chocolate cheesecake.

Once you have selected the recipes you are going to make and purchase all of the ingredients, it is best to ensure that you have all of the tools you need for preparation. The most important tool is the surface that you will be using to prepare the food.

Grothouse solid wood butcher blocks are the surface preferred by top chefs at home and in restaurants. Butcher blocks are very hard surfaces and knives keep their edge far better because the blade slides between the wood fibers much like cutting into a firm brush. Grothouse Original Oil™ Finish is a heavy weight pure mineral oil used for lasting protection that is food safe and  hypoallergenic. It does not contain any Tung oils. You can prepare your meal with no concerns if your date has any nut allergies.

One of the best ways to prepare Valentines day dinner is by cooking together! It is a fun and romantic way to start the evening and enjoy each other’s company. Together, you can start the night by preparing a delicious meal and end it by enjoying it together!

#ValentinesDayDinner #ValentinesDay #ButcherBlocks #GrothouseThings

Transform Any Space with Wood

Transform Any Space by incorporating Wood Countertops, Accents, Shelves, Wall Niches into your design
Transform Any Space with Wood | Design by Bunker Workshop

Wood is the 1 ingredient that will transform your space, states Mitchell Parker of Houzz in his article The 1 Ingredient That Will Transform Your Kitchen or BathAnd of course, we couldn’t agree more! Our favorite application of wood is in the form of countertops, but it can also be used in many different ways to revamp and warm up a space.

Wood Applications

Wrap Your Kitchen Island Cabinetry in Wood to Make it a Focal Point and Add Warmth
Wrapping Kitchen Island Cabinetry | Design by Tru Kitchens

Wrapping your kitchen island cabinetry adds warmth to the space while also visually making the piece the focal point of the space. Designed by Todd Wiley, Tru Kitchens, designed this transitional space to have a kitchen island wrapped in Walnut. A Walnut kitchen bar top matches the island and provides a seating area.

Custom wood wall niche creates a level of privacy and adds warmth to the space
Custom Wall Niche | Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

Incorporating a cool wall niche into a space creates a cozy and unique area. Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed this Asian-inspired bathroom with a custom Teak wall to match the vanity top and bath tub and add a level of privacy.

Open Wood Shelves add warmth and provide plenty of storage space with easy access
Open Shelves | Design by Jon de la Cruz for House Beautiful KOTY 2017

Open shelves expose the American Black Walnut in this kitchen design by Jon de la Cruz for House Beautiful magazine’s Kitchen of the Year 2017. Weaving in wooden accents is a relatively quick and easy way to add warmth and these ceiling-high pantry shelves do just that.

Make Support Columns part of the design by wrapping them in wood
Wrap Support Columns | Design by Kitchenscapes

Kitchenscapes incorporated a support column into the design by wrapping it in Walnut to match the custom walnut countertop on the bar.

There are many different ways to incorporate wood into a design to completely transform the space. Whether it is intending to add warmth, storage or a unique niche, wood is a versatile material that is used to transform any space. See more designs by visiting the Grothouse Countertop Image Library and by liking Grothouse on Facebook.

#CustomWoodCountertops #DesignTrends #Wood #GrothouseThings

2018 Countertop Trends

As the new year approaches, we look forward to upcoming 2018 countertop trends. From floating counters with hidden supports, to exclusive curated woods, countertop designs in 2018 are bound to be even more beautiful and functional than in years past.

2018 Countertop Trends: Floating Counters with Hidden Support

2018 Countertop Trends Floating Wood Countertops with Hidden Support Brackets for Kitchens
Design by Neena Corbin Kitchens Inc.

Floating counters with corbels and angular support brackets are a thing of the past as we move into 2018. In 2017, about 40% of Grothouse wood countertops include some form of hidden support. Paul Grothouse predicts that this trend will continue to grow in popularity as we move into 2018.

2018 Countertop Trends: Kensington™ Wood

2018 Countertop Trends Kensington Wood Countertops for Kitchens and Bathrooms
Design by New Ravenna

Kensington™ Wood is the second in a series of specially curated woods, hand selected and sourced by Grothouse. The wood is noted for its darker colors with action in the grain. Its striking visual appeal and lustrous finish will make this one of the top wood choices for designers in 2018.

2018 Countertop Trends: Quiet Open Floor Plans

2018 Countertop Trends Wood Countertops Quiet Open Floor Plans for Kitchens
Design by Eva Andersen of Teakwood Builders

Homeowners are beginning to regret the open floor plans they have chosen. Though they love the look when they walk into the space, it tends to be loud and offers little privacy or individual spaces. This also requires expanding the floor plan in other areas to meet the needs not being met by the open floor plan.

Creative room dividers like glass cabinetry to separate spaces will be used more often in 2018. Sound absorbing materials are a way for designers to combat this issue. The best sound absorbing material is wood.

“Wood helps with quieting down a space because it eliminates sharp sounds when dishes and glasses are placed on it,” stated Jennifer Gilmer, CKD, of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath, Ltd.

Stay tuned for more 2018 countertop trends as we enter the new year by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#2018CountertopTrends #CountertopTrends #KitchenDesignTrends #DesignTrends #GrothouseThings

Kensington Wood Countertops by Grothouse

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.

Kensington Wood Countertops, Butcher Blocks, Bar Tops, Tables exclusively available at Grothouse
Kensington Wood Counters exclusively available at 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.

