Summer is a time for family gatherings and friendly visits. This is an opportunity to redefine your living space with a new look to impress this season’s guests. Atlanta’s expert interior designers are here to help.
According to Caryn Grossman of CG Interiors Group, the design of one room in particular is more important than ever.
Why is kitchen design so important?
“For some time, the trend in new homes and renovations has been to open up the kitchen to the rest of the home, creating a space for gathering and entertaining,” Grossman told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Over the past two and a half years, that concept has been further expanded, with kitchens that function as a home office, a space for virtual learning, for homework, playing games or cooking as a family.”
Andi Morse of Morse Design said it’s not just about the multiple uses of the space. It’s also about how mood-defining the modern kitchen can be.
“Whether it’s an open floor plan or not, the kitchen can set the direction and style of the entire home,” she said. “A traditional home with a traditional kitchen tends to be designed in a traditional way, as well as a modern kitchen will indicate a more contemporary designed home.”
When it comes to designing the space, Amy Morris Interiors said it’s all about making sure form meets function.
“The kitchen is the most multipurpose space in the entire home,” Amy Morris Interiors told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “It is the catchment, the meeting space, the epicenter of the bustle and above all the heart of the house. Because this room wears many hats, the kitchen must be functional yet beautiful, tailored to each family’s needs.”
What are some inexpensive ways to renovate the heart of the home?
As inflation continues to hurt the economy, homeowners are finding it increasingly difficult to flush out extra spending money. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to renovate the kitchen without breaking the bank.
Minhnuyet Hardy, of Minhnuyet Hardy Interiors, suggested giving those cabinets another coat of paint and replacing the faucet. Lighting is another way to give the kitchen new character.
“Upgrade the lighting first,” said Kelly Kole of Kandrac & Kole Interior Design. “Remember to go big and make a statement. Also remember, it’s okay to mix metals. Matte black is a great finish that works with everything!”
Andi Morse agreed.
“Changing lighting is a surefire way to change the look and feel of your kitchen,” she said. “Changing hardware and faucets to brass makes a kitchen pop and using round hardware versus square knobs is another way to spruce up your kitchen. Restyle your kitchen counters and include some greenery. Create a coffee corner area. Add artwork, whether it’s on the wall or added to open shelving.”
Kristin Kong of K Kong Designs and Maggie Griffin of Maggie Griffin Design agreed that fresh bar stools can make a kitchen pop, as well as swapping out those old hardware and lighting.
For those stuck on what colors to choose for cabinets, Grossman said to be bold.
“For more modest budgets, we’re seeing a lot of bold color on cabinets—bright teal, warm burgundy,” she said. “We also see unexpected palettes, like army green with pink. There are lots of fun things you can do without breaking the bank.
“There are so many affordable and interesting tiles that can give your backyard a boost. (For a rental, removable wallpaper does the trick). Painting the cabinets refreshes and enlivens a space, just like a fresh coat of paint on the walls. Wipe down your counters – it’s amazing what it can do to put things away (I need a constant reminder here myself). Add some potted plants. And think of that hydroponic garden – growing your own herbs is the bomb.”
How do you design for that “wow” factor?
While pinching pennies is important right now, there’s nothing wrong with going all out for that “wow” factor. There is nothing as exciting as inviting guests to a freshly cleaned and newly decorated home. It’s that “wow” factor that Andi Morse said “creates some drama.”
“Adding a beautiful metal hood, using a stone counter with lots of grain, and even painting the cabinets a color like blue or green are all wow factors that impress anyone who walks into your kitchen, ” she said. “It makes it look like you went the extra mile to make the kitchen impactful.”
Hardy suggested taking your lighting and storage to the next level.
“We like to incorporate various elements that can make a kitchen stand out,” Hardy said. “Hidden, multi-purpose storage always impresses. Lighting can also give a kitchen “wow” factor. Dramatic kitchen pendants, under cabinet lighting, sconces, under cabinet lights can all make a statement. We also like to mix finishes so the kitchen doesn’t look ‘builder grade’.”
Kong added that kitchen appliances can serve more than function. They can be the jewelry of the living space.
“Appliances that are not only high-tech but stand out as the jewelry of the kitchen can provide a wow factor in kitchen design,” she said. “Artistic hoods, creative tile application, natural stone, painted cabinetry, custom trim and mixed metal hardware all offer opportunities to create a unique and one-of-a-kind centerpiece of the home.”
Amy Morris Interiors agreed.
“For me it’s about the ‘jewellery’ in the kitchen,” said the design studio. “I like to keep everything calm and quiet and then make the room pop with unique and unexpected lights, cabinet hardware, the hood and range. These are the talking points!”
What are summer’s hottest kitchen trends?
To maximize the kitchen’s impact, it’s important to stay true to yourself. But there’s nothing wrong with being trendy if it suits your living space. According to Atlanta’s experts, there are some incredible trends going on this summer that can enhance the heart of your home.
“A cheerful color on the cabinets and an attractive wood tone on the island are definitely in fashion right now,” Griffin said. Kole said glass cabinets can also do the trick.
“Break up the cabinets a bit with either floating shelves or interesting glass cabinets,” she said. “In this project, we addressed an awkward corner with deep floating shelves that showcase a silver collection from our clients.”
Hardy also sees a lot of open shelving.
“Replacing upper cabinets with open shelving, creating full-height backsplashes, ridged cabinetry and lighter colored tones are some of the top design trends this year,” said Hardy.
Grossman said you can’t go wrong bringing the outdoors inside this year.
“We’re seeing an ongoing fusion of indoor and outdoor, whether with kitchens that fully open to the deck and garden, or those that bring the outside in with plants, large windows, even hydroponic gardens,” she said.
Amy Morris Interiors doesn’t follow trends, but has seen some common designs this year.
“Unlacquered or matt plumbing fixtures are very popular right now and will stand the test of time as they are a classic!” said the design firm.
Rather than pinching pennies or going for the gold this summer, Atlanta’s experts know how to make your kitchen pop. Grab that tool belt, pick up that paint brush and get ready to wow your guests and family in style.
For anyone looking for a professional touch, Grossman has great advice for anyone in need of Atlanta’s specialists.
“Designing a kitchen is a complex process—a confluence of form, style and function, with each carrying equal weight,” Grossman said. “It’s definitely a process, and ideally one that involves close collaboration between the homeowner and the designer. We want to know your habits, your goals and desires. We want to know all about those special items you’d like to display, and the sizes of items you’ll need to store. (We went so far as to measure the sizes of a doctor’s smoothie supplements and design a special pull-out cabinet to accommodate them all). We’ll talk about the latest in equipment, materials and finishes, and the look you want to create. We will guide you through the selection process, keeping in mind the budget you would like to achieve.”