There are lots of questions and design elements you need to consider when planning your new kitchen – and at times it can be overwhelming. When we meet with clients, they get the broad brush strokes easily such as stained or painted cabinets, or stainless-steel appliances. But…

There are lots of other details that need to be considered as well. What are these decisions? Let’s go through them so you can prepare your dream project.

Know your codes

Building codes are important and some will dictate what you can or cannot do. For example, ventilation is key in a kitchen. What are the minimum requirements to have adequate ventilation? Installing the wrong or undersized hood will be costly to change and only delay your project.

Countertop Profiles

This is the one detail that most clients miss the most or ask, “what’s that?” The countertop profile is simply the edge of the countertop itself. It is one of the most important details that everyone will see and could set your kitchen apart.

What are your options?

  • “eased edge” stone counter (a crisp rectangle with slightly softened corners). Many contemporary kitchens choose this for it’s simple and modern appeal.
  • “bullnose” or “demi-bullnose” which is essentially a half circle or quarter circle. The look is less “sharp” than a minimalist eased edge, but so is the experience of bumping into it by accident.

Fixture Finishes

Fixtures come in all sorts of finishes and styles. Some clients like to mix finishes such as Stainless Steel with brushed brass. Together they create a sharp look. Brushed finishes hide water spotting and fingerprints. Stainless finishes add more sparkle.

What about your appliance finishes? Most popular is stainless steel. But not all stainless is the same from one manufacturer to another. We have seen them more bright or dull from brand to brand. The best way to ensure consistency is to use the same manufacturer for all appliance choices.

Sink Mounts

Undermount or drop-in. Undermount sinks are more popular and easier to keep clean since the countertop allows you to sweep debris right into the sink. If you have a laminate countertop, an undermount sink may not be the choice for you.

Countertop Finish

After you select your countertop material, there is one additional choice – the finish. They include polished and honed. Polished has an almost reflective look, where the honed is more organic. Honed stone hides scratches easier but are more open to staining from oils.

When doing your final selection on countertops, be sure to ask what finishes are available and ask for samples. The final finish can change the look and color of the stone.

Cabinet Door Openings

How can you make your kitchen look new again? Change your hardware.  New cabinets? Putting hardware on new cabinets for the first time, however, you need to consider the layout to get it right.  You may also consider using knob-free touch-latch cabinets.

What about right or left drawer openings? What about cabinets that are next to appliances or in corners? Considerations need to be made as you consider opening placements.  

Cabinet Toe Kicks

First of all what is a toe kick? It’s the small vertical area between your floor and base cabinets.  Typically, these match the material of your cabinets. But what if your cabinets aren’t one consistent color? Or what if you’ve used a white cabinet, but you don’t want the toe kick to get dirty every time it gets kicked?

If your island is a different material from the rest of the cabinets, you can let its toe kick differ from the main cabinets. Another option is to use a third material that ties all the cabinets together: Stainless steel makes a great toe kick if you have stainless appliances or handles, tying the whole palette together.

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