6 Do’s in Designing Your Dream Kitchen
Kitchen design trends evolve quickly, making it difficult to know which will last and which will soon start to look dated. Read on for some fresh trends that are worth copying, along with tips to help you avoid design remorse.
The key to creating a kitchen with beauty and function that will stand the test of time is to combine the best of both traditional and contemporary design. Think sophisticated lines and neutral palettes with judicious use of statement pieces and colorful accents.
Lisa Loushin of Haute Kitchens tells clients considering a design trend to think about the rest of their home. “I meet homeowners who want to invest in an ultra-modern design element, like black window frames, but it doesn’t fit with the overall style and structure of the house,” she explains.
If you want to renovate your kitchen but are afraid of making choices you’ll regret, Loushin recommends creating interest in subtle ways.
You don’t have to make a big splash with bold colors or quirky countertops. Instead, you can layer different textures and materials while keeping a neutral color palette, as Loushin did in this Shorewood home.
Transcend Trends With Transitional Style
Transitional style is an interior design term for design that marries traditional and contemporary materials and finishes, creating a timeless look that often feels personal and lived in.
It has become the go-to style for homeowners who want a harmonious design they can live with for years to come.
Want to combine a farmhouse sink with modern, stainless steel appliances? How about classic all-white cabinets with a bold overhead lamp and a crafted concrete backsplash? This blending of familiar and ultra-modern elements is exactly what transitional style is all about.
Here are 6 transitional design ideas for your home kitchen — along with what not to do — so you can design with confidence.
Number 1: Bold Floor Patterns
DO draw inspiration from far and wide.
Statement floor tiles can instantly take a kitchen from boring to eye-popping. From colorful reclaimed tiles arranged quilt-like to black and white checkerboard vinyl, there are endless patterns and materials to draw from.
Surprisingly, the impact of bold flooring can be gentler than daring wall colors or cabinet finishes. That said, it’s usually best to use bright colors and intricate patterns in your flooring, if the rest of your kitchen is neutral or subdued.
DON’T forget to consider the practical details.
Carefully consider if you need your kitchen floor to make a statement, or simply provide the backdrop.
If you go overboard mixing and matching tiles, you may sacrifice quality or limit the rest of your design options too much.
How much wear and tear will your new floor withstand? Do you mind standing on cold, hard tile while you cook?
Kitchen floors are a workhorse, so make sure they can do their job well by choosing durable, quality materials before opting for a purely decorative design.
Number 2: One-of-a-Kind Reclaimed Materials
DO add warmth with reclaimed accents and finishes.
Reclaimed wood is a trend that is here to stay. It can be incorporated into your kitchen as a pantry door, island top, butcher block, cabinet cladding, or just about anything else you can dream up.
Reclaimed terra cotta has just started making an appearance, most often as flooring or backsplash tile. The pink and white patina on aged terra cotta brings a rustic warmth to kitchens that can still feel light and airy.
There are many ways to incorporate salvaged pieces in your kitchen, including rustic doors, retro lighting fixtures, and antique cabinet hardware. Reclaimed materials can be the main statement or merely an accent in your design.
DON’T clash with the rest of your home.
Do you have reclaimed materials in other areas of your home? If not, a reclaimed kitchen may stick out like a sore thumb.
Consider your kitchen as an extension of the rest of your home, especially if you have an open arrangement. Make sure that any reclaimed materials you use are cohesive with your home’s overall style and color palette.
Whether it’s wood, terra cotta, glass, or metal, look for smooth, even surfaces with a consistent tone and appearance. Overly distressed materials are hard to blend with a contemporary design and quickly become tiresome.
Number 3: Savvy Storage Solutions
DO take advantage of current kitchen storage innovations.
Every square foot of a kitchen is valuable and must be designed with its users in mind.
“I have my dishes in three places,” says Loushin, who encourages clients to think of functionality above all else in a kitchen design. “My dinner settings are in one place that’s easy to grab for the dining table. At breakfast, I’m a short order cook so I keep breakfast dishes, utensils, and spices near my cook top.”
