Twin Chimney’s Farmhouse Renovation

Twin Chimney’s Farmhouse Renovation Project


If you love old homes as much as I do, you will surely love the story of the Twin Chimney Farms renovation project. Travis and I were honored that the homeowners, Jack and Carole Arey trusted us and Walker Woodworking to be a part of this 18-month long project. These final results of his circa 1817 farmhouse rehabilitation project are truly amazing!


farmhouse remodel - after

After Photo of Kitchen

Planning and Preparation

Projects like this one can be very challenging due to the time it takes to properly plan and execute the complicated details for a renovation of this magnitude. Like most homeowners, we want to wrap up projects as quickly as we can. However, we knew this assignment would take a lot of time because the details were complex and the rules were extremely strict for a historic home rehabilitation. Travis Walker, President of Walker Woodworking,  and Brandon Fitzmorris, lead designer for Greenbrook Design, teamed up with Tony Brooks, the general contractor with Beam Edwards and Brooks as well as the interior designer, Wendi Gragg to see this project through to the end. We hope you enjoy this story and appreciate the craftsmanship involved to preserve the home. To skip the story and view the gallery click this link.  

before - kitchen

Before photos of the kitchen.

If these walls could talk, what a deep history they would speak!

If the walls of this home could talk I believe they would tell you how grateful they have been for the care and maintenance of the family that has owned this home for many years. Let me introduce you to the current homeowner, she is the great-great-granddaughter of Joesph Suttle; Meet Mrs. Carole Arey and her family history related to this home. Here’s her story:

History of Twin Chimneys

Twin Chimney's, Joe Suttle House

Twin Chimney’s farm, named for the Twins Chimney’s on this side of the home. There are actually four Chimney’s total in the home.

“The Joseph Suttle house, locally known as Twin Chimneys was built around 1817 for Minor W. Smith. Smith was born in England in 1784. He immigrated to Wilmington, North Carolina and then to Shelby. Joseph Suttle and his wife bought the property in 1854. Joseph Suttle died in 1861 at the age of 34. His widow and heirs sold the property in 1883. The house saw a long series of owners both in and out of the family until purchased in 1943 by J. L. Suttle Jr., a great-grandson of Joseph Suttle, and his wife Sara McFarland Suttle. It was listed on the register of ‘Historical Places” in 1980. The house is one of the best known antebellum residences surviving in Cleveland County.  Included on this property is a cemetery which includes the graves of Minor Smith and his wife Jane, and of Joesph Suttle and also other decedents.

Today Twin Chimneys is owned by my husband and I William Jackson Arey and Carole Suttle Arey. Our Architect Jerry McGinnis, who we have worked with on previous projects, was invaluable throughout this farmhouse renovation & rehabilitation. ”

“We appreciate every single person who worked with us on this project, we couldn’t be more pleased with the end result. Everyone that had a part in this venture was extremely patient with us and we thank you! Really, there is nothing we would change if we had to do it all over again.” ~ Jack & Carole Arey

Early Photos from the Suttle Home

Building a foundation

The two-story framed house blends Federal and Greek Revival characteristics with a Victorian influence. It is very interesting to see construction methods from the early 1800’s. As seen from the pictures below, most likely this was a timber-framed construction method with mortise and tenon joints in the floor joist. During our preparation to saw the reclaimed wood floor for the cabinetry, we found hand cutnails. These cutnails had been used in the flooring to fasten the flooring to the joist. You can also see the early foundations were made using field rocks.

“The kitchen floor was our biggest challenge. We leveled and added extra supports blending today’s materials with those that were 200 years old. Matching materials was also a challenge. I had a strategy planned out to match the rock for the foundation and had made various visits to rock yards across western NC. Nothing seemed to click until the Owner took me to the edge of the pastures where we found rocks that had been cleared from fields long ago. We even found some with live moss that made it into the foundation.”~ Tony Brooks, GC Beam, Edwards, and Brooks

During tear out photos. The original foundation was reinforced during construction.

Using reclaimed heart pine

Working with reclaimed wood presents its own unique challenges. Questions arise such as, “Do we have enough material to complete the project? Will we be able to find a suitable match if we do not?” These are just a few issues we faced from a production perspective”. The Arey’s were former clients of Walker Woodworking, we have collaborated on several projects and we knew this would be a ‘labor of love” to accomplish. Nevertheless, Travis Walker, owner of Walker Woodworking, was eager to take on the project.

“We mostly work with brand new lumber that comes in clean and ready to use. The majority of my employees had never worked with old growth pine and had only heard of it. I had the pleasure of educating them on exactly what old growth was and what the term meant. Some were fascinated by it and just knowing the deep history of the home made it that much better. The easy part was the nails and bolts we had to remove. We scanned the wood with a metal detector. The hard part was the amount of pitch and resin in the wood. This was tough on the knives, blades, and sandpaper, and very hard on my machinery. The end results show what can be accomplished by a talented and dedicated team. ” ~ Travis Walker, Owner Walker Woodworking


Old flooring was used for the construction of the cabinetry, and hardwoods in the kitchen and bedroom addition.

