According to a study by the University of California, the average middle class family spends nearly 70% of their time in either the kitchen or family room. After years of use, when it comes time to sell a home, the kitchen is referenced (truila among others) as one of the two rooms that prospective buyers scrutinize most closely as they contemplate buying a home. Combining these two facts, we realize that the kitchen is principally important in the lived family life, and when it comes to resale. Because its influence is so great, it stands to reason then that the kitchen the room most worth investing time and money into. Below we have compiled a list of 20 high end details that can make your kitchen more stylish, practical, and enjoyable.
Pull out storage is a new frontier in kitchen cabinet design. It can be installed on base cabinets, upper cabinets, or nonstandard sized cabinets like the one pictured below. These shelving solutions are great as they give the homeowner great access to the things that they use every day. No more reaching into the cabinet to get what you need, with pull out shelving everything you need is right in front of you and is accessible from either side.
Open shelving is a hallmark trait of many design traditions that value minimalism like contemporary or Scandinavian. Open shelving is a great way to display your home goods and have easy access to them all the time. To increase storage space and decrease clutter while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic, try combining open shelving with traditional closed cabinets for a minimal yet practical design.
Freshen up your home décor by embracing a two toned cabinet schemes. It can be two colors of paint, a combination of contrasting mediums, or even a mix of textures. Mixing your cabinet tones gives more diversity and flexibility to your space and contributes to a more edgy and contemporary kitchen design.
Layered lighting is stylish and always useful. Give a subtle sense of elegance to your space by layering lighting over delicate details in your kitchen and task lighting your workstations. Not only will this give your kitchen a more sophisticated feel, but it will also make it feel more open, warm, and inviting.
One of the primary values of contemporary kitchen design is making the kitchen look as little like a kitchen as possible. The kitchen has long been moving away from its utilitarian roots and back into its more ancient designation as a place where family and friends come together and spend quality time preparing and eating a meal. Because of the redesignation of the kitchen to a more lived in space, big appliances including the fridge, dishwasher, and microwave are being covered up by cabinet doors to give the room a seamless aesthetic. Visually, this integrates the kitchen into the rest of the home and builds the kitchen into yet another comfortable and cultivated space to spend time and create community in.
Some kitchen routines function better with custom cabinet hinges. A good example of this would be a microwave concealed behind a cabinet door. Traditional cabinets would have to stay open for the duration of use and may be in the way of other operations. If they are closed, then you cannot see your food as it cooks. Assuming the microwave is in the upper cabinet row, a possible answer to this inconvenience would be to install a cabinet door that opens upward (like the one pictured below). Whether it is a stylistic choice, or it is entirely practical there is a hinge solution to every potential issue in a kitchen, and it is details like these that set high end kitchens apart from the pack.
A recent survey of American homeowners by LG electric found that 37 percent of homeowners wanted to increase their storage space in their kitchen. 44 percent of homeowners wanted to increase their counterspace. Building an island with storage addresses both of those needs while allowing the homeowner to creatively express themselves through their design. It is a practical and visually appealing addition to any home with the space to welcome it.
A mixed medium island is a high-end detail for any home. Stone, wood, concrete, and metal can be mixed to create an edgy contemporary feel which can easily elevate a space. An island that matches the rest of the kitchen fits in well with the design and is comfortable, but a mixed medium island can easily become a focal point of the kitchen.
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to update your kitchen is to change out your drawer pulls and handles. This minor change can pay major divides in your next kitchen update. Drawer pulls and handles allow for acute self-expression, and there is a handle or pull out there to suit everyone’s fancy, it just might take a little searching.
Lacquer is a favorite finish for woodworkers and cabinet makers as it is easy to apply, easy to repair, easy to clean, comes in a variety of tints, and is incredibly durable. Among homeowners and designers lacquered cabinets has also found a following. A bold choice for any kitchen, high gloss lacquered cabinets are bursting with personality and self-expression. If you like high gloss finishes and bold coloring, lacquered cabinets are the right choice for you.
