A typical day in the kitchen for someone who loves to cook should be a warm, cozy, comfy and delightfully designed space. Your color selection in cabinetry could be in a different finish than the rest of your kitchen cabinets. Your countertop “landing” space on both sides of your cooktop should be enough to set a mixing bowl down. When you take a full sheet or roasting pan out of an oven nearby, think of the cooktop itself as another “landing” area. You may also use a nearby kitchen table as a prep area, especially if your kitchen is small. I always recommend a fully sealed stone counter surface in the “Cook’s Kitchen” and plenty of storage for everyday spices. Don’t hate me for adoring electric or induction cooktops versus gas …… I think these (especially induction) are just as precise for cooking as the gas burners. But all cooks have their favorites! Happy cooking! And, by the way, the sage painted, distressed and glazed cooking alcove cabinets shown in the photo are made in the USA. Visit www.mousercc.com to see more!
Easy does it
Look for a sink that offers plenty of accessories to complement your cooking style. Moveable cutting boards, rinsing baskets and various trays and receptacles make prep tasks easier and more fun. Chef-inspired Stages™ sinks feature accessories tailored to each stage of the cooking process.
Sinks with an integrated wet surface increase available workspace and simplify prep tasks and cleanup. When you’re done, the stainless steel wet surface is easy to clean, and drains right into your sink.
Swing-away spouts can move out of your way as you put larger pots in the sink basin. Sidesprays are excellent for washing fruits and vegetables as you prepare them. And pot fillers – a real chef-worthy amenity — serve as extendible faucets, and can be installed next to your stovetop or prep sink for easy water access. www.kohler.com
Wood floors are just downright beautiful in a kitchen. According to Gordon Austin, of Integrity Hardwoods (www.integrityhardwoods.net) hardwood floors “increases value to your home…and if properly maintained, can last a lifetime.” I am personally drawn to clear, (not rustic) hickory floors, since that is what Gordon installed in my own kitchen. There is so much warmth and because I am a “wood girl”, I have embraced the way that even small scratches and slight changes through the past few years have given so much character to my kitchen and adjoining family room. Oak, maple, cherry, beech, and even rift-cut woods are so popular, but never trendy for kitchens. Who doesn’t like wood floors in northeast Ohio in the winter? For more on preparing your subfloor for installing a custom or pre-finished wood floor, stay tuned.
Have you ever thought of fresh, original artwork in your kitchen? A client decided he wanted to finish up his kitchen remodel with a unique painted mural in his backsplash. I called my friend, Laurel Herbold, who does a ton of artwork in Cleveland, to paint something for him. Together, they came up with an Italian countryside scene that turned out gorgeous! The functional part of the kitchen that includes a microwave, is now outstanding. Great job, Laurel! You can see more at www.emster.com/laurel/.
How will I ever make a decision? I’ve been to 4 different home & garden shows this year and am so confused! I’ve watched so many kitchen design shows (www.hgtv.com) and looked through so many magazines! I like so many different things…..I’m not as sure as I thought I was about my kitchen remodel project! Is this YOU?
Let me give you six steps you will do (and maybe already have!) to try to “nail down” your ideas.
1 – Gather your ideas. I mean ALL your ideas. Never think there are too many. Because I believe that this first step is the key to getting confident on the road to your final selections and decisions about how you will remodel your kitchen. So get that big binder….or get on your computer and keep “tearing away” at the magazines, HOUZZ app, Pinterest, your favorite designer (Candice Olson is one of my favorites). Take a house and garden tour (many are scheduled for this summer), and by all means, visit a good kitchen showroom (Studio 76 Kitchens & Baths).
2 – Sort through all your ideas. Organize your ideas by main kitchen topic. Place the appliances, cabinets, countertops, flooring, lighting, fixtures, colors, kitchen styles, backsplash ideas….well you get the idea. Organize earlier rather than later.
3 – Let your ideas “simmer”. Don’t rush. Think about each area for awhile.Sit in your kitchen with your binder or computer in front of you. Stare at your space. Don’t be thinking, “I don’t think there’s anything different I could do”. It’s at this point when you may want to chat with a designer type of professional who also knows about the technical aspects of space planning. Just a friendly suggestion!
4 – Share your ideas. Everything will still be your idea….but it’s always okay to share them with another. Just remember that most of the lovely people you will bounce your ideas off of, have opinions. And some of them will have very strong ideas, especially if they have gone through a kitchen re-do themselves. You can learn a lot from them. Just remember to keep your original ideas on the “front burner” while sharing with your friends, your sister, your mom, or your neighbor.
5 – Focus on your needs. These are areas of your kitchen that need to be dealt with to get things “up to code”.
6 – Strengthen your ideas. Sift through each category and begin to make a budget on each item. This will take some time and I will blog about how manufacturers market and price out their products. Budget is a great way to “get real” with many of your ideas. But always remember that thoughtful, beautiful design in a kitchen can happen on a budget!
Stay in touch….more ideas are coming! Here is just one idea that I love personally, using the back of an island for comfy seating!
I know from personal experience that professional kitchen designers are the unsung heroes of the designer world…..however it was always beneficial to educate the homeowner on how to think about their floorplan , especially the kitchen island. Many times, you, ( I’m assuming you want to take the leap forward to remodel!!) are going to need some simple advice from a pro…..a sharp pencil w/eraser….and graph paper. It’s time to plot out the placement of the cabinets. There are many programs online you can use, however sometimes it’s the simple drawing that you can do to give yourself confidence. Study this elevation of my friend’s kitchen island, with the detailed measurements (always in inches). It has all the elements of good design. I included a photo of the island when it was finished….just for fun!
There have been so many times that a homeowner has told me she was disappointed in her final faucet selection for her kitchen re-do or when replacing countertops, etc. Part of the problem is that we can’t usually “try out” the faucet with normal water pressure before buying. There are a few “live” showrooms out there that you could visit (try Studio 76 Kitchens and Baths in Twinsburg, Ohio. www.studio76kitchens.com)
Here are some things I like to tell my kitchen remodeling clients:
-remember that deep sinks paired with a high faucet = splashing
-chrome finishes are the easiest maintenance and the least expensive finish
-single control with spray mode has the most universal appeal (check your water pressure)
-a solid brass ceramic cartridge is nice…..if your budget allows
-the spout only needs to swivel 150 degrees/be careful when placing it in front of window