We are swamped right now with kitchen renovations…and I love every second of it!!! Renovation work is my passion. DETAILS are huge in a kitchen. Check out a few of my favorite ways to set a kitchen design apart.
1. MICROWAVES!! They really just don’t need to be seen, like ever. They are functional and ugly. Keep them behind cabinet doors or in a butler’s pantry. NO, they do not belong over your cook top as a hood. Get them out of site!! I realize we use them often, but they work just fine inside a cabinet. Check out any kitchen designs on Pintrest or a design publication and notice you rarely ever see one. They just aren’t pretty.
2. Speaking of cook tops and hoods, make this an impact point in your kitchen. Your hood does not need to be the same size as your cook top. Make this thing big!! I generally make the hoods about 3-4′ larger than the cook top. This is one area in a kitchen that is functional, but it doesn’t have to look like it. I call it the “art” part of the kitchen. Make it pretty.
3. Another pretty is always counter tops. At the moment, I am slightly obsessed with a grey quartz and a beautiful “veiny” soap stone. Always love a great marble too. We are so over granite, it’s not even funny…don’t go there. Don’t be afraid to mix up materials too. Use one material on your island and a complementary stone on your surrounding counters and even your back splash. There is nothing prettier than carrying a fabulous marble slab counter top to the full height of your back splash.
4. Counter top and back splash details:
Back splash is a major detail spot. DO NOT slap a 4″ piece of your slab up for your back splash. Be a little creative…you can do better than that!!
Edge details are huge. They may sound a little unimportant, but remember that design is in the details. My two favorites are an ogee edge and the simple straight polished edge. Feel free to put one on the island and a different one on the surrounding counter tops.
5. Cabinetry…where should I begin. Few favorites: European hinges (these are the kind you don’t see), inset doors and drawers (The opposite of this is an overlay cabinet door…nothing’s wrong with this, I just prefer inset. They look very tailored.), cabinet feet, cabinets that go to the ceiling…I could go on and on. Quick tip: if you have lighter cabinets, paint your toe kick a dark grey. This helps hide all the lovely junk that can hide down there. And, it just plain looks better. And, if you have some beautiful cabinet feet, it makes them pop. It’s all in the details.
6. Appliances. I’m a HUGE fan of paneled appliances. This is where your refrigerator, dish washer, ice machine, etc. all look like a cabinet rather than a functional thing. It also helps keep your space timeless. In 10 years when stainless appliances are out of date, your paneled appliances will not be. Fun fact: when buying appliances, paneled appliances cost less than stainless or any other finish. Your cabinet man makes the panel to go on the front of the appliance. Another pet peeve of mine is a refrigerator that is not counter depth. Who the heck designed this thing to be so huge?? There is no reason for it to stick out so far. When refrigerator shopping, go for a counter depth. They do cost a little more, but are totally worth it for the look.
7. Lighting in a kitchen is about 40% of the design. No one wants to pay attention to it. Everyone gets caught up in the counters and appliances and they forget that you need a fabulous light fixture to seal the deal. Again, look through any design publication and notice how much of an impression the lighting makes. If you take it out of the picture, the kitchen isn’t half as wonderful. DON’T forget to budget for a worthy fixture. The finish for the fixture does not have to “match” anything else in the room. Let this be a spot for something different and attention grabbing.
8. Hardware…got to have it. Thanks to Amanda, I am becoming obsessed with the antique brass look. It’s making a come back. Polished nickel is always a favorite too. Remember scale when you are shopping for hardware. It is okay to put more than one drawer pull on a drawer. Or, rather than going with the typical 4″ pull, use an 8″ or larger to help coordinate with the scale of the drawer. Another rule: your cabinet hardware does not have to match your plumbing fixtures. These are two totally different things and it is okay for them to be different. If you go with paneled appliances, several companies make appliance pulls to coordinate.
9. Plumbing fixtures. No questions asked, an under mount sink is they way to go. I have had several people ask if they should go with a stainless or a white porcelain. My answer is determined by the color of your counter tops. If you are using a white marble counter top, then go with a white porcelain. If you are using a darker material, go with the stainless. Your sink is not supposed to be the focal point of your kitchen. Although it needs to be pretty and functional, it does not need to grab your attention when you walk in. Let it do it’s thing and blend in. Faucets are a little different. They stick up, they have to be seen. Spend some money here and ago with a pretty finish and pretty look.
10. Colors. I’m a neutral girl. My Mom says I’m afraid of color. Not true, just not a huge fan of it everywhere. Use a color that you will like for a long time, don’t go with trendy. Do veer from the plain ole white cabinet. Soft creams and greys are great. I always love a dark stain too. Totally over the faux finished look or the glazed cabinet look. Just don’t do it.
Sorry about the book of a post. Hope these tips help. Kitchen renovation project pics to come soon. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. Happy renovating!