Adding Personality to Your Kitchen Remodel

So you have decided to remodel your kitchen. You’ve done your homework and you have a budget and you have a plan. And you are in the midst of making all the decisions about cabinetry, appliances, flooring, etc. Or maybe you are just looking at your kitchen and thinking that it needs a little help and a refresh. Maybe you have just bought a home and while the kitchen is OK, it really doesn’t excite you and you feel let down every time you look at it.
In today’s home, a boring, bland kitchen doesn’t make the cut. The kitchen is at the home of the home —YOUR home—and it should reflect what makes you special.

If you are in any of these situations, you need to stop and think about will make this kitchen reflect YOU! Your style, your personality, your family, the way you live and the things you love most. You need to add personality into your kitchen design. If you are redesigning a whole new kitchen, you can select many elements that reflect something special about you and tells a unique story. Make your kitchen a “one of a kind” kitchen. But even if you are just wanting to do a modest kitchen update or remodel, you can chose just a few items to help take your kitchen from ordinary to extraordinary.


Here are 4 ways to make your kitchen unique with your style and personality:


Pick a Unique Color – Honey Oak cabinetry with beige walls and tan floors might be safe for a resale kitchen, but it just won’t do for your kitchen. Think about your favorite color and use it as a wall paint. Select a colorful backsplash tile for a jolt of color. Or look at your dinnerware for inspiration in the painting an island or hutch piece. Still not sure? Look to your wardrobe for the colors you wear the most; you usually wear colors that you love. Dress your kitchen like you would dress yourself. The point is to surround yourself with the colors that you love.


Select a Unique Material – The right mix of materials and the use of some exotic ones say a lot about your style and who you are. Try exotic woods, like bamboo or lyptus. Try copper accents for a vintage, nostalgic feel. Cork on the floor or recycled glass countertops can not only be friendly to the environment but also a great way to express your unique personality and what is important to you. Look around your home and garden for materials and products that speak to you and that you can incorporate into your new kitchen design or remodel.

Create Unique Solutions – Kitchens are custom, so one size does not fit all. Make a list of the activities you perform in your kitchen, along with any special items or features you want in your new kitchen remodel or design. It is those special features and solutions that will make your kitchen unique and a perfect fit for your life. Like coffee or tea? Design a special area for all your coffees and teas. Like to bake? Create a special baking cabinet to house your baking utensils and with a lower counter, perfect for rolling dough and drawers for all your rolling pins, dough cutters, and pastry bags. Animal lover? What about a special cabinet for all your animals treats, leashes, and watering and food bowls? Have small children? Create an area for them to have their own snacks and foods and at a counter height that is just right for them. You get the picture. Look at your life and how you live and design a kitchen that accommodates all your special needs and you will create that one of a kind kitchen.


Focus On Unique details – Sometimes the smallest of things can have the biggest impact on a kitchen remodel and set your kitchen apart from the rest. The light fixture you chose. The edge detail on a countertop. The fabric on your chair cushions. The style and finish of your faucet and the selection of your cabinetry hardware all speak volumes about who you are and the message you want to send. And just like accessories and jewelry can make or break and outfit, so can the items you select for your kitchen. Think about the message you want to say with your kitchen and the style that makes you happy. Are you fussy or clean? Modern or traditional? Attention grabbing with bling or quiet and reserved. As you make each decision, make sure it is in keeping with the overall style and effect you want to create. The overall success of your kitchen’s style will be made by one small decision at a time. The devil is in the details and the details will make all the difference in creating a unique kitchen that is a reflection on you.
By using the principles above for your kitchen remodel, not only will you create a kitchen that reflects your style and personality, you will surround yourself with the things that make you happy and that is what will really be the heart of your home.

Kitchen Remodeling 101


The kitchen continues to be one of the top remodeling projects homeowners tackle each year. And whether your plans are for a complete top to bottom kitchen remodel, or just a minor redesign of a few elements, everyone is still interested in how much a remodel costs and what are the major items that affect the budget. Why is it that two kitchens that are virtually identical in size can sometimes be tens of thousands of dollars apart? And what can you do to get the kitchen you want, while staying in the budget that need?

First, I will tell you the questions that you need to ask yourself before you start any kitchen remodel and key items that many people forget to put into their kitchen budget.

Next, I will discuss the key elements that most significant affect your kitchen remodeling budget and how you can make smart choices that will keep you on budget.

 Finally, I will let you in on some planning strategies that can help you avoid extra costs as you look at layout options for your new kitchen.

