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7 Steps to Designing Your Dream Kitchen

Kitchens: they're not just for cooking anymore. Today's contemporary kitchens often work overtime as family rooms, gathering places, and even places to entertain! No longer is the person cooking the only person seeing the kitchen, so design and style has become increasingly important. Does your kitchen stand up to the test?

1. Lighten Up
The fluorescent lighting that once was common in kitchens now seems too cold and industrial for the family gatherings that often take place there. Remember, the kitchen is part of your home, so try to keep the lighting warm and inviting.

You can also work with natural light, as it is one of your best natural resources. To maximize this, you might try Shangri-La Sheer Horizontal Window Shadings that allow for natural light to flow in and brighten up the room when you want it (but is adjustable for privacy and light filtering when you need it, too).  

2. Look to the Islands!
Islands add style to any kitchen, and they're not as difficult of an addition as you might think. Your easiest option is to purchase a ready-made island that fits in with your kitchen's dimensions. Keep in mind you'll need clearance all the way around (usually a minimum of 30") so you have room for movement and it won't feel crowded. However, you can also create your own island by pairing stock cabinets back to back, a smart way to add an island when you aren't ready to invest in the real deal right away. 

Think you can't add an island because you can't find an exact match for your cabinets? Think again! A contrasting color or tone adds interest to the room. You might even consider painting the lower part of the island a contrasting color to add some highlights.

3. Kitchen, not Drive-Thru Windows
They're your kitchen windows, not drive-thru windows, so they should reflect the style of your home. Many times people don't pay attention to the windows of a kitchen, but as an extension of the style of the rest of your home, it's important to keep these updated, as well.

Get rid of broken metal mini-blinds or old, dusty valances. Replace them with sleek-looking options like Woodwinds Plantation Shutters, Woodwinds Wood Alloy Blinds, or Serenade Roller Shades, which will add a warm, rich, classic dimension to the room.

4. Personalize and Accessorize
Your kitchen is a great place to display your unique collections! Get plate holders for those decorative plates you've collected over the years, and hang your plates up as a border near the ceiling, or as a focal piece on the wall.

And for all you cooks who have gathered cookbooks over the years: don't hide them away! Arrange them prominently as a colorful flair, showing the world exactly what you love.

Don't have a collection? Make the everyday interesting by creating a decorative display with your pots and pans, hanging them on the wall. Or use decorative bottles of oil, vinegar, and spices as accent pieces.

5. Soften Up
It used to be that the only "soft" thing you could find in a kitchen was a towel. Window coverings, tables, and chairs, were all traditionally hard materials because they were easiest to clean. But with so many fabrics washer-friendly now, you don't have to be afraid of using fabrics to add charm to your kitchen.

Add cushions on chairs or stools in accenting colors, and tablecloths or placemats for your tables and other flat surfaces. Your windows are another great place to add a soft touch. The drapery style fabric of Fusion Insulating Roman Panel Shades (left) can give you the feel of a fabric, with the insulation of a cellular shade, which is a great feature when cooking up something warm on those cold winter nights.

6. Paint, A Designer's Best Friend
I've said it before - paint can be your best friend when freshening up the look of any room. And painted finishes are hot right now, so don't be afraid to go there. Unless you have high quality wood cabinets, you might consider rejuvenating your cabinets with a layer of paint.

And don't forget about the walls. If you're keeping your wood cabinets wood, a fresh new color on the walls will make the wood appear deeper and richer, adding elegance to the room.

7. You Can Handle It
Cabinet handles: so simple yet potentially so dramatic. Simply unscrew the existing hardware and take it in with you to a hardware store to find a replacement that will fit the same openings. It's that easy - it can change the entire look of your kitchen. Use backing plates to hide any previous holes or to disguise worn areas on the cabinets as well.


This article was provided by Comfortex Window Fashions for American Blinds Wallpaper and More.

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