A contemporary look has clean, understated lines and a limited color palate with bold graphics. This style can liven up a generic ranch house, complement a modern home design or provide an interesting contrast to a historical house style that also boasts clean lines, such as craftsman. When choosing contemporary furniture, look for metal designs or all-weather wicker with a sleek, sculptural design, says Voyles. If you prefer wood, go for teak, which tends to come in contemporary designs.
Because more and more of us are staying in our homes and making improvements rather than moving, you can afford to put your personal stamp on your home. For that reason, be brave and embrace colour. Everything from bright pink to cool blues will work in a kitchen, you can even go for an all-white, glossy kitchen if you want that modern, minimal look. Be bold and you’ll be thrilled by the results.
One technique for enlivening an outdoor space is to create a focal point in the form of a fire pit, dining area or gazebo. Focus on complementing this focal point with your furniture. For example, if your fire pit is oval-shaped with smooth curves, a set of sling-backed or egg chairs and simple end tables might be a good fit. On the other hand, if your chairs will be set around a rustic, campfire-like fire ring constructed of heavy fire-resistant bricks, you may want a more substantial set of heavy wooden or wrought iron chairs.
What makes a kitchen memorable is what happens in it, and we should be doing everything possible to not only sit down and eat together, but to also cook together. Start with something really simple like having an extra chef`s knife around for eager sous chefs. For full-on remodeling projects, think about how you want the space to flow and accommodate a gaggle of helpers: maybe a custom center island on wheels? My budget version of that is felt pads under the legs of my small butcher block that allow me to slide it out toward the living room and get people chopping onions or greasing ramekins. This gives me room in the kitchen proper to accomplish the more involved acrobatics of throwing a serious dinner party.
A good vibe goes a long way. Music, flowers, wine: these are all things that contribute to the design of your space, especially if your kitchen design project doesn`t involve knocking down walls. If you`re designing from scratch, don`t lose sight of the smaller, personal touches. Having fresh flowers on the counter each week and listening to music that gets your hips swinging are as much a part of the beauty of your kitchen as anything.
It is traditional to position your sink below a window and this works well, more important for me is that there is plenty of worktop space on both sides of the sink, so dirty dishes can be queued up whilst clean ones are draining.
Always discuss socket positions with your electrician before they start work! Too many is better than too few. Always consider what splashback material you are using as sockets will increase the cost of some, such as glass, which is cut off-site by specialists – it’s easier to cut-around sockets if you’re using more traditional materials like wall tiles. Sockets should sit a minimum 150mm above worktops and always be installed by a qualified electrician.
Cooker hoods have become one item in the kitchen that you can really make a statement with. Top-of-the range statement hoods can cost well over £1000 so be careful when buying something that looks similar but costs a lot less – they’re usually badly made. As a rule try to stick to one of the better known brands – if there is one item in the kitchen that is prone to breaking down it’s the hood. As a designer I’m not particularly excited about having an “out-there’’ cooker hood as they tend to date pretty quickly and it’s an expensive item to change once the trends move on. So, often I think it’s best to go for a concealed/integrated or canopy hood – telescopic hoods are really smart as they only project into the room when in use and are otherwise inconspicuous.
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