HGTV “Cabinets with Attitude”

HGTV “Cabinets with Attitude”

The introduction of our recent collection with Angela Rose Home brought two fresh looks to the timeless shaker door.

Two styles, the Angela Rose Slim Shaker and Angela Rose Slim Shaker Detail are available in 14 standard colors to take your DIY cabinetry project to the next level.

HGTV “Cabinets with Attitude” is the perfect description for this fresh collection that enables you to transform existing cabinets through refacing, customizing IKEA cabinets, adding doors to cabinets you built yourself, or any combination in between.

An image of a tall wall of pantry cabinets in a dark green color, with a woman standing in front.
The Angela Rose Home collection gives your cabinets attitude! Photo by @angelarosehome.

As part of the collection, we’ve introduced three new colors: Only Olive, Dream Dusk, and Bonny Black. These earth-toned neutrals add an accent color to your space, or create a moody and inviting retreat within your home. Paired with white cabinets as an accent color, or stand-alone for a dramatic look, how are you going to give YOUR cabinets some attitude?

A closeup image of shaker style cabinet doors in a dark green color with aged brass handles.
The Angela Rose Slim Shaker in Dream Dusk. Photo by @angelarosehome.

6 DIY Projects to Beautify Your Home in 2021

6 DIY Projects to Beautify Your Home in 2021

Now that 2020 is behind us and the holidays are over, many of us are looking around the house for something to do. With more time in our homes than ever, it’s going to be a long, hard winter – unless you can find satisfying tasks to fill your time. We’ve got the answer with these fun DIY ideas! 

Keep yourself entertained with a DIY home project – or several DIY projects. Beautify your property with new finishes, colors, hardware and fixtures. Improve your home’s functionality and boost your quality of life in subtle ways through DIY projects. 

1. Glam Up Your Kitchen with Cabinet Refacing

Are you tired of the same old look in your kitchen? Make a change. You don’t have to install all new cabinets to give your kitchen a facelift. Refacing is one way to make your cabinets look new without the expense. You don’t even have to hire a contractor to do the work – you can do it yourself.

Start by measuring your cabinets, then go shopping. You can pick your color, or paint them yourself. Buy your new cabinet doors from a reputable company to ensure long-lasting beauty. 

2. Refresh and Refinish Furniture

Old furniture has a way of getting scratched up. Refinishing makes old furniture look like new. Use environmentally-friendly chalk paint to give your old end table or bench an antique look, or try re-staining your old wood chairs to give them a like-new glow.

Furniture refinishing is something that many people do as a hobby, and there’s also many small businesses that offer custom furniture refinishing. It’s a great DIY home project if you’re looking for an ongoing task to occupy your time. Once you’ve refinished one chair or table, you won’t want to stop! Before you know it, everything you own will look like new.   

A photo of a young woman painting a chair.

3. Clear Clutter with Floating Shelves

Floating shelves are the perfect contemporary furnishing for improving home organization in 2021. Get clutter up off the floor with your floating shelves. If it’s not the kind of clutter you want to see, use attractive baskets to keep it hidden, organized and tidy. 

Customize your floating shelves to get the perfect fit and look for your home. With the right tools, you can install floating shelves yourself. They look great in the living room, bathroom, kitchen and so on. Want to make your small room look a little taller and airier? Try installing them near the ceiling. Want a pop of color in your room? Paint them before installing.  

4. Create a Wallpaper or Mural Accent Wall

Painted accent walls were very popular a few years ago. That popularity has waned, but recently new types of accent walls have taken their place: board and batten accent walls and wallpapered accent walls! Adding texture to a wall creates an intant focal point in any room.

Board and batten, chevrons, plaid, and abstract accent walls can create a 3D effect and add depth to your room. Paired with a bold or neutral color, you can take a bold stance or play it safe depending on your style. Wallpaper accent walls are slightly more understated but still add focus and a sense of thoughtful beauty to home interiors. Installing wallpaper isn’t the easiest of DIY projects, but as far as wallpapering projects go, one accent wall is doable even for inexperienced homeowners. 

Check out this step by step explanation of how to create a board and batten accent wall!

