How to choose a kitchen that fits you?

Dream House_Kitchens

Hello folks. It has been a while. A lot of things have happened in the meantime. I just recovered from a monster flu. God knows how I caught it, but it was definitely not the most pleasant experience. I’m glad it’s almost gone, which means, it’s finally blogging time again. Sit back and take a note book, cause this is a long and informative post.

Today, I’m introducing a new, or actually my first real series of interior decoration inspiration. Why am I doing this? Well, if you have read my last post where I shared some big news with you, you probably can guess why. I’d like to take you on a journey from room to room to my dream house. Along the way, I will include tips and tricks, useful links for more information, shopping addresses and more.

The series will be divided into several parts. First part deals with inspiration seeking and active decision making. And I mean it, Lena – active decision making. That being said, no change of mind every other day. The second part comes later on after I moved and where the fun starts – decorating. The whole process will take a while, cause our dream house, more precisely our apartment will only be ready begin 2017. It’s being built first. I will share some floor plans and all this at a later stage. For now, we are proud owners of a piece of land. Wohooo! Inserting a page break here, cause otherwise this post will cover my entire screen, so will be yours. 

Back to today’s exciting topic. The Kitchen! When you buy an apartment that’s still under construction and where you have the luxury to choose everything yourself, from the floor, over the kitchen and bathroom tiles, to the color of your door frames, it can get tricky. Yet, for an interior decoration addict, this is pure paradise.

Usually, there are deadlines where you need to inform the construction company on changes or extra work that you wish to make. For us the 1st step was to decide on the kitchen. Well, it’s easier said than done. How to choose a kitchen that fits you? It’s not everyday that I pick round versus squared sinks in chrome or in matt silver, decide on what height the plug for the dishwasher has to go, and whether I want an oven with a microwave function or a microwave with an oven function. At that point, it’s important to first understand what kind of kitchen style you want. Therefore, I collected some beautiful examples for two major styles, modern and classic that were most appealing to me. Not really groundbreaking, cause these are – what a surprise – the two most mainstream styles.

Below I summarise what i like about the styles and different kitchens and where you need to keep on eye on when choosing yours.

Modern Kitchens Modern kitchens usually don’t have handles and look super sleek with their glossy fronts. Of course that’s not the norm. There are always deviations. When it comes to color, the all time favorite is a white front and a matching countertop. There are endless possibilities. This is exactly what makes it so hard. Let’s look at some examples in more detail.

Kitchen1 Okay, I’m crazy about metro tiles. We will have them too. I just love the 3D effect and structure you can create with them. They give this industrial edge to a modern kitchen. This is the perfect example that a modern kitchen doesn’t mean you need to be super modern with your interior decor. The plastering together with the tiles and sleek glossy drawers make a perfect combination. Besides, the light bulbs above the kitchen table are a great match.

Kitchen2 And more metro tiles. Every night I dream about brass knobs and golden taps. No, I don’t, but I still love them. It seems to be a trend since last year or so. And it’s not that I usually follow trends. I’m more of an ‘against the flow kind of fish’ – a salmon. Maybe that’s why it’s my favorite color.. Anyways, when I came with this wish to our kitchen supplier, he looked at me completely flabbergasted and asked why on earth I want to have a golden tap. I showed him this picture. Doesn’t it speak more than 1000 words? Okay let’s move on. No golden tap – fine. Of course my boyfriend was relieved, since he already imagined our new home as a oriental palace. Only because of a golden tap – phew, men always exaggerate, really.

Kitchen14 Let’s talk about countertops. Again endless possibilities. What’s important to know is there are different countertop materials. Here some of the most common ones to pick.

  • Granite and Marble

Above shows a marbled kitchen countertop. Both granite and marble are natural materials. Hence, what you see in the kitchen showroom is not what you’ll get when you order, cause every piece will look different. Both types are durable, but sensitive when it comes to heat. Placing a hot pan on it could potentially cause the stone to break.

  • Composite

This looks like stone, but it isn’t. As the name says, it’s composed of different ingredients that ultimately look similar to real stone. However, due to the additives, this version is much more durable and stress-resistant. You can easily place a hot pan on it, even though I still wouldn’t dare trying. I’d always recommend using a pan coaster.

  • Wood

Well wood is wood. Though, I heard there are smart countertops that have the look and feel of wood, but are actually made of a different material, which is stronger and more resistant. It looks definitely very nice as in the next example below. Yet, I don’t think it’s the most practical solution. It needs extra work to stay durable. Basically, you need to treat it as your wooden kitchen table. I would go for practical over aesthetic.

