Lighten up a heavy, closed-off kitchen by converting your ordinary cabinets to open shelving. The kitchen shown belongs to blogger Judy Meek, who first tried open shelving in 2011 and documented her steps for her readers. “I have loved the open shelf concept,” Meek says. “Besides the open shelf over the peninsula, I’ve also opened up a shelf over the dishwasher for glasses, a shelf over the coffeemaker for cups and a long cabinet over our cooktop for our everyday dinnerware. The key is filling the shelves with items you use often.” Meek started by painting her oak cabinets white, and is now changing over to Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ with wax, which makes spill cleanup a snap.
This eat-in kitchen, designed by Lillian Martin Hayes, is both space-saving and elegant due to all its cabinet space and dark brown wood accents. A large, granite-topped kitchen island includes a small eating area at one end.
If you have solid but unremarkable builder-grade cabinets, the simplest route to a high-end look is adding some height with crown molding. Interior designer Sarah Macklem of The Yellow Cape Cod tackled this project in her own kitchen with striking results.
Adding a small tabletop atrium to your kitchen can give it an organic, earthy feel. In this kitchen, designers with homebuilder Lennar carry the vibe through the room with a textured tray on the console and earth-toned pastas in glass containers on the back counter.
Whether wood or metal, antique or new, tables, chests and other furniture can provide prep space and storage just as well as a built-in island. This mobile, expandable island came from an antiques market in Atlanta for decorator Clinton Rice's townhome. An island like this is visually interesting and gives so much versatility for food prep and entertaining; plus if you need more room in your kitchen, you can move it to the side.
Countertops made of recycled glass are colorful, eco-friendly and durable. The artisan who fabricates these particular countertops, Dakota Surfaces, makes a weekly run to IKEA to collect broken glass from damaged furniture and housewares.
In this small kitchen, a peninsula juts out from the wall to expand functional counter space and two rows of cabinets provide extra storage. Under-cabinet lighting illuminates the tumbled tile backsplash and helps to brighten the overall space.
The owners bring this kitchen into the 21st century by simply painting the cabinets, replacing the track lighting with a pretty pendant lamp, replacing the hardware and bringing in stainless steel appliances (bought off Craigslist).
This blue and white kitchen is full of style and sophistication. While it's a small space, it reads like a grand kitchen with a blue granite island, tile floors and linen white cabinets. Stainless steel appliances complement the space while adding a slight industrial feel. Adding blue hanging pendants over the island gives functionality, style and ambience.