Sunday, March 3, 2013

Observations Part Two

Part we go...

6.  Solid surfaces are THE surface. At the start of solid surface trend on countertops in the home, acrylics were all the rage. As this material began to take hold some inherent qualities began to show - such as resting a hot pot on the surface would damage it, and overall maintenance on this surface was time consuming. This material still has its place in the home - it can be used a seamless shower wall, as a countertop it can be underlit to cast a glow in a room, it can be cut to any shape, layered, embedded and color matched as well. It's a dream for commercial projects and is widely used in the healthcare, education and hospitality arenas. But know what it can and can't do - like any surface you choose before you make that commitment.
This thing called granite  began nipping at its heels, and engineered stone began nipping at granite. Then along came marble after thousands of years of use in statuary and building design - it's still the "to die for" surface - but is not without it's own inherent properties. It's porous, can stain and requires care.  Do your homework, choose what works for your lifestyle. Just know the choices are endless in color, pattern and material. 

7. Color and pattern work together in design. Patterns are mixed, fabrics go bold or subtle. Stripes still rule and paint can be subtle or scream. Use your palette wisely, but let it reflect your personality. Our homes should be ours - our refuge, our safe haven. Memories are made in many a kitchen, make sure the space says its truly yours.

8.  Pendants are giving way to single lamps. Yes. They still have a place in design and can be used in a number of innovative ways. Group them, stagger them, line them up -allow them to show their stuff. Light fixtures with shades, fabric or glass are sneaking up on the pendants. Why? As the kitchen moves into the living room, so does the look of the kitchen. Shades soften the appearance of the kitchen and allow it to play dress up - your kitchen island becomes your dining destination.

9. Tile wonderful tile. I love it. Love the hardwood looks, love the full height glass on the backsplash. Love the metals - keep an eye on gunmetal - you saw it adorn the women of the red carpet on Oscars night, I predict this color will show up in home design pretty soon.

10. Don that apron. Often when the economy takes a turn south restaurant traffic slows up. While the economy is on an upward trend (oh thank heavens) we learned along the way that cooking at home is not only economical - it's fun! Prep areas, cutting boards, knife storage and pots and pans all need a place to go. Whether you're involved in a full out remodel or retrofit -
everything should have a place. If you cook in your kitchen like I do, spatulas, sauce or sautee pans need to be where you need them when you need them. 

Storage solutions are endless, but require thought on the front end of how you use your space. Make "ease of use" your motto - I know it's mine - give  it some thought and get cooking!