Your Dream Kitchen: Combining the Right Design, Material, and Colour
The perfect recipe is the sum of all its ingredients. Appropriately, a kitchen remodel combines a touch of your lifestyle, the right blend of materials, and a dash of colour to bring the space to life. The latest trends in kitchen design and remodelling show that contemporary styles and finishes are bringing those three key “ingredients” together in new, modern ways.
Sourcing ideas for a remodel or brand new kitchen design can become overwhelming. Once you start looking, you’ll find what seems like a million resources, trends, and opinions. Here are three simple considerations you should take into account before starting a kitchen remodel or design.
Design to match your lifestyle
What are your lifestyle goals, and how can your kitchen fit into those plans? Is your family growing? Are you entertaining guests regularly? If so, consider what you need in your kitchen to fulfill those functions. You’ll need plenty of workspace for preparing and serving food, likely some gourmet appliances like double ovens or wine fridges, and ample seating and standing room.
If your lifestyle is more suited to simpler daily function or you are planning to downsize, design plays in quite differently. Consider a kitchen layout that maximizes flow and functionality of the space. Storage will be extremely important in the design; cabinetry, drawers, hangers, and modern storage design allow for even a small space to remain highly efficient.
In many cases, islands are popular because they can be used as an extension of counter, cooking, cabinet and table spaces. They are also a very stylish option as long as you account for the flow of traffic, and the space needed for opening doors, drawers, appliances, etc.
Choose the right materials
Materials matter, particularly in a space that accommodates a lot of foot traffic and food preparation on a daily basis. Choose materials with your lifestyle and personal sense of style and decor in mind.
Surface materials, as used on countertops, will take up quite a bit of real estate in your kitchen and therefore call for some visual impact. But they’re also the surface that will take the biggest beating as a working space for food preparation, so durability and versatility are critical. Countertop trends range from butcher block to cement, and from stainless steel to the ever-popular granite or marble. Each comes with their own set of pros and cons. Longevity is an important factor in any large remodelling project, so be careful not to fall in love with a fad or choose a material that might date itself in a few years.
Cabinet doors require the same consideration, and there are just as many options for materials: MDF, veneer, solid wood, metal, glass. By far the most popular choice is a solid wood, veneer, or product that replicates the look and style of wood. But that hardly narrows the choices! When choosing this direction, there are three factors:
- GRAIN: Each type of wood will have a different grain, and therefore, is akin to choosing a piece of artwork for your walls. No two grains are the same. Typically, Oak has pronounced grain patterns, while Maple has a more muted or softer grain. Carefully consider your preference and the overall look you want to achieve in the space.
- COLOUR: While choosing the colour of your wood is important, it’s common for the natural cabinetry colour to be stained a range of tones and hues. It’s even possible to replicate the colour of another wood by using a stain or finish (Birch to Maple, for example). If you want an au naturel finish, then pay attention to the colour of the wood and how it will fit in with the other colours and textures in the space.
- CONSTRUCTION: The construction of cabinet drawers and doors will determine durability, but will also play into the overall visual impact. An example of this, are the many types of hinges available that combine form and function. A popular trend in kitchen cabinet design is soft-close hinges that virtually eliminate the sound of slamming doors and drawers.
Complement with colour
Just as in any room in your house, colour in the kitchen will instantly define the atmosphere and its style within your home. Trends are showing that paint is not the only way to infuse touches of colour into the space. Other materials like wallpapers, metallics, mixed materials (wood and stone, for example), or even tiles and ceramics are becoming more and more popular in kitchen design.
Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of The Pantone Color Institute says that in a room that’s used most often as a gathering place for friends and family, colours should exude the same energy. Don’t be afraid to mix colours, materials, and textures to reflect the personality of your family and home. Create a board (digital or physical) that brings all the colours, materials, and textures you’ve chosen together. The sum of the parts should be complementary.