Nothing says inviting like a cozy cottage kitchen. With these few easy tips, you can create the perfect space to make friends and family feel right at home.
Open and Airy
Do away with bulky cupboards. Instead, consider placing open shelves where your upper cabinets would be. Proudly display your dinnerware on these shelves. If your dinnerware consists of mismatched items, that’s okay. It only accentuates the cottage look.
This U-shaped galley kitchen takes full advantage of its ceiling height and the available light. The location of the sink provides views outdoors, while glass-front, white-painted cabinet doors help make the space feel open and generous. Continue reading →
From contemporary to cottage, today’s most popular looks inspire beautiful kitchen designs.
Long gone are the days when kitchens were dreary workspaces, hidden behind closed doors. Today’s kitchens are central to everyday living and special-occasion entertaining, often doing double duty as family rooms, offices and media centers, as well.
“The kitchen is truly the focus of the home today,” says New York-based interior designer Andrew Suvalsky. “A great kitchen design will give essential clues to how the rest of the home can and should develop.”
To meet the growing demand for showstopping kitchens, manufacturers now offer cabinets, countertops and fixtures in all of today’s most popular design styles, from Old World to modern, city chic to country cozy. And your options aren’t limited to what you’ll find in the kitchen showrooms, either. Andrew and many other designers also turn to antiques stores, high-end furniture makers and salvage resellers when sourcing kitchen projects.
Whether you’re designing your kitchen to match the decor of other rooms, or planning your whole home’s look around the kitchen, you can make it a beautiful reflection of your personal style.
Open and inviting, country kitchens allow you to enjoy the feeling of a weekend getaway right in your own home — even if you’re smack in the middle of suburbia (Check out our Farmhouse Style Sinks by Bates & Bates). Farmhouse tables and furniture-like cabinetry are popular conventions, and an eclectic mix of finishes helps create a comfortable, lived-in look. Country colors range from primary red, yellow and blue to aged tones of cream and pale yellow; whatever hues you favor, mixing rather than matching is the country way to go.
Cozy Country Kitchen Designs
Sleek, sexy and sophisticated, the modern kitchen is designed to keep clutter to a minimum. Reflective surfaces and high-tech materials are central to the most modern kitchen, and exotic woods add a touch of luxury without frills or fabric. Iconic midcentury seating, including Bertoia stools and chairs by Eames and Cherner, are often chosen for a classically modern look; seating made of Lucite and highly polished woods is often chosen for a more current interpretation of the style.
Add Modern Style to Your Kitchen
Whether the space is large or tiny, cottage kitchens are designed to feel cozy and enveloping. With their homespun touches and imperfect finishes, cottage-style kitchens are always one of a kind and serve as the perfect backdrop for offbeat art and collectibles (Check out our country style Kitchen Island by Lyn Design). If you’re an avid flea marketer, this style will allow you to turn your weekend finds into everyday pleasures. To marry serious cooking with whimsical style, look for high-end appliances in white or retro colors.
Kitchens With Cottage Charm
Where function meets family friendliness, you’ll find the contemporary kitchen. The look is a carefully curated mix of materials: new and old, casual and polished. And because cooking with company has replaced cooking for company as the entertaining ideal, today’s kitchen has plenty of room for hosts and guests to work and interact. Add gourmet cooking equipment, comfortable, durable seating and lots of open space for a kitchen perfectly suited to 21st-century living.
Design a Contemporary Kitchen
Mediterranean or French Country
Imagine a small hotel in the South of France, or a contessa’s villa on the Amalfi Coast. The colors are sun-dappled. The surfaces are elegantly timeworn, and the atmosphere is pure romance. To replicate that Mediterranean ambiance anywhere, look for Provencal fabrics in rich tones of russet, cobalt and ochre, warm-toned wooden cabinetry, and handmade ceramic accessories. Rough-hewn textures, copper pots and rush seats add the final touches.
Whether you live at the beach or just wish you did, you can count on cool shades of blue, green, white and sand to create a vacation-time mood. Seagrass and wicker seating are casual, comfortable and coastal. Fabrics and flooring (Get the look! Check out our natural stone flooring by Agora!) designed to stand up to wet bathing suits make coastal-style kitchens easy to care for, and window treatments that allow for maximum sunlight will have everyone in let’s-get-to-the-beach mode bright and early.
