When it comes to Kitchen design there will always be one thing that stands out. It could be a natural stone tile backsplash, a modern stainless steel gas grill or intimate lighting over an eat-in island that lends an inviting appeal to the design. It’s important though that not everything in your kitchen is fighting for attention. To have one or two focal points that really stand out, most of your kitchen’s color palette and design elements need to blend with and complement each other.
When it comes to picking out the options and upgrades for your kitchen, you will be faced with a dizzying array of choices. As is often the case, less is often more. Options and upgrades are like cooking ingredients. Basic clean lines, warm colors and a consistent style will be easier to work with than throwing every random option into the pot and seeing what comes out. But never worry b’coz we got you covered!
Here are some of the most popular upgrades and options available for today’s kitchens and some tips to creating a design that will really make them shine.
Commercial Grade Sinks and Faucets for Your Kitchen Design
Oversized sinks, integrated drain pans, rinse sinks, drain racks and built in cutting boards are popular upgrades in many new kitchen designs. Combined with a commercial type one hand pull out spray faucet, your sink can combine durability, function and beauty in one package.
Kitchen island sinks are increasingly popular with large families and with those that enjoy entertaining. Stainless steel is the most popular choice for kitchen sinks but other materials are being used to fabricate kitchen sinks as well. Large fireclay or cast iron farm sinks are becoming popular.
These sinks are typically 30-36 inches wide, 18-20 inches back to front and anywhere from 10-18 inches deep and have an offset drain to maximize work space in the sink. Farm sinks are typically designed to mount under the counter with the countertop overhanging the sink on three sides and the front of the sink extending 1-3 inches beyond the face of the base cabinets. As well as a large selection of sink designs and configurations, stainless steel fabricators can create custom sinks to whatever specifications your heart desires.
When designing a kitchen around commercial grade sinks, ranges, ovens and appliances think in terms of stations. Make sure you plan for sufficient storage within easy reach for everything that will normally be used at that station. Include bake pan storage beside the oven, easy access trash containers near the food prep area and think safety by keeping things like counter bars separated from range tops.
For surfaces, use durable easy maintenance materials and designs such as polished and sealed granite countertops and frameless cabinets with slab doors.
Tile and Stone Backsplashes
There are many artists that specialize in tile murals and mosaics. There is also a wide range of decorative metal and ceramic tile medallions available that you can incorporate into a beautiful tile backsplash.
Combining ceramic tiles with natural stone tiles is an option that adds a host of design possibilities. If you have or are adding a high-end gourmet gas range, a nice option is to install a tiled alcove behind it where you can keep a collection of olive oils, knives, spices and decorative containers handy.
It makes a beautiful and functional backdrop for the centerpiece of a serious gourmet kitchen. Elaborate custom tile backsplashes work well with old-world inspired designs like French country kitchen or American colonial. The materials should reflect the time period with wood, marble, copper and crystal accents and details.
If you don’t want to get too over-the-top with your period kitchen you can still give it an air of vintage sophistication with a tile backsplash in antique white with a simple patterned border running around the room for visual interest. Natural slate tiles have become popular materials for kitchen backsplashes. They add a warm and rustic feel to the kitchen. They look great with a kitchen that highlights natural materials such as natural stone countertops, wood cabinets, exposed beams and wrought iron cookware.
Whether you want to bring out the lustrous shine of a slab of polished granite by adding a row of pendant lights over your kitchen island or highlight a custom tile backsplash with recessed undercabinet LED lighting, you can find a lighting solution to enhance your kitchen design.
The light fixture itself can act as a focal point of your kitchen. Custom pendant lights handmade by skilled glass blowers can be gallery quality pieces of art in their own right. Pendant light designs range from modest to modern with several artists and designers specializing in reusing industrial machine parts and recycled materials to create striking concept art pieces.
Converted lofts and industrial design inspired kitchens are perfect for steel pipe chandeliers and repurposed wine bottle pendant lights. Minimalist kitchen designs that feature simple lines and uncluttered spaces also benefit from the sparse aesthetic of industrial look lighting. Advances in LED lighting have added many opportunities to use lighting to enhance your kitchen decor.
Low voltage LED tape lighting can be installed under cabinets to light counters and inside glass front cabinets to light your collection of fine wines or heirloom China. You can add a dramatic touch to bars and counters by adding lighting along the underside of overhanging kitchen countertops.
LED tape lights operate on 24 volts supplied by an electronic transformer. The strips are 1/2 inch wide, silicone sealed for safe use in wet locations and can be cut to any length so you can us them virtually anywhere. LED tape lights are fully dimmable and rated to 50,000 hours so they will last for decades.
Last but certainly not to be ignored…
Exotic Granite Countertops
When selecting stone for a granite countertop you are often looking for a more or less homogeneous color and pattern. If, however, you would like to make the granite countertop on your kitchen island a focal point you may elect to choose a more dramatic piece. Exotic granite that contains two or more contrasting colors and large inclusions and contrasting veins is an attractive option.
These granites are mined in small quarries and there is always a great deal of variation from piece to piece. Juparana granite is one example of granite that displays a large variation in color and pattern. It was originally quarried near Lake Juparana in Brazil where it gets its name and contained colors ranging from yellow to peach with many large contrasting veins running through it.
Now a variety of granites from other countries that look similar are also labeled Juparana. When you are featuring an exotic granite countertop with two or more contrasting colors consider cabinets that match one of the non-dominant colors in the stone. The style of cabinet will depend on the feature color.
You could match a piece of granite with small dark brown veins to deep mocha colored cabinets in a simple shaker or modern design. If your countertop had veins of white or yellow you could use an off white glazed finish on colonial styled cabinets to highlight the countertop.
If you decide to go with a stone type countertops (or wanted to order one for your kitchen), click here for more info about our services.
The Choice is Yours but Keep it Simple
As with any kitchen design ideas, there are a numbers of ways to make a statement and create a visually pleasing kitchen by designing around one or two focal points.