“I had the pleasure of picking up some of the extra reclaimed pine we needed to complete the project.  Some of it was resawn beams that came out of the old Double Shoals Mill near Lawndale, NC. Some of those beams were over 20 inches wide and 20 feet long, which means that the trees had to be 200-300 years old at the time of harvest.  If the mill was built in the latter part of the 19th century, that means those trees were growing in the early 1600’s or perhaps even the late 1500’s, the same time period that the famous Lost Colony was founded in NC!  I would certainly guess that English settlers had not made it as far west into North Carolina as Cleveland County when many of these trees started growing.”  ~ Justin Webb, General Manager, Walker Woodworking

Kitchen and Bath Design Challenges

Working with a historic home created a few design challenges for our design team at Greenbrook Design (LINK). The fundamental part of the floor plan had to remain close to that of the original home. Although the home had been updated several times throughout the years, we felt that we were able to keep the design as close to the original floor plan as possible also allowing the homeowners to expand cabinetry storage and function for a full working kitchen for the 21st century.

“The opportunity to work in a historic home was a unique endeavor that gave us the opportunity to be creative in establishing a new functional space. The challenge was for us to stay true to the character of the home. A great deal of family history and emotion was embedded in the project that remained as the foundation of collaboration between the contractors, designers, and homeowner. This allowed a narrow and specific route to achieve an outstanding design and allowed my team to diversify our skills in cabinet design.”  ~ Brandon Fitzmorris, Lead Design at Greenbrook Design

Completed Kitchen Remodel (renovation photo credits: Electric Films)

Interior Design Challenges

Wendi Gragg was involved in many components of this project collaborating with our the team meeting the requirements of the historical rehabilitation. The home remains listed with the registry of Historical Homes in North Carolina.

“The original architecture of the home was a mix of Federal, Greek and Victorian styles with several renovations throughout the years. I wanted to make sure the interiors remained rooted in a serene country spirit and that it retains the provincial charm that was indicative of the time. It was great to work with a team that you trust and depend on to meet the highest level of craftsmanship.”  ~ Wendi Gragg, Interior Design

Original Fireplace, Farmhouse Sink, New addition Master Bathroom.

We have many more photos that we would love to share with you, follow this link to view the full gallery.

For more design details about this project, you will find more detailed information in this link.

For more information about the home, here are available resources:  National Registry Listing

Are you ready to start your remodel project? Give us a call today and we will get the process started. Our process incorporates the time each project takes, a full design package, attention to detail and a partnership with you to ensure every job is even better than what you expected.  Contact Us


National Register of Historic Places, Joseph Suttle House

Wash, Sort, and Stack Our Best Laundry Rooms

Wash, sort, and stack: The inner workings of our best laundry rooms

Who loves to do laundry? Most people’s response to that question would be…..not me! However, the task of washing and drying is a never-ending, necessary chore to keep a home running smoothly. I can attest to this as a mother of two small children; it never ends. Since it does have to be completed so often, why not make your laundry room as cheerful and welcoming as possible? We chose a few of our favorite laundry areas to showcase and give you some ideas on how to make the task of laundry more enjoyable.

The key to maximizing functionality

Organization is key to making any room function well. This is exceptionally true in an efficient and productive space, and most certainly if you plan to perform more than one task there. We have designed many laundry rooms that double as mudrooms, closets, and wrapping stations (to name a few). If you’ll be performing different tasks, then varying work zones will need to be planned accordingly. Such is so in this quaint laundry room where we utilized even the smallest space making it a functional and beautiful wrapping zone. The stained, warm cabinets blend elegantly with the lighter wood floor and other painted cabinets. Behind the short swinging door sits the mudroom bench, which serves as a place to remove shoes and coats. Everything has its place here, which means it will all function well for the homeowner and family.


Laundry room with gift wrap station.


Color is the new black

Maybe you wish to be daring and use a fun paint color? What better place to try it than in the laundry room. Gleeful colors can bring whimsy into the most mundane rooms. The cheerful shade used here is Spruce tint and it will make you feel anything but blue.

blue laundry cabinets

Spruce tint – blue

Yellow isn’t your normal cabinet tone, however, these Elk Tan painted cabinets with a chocolate glaze brings a trace of character to this laundry room, which also features a standout sink.

Elk Tan with Chocolate Glaze

Another unique color is Rialto, which we show here in this classic lake house. This darker shade of blue with a thin chocolate glaze brings a soothing sophistication to the laundry area of this lake home. With so many appliance options to choose from, it is also easy to add a pop of color with your laundry apparatus.

Rialto blue cabinets with thin Chocolate Glaze.

 What works best for you?

Everyone has a different way of completing their household tasks. When planning your laundry room you need to consider what works best for you, and of course, the kiddos helping out. For example, my mother irons everything she needs to on one certain day of the week, whereas I do not even own an iron. If you do iron, we can build a custom door for your wall inserted ironing board, as you will see in some of our photos.