If you yearn for a time when materials were solid and craftsmanship was king, Old World design will embrace you in history and luxury. Look for dark mahogany finishes with lots of carving and detail, countertops with ogee or bullnosed edges, and stone or wooden floors. Add historical accessories and heavy fabrics, and enjoy time travel comfortably in your own home.
Design an Old World Kitchen
Turkey on Thanksgiving, ham on Christmas Eve and chocolate chip cookies after school. A traditional kitchen is the perfect backdrop for a life that centers on family, friends and holidays — but its clean, comfortable look is welcoming 365 days a year. Paneled or glass doors on cupboards contribute timeless style, and latched or icebox hardware is often added for period detail. White tiles add a clean look and help reflect light, and artisanal or vintage-look light fixtures add special touches.
Design a Traditional Kitchen
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Galley kitchen remodeling can be a great way to take a kitchen space that’s already efficient and functional and add elements that increase both its utility and attractiveness.
In general, galley kitchens are smaller spaces, which can be a great benefit to anyone involved in cooking or food preparation. The famous “work triangle,” which co-locates the refrigerator, stove and sink, offers maximum efficiency with minimal steps between the various components. The tradeoff is that sometimes the space can feel cramped, dark and not terribly welcoming to guests. A galley kitchen remodel can address all of these concerns via some simple tweaks, many of which can be achieved on a budget or even without raising a single hammer. Continue reading →
When it comes to designing your home’s interior, the architectural style of your house will largely dictate your choices. If you have a midcentury modern home, you will probably lean toward sleek and modern. A bungalow might be filled with Shaker style furniture and craftsman details. And if you have a home in the country or in the woods, then you can’t go wrong with a rustic design motif. These designs conjure up images of aged building materials and the oranges, yellows and browns of autumn. Here are 10 tips to help you design your rustic dream kitchen.
In the last post of this series, 4 Signs that You Need a Kitchen Remodel, we talked about some sure-fire signs that it’s time to upgrade the kitchen in a home. Now, the second most important step in the process is deciding exactly how to spend on that remodel. How much will it cost to create that dream kitchen? How much is actually available to you?
Gather Kitchen Remodel Ideas
When deciding on a kitchen remodel budget, it is often helpful to know where you are going with the project itself. What things need to be replaced, and how much will those replacements cost? Is there major construction involved (such as tearing down walls or building in all-new pipes), or it is simply a matter of hauling that old dishware out and hauling in the new one?
If you are completely at a loss, start by making a list of everything that is broken, stained, or otherwise undesirable right now. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
The fridge that gobbles electricity and/or no longer works properly.
The sink that is scratched, cracked, broken, growing mold, or otherwise unsightly.
That laminate flooring that is yellowing.
Those broken tiles…or all of the tile.
That old stove that is a huge pain to clean (trade up with a sleek glass-topped one).
If you aren’t remodeling out of necessity, you are free to make changes based on “because I want to.” Either way, getting ideas for sexy new layouts, color, textures, and more is a great way to start building a kitchen remodel budget. Try magazines, TV shows, or even the Internet to get more ideas than you can handle.
As you go, make note of items you want and their “average” prices. This will help you build a “want” budget. I.e., the budget required to have everything you want.
Determine How to Pay For the Kitchen Remodel
Finally, it is time to go through what is available to you. Contractors and designers have it easy because they will simply get the budget from their clients, but the client may have some difficulty deciding what they can actually afford. The two most common options to look into are:
Current savings (if they are not deemed as emergency savings).
Equity. You might be surprised to find out just how much is waiting for you in an equity line or loan.
Discovering what is available to you will give you a “have” budget. Quite often, you will find yourself with a gap between the “want” and “have” budgets. If this is the case, it is time to close that gap by shopping for better deals on quality kitchen remodel supplies. If you still see a gap after hunting down the best deals on what you need, you may need to put off some of those things on the “want” budget. Add them to your holiday or birthday wish list instead!
Following these steps will help you better understand and envision what is truly possible for that kitchen. Once you’re there, it is easy to start Planning a Kitchen Remodel, which just happens to be what the next blog in this series is about!