Nothing says “it’s my kitchen” more than the choice of a tile backsplash. And no aspect of kitchen design is more difficult for most people to choose. That’s why backsplashes are often left for last when the budget is nearly gone and reno fatigue has set in. At that point, too many people can’t make up their minds and settle for the most generic, least expensive option which leads to the backsplash blahs. We’ve all seen them in endless numbers of kitchens: the same monotone white subway tiles, small glass mosaics, stacked rectangles, and the same boring neutrals.… Continue Reading
Special kitchen features and approaches to accessories and appliances; specialty rooms
Double sided glass cabinets — over an island or in a wall — usher light into kitchens in two different ways.
I’ve long been intrigued by the way top New York architects Ferguson & Shamamian use double sided glass cabinets in kitchens they design. One strategy is to add a ceiling-hung glass cabinet over an island to more or less act as a screen between the working and eating zones. For a classic white family kitchen in a 5000-square foot Park Avenue apartment [top], a large glass upper cabinet was made in three sections and centered over the island. Accessible from both sides, it has glass end panels and interior illumination plus task lighting below.… Continue Reading
Kitchens are blending into the house more often, which is why no upper cabinet kitchens are gaining in popularity.
Leaf through any current home décor magazine and you’re bound to see no upper cabinet kitchens that look very open. That’s because spaces usually occupied shallow upper cabinets have given way to windows, walls with surface treatments such as tile or wood paneling, or walls with open shelving. It’s not often the most notable, or noticed, feature and it’s not restricted to a particular style. These four kitchens, which range from traditional to minimalistic, are very different. Their one common denominator is the absence of upper cabinets.… Continue Reading
Anyone looking to invest in a built in refrigerator needs answers to a few simple questions: Which refrigerator is best? How long will it last? What’s the warranty? Can I get service in my area? Is the service reliable and prompt? And perhaps most important: how can I get the best deal? The last question is key today when a built in refrigerator is likely to eat up $5000 to $12,000 of the kitchen appliance budget. And since the size and design of a cabinet for the fridge is specific to the brand and preferred installation style, complexities and costs multiply.… Continue Reading
More popular in Europe than in the U.S., conservatories are glass walled and ceilinged structures added onto a house as a garden or sun room. They are synonymous with greenhouse rooms or sun porches. These days, with formality on the way out, the concept of a conservatory is easily applied to the kitchen and with spectacular results. This kitchen style is a BOGO — designed like a greenhouse by the way the ceiling and windows are configured. One lovely example is the English-inspired Gothic Revival Kitchen which has a conservatory-dining space and kitchen in an open-plan room.… Continue Reading
In some kitchens, a seating area can be restricted by structural elements such as windows, doors or pillars.
Two summers ago I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing top kitchen designer Mick DeGiulio when he created a Kitchen of the Year for House Beautiful magazine. One of the main points stressed during his introduction was not about the work triangle, appliance quality, or even about cabinets which are usually the most expensive fixture. Topic A was how kitchens had morphed into living spaces that made seating a key element. So built-in booths or banquettes, which can be fitted into awkward spaces have become a well-loved solution.… Continue Reading