Choosing Your Kitchen Aesthetics: What To Keep In Mind
The kitchen is often lauded as the focal point of a house. It’s where people start and finish their days, gather on special occasions, and make memories cooking or baking together as a family. Since we spend so much time in this room, designing it always feels monumental. There are so many choices to make, from flooring to cabinets, so it can be an overwhelming process.
Choosing a colour scheme for the kitchen is the first step to a cohesive design. It’ll inform every design decision you make moving forward, which is why it’s important to make the choice carefully. Avoid bold colour trends that will feel out of place in a few years’ time, or that may end up being an eyesore when displayed on such a large scale.
According to GoodHousekeeping, muted green tones are going to be big in 2022, a slight shift from 2021 which saw more jewel-tone greens. The prediction is neturals will be the star this coming year, so muted green tones are much easier to blend and match with this colour scheme.
Interested in more colour trends for 2022? Find the top paint colours of the year and how you can incorporate them into your home.
Warmer colours such as yellow and red are believed to stimulate the appetite (which might be why a highly recognizable fast-food chain is so popular), so adding pops of these colours throughout the room is a good idea. However, an all-red or all-yellow kitchen might be a bit too overwhelming, so be strategic with which elements you choose.
Light grey is also a good base colour for kitchens, but avoid anything too dark as it can seem uninviting, cold, and gloomy. Eggshell is also a colour to avoid, despite having been a popular choice for years, because it makes the room lack personality and feel outdated.
Tip: Another colour to avoid? Pink. It’s meant to be a background colour, not a focal point, and can be distracting when spread across the entire space.
Your kitchen countertops don’t just need to look good–they need to be durable! Whether you’re spreading out papers to get homework done at the island or prepping for a big meal, counters endure a lot over their lifetime.
Try to avoid plastic laminate counters for a few reasons, the first of which is they scratch easily. Second, the plastic can melt easily, so the first time you accidentally set a hot pan down could also be the last time you have nice counters. Third, steam and water can cause the counters to delaminate, which results in quicker chipping. Price-wise, plastic laminate countertops can cost around $26 per square foot to install—depending, of course, on the brand and company you go with for installation.
Another material to avoid is tile. Tiled countertops may look great but can be a pain to clean. The grout stains easily, plus food and dirt will fall into every crevasse–not something you really want to be dealing with on a daily basis! In terms of cost, tiled countertops can range from $2.50 to $40 per square foot, with installation costs ranging from $640 to $2,500 depending on the type of tile, the size of the project, and the contractor you use.
Butcher board countertops, or wooden countertops, can add a rustic vibe to your kitchen, but they can also be high-maintenance. The porous surface absorbs spills and smells, not to mention spills can stain the wood. Wooden countertops also require regular oiling to keep them from drying out, so just be aware of these upkeep requirements. The cost of a wooden countertop will vary depending on size, whether you’re using planks, and what type of wood you’re using. You could be looking at a cost of around $13 to $50 per square foot to install.
Granite and engineered stone are generally your best, low-maintenance countertop options. Both provide heat and scratch resistance, but you don’t have to seal engineered stone as often. For an engineered stone countertop, such as quartz, the price typically ranges anywhere from $57 to $130 per square foot. For natural stone countertops, such as granite or marble, the price ranges from $51 to $114. Again, these prices all depend on who’s installing it and what countertop you choose.
Tip: Marble countertops look stunning, but the stone is fragile and often absorbs stains, so it’s a high-maintenance option for areas like kitchens.
The flooring in your kitchen needs to be able to hold up to stains, heavy foot traffic, potential water spills, and everything in between. Hardwood flooring is becoming a popular option for kitchens, especially as people are looking to create a seamless look throughout their open-concept layout.
Hardwood can dent and chip easily, so you might want to consider engineered hardwood, which is more durable than typical hardwood flooring. Porcelain tiles are a popular choice, as they’re water resistant and versatile in terms of design and size, so you can generally find something that matches your aesthetic.
Some materials to avoid when choosing a kitchen floor would be:
- Marble: it looks great, but it scratches and stains very easily which means you’ll see every imperfection.
- Travertine: is popular and beautiful but, as it is a natural stone, requires proper sealing and regular maintenance.
- Laminate: while it can be cost effective, laminate flooring may not hold up well to water and can warp over time.
- Vinyl: vinyl flooring has come a long way. It’s more water and heat resistant than laminate and can come in a variety of luxury styles—including hardwood look-a-likes.
- Carpet: carpet in the kitchen is a no-no for obvious reasons, such as spills, smells, and stains.
Tip: if you’re concerned about standing on hard flooring, you can always find anti-fatigue mats to put in front of the sink, stove, and against the island—or wherever you do most of your prep.
Drawers, cabinets, and the pantry
Your pantry, drawers, and cabinets are high-traffic areas, and if you choose components you don’t like, you may find yourself frustrated more often than you’d like. Most open-and-close features in new kitchens nowadays feature soft-close mechanisms. Slamming doors and drawers are like nails on a chalkboard, it’s easier to avoid the noise with simple hardware add-ons.
For materials themselves, opting for solid wood cabinets is never a bad idea. They’re extremely durable and always on-trend. High-pressure laminate is also a great option, as it’s resistant to chips and scratches, comes in a wide variety of colours/finishes, and is easy to clean. If you have kids, you might want to avoid high-gloss cabinets, as they smudge easily and require more maintenance to stay clean.
Pocket doors—which are doors that slide into the wall—are a great option if you have a walk-in pantry. They don’t take up space and make it easy to get in and out. Sliding doors work well, too, but you’ll have to make sure there’s space for the door to slide over when you open it. For more visibility and to create an open-concept feel, cabinet and pantry doors with glass can be a good addition, especially if you’re into pantry organization!
Roll-out shelves can also make things easier to find and optimize your storage space, which is even more important when your kitchen is smaller to begin with.
Tip: Use LED strip lighting inside cabinets and pantries to make it easier to find things towards the back of the shelf.
Backsplashes are not only practical, stopping grease and food particles from staining the walls themselves, but they’re also a great way to add colour and personality to your kitchen. When choosing backsplash tile, it’s best to go with something easy to wipe down. This means avoiding styles like subway tile, which has lots of nooks and crannies for grease to settle into, making them a pain to clean.
Ultimately, staying with classic and neutral patterns is the best way to go. While bold patterns or styles might currently be on trend, you may find yourself getting tired of them by year three or four. For those who still want to be a bit different, opt for a bold shape rather than colour to make your kitchen stand out. Or, if you’re really set on staying on top of the trends, try using peel-and-stick backsplash tiles which are easy to change out whenever you want.
While the backsplash may be the most fun part to pick out, it’s recommended you wait until everything else has been selected in your kitchen before choosing the tile. It’ll give you a better idea of what’s left in your budget as well as what the overall theme of the room ends up being.
Tip: It’s more important to match your backsplash to the countertop than it is to the floor, as your backsplash is essentially an extension of your counter. However, all three should still complement each other.
Designing your kitchen can feel like an overwhelming process, but as long as you take things one step at a time you’ll end up with a space you love! If you’re thinking of moving, or curious about what trends are popping up in kitchens on the market, give me a call anytime for more insight on kitchen design and trends.
**article courtesy of Realtor.ca