Custom Wenge Countertops designed by North Star Kitchens

Our Custom Wood Countertops Blog features the industry’s most talented and innovative designers throughout the United States and abroad. This featured design includes Custom Wenge Countertops designed by Peter Harms of North Star Kitchens.

Custom Wenge Countertops designed by Peter Harms of North Star Kitchens for a kitchen in Minneapolis, MN
Peter Harms of North Star Kitchens

About the Designer: Peter Harms has been designing kitchens and custom cabinetry for North Star Kitchens in Minneapolis MN for nearly 20 years. Peter loves to design kitchens in all flavors, but his favorite is soft contemporary. Peter strives to design beautiful kitchens that are both practical and functional. The use of integrated appliances helps to meld the kitchen into today’s open floor plans nicely.

Designer Tip: In this kitchen we utilized thick Wenge countertops to soften the kitchen aesthetic and provide a warm soft touch to the eating area of the kitchen island.

Custom Wenge Countertops

Custom Wenge Countertop for a Seating Area at a Large Kitchen Island in Minneapolis, MN
Custom Wenge Countertop for Seating Area
Wenge Wood Countertop for a Seating Area at a Large Kitchen Island in Minneapolis, MN
Wenge Countertop for Seating at the Kitchen Island

Design Details

Cabinet Manufacturer: Downsview Custom Kitchens – Horizontal Wenge Veneer

Cabinet Hardware: Custom Polished Stainless Steel

Flooring: European Rustic White Oak

Countertops: Grothouse Wenge, Cambria –  Newport

Sink: Custom by Mekal

Backsplash: Cambria – Newport

Hood: Polished Stainless Steel

Stove: Wolf 48″ Dual Fuel

Dishwasher: Asko – Integrated

Other Appliances: Sub-Zero Refrigeration and Freezers

Seating Area and Bar with Wenge Countertops for a home in Minneapolis, MN
Seating Area and Bar with Wenge Countertops

 

Wenge Bar Countertop with Laser Engraving for a contemporary style home in Minneapolis, MN
Wenge Bar Countertop with Laser Engraving

Follow North Star Kitchens on Houzz and like their Facebook page to see more of their uniquely livable luxury designs. Check out the Grothouse Image Library to see more custom Wenge countertops.

#CustomWoodCountertops #CustomWengeCountertops #KitchenDesign #GrothouseThings

Anvil™ Metal Countertop Accents

Anvil™ Metal Countertop Accents are becoming increasingly popular in today’s luxury kitchens, baths and entertainment spaces. Metal accents take many different forms at Grothouse, like edging, rivets, and more. The design opportunities are limitless. The most common accent design is edging.

Anvil Metal Countertop Accents for Luxury Kitchens Baths Offices and Other Spaces
Anvil™ Metal Countertop Accents

Accents can be finished in any of the eight Anvil™ metal coating colors available: Axel, Kratos, Ferrum, Medallion, Exodus, Magnum, Palladium and Argentum. Chosen for its lustrous, brassy radiance, the most popular accent color is Magnum.

Designs with Anvil™ Metal Countertop Accents

Anvil Metal Countertop Accents for a Table Design by Matthew Quinn for House Beautiful Magazine Kitchen of the Year 2016
Design by Matthew Quinn for House Beautiful Magazine Kitchen of the Year 2016

Matthew Quinn designed the custom Walnut wood table pictured above to feature a Magnum metal band along the table top and along the table base. This table was designed for House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year 2016.

Anvil Metal Countertop Accents for a Custom Wood Bar Top Design by Audrey Newman of JW Kitchens
Design by Audrey Newman of JW Kitchens

Audrey Newman of JW Kitchens designed a custom Sapele Mahogany bar top with Palladium metal finished edges. Palladium gleams like white gold and adds a special touch to the bar top, making it stand out against the dark cabinetry.

Click here to learn more about Anvil™ metal finishes exclusively available at Grothouse. Visit the countertop image library to see more designs with Anvil™ metal countertop accents.

#AnvilSeries #MetalCountertops #MetalCountertopAccents #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

Blue Designs featuring Wood Countertops

Blue Designs featuring Wood Countertops to add warmth to the cool tone of blue
Blue Designs featuring Wood Countertops

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

Blue Powder Room Vanity with Peruvian Walnut Countertop
Blue Powder Room Vanity with Peruvian Walnut Countertop

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.