A photo of a grey plaid board and batten accent wall with tall vases and a hardwood floor.
Accent walls can take a variety of shapes, textures and materials.

5. Get Creative with Cabinet Hardware

You don’t have to completely reface your kitchen cabinets to make them look like new. Replace your kitchen cabinet hardware with something unique like leather pulls, ceramic knobs or modern minimalist handles. This is a relatively inexpensive home improvement project that can easily be completed in an afternoon. 

6. Make Rustic DIY Wall Hooks

Just about anything attached to a board can become a wall hook. Wine corks. Old railroad ties. Even a bent spoon! Find a piece of reclaimed wood, refinish it, attach the hooks of your choice, then install your new wall hook board on a space like the wall of your bedroom or maybe near your backdoor.

DIY wall hooks are convenient, cute and and easy DIY for a rainy afternoon. There are lots of tutorials online that you can follow – just find the one that you like best.  

A photo of a bag hanging from a rustic wall hook.
DIY wall hooks can be made with scrap wood for a rustic touch

Don’t wait. Get started with winter DIY home projects today!

Have fun remaking your space for the new year with these DIY projects. Try a kitchen refresh with all new cabinet doors for your kitchen, or to get started with your custom floating shelves today. 

Update Your Kitchen with Custom Dovetail Drawers

Update Your Kitchen with Custom Dovetail Drawers

Taking on a kitchen cabinet refacing project is a cost-effective way to upgrade the aesthetic of your kitchen. It is also an ideal time to upgrade the utility of your kitchen by replacing broken or worn out drawer boxes with new, high quality, dovetail drawers with soft close undermount slides.  

Drawer boxes endure a lot of abuse in a kitchen, repetitive slamming causes items to shift, eventually weaking the joints of the drawer. Dovetail drawer boxes are the most durable method of constructing drawer boxes and when paired with soft close undermount slides are a simple way yet highly functional upgrade to your kitchen.  

A side view of four kitchen cabinet drawers, the top three are small and the bottom is taller. The side of the wooden dovetail drawer box is showing againts the Stepped Shaker drawer fronts in Winter White.

What are dovetail drawer boxes?

Dovetail drawer boxes employ a pin and tail method of joinery to lock together the four sides of the drawer creating a very strong connection between the walls of the box. The pins are cut into the ends of one side of the box while the tails are cut into the joining piece. Adding a small amount of glue and locking the two pieces together creates a drawer box that doesn’t require screws to hold it together. Lesser drawer boxes use butt joints and either staples or screws to connect the four sides which can and will inevitably fail.  

Dovetail drawer boxes also add a sense of style and artisanship to your kitchen as the jig-saw puzzle look of the joinery is visible from the sides and harkens back to the days when such joints would have been made by hand with basic tools and not the modern machines of today.  

Dovetail joints have been used in all manner of construction including log houses in colonial days, stone works in India and even Egyptian furniture dating back to 3100 BC. With that sort of longevity there’s little doubt that a drawer box constructed with dovetail joinery can withstand the rigors of the 21st century kitchen.  

A side image of a kitchen cabinet dovetail drawer showing the dovetail joinery in the wooden drawer box.
A side view of a Nieu custom drawer showcasing the dovetail joinery of the wooden drawer box.

Are dovetail drawer boxes worth the investment?

A dovetail drawer box constructed from a birch or maple plywood coupled with a soft close undermount slide will outlive lesser drawer boxes joined with staples or screws. The single most requested upgrade when working with customers on their kitchen cabinet refacing project is upgrading builders grade melamine drawer boxes that have become wobbly or loose due to regular use.

While dovetail drawer boxes are more expensive than melamine drawers, their longevity and utility make them a worthwhile investment for any kitchen upgrade and the simple beauty of the artisan joinery acknowledges the timeless nature of good engineering.  

Where can I add dovetail drawer boxes to my kitchen?

Dovetail drawer boxes can replace any drawers currently in your cabinets. It is a straightforward process of measuring your current cabinet opening, height and depth and ordering custom drawer boxes to fit. An easy upgrade to your kitchen is to convert a standard base cabinet with doors and shelves into a pot and pan drawer stack.  

