There’s truth to the old adage that every good party ends (and begins!) in the kitchen. The heart of many homes, kitchens do double and even triple duty as a space for cooking, dining, and entertaining. That’s also why kitchen renovations are one of the most impactful ways to improve your home. If you’re feeling uninspired when it comes to taking your kitchen design to the next level, consider adding functional pieces that will make everything from weeknight dinners to holiday feasts feel a little more special.
Incorporate A Statement Range
Designer Valery Huffenus of Inspired Interiors recently worked on a project where her client’s kitchen was having, as she put it, an identity crisis. “There was no focal point,” Huffenus explains, “and the old, outdated range was tucked into the corner like an afterthought.”
The solution? Replacing a single key appliance with an eye-catching upgrade—in this case, a French range that marries antique-inspired with high-quality technical detailing. The new range, says Huffenus, “immediately centered the space, and brought in classic, elegant, and dramatic style” without sacrificing modern functionality. In short, it’s a single change that improves both the form and function of a kitchen.
Think Outside The Box With An Island In A Unique Shape
An island is a gathering place in many kitchens—a spot where after-school snacks and dinner prep happen at the same time. Islands can add not only a great storage and functional space, but can also create character and interest in an otherwise usual kitchen.
Unique shapes, whether rounded or slightly curved or angled, can provide seating that might not normally be possible and take advantage of awkward areas, especially near windows and exterior doors. If you want to create visually distinct parts of an island—say, one for seating and one for storage—consider using two different colors for the base cabinets underneath the island to distinguish each separate area.
Add A Dedicated Drink Station
A dedicated beverage area can be a coffee bar with the coffee maker and a set of mugs, or a wine fridge and glasses or bottled spirits, will make grabbing a cup of coffee or a cold seltzer a little more special.
In addition to keeping the traffic flow from thirsty kids or guests out of the main prep area, a drinks station is also a great place to display pretty glassware and bottles, especially with glass front and lit cabinets.
Go Glam With Jewel Tones And Brass Accents
Whites, grays, and neutral tones are all fairly standard, so one sure way to add wow to a kitchen is using bold jewel tones, especially on the cabinets or island.
Rich hues like emerald green and royal blue are dramatic and classic—think about colors you might see in a historic house or an upscale, romantic restaurant. Pairing bold colors with brass accents is glamorous, and light fixtures are a great place to incorporate a hint of brass.
Turn The Walls Into Art Using A Tiled Backsplash
Lining your walls in easy-to-clean tile means you’ll never have to worry about trying to get cooking stains off a painted wall. And a backsplash can be way more than functional, especially when you run the tiles all the way up the ceiling. The colour of the cabinets and what the countertop looks like will determine what direction to go with the backsplash. If your countertop is speckled and has a busy pattern, choose a larger tile with little pattern. If the countertop is solid, try to find a backsplash with motion or bold colour if the countertop is solid.
Mix And Match Cabinet Finishes
Even the smallest changes can create a totally new look in your kitchen, and handles and drawer pulls are a quick update. Pulcine says there’s no reason hardware has to match, and in fact, using mix-and-match cabinet finishes can actually make your kitchen look even more “designer-done.”
Using longer handles for larger drawers paired with smaller length handles for smaller drawers or upper cabinets adds dimension. You can’t go wrong picking hardware that looks similar but distinct—think everything in silver-tone, but in a variety of styles.
Create A Sense Of Drama Using Matte Black Paint
If you’re not into neutrals or bright hues, lean into moody with a touch of noir via black cabinets in a flat or matte finish. Black shades are dramatic yet surprisingly flexible—they pop when combined with other rich colours and gold finishes, or add a clean, minimalist look when paired with bright whites and slate grays.