three important accessories you need for your kitchen remodel

When you start thinking about your kitchen remodel most of the time you think about the cabinets first. What kind, what types, what colors…….but then you realize you need other stuff…….


Your cabinet maker will need to know the appliances you have picked out. All they need is the model number. With that number the cabinet maker can look up the appliance and get all the measurements they need. You then shouldn’t have to worry about if they will fit because that’s the cabinet makers job.

This is a link for an appliance company where you can find all of the appliance brands you can think of and order them online: Appliances Connection


Lighting sometimes changes when you remodel a kitchen. Some kitchens have those great light boxes that drop down from the ceiling in the middle of the room and make the kitchen feel more closed in. Most people are taking those out and putting in can lights instead.

There are also ways you can incorporate lighting under the upper cabinets as well as inside a cabinet that has glass doors. These you want to coordinate with your cabinet maker so they can make the room or cut out the space for the lights. We used to use puck halogen lights that were the best on the market at the time but now since LED lights are here they are the better choice. They don’t only make them in puck lights, but in strings, bulbs, etc. There are a lot of options to choose from.

Here is a link for the lighting should you be inclined to look for some: 1-800 Lighting and if its your first order with them, you get 15% Off!

Knobs & Pulls

Now this one is a no brainer and a kicker because there is SO MUCH TO CHOOSE FROM! If you have a hard time making a choice with decorating, may I suggest you look at Pinterest for a couple of months before you decide to start remodeling your kitchen.

Do we do only pulls? Do we do knobs and pulls? What is the best brand? Well……you ask and I will tell you. Amerock is a very good brand and one of the best that I have used and I will tell you why. One job we did a few years ago the customer decided to purchase the cheapest pulls she could find, (not to offend but sometimes the cheapest doesn’t work correctly). Anyway we found out that the pulls mounted crooked because the threading in the screw was not straight. This caused a huge problem in trying to put the pulls on straight and educate the customer that we weren’t drilling the holes incorrectly.
Every time we have purchased Amerock or used their products I have had nothing but great things to say about them!

So in the meantime if you are thinking about a kitchen remodel make sure you find out if you’re going to need to add or change lighting, if you need pulls and or knobs, and if you are replacing all your appliances or just some. And have those things picked out fairly soon before you dive in to the remodel.

I wish you all the best in your kitchen remodeling adventures!

your custom cabinet girl

why should you go with custom cabinets?

For example, if you’re like me and you pick out bedding you really like only to find out its a little more expensive than you wanted to spend, you go for the cheaper model. I did this with one of my boys nursery bedding. I really wanted the airplane bedding from Pottery Barn and I thought it was too much for me to spend. So…..I went on Ebay and found bedding by some other company I don’t know that had airplanes on it. In the pictures I thought it was comparable, and it was the price I was looking for. Well…..that was the stupidest decision I could have ever made because when that bedding arrived it looked nothing like the airplane bedding from Pottery Barn and it was super bright and reminded me of a clown. I tried to pretend I liked it but that didn’t work. So what did I do? I went straight to Pottery Barn and bought the bedding I wanted in the first place. I couldn’t return the ugly bedding so I just wasted money. The other thing is the pottery barn bedding was made better and lasted for the three years I needed it. So its value was worth the little extra I paid.

Lesson Learned. Why am I talking to you about Pottery Barn when my title today is about why you should buy custom cabinets? Well……if you learned anything from my story above learn this; you can’t get the quality, craftsmanship, and warranty with cheap prefabricated cabinets like you can with custom cabinets. You get what you pay for. So………

Reason #1

You can Save Money. Why? because when you go with an experienced cabinet builder firstly they know their stuff, they don’t try to get you to settle for what you don’t want, and they can get you the best price for what you do want and make sure its great quality that lasts.

Reason #2

Time. Time is an interesting reason but I will tell you why. When you take a little extra time to investigate the company and cabinet maker that you are considering; when the part comes to actually building your cabinets you will save time. The custom cabinet maker will be able to build the type of cabinets you want instead of asking a prefabricated operation to do it, most of the time they cannot with their limited options. Saving time in this case means being able to ask for what you want and getting it easily.

Reason #3

Specific Results. For example if you want to have your cabinets look just like a photo from Pinterest its highly likely your custom cabinet maker can do it. Don’t waste time trying to fit a square peg into a round hole, do it right the first time. Hire someone who knows how to build cabinets well and has a great eye for design.

