Kitchens used to be hard-working rooms set aside for food preparation. Today, they form the heart of the home in terms of activity and style. They are still hard-working rooms, but they fulfill so many roles—from food preparation to casual dining to upscale entertaining. So what are the essential elements of a great kitchen? Consider these things when remodeling your Naples kitchen.
Like many of the essential elements in your kitchen, your countertops serve multiple purposes. If you cook a lot in your kitchen you’ll want something that will stand up to the demands of cooking, cutting, cleaning, and chopping. But of course, you'll also want something that looks great and works well as a surface for entertaining and for serving casual meals. Here’s a post that helps you find the balance when choosing the materials for your countertops.
The backsplash above your countertop provides a way to tie together different elements and color schemes in your kitchen. One trend that’s been evolving somewhat recently is the use of different colored cabinets (for instance: light colored upper cabinets and bolder, darker lower cabinets. Your backsplash material can act as a transition between those two shades.
Choosing the right flooring material is important as well. Because open design floor plans are so popular these days your kitchen will be visible from other rooms in your home. You can use your flooring (whether it’s wood, stone, or tile) to either tie your kitchen into the design of your other rooms—or to set it apart to establish its own identity.
Your kitchen cabinets are an absolutely crucial element in your kitchen. Visually, they play a huge role in setting the tone for your kitchen. We already mentioned one of the current design trends for cabinets above (combining lighter and darker cabinets), but there are also important functional considerations. Consider which configurations will give you the easiest access to the things you store (such as pull-out shelving and soft-close drawers). And consider modifications that will allow you to take full advantage of the space in your cabinets. Here’s a post that looks at some of the best semi-custom cabinets for your kitchen
Upgrading your appliances can be the icing on the cake in your kitchen remodel process. You may not need a sub-zero freezer or a 6-burner Viking range (unless you really do that kind of cooking). But you definitely don’t want to “under” buy and end up with appliances that don’t meet your need (and don’t look great). When it comes to colors, things get more difficult. Some designers have claimed for years that stainless steel was dead—and yet it still maintains immense popularity. One surface that appears to be making some headway is what some manufacturers are calling “black stainless” which still provides the luster of stainless steel, but with a darker finish.
Lighting is perhaps one of the most overlooked elements in kitchen design. When creating your kitchen you’ll want to pay close attention to your lights. Not only will you want to have adequate task lighting for the various tasks you regularly perform, but you’ll also want to have ambient or mood lighting for entertaining—or for when you’re in one of the adjacent rooms and can still see the kitchen. Another lighting source you won’t want to overlook is under-counter lighting. It makes it so much more pleasant to work on the counter space below the cabinets—and it makes it much easier to find things in the drawers below the counter.
You may remember the tagline from the old Star Trek series: "Space: The Final Frontier." Well, space is an incredibly important "frontier" in the kitchen as well. There are three areas where the use of space is critical.
- Prep space: It’s important to plan the physical layout of your kitchen in such a way that you have adequate space for doing the kind of food preparation your need. It’s not just a matter of more space, but also of having well-designed space so that the things you need access to are conveniently located.
- Floor space: Because kitchens are so often so central for entertaining, having well-design floor space is critical as well. And while you will want to keep your “kitchen work triangle” in mind for preparation, you’ll also want to think about sitting, standing, and walking space in your kitchen when you have guests.
- Storage space: Nobody ever seems to have enough storage space. That’s essential as well because if you lack space for storage it’s easy for your kitchen to look cluttered and crowded. A good design-build remodeler can help you find “hidden” space in your kitchen and take advantage of poorly utilized space for storage (and maybe even something such as a built-in pantry). Looking for ideas? Here’s a post from Houzz.com with some great suggestions!
Working with a professional designer can make conquering your “space frontier” a lot easier. These pros are used to thinking both in terms of how your kitchen looks—and how to optimize the space you have.