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Small Kitchen, Big Potential

Modern Kitchen Trends

By Gina G.

Having a small kitchen doesn’t necessarily mean you’re limited in your design capacity. Rather, you have the opportunity to really stretch those creative muscles. Here are a few ideas that can make your small kitchen area  that much more functional:
Try bold colored cabinetry. Hands down, colors pop. More commonly we are used to white or wood colored (spanning from maple to espresso) cabinets in the kitchen. However, why limit yourself? Colored cabinetry is definitely gaining traction in the industry and can be a simple way to add some design to your kitchen without taking up space. If you feel like painting your whole cabinetry is just a little too adventurous for you, try painting just the doors of the cabinets in a complimentary tone. Blue tones and pastels are great options for this approach. Either way, color cabinetry pair well with most granites and stainless steel appliances.
Speaking of appliances, if your remodel is bigger in scale and involves large appliances, consider hidden appliances (fridges, microwaves, etc). Hidden appliances provide dual functions: they are both practical and aesthetically pleasing for small kitchen areas as they blend seamlessly into cabinetry without taking up already limited space.
Another idea to maximize the design of your small kitchen is to dress up your windows. You may only have one or two, so utilizing them to add something special to your kitchen is important. Consider a soft roman shade for a simpler kitchen, a bamboo shade for a more rustic style, or a textured roller shade for a more modern approach. Be sure to keep the treatment light filtering to take advantage of the natural light your window brings to your space.
As far as accessories and smaller appliances, if you opted for more traditional colored cabinets, here is an opportunity to bring in that color. And go bold, use warm colors but limit the prints. Fresh flowers are also a simple, yet impactful addition to smaller areas. Finally, avoid tons of knick knacks and non-essential items as they tend to make smaller kitchens appear cluttered.

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General Inspiration Tips and Advice

Backsplash Inspiration

There are a million and one decisions that go into designing a kitchen; appliances, cabinets, door handles, paint colors, and fixture finishes. But, believe it or not, one of the most defining features of your kitchen is the color and style of your backsplash. Bold or neutral, plain or patterned – this element is going to make a statement for anyone who walks into your kitchen.

Since this piece is so important, the problem then arises of how do I decide what to go with? For starters, you have to take all of the other elements in the room into consideration. The easiest route is to design the rest of the kitchen, and then tackle the backsplash. However, if you have a dream backsplash in mind, chose that, and design the remainder of your kitchen around that. Keep in mind though, it should be the element that ties everything else together – if you have brushed metal fixtures, do not chose a backsplash with chrome or gold. If you have chosen dark cabinets, it is recommended to add a brighter backsplash to lighten up the space.

Good news! There is a huge variety; from tiles, to granite pieces, to metals, to marble – backsplashes are now designed out of anything or everything. Even my personal favorite – sea glass – imagine what a statement that could make paired with a fresh white cabinet! All this variety gives you a range of colors – make sure to coordinate – but try not to match – you never want to overdo a good thing – and in reality, you will never match perfectly either!

Not only color and materials, but sizes and shapes. You always want to keep in mind the size of the space you are working with – if you have a smaller area, you don’t want to go with a tile that is too big, and you won’t be able to repeat many times throughout the space – and at the same time, if you have a huge space, don’t go with a small subway tile that will look overly busy when lined up across the wall.

Once you have chosen the color and size, then you get to decide how to arrange the material. A subway tile can be used vertically, not always horizontal like is expected. A small rectangle piece of granite doesn’t always have to be symmetrical, it could even be arranged in a herringbone pattern.

All in all, the options are endless. Keep in mind like we mentioned earlier, this is going to be a huge statement, no matter how bold or muted you go – but it is also something you are a going to be living with for a long time – so make sure to get samples, test things out, and fall in love before you start installing!

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General Inspiration Shades Tips and Advice

Kitchen Window Decor

From countertops to cabinets, designing a kitchen involves coordinating multiple surfaces, colors and textures. Finding the perfect combination that looks great together (and fits your vision) can be tough. Throw in window treatments that are functional and attractive, and all the decisions can seem downright overwhelming! So to help you out, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite kitchen window décor ideas.

NATURAL WOOD TONES

Woven Wood shades are an excellent choice for kitchens. They are easy to operate, can act as light filtering or blackout treatments depending on the material and lining, and come in numerous styles and colors. Our best suggestion is to choose a material/style with colors that pick up on the warmth of the natural wood tones elsewhere in your kitchen. For example, Woven Wood shades in a coordinating tone are a logical choice to add interest to a kitchen complete with white subway tile and Forrest Green cabinetry.

You can also coordinate Woven Wood Shades with the finish of your hardwood floors. Say you have white and cool gray on your kitchen cabinets; if you match or coordinate the woven window shades to the color(s) of wood on your floor, you can visually link the walls with the rich color of the floors, keeping the space cozy and intimate.

WHITE ON WHITE KITCHENS

If you have a statement piece in your kitchen, such as a patterned floor, you can allow your window treatments to remain subtle and understated to let the rest of the room shine. You can choose something like a simple, solid white Roller Shade to block glare, and the textured cabinets and colorful floor take center stage in a bright kitchen. Or you can use a soft cellular shade to help insulate and keep the window looking soft. Whenever you use a monochromatic white palette with pops of color, it  always results in a sleek design.