Hidden ironing board built into wall.


In addition, many of our clients utilize multiple hampers for sorting out colors, whites, and delicates. Some people like to hang items straight out of the dryer, so we usually put hanging rods in their upper cabinets. The most functional laundry room we’ve ever designed was this grand master closet, which was featured in the Wall Street Journal. Putting this laundry pair inside their closet is the ultimate in functionality. The island features multiple sorting hampers and the large countertop space is ideal for folding and sorting.

Laundry Room Featured in Wall Street Journal


Especially relevant, ease of use is another key consideration to think about when designing the laundry area. Keeping the most important things in arms reach is crucial, especially for those of us who are vertically challenged. Aging in place goes hand in hand with functionality. You do not want to strain your back every time you do a load of laundry. Many of our clients request that we build laundry pedestals under their washer and dryer pair. Elevating the appliances is a simple solution that will help you be comfortable in your home longer.

laundry room

Elevated washer & dryer.


Do you dread the task of laundry? Sprucing up your laundry area is a small project that can make loads of difference in your home. If you’re ready to get started, we’d love to hear from you. Call us at 704.434.0823 to set up your design consultation.



Cabinet Basics

Cabinet Basics 101: Our Building Options

When clients first come to us at Walker Woodworking they are often overwhelmed by the different cabinet options offered from different sources. We always strive to educate our clientele on all the options they have during their custom cabinetry selection process. There are many options to choose from within the categories of build method, paints/stains, drawer/door fronts, moldings, and hardware. This article will focus on detailing our two building method options and highlighting the differences between them while describing common styles that they each lend to. Regardless of which building style or look you prefer for your cabinetry all of Walker Woodworking custom cabinetry will be built to the highest level of quality. You can see more about our quality here: Product Education. Keep in mind, this article will only discuss our build methods, so let’s get to it!


Frameless Cabinetry Example

The only overlay build method that Walker Woodworking offers is a frameless cabinet style. When this build method is chosen the stiles and rail around the cabinet openings are minimized so that none of the face frame is visible. All you see when you look at the cabinetry is the front of the doors and drawer fronts. In addition to creating a streamlined clean look, this style also maximizes the storage capacity of the cabinets, especially the drawers. This style is can be paired with either an ornate or simplistic door style, depending on if you are wanting a more transitional style or a clean lined look. Popular design styles for this build method include; Modern, Contemporary, Industrial, European, and Transitional. As you can see in the above picture, the overlay build method showcases the door and drawer style as the cabinet detail, while helping the client get maximum utility out of the cabinets.


Inset Cabinetry Example

Walker Wood also offers the alternative of an inset building method as an option for our cabinetry. The term inset describes the placement of the doors and drawer fronts since in this style of building they actually sit back into the face frames. This beautiful style has long been a staple in traditional high-end homes and is often used with a detailed door/ drawer design. When clients choose to use an outer bead on their door edges they can achieve the look of having a beaded inset look, at a fraction of the cost. We also have the ability to add the bead onto the face frames of the cabinets, but it is rarely needed since it is an upgrade in cost and the same look can be achieved with beaded doors and drawers. This building method is often selected for the following design styles: Traditional, Victorian, Arts and Crafts, and Transitional. As seen below in these images, you can see the entire face frame when using the inset build method.

Some people view the inset method as too busy visually, while others see it as having a timeless elegance and showcasing superior craftsmanship. There is no wrong or right direction to go, but we do want to make sure that all of our clients understand the differences and “pros vs. cons” of each style. You should also note that there is a small price difference to build an inset job over a frameless job. Each job is custom priced, but usually, the difference is about 8% – 10%, since inset jobs will be priced by the square foot of the face frames.

What’s your style?

Perhaps, you are still undecided about your style preference.  We suggest an in-home measurement consultation, followed by a design session and estimate. We are here to help you, and would love to speak with you to set up an appointment time. Please call us today. 704.434.0823~

Attention to Detail

Attention to Detail

We’ve all heard the saying “whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.”  When Travis Walker founded Walker Woodworking in 1996 he used this saying as his motivation.  His business journey is detailed here: Travis Walker Page and it is really worth a read.  He will tell you himself “I don’t try to be an expert at everything.  We focus on one thing and we aim to do it right.”  Our company strives for excellence in our craftsmanship of each cabinet we build.  As a result, we use only the finest building materials, paints/stains, hinges/slides, decorative hardware, and installation crews to complete custom orders for our clients.  Here I will give you a glimpse of how Walker Woodworking pays attention to every detail of our fine furniture quality custom cabinetry.

Quality Cabinets

Building a custom hood.

