There are so many things to think about when designing and building your dream kitchen. While the focus tends to be on the big decisions like the layout, cabinet finishes, colors, and materials, some of the finer details don’t always get the attention they deserve.
The truth is, some of the smallest, most subtle decisions can dramatically impact the overall appearance and functionality of a space and truly make or break a kitchen remodel.
Here are 5 tiny details that can make all the difference:
1. Hardware Style
Hardware may seem like a minor detail, but although each individual piece of hardware is small, their collective contribution to the overall design of your space is significant.
After all, the hardware you choose will appear in just about every corner of your kitchen, from your faucet to your cabinet hinges.
There are a wide variety of shapes, styles, sizes, and finishes to choose from. The most important thing to remember is that your hardware should complement the other materials in your kitchen, from the cabinets and appliances, to the floors, countertops, and beyond.
For example, sleek, black cabinet pulls and brackets can add crispness and contrast to a light, bright kitchen with white cabinets. On the other hand, the same white cabinets may take on a cozy, cottage-like aesthetic when paired with rustic wooden knobs.
2. Countertop Maintenance
When choosing materials for countertops, most people focus on cost and appearance. After all, you want something that looks great and doesn’t break the bank, but one of the most important considerations, which often gets overlooked, is upkeep and durability.
For example, butcher block countertops look fresh and rustic, and are generally more affordable than many other popular options, but they need to be maintained with regular oil treatments. Marble is a classic choice and adds sophistication and elegance to any kitchen design, but it needs to be sealed, protected, and spot treated from time to time to prevent cracking and staining.
Opting for countertops that require upkeep is not necessarily a bad thing, and many of these materials can last a lifetime if properly maintained. However, it’s important to be aware of the maintenance requirements of whatever material you choose.
3. Grout Color
Grout color is often an afterthought in both kitchen and bathroom remodels, but it can significantly impact the appearance of any tiled surface. The right grout color can add the appearance of dimension, texture, and contrast to your backsplash, floor, or countertop.
Like hardware, grout can draw the eye to certain areas or design elements in the space. For example, if you want to highlight a rustic brick backsplash, a light gray color can provide a traditional look. If you’re opting for white subway tile behind your range, dark brown or black grout can add contrast and really make your tile stand out.
When choosing grout colors, it’s also important to consider the area you’re working with, and how much oil, grease, food debris, or dirt from outside may touch your tiled surface and get stuck in the cracks. White tiles paired with white grout look gorgeous on a traditional kitchen floor, but they’re likely to require more frequent cleaning than a darker color.
4. Island Functionality
While islands are rarely thought of as small details in kitchen remodels, their appearance, size, and aesthetic contribution to the room often take precedence over how they function with the rest of the space.
It’s important to consider your household’s unique needs when deciding on an island design.
Here are a few possibilities:
- If you live a busy lifestyle, you might benefit from an island with an overhang and stools or bar chairs to allow you to eat a quick meal on the go.
- If you have limited space for cabinets, you might consider an island with additional storage and an overhead pot rack.
- If you enjoy entertaining, you may want to include your range in your island and situate it across from seating to allow you to face toward your guests while you cook.
5. The Finishing Touches
Even if you make all the right decisions during the remodeling process, the wrong trinkets, artwork, towels, and other finishing touches can make even the most aesthetically pleasing kitchen feel disjointed.
When it comes to smaller items that will likely be on display (like kettles, toasters, teapots, fruit baskets, artwork, wine racks, etc.) it’s important to consider how they will complement or interfere with your kitchen’s style and tie your new space in with the rest of your home.
A fun way to experiment with these elements is to change up your decor and kitchen accessories according to the season.
Planning a kitchen remodel?
At L. Evans Design Group, we’re here to help you design and build the kitchen of your dreams. We’re with you every step of the way, from the big decisions like your kitchen’s layout, to all the finer details like hardware and decor. We tackle the design and construction process, keeping your budget, unique tastes, and vision in mind.