Four Ways To Update Your Kitchen in 2015

Transitional Style in the Kitchen includes color and eclectic lampshade island lightsing.

  • LED tape lights are the latest to add to highlite just about any place in the kitchen. With up to 50,000 of lifespan and low heat output makes LED tape my choice for lighting underneath wall cabinets, or underneath the toekick space. Applying this “tape” to the sides of cabinets with glass doors or above crown molding to reflect light off the ceiling is easy and modern. This professional modular lighting system features a variety of control options. A few manufacturers of LED tape include JESCO, Juno Lighting and Nora Lighting. They also carry LED puck lights.
  • INDUCTION cooktops have incredible instant response. Induction is the best cooking technology on the market. From instant simmering to a high setting for bringing to boil any liquids to an extremely low “melt” setting on many models makes cooking enjoyable. The worktop surface stays relatively cool since it’s magnetic technology. Induction cooking also eliminates the need to use a powerful hood vent. Heat is transferred only to the cooking vessel.Check out Wolf’s induction cooktop in various sizes with 4 or 5 burners.
  • TRANSITIONAL KITCHEN DESIGN is strong in interior design and with good reason. This style has been made popular by homeowners who are trending toward a simpler way of life, or homeowners who still respect and enjoy the familiar traditional looks in furnishings but desire a fresh take on kitchen design with less clutter, clean lines and modern innovative appliances. It’s easy to respect the architectural style of a house and decorate in a transitional style. In kitchens selections include simple door styles, smooth painted or stained finishes which include new gray colors and more modern styled faucets with stainless, nickel and black finishes. Even a vintage piece or flea-market find can be used in a contemporary updated transitional kitchen. Studio 76 Kitchens and Baths blog includes additional information on this kitchen style.
  • EARTHY COLORS for cabinetry is the approach for updated kitchen design, including mixing white paint or black accented islands or upper wall cabinets for effect.Pops of color in frames of cabinets or colorful walls add the interest in kitchen design. Sherwin Williams Color Visualizer or ColorSnap app are great tools to use for deciding what looks the best when painting kitchen walls. Medallion Cabinetry now offers new stains and paints that lend to current design trends in kitchens. Expand your culinary skills, entertain and enjoy an updated kitchen!

Lighting Up The Kitchen

Lighting that is "layered" for tasks in the kitchen www.studio76kitchens.com

Lighting that is “layered” for tasks in the kitchen http://www.studio76kitchens.com

Here’s the latest on lights for your kitchen.

Don’t hesitate to use LED lighting as you update your home’s lighting, especially in the kitchen. I am always pleasantly surprised how rooms are beautifully illuminated. (and you won’t need to keep changing out the bulbs!)

5 Kitchen Styles – You Decide!

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Continuous hardwood flooring (showing hickory species in photo) can blend rooms, making the space appear larger and open.

Continuous hardwood flooring (showing hickory species in photo) can blend rooms, making the space appear larger and open.

Candice Olsen, Divine Design

An extraordinary kitchen of “contrasts” designed by Candice Olsen

TRANSITIONAL STYLE – This is simple really. Don’t throw away all your things …. mixing the old with the new and creating a cleaner-looking kitchen with more storage is the trick to creating this look in your kitchen. For example, even if you will keep your appliances and flooring, try to select a cabinet style with simple lines and upgrade your countertops to a one-color quartz. You might want to take that old closet out and replace it with tall pantry cabinets to organize better.
RUSTIC AMERICAN STYLE – We used to call this “Tuscan” but here in the states we are really into re-purposing materials! So for a really interesting, laid back and casual approach to this kitchen style, I enjoy searching for old barn posts, or using the vintage details in an old century house to gain tremendous texture and aura. A honed slab of granite or a rugged 2-inch thick piece of limestone, soapstone, or wood can be used for countertops. Slate, distressed hardwood, or textured porcelain large tiles are great for the kitchen floor. By all means, go to the flea markets or small stores that sell vintage accessories. In my area, I recommend a resale shoppe called “Life Is Sweet”. Here’s their Facebook https://www.facebook.com/Lifeissweetinhudson
NEW AMERICAN COUNTRY – Your life will reflect this timeless style. A long time ago, we used words like colonial, or Georgian, or early American, but life in casual America has never changed really. However, now I need to plan for more modern appliances and a place to charge those techy devices and cell phones! Using colorful fabrics at the kitchen windows and on the barstools has never been more fashionable…..AND we always seem to dine-in the kitchen with this all American style of stained cabinetry (cherry is nice) and granite surfaces and hardwood floors in maple or oak or hickory and cherry. Because the kitchen is “open” to other rooms, all your collectibles can be displayed as well as kids artwork and family photos. The backsplash can be small mosaics or larger subway tiles and adding color to the walls is always in style.
EUROPEAN CONTEMPORARY – Nevermind that it’s clean … and sharp … and high-tech, this look can be designed in several cabinet finishes and surfaces. There are however two ways to go with color. If I was ever to design a city high-rise loft kitchen and it had a window with a gorgeous skyline view somewhere, I’d probably want to stay with neutral colors on the big items and specify a couple spectacular light pendants to mimic the lights in the city. But if a family wanted to have that magazine picture pizazz, why not eliminate some of the upper wall cabinets and display art on open shelves or hide the big appliances such as purchasing “Refrigerator Columns” by Sub-zero. There are so many choices for a modern style.
CLASSIC TRADITIONAL – If you need to remodel your kitchen in a timeless tradional style, this is a great look that’s “safe” even for when you go to sell your home in a few years. White painted cabinets with a possible stained or color-painted island works, as well as stainless appliances and granite with movement and pattern. Small lamps on the counter’s corner and accessories such as decorative storage jars and beautiful serving bowls with colorful placements can jazz up this look as well as a modern runner rug for in front of the kitchen sink. The new gray neutrals also work well (and yes, beige goes with gray!) See Abby M Interiors blog about this style: http://www.abbyminteriorsblog.com/2014/02/designer-favorite-granite-for-your.html