Many cabinet builders use particleboard for the structural interior of their cabinetry.  They assume that the client only cares about the outer finish, door style, and the overall exterior beauty of the cabinet.  Thus, they use lesser structural materials and can sell their cabinets for cheaper, since they are inferior on the inside.  This is why we always educate our clientele at WW about the best building practices.  We know you care about the longevity and strength of this investment you are making in your home, not just the seen exterior.  We use all ¾” plywood for our interior cabinet boxes and each adjustable shelve.  All drawer boxes are made of 5/8” thick solid maple lumber and dovetailed on all four corners. These are constructed in our shop.

We mill all our moldings in-house and have a large selection of crown and decorative moldings in stock. If you prefer something that is not in our profile library, we can have the knives made or purchase the molding elsewhere.

Excellent Finish

Close up of finish.

We also strive for excellence in our finishing department, by using the finest paint and stain products, as well as, the best hand executed techniques for our exterior processes.  We see finishing as an art and while you can rest assured that the cabinets are structurally sound, more time is dedicated to the aesthetic completion of the cabinetry.  Our finish is a cured finish and reaches its maximum hardness level in about 8 hours.  Once completely cured the surfaces in virtually impenetrable and has scored 100% durability ratings across the board vs. common household stains and contaminants (ex: ketchup, mustard, milk, tea, etc.)  It is also guaranteed to be sunlight and UV ray tolerant (guaranteed not to yellow from sun exposure). 

Slides & Hinges

Double decker silver/utensil tray featuring Blum slides.

Hinges and slides are items that some cabinet manufacturers will cut corners on.  Using inferior hinges and slides can significantly shorten the working lifespan of your cabinetry, since they may have to be replaced eventually.  When faulty or cheap hinges and slides are used the doors/drawers may not function correctly, drawers may not support the ideal weight capacity, and the doors may fall off of the cabinet face.  This is another detail that Walker Woodworking does not overlook.  We use only Blum superior drawer slides and door hinges, ensuring that your cabinetry functions the way you need it to, every time.  All of hinges and slides are also soft closing which is a valued feature as well.

Decorative Hardware

custom cabinets, home office design ideas

Hardware Detail

Cabinet hardware can seem overwhelming and endless.  The selection of handles and knob styles and finishes can be daunting.  At Walker Woodworking we will guide you through the hardware selection process painlessly, directing you toward styles that will compliment your cabinet selections.  We have chosen our decorative hardware brands for their quality, durability, pricing, and service.  We now offer the following brands to our clients: Top Knobs, Jeffrey Alexander, Schaub and Company, Berenson, Hafele, and Richelieu.  To view these resources online, visit our partner’s site: Decorative Cabinet Accessories.  Whatever style you select we will order the correct amount and proportion for your cabinet faces and they will be installed prior to the cabinet delivery (as possible).  Yet another detail to your job that cannot afford to be overlooked.  


Walker Woodworking Install Truck

Last, but definitely not least is the major detail of the installation process.  All of our install crews are made up of true craftsmen who will take great care when installing your cabinets.  We streamline our installations by taking large loads and keeping open communication about our schedule prior to, during, and after the main install.  We can usually install the bulk of cabinets in a few days and then will return once “punch out” items are finished. Unforeseen job site challenges may occur, but we always work to find a prompt solution.  Construction is a messy business and we always take care to clean up after ourselves as well.

We cover the details

Custom pullout paper towel holder.


As you can see, there are many details that must come together to ensure your job is completed as designed.  At Walker Woodworking we take pride in making all of your job details merge for a successfully completed project.  If you are getting quotes from multiple manufacturers we would encourage you to ask questions about their details: materials, finishes, etc.  This will ensure that you are getting the most for your money since this is an investment into your home.  As Travis would say “We do one thing and we do it with excellence.” If you want to find out more about our building techniques or if you have design questions please call our offices 704.434.0823.

The Comeback Of Oak

The Comeback Of Oak

When you think of oak cabinetry what do you envision? Probably a kitchen in an older home with lighter toned cabinets and all of the “typical oak” graining showing on every door and drawer.  We have indeed torn out many of these older style oak kitchens to complete updated remodels in our client’s homes.  However, due to recent techniques we’ve developed for treating this durable wood, oak is making a comeback.  We will be featuring it in a variety of styles in our new showroom in uptown Shelby.  Oak has long been a widely used resource for cabinet building due to its hardness and strength.  It contains a high level of the chemical tannin, which makes it invulnerable to insect or fungal attack.  The grain of the wood makes it widely recognizable as well as desirable, especially when quartersawn.   As you’ll see here, the species can be used to encompass many different styles.


Victorian Style Oak Door – Stock Photo

Organic shapes and spiral flowing details are hallmarks of the Victorian furniture style.  While most of the cabinetry we build and the accents we use are rectangular, we can incorporate carvings, corbels, onlays, and decorative posts to achieve the Victorian look.  Glass and mirrored doors are often used in this style. We can now design and cut any shape of doors on our CNC machine, creating endless design combinations.  We used to be limited to rectangular shapes, but using the latest technology we can now create softer curves and gliding lines that fit into the Victorian designs.