Let’s get started with a few statistics: According to, the average mid-priced kitchen today costs $55,000. The average upscale kitchen costs $110,000. This is a far cry from what many magazine and TV shows display when they are showing you dream kitchens remodels and telling you that they cost $15,000-$20,000. The truth is that yes, you can remodel an average size kitchen for $20,000, but not the dream , top of the line kitchens you drool over. Many times those prices do not include labor, which can easily comprise 20% or more of your budget.

 According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, the average breakdown of a kichen remodeling budget—at any level—by category is:

Cabinetry: 30%

Labor: 20%

Appliances: 20%

Countertops: 10%

Flooring , lighting, plumbing fixtures, paint, windows and doors, and backsplash: All 3-5% each

And these are just averages. Many clients spend much more in one category than this , if they let themselves go crazy and blow their budgets.


So how can you stay on budget? By planning ahead to do so! So here are the questions you need to ask yourself as you are planning your budget for your kitchen remodeling project:

  1. Do you plan to stay in your home for more than 5 years? This will help you decide how much to spend. If you are planning on moving in the next 2-3 years, you need to make choices that will be help your home sell to potential buyers and add only costs and options that you can get back at selling time. With the improvements you have made the kitchen, you still want to be able to recoup them, while not pricing yourself higher than other homes in the neighborhood. On the other hand, if you plan to be in this home long term, then you can spend money more for your own enjoyment and on the style and items that are important to you. You are not as worried about resale and getting your money back: you are concentrated on what makes you happy.
  2. Make a list of priorities. I call them the non-negotiables. You should make a list of the 3 things that absolutely want in your new kitchen , no matter what. If there are two of you, then both people should make their own list. As you begin to budget and select items, don’t lose sight of these non-negotiables. Once you have budgeted for these, then any thing else is subject to your budget’s limits.
  3. Decide what you can truly afford. At the heart of any budget planning, is the key question of what do you feel comfortable spending? This figure should also be on the top of your mind as you begin to set your priorites , make your plans and budget for your individual categories.  No kitchen remodel is successful if you are stressed by going over budget and spending more money than you can afford or feel comfortable spending. This is true for any design project, but particularly with a kitchen remodel, since costs can quickly escalate and get out of hand.


Here are 2 important bonus items that many times homeowners often forget when planning their budget:

  1. Sales tax. Yes, you will owe it. At least on the materials you purchase. And considering that you may be spending $20,000 or more for just material, that is a significant amount you need to plan for.
  2. The Unexpected. Set aside 5-10% for the “what ifs” of life that can happen with any project. And they will happen. So if you have got $50,000 to spend, set aside about $2500-$5000 for the unexpected. If you get 75% finished with the project and haven’t used this reserve, then you can use it on a splurge item or two, or use it for some decorating items or furnishing to complete your new kitchen. 

    Now that you have your budget set and have a clear vision of what you want to spend and your non-negotiables firmly in place , you can set out to make your selections. At this point, I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to extole the virtues of working with a professional kitchen designer. He or she can help guide you more thoroughly thru the process and make you aware of products and resources you may not be aware of yourself. Plus they are trained to help you design a layout that is efficient, meets all codes and goes along with your way of entertaining and cooking in your kitchen. A really good designer can actually save you time, money and help you avoid costly mistakes. In most cases the costs would be about 2-5 % of the budget. The more major your renovation , the more you need a designer. But even with a designer, you need to have asked yourself the same questions before you sit down with them so that they have a clear picture of your budget, your needs and your wishes.

    So whether you are making decisions on your own or with the help of a designer, you can help keep your budget in place with a few strategies for each of the major categories:

