For more rustic houses, we often strive to incorporate recycled materials into the design, as it often provides features with a more antique feel. In the kitchen featured below, we wanted to maintain the character and rustic charm of the home. The cabinets were made of reclaimed (used) douglas fir wood that is fully recycled. You can see all of the old nail holes, knots, and dents adding much more life & character than "new" wood.
The island was also made from recycled douglas fir and the butcher block top was salvaged from a previous work table.
The kitchen is often the heart of the home and a place where friends and family seem to gravitate. But for many, the space just isn't large enough. We have compiled a few easy tips to help your kitchen look and feel larger.
Create Open Shelving:
An easy way to make your small kitchen feel larger is by removing your upper cabinets and adding floating open shelves. This still allows for storage but really opens up the space. When placing items on these shelves, we recommend grouping by color and also keeping the color very minimal.
Natural light will always make a space feel
larger. If creating more natural light isn't an option, adding ample
lighting to your kitchen through the use of directional cans or
under-counter lighting is a good alternative.
Just as with your closets, make cleaning out your kitchen an annual occurrence. (Take advantage of being able to get rid of those annoying containers without lids) Getting your kitchen organized is one of the easiest ways to revamp your kitchen space.
Free Up Counter Space:
If you want to create a more
inviting and open space, it's important to keep your kitchen free of
clutter. If you have a lot of appliances, try to store the ones you
don't use everyday in cabinets. You can also install under-counter
microwaves, spice racks, etc.
Use Soft Colors:
Using lighter colors when designing your kitchen is another point to keep in mind when working with a smaller space. Dark colors can close your kitchen in.
Recently, someone asked us what we recommend using in the kitchen for countertops. Although every project is unique, we do have our favorites.
Carrara Marble is at the top of our list for kitchen surfaces. In a honed finish it can look modern or traditional.
Another classic, which is similar to Carrara is Calacatta Gold Marble.
This elegant marble has warm green and yellow veining that mix beautifully with tile backsplashes. Both of these marbles come in slab or tile format. Ann Sacks is
one of our preferred vendors for stone and they stock a variety of cut
mosaic tiles in Carrara and Calacatta.
Some people are wary of using marble in a kitchen as it has a tendency to stain. From our perspective, if staining does occur, we prefer to think of it as a patina that adds depth to the stone over time. Take a look back at the great Italian and French designs and you will notice marbles are the centerpiece of their kitchens and restaurants.
If you are still concerned about staining, there are other practical and attractive options on the market. Most recently, we have been turned on to some interesting granites, which we usually shy away from. Specifically, Black Absolute granite in a Honed or Riverwash Finish. It has a masculinity and depth of soapstone, yet is amazingly durable. We recently used the Black Absolute Granite in the Riverwash finish at a home in the Los Feliz Oaks.
For our modern projects, we also use quartz materials, usually the Caesarstone brand, in which our favorite colors are Lagos Blue, Blizzard and Cinder.
Lagos Blue Blizzard Cinder
They look similar to natural slabs, are available in honed finishes, and are also very durable. We used Ceasarstone in Blizzard at a home in the Hollywood Hills.