Traditional Oak Cabinetry by Walker Woodworking

This has been the most popular style in the Walker Woodworking customer service area for many years.  Neutral stain colors are most used in this style, but neutral paints have become more popular to incorporate in recent years.  Thicker moldings, a few touches of ornamental details, and raised paneled doors and drawers are staples of this design style.  Although we don’t do very many projects like this these days, it is still a timeless classic style. 


Industrial Style Oak Cabinets by Wellborn Cabinetry

As the name implies, this style is characterized by its practical look and use.  These cabinets are designed with ultimate functionality in mind, not necessarily decorative appeal.  For our cerused oak industrial cabinets, we let the grain and finish speak for itself, not using elaborate moldings and ornamentation.  Often times slab doors and drawer fronts will be utilized, not unlike you see often on utilitarian lockers or workbenches.



Cerused, Quater-Sawn Oak Cabinetry by Walker Woodworking

This is a recently evolving style that has developed through the years as a blending of traditional elements and cleaner more modern designs.  Cerused oak fits well into this style since many consumers already associate oak cabinetry as being a traditional design element.  We’ll use simple door and drawer styles mostly when building this style, but can dress it up with ornate hardware, or pair it down with sleek handles. See more of this project here.


Cerused Oak, Quarter-Sawn Oak by Walker Woodworking

Everything about this design style says simple, simple, simple.  Slab doors and drawers are a hallmark of this look but not required.  When using cerused oak in this way the grain and coloring used really speak for themselves.  White is a popular color choice, as well as the other end of the spectrum, going extremely dark with the color selections.  There are no curves to be seen in this style, hard edges reign supreme, letting the colors and textures speak for themselves. When we use cerused oak in this style the graining brings an added level of detail and makes this widely seen style appear fresh again.  

Read more about Cerused Oak here.

Arts & Crafts

Arts & Craft style, Quater-Sawn Oak Cabinetry by Walker Woodworking

Simplicity is a common theme here as well, however, small intricacies can be added to make a large impact.  This style is hardly ever seen painted, and mostly lends to mid range stains, many times with a reddish undertone.  Furniture legs are often incorporated into this design style and moldings used can make it distinctly different from other styles. See more of this project here.


We love the many uses of oak – trending right now are Industrial and Contemporary styles. Cerused oak has become one of our favorite types of material to use. There are so many unique stain options to choose from. To find out more about the uses of cerused oak, and to see if it is right for your project please call us today and set up a design consultation and a time to visit our showroom.


Charging Up Without Creating Clutter With A Charging Station

Charging Up Without Creating Clutter With A Charging Station

In our fast paced society we have a lot to keep up with; for most of us, that means relying heavily on our wireless devices to access and organize information.  Our cell phones and other devices have replaced daily planners, address books, cameras, GPS units, alarm clocks, music devices, and newspapers.  We look at them so often that they’ve become a part of our identities.  It can really throw a kink into a busy day when you’re heading out the door and realize that your phone battery is almost dead.  We’ve all been there, searching for the right cord at the last moments notice. Undoubtedly no two of our devices use the same cord and we rarely can find the correct one when we need it. Thus, it is important to plan accordingly for multiple charging stations around the house to power up our devices. Here are a few tips to help you manage your cord clutter. 

Drop Zone

Every home needs a drop station at or adjacent to the main entry point.  This high traffic area needs to be a place where we can “drop” devices, mail, keys, shoes, etc. upon our entry.  It makes sense to have a charging zone here so that we can pick up said devices on the way out the door and they’ll have their full battery life for the day ahead.  I’d recommend making the charging area as close to eye level as possible so that you will see your device on the way out and grab it.

This drop zone features a charging station in a cubby.


There are multiple ways to disguise your charging station.

We also recommend planning a charging zone somewhere in your kitchen design.  The kitchen is the heart of the home and is where the family gathers multiple times a day. The more family members you have the more devices you’ll need to allow for.  Planning a space to tuck away all of your family’s devices will be valuable to your sanity when using and cleaning your kitchen. If possible we recommend putting all of the devices into one drawer, with a power strip mounted in the back.  This may not always be possible if storage is at a premium. However, there are also clever ways to hide your charging area neatly in a box, magazine rack, or even a breadbox.  Pinterest is full of ideas for elegant charging stations.  Even if they need to be on the countertop, the devices can still be tucked away neatly and cleverly disguised.   

Docking Drawer – cabinet drawer with charging station.

What about your cords?

Bedrooms are another key place to have charging cords setup.  Many people go to sleep after reading or playing on a device and then in turn use one of their devices to serve as an alarm clock. Many users plug up their devices and let them charge overnight, so designing these areas into the bedroom is key.  No matter where you choose to have the electric “juice” bar located within your home, the thing you will need to plan for is the cord storage.  If your devices can be adjacent to the power strip then you’ll want to cinch up the cords so you can avoid tangles and the cord clutter. The most cost effective way I’ve seen of cinching cords is using zip ties to secure the cords into neat twists.  If you want to go the extra mile and delineate specific cords, you can use brightly colored tape that can be labeled by a device.   

