Oct2010-MichaelGraydon

Kitchen Design Decisions

Natural Stone vs. Composite Countertops

Natural Stone

Pros:

  • Hefty and heat resistant
  • Lasts a lifetime
  • Looks beautiful

Cons:

  • Needs to be resealed periodically
  • Some materials need regular applications of mineral oil
  • Marble is expensive, porous and vulnerable to staining

Composite

Pros:

  • Quartz is scratch and stain-resistant and needs no sealing
  • Paperstone and Richlite are eco-friendly
  • Solid surfaces like Corian are seamless

Cons:

  • Hot pans can permanently mark some solid-surface countertops
  • Can be expensive

Photo Kitchen Design Decisions Countertop Marble

Open Shelves vs. Upper Cabinets

Open Shelves

Pros:

  • Space to display art, beautiful cookware and dishes
  • Opens up the room
  • Can be restyled easily for a fresh look

Cons:

  • Requires regular dusting
  • Can become cluttered and look messy
  • Not as much practical storage space

Upper Cabinets

Pros:

  • Hides unorganized storage
  • Creates a seamless, unified look and uses all vertical space
  • Prevents dust and grease from settling on food and dishes

Cons:

  • More expensive to buy and install
  • Can make a room feel closed in
  • May result in unused space as it is difficult to reach top cabinets

Photo Kitchen Design Decisions Michael Penney

Tile vs. Wood Floors

Tile

Pros:

  • Hard-wearing and easy to clean
  • Many inexpensive options
  • Endless patterns and colours for any style of room

Cons:

  • Can be cold underfoot
  • Easily shatters dishes dropped on it
  • Grout requires regular scrubbing and sealing

Wood

Pros:

  • Maintains flow in an open-concept space
  • Warm and comfortable underfoot
  • Adds an organic element

Cons:

  • Scratches and dents easily
  • Can be expensive
  • Spills need to cleaned up immediately to prevent moisture from affecting wood

Photo Kitchen Design Decisions Steven Gambrel Clock

Author:
Anna-Kaisa Walker
Photographer:
Michael Graydon (marble countertop); Angus Fergusson (open shelves); Eric Piasecki (hardwood flooring, design by S.R. Gambrel).
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