Monday, July 26, 2010

...cont'd -> white sans white

So now that you guys have had a couple of weeks to flip through magazines, I'm curious to know if what YOU are noticing is in line with what WE are actually doing (at least in terms of design aesthetic - primarily as it relates to cabinetry). Let me preface this by saying that I don't believe white kitchens are going anywhere... when done tastefully (and by that I mean simple and clean, with an understated elegance) white kitchens are both classic and timeless, and thus they are here to stay.

B-U-T (she says excitedly), we are finding that more and more people are wanting to keep that 'simple, light and clean' feel that is evoked in a white kitchen, but they are ready to change it up a bit. And so are we.

So question-of-the-day becomes: how do you keep the 'clean, simple, light' feel of a white kitchen sans the white kitchen?

Our solution has been to take a cue from Mother Nature. Picture yourself walking along a beach in whatever you consider to be the most beautiful weather imaginable. Feel the warm sun gently kissing your skin as you sip in the ocean breeze. How does that make you feel? If you are like most, it is delicious. So delicious you can literally almost taste it. Now let's bring that deliciousness into our homes.

We start by using a more rustic wood for our cabinetry. One where you can actually see some texture in the graining of the wood (note: we've been using a lot of grain-relieved oak lately). This helps give some movement and depth, but we must balance it out by choosing a really simple door style, otherwise it can become too complicated. Let me stop for a minute and clarify what I mean by 'rustic', since it could be interpreted in a number of ways. In this case, by 'rustic' I don't mean a dark-stained, knotty-butternut nor am I referring to an antiqued, distressed, chipped-paint look. What I am talking about is quite simply a white-washed or wax-finished, grain-relieved oak (note: this type of finish can also be achieved using butternut, but it is more often done with oak) that elicits an earthy feel somewhat reminiscent of driftwood.

To continue with the earthy feel, we've fallen in love with concrete counters. What's so cool about concrete is that you can actually personalize them by having things inlaid. Typically we like to inlay nautilus shells and trilobites, but you can get as creative as you like (we actually put rivets from the engine of a plane in one clients counter... he was an aeronautical engineer!). Plus you can customize the color to suit your home. Think of all the options you have with Benjamin Moore paint colors. Infinite. But I recommend sticking with something light in the gray/taupe/sand family if you are going for this particular look.

And the most important factor in keeping a kitchen feeling 'light and clean' is what???? Yep, you guessed it. Light (duh!).
So simple and obvious, yet so often overlooked. I recommend always getting as much natural light as possible, but regardless of the number of windows you have, make sure you have LOTS of recessed lights. Decorative lighting is great to make a design statement, but task lighting is SO crucial! Always err on the side of overkill when it comes to lighting (just make sure you opt for the newer recessed lights with the smaller aperture - fyi, they make conversion kits for the bigger ones these days if you are stuck with the old ones).

So that's our take on future trends. Is it on par with what you guys are seeing? As always, questions and comments are welcomed (and encouraged!!!).

Until next time,


  1. so creative. amazing ideas and great way of bringing the essence of the earth into the home in an intriguing and elegant way.

  2. so creative. amazing ideas and great way of bringing the essence of the earth into the home in an intriguing and elegant way.

  3. Love concrete/sand. Love te idea of a kitchen color schemed out with something like Nantucket or kaanapali beach colors- sand, beach grass, tidewater, aqua. I personally feel that the walls should always be warm. Cool or green walls don make food look sexy- I find this true for dining rooms as well. Whats the most outlandish thing you'd put into concrete if you had ultimate freedom?