Design Inspiration from 6 Amazing Kitchens

There’s nothing like a kitchen walk to whet your appetite for renovation.

Showcasing six stunning kitchens, the Junior League of Evanston-North Shore’s 2013 Designer Kitchen Tour provided more than a little inspiration. Whether you’re planning a major kitchen renovation or considering a few upgrades, take these ideas to task.

Revisit brass

Today’s brass is burnished and beautiful—a long departure from the clear-coated, shiny finish of old. It’s the perfect accent to an all-white kitchen, particularly in a period home that features historic brass door knobs and hardware.

This kitchen by Scott Lyon & Company features brass cabinet hardware, lighting, plumbing fixtures and pendant lighting, set against crisp white cabinetry.

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Add reflective surfaces

For the homeowner who needs to visually break up a wall of solid cabinetry, but wants to avoid see-through glass, consider facing cabinets with antique mirrors. It’s a timeless trick that works in any style kitchen and offers plenty of brightness and reflective light.

Mix your metals

Don’t get locked into a single finish. While you will still want to keep your cabinet hardware consistent, there’s no reason you can’t introduce other metals in your space.

With its zinc hood, bronze pendants with tarnished silver accents and mercury glass, brushed nickel faucets, and stainless-steel stove, this kitchen by Morgante-Wilson Architects proves that a mix can be mastered.

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Bring fabric into the kitchen

Ditch the pleather and vinyl. With so many vibrant and beautiful indoor/outdoor fabrics, not to mention the option to laminate your favorite textile in a matte finish, don’t be afraid to upholster your kitchen stools.

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Skip the granite

The days of splotchy granite and permeable marble are over. Quartzite is the surface du jour, offering greater durability and density than granite with a softer pattern and palette.

Many designers, including Heritage Luxury Builders, are layering or wrapping the countertop slab with a taller profile, giving the illusion of greater heft.

 

Create a focal point

The stove hood is often the focal point in a well-designed kitchen. Keep the backsplash design simple and clean to allow the hood to stand out without being visually distracted. In this kitchen by Christopher Peacock, the hood is designed to reference the hull of a ship, in quartersawn oak and capped with polished nickel, taking center stage above a simple marble slab backsplash.

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Install hidden cabinets

Cabinet makers are making the most of every inch, building in creative pullouts for everything from dish towels and spice racks to potato drawers and media storage.

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Hide your plugs

No more need to break up the pattern on your gorgeous tile backsplash. Electrical outlets and switches can be undermounted with your lighting to the cabinet base, as seen here in this kitchen by Benvenuti and Stein.

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Add a knee wall

Want to delineate space in your kitchen without sacrificing cabinet space? Think about using a knee wall to keep site lines open and still preserve square footage for lower cabinetry, as done here in this kitchen by Christopher Peacock.

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