What was your island designed to do?

As a designer there is no greater feeling than a homeowner using and loving their new kitchen that you helped create…  your collective vision came to life… but the worst feeling is a lovely kitchen that is not user-friendly and does not function to its fullest potential.

 

Islands can be used for so many functions in the kitchen… as stand alone activities or as the hub of the entire kitchen… Some of these activities are:

 

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prepping and clean up zones

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cooking zones

2014 Palmetto Bluff Idea House. kitchen overall

storage… lots of storage

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eating – entertainment zones

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and other various zone combinations.

To plan your perfect island in your kitchen consider the following:

1. Space: Make sure you have enough space to properly use the island & function in your kitchen. Make sure your work zones and walkways are space sufficient.

2. Style: The island is a wonderful place to add that “pop of color”, add a different door style to create a furniture feel or that unique “design element” you have been wanting to incorporate into your home.

3. Budget: The wonderful thing about islands is that they can be very economical… a few cabinets and / or table legs and you have a wonderful work space  – eating space in one.

 

2. Make sure your designer adheres to NKBA’s Kitchen Planning Guidelines  to help you create a safe, effective and efficient space. These guidelines address space planning, appliance placement, seating and much more.

 

The Stack is Back

Over the past few years stacking cabinetry has been making a comeback…

The trend toward smaller spaces, utilizing wasted space and designing with the future in mind are some of the reasons for Cabinet Stacking.

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It’s a wonderful way to showcase your favorite items and store items you don’t utilize daily ….

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and bring much-needed accent lighting into your kitchen or other spaces….

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Seasonal items or annual decorations need no longer to go to “storage” with the assistance of organizational planning from your designer. Design your space for yearly use and not just for the season that you are in while the designing, building or remodeling is occurring.

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It’s also a perfect way to add personality to your space!

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Flowers in the Kitchen

“I must have flowers, always, and always.” 
― Claude Monet
Flowers (picked or potted) can brighten up a kitchen or any space in your home – What’s your favorite type of flowers for the kitchen?

Make a Big "Splash" this Summer

This day and time  – anything goes with your kitchen backsplash… from D.I.Y. unique finds to professional works of art – it’s a place to express your style!

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Penny Backsplash
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Crossville Tile at KBIS2014

While there are current trends emerging everyday (you will see some in this post) we all seem to have our favorite backsplash material of choice.

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classic beadboard – my favorite

Here’s a little “background on backsplashes” … (A backsplash is the wall space between the bottom of a wall cabinet and/or appliance and the base cabinet and/or appliance. This area needs to be constructed using materials that are easy to clean up from messes or “splashes” that occur during cooking.)

To even shed more light on the subject we sat down with our corporate designer Karen Sayler to get her expert opinion.

  • What were the biggest backsplash trends for this year?  “Backsplashes became more prominent –features with a lot more emphasis on physical and visual texture.”
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Bosque Wood Tiles by Ann Sacks is FSC certified and low VOC sealers – ECO-thinking

 

  • Has anything surprised you about these trends? “Not with backsplashes becoming more prominent, but the variety of materials being used for this purpose is rapidly expanding, and that is a good surprise.”
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Ann Sacks – cowden bell gator
  • Environmental friendly products is this a hot topic for backsplash materials? “There is an attempt at eco-friendly products for backsplashes, but I don’t think we have really seen a product that truly encompasses the complete life cycle of the product yet…or at least not on a mainstream level.”   

 

  • When designing a set for a trade show do you have different requirements or procedures for the backsplash then when you specify when working with a homeowner?Absolutely.  The walls break apart, move, and are transported on semi-trucks half way across the country.  That makes it harder to do more complex designs or to use glass tile.  In terms of glass tile, if there isn’t a back coating on the tile you will see the wall color through it due to how we install the tile versus using a traditional mortar bed and buttering the back of the tile.”
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Tile work at KBIS 2013 getting ready – Crossville Tile

 

  • What do you see trending for 2015? “More diverse materials for backsplashes such as wood, leather, painted glass, translucent materials with led back lighting.  Also there has been a spike in utilizing the striking beauty of natural materials grain patterns (such as a linear grained marble) to create gorgeous “art” work in the space.”
  • Personal question – what’s the craziest material you have ever created a backsplash out of or what is the one trend that you loved? And would still spec. today if you could :0) “Craziest material would have to be some old rough-hewn lumber that I then faux painted with multiple layers and colors.  One trend that I have loved that is a timeless classic is subway tile.  It never goes out of style, and I would spec it today knowing it would be relevant tomorrow.” 

Thank you Karen for your time and sharing your knowledge with us!

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