It sure pays to have a kitchen that is both welcoming and efficient. This can be especially challenging for those with small kitchens, but don’t despair. Once you have a simplified, clean base to work from, you can add dashes of personality for a kitchen design that sparkles with these tips from kitchen designer Cassia Wyner.
Step 1: Simplify
Kitchen space is precious. If you want your kitchen design to turn out sleek and stylish, here’s a simple designer tip—declutter!
Streamline: When planning your kitchen design, modernize your sight lines. Opt for straight-edged cabinetry and a range hood that doesn’t jut out, Wyner suggests. But the best way to create a sleek look is with built-in appliances: Ensconce your bulky oven, fridge and dishwasher in your walls, and even hide them behind wooden cabinets. Also, consider building the cooktop into your countertop to save you a valuable 2 inches around the counter edge.
Sort: Before you begin your kitchen remodel—not after!—go through your tools. Get rid of anything you don’t use and prioritize the rest. As you plan, “focus on the efficiency of the most common tasks,” Wyner says. Do you use a cutting board daily? Plan for a thin, vertical cabinet at shoulder level near your prep zone. Do you use a vegetable brush daily? Install a flip-out drawer with unobtrusive pulls directly below your sink.
Step 2: Brighten Up
Color: Once you’ve decluttered the look and content of your kitchen, it’s time to give it some character. “Contemporary doesn’t have to mean sterile,” Wyner insists. She spiced up the potentially bland white kitchen with frosted blue panes in the pantry door, a sapphire ceiling highlighted by industrial-style fixtures and multi-colored, handmade cabinet pulls.
Light: To bring out your colorful accents and create a welcoming atmosphere, use different kinds of lighting in the same space, Wyner says. Combine recessed, under-cabinet lights and fixtures to provide ample light as you work in different areas of the kitchen. For a creative alternative to traditional recessed lighting, consider installing a clear, sparkling glass cabinet with a built-in LED light between two cabinets, whether above your sink as in the white kitchen or over another open task space.
Reflect: For even more sparkle, choose glass or mirrored accents to amplify the lighting’s effects. Even concrete can create a dazzling countertop when flecks of colored glass are mixed in the mold. Take advantage of your kitchen’s natural light by positioning glass fixtures so that sunlight hits them when it shines through your window. In the Aegean kitchen, for example, Wyner used blue glass light fixtures to reflect sunlight around the space, infusing the room with oceanic translucence and bringing cohesion to the style.
Written by Jolene Nolte
Photography by Isaiah Wyner Photography
Design and styling by Cassia Wyner