Create a snack zone prep area between major appliances. This usually involves a micro & refrigerator nearby. http://studio76kitchens.com
Since most homeowners now admit there is more than one person working in the kitchen, the inefficiency of a basic “work triangle” (sink, fridge, stove) is rather obvious. Where do you put an army of small appliances and still keep adequate counter space? Balancing the choices of large appliances is also a challenge since the goal is to accomplish a floor plan that doesn’t seem “forced”. Here is a small quick list of pet peeves (more politely called design challenges) that I see out there in all different kinds of kitchen spaces. Try to avoid these.
1- A giant microwave over the range or on the counter
2- A dishwasher trapped in the corner/fridge up against wall
3- A refrigerator that is too deep and sticks out into the room
Another negative that you may want to avoid …… anything that cannot be wiped down with a sponge doesn’t belong in a kitchen.
The best kitchen is an uncluttered kitchen, no matter what your style choice is, and creating “work zones” rather than a strict triangle. Here are a few that I like:
Do you need to replace your bulbs to LED? Not necessarily, but eventually:)
Most of us will still be confused in the lighting aisle, where you can still purchase halogen bulbs because of the low price and these bulbs “feel” like the old incandescents …. yet halogen bulbs are still only approx. 25 percent more efficient which is just enough to meet the EISA standards set.
LED lights are truly getting better and more exciting. (Can you tell I’m the daughter of a life-long electrician?) Because LED lights are so efficient, they will take a VERY long time before you’ll need to replace. I like that concept! According to Popular Mechanics, “Replacing a 60-watt incandescent with an LED equivalent will save you $130 in energy costs over the new bulb’s lifetime. The average American household could slash $150 from its annual energy bill by replacing all incandescents with LED bulbs.”
Here’s more info:
-LED lights are dimmable
-LED lights are getting “warmer” in color tone (LED’s now have CRI’s in the 80’s….Color Rendering Index)
-LED lights are getting cheaper to buy (manufacturers are more efficient in producing LED’s and demand is high)
Replacing certain kinds of older fixtures and housings take a bit of research and “trying on” lightbulbs can be a chore, but in the end, an updated look is achieved and the energy savings will be realized.
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!
Putting colorful accent bowls all over your kitchen for color!
New Tiled Backsplash in a herringbone pattern adds fresh color to the cooking wall in the kitchen.
Glass doors are perfect to view colorful dishware.
A new granite stone countertop choice!
Accent rug for pop of color to a neutral floor
Bold colors can offset stainless…and creates interest with a neutral kitchen
These are some of the interesting things you can do (other than painting a bold color on the walls) for adding some additional color and texture in your kitchen. Brighten up your kitchen with color and interesting design details.
Have a bright summer!
Continuous hardwood flooring (showing hickory species in photo) can blend rooms, making the space appear larger and open.
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
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.