Learn more about cabinets and countertops:
This warm, wood-filled kitchen with its bank of windows is a welcoming place to gather with family and friends. The granite counter tops make a cool contrast with the warmth of the wood.
The kitchen has always been the true heart of every home. From a miniscule galley in an urban studio to an open plan kitchen-family room, the kitchen is the center of the home. Informal gatherings, homework, chats over coffee, there is something about the simple comfort of the hearth that remains in the kitchen, no matter how sleek and refined it is.
For a custom look for less, mix surface materials. Contrasting colors in materials, like blonde wood and dark granite, draw attention to the details.
You can find synthetic solid-surface materials that mimic the look of marble, granite and stone. These friendly fauxs also have the advantage of resisting damage from knives and heat.
This bright kitchen uses the dark green countertop tile to tie together the island and the countertop. The clean contrast in the grid patter of the tiles makes a graphic statement in the clean lines of the kitchen.
Use specialty materials as insets. Butcher block is best placed as an inset somewhere away from the sink where it will not be ruined by water. Keep counter stains off your marble by inserting a slab for rolling out pastry. Stainless steel makes a practical choice next to the stove and oven.
You can find all shapes, sizes, finishes and colors of tile in tile showrooms. Look carefully at your options before you decide: glazed, unglazed, matte, glossy, pepply and smooth, squares, rectangles, rounds, diamonds.
Imported, hand-painted or sculpted tiles are available but are fairly expensive. You can still get the hand-crafted look, though, by installing only a few as accents where you'll see them oftenover the sink or above the stove. They can have an even more dramatic effect if used sparingly.
Look for furniture that will double as storage, like this pie safe.
Your kitchen doesn't have to be just counters and appliances. Consider antiques for storage and as beautiful accents. Charming dining tables can be added to almost any size kitchen. Look for drop-leaf tables with chairs or stools that can slip underneath, or try a cozy breakfast nook.