Tangled, unorganized cords are not the most time effective option.

Time Saver

Another thing to keep in mind is that the cords need to be easily removable for traveling when needed.  Since we rely on all of our devices so much, it seems only right that we need to plan space for them in our lives.  Always having a place for your device and the correct cord you need will simplify your day to day life and give you back a little bit more of the commodity we all seek to multiply…..time.  

Article by guest blogger: Jeneane Beaver, Former Designer at Walker Woodworking

“Having worked with Walker Woodworking for 7 years, I have the opportunity to share my experiences as a designer as well as a client, I remodeled my own kitchen in 2012.”  ~ Jeneane Beaver

Are you ready to organize your kitchen for technology?  Call Walker Woodworking today 704.434.0823.

Please feel free to add a comment about your own personal experience with charging stations.

Questions about your Kitchen Remodel: What you didn’t know you needed to know!

Questions about your Kitchen Remodel: What you didn’t know you needed to know!

When remodeling your kitchen there are certain decisions that are fairly obvious to the average consumer. For example: Do I want stained or painted cabinetry? What scope of construction will my project entail (full gut/renovation, sprucing up existing cabinets, new paint, new countertops, etc.)? What is the overall style I want to achieve? These large scale opinions are fairly easy for clients to determine early on in their project planning. However, as any distinguished designer can tell you, the small details are just as important to achieving your dream kitchen. Here I will address some issues for you to consider while planning your kitchen remodel details, things you did not know you needed to consider.

Selecting the finishes of your fixtures:

The rules of everything needing to have “an exact match” have been thrown out during recent years. Designers and clients are now mixing and matching finishes in and amongst their hardware, plumbing fixtures, and lighting. The choices are limitless and there are practical usage considerations to be made that go above and beyond the basics of being aesthetically pleasing. Brushed finishes hide smudges and droplets far better than their polished counterparts.

Polished fixtures look clean and shiny but will show fingerprints and smudges!



What will look and function best? The sheer number of styles and finishes available for decorative hardware can be overwhelming. It is best to have your designer guide you through the selection process, as there are many things to consider. Size is a major consideration, and it is not uncommon for us to use 3-5 varying lengths within a single kitchen. You want to make sure that the handle to drawer/door proportion looks and feels correct. No tiny handles on huge drawers. This is another area in which mixing and matching is allowed.

Brass is making a comeback! One main difference you will notice is that the brass is brushed or toned down.

Codes, laws, and permits……oh my:

It is important to find out what codes in your area pertain to construction; preferably before it is time for an inspection. Some cities have codes that dictate the way hood fans must be ventilated or disposals in the sink may need to drain. The city in which you live probably has their own electrical codes as well. These are definitely things to consider beforehand, as they can affect your design layout. These issues can also cause headaches on the back end, if not planned for properly.

Type of sink and mounting style:

The farm sink of today is not your grandmother’s farm sink. Deciding the type of sink you’d like is the first step: under-mount, drop in (self-rimming), triple/chef styles, and farm sinks are among the most popular choices. Think about how much you use your sink and what it is used for primarily. If you are a heavy duty scrubber and are very rough on your sink, then the ceramic ones may not be for you. The other consideration about the sink is how to mount it. If you are planning to have laminate countertops the sink will need to be dropped in and cannot be under-mounted, due to contact of water and the wooden sublayer of the top. Mounting a farm sink can be tricky too and can pose a water damage threat to the front of the cabinet if not protected. This is why we, at Walker Woodworking, recommend sitting any farm sink with an exposed front on a piece of your selected stone countertop. We also always request your specific sink at our shop during construction to ensure a proper fit.

Cabinets usually have to be cut for Farm Sinks to fit in place. Sinks must be on site for cabinet install.


Finishes and edges of your stone surfaces:

The basic materials of the countertops and tile you select are important, however, the texture that you choose to finish them in can change the entire look. Polished stone or tile will give more of a modern or transitional look to your kitchen. Whereas, tumbled, textured, or honed stone surfaces can lend to a traditional old-world feeling. Along that same line, you will need to consider the edge profile for your countertops. The straight line of an eased, squared, or pencil edge lends to a clean and modern style. While either a bullnose edge or an ogee offers a touch of softness blending more with the classical elements of a classic look.

As you can see there are many things to consider when beginning to plan the details of your kitchen. You can rest assured knowing that our design staff will assist you with any and all of these decisions that you wish.

If you would like to schedule a consultation please call Jan 704.434.0823 or contact us through our website.

Article by guest blogger: Jeneane Beaver, Former Designer at Walker Woodworking

“Having worked with Walker Woodworking for 7 years, I have the opportunity to share my experiences as a designer as well as a client, I remodeled my own kitchen in 2012.”  ~ Jeneane Beaver

If you are only in the dreaming stage of beginning to plan for a new kitchen? We would love to talk to you and work with you to fine-tune your very own remodel plan.  If you’re ready to be further from dreaming and closer to construction, call Walker Woodworking today 704.434.0823.

