Since 2007 • All our Books are Made in the USA • We ship 60,000 books every year • FREE SHIPPING on Orders Over $100

A guide to design and construction, from refurbishing to renovation

by Nancy R. Hiller

You can download an excerpt of this book here.

For two decades, Hiller has made a living by turning limitations into creative, lively and livable kitchens for her clients. Her new book, “Kitchen Think,” is an invitation to learn from both her completed kitchen designs (plus kitchens from a few others) and from the way she works in her Bloomington, Ind., workshop.

Unlike most kitchen design books, “Kitchen Think” is a woodworker’s guide to designing and furnishing the kitchen, from a down-to-the-studs renovation to refacing existing cabinets. And she shows you how it can be done without spending a fortune or adding significantly to your local landfill.

“The first requirement is simply to think," Hiller writes, "where you are in life; what resources you have access to in terms of money, interesting materials, or time; the architectural style of your home and so forth.”

Yes, there are hundreds of pretty full-color photos of well-designed kitchens, which are organized into 24 case studies throughout the book. They range from the sculptural (kitchens by Johnny Grey and Wharton Esherick) to kitchens of a more recognizable form.

But there’s also a heavy dose of practical instruction: how to build cabinets efficiently, how to make a basic kitchen island, how to build a wall-hung plate rack. Plus butt-saving advice that comes only from experience – like how to maximize space in inside corners, how to scribe cabinets and countertops into odd spaces and how to make sure you’ve left ample space for hardware.

All of this is built on a foundation of research into kitchens from the past. Hiller’s historical perspective on design might just change your mind about what makes a good kitchen. It doesn’t have to be walls of built-in cabinets. So what’s the alternative?

You just have to think.

The book is intended for:

• Woodworkers, whether professional or not, who would like to expand their minds on the question of kitchen design, the culture of remodeling, materials and techniques used in kitchens

• Homeowners with some woodworking and home-renovation skills who would like to remodel their own kitchen, including building their own cabinets

• Homeowners who want a deeper understanding of what goes into a thoughtful kitchen remodel done by professionals

• Homeowners and others (who may not own a home) looking for design inspiration and unconventional, non-consumerist ways of thinking about kitchen design and remodeling.

“Kitchen Think” is 8-1/2” x 11”, 368 pages and printed in full color on coated, 80# matte paper. It has a printed hardbound cover, coated in a durable matte laminate.  The binding is sewn, and covered with a fiber-reinforced tape spine to last for generations. Like all Lost Art Press books, “Kitchen Think” is produced and printed entirely in the United States.

Table of Contents

Dedication     VII
Preface     IX

Introduction     1

1. What is Custom Cabinetry?     9
    A Truly Custom Kitchen     13

2. Getting Started     25
    Order of Work     34

3. A Simple, Strong Method for Building & Installing Cabinets     37

4. Designer-Builder Beware     75
    Geometrical Analyses of Typical Storage Solutions for Inside Corners      82

5. Elements of Design     95
    Build a Simple Island     110
    Fit a Wooden Counter into a Tricky Space     120
    Make a Retro-Style Linoleum Countertop     127
    Plate Rack     179
    Build a Plate Rack     182

6. Make a Partial Change 184
    The Cobbler’s Kitchen     187
    Convert a Two-Door Cabinet to a Cabinet with Drawers     194
    Three Ways to Mount Drawers     196
    Two Jigs to Install Blum Tandem Drawer Slides     202
    Refacing at the High End      205
    Another Method of Refacing     213
    Add to Existing Cabinets     215
    More is More     221
    A Breakfast Nook Puzzle     227

7. A Varied Portfolio 230
    The Original Sociable Kitchen     233
    Kitchen as Working Sculpture     239
    Inspired by Voysey     245
    East-Coast Pacific     249
    At Home on the Land     255
    Industrial Rustic     259
    An Easygoing Kitchen for a Family of Cooks     265
    Green on Green     271
    Barn-Style House on a Budget     277
    Farmhouse Style     280
    From So-So to Sizzling     283

8. Period-Inspired Kitchens 291
    Cabinet Details to Note when Designing a Period-Style Kitchen     302
    Shingle Style     307
    Happy Hundredth     313
    Former Servants’ Quarters     319
    Grad-School Style to Grown Up     325
    Tiny & Mighty     331
    Elevating a Mid-Century Kitchen     337
    Same Footprint, Different Room     343
    Shaker Style     346

End Notes     353
Bibliography     355
Acknowledgments     357

About the Author

Nancy R. Hiller was a cabinetmaker specializing in period-style work for late-19th- to mid-20th-century interiors. She trained as a furniture maker in England, where she moved with her mother and sister at age 12, and worked in shops there as well as in the States. She returned to college at the age of 30 and graduated with a master’s in Religious Studies, specializing in ethics. From 1995 to 2022, she operated NR Hiller Design, Inc., based in Bloomington, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Fine Woodworking, Old-House Journal, American Craft, Popular Woodworking, Arts & Crafts Homes and the Revival and Fine Homebuilding. She has authored five books in addition to “Kitchen Thing,” among them “The Hoosier Cabinet in Kitchen History,” “English Arts & Crafts Furniture,” “Shop Tails” and “Making Things Work.”

You can read our full profile here, and a tribute to Nancy, who died August 29, 2022, here.

People who bought this product, also bought

Left Continue shopping
Your Order

You have no items in your cart