Having thought through your design you must consider the kitchen decor – i.e. the style, the color scheme, the furnishing. You should always opt for a style that goes with the rest of your interior. Many people make the mistake of putting an overtly high-tech kitchen into a cottage or a rustically decorated home. This is wrong. If your home is decorated in country style – your kitchen should also fit in with this decor. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have modern kitchen appliances or you have to have cheesy furnishing – there is always a contemporary take on the "country style". Or choose the timeless Shaker style that seems to fit most interior decorating styles..
Your kitchen furniture should complement the rest of the scheme. – for example, a retro kitchen table will not fit within a Tuscan style kitchen! It’s always good to have a table in your kitchen – even if you prefer a separate dining room. If your kitchen is too small, try to incorporate a breakfast bar with stools or a small caf? table with two chairs. If you have the space, it’s useful to have a kitchen island or a bar which can also be used as extra work surface, a breakfast bar or for others to sit around chatting to you whilst you cook. Use Chrome bar stools for modern kitchens and wooden ones for rustic or ethnic styles… If you don’t want to get a new dining set, buy unfinished kitchen cabinets and paint / varnish them to suit your existing tables & chairs!
Lighting is often overlooked, yet it’s a very important element of a successful kitchen. Make sure you have good under-cabinet lighting, cabinet lighting and a main lighting. The most important place is the counter-top where you prepare food – the work surface, the sink & cooktop (or hob). These areas should have directional lighting – low voltage recessed or tracked light are ideal. The lighting above a kitchen island is also important – consider track lighting or a row of pendant lights. Don’t forget to think about moods. If you use your kitchen as your dining room or your family room – the lighting system should be dimmable. If your kitchen is purely used for cooking – choose at least one light (perhaps in the cabinets) to have a dimmer switch. Find kitchen lighting stores in our DIY Stores section.
To add extra WOW - you could put a colored rope light on top of the cabinets to create the right atmosphere for evening entertainment…
A successful kitchen is one that is well designed and where the details work together. I have seen many kitchens ruined by the d?cor details – the color scheme, the window treatment, the kitchenware etc… The kitchen wall decor must complement or contrast the color of cabinets & other furniture - remember, it’s the tone of the color, not the hue, that matters ( read more about how to decorate with color). The kitchen window treatment must also complement the colors of cabinets or walls – for example, an aluminium Venetian blind is not suitable for a country style. Think about other details – the splash-back, the switches & sockets, the handles & other fittings. If you have a brushed aluminium switch – your door handles should not be brass. Finally, don’t put the wrong kitchenware & small kitchen appliances on display – rustic style objects should only be used in a country kitchen, whilst high-tech gadgets only work well with modern kitchen d?cor.
If you need help as to what color to paint your kitchen, why don’t you ask our interior designers or other DIY Together members in our forum? Or read other articles about kitchen remodeling, kitchen supply, small kitchen design.