Jennifer Ott wrote an article for Houzz, Will These 10 Colors Be Big in 2018?discussing the colors paint manufacturers are rolling out for 2018. Among these colors are various shades of blue, some including green and others gray. No matter the tint, blue always has a cooler tone. Because of this, designers tend to incorporate wood into blue designs to add warmth.
Blue Designs with Wood Countertops
Lauren Tolles of Maison Birmingham designed an edge grain Peruvian Walnut countertop for this blue vanity. The wood countertop makes this informal family powder room feel unique and warm with a modern twist on traditional design.
Heidi Piron designed a distressed American Cherry wood countertop to match the island in this otherwise all blue kitchen. The rich warm brown and red tones of the wood add warmth against the cool, bright blue cabinets and make the kitchen island the focal point of the kitchen. The hood includes a matching wood band to tie in the island.
Russell Plywood, Inc. keeps us up to date on the progress of the U.S. Commerce Department and International Trade Commission (ITC) Tariff against Imported Chinese Birch plywood. Most recently, on November 14, 2017 there was a temporary ruling of 206% levied on those products with a final ruling date of December 1, 2017.
A tariff is defined as a tax or duty to be paid on a particular class of imports or exports. What the Chinese Birch plywood tariff means is that all Chinese Birch moving forward will have a 206% tariff on it.
Russell Plywood, Inc. estimates has Chinese Birch imports at approximately 7500 trucks per month. With the current capacity of our industry, 1000 trucks would be hard to get through production and will extend lead times out and force prices upward. This tariff puts Chinese Birch pricing approximately 25-30% higher than D-3 Maple.
Suppliers have stated that once their current stock is depleted, this item will no longer be available. At this time, there is no way for domestic mills to sell any of their products below Chinese pricing.
This tariff will impact the cost of cabinetry made in the United States that historically use Chinese Birch Plywood. We strongly encourage cabinet manufacturers inform and prepare their dealers and designers for the quick upward price movements and lead time extensions. Check back for further updates about the Chinese Birch Plywood Tariff.
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
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
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
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.
Multitasking at its best, Eat-In Kitchens with custom wood countertops provide the perfect place for friends and family to gather, as well as an additional food preparation area. Wood countertops crafted for eat-in kitchens take many forms. They often serve double duty as a kitchen island top and table top.
Eat-In Kitchens | Design Inspiration
When designing an eat-in kitchen, it is important to consider the needs of your family. It is also important that the eating area is out of the way of traffic flow. Eat-in kitchens are not limited to any configuration and allow you to maximize your space. They have been designed to take many forms such as built-in banquettes, breakfast nooks and kitchen islands.
Matthew Quinn designed this eat-in kitchen for House Beautiful Magazine’s Kitchen of the Year 2016. Featuring a kitchen island with a built-in banquette, this kitchen includes a custom Walnut wood table. An Anvil Magnum metal finished banding was designed for the edge of the table top and table base.
Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed a Peruvian Walnut wood countertop for the island in this contemporary style kitchen. The countertop features a large overhang, creating a perfect eat-in area away from the traffic flow of the rest of the kitchen.
A custom wood table featuring an Antique Reclaimed Chestnut was designed by Lobkovich to take center stage in this traditional kitchen. Not only does the table add charm to the space, it also provides plenty of room for seating.
Visit the Image Library on the Grothouse website for more eat-in kitchens design inspiration! Be sure to follow @grothouseinc on Instagram and like Grothouse on Facebook to stay up to date with exciting wood innovations.
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.
Contemporary style kitchens take form and function of modern and pair it with designs from traditional and transitional style. The same is true for wood countertops crafted for contemporary kitchens. Custom wood Contemporary Kitchen Countertops are often designed as Pastore™ countertops with waterfall legs, featuring simple edge profiles.
They are typically crafted with a darker wood specie, like Walnut or Peruvian Walnut, or a lighter wood is stained to be darker. Contemporary kitchen countertops crafted in Pastore™ style create perfect seating areas with plenty of leg room and space to entertain.
Contemporary Kitchen Countertops Designs
Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath designed this white contemporary kitchen for a home in Washington DC. The focal point of this kitchen is the large White Oak half Pastore™ table, also referred to as a Parsons table. The wood countertop features a simple 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile, matching the white Cambria Torquay kitchen island countertop for a nearly seamless effect.
Lukejohn Dickson of La Source designed this contemporary kitchen for a home located in Savanah, Georgia. For seating, he designed a Peruvian Walnut half Pastore™ kitchen bar top. The countertop features a 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile and adds a touch of warmth and interest.
A custom Peruvian Walnut half Pastore™ countertop was designed by PB Kitchen Design for a kitchen located in New Holland, Pennsylvania. Complementing the darker wood colored cabinets, this contemporary wood countertop creates the perfect seating area.
Click here to visit the Grothouse Image Library to see more inspiring designs with contemporary kitchen 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
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.
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.
According to RICKI – The Kitchen Think Tank, countertops are the first planned kitchen purchase that U.S. homeowners plan to buy in the coming year, and we can see why.
Kitchen countertops are a huge part of your daily routine. Whether you start your day by eating breakfast at the kitchen island, packing your lunch or preparing dinner, you are utilizing your kitchen countertops. Because they are so crucial to your everyday life, it is important that you consider purchasing a countertop material that suits your every need.
Contrary to some beliefs, wood countertops make for very versatile surfaces. They are not only kind to fine china and crystal, but can be sanded and oiled to look like new. Knife blades stay sharper longer, and wood is a naturally warm surface to cozy up to during any point in the day. When crafted by Grothouse, wood kitchen countertops are covered under our lifetime warranty.
Another advantage to choosing wood for your kitchen countertops is that they can be customized to your unique, personal taste. Choose from an assortment of over 60 wood species and a huge variety of features and options like laser engraving or integrated fruit bowls.
Next in line after countertops, the first planned kitchen purchase, are kitchen faucets, refrigerators, lighting and backsplash. RICKI states that millennials are significantly more likely than their older counterparts to be planning to buy lighting for their kitchens, but we are hoping to have changed their minds.
Custom Waterfall Wood Countertops, also known as Pastore™ counters, can be designed for use anywhere in the home. Most luxury designers choose to use them as a kitchen island, while some use them as a peninsula or bar top.
Designs with Waterfall Wood Countertops
Zebrawood is one of the most popular wood species designers use for waterfall countertops. This is because the wood grain naturally exhibits strikingly beautiful and exotic lines and striations. Karen Kassen, CMKBD, ASID, of Kitchens Unlimited designed a Zebrawood waterfall counter for the kitchen island, offering plenty of food prep space and room for seating.
Neena Corbin Kitchens Inc. designed a Zebrawood waterfall bar top to serve as a divider between an entry way and kitchen. The bar top adds warmth and visual interest to this otherwise white space.
Another popular wood choice for waterfall countertops is Walnut. For KBIS 2017, Wellborn Cabinet designed an American Black Walnut wood waterfall countertop for their modern display. Serving as a peninsula, the countertop also camouflages extra storage cabinets.
Paul Bentham of Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath designed two Wenge waterfall wood tops, one for use as the bathroom vanity top and one for use as a bench seat. The mirror frame was also crafted out of Wenge wood for a uniform look in this contemporary master bath.