Recipe for success


Today’s kitchens are a far cry from their completely detached predecessors in which cooking was a separate isolated activity. Modern kitchens are more often a home’s central gathering spot where families come together to cook, to eat, to socialize, to work, and, some-times just to catch up over a quick cup of coffee.
The modern kitchen has become so much a part of the home’s daily activity that designers are always look-ing for ways to keep it practical, welcoming and fun. By incorporating innovative ideas, sophisticated colors, furniture-like cabinetry, attractive flooring and artwork, a kitchen can be easily integrated into the rest of the home completing its transition between culinary work room to entertaining mecca. The best kitchen designs balance needed kitchen components with activities that take place from snacking and socializing to cooking and cleanup. Creating a room that is efficient, comfortable and beautiful will put you on the right track to kitchen success. Here are a few kitchen ingredients to help you create a well-planned kitchen your family will love.

CABINETS AND COUNTERS. After deciding on a layout, most kitchen designs start with a discussion about counters and cabinets–the two most important elements that work to make your kitchen beautiful and more efficient. There are two options to consider with cabinets: fitted or unfitted. Popular since the mid-20th century, a fitted kitchen consists of rows of matching upper and lower cabinets with appliances incorporated into them. Unfitted kitchens usually have a mix of styles and colors with more furniture-like features. With this style, upper cabinets may float alone on a wall, or open shelves may take their place. Cabinetry construction–whether you want stock, semi-stock or custom built–as well as style, materials and finishes are all choices you will need to make. To add some personal taste to the room, don’t be afraid to mix different, yet complimentary materials.
Countertops come in a variety of materials from stainless steel, wood and concrete to engineered stones and the ever popular granite. Because they taking a beating in the kitchen, choose counters that are durable and water resistant. Beyond that let personal taste and how you’ll use them be your guide. Do you need surfaces that withstand chopping and hot pans? Do fingerprints and water spots bother you? If you don’t do a lot of heavy cooking, perhaps aesthetics rules over practicality. Ultimately, easy to maintain surfaces are usually the best.

LIGHTING. No matter how beautiful and efficient a kitchen is, poor lighting can make it unbearable to work in. You need an overall well-lit room with brighter lights for specific task areas. For this reason, it’s best to use several different sources. In the long run multiple light sources will be more efficient because lighting can be selected for whatever task is at hand. Layered lighting also offers more options when providing ambience for different occasions. Task lighting on dimmers, pendants, overhead cans, and under-cabinet lights can all be combined to create a nice, bright or warm, cozy space.

FLOORING. A floor ties a kitchen into the rest of the home, so appearance is a factor. But ultimately what matters most in the kitchen is installing a floor that is comfortable to stand on, water and slip resistant, durable and easy to clean. There are a many floor-ing options available on the market that can meet these requirements. Vinyl, wood, stone, ceramic tile, and laminate are all standard options that come in a variety of patterns and colors. Many homeowners are also experimenting with cork, bamboo and luxury vinyl as a softer option that’s great for kids who frequently drop the dinner dishes.

APPLIANCES. In the past, appliances basically consisted of dishwasher, stove, and refrigerator. In the modern kitchen, one is likely to find an array of other helpful products like cooktops, combination ovens, convection microwaves, wine coolers, warming drawers, coffee bars with built-in espresso machines and much more. Appliances range from simple to over-the-top in their functions, so figure out exactly what you need and will use, and go from there.


A nice backsplash can easily become the centerpiece of any kitchen. A typical backsplash will run from the counter surface to the bot-tom of the upper cabinets or windows. Behind the range it can rise even further to make cleaning up grease and food splatters easier, hence the name backsplash. With a wide range of possibilities in material selection, install-ing a practical backsplash is a perfect opportunity to get creative with de-sign ideas. Ceramic tile has long been the popular choice for a backsplash, but well-sealed wood, stainless steel, glass tile, mosaics and now stone are becoming more common.

FINISHING TOUCHES. Add-ing the final touches to your kitchen is all about expressing your own personal style. From window and wall treatments to drawer pulls and seat cushions, small decorative touches can make your kitchen truly inviting and enjoyable.