Cedar Ridge Designs & Custom Cabinetry

What to Know When Working with a Custom Cabinet Maker

What do Custom Cabinet Makers do?

The first thing that likely comes to mind when you hear this question is that custom cabinet makers specialize in kitchen and bath cabinetry. While you would not be wrong in thinking this, we work on an incredibly large list of rooms on a regular basis. We frequently design, build and install furniture-style vanities, bookcases concealing hidden rooms, arts & crafts rooms, closet organization, custom tailored wine cellars, breakfast nooks, built-ins, laundry rooms, bookcases, side boards, wall & ceiling paneling, entertainment units, fireplace surrounds, home offices, bars, pantries, mudrooms, and much more! The advantage of working with a custom cabinet maker is that the sky is really the limit.

Why go with a Custom Cabinet Maker?

There are many advantages to using a custom cabinet maker. The attention to detail is greater right from the design phase and custom shops often use a higher quality of materials, hardware, and construction methods. You may pay a little more upfront, but typically custom cabinets will stand the test of time better than off-the-shelf options from big box stores. There is also more flexibility available when going custom, both in the sizes you can choose from as well as the materials available. Going with an off-the-shelf option means that you will need to stick within the standard sizes available which often results in large fillers and unused spaces. Whereas with custom options there are little to no size constraints, custom wood types and finishes are available and complicated design details are not an issue. From a customer service standpoint, custom shops take more time in the planning process to ensure your new cabinets do more than just fill a space with storage, but also reflect your style and how you will use the space in your day-to-day life. In addition to this, each space built and designed by a custom cabinet shop will be completely unique to you! This said, it is very important to do your homework on which factory you decide to purchase your cabinetry from. The quality, stability, reputation, and consistency of a factory are important factors to consider as well.

What Technology do Custom Cabinet Makers Use?

There are tons of technologies available in the custom millwork industry and the type used will vary from one shop to another. That said, most reputable cabinetry shops will provide you with drawings which include floor plans, elevations and coloured 3D renderings. Depending on the shop and the technology they choose to use this will sometimes be done on one or two programs while simultaneously developing the necessary cut sheets and parts list for the shop to use when they build your new cabinets.

How Does Pricing Work with Custom Cabinet Makers?

Again, pricing structures will vary from one shop to another, but most custom shops will price by the job as opposed to offering a per lineal foot or per square foot price structure. The thing about custom is that it is not overly accurate for us to ballpark a figure on a project. It is easier to work within a client’s budget and make a list of priorities to be included in the design. Material, labour, and finishing costs vary greatly depending on what a client chooses. There are a ton of advantages to going with a custom cabinet maker including a more usable finished product that will stand the test of time, and a much larger selection of finishes and materials. It is important to note the value in these advantages when comparing pricing to an off-the-shelf option.

-Stephanie Quosdorf

July 19, 2020

How Will COVID-19 Change Our Homes?

We all wonder how COVID will affect our lives in the future. Will our old habits return, or will we continue to implement the new ones we’ve developed through the course of this pandemic? While we are confined to our houses, we are more aware of the space we live in and its limitations. We are able to slow down and take the time to reflect upon how these spaces can be more pleasant, comfortable, safe and healthy. This time in isolation has and will continue to change our way of thinking about domestic space planning. Whether or not we like it, 2020 will go down in history books. Spanish architect, Gonzalo Pardo predicts that, “Homes will have more multi-purpose and versatile spaces.” Our homes will likely begin to consist of more transformational spaces that can be reconfigured. French architect, Frédéric Ganichot says, “This crisis will accentuate the already existing tendency to design modular spaces.” In an era when we do so much from home, multi-functional spaces make a lot more sense. Thanks to the current lockdowns, features and equipment designed for gyms will likely be brought back into the home. Inclusion of more rooms designed for remote work or that can be transformed and reconfigured depending on the time of day will be on the rise. Another likely trend to come out of the current pandemic is the value of connections between outdoors and indoors. Terraces, rooftops, courtyards and balconies will be important inclusions in new builds. These outdoor spaces will be designed to be continuous with their adjoining rooms creating a seamless connection. It will become increasingly important for condos, apartments and hotels to make room for outdoor access and spaces when in construction as well. Finally, common areas in one’s home should also be rethought. Technology has a role to play in ensuring that these common spaces are safer and in preventing the spread of contagions. Home owners can consider anti-microbial solid surfaces such as Corion as well as easy to clean cabinet door materials when they are looking to renovate their bathrooms and kitchens. With all of the bad that COVID-19 seems to have brought, the impact that it’s having on the design of our homes is a small silver lining that it has presented. The intervention of a professional who collaborates with you will help you plan new spaces, thinking about how you currently live and what you will need in the future.

