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5 Common Kitchen Design Dilemmas

Kitchen design is an art form, one where function and beauty harmoniously co-exist. Achieving that balance, however, isn't always easy. Following are five of the most common design dilemmas that homeowners often face when renovating or refreshing a kitchen.

Space challenges
Creative thinking can often solve space problems. For example, if you don't have enough room for the large table your family needs, consider building an L-shaped bench around a farm table and adding extra chairs. It's a clever use of space and will create a cozy nook where your family can gather for meals, or kids can do homework. Plus, the bench can double as storage space so it's extra hardworking.

Last year's — or last decade's — cabinets
Cabinets are one of the first things you notice in any kitchen, and they're also one of the most important in terms of functionality. If your cabinets provide ample space but look dated, you may want to just give them a facelift — and don’t be afraid to mix things up. You can use varying materials and finishes, like a wood or paint color that's different from the rest of the kitchen. It’s best to stick with a neutral palette for cabinets, whether you're installing brand new ones or painting your existing cabinets. White, charcoal, and gray will always be elegant, and you can't go wrong with black. Black makes a dramatic statement and looks fantastic paired with stainless steel appliances.

Unattractive, inefficient lighting
Lighting is one of the most important design elements in any room as it can instantly change the whole feel of a space. However, it's the one thing people often overlook when re-designing their kitchens. In fact, it is a crucial decision for kitchens which are usually the hardest-working room in your home. To create lighting that is both useful and beautiful, remember to light the room in layers — from above, under cabinets to illuminate work areas, and all-around accent lighting to create ambiance. It's also such an easy way to add a whole lot of personality to your kitchen. Opt for vintage sconces and brass or metallic lighting fixtures. They will instantly up the design ante and make the space feel decidedly layered and interesting.

Counter space confusion
Figuring out how much counter space you'll need is always tricky. Start by considering all the ways you'll be using your counters. You'll need food prep areas, of course, but will you also want a breakfast bar for meals and snacks? Will you need extra room for countertop appliances? A good rule of thumb is to double the amount of counter space you think you'll need. You can never have too much, especially if you like to cook and entertain.

The slate is simply too clean
A large, open-concept kitchen can seem appealing, but it can also be daunting to design and decorate. Don't be afraid to do something unexpected in the kitchen to break up the space. Maybe create an unexpected seating area in your kitchen that includes a sofa, coffee table, and rug to define the space.

The kitchen truly is the heart of the home. Kitchen design is about creating a space that is hardworking, yet beautiful and brings the whole family together. Look for ways to create an area you and your family will love both now and 10 years from now.

For help with any home design or remodel project, you may contact Bridget Mote, owner of The Well Dressed Home, at 309-275-3165 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .



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