By contrast this classic kitchen with walnut cabinets and a marble tile backsplash has less ornamentation than the previous one but it's still all about the series of small choices: the simplicity of one cabinet finish and wood species the decision to run the marble tile all the way to the ceiling and match the same marble on the countertops. By way of a series of small choices this kitchen reveals its personality and says "This is who I am: I'm classic warm and earthy".
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.
Complement the island. This kitchen is in a stately 1920s mansion. "Kitchens in those types of houses were originally only used by the staff not by the homeowners and were therefore dark tiny impractical in layout and the space was broken up by a lot of doors leading to the basement the servants' quarters and butler's pantry" says Ines Hanl of The Sky is the Limit Design. Her challenge was to create a space that was in keeping with the grand lines of such a home without making major modifications to the available square footage.
Layer your lighting. "In the last five years we've seen a huge change in the way that our clients look at kitchen lighting" notes Heather Moe of Design Moe Kitchen & Bath. "While function is still important we now layer the lighting to give homeowners an extraordinary flexibility of effect. We routinely have seven levels of illumination: countertop and general lighting under‐cabinet task lighting over‐cabinet up lighting accent cabinet lighting some supporting sconce fixtures (mounted on walls or on cabinets) ceiling lighting and – to top it all off – a central accent fixture usually something pretty and eye catching at the room's focal point".
White subway tile is ever popular but a style that has been gaining in popularity in recent years is to pair white subway tile with dark gray grout in a running‐brick pattern. The resulting look defines the outlines of each tile adding depth and interest to a space. The wider set the tiles are the more pronounced the outline effect becomes and the bolder the look.
Matching the floor stain color is one of the most challenging phases of a project. If you've got original floors and plan to refinish just the kitchen – or are laying new wood floors to match the old for continuity – don't expect a perfect match. Many floors in old homes are made of old‐growth wood and flooring is manufactured differently now. The natural patina of an old floor also is nearly impossible to match. Companies offering reclaimed wood floors can make that matching process easier.
Once I've worked with the client to pick the collage of materials for the kitchen we lay these out to focus on paint color. The reason this phase often comes bit later is that the kitchen might be under construction and still have the old paint color on the walls. The floors may be covered in that pinkish‐red rosin paper which can affect the look of the color on the walls.
Perhaps you want your newly renovated kitchen to blend with your older home or maybe that antiqued feel is your favorite. Either way distressing your cabinets is a perfect way to achieve a worn‐in look effectively and efficiently.