We know how much time, energy, and money people put into their home renovations. We also know how important it is for homeowners to take a holistic view of their space, meaning that they think about how all the different elements—lighting, flooring, cabinets, countertops, and so forth—will work together.
As such, we're committed to sharing expert advice that can help our customers (and readers of this blog, in particular) make the best decisions regarding their renovation projects.
Today, we have a Q&A with the folks from Metropolitan Cabinets and Countertops, the largest cabinet manufacturer in the region for more than 30 years. The company, which has showrooms in Natick, Norwood, Wakefield, and Watertown, recently won a Best of Boston Home Award 2017.
Without further ado, here's the Q&A.
WOLFERS: OK, time for the 60-seceond elevator pitch. Tell us a little bit about Metropolitan.
METROPOLITAN: Our goal is to provide the best product at the best prices. Metropolitan is unique in that we manufacture 90% of the cabinets we sell, and we fabricate all our countertops in-house at our facility in Norwood, Mass. We do not subcontract.
We provide personalized service from design consultation through installation*, guiding customers through the decision making process.
Manufacturing our own cabinets allows us to provide custom designs to meet specific needs. We have invested a lot in our stone fabrication facility—producing top quality work done on computer-driven machines. Note: *We install countertops only, not cabinets.
WOLFERS. It's hard to believe 2017 is here! It's time to talk trends and predictions for the year. What are the 2-3 biggest trends you're seeing right now in kitchen countertops?
METROPOLITAN: Here are some of the trends we're seeing:
- Full height stone backsplashes have been growing in popularity and we don’t see the trend slowing down.
- Waterfall counters, where the stone continues past the countertop and goes down the sides to the floor.
- Mitered countertop edges. A mitered edge is an edge assembled from two pieces to give a countertop with less weight the appearance of a much heavier one. The overhang is a few inches thick to make the counter appear as if the slab is that thickness throughout.
WOLFERS: And how about bathrooms?
METROPOLITAN: Engineered stone (quartz) is becoming much more popular for bathroom vanity countertops. Also high-end shower niches, using expensive stones such as marble.
WOLFERS: What are the 2-3 biggest trends you're seeing in kitchen cabinets?
METROPOLITAN: As for kitchen cabinets, here are the trends we're seeing:
- Blue cabinets – all shades of blue, but particularly navy.
- Two-tone kitchens, where the perimeter cabinets are one color and the island is another, or the top cabinets and bottom cabinets are two different colors.
- Open shelving has become a big trend in the past couple years and we predict this will stick around for the next few years.
WOLFERS: Do you have any other predictions for 2017 (perhaps something you think WILL be trending later this year)?
METROPOLITAN: We think gold and rose gold hardware will continue to grow in popularity—for cabinets and faucets. Laundry rooms and mudrooms will see a bigger design focus, as Houzz and Pinterest continue to inspire people to renovate each room of the house, not just kitchens and bathrooms.
WOLFERS: You also have something exciting happening for Metropolitan in 2017: the expansion of your cabinet and countertop factory. Tell us more about that.
METROPOLITAN: Yes, we’re very excited about our expansion! We have acquired the building next door and are doubling our manufacturing capacity. The new facility will be over 145,000 square feet, and it will have the latest computer-driven technology.
WOLFERS: When it comes to renovating a space, like a kitchen or a bath, we always remind customers to consider the whole space. Every element matters—from flooring to cabinets to countertops to lighting. When it comes to choosing lighting that will complement countertops and cabinets, what advice do you offer customers?
METROPOLITAN: When shopping for stone, make sure to sample it under indoor lighting that is most similar to your own room. Many slab galleries are outdoors, and that lighting can make a stone look very different from indoor appearance. [Editor's note: At Wolfers Lighting, we have lighting labs that allow people to see how their countertop samples will look with different lighting.]
Here's a shot featuring countertops and cabinets from Metropolitan and kitchen lights from Wolfers Lighting.
WOLFERS: We love the page on your website that walks customers through the process of how to begin renovating a space, such as a kitchen or bath. Talk a bit about this process, including how your design team and the homeowner might work with a lighting consultant.
METROPOLITAN: With cabinets, you must also consider the light rails at the bottom. Do you want these to be decorative or just functional? Customers also need to consider the kind of under cabinet lighting they want to determine how deep the light rails should be. Once plans are finalized with our designers, we encourage customers to discuss lighting with lighting experts like Wolfers, and to bring the kitchen/bathroom plans we created to ensure all elements are covered.
WOLFERS: When it comes to renovating, everything comes down to budgets. And often our "dreams" don't quite match what we have in the bank. What suggestions/resources do you have that can guide homeowners on developing a realistic budget, especially when it comes to choosing countertops/cabinets?
METROPOLITAN: Decide which part of the room you want to be the focal point—cabinets, countertops, backsplash, lighting—and then spend more on that piece, and choose cheaper options on the other elements. Think about the value of your house, and how much money you want to invest in the renovation project.
WOLFERS: More and more consumers are using tools such as Houzz and Pinterest to get ideas for their renovations. Do you have any advice/caveats as they create their ideabooks and Pinterest boards?
METROPOLITAN: Our designers recommend pulling all the inspiration photos you like, and then from there creating sub-categories for each part of the project, such as cabinets, hardware, backsplashes, lighting, etc.
WOLFERS: Thanks for answering our questions!
METROPOLITAN: Our pleasure! Thanks for having us.