the de­sign es­sen­tials

Timber Home Living - - Inside Style -

LARGE OR SMALL, open-con­cept or gal­ley style — every timber home kitchen shares the same five fun­da­men­tal ele­ments. Here’s what to con­sider when plan­ning your space.

1. CAB­I­NETS/STOR­AGE

Cab­i­nets are one of the pricier propo­si­tions when bal­anc­ing your kitchen’s bud­get. For­tu­nately, there are a va­ri­ety of stylish ways to keep that cost in check. Open shelv­ing is a hot (and cheap) trend that can in­fuse your kitchen with easy-ac­cess charm. Also, keep in mind that de­sign­ing over­sized pantry — even a but­ler’s pantry — can shave thou­sands off your cab­i­netry bill. Just talk to your de­signer about it early in the floor plan stage so you don’t have costly change or­ders down the road.

2. COUN­TER­TOPS

In a high-end home like a timber home, you prob­a­bly as­sume you want to avoid the low­erend op­tions like lam­i­nate. How­ever, lam­i­nate coun­ters have come a long way in their look and per­for­mance, and they are with­out a doubt the most bud­get friendly. That said, quartz tops the list as the most re­quested coun­ter­top ma­te­rial (yes, it’s sur­passed gran­ite) and with good rea­son. The look is as di­verse and beau­ti­ful as any stone on the mar­ket, and it’s tough as nails. You re­ally can’t scratch, stain or scorch it. An­other ad­van­tage — it’s vir­tu­ally main­te­nance free and doesn’t re­quire pe­ri­od­i­cal seal­ing like gran­ite does.

3. FLOOR­ING

Ex­cept for car­pet, there’s re­ally no wrong an­swer here. Tile re­mains a top op­tion — par­tic­u­larly tile that mim­ics the look of wood so closely it’s hard to tell the dif­fer­ence. Hand­painted con­crete tile is a hot trend, but keep in mind that it re­quires sealant to keep the look in­tact. Wood floors are re­silient and a bit softer un­der­foot (not to men­tion un­der fallen dish­ware) than tile. Each ma­te­rial comes in a wide range of price points to fit any bud­get.

4. LIGHT­ING

This may be the most vi­tal kitchen-de­sign es­sen­tial for one very im­por­tant rea­son — safety. In­ad­e­quate light­ing can lead to ac­ci­dents and no one wants that. Be­gin with over­head am­bi­ent light­ing — ei­ther from re­cessed lights or drop-fix­tures like chan­de­liers and lighted ceil­ing fans. Then layer in bright task light­ing mounted un­der the cab­i­nets. Fi­nally, you can add dec­o­ra­tive light­ing in the form of pen­dants and lamps — which con­ve­niently also serve as sup­ple­men­tal task light­ing. For added drama, con­sider LED rope light­ing above up­per cab­i­netry or in the toe-kick of your lower bank of cab­i­nets. (They even come in a rain­bow of col­ors you can con­trol with an app.)

5. AP­PLI­ANCES

Be­fore you plunge head first into ex­pen­sive pro-grade ap­pli­ances, take a good hard look at your cooking style. If you love to en­ter­tain, keep a lot of farmer’s mar­ket pro­duce and or­ganic gro­ceries around the house or sim­ply love to ex­per­i­ment with food, then a se­ri­ous suite of high-end ap­pli­ances can be well worth the cost. But if you have a hec­tic life­style where the mi­crowave is the ap­pli­ance that gets the most use or you just love take­out, then think long and hard about what kind of ap­pli­ances you re­ally need. There are a bevy of very at­trac­tive-yet-af­ford­able op­tions on the mar­ket that will let you save money, all while giv­ing you a kitchen space you’ll sa­vor.

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