My favorite Designers

Before and After Kitchen

Before and After

The Before and After of this kitchen near Cleveland, Ohio, would make any homeowner proud. The value of their home just went up. The clutter is gone. The cabinets are new. The countertops are granite. The appliances are new. The island adds tremendous flexibility. It’s easy to prep and clean-up. The family entertains with ease. Nice seating. Storage galore!

I love “Wow” before-and-after photos!

Can you achieve a renovation of this caliber on a budget? I think so. Here are 3 things to keep in mind when considering a total “gut” kitchen remodel.

1) Where your house is located will have an impact on which projects to tackle. However, an updated kitchen always adds an immediate value, especially after a depressed housing market.

2) Depending on the values of other houses in your neighborhood, a total kitchen remodel (rather than a partial) will most likely set your home apart from them. I just talked to a couple who purchased a house based solely on the fact that the kitchen was totally renovated and updated to an “open floor” plan (walls had been taken out) and they could simply move-in and know that the value already exists.

3) Staying on a budget is important. The material and product choices today afford great flexibility in kitchen remodels. For example, the recent kitchen remodel I’ve posted in this blog had moderate selections in their new appliances, keeping several thousand dollars available for granite counters. That’s just one area where a budget can be maintained. Another is new cabinets. I’m not a big fan of refacing existing cabinets … there’s just too many manufactured cabinet lines out there with all the upgraded and latest hardware and drawer and door construction features at modest prices.

Stay tuned in to my blog as I review current kitchen designs and products.

Deb

Small Kitchen Top 5 Design Tips

Small Kitchen = Elegant Cozy Design

Small Kitchen = Elegant Cozy Design

Here are my top 5 design musts for small kitchens:

1- Opposites attract, so I always recommend selecting either painted cabinets, which will keep your color palette light, or
very dark stained cabinets which will keep your color palette dramatic, but still on the lighter side.

2-Backsplashes are powerful, especially in a smaller kitchen. Usually the 30-inch range prevails, so consider a designed backsplash in lighter tones of color with geometric shapes.

3-Add fabric somewhere. Chair cushions and window coverings are great places in tight spaces to add fabric for warmth and coziness.

4-Wood is king in a tiny space…..as long as it doesn’t overwhelm. I love the wooden table in this photo. If the cabinets were a dark stain, then a painted table and chairs would be my choice. Wood flooring is also an option.

5-Consider angles in a small kitchen. As you can see in this one-wall kitchen photo, the range was turned on a 90-degree angle and custom countertops to follow. This is a great way to take the eye away from the “smallness” of a room and yet in a kitchen provides interesting design detail.

Long and Narrow Kitchen?

kitchen window seat Candice Olsenkitchen remodel-narrow
Are you blessed with a small (or large) kitchen that makes you feel like you should be bowling rather than cooking? Ahhhh, this is actually such a common space for a kitchen! Two-story or ranch, here are 3 quick questions that you could ask yourself that will help you plan a really nice kitchen update.

SPACE PLANNING

Question #1: Am I willing to incorporate seating in my little kitchen….rather than putting a separate table and chairs in the space?
Now here’s another question that goes along with that….Am I willing to design a seating space in an adjoining room that blends with the kitchen update?

Answer: By incorporating seating along a two-wall kitchen or even enlarging your long and narrow kitchen (yep, that’s what I said, make it a little longer), you’d be surprized that by simply extending a countertop or taking an island or peninsula and design a small tabletop helps to make a super useful and stunning kitchen. OR go ahead and “divide” your long narrow space into 2 spaces with a fab. ceiling and wide trim entrance.

MATERIAL SELECTIONS

Question #2: Am I willing to put thought, effort, and design expertise into AT LEAST a countertop replacement that will help make my long narrow kitchen feel updated,fresh and new?

Answer: Just take my word for it …. consider new countertops. I’ve even seen the latest HD laminates along with granite or quartz just make a kitchen look new again. However, there’s one caveat …. you’ll need to at least “freshen” your cabinets whether you paint or replace. Otherwise it’s a bandaid fix. Also, keep some funds to replace your wall cabinet doors to glass-fronts.

INTERIOR DESIGN

Question #3: Am I willing to stay neutral in my color choices?

Answer: I’d like to see you not draw attention to any one area of your long and narrow kitchen. A one wall kitchen, or a two-wall kitchen really doesn’t need a lot of pattern, so your choices of paint, counters, backsplash, window coverings are going to make or break a spacious feel.

And here’s a thought …. create a “window seat”…..even if you don’t have a window! I love helping homeowners do seating of any kind in the kitchen! The photo I’ve included is a window seat by Candice Olson, one of my favorite designers.

Have a sunny day.
Deb