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General

One Room At A Time: Kitchen Decorating 101

Since the kitchen is the room in my house people always tend to see when they stop by, I always love to keep the room looking clean, up to date, and refreshed. It’s the place you’ll gather for a cup of coffee after the kids leave for school, where the family will gather to celebrate events, and the room you’ll relax in with friends after a long week of work. That being said, it’s always easier to keep it simple from a decorating perspective.
– Use your everyday items as décor. – For example, the pretty coffee cups you use on a regular basis can be hung above the counter from simple hooks – not only does it take clutter off the counter, but the color in the cups can then accent your décor! Another example is using glass jars to store your fruit. Fruit is also colorful and decorative, and generally, you need somewhere to store it as well – use the decorative containers you were given last Christmas to show them off!
– Add greenery. – Depending on how you much counter space you have, figure out where it makes the most sense to bring in some plants. If you are low on space, don’t waste it – find a corner where you can get some hanging shelves and fill them with plants. Use them as a centerpiece on your kitchen table – it will force you to make sure the table doesn’t fill with clutter too! If you have the space on your counter, use it to your advantage and add a few small plants to brighten it up.
– Use chalkboards. – Depending on the household there are lots of fun uses for chalkboards in the kitchen. You can use to with your partner to remember what meals you shopped for at the beginning of the week if you have kids you can use it to keep track of after-school activities or even chores. If you just love to entertain you can add fun quotes and sayings that are different every time your friends stop by!
– Bring in some color. – Although the kitchen is a room without a lot of fabric treatments, you can always find a way to bring in some color. For starters, throw an area rug down under the kitchen table, or a runner in front of the sink. Rugs are a fun way to bring in a trendy color or pattern without being overly committed to it. You could also add a valance or window treatment with some color for fairly inexpensive.

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Kitchen Real Wood Blinds DIY General Interior Designers Tips and Advice

One Room At A Time: Kitchen Window Treatments

Windows in the kitchen can be a fairly difficult task to figure out. As in most rooms, you have to keep the basics in mind – why do I need this treatment, and work your way from there. Do you need to cover your windows for basic privacy? Is there any need to darken the room? Is there glare in your eyes while you’re eating dinner? Are you just simply looking to just dress up the window?
The other considerations for a kitchen that differ a little from the other rooms are related to where in the room the windows are located. Is the window directly over the sink? (Will there be splashing that can hit the treatment). Is it over the counter or the stove? (Is there a chance food will get on it while you are cooking or preparing a meal). Is it close to the table? (Is it possible someone could spill something on it while eating or get fingerprints on it).
All of these things considered, there are a couple of options that are usually the go to in the industry for your kitchen. Faux wood, for one, is always a go-to option. They give you multiple functions – privacy, room darkening, glare protection. They are also extremely easy to clean – basically they are just made from PVC, a material that is extremely durable and can hold up to being cleaned on a regular basis. They come in a wide range of colors and different options that can customize a look to work in nearly any kitchen.
Another popular option is sun shades. The consideration with these are they do not provide a high level of privacy because they are more of a screen, but often times you do not need full privacy in your kitchen. The good thing about these shades is that they provide an extremely modern, clean look to a room, and block out the glare in the room. The best part is that they can be cleaned extremely easily with a damp cloth or sponge as they are a solid piece of material that is coated in vinyl. These have become more and more popular as kitchens are decorated with a more modern look, and are available in a wide range of different colors as well as textures.
Of course, any treatment will work in the room, it is just generally wise to stay away from fabrics in most instances. Whether it’s close enough to get hit with food/moisture, just keep in mind that the fabric will retain the smells and scents of your cooking.

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Modern Kitchen Trends DIY Inspiration Tips and Advice

One Room at a time: Kitchen Trends

Same as in the previous rooms, there are a lot of new trends appearing throughout 2017. We’ve compiled a list to help make your updating a little easier this year.
– Gray is still the neutral tone to stick too. This is a great color to use because, as a neutral, it is always easy to update. Because it is so popular, you can bring in gray from your walls to flooring, cabinets, countertops, or even simple accessories.
– Black accents are key. Makes sense, what goes better with gray than black? Black pieces are popping up throughout the home décor industry but have become increasingly popular in tiles, appliances, and accessories. Just keep in mind, depending on how big your space is that black can really make a room feel smaller – so don’t overdo a good thing.
– Greenery is still the color of the year. Don’t hesitate to use it in your kitchen as well! The best way to use this in the kitchen is by updating something old and making it new again with a coat of paint. Go bold and paint over your table or chairs, or keep it simple and paint some plant holders, or vases. If you want something that is even less committal – change up a valance or window treatment, that you can get rid of when you get bored of it!
– Copper accessories are becoming more popular. Taking over popularity from the brushed nickel accents of the last few years, copper accessories add a modern flair to a room. It can be something as simple as displaying the new copper cookware you got as a gift or changing out some handles and knobs to copper.
– Clean and clutter free. As a room you spend a lot of time in, it is always nice to have the countertops remain clean and keep clutter to a minimum. In order to help, really utilizing your drawer and cabinet space is key. There are a lot of new organization units that can be installed to make the most out of the space you have – as much or as little as there may be.
Keep in mind, you can’t tackle every project every year. So whether it’s a facelift your kitchen needs, or a functional update – try to pick one project and make the most of it!

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