Design 101: Kitchens

Whether your are an accomplished gastronomer or someone who catches meals on the fly, a kitchen that functions smoothly and pleases the senses is probably at the top of your design wish list.  There are some tried and true guidelines that most people are familiar with today, such as the triangle configuration of sink, stove, and refrigerator.  If you want to design your kitchen for maximum visual impact without sacrificing functionality, here are a few tips from our portfolio of designs.

Let The Sun Shine In

Generous natural light not only makes for better daytime task lighting, it is written into our DNA on some level to equate a sunny kitchen with comfort, joy, and welcome.  When the architecture allows it, opt for as many large windows as possible.  With more windows comes less upper cabinet space, so its important to plan thoughtfully.  In the kitchen below, we doubled down on the sunniness of the space by balancing a light and cheerful yellow with bright white trim and medium greige cabinets.

Photo: Matthew Lofton Photography

Use Happy Colors

In our Mason's Neck project, I selected a confident russet hue to provide a warm contrast to the soft mushroom cabinet finish.  Whether using a warm tone or a cool one, color can inspire creativity.  In general, finishing cabinetry in neutrals such as greige or white - or in a pleasing wood finish, for that matter - will ensure classic style that withstands trends, so consider using a statement wall color for impact that can be reinterpreted easily over time. 

 Photo: Matthew Lofton Photography

Photo: Matthew Lofton Photography

Take It To The Top

In our Stewart Cottage project, I wanted to add drama to keep the eye moving upward, so I designed for the backsplash tile to continue past the base of the upper cabinets.  With only few exceptions, the proportions of a kitchen are enhanced by tactics that make the ceiling appear higher.  By taking the tile all the way up, the overall space appears larger and more tailored.

 Photo: Matthew Lofton

Photo: Matthew Lofton

Consider Your Focal Point

In our Handley Boulevard project, I knew that the largest wall of the kitchen would be a focal point from the adjacent family room.  It was important that the cabinetry provide furniture-like beauty to prevent this sight line from feeling heavy.  Glass fronts and a mullion design with a sweeping curve were just the right touches to achieve the desired effect.

 Photo: MakeNest Interiors

Photo: MakeNest Interiors

Great kitchens require research and detailed planning. With impactful choices that compliment the proportions of the space and a well-reasoned layout for successful workflow, the kitchen becomes a well-loved center of activity where family and friends can get together to create meals and memories for years to come. 

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Want more Design 101? See the first post in this series - Styling Mantles - here. 

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