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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Which Comes First?

I hear this question a lot when meeting with new clients.

A new kitchen design involves a staggering number of choices: cabinets, flooring, countertops, backsplash, and more. And as if that wasn't difficult enough, each choice often has sub choices: maple cabinets may be available in 20 different finishes, granite countertops in dozens of colours and backsplash tile ... well the choices are almost infinite.

So where does one begin? The answer is going to depend on you.

Just like no kitchen is the same, nor is the driving force behind the design. Before you start thinking about oak, maple or painted, granite or quartz, you should think about the following:

How does the kitchen relate to the rest of the house? An open concept design needs to pay more attention to the colours and material adjacent spaces than an enclosed kitchen.

In this design the kitchen is visible from the family room, kitchen nook and main foyer. The colour scheme was not identical in each room, but was carefully coordinated to create a unified look.

Are there any "must have" materials? If you plan on using Brazilian cherry hardwood throughout your first-floor remodel, use that as a starting point.

Another open concept kitchen. I needed to pay close attention to the rough-hewn cedar beams that were prevelant throughout the ceiling.

Which material choice has the fewest options? Selecting the material with the fewest options first increases your options down the road. There's nothing as frustrating as picking a countertop colour only to discover it won't work with any of the flooring choices available.

Believe it or not, this kitchen was designed around the door, or rather the door colour. The client fell in love with the Corian countertops that matched her favorite colour perfectly. All other choices were based on that.

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