Without a doubt, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms in a home. Not only is it where you’re likely to spend a lot of time, but it is also one of the first things people notice when they visit – setting the tone for the rest of the home. In short, your kitchen’s layout, design, and finish can make or break the design of an entire home.
But this doesn’t mean you need to spend a small fortune to create a kitchen you love. Read on to see some of our top recommendations for a designer kitchen that won’t break the bank.
1. Cabinet Colours
Cabinet colours and textures are probably the most at risk when it comes to your kitchen’s overall appeal. There was a time when many homeowners wanted a crisp, white kitchen to brighten up the space, but today, white is being replaced by grey – or more recently, greige.
A subtle, warm-toned grey can elevate your kitchen’s design to a more sophisticated, refined look. Paired with the right countertop and backsplash colours, grey cabinets are not dull and boring but rather upscale and classy. What’s more, the neutral tone allows you to add pops of colour to really add personality to your space.
Alternatively, if you prefer the classic look of wood (say maple or oak), opt for real wood doors with a stain that gracefully enhances the grain.
2. Door and Drawer Styles
In addition to colour, cabinet door styles can make a big difference. If your home is a more modern design but you prefer wood cabinets, choose a simple shaker-style door to keep the look clean. If you’re leaning toward a more traditional home, select a more ornate door style that adds a level of character and detail.
When it comes to drawers, don’t forget to match your drawer trim to your cabinet doors; this small detail goes a long way to pulling everything together.
3. Mixing and Matching
Another to thing to consider when it comes to cabinetry – no one says your kitchen cabinets need to be one single colour or texture. Consider mixing it up with a more neutral, painted cabinet on the walls of your kitchen, and a natural wood island. This mixture of colour and texture amplifies the look of your space and creates more opportunity for pulling the design into other elements of your home. If your main floor is open concept, continuing the natural wood grain of your island into built-in shelving in your great room will tie the entire space together beautifully!
4. Make a Statement With Hardware
Speaking of cabinet doors (and drawers), the hardware you choose to display is also important. While it seems like a little thing, hardware serves to accent and give personality to your kitchen. For example, those going for a modern, minimalist appeal may prefer stainless steel pulls whereas those looking for a bit of vintage flair may prefer the look of oil rubbed bronze fixtures, knobs or pulls. Cup pulls are especially popular for a rustic look.
5. Granite and Quartz Countertops
Most homeowners today prefer quartz countertops in their kitchens. Durable and only needing occasional care, quartz is a manufactured stone – meaning it still maintains the durability of granite, but it doesn’t require additional care. This also means it’s manufactured in a variety of colours and patterns – also adding a beautiful, upscale look to any kitchen without the additional cost.
Granite is another popular choice – and since it’s an all-natural material your counters are guaranteed to be one of a kind! Coming in a wide variety of colours and patterns, this is a classic choice suitable for any taste or design. As we mentioned, granite does need occasional care in that it’s a porous material. This means it has to be resealed on occasion to keep your counters clean and sparkling.
6. The Sink Isn’t Just a Sink Anymore
Well, the functionality is the same of course but sinks today are coming out in a variety of new finishes and colours. Not only can you get silgranit style sinks now, which are made from granite and offer a unique and classy texture, but you can also get apron sinks in a wide variety of colours. An otherwise neutral colour palette in your kitchen can be brightened with a colourful sink.
7. Luxury Lighting
Although one may not consider lighting to be part of a kitchen’s design, it can actually be the piece that completes the look and feel of the space. Choose pieces that are bold in design and enhance the overall style you’re looking to achieve.
Consider mini chandeliers over your island instead of standard pendants if your style is more traditional. If your style is modern, choose pieces that mix metals with glass. Despite popular belief, lights over the island, nook, and other main areas don’t necessarily need to match; try mixing designs within the same style palette to add a whimsical touch to the space.
Of course, you’ll want to combine your stylish lighting choices with functional lighting as well – this could include potlights (builders will often include them in kitchens that are open to the great room for a consistent theme) or even track lighting so you can adjust to where you need light the most.
8. Functional (yet fabulous) Flooring
Last but not least, don’t forget about your flooring! When it comes to the kitchen, luxury vinyl plank and laminate are popular choices for a couple of reasons: 1) they mimic the look of hardwood and come in a variety of patterns and colours and 2) they are extremely durable and easy to clean. Of course, nothing beats the old-school charm and beauty of classic hardwood or in some cases ceramic tile. Here too, you’ll be able to pick a species, pattern or size (in the case of tile) that suites your new kitchen perfectly.
There are so many things you can do in your kitchen to create a custom looking space without actually going custom. We hope these are a great start to inspiring your creativity and designing your ideal, dream kitchen.
Our previous post, The Top Kitchen Features to Look For can give you an idea of your options when it comes to getting the look you desire.
Originally posted June 7, 2017, updated October 31, 2018