Now you can go and find that custom cabinet maker. Her name is April Morse, she is married to Mr. Know-it-All, and she will make your dream cabinets come to life!

aka: your custom cabinet girl


5 things you need to know before you remodel your kitchen

If you are thinking about remodeling your kitchen I would like to help. This is a big deal and a big project that should be done with a bit of thought before you do the big demolition. So here’s the list.

  1. contractor or contract yourself? Answer these questions honestly. Do you know which subs you will need for your remodel? And if the answer is yes, do you mind taking on a part time job coordinating all your subs? If so then you could contract the job yourself. You will have to have an architect create the plans, pull permits for each sub you will need, and find all the subs you want to work with. Simple…..Maybe…..but you need to be a little handy in this area and know what and how things are done in order to get it done quickly and efficiently. All in all if you contract the job yourself you will save about 20% of the cost but if your sanity isn’t worth the 20% hire a contractor.

2. what trades do you need?

Have you thought about all the different parts you need to replace in your kitchen? If so these are the trades you will need to get your kitchen back in order.

Cabinet maker (that’s me 🙂 You will need to find a great cabinet maker that you can trust to build the type of cabinetry you would like. And preferably you will pick me.

Electrician: Your electrical outlets could be outdated looking or even the wrong color for your new color scheme. If you are moving things around like the refrigerator then you will need some electrical outlets added or moved. Also new lights are usually part of remodeling your kitchen and they will need to install those for you.

Plumber: The plumber! You will definitely need one for your remodel. The new sink needs to be installed, the refrigerator needs to have the water line put in and the dishwasher will need to be connected to the new sink area too.

Painter: After you tear out all your existing cabinets, and move the electrical and or plumbing, you should have a painter come and re-texture and paint the walls. Sometimes there are old popcorn ceilings to remove and re-texture or sheet rock that needs to be replaced because when you took the cabinet out it ripped the sheet rock with it. You will also want the painter at the end to do any minor touch ups and caulk the crown to the ceiling.

Flooring Purchase and Install: If you are demoing your floor and installing new you will need to put this in after the cabinets go in, but before the appliances.

Countertop Purchase and Install: The countertop guy or girl will come over after your cabinets are installed and make a template, then he/she will go back to their shop fabricate the tops then bring them back to place on top of your cabinets. Usually the countertop person cuts out for your sink area and sometimes they can supply the sink, it just depends on the type of material you are using.

3. are you going to change the footprint of your kitchen or keep it the same?

If you like the layout of your kitchen then great, you can go on to number #4. If you want to move stuff like the stove or refrigerator stop here. This is where it gets tricky if you are contracting yourself. If you are moving the refrigerator you will have to move the water line. If you are moving the stove then the electric or gas line will need to be moved. The same goes with the plumbing. If you decide you want your sink in another area the plumbing needs to be moved as well. These are all simple things for the subs to do but make sure you are clear on where the moved electrical, plumbing, etc. are going to be. This is where you can coordinate with your cabinet maker. They can give you the measurements you will need to make sure the items are moved to the correct spots.

4. what type of style are you wanting?

Nothing is worse than someone who wants to remodel with no idea what they want. Make sure you do some research. Plan ahead and get photos of the different styles you like. This will give your cabinetmaker a good idea of your taste. That way they can design the cabinetry and positioning of the appliances close to what you will like.

5. what wood or finish do you want for your cabinets?

This is a big one and I’ll tell you why. For example, once you figure out that you want cherry wood that is stained a brown color that is a great start. After you pick the wood and color or finish you will be using you can use that to coordinate everything else. This color should “go” not match with the flooring, the countertops, the backsplash, the fixtures, and the appliances. It’s easier to pick out everything else after you decide on the color or stain you want your cabinets to be in.

Well there it is the five things you need to know about remodeling a kitchen. I hope this helped in some way and if you do have any questions you can always send me a note here.

your custom cabinet girl

here it comes……..