  1. Cabinetry: to help keep your budget in check, select simple door styles and simple finishes. The finish you chose and the style you chose can affect the cost of your cabinetry by 15-30%.  So, a set of cabinets with a fancy door style and a complicated finish can turn a set of $15,000 cabinets into a set of $20,000 cabinets in a blink of an eye. Chose a simple style in a simple rich stain or classic white finish and save yourself the money. Instead, splurge a bit with some great hardware that everyone will compliment and while spending just a few hundred dollars more.
  2. Appliances: Here is where many homeowners go over the top. Applicances today have so many cool features and gadgets that it is easy to get caught up in the fantasy that they will make you a better cook. If you hate to bake, a $10,000 range isn’t going to make you into Martha Stewart. Remember, unless you are already an experienced and passionate cook, you will be very happy with mid priced appliances. Also be on the lookout for appliance makers who offer great package deals throughout the year: many will give great discounts that can amount to $500- $1000 on a group of appliances. That kind of savings will buy you a great faucet and sink or a wonderful tile backsplash.
  3. Countertops: There are so many great choices out there today for countertops. And they can range from $20SF for laminates to over $100SF for wood, marbles, and stainless steel. A trick to save money if you are talking about granite, natural quartz or marble tops is to talk to the supplier and see if he has any leftover pieces that would work for your island top. Many dealers will make you a good deal on a piece that is leftover from another job. Also ask if he is running a special on a particular species or brand. Many times stone dealers will bring a large quantity of a single color and offer it at a special price. Things to avoid: fancy edges and extra thick tops. These features, while beautiful, can add hundreds of dollars to your cost without any benefits. What to pay attention to: the small costs. Make sure your quoted price includes the following: templating, delivery, installation and drilling for faucets and for mounting your sink. These can add significantly to your final bill if you have not planned on them


    So finally as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are some planning strategies that can help you keep your budget in check and this is because they affect one of the most expensive categories: labor.

    Now while as a whole, labor is not something that you can reduce dramatically, unless you do some of the work yourself, there are some things you can keep in mind so that you don’t make the labor become more than it needs to be. Here are just a few:

    Location of plumbing and electrical. If you can keep your new layout where major water lines and electrical outlets are in the same basic location, this reduces labor for moving drains, water lines and electrical. While each one is not a major expense, you can still save hundreds of dollars in labor by being mindful of this.

    Ventilation. Where you locate your hood ventilation can make a big difference in cost. Again, if you can place your new hood in the basic same location, you will come out ahead. Moving ventilation can often involve going into attic or basement space, cutting through walls and joists and other labors that can add up quickly and become quite costly.

    Window, doors and millwork. The more elaborate you are with your moldings in a room, they more you will spend on labor. Many times the moldings in an existing kitchen are just fine. If they are in good shape, leave them be. A fresh coat of paint and they will look brand new. As for doors and windows, be careful of changing locations and sizes of too many windows, doors and doorways. Besides the units themselves, the labor to cut new openings and re frame and sheet rock over existing ones, can add significantly to the labor costs of a kitchen remodel.

    Demolition. This overlooked category can amount to hundreds if not thousands of dollars. This is one category where you can save money by finding someone who would be willing to take your old cabinets and fixtures as long as they will remove them. This not only saves you demolition costs but also the cost of having the materials hauled off. Another great idea is to have a tax deductible charity such as a church or Habitat for Humanity come and pick up your old kitchen parts for a nice tax write off. Most will pick up your items right from your garage or home, once they are removed. In this case, everyone wins.


Why did I Choose Interior Design?


I’ve been designing interiors for almost 25 years. And I still get asked from time to time, why did I choose interior design? Some days, after a grueling day where things just don’t seem to go right, I’ll ask myself why did I choose interior design?!


Young Interior Designer

A young interior designer in the making

Even as a young child, I was always fascinated by buildings. I remember that every summer when my family would take a vacation, I would want to go and explore the hotel, the lobby and every inch of the facility. Even as a seven or eight-year-old, I could tell you about every detail of any building or home that I ever visited, even years after the trip.

When we moved into our new house, as a six-year-old I remember wanting to have a say in the way my room was designed and decorated. Over the next five or six years I constantly moved the furniture around into new layouts and new floorplans. Every few years I had to have a new bedspread, new art on the walls and I constantly rearranged my books and treasures in my bookcases.

I grew up with a family in the furniture business and with a mother who studied interior design in college. I was taught at an early age to appreciate and value beautiful things in the home. And my mother taught me the important lesson that it was better to wait to find just the right piece, than to waste your money on something you would want to replace later. For the first seven years in our new house, we had not one piece of furniture in our living room! My father would put highball glasses in the four corners and use it as his putting green.

McCallie School Chattanooga

McCallie School Chattanooga

Unlike most of my friends in high school, many who knew exactly what they wanted to be even when they were in 10th grade, I had no clue. I graduated from McCallie School in Chattanooga after four years of hard work, but still no closer to understanding who I was or what I wanted to be. I then went to Rhodes College in Memphis where I spent another four years in a liberal arts setting trying to discover myself.

