March 30, 2014 Updated: March 30, 2014 at 12:35 pm
Gone are the days when the kitchen was hidden beside the dining room, door closed except for serving and clearing.
Today, the kitchen takes pride of place where living and lounging, dining and cooking meld into one stylish open-plan space. This radical shift in dominance has brought stunning design and style changes to everything kitchen, from counters and sinks to cabinetry and lighting. The kitchen never looked better.
There are products and colorways for the kitchen that will enhance your chosen style, whatever that is. Here are two well-loved and time-honored styles that each capture the spirit of the homeowners' lifestyle and add significantly to the beauty of the entire main floor space.
The rustic appeal of a farmhouse kitchen resonates with weathered shades of stone gray and white. Kohler's Whitehaven apron-front sinks set the style. Painted wood wainscoting and flat framed under-counter cabinets have casual appeal, while the high-rise faucets in polished stainless add a modern touch. The large center island divides the kitchen from the outer living space. It acts as both a bar and serving area, and keeps guests close but away from the main cooking area.
Since there are no glass-front cabinets, the eye is drawn to the unadorned style and neutral color of the painted wood. This is a calm palette that fits seamlessly with a casual living area filled with plump, comfy couches, a big wrought-iron coffee table and lighting to match the design of the kitchen pendants.
Kohler and Benjamin Moore recently have collaborated, pairing products and palettes to bring complementary colorways to the kitchen and bathroom. For the farmhouse kitchen, their palette is labeled Northern Roots, described as well-worn and wind-beaten with a uniquely wondrous beauty. Varying hues of grays and taupes have inspired this palette of deep and complex neutrals that create a beautifully mature feel. Kohler's apron-front sink is Cashmere, the walls and wainscoting are Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray HC-170 and Sparrow AF-720 (kohler.com and benjaminmoore.com).
In the other kitchen, traditional style was contemporized with an artistic twist to update the main floor open space. Stainless-steel appliances and Kohler's 8 Degree undermount sinks and Evolve single control faucet are thoroughly modern features. However, the smooth dark wood cabinets that face the open living space are richly traditional. A built-in wine rack and open cabinetry that displays pretty stemware create a warm and inviting picture. And then, for fun, bright orange bar seats deliver a dash of modern color and style.
Window treatments are not always part of the kitchen decor - there are either no windows or they are small and don't require a coverup. But in this kitchen there are three windows at the far end that are in full view from the living area. The choice of modern black translucent shades complements the clean lines and color palette of the kitchen and finishes off the style with quiet flair.
House to Home is produced by Travis and Barbara Dingle. Please email your questions to house2home@ debbietravis.com.