Welcome to Week 7 of my mission to fix the 10 most common decorating mistakes. Last week I ended your nightmares by dealing with the bedroom’s focal point — the headboard. This week, we tackle the kitchen, usually the most expensive of all home renovations. Here are my answers to questions about kitchen design and style, and my top tips for giving your renovation a designer finish.
Five important style questions
Kitchen cabinets are like furniture — they’d just be boxes attached to the walls if not for their doors and drawer fronts, which really set the room’s style. Here are the top five questions on how to choose this style-setting feature.
Q: Do I choose my cabinets or countertops first?
A: Always choose the cabinet style and then the finish. Follow that with appliances, countertops and the backsplash; in that order.
Q: Do I match the backsplash to the countertops or the flooring?
A: The backsplash should be a similar colour and tone to the cabinets to tie the upper elements to the lower elements. For instance, if cabinets are white, then a white marble or tile works well; if cabinets are cherry wood, then a ruddy slate would be appropriate.
Q: Should the countertops match the cabinetry?
A: Countertops are influenced by the colour of appliances, and function to visually connect these elements and create continuity for the eye. So if your appliances are white, choose a countertop that’s white or uses white as a background colour. For stainless-steel appliances, go for a grey or beige background. Black appliances mean you need dark toned countertops.
Q: Are stainless-steel appliances a fading trend?
A: Stainless steel, white and black appliances are all go-to standards. Stainless steel became popular about 25 years ago and has proven to be a great option for kitchen appliances and helps give an industrial-chic look to a kitchen.
Q: Can I have wood floors in my kitchen?
A: It depends on your lifestyle. Wood floors are a wonderful option in quieter households — light cooking, no children or pets — especially when they are continuous from hallways or adjoining rooms. If you have a busy kitchen and like the look of wood, consider vinyl, laminate or ceramic wood look-alikes — you’ll find some very realistic looking options.
- Karl Lohnes: Dreaming of a perfect headboard for your bedroom
- What type of light or lamp is needed? And where should it go? Karl Lohnes can help you with those questions Karl Lohnes, Special to the Montreal GazetteKARL LOHNES, SPECIAL TO THE MONTREAL GAZETTE Published on: April 7, 2018 | Last Updated: April 7, 2018 9:00 AM EDT The rose gold Mitzi Pendant lights create a chorus line that follows the shape of a long dining table. $359 each, Union Lighting (Handout) COURTESY OF UNION LIGHTING SHARE ADJUST COMMENT PRINT Welcome to Week 5 of my mission to fix the 10 most common decorating mistakes. Last week I got colourful with paint. This week we illuminate common lighting mistakes: not using enough types of lighting in a space, installing light fixtures at the wrong height or buying lamps that aren’t in proportion to other furniture, and choosing the wrong style of light fixture for a space. Read on for fixes and learn how to choose the styles and types that complement your decorating scheme, light up dark spaces and create focal points out of those extra-beautiful things that add ambience to your home. What’s your type? Every room needs three types of lighting. Erin Lauder’s satin brass Keil Swing Arm wall light adds retro style for reading in bed. $540, Union Lighting. (Handout) COURTESY OF UNION LIGHTING General lighting brightens the overall room and allows people to move through a space safely. This type includes ceiling-mount fixtures or recessed (pot) lighting. Wattage required: 60-100. Task lighting illuminates smaller areas for a certain function and includes under-cabinet lighting that illuminates countertops, swing-arm floor lamps for reading in a comfy chair, or something as utilitarian as a caged/corded bulb to use in the garage when fixing the car. Wattage required: 40-60. Accent lighting highlights objects or areas to create ambience. It includes picture lights, canned uplighting that illuminate plants, or candlestick lamps on a console in a dining room. Wattage required: 15-40. The highs and lows of lighting Get the right fixture in the right place using these measurement guidelines. Chandeliers: The bottom of the chandelier should be 30- to 40-inches above the tabletop. The perfect size? Measure the width of the room in feet and multiply it by two — the result will be the diameter in inches of your ideal chandelier. For instance, if the room is 15 feet wide, multiply it by two. Your chandelier should be 30 inches diameter. Pendants: Hang kitchen-island pendants 40 inches above the countertop. Sconces: Wall fixtures should be hung 66-72 inches from the floor. Bedside lamps: Whether it be a bedside lamp or wall-hung fixture, the light source should be 40-48 inches from the floor. Sofa/chair end table: The ideal table lamp is 18 inches taller than the sofa or chair arm. Bright ideas for styles and finishes Don’t distract and detract from your decor. Use these tips to add ambience and make a style statement in every