Nowadays, you may be surprised by the deceptively-simple innovations in cabinets, drawers, shelves, and pantries.
From rolling, pullout shelves and toe-kick drawers to multi-functional islands and customized spice racks, it’s possible to have everything in its right place. That is, within easy reach.
DON’T neglect accessibility.
Some storage solutions seem clever until you actually begin using your kitchen.
For example, placing the microwave over the range is a common space saving technique in kitchens. But, can the whole family reach the buttons? And hanging pot racks sure do free up cabinet space, but they can also become a dusty, jumbled mess.
Make sure you consider the different people who need to share your kitchen and test drive each new storage feature before you commit.
Number 4: Countertops With Character
DO upgrade to eye-catching counters.
Quartz, granite, soapstone, slate, and concrete are among the most popular countertop materials in 2017, each with its own advantages. For example, quartz and soapstone don’t require finishing, but concrete can be cast in endless shapes and colors.
However, even when working with familiar materials, designers aren’t limiting themselves to the traditional countertop designs. They are getting more daring and creative with colors, stains, finishes, and inlaid elements.
Beyond the classic natural stone look, you can opt for engineered stone in a wide range of colors and sleek profiles. Or, how about bold recycled glass, sparkling quartz composite, or polished concrete with embedded stone details?
DON’T blow your whole budget.
The general trend in countertops is that there are now far more affordable, durable, high quality options from which to choose. Butcher block, bamboo, glass, and concrete counters can easily add character to your kitchen without blowing your budget.
Love the look of marble? Marble-look quartz countertops are less expensive and easier to maintain. And it’s worth considering the increasingly attractive, high quality laminate options on the market.
Number 5: Revealing Open Shelves
DO display your style and personality.
Open shelving has been all the rage for a while now. They put the homeowner’s unique taste on display, and the results can be stunning.
If you’re not sure you can live with all open shelves, you can place them selectively over your sink or on an accent wall to create a statement. Keep it clean and simple with stacks of uniform dishes and clear glass, or show off eclectic ceramics, succulents, and cookbooks.
Whether you stock your open shelves with fine dishware or mason jars of bulk goods, you can create visual interest by arranging colors, shapes, and materials to complement and contrast with one another.
DON’T clutter things up
Unlike the shelves you hide behind cabinet doors, you have to consider your kitchen aesthetics and functionality when you fill your open shelves.
The easiest way to go wrong is to clutter your open shelves with busy, impractical arrangements. Less is more, as you want your open shelves to feel clean and light, not untidy and weighted down.
At the same time, you still need to be able to reach your everyday essentials. The most successful open shelf designs find a way to feature the items you use and love, instead of merely displaying heirlooms.
Number 6: Vivid Fixtures & Finishes
DO create a striking focal point
Much like the bold floor patterns and modern countertops already mentioned, various kitchen fixtures and finishes provide more opportunities to bring fresh color and interest to your design.
Sinks in every hue are replacing the standard white porcelain, chrome, or stainless steel. And vibrant, ultra-modern lacquered and laminate cabinets make a less costly alternative to traditional wood.
Strategic use of color in your kitchen mainstays and finishes can help you create a single focal point or an overall design that needs little else to feel complete.
DON’T commit to a color that doesn’t inspire you.
The risk of using bold color in fixtures and finishes is that they can be difficult and costly to replace. If you’re not ready to commit to canary yellow cabinets, try touches of color in your knobs, handles, and accessories.
“Many of my clients have kept their design subdued and mellow, because they’re concerned about reselling the house one day,” Loushin notes. “One client has a bright personality and wears lots of bright colors, but she decided to create a clean, neutral design that she can decorate with pops of color.”
Even if you aren’t afraid to go wild with color, remember that balance is still key. There’s a fine line between being bold and an eyesore, so be sure to temper bright colors with clean lines and simplicity throughout the rest of your design.