This three part series first appeared in Richmond, Virginia publications Chesterfield Living, Hanover Lifestyles, and West Ends Best in the Feburary/ March 2013 issues. Continued from Spice Up Your Kitchen! and Spice Up Your Kitchen! part 2
A refreshing alternative to homogenous built-in cabinetry, furniture-type components can infuse a kitchen with personality and charm. If your taste is eclectic, for example, consider an antique or heirloom hutch as a functional piece of kitchen furniture. A mixed-style kitchen is sometimes referred to as “unfitted.” This type of design can produce a unique and visually interesting setting while lending a warm and homey feeling. A favorite piece may serve as design inspiration for the entire space and satisfy the desire to craft a personalized statement.
Similarly, and as kitchens have expanded in size and complexity, many are designed with mixed two-tone cabinet styles and finishes, with contrasting features such as islands, upper and lower cabinets, or a butler’s pantry. Consider borrowing European details including plate racks, open storage, and freestanding pieces. For a more contemporary aesthetic, incorporate a more streamlined design with simpler details, less busy, cleaner lines, and subdued, natural colors and patterns.
Integral to every kitchen is the need to store everything under the sun. Storage has become quite a specialty, with specific inserts for drawers, customized pantry systems, pullouts, wine storage, etc. The most important factor in configuring storage is to take advantage of all available inches while keeping objects highly visible and within easy reach. Many items are moving from the areas where they have been typically stored and now can be found in surprising but practical locations. One example of this trend is locating spices in drawer bins. Some specialized storage for items such as wine requires unusual conditions such as light and temperature control.
THINK IT THROUGH
The most significant considerations in designing your new kitchen are creating convenience, functionality, longevity, and simplicity of operation and maintenance. Setting, working within, and keeping track of that pesky budget are key to controlling and guiding decisions. Finishes and material selections, lighting design, and furniture choices all play essential roles in creating the look and character of your new space. Whatever style you choose, keep in mind that open floor plans create the need to coordinate the look of the kitchen with furnishings in adjacent spaces. The kitchen should also be in keeping with the aesthetics of the rest of your home.
A new kitchen is a big investment, and it pays to do plenty of research before committing. For construction and renovations, consider professional design services and hire experienced, insured, and licensed contractors. Make decisions up front and, if possible, have all materials and appliances on site before work begins.
Photos courtesy of Matt Gunn, CKD, and Classic Kitchens of Virginia. Thanks Matt! www.classickitchensofva.com
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