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Room Design 101: The Kitchen

Posted on February 20, 2017 by Michelle Lefurgey

room-design-101-the-kitchen-montego-model-show-home-drake-landing-featured-image.pngAre you ready to plan your dream kitchen? Before you start, think smart: style, surfaces, safety, and storage are primary considerations. Let's break down the design basics you'll want to consider as you create a kitchen that meets all of your needs and more.

Surfaces

Islands not only accent an open concept layout but are perfect for a casual meal or gathering with family and friends. Your island can match, contrast, or complement cabinetry. For space savings, install your cooktop or sink within a centre island, leaving plenty of room for extra seating.

Counters should not only look good but also resist heat and scratches for easy maintenance. Kitchen counters come in a wide variety of colours, finishes, and materials. Natural stone is the hallmark of a grand gourmet kitchen. Choose granite, porcelain, marble, or quartz in a colour and pattern that enhances your cabinetry and overall décor.

room-design-101-the-kitchen-manhattan-model-show-home-nolan-hill-image.pngCabinets

Choose cabinetry and finishes that reflect your distinctive style, and still offer convenience. Buy the highest quality cabinets your budget will allow. Cabinets are generally used daily, so in the future, you'll appreciate investing in quality.

You'll want your cabinets to be functional, with ample storage space. Another feature you might consider is soft closing doors. In terms of design, focus on timeless looks to avoid future renovations as styles change. Traditional designs work best with natural hardwoods and stains like cherry, pine, or maple.

Select good quality metal handles and drawer pulls that will endure years of use without rusting, breaking or chipping. Hardware should complement your kitchen’s cabinetry and décor—sleek, modern designs are best paired with stainless steel or polished metal while traditional styles are best accented by oil rubbed brass or bronze.

Flooring

Your flooring choices could range from natural and engineered hardwoods to ceramic, porcelain or marble tile. Luxury laminate flooring that is water and scratch resistant may be more suitable for a family kitchen, while still mimicking the look of wood. Additionally, ceramic tile has evolved over the last decade! You can purchase tile that resembles hardwood planks or styles that come in a variety of sizes.

room-design-101-the-kitchen-santiago-model-show-home-redstone-image.pngAppliances

In the kitchen, stainless steel is still the top contender–it’s low-maintenance, retains its sheen, and fits almost any decorating style. A stainless steel oven, microwave and range hood, refrigerator, and matching dishwasher form the basis of any well-functioning kitchen. Upscale workspaces might feature a wine fridge, trash compactor, built-in downdraft, or a warming drawer.  

Safety

When planning your new kitchen, don’t forget to plan for safety. The last thing you want is a beautiful space full of things that can make you go bump in the night. Allow enough space around cabinets and appliances to easily manoeuvre.

Surround your stove with ample counter space for meal preparation and near the dishwasher to make clean-up a breeze. A U- or L-shaped workspace makes it easier for you to go from fridge to stove to sink for effortlessly. If you have small children, be sure to install door knobs and drawer pulls safely outside their reach.

Your dream kitchen should also include flooring that not only accents your unique style but also provides comfort and safety for every member of the family. Ceramic tile is durable and beautiful but, for a safer choice, consider engineered laminate. You’ll get the look of wood, but the comfort of a softer, slip-resistant option.

Paint

Paint or wall coverings will tie your gourmet dream kitchen together beautifully while providing a serene backdrop for dining and family gatherings. Whether you choose soft colours like seafoam green, apricot, or grey; or primary colours like red, yellow or blue, walls do wonders for bringing life to a room.

Not a fan of paint? Today’s wall coverings come in a myriad of patterns and textures—some mimic faux painting, while others have the appearance of heavily textured linen or grasscloth.

Storage

For maximum storage, upper and lower cabinets are a must. Your builder’s plans should include a kitchen elevation which illustrates the placement, height, and layout of the space. Today’s designers love mixing cabinet heights to add drama and textural interest.

Cabinets can be installed several inches away from or flush with the ceiling. Lower cabinets can be inserted around the stove, dishwasher and other built-ins to provide storage for cooking utensils, dishes and flatware.

A walk-through pantry provides ample storage for bulk staple items and can be a great place to include bins for recycling and composting food scraps. To keep your countertops clutter free, you might even use the pantry to store small appliances like mixers, food processors or toasters.

When it comes to a new kitchen, there’s a design to match every budget and style. With so many choices for cabinetry, countertops, storage, and flooring, you can rely on a professional builder to make your dream kitchen a reality. A qualified contractor can help make the heart of your home both visually pleasing and optimally efficient.

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Topics: home features, tips & tricks, design and decor