Have you ever felt like you just aren’t sure of the answers, and you might not know enough, and worried, “someone’s going to find out, I know nothing!” 
(Mr. Know-it-All obviously doesn’t have this problem)
I have felt that way in the cabinetry world because there is so much to learn, there are so many new questions that need answering, and I never payed attention to my dad when I was growing up.  
Since the last year has gone by it seems I have more confidence in what I have learned in the business and how I can help others.  I didn’t have this confidence before and it feels really good.  It makes me so happy! 
Only after 18 years of working with my dad, YOU TOO can have this confidence……….
 18 YEARS!!!
I was out to a house measuring a for a kitchen remodel and the couple were really cute and a little more advanced in age.  The husband asked me oh so slyly, “so…………..how long have you been in the business?”  (I should have told him it was my first day).  After I answered, “18 years” his jaw went to the floor.  I mean really, who wants to trust an 24 year old (is what he thought), to rip out your kitchen cabinets, build new ones, make the new ones fit, and it all looks better than before.  
If I was advanced in age I wouldn’t want to trust a young whipper snapper to put a pool in my yard and expect it not to leak.  
I kind of have to slip in that my “15 year old in high school plays the trumpet” or “my 12 year old is in 7th grade. Can you believe the kids these days?” 
Moving on, trust is a huge thing in the remodeling world, especially when you are dealing with one of the more important rooms in your house, the kitchen.  I have learned to be extremely sensitive to others needs and questions, and I am just so excited that I can feel confident enough to answer questions and help. Nothing is better than being able to ease another’s mind about your job and what you can do.  
So….all this to say, I am going to be 40 in 20 days and I’m really am going to enjoy these last days as 39.  Afterwards I can focus on being 40 and all it entails.  Hopefully more remodeling, more learning about cabinets, and more of Mr. Know-it-All!
your custom cabinet girl

girl in a pink tutu goes into a bar……….

This is my very best analogy of how I feel in the present moment with my job.  
Girl in a pink tutu goes into a bar and tries to fit in.  That’s me.
Working in the construction world, for me in the specialization of cabinetry, I am around a lot of testosterone. Most of the men I work with are great, but sometimes I feel like a round peg trying to fit in a square hole while wearing a tutu.
Yesterday I had used my little bit of authority in cabinet knowledge to negate a problem only to have bruised the ego of said “guy in the bar” and get told otherwise. I did not do this on purpose nor was I rude so when thinking about this, I have found that there are those who do not like to be given advice. They want to be the only ones to give it.  Likewise my solution was not satisfactory and I became the one to attack…..although I believe there could have been a more gentler way of dealing with it.
 Now I know all you “guys” who read this with your testosterone and egos don’t behave this way, but the few that do and are living in this world seem to find me.  
Maybe its the way I dress?  IDK
Just so you know I hate confrontation.  I hate confrontation so much that if someone does something wrong to me its more than likely that I will not say anything to defend myself.  Now on the other hand, if someone does something wrong to one of my boys I will definitely say something and protect them, but for myself I just hesitate to do so.  Why I don’t know, and maybe I need 10 hours of therapy to figure that out…..whatever. 
I think if I can figure out how to not have to deal with crazy people everything would be just fine.
So there I was yesterday feeling like I was wearing a pink tutu and walking into a bar trying to fit in with all the bikers.  Maybe I should have ordered a beer, and maybe………..  never mind you can’t fix over ego zealous.
But in trying to fit in at the bar I have learned two valuable lessons;
1- I will never fit in at the biker bar
2- Don’t try to solve a problem with the one who only wants to solve it with himself and his ego.
Even in 2019 there is still a lot to accomplish when you are a female working in a dominantly male occupation.  
But I do have a great idea……..
The egotistical males that I encounter should have to take a ballet lesson in a tutu and try to fit in.  And then maybe they will understand what its like to be the girl in a pink tutu who wants to fit in at the bar.  
your custom cabinet girl

D Day came and went…….and I’m ready for a YES!

Don’t get too excited yet.  I know the month of January is over but the decision has not happened yet,  My rep has set up an appointment to see the buyer at QVC hopefully soon.  I’m kind of afraid to ask when it is because if it already happened and its a no, then I will find out today……a Monday. No.Fun. Then if I find out its this Thursday I will try to act like I am not nervous which never works for me.  Mr. Know-it-All can see a nervous April walking up a mile away.  
I am so hoping for a “yes” because I have received a lot of “no’s.”  Like, 5…………. That’s good though because my skin is now as thick as an elephant.  I love elephants…… I think I love them so much because they remind me of my grandma who loved elephants so much. 
Maybe I could think about elephants and not the impending doom of a ‘NO”.
Someone has to think its a good idea!  Handmade Hearts, Mother’s Day…..hearts…..love…..its magic!  I need just one person to believe in me, just one.  Just one person at QVC who has my back.  It’s possible.  There are 17,000 employees at QVC……..17,000!!
That’s crazy, I only need one, even if its the guy in the loading dock and he likes my hearts, he probably knows the president and somehow they can get in touch and well….I think miracles can happen.  My rep believes in me and she is smart, so all I need is another smart person who works at QVC to agree with her.  
What do you think?
I’m ready for a “YES!” 
your custom cabinet girl

D Day! Is at the end of the month!

