I recommend that clients select appliances and sinks during the preliminary design phase which often comes before selecting the rest of the finishes and fixtures. This is so the plans can reflect the proper sizes which will in turn affect the cabinetry layout. Also I recommend picking the type and amount of lighting fixtures during this phase: cans semi‐flush mounts how many pendants over the island and so on in order to complete the lighting plans so the contractor to provide estimates. Most people haven't actually picked what style pendant light yet but at least the decision about number is done.
Fit the space. "Because of the size of this kitchen and the height of the ceiling we needed a fixture that not only had the appropriate width but also height" says Kristin Petro of Kristin Petro Interiors. "With its tiered design a chandelier fits the space perfectly. In addition the white cabinetry and backsplash provide a neutral backdrop which lets the intricate style of the chandelier really pop".
Mellow yellow. If you're looking for a take on a French Normandy country home yellow might be your color. "This room was designed to emulate what a kitchen might look like in the countryside of France" says Jo Ann Alston principal at J. Stephens Interiors. "The mustard yellow is very indicative of a French color palette and the hand‐done plaster technique on the walls with the overglaze of a faux‐finish technique makes the walls look aged".
Brown is not boring. Kitchen and bath specialist Robin Rigby Fisher explains that "this kitchen sits between an original 1918 Craftsman formal dining room and a contemporary family room. The only constant was the dark woodwork throughout both spaces. We also had the challenge of designing around a ceiling height that has a 9‐inch difference from one side of the beam to the other so we chose to incorporate the dark wood accent as a crown molding. The intention was to draw your eye around the room with the goal of minimizing the height discrepancy.
If you're doing tile or stone floors work on picking those materials at the same time as cabinets backsplash and countertops. The relationships among these materials is critical. It's tough to mix different types of stone and tile unless you want your kitchen to look like a showroom.
For the modernists out there you would think picking finishes and fixtures would be easier with less adornment and fewer decisions to make. For some this might be true but I find that for others this style can be just as challenging. It's all about restraint and editing and that's hard.
The layering and mixing of finishes in this kitchen give it an old‐world charm. Note the glazed blue‐gray island and its relationship to the pendant above. The choices for a mahogany‐tone wood countertop dark trim around the windows and a custom hood surround in particular were all made during the process of designing this kitchen and impact the overall finished look and style.
Floor‐to‐ceiling subway tile with gray grout is a fitting backdrop for this bathroom's large and dramatic glass shower stall. Smith & Vansant Architects have tiled this shower‐tub enclosure with off‐white subway tiles on both the walls and the ceiling – a smart move for durability.
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