Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Country Kitchen Mini-Rant

An attempt at merging old blogs...Here is a post originally from Oct. 29, 2008.

In the real world, I work as a kitchen and bath designer. Lately,
in design blogs, I've been seeing a lot of curtained sink cabinets (See left and below) and honestly, I'm not sure what's going on here. Are the occupants so strapped for cash that they've had to resort to using their cabinet doors as firewood? Was there a break in by the frump fairy that all the sudden decided to perform an impromptu kitchen remodel?


With the plethora of options out there for cheap cabinets, run to your nearest cabinet supplier and buy replacement doors if yours are damaged beyond repair or, for some reason, looted. If you are going for that country chic look, try repurposing window shutters as doors to break up the monotony of cabinet fronts. Or, if you just have to have that fabric in your kitchen, take a cue from 50's era hutches and give things a modern update by placing the fabric inside the cabinet door frame, like this photo taken by Jessica Jones for

There are so many creative ways to spruce up your kitchen aside from those mentioned above. Here are just a few examples to get your creative juices flowing:

1. Buy colorful storage boxes (even dollar stores can yield treasures) and place them on industrial metal shelving units under your counters to hide your clutter and add personality.

2. If you really want to encourage a country feel, wooden crates might work perfectly for your open shelved storage needs. Buy a rolling cart and stack your cleaning supplies in style next to the exposed piping under a wall-mounted farmhouse sink. For extra impact, paint the wall a different color and it'll really pop.
3. Buy some copper or aluminum sheets at your local craft store and try your hand at creating pinhole art by poking holes in your metal to make fun designs. Mount designs like fabric panels mentioned above, in the center of your less then glamorous door panels.

4. Paint can be your best friend for eye-sores, until you have funds for a remodel. And who knows? Maybe after you are through, you'll love your "new" cabinets so much you'll buy yourself another ten years! The trend now is to incorporate multiple colors into your kitchen design. You can paint all your wall cabinets one color contrasting with your bases. You can pick a few select cabinets (sink bases and range top bases are good options) to stand out in different colors against the rest of the room.

5. Attach eye hooks to the underside of your counter and buy chalkboards sized to fit in wooden frames. Hang the frames like panels from a hook and let your little munchkins attack them with colored chalk for a kid friendly touch. This will keep little ones out of open shelving much better than cloth and look a whole lot more creative.

If these ideas don't get your wheels turning, Better Home and Gardens has two great slide shows on cabinet fixes: to update bland builders cabinets or to get some fun kitchen makeover ideas, click here. By all means, let your imagination flow and avoid that ugly skirt with a more modern and eye-pleasing approach!!

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