Much like three tiered cabinets, floor to ceiling cabinets utilize all the real estate of a wall for storage and go a long way in contributing to a spacious, contemporary kitchen. Although it may seem counterintuitive, bigger cabinets create bigger kitchens. This is because all the storage needs of a cabinet are efficiently consolidated, often to one wall. The wall space that would have hosted a cabinet run is now open for whatever the homeowner or designer has in mind. In the pursuit of creating a spacious and open kitchen, floor to ceiling cabinets are a must.
Glass faced cabinet doors are a good middle ground between open shelving and solid cabinets. You can still display your home goods, but you’ll have less dust to worry about and the cabinet can display a higher density of dishware without looking cluttered. Glass faced cabinets can be elevated further by adding spot lighting to feature your favorite pieces and are a good option for any home that wants to add a modern update without having to worry about the rise and fall of design trends.
There are two sub-categories of dark toned aesthetics that are in style for high end kitchens. There are dark wood tones which are stylistically stable and always willing to add a rich component to a space. Then there are the dark greyscale and/or black kitchens that are a current, popular style in contemporary kitchen design. Admittedly, these kitchens are not for everyone, but for those bold enough to try the payoff is a sleek, modern, and visually stunning kitchen.
Between the countertops, cabinet faces, and floors, most kitchen surfaces are smooth and flat. Consider adding grooved kitchen cabinets to your space to add some texture and depth. This detail goes a long way in adding dimension to your space and can fit in almost any design tradition from farmhouse, to Scandinavian, to contemporary and many more.
Freestanding kitchen furniture is a throwback to simpler days when almost every piece of furniture in a kitchen was freestanding. As opposed to cabinetry, freestanding kitchen furniture is, well, furniture. A homeowner is free to take it with them into their next home and eventually hand it down their family if they so choose. It is a great addition to any kitchen as it is flexible, can be built in any design tradition, and is often standalone in its beauty.
Triple tiered cabinets are a modern addition to a cabinet design style that has reigned since the 1950’s. Almost all cabinets built since then have been standardized to have a run of base cabinets on the floor capped off with a countertop and a row of upper cabinets eighteen inches above that. In many homes, the upper cabinets do not reach the ceiling and there is an open space often used for display. The hard thing about these spaces however is that they are dust traps and can be difficult to clean and manage. A good and modern solution to this is to make an extra tier of cabinets. This gives the homeowner increased space to store seasonal home goods while increasing the overall look of their kitchen.
Handleless cabinet doors are trending right now. They are a high expression of contemporary minimalism and go a long way in creating a sleek streamlined design prized by contemporary designers. Although handleless cabinet doors and drawers are destined to fall out of style at some point, it is the lowest impact trend we’ve seen in a long time as all you would need to update your cabinets is to buy and install new handles.
Every kitchen has some solution to storing their silverware. From drawer inserts to countertop organizers and everything in between, it is a well understood need in modern homes. If you are building or remodeling your kitchen, consider having the silverware storage built into one of your drawers. To provide example, below is a photo from one of our own builds. In this sideboard we built in a black velvet cutlery organizer with solid wood blocks to account for different volumes of silverware. No matter how much silverware our client has to store, they will always have a comfortable experience pulling their silverware in and out of their drawer. Small details like these set high end kitchens apart from the average design and the possible customizations are limited only by the imagination.
A good extractor is an essential for an odor free kitchen. However, many extractors are designed preferring function over form and are often one of the more aesthetically disagreeable elements of the kitchen. Get the best of both worlds by installing a custom extractor cover. This way a homeowner can care for the practical needs of their kitchen while giving themselves an open canvas to express themselves through their home decor.
Cord management is a pressing concern for modern design. Offices, living rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens can all benefit from having an ordered and streamlined solution to their cord management needs. When remodeling or building your dream kitchen consider commissioning a concealed outlet inside one of your drawers. This way you can charge all your devices while leaving your countertop free from clutter and wires.
Thanks for reading and let us know in the comments what you think might be the best addition to your new kitchen.
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Woodworking is a rewarding hobby, but it is not without its difficulties. We at Open Door Furniture have compiled a list of 23 things you need to know if you're just beginning your journey in woodworking. We hope that you can learn from some of our (and many others) early mistakes and flourish in your own ambitions as woodworkers.