I eventually ended up with a degree in psychology, because I’ve always found the study of people and how they think, make decisions, and interact with each other to be fascinating. After graduating and some soul searching, I didn’t think that a career as a professional psychologist was a good fit for me. So, I packed up my things and I came back to my hometown of Cleveland, TN.  I decided that doing something with real estate and homes could be really interesting. I started to realize that I had always enjoyed architecture and homes. So I set out and began to take time to study building principles and Classical architecture. To make a long story short, for the next five or six years I worked on a residential development and a planned community. I surrounded myself with the very best residential architects, landscape architects, and other contractors that I could find. It was better than any classroom education I could’ve ever imagined. Through this venture, I was able to start to design many of the features of the homes that were being built. Working alongside some great residential architects, I learned and mastered the principles of proportion, balance, layout and function in home interiors. I also got to try my hand at designing many of the features and details of the interiors. The more I did, the more I learned.  The more I learned, the more I loved it.

Architectural Drawing

Even before I went back to college to get my design degree, I began to draft ideas and designs for clients. It would take me hours , but I loved it. Here are elevations I did for one of my first clients

I discovered that I truly loved and had a passion for taking raw space and creating a beautiful room. For me it was like giving birth. I loved how all the architectural details, finishes, and fixtures within a room could give the room a true character and feeling. To this day, it is one of my guiding principles: to make a room beautiful, even before you put the first piece of furniture in it.

By this time I knew that I wanted to learn more and to learn it properly. That was when I decided to go back to school and get my degree in interior design. It took 2 1/2 years of going to school, with no summers off. In the end, it was well worth it. I already had a large amount of field and practical experience, but the college gave me the in-depth knowledge of design from a historical perspective. And further solidified the true principles of good design. room

“In these rooms, I designed all the moldings and millwork. I even had the knives for the molding made, so as to get the proportions exactly right. Later when the home sold, I was hired to do all the furnishings and interior design work. This would be my first design project, back in 1990-1992. I am still proud of these rooms , even today!”

Neal Master Bedroom MA2

“In these rooms, I designed all the moldings and millwork. I even had the knives for the molding made, so as to get the proportions exactly right. Later when the home sold, I was hired to do all the furnishings and interior design work. This would be my first design project, back in 1990-1992. I am still proud of these rooms , even today!”

Another factor my decision to become an interior designer was my love of doing things for other people and making other people happy. Every interior designer knows that rush and thrill when a client finally sees their finished room for the first time. That sheer pleasure on their face and the knowledge that you did something great for them that will influence them and make them happy for years to come, is an incredible feeling.  I also get to make the most of my psychology degree. When a client comes to you for the first time, it is just like a person coming to a psychologist with the problem. It’s up to the designer to know the questions to ask and path to take, in order for the client to find out for themselves, what they truly want from their home, and the way they intend to live in it.

It’s actually funny. As a kid in high school, I would have never thought about a career in interior design. But now as I reflect back on the last 25 years and even look back into my childhood, I cannot imagine wanting to do anything else.


Lighting Spotlight: The Gramercy Chandelier


This wonderful chandelier arrived in our showroom recently and has had lots of compliments. And why not? It is elegant without being too pretentious. It would be comfortable in a traditional formal setting, yet its clean lines and open styling will also appeal to those who don’t want a fixture with a lot of fuss. The Gramercy is made of gilded iron with an antiqued mercury glass ball featured in its center. Gently curved leaves extend from the top to give it an elegance that is at the same time, very fun and fanciful. The Gramercy chandelier is available in 3 sizes: 17” diameter, 33” diameter (the size we currently have in the showroom) and 41” diameter. This fixture would be at home in a foyer, bedroom, dining room or bath. We have even used a pair of them in a kitchen design! There is a matching sconce as well to compliment any of the 3 sizes.

gramercy double sconce

Stop by our showroom and see this wonderful chandelier and all the other chandeliers and lighting options that are available from Haskell Interiors.



Design Tip – April Showers Bring May Flowers


Every room looks great with fresh flowers. If ever there was a time when flowers are in abundance, it is spring. Whether it be at your local market, or even better, in your own yard, flowers in a simple vase can really make any room seem complete. But what if you have no idea how to arrange flowers? Take it from me: if you follow a few tips you can create an arrangement that would make Martha Stewart proud.

The first to keep in mind is that you want to keep it simple. Just a bunch of one type of flower or branch.


If you are using branches from dogwoods, quince or cherry trees, select 3-5 branches. Select a container that is about 1/3 the height that you want the arrangement to be. Use a bag of marble to fill the container. This will hold the branches exactly where you want them to stay and give weight to the container. Just remember to cut about ½” off each branch every 4-5 days and you can have an arrangement that will last for weeks.


