It's that Time of Year
to Gather with
Family & Friends
in the Kitchen!

As the holidays fast approach we immediately think of gathering with our family and friends around the table. For many this is the best part of a holiday. If you are hosting the gathering, this also means all your guests love to hang out in the kitchen before the meal even reaches the table. So if you have a less than desirable space to hang out in, you may want to consider a remodel before the next holiday season approaches us in the spring. The Galley Workstation shown above is a great addition to any kitchen not just for holidays. Visit our website's Inspirations Gallery to see some great ideas you can do inside or outside your home. When you are ready, contact us to set up a free consultation to see how we can help you!

Kitchen Essentials & Gifts
Start your holiday shopping today! CHW's Joe Brannon has started working with wood in a new way in his spare time. Now you can have just about anything made of wood... cutting boards, bottle toppers, bottle openers, pens, ice cream scoopers, pizza cutters, pepper mills... you dream it and he can probably make it. No two items are alike, which makes for a GREAT unique gift for that special, hard to buy for person. Contact us to order, or to request a custom item. No request is too small! And we can even ship your order to you if you are not local!
An Open Concept Kitchen Is One Of The Most Popular Remodeling Trends
Today, if you turn on almost any home-design show on HGTV or DIY chances are you'll hear something about “open concept.” Open concept is a huge trend. It's all about tearing down walls to open up your space to create a living/dining/kitchen area while improving the flow of the home and often the sight lines from front to back. Open concept designs maximize natural light, create a feeling of spaciousness, as well as creating a wonderful space for entertaining. Many homeowners, especially those that favor “older homes” still enjoy separate rooms. But if you're ready to take a sledgehammer to your traditional floor plan, here's a little history of open concept design, along with some pros and cons of creating an open floor plan.
Open Concept Design – A Little History
From the turn of the century until the 1940's homes were compartmentalized. They were built with the understanding that each room had a purpose. Victorian homes had a formal parlor for entertaining guests. The kitchen was often separated from the “living area” of the house, usually with a door. Dining rooms were vast and formal, and the living room was where the men retired for cocktails and cigars after dinner.
In the 1950's and 60's that changed as home builders saw the open living plan as “modern” and a way to efficiently design a home using less square footage. The most popular homes during that time were Ranch style and split level. Today, designers have embraced open concept living, partially for economic considerations (less square footage means lower building costs) but they are also influenced by trends and a desire for convenience. Homeowners love the openness and flow of open living, hence why loft style condominiums in urban areas are so popular.
The Pros of Open Concept Homes
Open concept living offers homeowners many advantages and benefits. First, it can make any space feel larger and brighter. No walls mean you can benefit from natural light. Some homeowners even go so far as to add a wall of windows or a passage way, like French doors leading to the backyard.
By removing walls, even a small apartment with a tiny, windowless kitchen can be transformed into an airy, light filled space, by replacing the wall with an island or table. Entertaining becomes easier and more enjoyable with an open flow kitchen/living area. You can chat with your guests while you cook. Kitchen islands usually are a way to divide space in an open concept, but when you're entertaining, they become a focal point for food and drink.
A large open space is also ideal for keeping an eye on the kids. You can comfortably cook dinner, or take care of other household tasks while still interacting with your children. 
A Few Challenges
As great as having a large open space is, there are a few drawbacks and difficulties. Some privacy is lost when you take down walls and join multiple spaces. For example, communicating on the phone while the kids are watching TV can be difficult. Fewer walls mean less space for hanging your treasured artwork and family photographs. It also means fewer electrical outlets as well. Concealing wires in an open space can be a challenge.
Finally, if you can't deal with seeing a mess, open concept living may not be for you. Toy chaos and messes area a daily battle with kids, and these can be difficult to conceal in an open concept design. Making sure you have proper storage and organization is a must if you want to minimize the clutter.
Some Final Tips
Even though the walls are gone, you'll still want to delineate your space from a design perspective. Carve out and define spaces using furniture, carpeting, and lighting. Anchor your dining area with a chandelier or define your living room with a large ceiling fan.
Maintain an aesthetic flow throughout the space. Fundamental design features like recessed lighting and flooring should be consistent. Use color palettes that compliment one another throughout the space and add layers of texture and different hues as accents.
Try creating a standout feature or focal point for each area. Hang an oversized chandelier in the living room, use a gallery wall in the dining area or try a marble waterfall countertop on the kitchen island. Experiment, have fun and give each space its own personality.
Open concept living offers homeowners an efficient use of space, plenty of design possibilities and brighter living areas. If you're considering opening up your home's floor plan, give us a call and let us show you the possibilities! Contact us NOW!
Product Spotlight!
One Free Design
of your own Kessick Wine Storage Area
Expires November 29, 2019
Mention the code WINE ROOM when you call!
This Month's Feature Recipe
Scalloped Corn Casserole
This scalloped corn is a creamy, cheesy casserole made with plenty of corn and crushed crackers. A delicious side dish that's easy enough for an everyday dinner yet decadent enough to serve for a holiday meal.
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 5 cups corn kernels fresh, or thawed from frozen
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups buttery crackers such as Ritz, coarsely crushed
  • 1 1/2 cups white cheddar cheese shredded
  • 4 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • cooking spray

  • Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a 2 or 3 quart baking dish with cooking spray.
  • Place the eggs and half and half in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. 
  • Add the sugar, salt, corn kernels, bell pepper, 1/2 cup of the crushed crackers and 1 cup of the cheese to the bowl. Mix until well combined.
  • Spread the corn mixture into the prepared dish.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes or until edges of the casserole are just set.
  • Mix together the butter and the remaining 1 cup of crushed crackers.
  • Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese and buttered crackers over the corn mixture.
  • Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until casserole is browned and set. Sprinkle with parsley. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve.

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Carolina Handcrafted Woodworks, LLC .
1819 Two Notch Rd
Lexington, SC 29073
Ph: 803-520-6837