Designate a kitchen stand‐in. Eating out all the time gets tiresome not to mention the strain it can put on your budget. And no matter how much takeout you bring home you'll still need a spot to make school lunches pour a bowl of cereal or brew coffee. Set up a temporary kitchen somewhere that's out of the way of construction. If you're lucky enough to have a morning kitchen or a guesthouse you can turn that into food‐prep central. Or outfit a corner of the basement garage or workroom with a few portable tables standalone shelves storage crates and folding chairs.
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.
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".
Not your basic black. For some people black might seem to be as bold a choice as orange. But in a home with a limited color palette – black white blue and gray – it fits right in.
The warmth of orange. It's a pretty bold choice for a kitchen but when you hear architect Mark English talk about this room's color palette it makes perfect sense: "The home is sited on a hill with a 270‐degree long‐distance view toward the east and northeast. The color of the light coming into the house tends toward gray and bluish tones so the orange was used to counteract the coolness of those tones. The island and upper cabinets are 'pieces' that can be seen from adjacent rooms and I wanted to highlight them. The regular base cabinets and full‐height cabinets are meant to be background elements".
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".
If you're a cook you know that kitchen messes are bound to happen. Grease and oil splatters and flour sprays often end up on cabinets and counters. Distressed cabinets not only hide those little messes well but also are super easy to wipe down. No matter what you choose for the rest of the home it's so important for the kitchen to feel relaxed and inviting; it is the heart of the home after all. Even in a more upscale design scheme distressed cabinets lend a casual air that can't help but be welcoming.
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.
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