Blue Traditional Kitchen with Cherry Countertop for the kitchen island
Blue Traditional Kitchen with Cherry Countertop

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.

Blue Kitchen Island with Tigerwood Countertop for a White Kitchen
Blue Kitchen Island with Tigerwood Countertop

Pine Street Carpenters, Inc. designed an edge grain Tigerwood countertop for the large blue kitchen island in this white kitchen.

Visit the Grothouse Countertop Image Library to view more blue designs featuring wood countertops. Follow @grothouseinc on Instagram for even more design inspiration.

#BlueDesigns #DesignTrends #CustomWoodCountertops #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

Eat-In Kitchens with Wood Countertops Custom Crafted by Grothouse

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 with Custom Wood Countertops provide the perfect place for friends and family to gather
Eat-In Kitchens | Design by Meghan Browne Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

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.

Eat-In Kitchens with Custom Wood Tables and Anvil Metal Finished Accents
Design by Matthew Quinn for House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year 2016

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.

Contemporary Eat-In Kitchens with Custom Wood Half Parsons Tables for Island Tops
Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen & Bath

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.

Eat-In Kitchens with Antique Reclaimed Wood Tables for kitchen islands provide seating for friends and family
Design by Lobkovich

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.

#EatInKitchens #DesignInspiration #CustomWoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

Stained Wood Kitchen Bar Tops

Stained Wood Kitchen Bar Tops come in many different shapes and sizes at Grothouse. With over 40 stock stains and glazes available and the ability to custom stain match, there are no design limitations. A color lab is used to custom stain any wood surface to match the sample provided. Matches are within a delta E of 0.5 or less.

Any wood surface crafted in Flat Grain or Edge Grain construction style can include a stain application. Our propriety Durata® waterproof and permanent finish is required for all stained wood countertops.

Designs with Stained Wood Kitchen Bar Tops

Because there are no design limitations, stained wood kitchen bar tops can be custom crafted to fit it any style space.

Stained Wood Kitchen Bar Tops designed by Tobias Design for kitchen island in a contemporary kitchen
Stained White Oak Kitchen Bar Top designed by Tobias Design

Tobias Design chose Jericho Stock Stain (# 04915) for this edge grain White Oak wood kitchen bar top. This bar top makes for the perfect seating area for six guests at the end of the kitchen island. The countertop features a simple 1/8 inch Roundover edge profile to tie in the contemporary style of the kitchen. Finished in Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin sheen.

Stained Wood Kitchen Bar Tops designed by Coastal Cabinet Works for seating in a contemporary kitchen
Stained Cherry Kitchen Bar Top designed by Coastal Cabinet Works

Gordon Blau of Coastal Cabinet Works designed an edge grain Cherry wood countertop stained with T-Rex Stock Stain (#04333) for a bar in this kitchen. The stain application matches the bar top with the kitchen cabinetry. Finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent finish in Satin sheen.

Stained Wood Kitchen Bar Tops designed by Tobias Design for kitchen island in a transitional kitchen
Stained Walnut Kitchen Bar Top designed by Tobias Design

Tobias Design selected The Favorite Stock Stain (# 03012) for this Walnut wood kitchen bar top. Crafted in an L-shape to fit this kitchen island, the bar top features a 1/8″ Roundover edge profile. It is finished with Durata® Waterproof Permanent Finish in Satin sheen.

View more stained wood kitchen bar tops by visiting the Grothouse Image Library.

#StainedWoodKitchenBarTops #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodBarTops #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

Custom Wood Countertops for Narrow Kitchen Islands

Installing an island can enhance your kitchen in many ways, and, with good planning, even smaller kitchens can benefit with narrow kitchen islands. Narrow kitchen islands can be just as functional and effective as average-size islands, including food preparation space and plenty of storage.

Custom Wood Countertops for Narrow Kitchen Islands
Custom Wood Countertops for Narrow Kitchen Islands | Photography by Rodney Middendorf

According to Houzz, the average size of a kitchen island is about 3 by 6½ feet (1,000 by 2,000 millimeters). An island that size would typically have a surrounding clearance zone of about 40 inches (1,000 millimeters). However, an island’s size is usually determined by the distances around it, so larger kitchens allow for bigger islands.

