By Augustin Joanne. Kitchen Design. Published at Sunday, April 08th, 2018 - 09:13:15 AM.
If you're not accustomed to mixing and matching materials, the first step is to look for inspiration elsewhere. By thumbing through kitchen design magazines and books and wandering through model kitchens at home centers and kitchen showrooms, you can train your eye. You can learn to appreciate how combining a wide variety of appealing materials, rather than just a few, can stimulate the senses.
The best of small kitchen design focuses on function and flow. No matter the size of the kitchen, smart appliance placement can help create a comfortable, workable environment. Good design dictates that the refrigerator be near food preparation counters, and that sinks be placed next to dishwashers for easy loading. Meanwhile, stoves want workspace and handy storage for cooking accessories, cupboards for pots and pans, and drawers for utensils.
For example, an island can be a departure point for cabinet style, finish or color. Its cabinets can be the same style as a kitchen's perimeter cabinets but in a different finish or color. Or they can be the same color and finish as the perimeter cabinets, but with a slightly different door style.
Pay particular attention to a kitchen's three major components -- cabinets, countertops and appliances. Chances are, you'll notice that in the most satisfying and visually compelling kitchens, there is at least some variety within each of those categories. In any given kitchen, a single style of cabinet can have different finishes. The countertops on one side of a room could be different from those on the opposite side. The dishwasher and range might be stainless steel, but the refrigerator can be camouflaged by a cabinet-matching panel. A cooktop's backsplash might be ceramic tile, but the ones flanking the sink could be painted beadboard.
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