In Search of Calm

The final stretch of winter often means frayed nerves, coughs and colds, and plain old cold weather blues. Coming home to a restorative environment can do so much to alleviate the frenzy of winter. I asked members of our design team to share their ideas of what brings a sense of calm to a home and here are a few of their suggestions:


This was the number one suggestion from everyone. No one ever associated a Zen atmosphere with stuffed closets or messy countertops. Clutter promotes a sense of chaos that is disturbing and unsettling. But de-cluttering is work and decisions need to be made. First, adopt the purging mindset. Second, decide what your criteria and benchmarks are going to be. Some folks use the “if I have not used it in a year, it’s gone” approach. A relatively new and trendy method is asking for every object in your home: “Does this give me joy?” Third, be ruthless. It’s scientific…to create more space, stuff has to go. Full stop. Remember a simplified, clean space is a calm space.

de-clutter 1 de-clutter 2 de-clutter 3


There is a proven connection between the cooler side of the color wheel and a sense of calm. So why not experiment with warm gray, heather blue or sea-glass green. Natural beiges and whites are also very effective…so go ahead…paint a wall, accessorize with new pillows or a classic wool throw or invest in new bedding.


blue 2



Work on a calming playlist and mix it up. Some classical mixed with new age, jazz and art/indie rock help create a meditative background.


Clean Windows and Candles

Lighting is so important when it comes to mood. Plenty of natural light cheers the soul, so as soon as it is warm enough, clean those windows. Nothing makes a house feel more ready for spring than glistening glass panes. And for those remaining long winter nights, candles are not only a hint of romance but also a source of tranquility. Avoid scented candles and stick with white…tea lights, votives, chunky pillars…there really is no room in your home that doesn’t benefit from candlelight.




A soft fragrance does wonders to calm stress and nothing can replace the beauty of a natural floral scent. Splurge on a flat of paper whites for a more subtle fragrance or go full out with hyacinths, a true harbinger of spring.





The Skinny on Farmhouse Sinks

Anne Ellard is a regular Houzz contributor. Her recent piece on farmhouse sinks is a must read for anyone thinking about adding this wonderful element to their kitchen.

Happy reading,


Marsala, 2015 Color of the Year

Pantone announced its Color of the Year for 2015 and it is a dramatic departure from the vibrant, bright tones of recent years. Marsala is a brownish red that is rich and subtle at the same time.


From cabinets to exposed brick, back-splash to paint color, the kitchen is a perfect place to introduce this sumptuous hue into your home.






Marsala makes a huge impact in a small space such as this guest bathroom and adds drama and authenticity to Moroccan themed decor.



Muted tones blend beautifully but don’t forget cool-toned bright accent colors to add some pop!


Best, Ray


CCW Wins Best Remodel Half Bathroom at the 2014 NKBA Tri-State Awards

Last night, Amy, one of our senior designers, was honored with the 2014 NKBA Tri-State Award for Best Remodel Half Bathroom.


A sleek modern take on a traditional built-in vanity gives this master bath an urban sophistication. The rich dark lager finish on cherry wood offsets the frosted glass doors and granite countertop. The vanity wall backs-up to the master bedroom wall and is separated by built-ins.


Congratulations, Amy!

Best, Ray

2014 Saratoga Showcase of Homes Awards Announced

I am so proud to announce that Columbia CabinetWorks and Witt Construction won Luxury Home Best Kitchen at the 2014 Saratoga Showcase of Homes!


Skyfall was a very special project and is a very special home with a magnificent open floor plan and sweeping bucolic views of the Mohawk Valley and Adirondack Mountains. The spectacular showcase kitchen anchors the stunning great room and was designed with entertaining in mind. Floating shelves on the range wall, vertical grain match on all cabinet doors and drawer heads, and the rich matte eclipse finish on oak are just some of the details that add such sophistication to the space.

photo 4


Congratulations to CCW’s designer Justina Auer for her creativity and commitment to bringing the homeowners’ vision to life. The entire home defines modern elegance.

photo 2 photo 3 photo 5

Be sure to visit Skyfall at the Showcase of Homes, Sept 27-28 and October 4-5 106 Southard Road, Saratoga Springs

See you at the Showcase



2014 Saratoga Showcase of Homes

Mark your calendars to enjoy an early fall week-end touring the 15 beautiful homes featured in the 2014 Saratoga Showcase of Homes.


September 20-21, 27-28 and October 4-5
11 AM – 5 PM

Be sure to visit
106 Southard Road, Saratoga Springs

a stunning modern New England home with unobstructed views of the Mohawk Valley and Adirondack Mountains and a custom kitchen, pantry, dining hutch and mud room designed by CCW

For additional information on the Showcase of Homes visit

See you at the Showcase,



Let me start with full disclosure: I love back-splash and I have strong opinions concerning what works and what doesn’t.

First let’s talk functionality. All the steam, heat and grease around a cook-top are not very friendly towards wallpaper or wall paint. It just makes sense to install something that withstands the humidity and is easy to clean. When considering materials, remember the more porous the tile, the more difficult it is to clean. This is one reason why solid glass back-splash has become so popular. It also looks amazing!


Now for design. In my mind, the most important determining factor for the color and style of your back-splash is your counter-top. For example, if you have any granite surface, other than solid black, I would never suggest a patterned tile. The vein texture and color variation in the granite is interesting enough on its own and will fight any pattern in the back-splash. Different fabric patterns, think paisley and stripes, can work well together as long as the colors blend…not so with tile and counter-top. In most cases, I suggest steering away from patterned tile full stop. It is trendy and can easily date your kitchen. But if it is something your creative juices are insisting on, be sure to pair it with a solid color counter-top.

Probably my favorite option is glazed subway tile. Timeless, easy to clean, classic…it works with just about any style, design and counter-top.

Glazed Subway Tile

For a more recent trend, consider metallic options. Go ahead and have fun with different shades and finishes from brushed stainless and oil-rubbed bronze, to antique brass and stamped tin.

bronze tetris pattern

stamped tin

Back-splash plays an important functional role in your kitchen but also adds a great deal to the aesthetic and design. I just love a warm tiled niche behind the cooking area.

tiled niche