A pot and pan drawer stack typically consist of two deeper drawers on the bottom, usually 11’’ to 12” in height on the face, and a shallower 4” to 6″ drawer at the top. The two deep drawers are great for reorganizing pots and pans and make finding a matching lid and pot much easier than digging through standard base cabinets with shelves. The small drawer on the top usually serves as home for cutlery or as a utensil drawer for items such as spatulas and measuring cups.  

An image of four open drawers in kitchen cabinets with dovetail drawer boxes and white stepped shaker drawer fronts with squared black drawer pulls.
Dovetail drawer boxes paired with the Stepped Shaker drawer front in Winter White.

Do dovetail drawers improve resale value?

If you are refacing your kitchen cabinets to boost the resale value of your home consider replacing your drawer boxes as well. When prospective buyers are touring your home, they will open and close both a cabinet door and drawer to check for soft close upgrades. Upgraded cabinets doors like our selection of shaker cabinet doors and dovetail drawer boxes will impress buyers and let them know that you were mindful of both quality and utility when you upgraded your kitchen.  

The Summary:

Adding dovetail drawers to your refacing project provides an additional level of upgrade to your kitchen. If you’re getting started on your refacing project, use our free Design Quiz to find your style, watch our How To Measure video, and at any time Talk to an Expert if you need help. A custom looking kitchen is just a few clicks away!

Shaker Cabinet Doors: A History of Design

Shaker Cabinet Doors: A History of Design

The History of Shaker Kitchen Cabinet Doors

Shaker kitchen cabinet doors still dominate kitchen design 246 years after a subset of the English Quakers emigrated to America seeking freedom of religious expression and worship. Known as the Shaking Quakers for their ecstatic and physical style of worship, the Shakers were a modest people whose core values included humility, simplicity, celibacy, hard work and equality between the sexes. Their values are reflected in the simple, utilitarian design language of their furniture and cabinetry. The basic door construction reflected their practical approach to life and the lack of ornamentation affirms their humble character as they chose instead to focus on the quality of both construction and materials used.  

The Shaker community peaked at around 6000 members in the mid 1800’s along the East Coast of the US and was organized into commune style settlements where the collective worked to ensure the self-sufficiency of the greater group. Along with growing their own food and making tools, furniture was needed. Their religious views and practical nature entered into their work resulting in several simple yet enduring designs that have stood the test of time.  

Do you ever wonder why shaker-style tables and chairs often have tapered, light weight legs?

The Shakers, as their name may indicate, liked to dance, so their furniture was built to be light weight and easily moved aside for spiritual movements and dance. Eventually, these communities made enough furniture for their own needs and having embraced early generations of power tools and the simple construction of their furniture found they could produce enough to serve larger markets. This led to the spread of Shaker products from the tight-knit Shaker communes to the surrounding towns and villages, and beyond.  

What is a shaker style cabinet door?

Shaker cabinet doors are known and loved by homeowners and designers worldwide. A shaker door is comprised of four rails and a flat center panel, which distinguishes it from a raised panel door. High quality replacement cabinet doors in a shaker style can have one of the best impacts in your home to modernize your space and remodel your kitchen.  

An image labelling the parts of a shaker kitchen cabinet door as rail along the horizontal of the door edge, stile as the vertical door edge, and recessed center panel in the middle of the door.
Anatomy of a Shaker Door

Shaker Cabinet Door Design

Originally, Shaker cabinet doors were made from materials found easily in America in the 1800’s such as Cherry, Oak, Birch, Pine and Maple. Shaker furniture was typically stained or painted in colours determined by the sect that made them, common colors include red, green, blue, and yellow. Symmetry of design was important and inlays or decorative mouldings were not used as such devices of design were seen as deceitful or unholy. For the Shakers, a door was beautiful due to its function in the home and because it was well made and served a purpose.  

Mouldings and decorative embellishments served no purpose in a Shaker home and today designers still work in this style when designing a Shaker kitchen for your home. Many different styles of Shaker doors are available to the homeowner looking to bring some of this simple beauty into their home. Although cabinet door rail styles and widths may vary, and profiles add a bit more flair, but the basic foundation of a flat panel surrounded by four rails remains. 