We will go for composite. What color and structure is still open for discussion. That brings me to the next point – color.

Kitchen11 One of the kitchen suppliers (the most non-fashionable person – sorry but not sorry) told us that you need to create contrast between floor, kitchen front and countertop. Absolute rubbish, in my opinion. If I want everything in white, then I’ll do everything in white. I agree to the rule of thumb of choosing 3 main colors when it comes to interior decoration and design, but that doesn’t mean I need to apply this to my kitchen. We have evidence here that choosing hues from one family can look great. He suggested a wooden floor, white fronts and a black countertop. Com’on – really? For a person who admires nordic design, this doesn’t work. I prefer clean and even. To create a warm atmosphere, I’d pick a semi-brown wooden floor, but keep the rest of the kitchen in light colors. There you have your contrast. Actually kitchen number 1 is a great example.

Kitchen6 Kitchen7 We’ve talked about tiles, countertops and colors. I mentioned that modern kitchens usually don’t have handles or knobs. However, I also wrote that there are deviations. The last two kitchens above show two possibilities. With small handles and without. I like the version without handles more. I find it easier to just quickly grab behind the drawer to pull it out, instead of using a tiny handlebar. To summarise, the alpha and omega when it comes to kitchen styles, is no handles equals modern kitchen. When you pick your drawers, you need to make sure they are deep and wide in order to fit all your pans and kitchen supplies in. Some people decide to get special dividing systems that are integrated in the drawers. I kind of like them, cause you know where to find your stuff. For example, the Tupperware system is great. One drawer gets a divider with boxes for muesli, pasta, nuts – you name it. I think that’s very practical.

Classic Kitchens Classic kitchens can also be names rustic, country style or traditional kitchens. It all comes down to some key characteristics: panel fronts, clearly visible handlebars or knobs, farmers sinks and victorian style taps. Again, there are many deviations.

Kitchen13 If you like pastel, then this is your answer. A classic kitchen with panel doors and drawers. Typically, there are hanging closets as well where one has an integrated panel window to showcase your Victorian porcelain. This example is really stereotypical. I do like it, but it wouldn’t work in our new home. Our kitchen will be a living kitchen, meaning one room with both a living area and a kitchen. It’s great cause everyone will always gather there. However, it can get tricky, cause the style you choose for your kitchen also has to fit to the decor and furniture of your living area.

Kitchen15 I love this kitchen. It’s from the book ‘Keep it simple‘ by Atlanta Bartlett. It’s the typical example of a rustic kitchen. Hanging shelves with kitchen materials, serveware and glassware intensify the feeling of being in an old farm house where pasta and bread are is still handmade.

Kitchen16 Similar as in the first example, there are panel fronts with brass handles (aaaamazing). And i love the farmers sink. What you need to know about farmers sinks or also called ceramic sinks is, they are very heavy and usually need a special substructure or extra support built below the sink. This causes extra costs. Besides, those sinks are very expensive after all. So make wise decisions here. Another downside of this beautiful looking sink is the sensitivity of the material. If you drop a glass bottle or anything heavy, your sink will notice. Trust me! Not sure whether you notices, but this kitchen is a great example for a modern/classic combination.

Kitchen8

This last kitchen screams tradition. Panel fronts, farmers sink, victorian tap, hanging closets with panel windows. The tiles may be the only modern aspect. Still, I really like the color combination of  grey, gold and white. I have some kind of aversion to hanging closets, cause I feel they are always in your way, unless you hang them very high. Make sure that you have electricity cords coming out of the wall, so you can have spot lights below your hanging closets or shelves.

Now the moment of truth comes. What style did we choose? The kitchen we would like to have, needs to provide us with the possibility to have a modern, industrial and vintage inspired home. Therefore, we will choose a modern kitchen, with dull white fronts, a light colored countertop made of composite, deep and wide drawers without handles, white metro tiles, two hanging shelves instead of hanging closets and a chrome or dull aluminum sink. This will look approximately like this. It’s a first drawing and the colors are definitely not realistic. But it gives you an idea. I have here and there some changes that I want to make, which we will do in the coming weeks.

IMG_4976

After this long post, I’m really curious what you think? Anyone who is in the same situation right now? Any tips? How did you decide on a kitchen style? For people living in the Netherlands – where did you buy your kitchen?

I hope you find this useful. Let me know your thoughts. Have a lovely day.

Source: I couldn’t trace back most of the images. I found them all on Pinterest

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