Kitchen Design: Make It Yours

With every interior design project we walk the fine line between creating the perfect house we see in a magazine and creating the perfect house for who actually lives there. In order to make a house a home, the environment should feel meaningful, convey a history and reflect the homeowner.  There are many, many creative ways to achieve this, and to avoid filling a house with big box store artwork and uncomfortable chairs that look nice.When a person walks into a room in their home, there should be some element in the room that elicits a smile, or at the very least calms from the inside out. 

Here are some fabulous examples of projects that have found meaningful ways to incorporate the homeowner’s personalities and passions.

Think of all the back-painted glass backsplashes out there.  Why not put something behind the glass that is more interesting than paint? Here, the homeowner had a favorite tapestry, but could not find a place to display it.  With all the neutrals in transitional and contemporary styling, this tapestry is allowed to sing. I am guessing the chore of cooking has been lightened up as well!

Fabric behind glass backsplash, by INC Architecture and Design, NYC, Photography by Annie Schlechter

Maybe a traveler has a collection they’ve curated over many years and they want to be able to enjoy it but are not sure what to do with it. A great solution is to plan for display when developing the cabinetry design. Here is a beautiful example of drinking steins collected throughout Europe- what better place to display them than in an old world styled bar. Had the homeowners not planned for this in their design consultations, this would’ve been a lost opportunity.

Stein collection, by Bob Michels Construction, MN, Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Landmark Photography

It doesn’t always need to be an item to be displayed, sometimes it is just an aesthetic that reflects the homeowner’s interests.  For example, someone who derives energy from nature would love coming home to one of these environments-

Window wall of nature, by Charlie Barnett Associates, San Francisco, CA

Bathroom with nature, by Charlie Barnett Associates, San Francisco, CA

Or, if making pizzas in a wood fired oven is a passion of yours, incorporate it into your design.

Brick pizza oven, by Sandra Daubenmeyer of KSI Kitchen & Bath, Dura Supreme cabinetry, photographer Beth Singer

Walking into this cheery garden cottage- styled kitchen one notices the one-of-a-kind light fixture and garden figurines in the window.  This kitchen is clearly tailored to the homeowner’s style, all the way down to the hammered copper sink, chicken-wire-esque sink base and the pure genius decision to forego a backsplash wall and instead have the garden outdoors be the backsplash.  So many fun details, and all because the homeowner and the designer took the time to identify what would make the house feel like a home.

Garden cottage kitchen with individuality, by Meredith Weiss of Merri Interiors, Dura Supreme Cabinetry, Ilowite Photography

In order to create a home that speaks to your heart, take some time and really think about what kind of surroundings give you energy, give you calm, or give you joy. For some it may be a color family, for others it may be beloved pieces (of art, of furniture) collected over a lifetime or for some it may be connecting the space to the city skyline out the window. Whatever that is for you, take the time to consider ways to infuse your home with it, do not ignore those opportunities. Your home should be your happy place!

Sandy Kloncz's picture

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