Ask yourself, of all the kitchens you’ve ever graced with your presence, how many stand out in your memory as flat-out amazing? One, five? None!?
The truth is that even beautiful, well-designed, and expertly crafted kitchens often aren’t outstanding enough to make them permanently memorable. Let’s put a stop to that right now!
Here’s a design tip to help you make your kitchen the one that stands out, etched in the memory of all who cross its threshold.
Add a Splash of Color!
A few examples:
Subtle Outside, Colorful Inside!
I’m a huge fan of glass doors on upper cabinets, even if it’s only on a few of them. This little trick takes that idea to a whole new level!
Add a touch of color to the interior of your upper cabinets and contrast that with a relatively subtle exterior color on the cabinets and you’ve got an inspiring design in the making!
The really exciting thought is how easy it is to change that color, especially if you only do a small section of cabinets.
It’s easy because you really can’t see minor imperfections in the paint inside a cabinet with glass doors and stuff in it. So you have this cool option of switching out your color from time-to-time.
I can see the look on my mother-in-law’s face now. “wasn’t that red last time I was here? I’m losing it…” 🙂
Create a Colorful Display
Ok, so let’s be real. There is no way this is going to work for all the cabinets in an actual kitchen in a real house with real people living in it. But that doesn’t mean the idea is bad.
Look at this picture, it’s really just a small section of cabinets, probably in a little piece of wall off to one side of the main kitchen. If you’ve got a space like this, it’s perfect for creating a display.
Think of it as living art! It’s worth doing just for the fun of shopping for the best looking water bottles and cans of beans! Is there a way to work Oreos into this?
So let’s not mince words. Beadboard ROCKS! I’ve used beadboard in every imaginable place in a house and it always looks good. Inside of cabinets, bathroom walls, stairwells, you name it.
One of the most common and great looking places to throw in a little bit of beadboard is the front of an island or high-bar. People do it all the time.
Don’t you want to be different? Aren’t we looking for that one-in-a-million memorable kitchen?
Then add a splash of color! Paint that beadboard front a blue, or a red, or a green. Any color that works for your design. And like the inside of the cabinet above, it’s easy to change.
No? Then, how about some blue-ish, aqua-ish awesomeness? Like this:
This kitchen has a bit more than a “splash” of color. It’s more like a gatorade bath after the superbowl win. Too much? I think it would be perfect with a more subtle wall splash tile.
I love the appliances and that’s the idea I’m sharing here. Vintage look appliances like this are available now from a wide range of manufacturers. Some companies, like Big Chill Fridge, have made a name for themselves doing nothing but colorful vintage look appliances.
Not quite as easy to change colors on this one though, so make sure you’re sold out heart and soul before taking the plunge!
Paint The Windows!
If the refrigerator gets to be colorful, then the windows should get the same opportunity. This is non-discriminatory coloration. It doesn’t have to be a crazy bright color, you can go a little more subtle, like this picture:
You know how some guys can’t stay focused when a pretty girl walks by? I have that problem, but with open beams. I forgot what we were talking about…
Oh right, the splash of color in the windows! How creative and fun is that?
You would normally think that this is only possible with wood windows and it’s true that the process is a bit easier with wood. But the truth is that you can buy paint formulated for metal or vinyl at most any home center type store today. So if you have aluminum or vinyl windows, I wouldn’t let it hold you back.
Paint Beams or Soffits
Soffits and support beams the kids who always get picked on. Many a remodeling project has been started with the simple goal of getting rid of that ugly soffit*. Maybe the soffit just needs a little encouragement. Anybody ever think of that? How about a nice new outfit to make it feel better…
I’m telling you what, that looks good. It might not be your personal style, but you have to admit its nice and it pulls off a contemporary look without being stark and unwelcoming.
Not everyone has a steel I-beam in the kitchen, but lots of people have ugly soffits or structural beams wrapped in plaster or drywall.
If that includes you and you’ve been wanting to banish the offending bit of architectural malpractice, maybe this will change your mind.
One thing all of these kitchens have in common is that they are inspiring! They serve two purposes. One is the function of a kitchen and all which that entails, the other is the function of invigoration! That’s what makes a space memorable. It makes you feel great to be in.
Give it a try!
The photos for this post can all be found on my Idea Kitchens board on Pinterest, where each can be traced back to it’s original source.
*In this context, the soffit is the solid box that’s built either to lower the upper cabinets down or to conceal ductwork, not to be confused with exterior soffit in your overhang.