If you are using stemmed flowers like roses, irises and mums, it is easy to arrange them by keeping them low and tight in a container. Try one that is round or cubed for easy arranging. Remove all but the top leaves and begin by arranging them in a crisscross manner as you begin to fill up the vase. This will angle the blooms outward and make for easier arranging. Finally, fill in with one or two blooms at the top.


Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

This coming Sunday is Mother’s Day. The day we celebrate the woman that birthed us, nurtured us and put up with us for so many years. Now it is our turn to do something nice for her on her special day and to say “thank you”.

Here in our showroom, we have lots of great gifts to help your make your mother feel loved and appreciated each and every day. Here are a few of our favorites:


Claudia Nichole Wraps: We introduced these wonderful cashmere wraps to our favorite customers last fall and we can’t keep them in stock! Available in a wide variety of colors and made of lightweight cashmere or a cashmere/cotton blend, they are a great gift to give Mom. They can be worn several different ways and are the perfect fashion accessory to spruce up any wardrobe. Great for year round use and with one size fits all, you can give her something she will enjoy and remember you by for years to come.


Tocca Body and Bath Fragrances: These wonderful fragrances are inspired by great women in history: with names such as Cleopatra, Stella, Colette and Simone, you will find a fragrance that is sure to please your mother on her special day. Why not pamper her with a parfum or a luxurious body wash and crème with a body scrub to give her a spa treatment every day in her own bath? Not sure of her favorite fragrance? We have gift sets to allow her to try this wonderfully unique line of body and fragrance and decide for herself. Beautifully packaged candles and diffusers also round out the Tocca fragrance line.

le francais

Le Jacquard Francais: For the mom who loves to entertain and cook, give her linens from France’s oldest mill. Available in a wide variety of patterns , colors and styles, this exclusive line of wovens will set off her kitchen or table setting in style. Using only the finest worsted wool yarns allows these towels and linens to achieve a true vibrancy of color and to continue to last for years and get softer and softer with each washing. The French value great food and a beautiful presentation: with linens from Le Jacquard, your mother’s table has never looked better.

Stop by our showroom this week and see these items as well as many more that can show your mother just how much you care, just in time for Mother’s Day.

High Point Furniture Market Spring 2015


Trends from High Point Market Spring 2015

As I do every spring, I make the trek over the Smokey Mountains and visit the High Point Furniture Market, located in High Point, NC. This is the place where manufacturers, designers and furniture showroom owners from around the globe come together for 5 days to display and sell the latest in furniture and home accessories. It is also a great place and opportunity to get a real glimpse into what we will be seeing as the latest trends for 2015 and beyond. This spring’s market was filled with great new products and I saw too many wonderful pieces to list here, but I can tell you about 5 trends that were very prevalent as I roamed the market during my stay:

Deep, Saturated Blues: We have seen turquoise be an important color for the last few seasons, but this market, deep and rich blues seem to prevail. From azure to cobalt, rich deep blues were to be found on walls, in upholstery fabrics and also on accessories. Blue mixes well with so many colors that it is easy to why this classic color is back in the limelight once again.


Peacocks: Everywhere we turned there was another peacock. As a painting, on a pillow, in a chair fabric, the peacock motif was a hot item this market. Naturally having both turquoise and deep blue-two trendy colors- probably doesn’t hurt either. Peacocks are a great way to introduce a bird motif or accent into your design scheme without it feeling to traditional or predictable.


Natural, Organic Woods: I saw a lot of natural, raw wood pieces being used in furniture and accessories this market. The trend is to leave the wood in its natural finish and, in many cases, in its natural form. I saw lamps, tables and accessories that features a piece of wood that looked as if you had just picked it up from the ground and started to design. Another trend was to combine a raw, simple piece of wood with chrome to give a modern, glamourous feel to an otherwise rustic material for an interesting juxtaposition of materials and style.

Charcoal or Black Walls: Many showrooms featured black or deep charcoal walls to offset the neutral, natural color fabrics or woods used. It is a very dramatic way to keep your furnishings in neutral, light tones and add a punch to just one wall in a space. It keeps things looking light and airy but filled with drama. The black wall also looks great when you use the following and final trend:


Gold: Gold was everywhere this market. It was definitely THE metal finish of spring 2015. From lamps to accessories, mirrors to tables, gold was the found from traditional room settings to exotic and modern fixtures and fabrics. It was often shown with black walls but also looked great when combined with bright colors of emerald green, navy blues and deep purples. Plan on seeing gold accents and metal finishes for several years to come, as it makes it way not only into furniture and accessories but back into baths and kitchens as well.

