February 18, 2011

One trend in design these days is a return to the basic & utilitarian. I really appreciate this movement, that focuses on tried and true standards of the past. And I think that kitchens in particular are a great space to incorporate these ideas and details.

When we moved into this house, I was a little disappointed that the kitchen had already been renovated. But I decided to live with it, despite not being what I would pick for myself. It features dark brown flat panel cabinets with stainless steel hardware, black polished granite countertops, and a great series of appliances from Fisher Paykel. Oh, and the dirty yellow walls that I am such a fan of. I love the appliances. Everything else, not so much. Here are a couple of photo's for reference.

The renovation was done well, but frankly, it's really boring. Everything is just square and flat. I'm a very textural person, and the lack of detail here drives me crazy. It needs some personality. I feel like I've seen this kitchen a thousand times in condo magazines, and I hate that. So here's what I'm planning to do, based on the fact that I also don't want to spend any money on this either.

1. Paint the room a nice bright white. You can see the pantry beyond that we painted last weekend. What a huge difference. This will immediately open the space up.

2. New lighting. The lighting now is terrible. Two of the undercabinet fixtures don't even work. I often say that lighting is the most important tool in the designers box, so to get this right, I am willing to make the investment. We will need new undercabinet fixtures, and I'm planning to add 6 potlights over the perimeter worksurfaces. Then I'd like to rip out the three existing pots, and replace them with a couple of pendants, to light the island.

3. New hardware. Those flat pulls drive me crazy. You can't hook your finger under them to open the cabinets. More often I just grab at the bottom of the door to open. I am cursed when it comes to replacing door pulls, as they never seem to have a standard screw placement. So my trick is to specify longer cup pulls that cover the existing holes.

4. New backsplash. I feel that of all the finishes existing in the kitchen, this is the easiest to change. A simple subway tile backsplash will help to create some needed pattern in the space, particularly if we use a contrasting grout.

I would also love to get the counters honed, as the polished black shows everything. But that's a maybe item, depending on the cost. Other than that, adding a few great accessories should help to bring everything together.

Vintage Clock


Courtney said...

I'm a big fan of white kitchens - that's what we picked for our own house when we built and I love it. You can see our kitchen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/trec_lit/5456384638/

Those pulls are awesome!

If I wasn't terrified of something being broken, I would have all Mud Australia dinnerware. For now I am slowly collecting serving pieces. So pretty and delicate.

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