There's very little that's more satisfying than taking a dated space and transforming it into a beautiful, functional one, and a kitchen renovation inspires that feeling times about 1,000! Of course, everyone desires a degree of timelessness but it's hard to say no to a trend or two, especially when it has classic roots, is undeniably chic, or brings along some extra function. Here are five ideas that seamlessly blend form with function while maintaining that delicate balance between trendy and timeless.
Talk about a collected look! Of course not every kitchen will be the right space for three different cabinet finishes, but with the wide footprint and high ceilings here, it works. Designer Alison Giese (whom you may remember from this series) repeated the brass hardware, Quartz counters, and vintage-style pendants throughout the room to bring continuity and kept the focal points like the windows and range hood simple, lest the room be overwhelmed. The cabinetry in this kitchen is from the Unique Kitchens & Baths showroom, where I have several rugs on display in situ and available for sale.
For a true wow factor, it's hard to overlook the impact of a slab of natural stone and if the upkeep seems a bit overwhelming, there are plenty of manmade alternatives that are just as lovely. If the stone is especially jaw-dropping on the counter, taking it onto a vertical plane will really show off the organic movement. A full- or half-height backsplash, or even just a splash behind the stove is also incredibly easy to keep clean with no grout lines to scrub.
All-white kitchens have had their day, but the trend now is toward color and texture in spades. And not just on the cabinetry -- taking a shade all over the walls, trim, and even the ceiling can give a cozy, den-like atmosphere, especially in a space that doesn't get much natural light. In fact, if that's the case with your kitchen, painting it white may actually make it feel dull, rather than light and bright! This soft sage kitchen has another trend that is a bit more simple to try -- a lamp on the counter. Not only is it a fun statement for the photo, a lamp adds a degree of coziness that is impossible to replicate with overhead or even sconce lighting.
Inset Range Niche
Whether you call it a cubby, niche, or nook, the idea is to hide the vent hood in a structure over your range. The design has historical roots, but can be executed in traditional or more streamlined kitchens, and is especially effective in large spaces where a scale-appropriate hood might be overwhelming. It's a practical choice, too, as it contains the cooking mess nicely, and the sides of the niche walls can be outfitted with shelves or shallow cabinets to keep spices and oils close at hand. The shape of the niche allows some design choices -- you might highlight it with a beam, as shown here, or create an arch or other shape for interest.
While generously-sized center islands have been the kitchen seating du jour for the last several years, I'm seeing a return to old fashioned eat-in spaces, especially cozy built-in nooks. Not only does eating around a table better facilitate conversation than sitting in a straight row along the long end of an island, but a little separation from the food prep area is desirable for many reasons. If you have the floor space, even a small cafe table with a pair or chairs might end up being your favorite spot to begin (or end!) the day with a favorite beverage.
And of course my favorite kitchen design element is a vintage rug to bring the colors and textures of a space together. Runners are well-suited to the space along a run of cabinetry, or a small gallery rug may be just the thing to define an eating nook. You can view my entire inventory here, and as always, please get in touch if I can help you source something specific.