Oversize pendants, open shelves, pro-style ranges, patterned cement tile. One look at Pinterest, and you’ll find page after page fueling these kitchen remodeling ideas. They look great in pictures, sure, but will they work for you? Read on for our advice.
Must-Have: Statement Light Fixture
A high-profile pendant can do more than provide task lighting: It can inject drama and style into any workspace.
Keep in mind:
• Size: No wider than the surface it’s illuminating, designers say, but large enough to make an impact. A too-small single pendant can look dinky. Carol Kurth, an architect in Bedford, New York, hangs cardboard templates to give clients a sense of scale and proportion.
• Support: If it weighs 50-plus pounds, a standard electrical box won’t hold it; you’ll need to install a fan brace.
• Height: “Never hovering above the top of the cabinets—that off-balances the room,” says Charlie Dumais, a lighting pro in New York City. But not too low, either. April Powers, an interior designer in San Francisco who works withYLighting, recommends 40 inches above the island so that the fixture won’t block the sight line of anyone standing. For the sake of those who sit, bulbs should not be visible from below.
• Wattage: To add a layer of functional light while also allowing a mood-altering glow, Dumais recommends a potent but diffused light. Along with lending character to the space, the fixture should be able to handle 120 watts and dim down for intimate meals.
Must-Have: Warm Wood Floors
With their rich look and timeless appeal, they’re as easy on the eyes as they are on your back—and they may just save your dropped crockery, too.
Keep in mind:
• Durability: Unlike tile, wood floorboards expand and contract with the weather. Soft woods like pine are especially vulnerable to water and foot traffic; hard woods with bold grain, like red oak, are less likely to show dings.
• Options: They include solid wood, either factory finished—prized for its durability and priced accordingly—or finished after installation. A pro can help weave in new planks and finish them so that they look less, well, new. The best DIY option is factory-finished engineered flooring with a real-wood veneer. And if you love the look of aged planks, know you’ll pay a premium for extra-long, random-width, or wide boards.
• Finishes: If you’re refinishing an existing floor, go for a penetrating matte finish in a light to medium color; it’s less shiny and easier to touch up than polyurethane. We like Rubio Monocoat’s Natural Oil, which is VOC-free, from $126 per gallon. Keep in mind that fashionably dark stains are more likely to show dirt and scratches.
• Protection: “A runner in front of the sink will catch water and prolong the finish,” says Jon Sarkesian, an architect in Royal Oak, Michigan. Your best bet: a small indoor/outdoor area rug; it’s meant to get wet and easy to pick up, and spots wash off under the tap.
Must-Have: Airy Open Shelves
Restaurant-style shelves lighten up a room and provide easy access for items you use every day. And no small thing: They cost less than cabinets.
Keep in mind:
• Style: Marry the look to the space. If you’re going for a farmhouse vibe, try salvaged planks and iron-look brackets, as seen here. Floating shelves have a contemporary look, while wood corbels can make open shelves feel more traditional.
• Display: “I like the look of kitchen things. They add color and texture,” says Annie Mathot, an architect in Staunton, Virginia. But others see a potential problem. “If stuff sits there it gets dusty,” says Kurth. “In a restaurant, the turnover is huge, but it’s a little different at home.” That’s a cue to edit your collections, rotate often, and consider keeping a duster close at hand.
• Alternative: To get the look without getting rid of your uppers altogether, Mathot favors removing the doors, which you can do in an afternoon. “You could paint the backs to make them stand out,” she says, “and if you change your mind later, you can put the doors back on them.” Before removing doors on existing upper cabinets, she adds, it’s wise to look inside: The interior may not be as well finished as the frame.
• Support: Like cabinets, open shelves, which are generally about 12 inches deep, require serious support: brackets rated to hold the weight, anchored to studs, every 16 inches. – This Old House
Interested in kitchen remodeling? Contact Medina Exteriors today, (330)591-4040Share