Your kitchen is a very personal part of your home, so do not be afraid to make it look and feel like your own. There are a lot of kitchen design ideas and appliance-countertop combinations available -- choose one, if you like, or combine two or three to get an even more personalized look.
Contemporary kitchen countertops, cabinets, and modern appliances
Contemporary kitchens are characterized by their minimalist look and very simple, Zen-like lines. If you want to achieve this look, then invest in monochromatic stone countertops or perhaps have a completely stainless countertop made especially for your kitchen’s dimensions. Avoid ornate handles on your kitchen cabinets – go for sleek stainless steel handles instead.
Appliances that go with contemporary countertops and kitchen cabinets are ultra modern. You will need to invest in ‘smart’ appliances from manufacturers like Miele. If you have the money, have these smart appliances built into your kitchen cabinetry and into your contemporary countertops. Built in appliances do not stick out, giving the illusion of a clean, seamless space.
Colonial kitchen countertops, cabinets, and traditional appliances
Colonial kitchens – also called Early American or Country style kitchens – evoke lived-in and homey feel. It is one of the easiest styles to create of you are decorating a kitchen from an old house – most older kitchens are colonial, so you will not have problems with the color scheme and the charming, old-fashioned décor.
Almost all kinds of countertops work with colonial kitchens. It is best to determine your cabinetry first. Colonial kitchens use wooden cabinets, usually in their natural light color but sometimes stained. Determine the perfect countertop for your colonial kitchen based on the color of your kitchen cabinets. Darker woods (like mahogany) usually go best with lighter stone or ceramic countertops, while lighter shades (such as beech) usually go with darker stone or ceramic countertops. You may also use laminated countertops if stone versions are too expensive for your budget. Another alternative is a wood countertop.
Appliances tend to stick out in colonial kitchens, so have them built in whenever you can. If this is not possible, at least have enough storage drawers and cabinets built so you can store away the appliances you are not using.
The danger in colonial kitchens is overdoing the ‘homey’ look and letting clutter pile up. Avoid leaving unused appliances and kitchen equipment lying around your colonial countertop, or the mess will start to hide the beauty f your kitchen. Clean and store away as you go – this is the only way to combat clutter and keep your colonial kitchen looking cozy, not dirty.
French Country kitchen countertops, cabinets, and appliances
French Country kitchens feel warm and inviting, and make abundant use of natural materials. Go for wood or stone countertops. Most French countryside kitchens use blue and white as their predominant color scheme – so paint your kitchen cabinets white and line your walls with some blue accents. Also consider painting your kitchen furniture white, and covering your cushions with embellished French designs.;
Shaker kitchen countertops, cabinets, and traditional appliances
Shaker kitchens are very utilitarian and simple. To achieve this look, you should go for wooden everything – from countertops to cabinets. Also add in simple brass fixtures (like drawer handles and sink faucets) and your look should be complete.
Like colonial kitchens, shaker kitchens are sometimes difficult to keep up, as appliances often stick out and become ‘cluttery’ when not stored properly. You should think about investing heavily in constructing extra storage cabinets and drawers.
You do not need to spend thousands of dollars to get the look you want – there are several ways to transform your kitchen into a particular style without breaking the bank.
- The cheapest, biggest, simplest yet most impact-full renovation you can do is repainting. Paint your walls a totally different color and you are instantly several steps closer to the style you are going for (just don’t forget to ask your landlord first if this is acceptable, especially if you are just renting your space).
- After repainting and you still have extra cash, change the cabinet hardware. Adding a few hooks and handles signature to the kitchen style you are going for can dramatically transform your space.
- Get rid of appliances that do not work anymore. You do not need a replacement right away – save up and just buy when you have the money. There is no point in holding on to something that does not work just because you do not have the budget to replace it yet. If it’s broke, throw it out – this not only saves you storage space, but also declutters your kitchen to make it look bigger.