Amp up Storage with Pull-outs

When renovating or building your new kitchen you want to ensure that the space is as functional as possible. If you’re spending the money to create your dream kitchen every detail should be regarded with a close eye. One area that seems to be frequently overlooked, but can make a huge impact and boost the functionality of your most heavily used space in the house, is pull-outs. The pull-out comes in a broad range of styles, types and uses and these days you can find a pull out for just about anything. Pull-outs help maximize the performance of your kitchen.   One of the most commonly used pull-out options is cutlery and utensil dividers. Utensil dividers are used for the larger cooking tools such as serving spoons, cheese graters, and spatulas whereas cutlery dividers are used for forks, knives and spoons used for eating. These dividers are now offered in a range of materials ranging from wood, plastic, and metal and are usually able to be cut to size meaning they can be retro fit to existing drawers after the fact. There are even double-tiered cutlery dividers available, although if one decides to go that route they should be careful not to over-stuff the space. Knife blocks and aluminum foil dispensers can also be used in correlation with other drawer inserts. Another great place to look into adding storage accessories is in narrow base cabinets near the range or uppers above the fridge. These spaces are great places to use vertical storage such as dividers for baking sheets, trays, and cutting boards. Oil and spice pull-outs are another popular choice to place near the range. There is a large number of choices for these ranging from oil and spice pull-outs, stepped spice drawer inserts, and attachments for a door on an upper cabinet. Some people find it easiest to decanter their spices from the store-bought containers into uniform containers to maximize their storage. Cleaning supplies are another area that can become cluttered and difficult to find room for. That said, there are many options for the storage of these items available on the market today. Sink tilt out storage was very popular 5 years ago and while it’s a less common option now it is still available. The largest use for such tilt-out storage is on sink cabinets located in the kitchen island so that sponges can be tucked away out of sight. The difficulty with these tilt outs is that the plastic trays are difficult to keep clean so many people are opting for one of the many alternatives. One of the most popular options is slide out storage baskets which are actually removable. Meaning if you just need something quick, like a sponge, you can easily slide the basket out and push it back in, but if you are doing a deep clean you can actually remove the entire wire caddy and carry it around for easy access to all of your cleaning supplies. Pull-out towel racks, wire baskets attached to cabinet doors, and custom broom closet storage are some of the other ways to keep your cleaning supplies in peak organizational check. Garbage and recycling centers have become a staple in the typical kitchen. These pull-outs come with a range of bin sizes and layouts including options with space for garbage bag storage and paper towel storage so that these necessities are always right where you need them. With the societal shift to a greener planet there has been a push for compost bin options as well and there are now many options that do allow for 1-2 compost bins. For the wine lovers, cellars and wine storage has been a growing trend. Wine racks can be built into upper cabinets, base cabinets as well as pantry units, and many shapes and styles can be used to create a cohesive look in the kitchen. Roll-out wine racks are less common, but are also available. When creating a kitchen or bar for a wine lover, designers can also incorporate a hanging rack under an upper cabinet for easy access to the wine glasses, thus preventing any slowdowns in the wine drinking process. For the true connoisseur, perhaps a full wine cellar would be desired, if this is the case a rolling ladder makes a brilliant and functional choice. With the baby boomer generation comes a growing trend for adults aging in place. Designers can help with this as there are tons of options to help. Of course these options aren’t just limited to the aging in place demographic, but they are very practical for this use. Lazy Susan’s and magic corners are greatly useful for accessing the back of those pesky corner cabinets. Magic corners are a great choice as they are inserted into blind corner cabinets and allow simple access to the entire cabinet. Lazy Susan’s are good for this propose as well, but often homeowner’s struggle with light object falling off when they are over-packed. Pull-down shelves are one of the most under-rated accessories for aging in place. These accessories allow the home owner to access the top shelves without having to get onto a ladder and running the risk of falling. When it comes to more specific storage needs there is a wide range of niche options that can appeal to the most organized homeowners. Making use of a previously un-tapped storage option is toekick drawers. These hidden storage drawers don’t allow for a ton of added storage, but are a great addition for someone trying to maximize every inch of their kitchen. Pull-out pantry systems and pullouts in pantries are fantastic options which allow home owners to access the very back of the pantry shelves. Pantry pull-outs refer to pull-out systems that allow the whole pantry unit to pull out, whereas pull-outs installed within a pantry are more popular and allow the client to pull-out each individual roll out and access the back. Plates can now be stored in base cabinets too! That’s right, with plate holders you can fit your collection of dinner plates into this easily accessible accessory which can be pulled out and accessed at any time. Handy Tupperware storage can also be built into large base drawers. Kitchen layouts are only part of the design process. Using pull outs that will help clients with their daily use can be an effective way to boost the kitchen’s functionality. While they may add to the cost of your kitchen, their usefulness far outweighs the initial cost. On average home owners  renovate their kitchens once every 15 years so it is important to ensure that this high traffic area is extremely well thought out.

Message from Cedar Ridge Designs re:  COVID-19

Dear Clients and Partners,

We are monitoring the Covid-19 situation and at this time Cedar Ridge Designs is still manufacturing our products and designing new projects for our clients, using the modified methods  below.  The health and safety of our clients, contractors and employees is our utmost priority, therefore, we have further improved hygiene measures within our facility, ie.  increased sanitizing, hand-washing and social distancing.

Our Showrooms in Ottawa and Maxville are still available for meetings if absolutely necessary and at each clients’ discretion (one on one), however, we encourage doing business remotely using  various options, ie.  phone calls, emails, video chats, etc.  We have always used these methods successfully, but will for the foreseeable future, expand our use of these methods.  We would still love to talk to you and discuss your ideas!  Although we will restrict in-person interactions, meetings, and visits, we will continue to provide the same high level of service and support whether on the telephone and/or online.

Our installation team will ask the following questions before they enter a site/home:

Do you or anyone in the household have cold/flu type symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing)?

Have you or anyone in the household travelled anywhere outside the country in the last two weeks?

If yes, have they been quarantine or are in self-isolation?

Have you been in contact with anyone that has been out of the country in the last two weeks?

If the answer is yes to any one of these questions, we reserve the right to postpone an installation to protect our installers, and will do our utmost to reschedule the installation as soon as it is possible.   

We work continuously to provide our clients with the highest quality product and service while striving to protect the health of our clients and staff in these challenging times.