Kitchen design anxiety

I’ve been putting off writing this post because I still have no idea on how we should style our kitchen. The only thing I know is that we’re both pretty bored with white cupboards/black benchtop and want something a little more colourful. And I think we’re leaning towards charcoal cupboards and a red splashback by way of kitchen design colours, but I don’t want to commit to too much at the moment. Even if we did decide on those colours, I’m not sure how we will pull it all together.

So here are some of the design dilemmas I’m facing.

1. The splashback. We’ve pretty much decided on a glass spashback. I think it looks really nice. I’m a *little* bit worried about keeping it streak-free, but figure I can learn how to clean properly at some point. Or just accept a streaky splashback. Red provides that jolt of colour and vibrancy that I love. Finding the right shade of red will of course be a challenge, as it mustn’t be too bright or too brown. The picture below shows a red splashback with some grey cupboards. The cupboards intrigue me because they seem to have a very interesting sheen to them.

Red splashback and an intriguing sheen on the cupboards.

Red splashback and an intriguing sheen on the cupboards.

2. A sexy benchtop. The picture below is, I think, marble, but you get the drift. This is gonna be hella expensive so we are making a feature of it. We’ve been to see some granites out there, and have to say that the difference in beauty between low end and high end stone is staggering. So is the price. Being the fussy type, of course we decided that we should get “at least” the medium grade, but we shall see how far the budget will stretch. The other problem here is matching the stone to the cupboards, the splashback, and the floor tiles. I’m looking at the samples I’ve picked up from various places and nothing seems to match! I’m definitely going to need help on this one.

Sexy benchtop

Sexy benchtop

3. Two-tone cabinetry. Not only do we not want white, we’re thinking about introducing two colours to the cabinetry to mix things up a little. I’m envisaging two main potential configurations: A. Zone 1: Oven stack; Zone 2: the rest B. Zone 1: Oven stack, overheads; Zone 2: the rest There is also the coffee station which could match any zone or be completely different again. Probably better matched to something though. And then, of course, is the finish on the cupboards – do we want gloss or not? Probably yes, but again we have the cleaning issue. There’s no point in getting something that looks fabulous if you’re going to spend all your leisure time wiping off finger prints, that will drive me nuts!

Carcass and doors are different colours.

Check out the overheads in the top right – the carcass and doors are different colours.

4. Overheads. One of my pet hates is rows of overhead cupboards. If I had my way, I’d get rid of them altogether but I lost this argument too. I think they make a kitchen feel closed in, not to mention their general lack of interestingness. Breaking up the colours is one way to avoid this; another way is to use glass instead of solid doors, however this is fraught with danger especially in a modern kitchen, and I’ve seen too many bad examples.

5. Door hardware. I’m not entirely sure why, but I’ve developed a distaste for door handles. Actually, I do know why. Lately I’ve been finding myself bumping into them and having to clean around them, and i just can’t be bothered anymore. So we’re going handleless for the overheads. And I’ve found a very unobtrusive handle by Hafele for the lower cupboards.

6. Lighting. As the kitchen is part of the open plan area, the lighting needs to flow and work with whatever we have in the living area. The question is, where do we want to have feature lighting, the kitchen or the living area? It doesn’t help that I’ve fallen in love with some rather expensive pendants.

Stanley Hammered Nickel Pendant.

Stanley Hammered Nickel Pendant.

And finally, where is the dog going to sit? 🙂

A spot for the dog.

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  1. Love the spot for the dog!! Saved this pic for our own kitchen/living renovation inspiration!! 😀

  2. Definitely, a tricky predicament! I adore that nickel pendant. I can’t quite see nickel, red and charcoal working. Something has to give there. Red is tough. I’ve seen it look bad in a few photos on the H.O. Forum. Check out this link: The red in the last photo is good, and it could work with nickel (don’t know about charcoal though). A greyish granite could work with that combo. There are some very impressive and certainly not boring kitchens in that link – I like the last 2 green ones too. Good luck!

  3. Andrea Westacott

    Oh my, I love that dog island! xxx

  4. Just catching up with your blog. I recognise those Dunlin lights! I love mine more and more and am really glad we got them.
    But you wouldn’t want any lights there that are too distracting from your benchtop, since it sounds like that will be the main feature, and there will already be lots of colour in the kitchen. Maybe my vote is for plain-ish lighting in the kitchen and putting the main feature lights in the living area?

    • Those pendants are so beautiful! Gorgeous lighting is my downfall. I fear you might be right about it being too much with the benchtop, but if we end up getting a plainer-looking granite, it might work.

  5. Pingback: Kitchen Revisited | The SP Chronicles

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