Enjoy some more pictures from the High Point Furniture Market below:

IMG_5603 IMG_5654 IMG_5727 IMG_5750 IMG_5773 IMG_5778 IMG_5782 IMG_5799



Design Tip: The Air Switch In Your New Kitchen

Chattanooga Kitchen Remodel

As you plan your dream kitchen remodel, there is one small item that is often overlooked. Many of our clients are not even aware of it: the disposal air switch. This ingenious little button allows you to activate your garbage disposal with the press of a button.  We normally place it right next to the faucet itself. This eliminates an electrical switch from being placed on the wall, where it can clutter up the look of your backsplash. And it works great with island sinks. Now you don’t have to place it inside the sink cabinet or on the side of an island, where you would otherwise have to reach down, usually with wet or messy hands.  It is now a standard feature in all of our kitchen remodels and new kitchen designs. The air switch is available in almost any finish to coordinate with your faucet and the cost is under $100.  Installation is quick and straight forward.

Kitchen Air Switch


So as you are planning your new kitchen design, make sure and include a disposal air switch. You will be so glad that you did!



Picking the right sink for your Kitchen Remodel

Haskell Interiors Showroom

Haskell Interiors Showroom

Haskell interiors is confident we are the ultimate design resource in the the Chattanooga area. Our team is here to guide you in making intelligent choices when it comes to making your home reflect your personality. We are proud to carry many lines of custom cabinetry, plumbing, hardware and countertops to design your entire kitchen, whether it is new construction or a remodel.  Today we are going to talk today about an often overlooked item in a kitchen design or kitchen remodel, the kitchen sink. The Kitchen sink is a core component of what is arguably the most important room in the house, the kitchen. And with all the use and abuse it takes in a lifetime, the kitchen sink you ultimately select will have a big impact on the final result when designing or remodeling your kitchen.

As with most decisions in the home, there is no one right answer for everyone. But by understanding your choices and then making an informed decision, you can ensure that you will select the kitchen sink that is right for you.Today, there are literally thousands of kitchen sink choices available to the homeowner. I am going to cover the three main areas that you need to consider when making a kitchen sink purchase. They are: the installation type, the configuration and size, and finally the material. There is a lot of information to cover, so let’s get started:

INSTALLATION TYPE: This sounds daunting but really there are just four ways to install a kitchen sink:


Drop In Kitchen Sink

Drop In: In this method, the sink is literally dropped in and lays on top of the countertop. Most sinks we all grew up with were done this way. It is the easiest way to install a sink into any countertop material, but it has the disadvantage of leaving a rim around the sink that can catch food and grime. You cannot swipe food and liquids right into the bowl because they get caught on the lip.


Undermount Sink

Undermount: In this method, an opening that is an exact match to the sink in made in the countertop and the sink is mounted under the countertop. This method usually costs a few hundred dollars for mounting charges but has the advantage of leaving you with a smooth edge that allows for you to sweep food and liquids right into the bowl, without any edge or lip to catch debris.



Tile-in Sink

Tile-In: Sinks that are made for use with tile countertops are similar to drop ins but are made so that there edge will be flushed with a tile countertop. There is usually a grout line between the edge of the sink and the surrounding row of tile.


Farmhouse Sink – Kitchen by Haskell Interiors

Farmhouse : Actually most farmhouse sinks are undermounted but they are different enough that I have set them aside as their own category. A farmhouse sink is a sink with the front of the sink exposed and finished. It requires a special cabinet to be mounted properly and additional support to carry their extra weight.

CONFIGURATION AND SIZE: This refers to how many bowls and the arrangement of the bowls you are needing. There are lots of choices and styles. As for size, that is an easier topic. As a rule, most cooks and homeowners want a deep sink. Today, that means 8-10” deep.  Almost all kitchen sinks are made to fit in the 24” depth of a standard base sink cabinet. They will be from 19-21” in depth. As for the width, there you have to be careful. You want to select as big a sink as will fit into your sink cabinet. But you must allow for a couple of inches for the mounting brackets. As a general rule, select a sink that is 2-3” narrower than you base cabinet to insure a good fit. Thus a 33” sink would be a good choice for a 36” wide cabinet. Now that you have the sizing selected, it is time to select the bowl configuration that works best for you and your cooking and cleaning habits.

