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Integrity

How to Build a Better Kitchen

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

No part of designing your new home is more involved than the kitchen. It has so many parts and roles to fill, you’ll be spending a lot of time here, and as a major gathering place for friends and family, you want it to make a great first impression. Many homeowners focus on appliances when planning how to outfit this space, but don’t forget the other variables! Here’s what you should remember for the rest of your kitchen design.

Yorktowne Cabinets

Beautiful Yorktowne® cabinets are definitely the main attraction in this kitchen! The two-tone scheme pops, but look closer and you’ll see it also features flat and raised panel Dixon doors for more depth and character.

Amazing Cabinets

The work of cabinets is two-fold; they are a major part of visual real estate, and they need to address your storage needs so the kitchen remains uncluttered and utterly functional. Every cabinet design is a bit of a custom job, because you get to pick the door style, finish, hardware, and even decorative features, and also the storage solutions contained within. Once you know the space you have to work with, see what you can fit into it! And don’t be afraid to ask an expert for help, because your cabinets should naturally serve the area around them. You’ll need to settle on a layout before anything else.

Given the dimensions and placement, cabinetry typically forms the backdrop of a kitchen. You can instill a certain vibe with color as well as construction, so look at inspiration galleries to see how professionals create different atmospheres. You might be surprised at how versatile doors can be with different finishes, and how much color can affect your impression of their lines and panels. Consider your space and style to determine if you want closed cabinets, or if open shelves or glass would improve your design. And nothing says it has to be uniform—you can mix and match everything to really make it your own!

Wilsonart Quartz Arashi

Offset by dark wood cabinets and a gray subway tile backsplash, Wilsonart® Quartz countertops in Arashi help create a crisp and bright aesthetic. And despite marble looks, the surface stands up to stresses to keep its appearance for many years!

Beautiful Countertops

Your working surface plays a critical role as well. Everybody wants attractive countertops, but they can take a beating, so make sure the material you choose meets your expectations. Everything from scuffs and scratches, to cracks, stains, and heat damage can happen. The likelihood of each occurring depends on the what the counter is made of and how careful you are with it, but remember that no kitchen is immune to accidents. With so many exceptionally hardy countertop materials on the market today, more homeowners are investing in them in the interest of longevity.

If you haven’t shopped for countertops in a while, you might not know that engineered surfaces now deliver outstanding natural stone looks without the pitfalls. Nonporous and dense, they repel liquids without the need for sealing or polishing, and they’re also resistant to abrasions and heat. They require very little effort on your part to keep looking great! You’ll find all sorts of marble, granite, and other stone and solid patterns to address your design needs, and because this is an engineered product, slabs can be made very large. This is how you get that seamless surface everybody wants!

Elkay Quartz Luxe Single Bowl Farmhouse Sink

This Quartz Luxe Single Bowl Farmhouse Sink from Elkay® strikes a bold note in Charcoal. It comes in eight colors overall, including light and dark neutral shades as well as deep blue and bright red finishes. Check out the myriad practical perks, too!

Great Fixtures

Don’t skimp on the sink! Everything begins and ends here, but so many homeowners overlook it and purchase a generic version. Have you considered that there are different types, colors, and materials to choose from, and that they each impart their own vibe? For example, farmhouse sinks, also known as apron-front sinks, sit on top of cabinetry to draw attention to the area. And not all aprons look alike—they can be stainless steel, fireclay, or composite. But the bowl of any sink—even top and undermount ones—can hold a surprise if you opt for color! Wondering about material options? You should check them out, because they can offer awesome benefits like sound dampening and hygienic, easy-to-clean surfaces. The faucet doesn’t have to be the main focus of this space anymore, but of course you’ll find many that complement bolder sinks, too.

Appliances don’t have to carry a kitchen design—put your focus on any of these aspects and you can build an amazing kitchen with a more custom feel! Consult with your builder or a designer if you aren’t sure what you want or need, because function has to remain paramount, but there really are more possibilities out there than you think!