Last week in Part One of my Modern Kitchen post I covered architecture, modern colour choices, glass accents, and natural elements in the kitchen with the intention of creating the perfect modern kitchen with a recipe. This week I will cover the rest of the recipe with accents and finishing touches. Learn how to personalize your modern kitchen space and give it a lived-in atmosphere.
Rustic Kitchen Elements
For new kitchens, a rustic element is essential. Consider what life in a brand new kitchen will be like if you think you can sidestep this element. The kitchen, once finished will be pristine, but kitchens are meant for living. Dents, scrapes, scuffs and other mayhem will render the kitchen a fine mess. If you add a rustic element from the beginning, all else that transpires will bring definition and character and give it that cozy lived-in atmosphere essential to a happy home. Choices for a rustic element include cabinetry, furniture and flooring. One idea is to look for oversized terracotta tiles for the floors or other stones with a rough finish. For the cabinets look for finishes with a rustic treatment or go so far as to have an island made with salvaged wood. Another trendy idea is to install a sliding barn door to divide spaces and add rustic appeal. For furniture look for a rustic dining table, chairs, benches or freestanding cabinets. Pair one or two rustic pieces with elegant modern items for a visually appealing balance.
Vintage or Salvage Elements
Vintage or salvage pieces offer authenticity to the space they grace. An old rusty sign or chalkboard will add a little something extra, a conversation piece at the very least. Look for vintage glassware, tea pots, tea cups and cake pedestals to use for display or to include in your daily repertoire of dishware. Salvage pieces can be used to add interest. Look for corbels, used to hold up shelving, to add detail to a new kitchen island. Or, use salvage boards to create an open wall of shelving to display platters, bowls and other oversized dishware. To tie the salvage wood into the overall design try painting the edges of the shelves the same colour as the walls.
In a kitchen, the textiles serve many purposes, two of which are to soften the look of the space and to carry the color scheme. A combination of patterns and textures is tantamount to modern kitchen design. If you choose primarily hard elements like wood, metal and stone, opt to dress floor to ceiling windows with flowing white curtains to add softness. Update the curtain with a band of grosgrain ribbon as seen here and here, or create colourful curtain ties. Top the curtains with a valance in a pattern such as floral, geometric, botanical or damask. Mix and match other textiles into the mix for cloth napkins, table cloths, dish towels and throw pillows for bench seating. Another idea is to introduce a bold colour scheme and pattern with the curtains.
Modern Kitchen Lighting
Proper lighting is one of the most important factors in your kitchen. The best plan is to incorporate a combination of light sources. Overhead lighting should be beautiful and functional. A chandelier or a drum pendant are ideal choices for over the island and the table. Choose something with sparkle to add a dazzling finish to your design. Other sources of light include under the cabinet lighting, and depending on the size of your kitchen, you may wish to include sunken pot lights or track lighting. Pot lights are less intrusive, but track lights can be positioned wherever you need them. Another option is a series of pendant lights.
Personalize the final design with quirky pieces you can remove or change if you tire of them. Fixed elements should be designed with materials chosen for their longevity both style wise and quality wise. Finish the modern kitchen design with a plant to add energy to the room. A small plant next to the sink, a hanging plant in front of a window or a large potted plant in a corner will add life energy to the kitchen.