Singlebowl Stainless Sink

Singlebowl Stainless Sink

Single Bowl: A single bowl sink is just that: one bowl. Single bowls sinks have become very popular in the last 20 years and many cooks love the fact that they can place large pots and pans or cooking sheets completely inside the sink. They also love that the can place lots of dirty dishes in there as well. The disadvantages are that if you are rinsing vegetables and soaking a large casserole dish, you will have to do some juggling.


Double bowl sink

Double Bowl: A sink with 2 bowls makes it easy to do 2 different tasks at a time, such as washing dishes or soaking a pan, while preparing food. Today you can select from sinks that are equally divided with 2 bowls the same size or make a selection of a 60/40 split where there is one large bowl and one smaller bowl. The disadvantage to a 2 bowl sink is that you may find times when you need a bigger bowl.


Triple Bowl Farmhouse Sink

Triple Bowl: The third and the least popular is a 3 bowl sink. Usually this consists of two normal sized bowl and a third small bowl in the middle (usually for the garbage disposal). The advantage of this configuration is that you can access the disposal independently of the other two sinks. The disadvantage is that this configuration takes up more space than you may have and many people find that the third sink in the middle is often in their way during much of the time.

MATERIAL: Today, there are many choices when it comes to choosing the material for your kitchen sink. Each has advantages and disadvantages. It is important to carefully consider each before you purchase.  Here are the most popular materials used today:

Stainless Sink

Stainless Steel Kitchen Sink

Stainless Steel: The advantages of stainless steel is that it is very easy to clean and durable. It also provides a consistent look with stainless steel appliances. As for disadvantages, it can water spot with hard water. Also, it does scratch, although it can be buffed out and many manufacturers offer bottom grids to protect the sink.  The thickness of stainless is measured in the unit of gauge. The smaller the gauge of the stainless, the thicker the stainless. Look for 16 or 18 gauge for good quality.


Cast Iron Porcelain Sink

Cast Iron (Porcelain): These sinks are great in a more traditional styled kitchen. They are available in a wide variety of colors and have a very nice sheen. However, since it is a more porous material, they can, over time, chip, and stain and crack with hard use from metal and cast iron pots and pans. Abrasive cleaners can dull their finish and due to their heavier weight, there may be some additional bracing and work to secure them.


Fireclay Farmhouse Sink

Fireclay: This material is often mistaken for cast iron/porcelain, but in reality it is much harder, non-porous material than porcelain. These sinks thus are more expensive than similar sized sinks and heavier as well, requiring bracing and brackets.


Copper Undermount Sink

Copper: Copper sinks have a distinct look and will develop a patina over time which is usually thought of a positive attribute. As it is used, it will develop its own character and finish. If you want to keep it shiny and new looking, you will have to polish it. Copper sinks as a whole cost more than other materials. And just like stainless the smaller the gauge, the thicker and generally the better the copper.


Natural Stone Farmhouse Sink

Natural Stone: Sinks made from natural stone benefit and suffer from all the characteristics that natural stone offers. They offer great sound deadening and great looks and most often time are made to blend in with the surrounding countertop material so that there is a consistent look. But natural stone sinks are expensive and most, if not all, will require special supports because of their tremendous weight. Finally routine maintenance such as sealing will be required to keep their beautiful appearance.


Composite Double Bowl Sink

Composite: There are several companies that offer sinks made from special polymers, granite mixes and other materials. They are usually made to offer a look of stone but without the weight and expense. While they do offer a price and weight advantage and require much less maintenance than natural granites and stones, many of these sinks still have issues with scratches, and staining.

Now that you have gone through the selection and decision process and have the sink choice that is best for you,  many companies offer accessories such as cutting boards, basin grids, colanders, and baskets that are designed to fit your particular model and provide you with even more convenience, use and protection.

There is a lot to consider when choosing a kitchen sink. But with careful consideration and taking the time to analyze how you use your sink daily and what characteristics are the most important to you, you can end up with the perfect choice that will give you years of enjoyment and performance.



All About Tile


We Carry ALL of the tile shown in this article and hundreds more!

Perhaps more than any other design product category, tile and stone has gone under a tremendous revolution in the last few years. It seems as if almost every year, manufacturers are pushing their imagination and the physical boundaries of stone and tile to produce what could not even be imagined just a decade ago.


Haskell Interiors is your premier tile source in the Chattanooga Metro.

