Inspiration overload? Focus on the right influences and love your kitchen

Posted: May 27, 2010 in Buyers, General Information, Home Reno's & Decor, Sellers
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(NC)—Singling in on the right influence for a kitchen renovation is tough. Between design programs on TV, glossy magazines chronicling successful projects and endless windows into global decor online, there is no shortage of design inspiration out there. It’s easy to feel like you’re always dreaming of bigger and better, but few homes can have it all. Trying to keep up with the latest design trends and making room for every expert-recommended element can be frustrating and exhausting. Focus instead on what inspires you.

A space that is inspired uniquely by you brings satisfaction and comfort that positively impact daily life the way good design should. As one of the most expensive and valuable home investments, kitchen renovations warrant careful planning and plenty of time. Start your search for inspiration thoughtfully.

Let the structure of your home guide you. Architectural details of your space – lines and moulding – are the best foundation for a kitchen renovation. The consistency in influence will create a pleasing flow and avoid dating the rest of your home.

Basic principles of function aren’t the most exciting first consideration, but are certainly the most logical. Rather than diving right in to charismatic fabrics and trendy paint chips, start with the room’s structure.

Most of us have heard about the importance of the work triangle in kitchens. Start by setting out these key areas of your kitchen – the sink, fridge and main cooking space – based on how traffic generally flows through the space. By starting with practical considerations, you’ll build the right frame for your new space. Once you have your structure, inspired by everyday needs, you can move on to the aesthetic elements.

It`s important to consider how you’d like the space to make you feel. If it’s a balance of relaxation and stimulation you`re after, think about environments that elicit these feelings and pull in elements that will work. Travel and family history are both very common sources of design inspiration.

Natural elements like bamboo, stone and plenty of plants will let you recreate the experience of your favourite beach. You could even start with a specific favourite item and build around it – like an inherited antique cabinet loaded with charm and memories. The idea is to choose a source of inspiration that makes you feel as you’d like to in your new space.

Remember to picture your kitchen in action. If entertaining is your passion, consider the tone you like to set and how you interact with your guests in the space.

If you love to share international cuisine and music, think about the potential of the rich colour palette of your spice rack. Look for products that combine the functionality and durability you need with design that appeals to you. The number of specialized products out there today means your unique needs have likely been considered; there`s no need to compromise. For example, a product like the chef-inspired Stages Kitchen Sink by Kohler is designed specifically to simplify every step of the cooking process from prep to cleanup.

Busy family kitchens, on the other hand, present a completely different set of needs – designing a kitchen that’s accessible, safe and durable with multi-purpose spaces is a top priority.

The kitchen is the heart of the home and the way you want it to feel and be used is the most important thing to consider. You are the inspiration.

More kitchen planning tips can be found online at

To view videos filled with designer tips on building the ultimate entertaining or family-friendly kitchens, visit:

How to design a cook`s kitchen, from the perspective of a professional chef:

Listen to a podcast about the Stages Kitchen Sink and how it simplifies cooking, prep and cleanup:

Ask a Realtor –


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