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May 13, 2011

Marrying the Best Kitchen Colors to Trendy Updates

Lucianna Samu

I've been fighting a bout of writer's block today, trying to string together a compelling sentence to describe my sort of trendy, color driven, not entirely necessary, but definitely dreamy, kitchen update plans!  Whew.  Thanks to the future King and Queen of England, William and Kate, I'm feeling more confident with my word choice: marriage!

Having dreamed up a design in which style meets practicality, there's simply no better way to describe how I plan to work every mix-and-match design trend, into a few well-conceived color solutions, for the few things my kitchen is lacking.  By all measure, it's looking like a marriage made in design heaven is about to unfold.

My kitchen is not exactly lacking.  I've gloated a bit about my Blue Star range, custom painted to match Benjamin Moore's August Morning.



I have more than enough cabinets, all of which are custom-made solid maple.  Helpers in my kitchen find the full extension self-closing Blum hinges entertaining, while I prefer to dwell on the expert hand painted finish I applied, which is easy to keep clean, and lends a timeless dignity to the kitchen in a manner only white painted kitchen cabinetry can.


But there's still work to be done.  The backsplash has stood naked for over two years.  I've painted it more than once but, while it has held up to the daily wear and tear of kitchen activities perfectly, it lacks enough visual interest to support it's expanse.  It seems an easy fix to tile it, but I've got a better idea and have planned a repurposed and salvaged backsplash.  It's a marriage of color and materials that just might work perfectly in your kitchen, too.


The pantry is roomy, and the salvaged glass door helps blur the fact that it is newly built.  When the glass was mistakenly frosted, by an overzealously sprayed polyurethane finish, I left it alone and considered the resulting obscured glass a happy accident.


We all have our obsessions in the kitchen, and no other room in the house reflects our personal lifestyle more.  Some of us are clean freaks, who prefer empty counter surfaces, and an "all things out of sight" philosophy.  Some of us cook and some of us microwave.  I once designed a six-by-nine foot kitchen for a young couple who happily prepared their every meal in the toaster oven, and decided to forgo an oven entirely in exchange for an under-counter wine cooler.  I've had clients who claim sixty feet of counter surface is their minimum requirement, and outfit every inch of usable space with gadgets and prep stations you'd expect to find in a restaurant.


No matter your lifestyle, the one thing I know for certain about designing a great kitchen is this: it needs to function as beautifully as it looks.  Having stood watch over the demolition of more kitchens than I can count, I can offer up the second thing I know for sure about keeping a kitchen up to date and efficient: it needs to be paid attention to regularly--sounds like a marriage to me!  While other rooms in our homes can be fussed over for a while and then simply lived in, it pays to revisit the needs of your kitchen on a regular basis.  The walls, cabinets, floors, counter surfaces, and even your choice of materials or lighting, can grow worn and tired in no time.  Rather than let it all age gracefully, a systematic sprucing up to keep your kitchen looking fresh and well loved, is the single best way to avoid super expensive renovations and improvements.


I'm ready for sprucing!

Over the next few weeks, I'll share with you the best updates for any and all kitchens, including those like mine, which at most need a little color tweaking, and a few minor updates.  Let me know if you have any unfinished business in your kitchen; I'd especially love to hear from those of you who are convinced it's time to tear it all out!


Hang on to the crow bar for another few weeks and we can get busy problem solving, marrying small changes and simple solutions.

Stay colorful,


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Randolph you really get where I'm going here. Check back in another week or so to see how it all turns out.

White's gonna make this room light up! It makes me kinda excited to see what the results are gonna look like. I'll be looking forward to it!

Absolutely, unapologetically white feels right this time around, and those frosted pantry doors will never be the same! Thanks for commenting Kathie.

Can't wait to see what you've done. I need inspiration!

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