Today, modern shaker doors are made with new materials such as exotic woods, aluminum and glass, and American staples such as maple and oak. Engineered woods wrapped in vinyl and polyester allow for unique treatments and can add texture to a door.  

Nieu Cabinet Doors – 8 Shaker Door Styles

At Nieu Cabinet Doors we have perfected the art of using high quality engineered MDF along with a 2-piece construction process to build custom cabinet doors. Our manufacturing techniques allow for the highest level of detailed finishing to produce the cleanest, most precise lines and profiles that would impress even a master Shaker cabinet maker.  

With a variety of rail widths and styles Shaker doors remain our best-selling door style. Offering 8 versions of Shaker doors, Nieu Cabinet Doors has a Shaker style that is sure to work in your home. A Shaker cabinet door is ideal for a DIY kitchen refacing project as this style of door lends itself to a kitchen without fancy trim or ornate mouldings. It really can be as simple as removing your old cabinet doors and replacing them with new doors and hardware.  

8 shaker style kitchen cabinet door styles in colors of white, beige, cream, grey, blue and green.
Our Shaker Cabinet Door Selection in 8 of Our Designer Curated Colors

Shaker Cabinet Doors in 2020

Today, shaker cabinet are not bound by any single interpretation of the original Shaker design. Shaker doors are available in a wide variety of styles and finishes and yes, some of them even have some degree of flair or ornamentation added to the rail profiles. A shaker door can work in any home and across design styles of traditional, contemporary, and transitional palettes.  

Although white is still the most popular color for a shaker door, bolder colors such as dark blues, teals and a variety of greys are finding their way into homes often as the base for a two-toned kitchen or to highlight an island or pantry wall. The simplicity of shaker means it can show the unique taste of a home without overwhelming the space, and can pair well with a statement countertop or other bold design choices.  

Do shaker cabinet doors improve resale value?

If the motivation for refacing your kitchen cabinets is resale, real estate agents will confirm that a Shaker door in a neutral color offers the broadest appeal for prospective buyers. Stick with handles or pulls that are simple and minimalist in design as they will offer the most cohesive look for your Shaker kitchen.  

An image of a gloomy kitchen with off-white cabinets, broken drawer fronts, and damage to the doors and drawers.
BEFORE: Broken drawer fronts and outdate raised panel doors.

“Nieu was the perfect solution for my clients. Their kitchen was in desperate need of an update to sell their home, but they didn’t want the timeline or price tag of a full kitchen renovation. Nieu Cabinet Doors completely refreshed their kitchen quickly and cost effectively. The order process was simple and the customer service was great, especially being able to call and walk through any questions. Their home sold the first day of showings!”

– Laura Waxter, Realtor for Coldwell Banker Pittsburgh
A bright, crisp kitchen with new shaker cabinet doors in white.
AFTER: Kitchen transformed with our Shaker door in Winter White.

How to use shaker cabinet doors in your kitchen:

DIY kitchen cabinet refacing is a project that homeowners with even minimal carpentry skills can tackle. If your kitchen layout works, your cabinet boxes are in good shape, and you own a few basic tools, you can achieve the Shaker look for your home. The basic steps to your DIY refacing project are:  

  • Take our free online design quiz or work with a designer to determine your shaker style and color  
  • Watch our instructional video on how to measure your kitchen for Nieu Shaker Doors  
  • Use our online order form to estimate and order your Nieu Shaker Doors  
  • Watch our how-to videos that cover all aspects of a DIY kitchen refacing project  
  • Install your Nieu Shaker Doors and speak with our technical expert at any time during the install for support  
  • When complete, raise a toast to the small group of craftspeople whose iconic design language is still relevant centuries later

Shaker cabinet doors are an iconic style that have endured centuries of design changes, and remain one of the most popular cabinetry choices in homes in 2020. Whether looking to update your kitchen to love where you live, or improve your resale value, our variations of shaker cabinet doors are sure to make you dance with joy in your Nieu kitchen.  

