3 STEPS TO CHOOSING KITCHEN FINISHES WISELY

Lost your way in the field of options for counter-top and cabinet finishes? This advice will put your kitchen renovation back on track

Deciding on finishes is one of the most challenging parts of a remodel — particularly a kitchen remodel.

Of course, what makes it even more complicated is that there's no set rule to choosing materials and finishes. "There are as many rules as there are clients and designers, or even combinations of clients and designers," says architect Thomas Ahmann. Every project is different. But there are still some general guidelines that can help you make sense of your kitchen remodel.

  • START WITH YOUR COUNTERTOPS: 

"Counter-tops require careful contemplation, especially for a large island, as this can be the biggest single item of colour and texture," says Ahmann. This large surface area is a great place to start and can be the basis for the rest of your kitchen's materials palette.

Choose a counter-top that's durable and easy to clean. Justrich recommends looking into granite or composite materials like Caesarstone first. For a bigger statement, go for stainless steel, zinc or natural wood. Aim for light, smooth and reflective materials. Large-format tiles or slabs of stone will minimise grout lines and create a smooth and easy-to-clean surface. 

Kelly recommends sticking with a single counter-top material, with a slight variation at the pantry or island, for consistency and simplicity.

  • CONSIDER THE CABINETRY:
    Depending on the kitchen, Ahmann might start with the cabinet as the beginning of the materials palette. "This is what ends up being most 'in your face,' as the wall cabinets are smack dab at eye level," he says. 

    Kelly keeps his materials choices as simple and natural as possible. Slate, marble and wood are all common choices. He recommends sticking to a small palette — three or four materials — to keep it simple. Look for light-coloured cabinetry to keep the space open and bright, using other materials in small doses for visual depth and texture.

  • USE ADDITIONAL FINISHES TO PULL THE SPACE TOGETHER:

 "Let contrast be the key," says Justrich. "If the counters are rich and dark, go with a lighter backslash. A monochromatic approach is great, but if the countertop is visually active, calms it down on the backsplash." Choose a backsplash color that visually contrasts with your counter top and cabinetry. Floors are usually decided based on the surrounding rooms, but make sure the colors won't clash with what's in your kitchen. 

The other little things — lighting, fixtures, bar stools and hardware — can tie the look of the kitchen together. Again, less is more here. "Kitchens of multiple materials and colors require a lot of finesse," says Ahmann. 

Tell us: How did you choose your kitchen materials palette? 

Culled from Houzz.com

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