room. — For living room end tables, choose ceramic lamps that reinforce the room’s accent colours. Shades are always white, cream or black; anything else is a trend. Canarm’s Outdoor Wall Lantern delivers a modern nautical vibe that’s also perfect to enlighten an indoor shower area. $26, RONA.ca (Handout) COURTESY OF RONA — Mixing metals is an art and can be effective and eye-catching, but I advise that metal finishes on lighting fixtures should co-ordinate with other metal finishes within a room. For example, kitchen pendant lights should match stainless-steel appliances or cabinet hardware; bathroom lights should match faucets. — Choose better-quality lamps, which have clear-coloured cords so the unsightly wires blend into the background. — Should you buy lamps in pairs? If symmetry is an important aspect in your decor, then, yes. Each side of the bed or sofa are perfect places for a pretty pair. — I like to mix old lamp styles into modern interiors and vice versa. It’s a great way to add unexpected style to a room. The bottom line on brilliant lighting A great looking and well performing light fixture can cost from $10 to $5,000 — a range that can make choosing the right light seem overwhelming. Here’s how to spend wisely. — Don’t go low-budget on lighting just because there are fixtures available at an economical price. Spend within your budget, but try to keep the big elements, like the sofa, rug, dining chairs and lighting, all in a similar price bracket. Remember that better quality pieces last, whereas lower quality will need to be replaced sooner, ultimately costing you as much in the long run. — As you would with a mantel, doorknob and cabinetry hardware, consider a hardwired light fixture to be part of the house. These are features that you rarely take when you move, so choose fixtures that suit the architecture so they always look right. You can indulge in trends with a trendsetting shade or funky light bulb; but invest in the best quality fixture your budget allows so it feels like it always belongs in the house. Next week we slip into the bedroom and talk headboards. Did you know they are the main focal point of any bedroom? Got a decorating dilemma? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Karl Lohnes has worked as a home decor expert and product designer for 25 years. He often appears Thursday during the 8 a.m. hour on Global News Morning Montreal. 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- Karl Lohnes: Picking the perfect paint colours for your home
- Karl Lohnes on decor: Let the right rug floor your home
- Karl Lohnes: Planning takes pain out of choosing right sofa for your space
- Karl Lohnes: Tips on how to properly hang artwork
— Decide if you are a dull or shiny type person when it comes to countertops. Do you like the light reflection or glare in the mornings? If not, you may want to consider a matte-finished countertop (often referred to as leather, sanded or suede), which creates a softer look overall.
— Looking for a paint colour for your kitchen walls? I always recommend looking to the opposite on the colour wheel, in order to show off the cabinet colours rather than overshadow them. For instance, if room elements are in warm, golden wood tones, then a stony purple paint colour would work. If you have white cabinets, then perhaps a shade of grey. Orangey-toned cherry wood? Then blue.
— Want to make your small kitchen look larger? Choose countertops, backsplash and paint similar in colour to your cabinets. The monochromatic colour scheme creates continuity in the space without visual distractions to interrupt flow.
— Considering an island? You need a minimum 36 to 40 inches clearance on all sides. The island base and countertops should visually stand out from other cabinets and countertops, so it looks like a separate piece of furniture. Having all the cabinets the same can be too much of a good thing and can cheapen the overall look of your new kitchen; while a well-designed island elevates the room.
— To make your open-concept kitchen feel less utilitarian and as important as adjoining living areas, hide your fridge and dishwasher behind appliance fronts that match the cabinetry.
— Think inside the box — as in the cabinetry box. Plan — and spend a little extra — for drawer inserts, extra shelves and lazy-Susan style corners for better storage and organization.
Cooking Up Some Costs
A total kitchen renovation should cost about 10 per cent of your home’s value.
Keep your spending in good company: Custom wood cabinets deserve high-end appliances and stone counters.
Budget breakdown on materials: Cabinets, 50 per cent; appliances, 20 per cent; countertops and backsplash, 10 per cent; hardware and lighting, 10 per cent; incidental, 10 per cent. Plus labour.
Next week we’ll set our sights on incorporating the often despised but must-have television into our decor scheme. Do you have a design dilemma? Email me at: klohnesdecor>@sympatico.ca
Karl Lohnes has worked as a home decor expert and product designer for 25 years. He often appears Thursday during the 8 a.m. hour on Global News Morning Montreal.
Source : http://montrealgazette.com/life/homes/karl-lohnes-your-dream-kitchen-is-only-a-few-design-rules-away