The Cost of Cabinet Refacing in an Investment Property

The Cost of Cabinet Refacing in an Investment Property

As a homeowner, your renovation budget is tight. As a landlord, it is much the same story. You need a durable, cost effective solution to attract and retain the best tenants without breaking the bank. At Nieu, we know how to maximize your home renovation dollar with cabinet refacing. We also know how to maximize your investment property upgrade.  

To give a real-life example we asked one of our clients who has over a decade of landlord experience to walk us through their kitchen transformation and cabinet refacing experience. The owners had clear priorities including: durability, boost to potential resale value, elevating the property from the ten-year-old builder’s basic finishes. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, doing so in a low-impact way so as not to disrupt rent paying tenants  

Why landlords choose cabinet refacing:

This project centers around a townhouse in a 10-year old development, that has been a rental since it was built. The current owners acquired the property two years ago, and painted the house from top to bottom, as well as made some other much needed improvements and repairs. With a fresh coat of paint and a general increase in upkeep, the existing kitchen soon became noticeable for its yellow looking cabinets and dysfunctional handle placement. The breakfast bar blocked the view of backyard park and the laminate countertops had begun to peel at the seams. With plans to sell the property within the next two years, the owners wondered what improvements could be made, on a tight budget, to transform this kitchen that is the heart of this open concept home. Their ultimate barometer was how to maximize their renovation ROI (return on investment) in the shortest amount of time.  

They chose cabinet refacing for their investment property because:  

  1. They needed to complete the project in a weekend while tenants were away.  
  2. The cabinet boxes were in solid condition. No need to replace everything, just needed some new doors.  
  3. A white, shaker cabinet door would improve the eventual resale value.  
  4. The kitchen layout is great, and it couldn’t change given the floorplan.  
  5. With new countertops, the cabinets could stay where they were, and saving money on a full kitchen remodel by refacing allowed them to purchase quartz counters.  
A large, u-shaped kitchen with brown wooden cabinet doors, a dark laminate countertops, black appliances, and stainless steel horizontal handles on the cabinet doors.

Visualize your kitchen refaced with Nieu Cabinet Doors

The homeowners wanted to visualize what the space would look like before making any larger financial decisions. They worked with our design team to have the space transformed in photorealistic 3D to show them two options. The first was with the breakfast bar remaining and counters and backsplash staying the same, and just ordering new doors but reusing the existing handles. The second design suggestion was to remove the breakfast bar, upgrade the countertop, make an impactful yet cost effective change to the handles, and install a new backsplash. The removal of the breakfast bar stood out as having the biggest change on modernizing the space, and since the counters needed to be replaced, it made sense to complete this step before ordering new panels and Shaker doors for the cabinet refacing part of the project.  

A computer rendering of an open concept u-shaped kitchen refaced with white shaker style cabinet doors. Pictured in the photo are barstools at a situp breakfast bar, black appliances, pendant lighting, dark hardwood floors, a dark countertop, and items on the counter.
Design 1: Kitchen transformed with Nieu doors only, and other kitchen elements remain the same.
A computer rendering of an open concept u-shaped kitchen refaced with white shaker style cabinet doors. Pictured in the photo are barstools at a situp peninsula, black appliances, pendant lighting, light hardwood floors, a white countertop, and items on the counter.
Design 2: Nieu doors combined with an updated countertop, backsplash, flooring and sink.

Kitchen Remodel Design Elements

To modernize this builder’s beige, slab cabinet door kitchen, the owners wanted a Shaker cabinet door to project a welcoming, bright, and modern-farmhouse style. The black appliances weren’t likely to change, but they wanted the design to still work with stainless if they or a future owner chose to swap them. This was presented in their design renderings which helped them to choose the following elements:  

  • Cabinet doors and drawer fronts: Stepped Shaker painted cabinet door in Winter White (Sherwin Williams Extra White)  
  • Cabinet pulls: Black, squared handles were used, all the same size for doors and drawers  
  • Countertop: White quartz counter with light, neutral speckles  
  • Backsplash: Kept the current dark glass subway tile  

Cabinet Refacing Cost

A pie chart showing the cost difference and items included in a kitchen refacing versus kitchen replacement project.

