There was a time when kitchen design was not even a consideration. But that was a long time ago. Today, many kitchens are integrated with living space and are apt to be more gathering spot than serious work center. Even in homes where the kitchen occupies a room of its own, it is used for many different functions — from homework station to home office, from early morning grill to late-evening conference room.

If you’re planning to remodel your kitchen, pay attention to the materials and the palette in order to create a winning design.

Countertops

Chefs-Contemporary-Kitchen-CountertopArguably, kitchen counters are the most used — and the most abused — element in the room. You’ll want a material and a color that will live up to whatever you throw its way. That means smooth, durable, attractive, easy to clean, heat and stain resistant, scratch and dent-proof, and able to stand up to cooking as well as crafts projects and children’s “science experiments.”

Granite is a great choice, available in slabs sized for even the largest of islands. Marble, because it is softer, is less suitable for kitchen use, but traditional white and grey Carrara is perennially popular. Natural stone must be sealed, but newer manufactured look-alikes are a great choice. Quartz counters are unsurpassed for durability and comparable to natural stone in cost. Many brands are on the market with literally hundreds of style and colors to choose from.

Wood counters are back in favor, from traditional butcher block to newer examples made from recycled scraps or exotic species. Yes, they can stand up to kitchen use! Stainless steel, copper and zinc are trendy choices, especially for islands, or in pro-style kitchens. Don’t forget the backsplash: Match or contrast and make it special.

Tile is still a popular choice for kitchen countertops, but designers prefer larger squares with fewer grout lines. New laminates are cost-effective, easy-care, and easy to work with. The material can be customized in unique ways. Finally, there are options like poured concrete, counters with integral sinks and drain boards, and counters of recycled materials including glass and cardboard.

Cabinets

white kitchen cabinetsCabinets are not only the biggest cost in most kitchens, but the most visible element. Commonly constructed of wood, today’s kitchen cabinet choices run the gamut from traditional to contemporary. Choose a cabinet door style that you love — it can be light or dark, wood or metal, solid or with glass doors or punched tin panels, rustic or Euro-tech.  A modern kitchen need not have both upper and lower cabinets, and not all cabinets have to match. Create your choices so that your kitchen reflects your personality, be it rustic, homey, or sleek and modern.

The best kitchen designs have the surprise of contrast; light and dark, solid and pattern, but if you prefer neutral and monochromatic color schemes, go that direction. Install glass doors on upper cabinets, and add shiny hardware as “jewelry.” Pick either a light or dark flooring to complement your other decor choices. You’ll want practical and easy to clean!

Appliances
stainless steel refrigerator appliances for kitchen

You third major decision is not only the style, but the finish you prefer for appliances. To compliment or contrast the ever-popular brushed stainless steel finish, new on the scene for 2017 are darker metallics. You can pick from black stainless, matte stainless (fewer fingerprints and less streaking to worry about), a new bronze coppertone, and still popular black and white offer options in both sleek and matte finishes. You’ll find ranges, refrigerators and exhaust hoods in bright retro styles and colorful enamel as well. Be careful when you choose one of these newer colors. The manufacturers are still trying to find the right colors so not every type of appliance will be offered consistently through the gamut of appliance types and styles.

Make a statement with a standout red range; or opt for subtle style with red or blue knobs on sturdy pro-style stainless. It’s all a way to personalize the kitchen and make it work for you!

Call on the product knowledge and design expertise of the certified kitchen consultants at The Kitchen Master to help you as you begin thinking of remodeling options. Contact us to schedule an appointment at our showroom in Naperville.

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