By Susan Serra, CKD
"Doing" a kitchen, as we Long Islanders love to say, is a process. In fact, there are numerous processes involved in the entirety of your kitchen remodeling adventure. Today, we'll talk about choosing your style, as one of these processes.
So, back to the title question: Who are you? Your kitchen will take on a look, a personality, a point of view. Take care at the start to understand this concept, as one decision drives, and impacts, the next one. First, consider the surrounding rooms. What are the colors, textures, and theme of your home? It is wise to make a visual connection to your surrounding rooms.
But, you can go a little further than that, a little deeper. The kitchen is a very soulful part of the home. It is also utilitarian by definition. To intertwine the two is the fun part, and challenging as well. So, who are you? What part of your lives can be brought into the decor of the kitchen to feed your soul?
Do you have a particular cultural heritage which is meaningful to you?
Do you have a special vacation spot that you would like to be reminded of in the off months?
What about hobbies? Are you a gardener, golfer, music lover?
And, of course, those collections...do you have them, or want to start one?
Do you love a particular period theme? (Be careful that it can blend with surrounding rooms)
These are some of the questions you should ask yourself, which is the first step toward personalizing your kitchen. There are a variety of ways to bring in your personality into the kitchen. Here are some ideas:
Overall decor - styling of cabinetry door and finish, countertop material, flooring. These elements are the foundation of your design. As the cabinetry is often the most expensive of these, my advice is to select cabinetry first and let it drive the finishes of the other materials.
Colors and textures - Consider color, texture, and style as you begin to interpret your personality into your products. They will tell a strong story in terms of casual vs. formal, modern vs. traditional, light & airy vs.
dark/serious, and more. Again, each decision impacts the next.
Tile/Appliances/Fixtures - These products can also strongly drive your design as well. For a cohesive look, coordinate all of your metal finishes (lighting, hardware, appliances, fixtures). Or, for a more casual look and feel, mix it up! Tile will also tell a story in terms of color, texture, and general motif. Your appliances can also go a long way to say any number of things:"I'm a cook", "I'm cooooool", "I'm down home and simple", "I'm retro", etc. Look at your appliances in terms of their function, and secondarily, their style to see what is the best "fit" for your kitchen.
Decorative items - Here is the fun part, where you bring your personality into the kitchen. Your personality can be more clarified by a tile mural, and with decorative items. Design-in display space to show off your pieces.
Glass doors, open shelving, "living room" artwork (why not?), an open spot for a favorite piece, give careful thought to what you would love to be surrounded by as you go about the tasks in the kitchen. Always beware of clutter, often a few pieces, particularly if they are either large, highly textured, or colorful, will go further than many pieces. Edit your pieces.
Enjoy your kitchen, whether it's new or it just needs some personality added. Just don't leave "yourself" out when you are planning your kitchen for function. There's a whole lot more to your kitchen than function. Enjoy!