Our featured homeowners had a budget of $12,000 for the entire kitchen upgrade, and a short installation timeline to minimize disruption to paying tenants. They were quoted over $22,000 to rip everything out and replace the kitchen, with a minimum of one-week of installation, mess, and most importantly, tenants unable to make meals for the duration of a full kitchen replacement. Where did the savings come from by cabinet refacing instead of replacing? 

  1. Cost of new cabinet boxes. The old boxes were in excellent condition, and didn’t need to be removed and disposed of. Savings: approximately $4500. 
  2. Plumber/electrician. Maintaining the current layout of the kitchen meant no need for a plumber or electrician to re-route any of the lines or help with installation. Savings: approximately $2000   
  3. Installation. This DIY friendly project meant substantial savings on cabinet installation, and a faster time to complete the project. Savings: approximately $4500 and 5-7 days. 
  4. Backsplash. Careful removal of the old counter and installation of the new meant the existing backsplash was unscathed. This avoided the purchase and labor costs of replacing the backsplash. Savings: approximately $1200.

Saving more than 50% of the cost of replacing everything in this kitchen meant the homeowners could spend on “nice to haves” they hadn’t originally needed, like a new counter, sink and faucet, and upgraded cabinet pulls. Their project was budget friendly, tenant friendly, and completely transformed the space. 

Installing Cabinet Doors, Drawer Fronts, Panels and Trim for Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet refacing projects begin with removing the existing doors, drawer boxes, and existing panels. Generally, this can be accomplished in 2 hours-time. Next came installing large panels to reface the peninsula, fridge cabinet and the sides or gables of the upper and base cabinets. Cabinet edges can be painted and then toe kick, filler and light valence installed. Once the panels and trim were replaced it was time to get to the heart of a cabinet refacing project – installing new cabinet doors. The first step of hanging new cabinet doors is to mount the new soft close concealed hinges selected for this project. The doors came pre-drilled for hinges so it was quite easy to screw the new hinges onto the back of the doors with the supplied screws. Doors were then installed in the cabinets by fastening the hinge plates to the inside of the cabinets. It’s important to note that the doors weren’t readied for handles before they were mounted. This project proved why – once the cabinet doors were hung, the owners realized they wanted the handles in a different location than they originally planned. The drilling and installation of handles was the last step in bringing this kitchen together!  

A hand holds a measuring tape in front of an opening in a kitchen cabinet. Measuring the space for a new drawer front for refacing the kitchen.

This cabinet refacing project in a nutshell:

  • Eliminated the breakfast bar. Removed panel on the back of the breakfast bar and removed the breakfast bar ledge.  
  • Changed countertop. New countertop was selected – the owners chose quartz for its durability and to boost resale value. Counters were then measured, fabricated, and installed  
  • Updated sink and faucet. The new countertop allowed for a transition to an undermount sink and updated, modern faucet  
  • Measure cabinets for refacing. Doors, panels, trim, filler, and toe kick were measured for refacing.  
  • Order new cabinet doors and panels. The order with Nieu Cabinet Doors was placed.  
  • Receive and reface. The order arrived and was installed in just a few days  
  • Love your new kitchen. The landlords (and tenants) adored the new kitchen!  

Increasing Resale Value of an Investment Property

With the intention of selling this investment property within the next two years, realtors advised these homeowners that cabinet refacing was an effective way to maximize your resale value. In a townhouse complex where there hasn’t been a kitchen renovation to date, this helps to distinguish the property as a premium listing, when the time comes to sell.  

The Bottom Line  

A $20,000+ kitchen gut and renovation wasn’t financially feasible for these homeowners, or possible with tenants, and it wasn’t necessary. The existing cabinet boxes were in good shape and the layout of the kitchen was ideal. With advice from a realtor, refacing the kitchen cabinets was the most economical and impactful change the homeowners could make to increase the value of their investment property. Nieu Cabinet Doors was able to provide painted Shaker doors and drawer fronts that were affordable, stylish, and delivered on time allowing for a hassle-free renovation. Seeing the savings and the potential for the new look of the kitchen prompted the owners to spend the remaining kitchen budget on upgrading the countertop – something they wouldn’t have been able to do if they had to replace the cabinet boxes.  

Nieu took this kitchen from builder’s grade to beautiful, at a price that can’t be beat!