Here at Haskell Interiors, we love tile! We have a huge amount of tile that we carry. In fact, all of the tile you see in this article can be found in our showroom. Much like fabrics, tile and stone have thousands of styles, colors, patterns, and textures to excite the imagination and the creative juices.  The tile you choose in a room –whether it be on a floor or on a wall or- yes- even on a ceiling can completely transform the direction and voice of a room. No matter your style, budget or room, today there is a tile that is just what you are looking for. Here is a quick breakdown of what is happening in the world of tile today:

Porcelanosa Tile porcelain 5

PORCELAIN – The technology in the area of porcelain tile manufacturing in the past decade has advanced incredibly fast. Originally designed for high traffic commercial spaces, today porcelain tiles offer not only the incredible durability they are known for, but are now available in large sizes. Some porcelain tile is up to three and four feet long! And in patterns and colors that mimic other materials, such as marble, stone and wood, so closely that you truly cannot tell the difference, once they are installed. You can get some fantastic looks for a great price with porcelain products and at the same time have a surface that is virtually indestructible, even when placed outside.

tempest tile ceramic

CERAMIC – With porcelain tiles making up a large majority of the wall and floor tiles manufactured today, ceramic tiles are now made primarily by artisans with a wonderful array of hand painted glazes, and designs. Today you will see ceramic tiles used primarily on walls and ceilings, with the variety of styles, patterns and designs growing each year. There are some stunning shapes being produced right here in the US by artists using techniques that date back hundreds of years.


GLASS – Glass has really gone to the forefront in tile design over the last decade. It can be colorful or subdued. It can be simple or extravagant. Glass, despite its reputation, is actually very durable and sturdy. It is fired at such high temperatures that it actually is stronger than many other forms of tile. It is also impervious to moisture, making it an excellent choice for showers, baths, outdoor pools and patios. Glass tile manufacturers are now experimenting with all types of shapes and textures.

There is so much more out there today than the basic 1”x 1” glass tile.

bronzeworks metal 6 bronzeworks metal

METAL – Metal tiles are a great accent to porcelain, natural stone, glass or ceramic tiles when used either in wall or floor applications. You can find great designs in bronze or silver and in a variety of shapes that work great in traditional or contemporary interiors. Think of metal tile as a great piece of jewelry that completes your tile selections.

mosaique surface mosaic 2

MOSAIC – The art of mosaic tile has been around for thousands of year. But today, the possibilities have increased even more with newer materials being used (glass, metal and porcelain) and the patterns can range from Classic to completely modern. Most artistic mosaics are still cut and assembled by hand. They can be used on floors, walls and are great as accents in showers and kitchen backsplashes or for that special focal point wall. The patterns can be small in detail or oversized and bold, depending on the style you chose.


WATER JET CUT – Next to porcelain, nothing has completely changed the game of tile like water jet  technology. Used high pressure water as a cutting tool, manufacturers today can create almost endless patterns in natural stone, glass, metal, and porcelain. Whereas mosaic patterns are made of thousands of little pieces to create a pattern and design, water jet tile is much like a large puzzle piece with each piece being a single piece. The level of detail is remarkable and every season, manufacturers are creating incredible designs with materials that could not even be imagined before. The level of customization is also a plus, in that you can create not only custom color and material combinations, but also take a pattern and make it and size you want.

artistic carved natural stone artistic tile carved stone

NATURAL STONE – Of course there will always be natural stone tile. It has been used in the design of homes for thousands of years. But today, we are still seeing new species being mined and delivered to showrooms. This is in part because of better mining techniques and the constant search for new resources of natural limestone, marble, onyx, slate and granite. Many marbles and limestone varieties are now being cut into patterns and in 3 dimensions, due to advances in cutting and water jet technology.

arto cement 4 arto tile cement

CEMENT – In the last several years we have seen a resurgence in cement tiles. Although they have been around forever, today’s cement tiles are being in much more modern patterns and with much larger scale. Others are being produced in very dimensional shapes. They are a great alternative for floor tiles when you are looking for color and pattern. So, if you are thinking about redesigning or remodeling a room, think about the tile and stone that you may be using. There are so many great choices available today that tile can become a great starting point in your room selections process.


Haskell Interiors Showroom

Stop by our showroom and let us show you our hundreds of selections that we have to offer you, no matter your budget, style or application.  Call us at 423-472-6409 to set up a design consultation or to speak with us. We are the only one stop destination for all of your interior design needs in the Chattanooga area.

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