What goes into making a high-end designer kitchen?
We thought we’d give you a close look … in pictures …inside one of the best custom kitchen cabinet manufacturers in the country, so you can see first hand the artistry that goes into customizing your designer kitchen. This is the Wood Mode factory — one of the most highly desired, top kitchen cabinet brands not only in our Long Island, NY market but across the US.
Wood Mode is a very large family-owned company. The factory sits on 23 acres and is one million square feet. Despite its size, there is a small-scale homey feeling when you walk through its doors and see this family of craftspeople working closely together. These artisans bring our designs to life making your custom Ken Kelly kitchen so special. Wood Mode does not inventory product in a warehouse. They begin your project when they receive our design drawings with detailed specifications from our designers… All made with pride in the USA.
Did You Know…
Kitchen Designs by Ken Kelly has been given the prestigious Wood Mode Master’s Club Award for ranking in the top 10 in sales in the United States. We have remained in the Master’s Club since 1992 thanks to our amazing team and our awesome clients. This year, we were ranked #1 in the tri-state (NY, NJ, and CT) and #7 in the US.
How nice is this sign that hangs over the bulletin board in the factory? … A daily reminder of how important you are!
Where it all begins: Drying the Lumber
Every project begins with the raw lumber, and what is purchased by the factory is usually green, which means it hasn’t been dried. It still has all the moisture in it from when the tree was cut. In terms of quality, the drying of this wood is what’s really critical. It was amazing to see how they physically put all the lumber on sticks in order to let the air flow across and through as the lumber dries. Appropriately drying the wood is vitally important because when you dry wood, it is going to change its shape and its dimension a little bit.
Selecting the Best Yield
The wood is dried to a furniture-grade 6 percent moisture content, and high speed scanners inspect and select the best yield. Every piece is hand selected and sorted, and this selection process ensures the highest standard.
Controlling the Moisture
Wood Mode has a very high level of commitment to controlling moisture content. They have humidifiers that they switch on to feed moisture into the air until it gets up to an acceptable level on their gauges. Wood Mode cabinets are known for their high-quality finishes, but they are especially sought after by clients for their durability. These custom cabinets are made to last. They even have humidity chambers that will simulate conditions in Florida where it is very humid and in Arizona where there is extreme heat. They perform numerous tests to see what the cabinets will withstand, and Wood Mode exceeds the national standard by thousands of cycles on each test.
Designer Kitchen: Customization and Handwork
In the finishing room, you may see an artist take a brand new cabinet and make it look like it is has been aged 20 or 30 years. The custom distressing process is so unique that the aging characteristics in each piece will vary so that no two pieces are going to be the same and no two kitchens will ever be the same. We love hanging out in the finishing room because there is truly an art to getting a perfectly finished cabinet. For example, once you apply the glaze, you have to uniformly wipe off the glaze before it dries. You can’t learn this from a textbook. It takes years of training and experience to understand the correct feel and touch required to creating a designer kitchen finish this way.
Finishing Cabinetry in a Dust Free Environment with High Tech Equipment
Wood-Mode has some very high tech equipment to ensure a dust-free environment when finishing your cabinets. They have electrostatic dusters, and they have what are known as “clean rooms” where they can finish the cabinets without residual dust or vapors, so you will get a pristine finish. When planning your kitchen, the durability of the finish is a crucial consideration.
The wrong finish can fail, which would require you to be inconvenienced by having to maintain your own finish every few years. Having to endure the sanding, dust, paint smell, and general household intrusion is not for everyone, so be sure to discuss the finishing process with your designer or cabinet maker. Here is an example of a 5-year old kitchen with a cabinet finish that failed.
You will not have to maintain a Wood-Mode finish. You will see the finest workmanship in every detail. Cabinets are made to last a lifetime with furniture-grade quality using a multi step finishing process, and they come with a lifetime limited warranty.
Need a Custom Color or Color Matched? No Problem
Color matching comes in many forms. Sometimes our clients want a unique custom color just for them. If they have a specific color in mind or a piece of material in that color, we can develop a custom shade and finish at the factory. This allows us to create unique, exquisite furniture-grade cabinetry in any color you can dream of. Another reason you may need to use the color matching department is when you want to add additional cabinetry to your kitchen or bath or if you should ever need replacement cabinetry. If your teenager happens to run his skateboard into the cabinet of your 20-year old kitchen and you need to replace its door, its nice to know you can replace it easily and it will blend perfectly with the rest of your kitchen. In the image, you’ll see he is matching the colors perfectly.
Ensuring Quality and Final Inspection
Once the cabinet is completed, it goes through another final inspection area to be examined. The team inspects every piece for finish defects that cannot readily be seen with the naked eye. The inspectors will even rub their hands over every inch so they can feel each piece to be sure there are no imperfections in the finish. They take pride in getting the job done right to ensure your satisfaction, and it is obvious they love what they do! These cabinets are hand wrapped and ready to ship.
At Kitchen Designs, we built our 35-year reputation on good design, superior quality products, and extremely happy clients. It feels amazing to know we have given you the absolute best products and design for your budget. For thousands of people across Long Island, a Ken Kelly kitchen is the focal point of their homes, and we thank you for trusting us with your investment.
Visit our kitchen photo gallery and our bath photo gallery to see some of the dream kitchens we created for our Long Island and NYC clients. Call for your free in-store consultation today 516-746-3435. It’s amazing to see the transformation from the photo at the top of this post to the completed Wood Mode projects below. There’s no place like home…