5 Elements of Amazing Kitchens

amazing kitchens

For new homeowners or existing homeowners ready for a fresh start, design or remodel projects and budget usually focus on the living room and bedroom spaces. The kitchen and dining areas often end up as afterthoughts or "someday" projects, but it doesn't have to be that way. There are some amazing kitchens out there, and you can have one, too!  

Here in the USA, no matter how welcoming and inviting your living room design may be, visitors and family often end up crowded into the kitchen. With this in mind, we decided to shake up the traditional home decorating or remodeling timeline by moving the kitchen to its rightful place at the top of the design priority list and analyzing what makes merely good kitchens into crowd-pleasing, multi-purpose amazing kitchens. We accomplished this task by taking an in-depth look at each essential element homeowners cited as a key to the overall functionality and design of their favorite kitchen projects.

Essential Elements of Amazing Kitchens

There are endless design details that go into remodeling a kitchen. However, creating amazing kitchens that can be a coffee house, study area, breakfast diner, banquet hall, and family meeting center requires homeowners to ask themselves a few tough questions such as:

  • What are we hoping to improve with a kitchen remodel?
  • How well is our current kitchen configuration meeting our top priorities in a kitchen design?
  • Is there any anticipated increase in kitchen traffic, or would we like there to be?
  • Can our remodel goals be met with a basic cabinet refinishing or repainting?
  • Do we need to do a full overhaul including cabinet removal and replacement? 

Cabinets

kitchen area

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The most important design element of any kitchen space is the cabinetry. The selection of cabinet style and finish should be given the same attention as if you were selecting the sofa and loveseat for your living room. The design, style, and finish of your cabinetry will lock in the design framework that will decide which choices will be available with the remaining elements. Depending on the results of the homeowner's initial assessment, owners will either be resurfacing or repainting their existing cabinetry or starting from scratch with hand-selected custom cabinet options.

Top Cabinet Trends

  • Cabinetry with rich old-world furniture detailing 
  • Removing all wall cabinets and replacing with open shelves
  • Open concept cabinetry that flows easily from one application to the next
  • Futuristic cabinet surfaces in high-gloss lacquer or super-shiny chrome finishes
  • Various wood varieties and shades with a dark wood on cabinetry paired with a lighter wood toned floor
  • Brightly colored, painted cabinetry paired with stark white walls 
  • Tiled mosaic art backsplashes which Tuscan old-world cabinet details
  • Freestanding furniture pieces as cabinetry rather than traditional cabinetry bases
  • Non-traditional additions like an office desk blended into existing cabinetry for added functionality

Countertop

kitchen countertop

image source : Pixabay

Now you have selected your kitchen cabinetry and decided on a final finish color, it is time to select the perfect countertop to complete the look. You will want to select a style and color scheme in keeping with the style of your new cabinetry.

When choosing a countertop, there are important factors to consider beyond how well it will complement your new cabinetry. For instance, your selection for sinks will largely depend on the countertop you select. Farmhouse sinks are one of the most requested design elements in kitchen remodels but they require a solid, heavy countertop to anchor their weight and depth, and cabinetry that incorporates the wide apron front.

Countertop Materials

  • Quartz, granite, marble or other non-porous stone
  • Poured concrete
  • Formica or Corian
  • Wood butcher block
  • Stainless steel
  • Ceramic or glass tile
  • Glass

Sink

kitchen sink

image source : Pixabay

The next element to consider is the kitchen sink. This element is easy to overlook but the wrong sink can easily make or break your new design. If a new sink and new countertops are in your remodel or redesign plans, you will need to coordinate the selection and purchase of these of these two elements to ensure that the countertop material selected is compatible with the size and type of sink you will be installing.

It will also save you an immense amount of stress and time to have the installation portal for the sink measured and pre-cut by the countertop supplier or home construction supply store while still at the supplier's location. Many home stores or countertop outlets are more than happy to provide this service though there may be some additional fee.

