Sep 30, 2011

Top Kitchen Ideas

Kitchens are always the heart of the home but they're not always done in traditional styles and don't always look like a kitchen. Whether you go for a sleek, modern space or a warm, transitional one, there are some new ideas that are long-lasting, add to function and aesthetics, and save money long-term.  My picks for the best ideas for kitchens are the following:

1) Mix it up.  Along with standard finishes, incorporate unique elements like a wooden counter, floor-to-ceiling glass, textured tiles and the like. Keep a sense of YOU in the space.

2) Hide it. Keeping the fridge under wraps, unless it's a gorgeous glass door unit, makes the kitchen feel more finished. Stainless fridges are still popular, but letting your cabinets be the star, rather than appliances, is a design idea for the long-term. 

3) Light it right. Energy saving lighting isn't just good for the power company and to meet local codes. You save money on operating lighting that is energy efficient, and with the right layout, get better function while you also help the environment.

4) Contrast it.  When selecting finishes for flooring, cabinets and other surfaces, try to add contrast. Deep toned cabinetry is gorgeous, but when paired with a light backsplash, stands out even more.  I love sleek exotic veneers for transitional kitchens, but paired with a textured glass backsplash, make a fabulous statement. New textured veneers make cabinetry dramatic when mixed with smooth stone or concrete counters. Islands in differing colors or finishes from the rest of the cabinetry helps define the overall kitchen style.

5) Scale it up.  When selecting the details for counter edging, beef it up.  Stone and quartz slabs are narrow. Don't limit your edge to the laminated bull nose or even a simple ogee. Add some thickness or weight to give a substantial looking edge that will wow you every time you use your kitchen.  

6) Vary the level.  Does every counter need to be at the same level? Can appliances be lower or higher than standard? You bet. For ease of use, visual interest, best function for universal design, and many other reasons, changing the heights at which you place cabinets, counters and appliances is essential.

7) Details matter. When creating a kitchen with lots of character, the details on the cabinets will make them unique and stand out. Furniture details like turned legs, rope moldings, and thick crown molding are ideal for traditional kitchens.

8) Keep it smart.  Smart kitchens don't just give you a competitive edge when selling your home, they make life better with convenience and ease of use. Imaging walking in with groceries and not having to fumble with a light switch to see where you're going. Wake up to information and news. Having lighting, security and audio controls in a central location gives superior functionality.