Posts tagged ‘Modern architecture’

April 5th, 2012

Modern Kitchen: Part Two

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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.


Kitchen Textiles


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.


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March 30th, 2012

Modern Kitchen

Part One

Blue Accent Kitchen courtesy of


Perusing design magazines the other day, I dreamt up a recipe for creating the perfect modern kitchen. Whether you want to renovate your existing kitchen or design one from scratch, it is common to feel overwhelmed with the sheer array of possibilities. From cabinets and counter tops to flooring and textiles, building your dream kitchen can become a maelstrom of design elements. Step away from the chaos! Breathe. Once you purge the chaos, sit quietly and close your eyes. Try to imagine how you want your kitchen to feel and create your own recipe for a perfect modern kitchen!


The modern kitchen, like the one pictured above from, contains several elements which you will, at some point, need to address and consider. Ask yourself at each crossroad whether your choice will fulfill the style dream you have determined for you space.


Kitchen Architecture


Architecture can make or break a space depending on how the space is designed. Crown moldings will add a finishing detail especially if you consider the details of the cabinetry when choosing a style. The colour you choose to paint the crown moldings will alter the look as well. Other architectural elements to think about include built-ins, window casings, paneling and wainscoting. Ideas for built-ins include bench seating, a desk, and shelving. Unify the look of the kitchen and finish all your projects with the same trim and colour scheme. Wainscoting and paneling can be used throughout the kitchen or you can use this architectural feature to define an unused area.


Natural Elements in the Kitchen


Stone and wood offer warmth and distinction to any kitchen design. For a dark masculine look, choose medium to dark wooden cabinets with black or chocolate granite counter tops. Or lighten the look and choose white cabinets with granite or quartz counters in a soft colour like white or beige. Quartz counter tops come in a wide range of colours. Experiment with samples of lime green quartz, white quartz with mirror flecks and other vibrant colours. Choose the most beautiful counter top you can find and afford as it is a fixed element you will likely be living with for many years to come.


Modern Kitchen Colours


Modern kitchens often include a pop of bold, fresh colour. The good news is that any colour goes. Current colour choices include Kelly green, cerulean, oxblood red, lemon and tangerine. One idea is to paint a single wall in your chosen hue, even a wall with limited surface space, as the colour is sure to make a statement in any dose. Tie the colour into the room elsewhere with accessories, appliances, textiles, dishware and personal items like knick-knacks. Paint the rest of the room in a complementary neutral colour with bright white trim. Or, introduce some colour with a feature wall in a graphic wallpaper print.


Another idea is to flip the colour scheme inside out and paint only the trim, crown moldings and window casings in your colour of choice. Think cherry red in an all white color scheme, for instance. You can always add more of this juicy shade into the mix with a vase of red dahlias, some red and white damask chair cushions and a series of red drum pendants hanging above the island or table.


Glass Accents


Glass can be used in a variety of ways in the kitchen to add sparkle. Used as an insert for kitchen cabinets, glass choices are numerous and a wonderful way to add delicate detail. Bubbled glass, crackled glass, reeded glass and many other designs are available. With properly positioned lighting, glass is a detail that will provide elegance. Imitate the glass in your choice of glassware. Another idea is to create a glass partition to divide one space from another.


Next week I will conclude with the final elements required to create a modern kitchen. Stay tuned!

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