Wood countertops custom crafted for narrow kitchen islands are uniquely designed to fit the needs of every client. They can be crafted as the entire surface of the island, or as the kitchen island end.

American Beech Wood Countertop for Narrow Kitchen Island Designed by J.S. Brown & Co.
Design by J.S. Brown & Co. | Photography by Rodney Middendorf

An American Beech wood countertop was designed by Brandon Okone and Monica Miller, MCR, UDCP, CMKBD of J.S. Brown & Co. for this narrow kitchen island located in Columbus, Ohio. The countertop, crafted in edge grain construction, was designed to be the entire islands surface. Finished with Grothouse Original Oil™, this top can be sanded and oiled to look like new after years of use.

Peruvian Walnut Cutting Board for Narrow Kitchen Island Designed by Griffey Remodeling
Design by Griffey Remodeling

Griffey Remodeling designed a 5 inch think Peruvian Walnut edge grain countertop for the end of this red kitchen island. The countertop serves as a cutting board and food preparation space away from the traffic between the sink and the cooktop, but close enough to be easily accessible.

Want to see more narrow kitchen islands with wood countertops? Like Grothouse on Facebook for weekly design inspiration!

#NarrowKitchenIslands #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops #GrothouseThings

Is Ash Wood Soon to be Extinct?

Is Ash wood soon to be extinct? Robert Dalheim of Woodworking Network reported on September 6, 2017 that the Emerald Ash Borer, referred to as EAB, is a threat to all North American Ash trees.

Emerald Ash Borer threatening Ash wood trees in North America
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) | Photo via Woodworking Network

Ash is known as the wood of choice for baseball bats. Its solid workability and overall strength makes it a fantastic choice for custom wood countertops. Ash wood countertops have a great shock resistance and has phenomenal staining potential.

Ash Wood Countertops for kitchens bathrooms offices custom made by Grothouse
Ash Wood Countertop

There are about 8.7 billion Ash trees in North America valued at more than $280 billion. The EAB has already killed approximately 50 million trees. Ash trees are marked with s-shaped galleries or tunnels found beneath the bark when infested by the EAB.

Ash trees are marked with s-shaped galleries or tunnels found beneath the bark when infested
Ash trees are marked with s-shaped galleries or tunnels found beneath the bark when infested | Photo via Woodworking Network

Wisconsin state officials have confirmed that the EAB has spread to five new counties as well as South Carolina. All Wisconsin counties will be quarantined, requiring that firewood and other wood products stay inside quarantined areas. EAB is now in 46 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, covering about two-thirds of the state. South Carolina is also enforcing quarantine initiatives that may cover all 46 counties in the state. Officials in both states are asking for the public’s help in limiting the movement of firewood.

In addition to implementing quarantines, efforts have been made to service logs of dead, infected trees into lumber and other wood products. Using a specialized heating chamber, researchers at Pennsylvania State University have discovered a way to kill EABs in wood for pallets and other shipping components.

Efforts to limit EAB’s scope have affected businesses that sell Ash trees or wood products, property owners and governments. Economic impacts are high for urban and residential areas due to the treatment and removal costs and decreased land value associated with dying trees.

The loss of Ash from an ecosystem can result in increased numbers of invasive plants, changes in soil nutrients, and effects on species that feed on Ash.

Ash Wood Countertops continue to be available at Grothouse and will be for the foreseeable future. We are keeping close watch on the supply to ensure Ash remains available at Grothouse.

Stay tuned for more wood news by liking Grothouse on Facebook and following @grothouseinc on Instagram! To learn more about Ash wood countertops, visit the Grothouse Countertop Design Guide.

#AshWood #EmeraldAshBorer #EAB #GrothouseThings

Source: Woodworking Network

Contemporary Kitchen Countertops

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

White Oak Contemporary Kitchen Countertops for Washington DC white kitchen
Design by Jennifer Gilmer Kitchen and Bath

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.

Peruvian Walnut Contemporary Kitchen Countertop for a kitchen in Savannah, Georgia
Design by Lukejohn Dickson of La Source

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.

Peruvian Walnut Contemporary Kitchen Countertop for a kitchen in New Holland, Pennsylvania
Design by PB Kitchen Design

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.

#GrothouseThings #ContemporaryKitchenCountertops #CustomWoodCountertops #WoodCountertops