Please feel free to add a comment about your own personal experience with keeping your new kitchen clean.

Taking Care Of Your New Kitchen

Now that the kitchen of your dreams is actually in your home, you may not want to use it. It looks so clean and pristine, untouched by gunk, splatters, and spills. It is true that a deep cleaning of your new kitchen may be due every few months. However, the most beneficial cleaning tasks can be done every few days to help your kitchen remain beautiful and functional for years to come.

Fight Countertop Clutter in your New Kitchen

One thing you can do daily is fight countertop clutter. It is so easy to bring home things and set them all over the countertop, unfortunately, things can pile up quickly and often find a lingering home there, making the workspace feel cluttered and claustrophobic. It isn’t inviting to attempt to cook in an area covered with clutter. To fight the likelihood of unwanted items landing on your counters there should be designated places provided for bags, keys, mail, etc. along the path from the main entry to the kitchen. Most unnecessary items should be dropped off before they reach your kitchen work zone.

Another simple tip that I found to keep my new kitchen running smoothly is to begin by having a clean sink and an empty dishwasher. If you make a habit of unloading your dishwasher at night and cleaning your sink, then when you begin cooking the next big meal, the cleanup will be much easier. On the flipside of this, if the dishwasher and sink are already full you’ll only be compounding the problem by dirtying pots and pans on top of a sink full of dirty dishes. Once you make a habit of doing this it will be very rewarding, and ultimately save you time, while keeping your kitchen clean.

Cleaning & Maintenance

Having adequate trash and recycling containers located in the kitchen will also keep messiness to a minimum. Before we completed our kitchen renovation we barely had a large enough trash can, and no place for recycling. I planned that into my kitchen when we renovated and I love having a space allocated for “overflow” trash.

If you want to keep your new surfaces looking their best, I would recommend not using harsh chemicals to clean your new cabinets or countertops. Cleaners that work well on appliances in many cases are abrasive to painted or stained finishes and can quickly deteriorate the sealants used on granite and tile. The best thing to use on your countertops is a mild dish detergent and water mixture on a cloth. For the cabinetry, the same type of damp cloth can be used to spot clean a sticky mess, but we clean the cabinets in the Walker Woodworking offices with pledge every week to keep them looking new.

Maintenance on your cooking supplies is another helpful habit that can add to your kitchen’s longevity. Go through your pots and pans monthly and examine their wear and tear, toss out what is damaged and add whatever is needed to your shopping list. Such tasks as sharpening of knives and oiling of cutting boards will also help keep your kitchen functioning smoothly. This only needs to be done every few months but will be rewarding each day as you use these items.
The bottom line is: the more time you invest into cleaning and maintaining your kitchen, the more enjoyable it will be to cook in. Enjoy your new kitchen and put in the work so that you can keep enjoying it for years to come.

Article by guest blogger: Jeneane Beaver, Designer at Walker Woodworking

“Having worked with Walker Woodworking for 7 years, I have the opportunity to share my experiences as a designer as well as a client, I remodeled my own kitchen in 2012.”  ~ Jeneane Beaver

If you are only in the dreaming stage of beginning to plan for a new kitchen? We would love to talk to you and work with you to fine-tune your very own remodel plan.  If you’re ready to be further from dreaming and closer to construction, call Walker Woodworking today 704.434.0823.

Please feel free to add a comment about your own personal experience with keeping your new kitchen clean.

Conference Table Project

Conference Table Project

Concept & Design

A few weeks ago, Wendi Gragg asked our Designer Brandon Fitzmorris to find her a table for twenty-four, specifically a conference for seating up to twenty-four people for one of her clients. She also wanted a smaller eight-foot table for a smaller conference room. Once Brandon found a table source, Travis Walker, our company owner made a special trip with Wendi to select the perfect slab for her client.


In search of the perfect top.

Pictured above: This large slab had to spend 1 month in Dry Chem. Pictured below: see the difference of sizes. The 8-foot table is sitting on top of the 17-foot table.

Slabs- trailer

Travis makes special trip to pick-up slabs.

Time to sand, finish and find some table legs. Through social media connections, we found a source close to home to design and build the table legs for this project. A collaboration with Chronicle Millworks is born. Pictured below is the design concept for the metal legs.


In order to sand the top on the 17 foot table – we had to bring in a floor sander. In this video watch as Jonathon Champion, from Champion hardwoods unveils the top layer of the slab.


Once the top layer was sanded – much work had to be done by a hand sander and to the edges of the top.

Final sanding before finish.

Now off to the finish room.


Table had 3 layers of finish applied.

Table Legs

Meanwhile – table legs are being built to support this massive conference table. Photo’s courtesy of Chronicle Mill Works.




3 supports completed.


Access to data and electrical outlets.


Top view of conference table legs.

Side View of Table legs

Next – table legs are ready for powder coating.