While managing the subdivision we are doing the cabinets for in Hollister, I need to generate more work for us to do.  Its balance of silence and crazy.

The results of the models are getting me excited for the grand opening tomorrow. 

So onto D DAY! What is it? The end of January I should find out, (for the 50th time, hopefully this is the answer I want), if i got my heart boards in or not.
 I have been doing more cabinetry than cutting boards recently and I still keep trying to fit the boards in when I can.  My vision is for the shop to be building boards consistently, ordering cabinets for production jobs, and building custom cabinets!  All at the same time!
It can happen.
I know, I dream big.
Go Big or Go Home. 
your custom cabinet girl

try and try again………

So today I am trying again.  I have been working with “someone” (her name is Jean and she is wonderful), for the last 5 years trying to get my products on to QVC yet to no avail. We have tried a lot of different avenues but the main problem is QVC says cutting boards don’t sell well on TV.  Don’t they know I want to be the first one to “Sell Out” of cutting boards on TV!!
I am trying again.  I am sending these all the way to Pennsylvania and see if its a no or a “GO”!  
What do you think?
Would you buy a set of heart shaped wooden coasters and a heart shaped cutting board set? 
If you will, please call your nearest QVC representative and tell them.  Here is their 800 number if you are so inclined.

Should I ask Mr. Know-it-All to call them too?
I hope you would! 
I hate to get my hopes up only to be taken down but I cannot help it.  The bane of my existence is optimism!
your custom cabinet girl

learning something new

If you know me, you know that I get bored pretty easily and i love to learn something new…..always.  I think that is why I love my job because i am never doing the same thing all the time and I get to experiment with different aspects of the business.  
Such as……..right now i am in a group where i get “lessons” and “tutorials” on how to market my business online.  Her name is Jennifer Allwood and you can visit her site and see what she does.
Weber Company Facebook Page
But basically, I have learned there are so many more sales opportunities online, like affiliate marketing, ad revenue, sponsored live videos, informational tutorials, 1 on 1 coaching, and membership groups!  My head is spinning with all kinds of new ideas, and I feel like a whole new world has been opened up to me! 
The first thing I learned was that I need to post on my business Facebook page 4 Times a day……..I knew when I told Mr. Know-it-All about this he would say something like, “you’re bothering people, nobody wants to hear from you 4 times a day!”  And yes…….yes he did say that.  What I learned was that even if someone is following your business page doesn’t mean they will see your content every time you post.  Actually only about 5% of your followers see any one post.  That’s crazy to me but it also means I’m not bothering anyone per Mr. Know-it-All’s suggestion. 
So I’m good.  
The main idea is that I have (HAVE) to post 2 LIVE videos a week on my page and that is hard to do as I am live so there’s no changing anything that happens, it’s live, and its scary to me.  I want to be sure what ever I am live about its worth peoples time to watch.

I really enjoyed opening my package live and found out that it was not the package I said or thought it was.  It was funny, at my expense and anytime I can make someone laugh is a good day. 
Here’s that video;

your custom cabinet girl

naked wine story

So it was in April earlier this year i got a random phone call from a buyer at naked wines.  I didn’t know what naked wines was, so i had to look them up and low and behold they sell wine! They sell wine memberships actually….
The buyer told me that he was looking for a type of gift that could fit into a wine bottle case with one wine bottle.  That way they could ship out the wine with a special gift.

So my wheels got turning….and i talk to Dad about it and we came up with these boards.

Dad spent about two hours coming up with these four different styles.  Two of them are just small enough for cutting and displaying cheese and the other two are good to use for holding your wine glass with putting a little cheese and crackers on the board.

So I submitted my photos and he liked them and asked for a prototype.  I sent all four along and then the waiting began.

I waited……followed up……waited some more……followed up and waited some more.

And then I got the “unfortunately” email.  This email is only ok if you are writing it not the other way around.  Anyways we have 4 new different types of wood products to sell and I plan on putting them on the website soon.

 I did follow up with the buyer last week to find out how the vendor they did choose and their products are selling, but they are not to market yet.  I tell you what, he answered my email!  That’s a good sign that maybe he likes me and will consider our products in the future. 
 a girl can dream…….
your custom cabinet girl