Designing Kensington Wood Countertops

Kensington countertops can include any edge profile and any countertop feature. They can be crafted in any construction style. The type of construction style chosen may dictate the wood finish applied. End grain Kensington butcher blocks are always finished with Grothouse Original Oil™. Flat grain and edge grain Kensington counters may be finished with Grothouse Original Oil™ or Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish.

Kensington Wood Countertops crafted in Edge Grain Construction Style by Grothouse
Edge Grain Kensington Wood Countertops
Kensington Wood Counters crafted in Flat Grain Construction Style by Grothouse
Flat Grain Kensington Wood Counters
Kensington Butcher Blocks crafted in End Grain Construction Style by Grothouse
End Grain Kensington Butcher Blocks

Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library to see designs featuring Kensington Wood Countertops.

#KensingtonWoodCountertops #KensingtonWood #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

North American Wood Countertops

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 custom crafted by Grothouse
North American Wood Countertops

North American Wood Countertops

Below are some of the most popular North American wood species used for countertops designed for use as kitchen countertops.

American Cherry

American Cherry North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, offices
American Cherry Wood 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

Ash North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, offices
Ash Wood Countertops | Design by Lisa Martin of Signature Custom Cabinetry

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

Maple North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms, offices
Maple Wood Countertops | Design by Bunker Workshop

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

Walnut North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, baths, offices
Walnut Wood Countertops | Design by Stonington

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

White Oak North American Wood Countertops for kitchens, bathrooms and commercial restaurants
White Oak Wood Countertops | The Trolley Car Café at Disney’s Hollywood Studios®

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.

To learn about more North American wood countertops and see other wood species available, visit the Grothouse Countertop Design Guide.

Like Grothouse on Facebook and follow @grothouseinc on Instagram for daily wood countertop design inspiration!

Source used: Northwest Hardwoods

Wooden Car Parts

Wooden Car Parts are some of the latest wood innovations to reduce vehicle costs
Wooden Car Parts | Photo via The Japan Times

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.

Stay tuned for more wood innovations like wooden car parts by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#GrothouseThings #WoodenCarParts #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations

Source:  Woodworking Network and The Japan Times

Three-ton Solid Wood Bathtub

Is it possible to make a solid wood bathtub out of one three-ton mass of wood, without any glue or epoxy – and can it be done sustainably? The answer is uncovered in an article written by Bill Esler of Woodworking Network on August 7.

Three-ton Solid Wood Bathtub one of the latest wood innovations
Three-ton Solid Wood Bathtub | Photo via Woodworking Network

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.

Stay tuned for more wood innovations like this solid wood bathtub by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram!

#GrothouseThings #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodInnovations

Source: Woodworking Network

Wood Shelving for Creative Custom Storage Solutions

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.

Wood Shelving for Creative Custom Storage Solutions
Custom Wood Shelving

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

Wood Shelving for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017
Wood Shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 designed by Jon de la Cruz

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.

Wood Shelving for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016
Wood Shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016 designed by Matthew Quinn

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.

With 8 Anvil™ metal finish colors available, shelves can be custom crafted and gilded to match the design and style of any space. Anvil™ finishes can be applied to any wood specie or a composite substrate. Click here to learn more about Anvil™ metal finishes.

Wood Shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014
Wood Shelves for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2014 designed by Steven Miller

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.

Shadow Box Wood Shelving designed by Signature Custom Cabinetry
Shadow Box Wood Shelves designed by Signature Custom Cabinetry

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.

Learn more about the specifications of each design featured in this blog by visiting the Countertop Image Library. Want to see more designs with custom wood shelving? Follow @grothouseinc on Instagram and like Grothouse on Facebook!

#WoodShelving #WoodShelves #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops #WoodInnovation

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 designed by Jon de la Cruz

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.

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 designed by Jon de la Cruz Breakfast Nook Pantry
House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 designed by Jon de la Cruz

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.

House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 Pantry Shelves
House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017 Pantry

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.

Superb pantry organization by Blisshaus in Kitchen of the Year 2017
Superb pantry organization by Blisshaus

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!

Grothouse American Black Walnut Wood Pantry Shelves in House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2017
Grothouse American Black Walnut Wood Pantry Shelves

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.

Photography by John Merkl.

#HBKOTY #SFShowcase #GrothouseThings #HBloveskitchens #dlcid

Grothouse Wood Surfaces in House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016

Grothouse Wood Surfaces House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016
Grothouse Wood Surfaces in House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016

Grothouse Wood Surfaces were featured at the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016 designed by Matthew Quinn. This is the fourth Kitchen of the Year Grothouse has had the honor of participating in.

Grothouse Wood Surfaces at #HBKOTY 2016

Walnut Wood Table Banded with Magnum Finish House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016
Walnut Wood Table banded with Magnum Metal Finish

Grothouse crafted a custom 48” round Walnut wood kitchen table with an edge finished in Anvil™ Magnum metal finish, which has a brass-like appearance.

Walnut Wood Table House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016
Walnut Wood Table in House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016

The table is sealed with our exclusive Durata® waterproof permanent Finish in Matte sheen for a natural look.

Rift Cut White Oak Wood Bar Top with Argentum Metal Coating
Rift Cut White Oak Wood Bar Top with Argentum Metal Coating

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.

Argentum Metal Floating Shelves House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016
Argentum Metal Floating Shelves

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.

Argentum Metal Finished Shelf House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016
Argentum Metal Finished Shelf

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.