It’s easy to follow a recipe and decorate remarkable confections, but what rule of thumb do you follow when choosing kitchen cabinets and countertops? With so many tempting choices, it helps to stay focused on a few key items. Take a cue from our helpful hints on kitchen design and combine the perfect mix of hardscape elements with a dash of aesthetics to serve up the ultimate pièce de résistance for your kitchen!
Food for Thought
Designing your kitchen is a big undertaking, so consider choosing elements that will benefit you most in the long run rather than the short trend. Start with the two principal components of the room, the cabinets and countertops, and think along the lines of longevity in style and color. A monochromatic effect looks ultra-modern, however, contrast between cabinets and countertops provides more depth of design. Allow only one of these to take center stage and let the other assume a supporting role. The main design features need to work in unison, playing off texture, tone and a combined sensibility. Staying neutral in color and classic in style will offer the utmost in versatility as trends change. Countertops and cabinets that can cleverly adapt next to easily refreshed wall paint colors and decorative accessories are a sure bet. Count on these staples of kitchen design to remain steadfast and timeless, and for years to come, you’ll enjoy this all-important room that’s the heart of the home.
Form and Function
Open the door to a world of cabinet options, from extra tall ceiling-height designs to blind-corner cabinets that make the most of the space. Basically, there are three types of cabinets to choose from: stock, semi-custom and custom cabinets. Stock cabinets may have fewer bells and whistles than the rest, but they’re an excellent and affordable choice to upgrade an out-of-date kitchen. Semi-custom cabinets offer more styles, finishes and features than stock cabinets. And luxury custom cabinets offer the widest choice of woods, finishes and details. Another option is cabinet refacing. Doors and drawer fronts are replaced, while matching wood veneers are applied to the exterior of existing cabinet boxes. With so many cabinetry options, today’s cupboards offer more than the bare minimum of storage – they add functionality, style and a good return on investment.
Gather Around the Family Stone
A natural choice for kitchen countertops originates from the ground up. Gorgeous offerings brought to us by Mother Earth include coveted marble, granite, soapstone, slate and quartz stones – cool to the touch, smooth and sumptuous. Materials such as these can define the rest of the kitchen’s aesthetic and set a spectacular tone. From polished, glossy and gleaming slabs to rough, honed stone – perfect as is, in all its natural beauty. To add even more character and declare your stone countertops modern or traditional, choose from several styles of beveled, blunt or bullnose edges. Or go over the edge and create a dramatic draped effect with a cascade of stone in an island waterfall countertop.
Of course, there are many familiar and popular countertop materials that are affordable and reliable like modern laminates and cultured stone options. But for a truly over-the-top countertop wow factor, opt for unexpected alternative materials: exquisite, illuminating onyx; retro recycled glass; modern malleable concrete; sleek space-age stainless; intricate, detailed mosaics; end-grain butcher block tops; saturated pools of colored glass; or counters wrapped in captivating brass. The possibilities are endless and limited only by the breadth of your imagination.
If you’re hungering for something more in the kitchen that will add a little oomph, stir up some excitement by switching out your cabinets, countertops or both. Because no matter the size or the seating within, a kitchen has the magical quality to draw us together and become the room where we all long to be – the place that feeds the mind, body and soul.