If the seller or store agrees to pre-cut the countertop, you will need to provide them with accurate dimensions for your new sink, and clearly define and mark the precise installation location on the countertop itself. You will also need to know whether you intend to mount the sink above the countertop or below and whether a standard or farmhouse style sink will ultimately be installed.

Sink Options

  • Farmhouse, standard, or vessel
  • One, two, or three wells
  • Stainless steel, copper, enamel-coated cast iron, ceramic, or glass
  • Add-ons like a garbage disposal, spray hose, or soap dispenser

Appliances

kitchen appliances

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The purchase of new appliances is not an essential element unless the existing units are no longer functioning well or their design is too outdated. Existing appliances that are still performing well but do not blend in with the color palette of the new design can be painted a more neutral shade using high-temperature appliance paint available through most large building supply stores.

If new appliances are in your design plan or your new kitchen design calls for appliances in a color other than the usual white, black, or chrome appliance standards, then replacement may be in order. In that case, there are several trending options on the market which offer advanced technology features for increased functionality, and the furniture grade outer shells allow most appliances to blend right into the user's background theme or integrate with the furnishings in adjoining great room spaces.

Trending Appliance Upgrades and Options

  • Refrigerators cleverly disguised as furniture including full-size armoires and cabinets
  • Refrigerators cleverly disguised as furniture including full-size armoires and cabinets
  • Cabinetry with built-in warming and chilling drawers
  • In-counter deep fryers
  • Built-in Espresso machine
  • Pop-up device charging hubs

Color

kitchen design

image source : Pixabay

Last but not least, color is a big consideration. The strategic use of color is the surest and cheapest way to dramatically change the look and feel of your kitchen with a minimum amount of effort or expense. For example, the application of a couple of fresh coats of crisp white paint on the walls, cabinetry, or both will instantly refresh and revitalize even the most dated and drab of kitchen spaces.

Trending Color Options

  • Black cabinetry
  • Rich dark hues, like navy blue or deep wine, accented with hardware in warm-toned metals like gold, bronze, or copper hardware 
  • High-contrast color schemes featuring a bright, saturated color on base cabinetry contrasted with a white wall cabinetry for drama

Why the World Needs Amazing Kitchens

Since the earliest recorded history of civilization, humans have been coming together, settling differences, and forming alliances over the dining room table. The simple act of preparing a meal and sharing it with another or a group of others is seen as a sign of hospitality, generosity, and openness by all civilized populations of the world. We may never know how many bloody wars have been narrowly avoided by breaking bread with an adversary, or how many alliances have been strengthened by recalling shared memories over a bottle of wine.

Ancient civilizations gathered around a central cookfire, modern civilizations gather around the dining room table or around a kitchen island countertop. These are the crucial human interactions that make strong friendships and strong families. We know the kitchen is the center of most in-home social activity. Amazing kitchens can only mean more comfortable spaces which will promote more comfortable interactions, pleasant discourse, and who knows--maybe even world peace. With benefits like that and zero downsides, it seems only logical that we should want amazing kitchens in every home.

Conclusion

We extensively queried the web in search of the secret combination of design elements and technological wizardry that could transform good and great kitchens into amazing kitchens by looking in the following places:

  • Popular home decorating websites
    • DIY and handyman websites
    • Kitchen design professionals' portfolios
    • Online inspiration boards such as Pinterest and Houzz

    In our massive quest, we discovered not one, but endless combinations of ways that creative homeowners had mixed natural and rustic beauty, old-world design elements, high-tech wizardry, and even unique themes such as Italian pizzeria. The designs for each kitchen were as unique as the owner's themselves and this unique personalization is the true secret to coaxing a good or great design into a truly amazing kitchen.

    The most important feature of an amazing kitchen is its ability to provide a space for family and friends to come together and create memories and strengthen bonds. If you keep this in mind during your remodel, you will end up with an amazing kitchen.
     

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