CliqStudios delivered quality design and cabinetry using email, product samples, 3-D renderings, and video conferencing
For kitchen design and cabinets, Boardwalk Builders turned to CliqStudios.com, an online kitchen design service and cabinet supplier founded in 2010. “We worked with one CliqStudios designer, Patty Green, the whole time,” says Boardwalk Builders project developer Kelsey Hamilton. “We emailed PDFs of dimensioned plans with some initial ideas to her, and she sent back two iterations, which we showed to our client.” Green also mailed door samples the client selected from among the dozen styles available in the company’s online catalog, and worked directly with the client to discuss accessories.
Digital renderings were tweaked in Zoom video conferences, and when final design options were ready, the clients met at Boardwalk offices for one last video conference to make final decisions. “It was not too different from when we use a local kitchen designer and the clients and I go to the kitchen showroom,” says Hamilton. “We had a plan within three days, and a finalized version three days after that."
The fully-assembled cabinets were delivered about six weeks after ordering. The U-shaped kitchen is small, with the range centered in the middle; a bank of cabinets and an eating peninsula to the left; and a bank of cabinets with the sink and refrigerator on the right.
After checking the cabinet delivery against the plan and confirming dimensions, wall cabinets were prepped for crown molding by fastening extensions to the top of the frames . Although it’s tempting to install base cabinets first, experienced carpenters prefer to start with the wall cabinets , which saves their lower backs by making it easier to support and fasten the uppers without having to reach over the lowers.
After unpacking and confirming the location of each wall cabinet, installers began by fastening extensions to the tops of the frames [1A], part of the crown molding detail at the ceiling. With the wall cabinets loosely arranged on the floor according to plan, installers confirmed dimensions [1B], then began installation at one corner [1C].
Installation started with blind corner wall cabinets, factory-fitted with frame extensions to accommodate adjoining cabinets.
After hanging the main bank of wall cabinets, installers turned to the blind-corner base cabinets . Although this wall of cabinets is short, it’s still important to check the alignment of base cabinets at the range opening. Ideally the cabinet should be square to the wall, but equally important is to ensure that the faces of the base cabinets to either side of the range are in plane. When the back wall is out of square, the difference is usually made up by aligning the cabinets faces and shimming the cabinets away from the wall as necessary. This ensures good visual alignment at the cabinet fronts, and the gap at the back can typically be easily covered by the countertop and backsplash.
Base cabinets follow wall cabinets, beginning with the blind-corner boxes [3A]. At the opening for the range, it’s important to check for square [3B], but also to ensure that the faces of cabinets on either side of the range align. Any shims needed to space the cabinets of an out-of-square wall can be hidden by the countertop.
The final step was to scribe the full-height panel separating the sink base from the refrigerator , then mount the standoffs and wall cabinet over the fridge.
With the base cabinets in place, the last step was to scribe and install the tall panel separator at the refrigerator [4A], and mount the standoffs and the over-fridge cabinet [4B].