This is Part Two of our Kitchens 101 series with a focus on the style of your kitchen. Thanks again to our Design Leads, Leslie Teague and Vanessa Palframan for some great information to help you determine the style and finishes of your kitchen.
Choosing the finished look of the kitchen is a very important aspect for most home owners. Kitchens are often the hub of the home and as such, it not only needs to be a functional space, it should look fabulous too. There are so many choices in terms of finishes, it can be hard to narrow down your choices: cabinets, counter-tops and fixtures, there are so many choices!
Like we mentioned in Part One of this series, it's important for you to think about how you will use this space and what fits your style and needs today and long-term. Here are a few suggestions from Leslie and Vanessa to aid you in your decision making process.
Cabinets: White, Wood or Painted?
- White is classic, fresh and clean, and is what we are seeing everywhere around us in the design world. However, we are also seeing more mid-toned wood finishes, as well as painted cabinets (light grey or blue are popular) or a combination of the above. A white kitchen with some wood floating shelves, or dark lower cabinets with light upper cabinets or adding a wood island with white cabinetry. The options are truly endless!
- The most popular cabinet door styles we are seeing is a shaker style or a flat panel door. These are classic and will stand the test of time!
Designer tip: With a shaker style cabinet door, choosing a small interior bevel helps reduce dust buildup and makes it easier to keep them clean while still maintaining the door style you're looking for.
- Quartz is certainly the new standard for most new higher-end kitchens. The modern look and the non-porous surface makes them both popular and low maintenance. They are a great option that will stand the test of time when it comes to style and durability. For a modern look, consider a waterfall finish on your island!
- Butcher block counters are another option that we continue to see. Often it's used on a smaller counter space, like an island. They can add a nice, warm and natural look to your space. Keep in mind that there is maintanence that needs to be done to keep these looking their best: How to care for a butcher block countertop.
- Granite was the standard for a number of years, but the colors and patterns are a bit more limiting. Because it's a natural material, it does have more variations and inconsistencies. It will require some resealing and maintenance. Here's a handy article on how to choose a timeless granite: The Most Timeless Granite
Designer Tip: One thing to keep in mind as you design your kitchen, is the maximum lengths available for your countertop surface. If you want to avoid seams in your island for instance, the size of your island may be determined by the size of slabs available.
The backsplash is an area where you can bring some personality into the kitchen by adding a splash of color, texture or pattern. However, if you're looking for something that is versatile and time-proven, we will almost always recommend white subway tile. Even within the subway tile category there are quite a few options such as matte, glossy or textured.
- One trend that our homeowners are requesting more often, is an integrated quartz backsplash (see image below). While they are not inexpensive, it does create a clean and streamlined look that is easy to maintain, and it looks amazing!
- For many years a chrome or brushed finish was the standard for kitchen fixtures and cabinetry handles. While they are probably still the most timeless choice, there are many great options in brass or matte black finishes as well to give a more modern and trendy look to your kitchen. Traditionally, it was recommended to match your faucets to your cabinet handles and pulls to keep your space consistent. Today, mixing and matching style and color is definitely considered acceptable.
This hardware finish guide gives some great detailed information on many of the options available: Hardware finishes
Designer Tip: Cabinetry handles aren't as difficult to change as some other aspects of your kitchen, so it is a place you might choose to go a little more trendy in either finish or style, knowing that down the road that you might want to update.
We hope this information was helpful and gives you some direction if you're starting the design process for your kitchen! Stay tuned for Part Three of this series about kitchen appliances coming next week.