At Walker Woodworking – we have completed the finishing for both tables and now it’s time to deliver to the job site. We don’t have the space to store such a massive piece of wood.

Brandon & Marty posing with slab for some perspective.

Next – a four minute video of the delivery at the job site and getting this table into the room.

Next up Final Assembly – Chronicle Mill Works delivers the table legs and we show up for extra manpower.

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!

Putting together the table legs onsite! With Chronicle Millworks!


Travis is very proud of this completed project!

After all, taking on a 17 foot conference table was no easy task.

Wendi Gragg, Interior Designer is happy as well. This was her vision brought to life.

Table leg details by Chronicle Millworks

Table leg details by Chronicle Millworks, this center sections covers the outlet and data lines.

Table leg details by Chronicle Millworks

And this is the collaboration of three companies to complete this project! Wendi Starnes Gragg – Interior Design, Walker Woodworking, and Chronicle Millworks.

We will add more pictures after the project is completed. Walker Woodworking and Wendi Gragg did several more projects at this site including kitchen, bathrooms and more. We can’t wait to see the finished project throughout and to share it online. Stay tuned!

Home Design Trends 2017

Design Trends 2017

Every year we look to see what the emerging home design trends will be. We consider predictions from Interior Designers, major paint suppliers, social media platforms, as well as our own experiences from market and trade shows. As a result, we have combined these findings to give you what we consider to be emerging trends for 2017! Check out these great videos and photo’s for your 2017 design inspiration. 

From House & Home

In this video, you will hear what House & Home Editor-in-chief of Beth Hitchcock and interiors director Meg Crossley have to say about what they think about the top 10 home design Trends for 2017.


Sherwin-Williams Announces their pick for Color of the Year

Poised Taupe   “It’s like gray and brown had a baby.” It isn’t hot or cold, dark or light, but something in the middle zone.

Poised Taupe creates a cozy lifestyle and brings a sense of sanctuary into our homes. It diffuses the stresses of the world outside our doors — so much so that we feel restored and in balance when we walk across our threshold.: “It signals a new direction in society’s ever-growing thirst for beautiful neutrals that bring warm and cool tones together to create one irresistibly versatile color.” We have to say, this color definitely strikes the balance between bold and subtle.


Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year

Shadow 2117-30, is allusive and enigmatic — a master of ambiance.

“It ebbs and flows with its surroundings, and light brings it to life. Rich, royal amethyst can fade into the soft lilac-grey of distant mountains or morph into lustrous coal. Indulge your mysterious side. Let Shadow set the mood.”
—Ellen O’Neill, Creative Director

Pantone color of the year

Greenery 15-0343  A refreshing and revitalizing shade, Greenery is symbolic of new beginnings. A fresh and zesty yellow-green shade, Greenery evokes the first days of spring when nature’s greens revive, restore and renew.
‘Greenery bursts forth in 2017 to provide us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment. Satisfying our growing desire to rejuvenate and revitalize, Greenery symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another and a larger purpose” -Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute


Houzz – 28 Design Ideas for 2017

We can always count on the writers at Houzz to give us their take on whats popular in home design trends. Houzz is a website and online community about architecture, interior design and decorating, landscape design and home improvement. This is a great resource for ideas and advice on any home improvement project you may be considering.

What home trends and designs are we seeing at Walker Woodworking?

After vising the Kitchen and Bath Industry show (KBIS), in Orlando – January 2017,  our analysis is that these home trends and designs are right on track. Gray is definitely becoming more of a tan and white cabinets with lights wood tones are here to stay. Look for different shades of blue with the antique brass finishes. Splashes of color both bright and dark are also really popular as well. Here are a few examples from some projects we have recently completed.


2017 Home Trends and Designs from Walker Woodworking

Both of these kitchen’s feature white cabinets, and the square style lantern lighting. Especially relevant will be metal finishes. Look for many unique metal finishes this year as they all seem to be increasingly popular now. And no matter which metal finish you chose – it won’t be outdated.

antique brass fixtures, white cabinets

2017 Home Trends and Designs from Walker Woodworking


cerused oak bar

2017 Home Trends and Designs from Walker Woodworking


Finally, one of our future predictions, is that cerused oak will become increasingly popular and will be used in projects with a modern industrial design. Cerused oak in a flat finish incorporates a nice modern look without the sharp edges of going ‘all in’ on a modern design. Cerused oak finishes can vary greatly from a dark black with a white glaze to fill in the grain, to a light gray or brown. Cerused oak no matter how it is used, is classic.

Tell us what you think? We love to get feedback from visitors. What is your favorite color for 2017? Do you plan to incorporate any of these home design trends for 2017 into your projects this year? Need help? Our design pro’s are here to help, call us today for more information on how we can help you get your project started. Be sure to read our Remodeling 101 series for more information about budgeting and planning your project.

Want to see more? Visit our Pinterest board for some to see some great examples of how Pantone’s Greenery is being used in design.