Gallery: Suzanne Dimma’s Kitchen Decorating Tips
Since a kitchen tends to be the most-used part of a house, I think it’s the room most worthy of an investment. Whether you’re planning a complete overhaul or just need some fresh ideas to update, use these inspiring photos and decorating ideas to create a kitchen that wows. See more gorgeous kitchens in our October 2009 issue.
Contrast cabinets and finishes.
A kitchen is far more inviting and warm when there is a variety of textures. There is no rule saying you have to stick to the same counter top surface or cabinet material and colour. Think raw wood paired with stainless steel, stone with painted wood – the more contrast the better.
Incorporate glass doors and open shelving for display.
Follow the lead of Lynda Reeves and include storage cabinets that allow your dishes to be on show. It adds so much character to a kitchen if you can see gorgeous collections of china, glassware and vases.
Keep the top of the island clear of appliances.
Arrange your kitchen so that the hardworking pieces like the fridge, stove, oven and sink are along the walls. This leaves the island free to function as a big table and storage unit and allows guests to gather and visit while you prep food.
Design your kitchen with enough wall space for artwork.
When you are planning your kitchen, break up the cabinets with blank walls so you can hang striking art pieces. It is no fun to work in a kitchen that is nothing but wall-to-wall cabinetry.
Elevate a kitchen’s look with superb pulls.
Quality cabinet hardware can make an average room look spectacular. In a traditional kitchen, exposed hinges are a wonderful detail. A more contemporary kitchen can look great with hidden silver pulls on cabinet doors. Think beyond the predictable and look for one-of-a-kind statement pieces — you can always take them with you when you move.
Choose beautiful functional pieces, such as toasters and spice racks, to double as display.
Accessorize your countertops with the good-looking items you use everyday. I like to have a giant wooden bowl on the island to use as a catchall. The white Louise Bousquet pottery and porcelain pieces from Homefront in Toronto are classics that will never go out of style. A great-looking wooden pepper mill, a Dualit toaster, the spice rack from Dean & Deluca and a stack of Donna Hay cookbooks all add character and ambience.
Establish a kitchen’s look with the right light.
Invest in a statement-making, high-quality ceiling fixture, whether it's a chandelier, drum lamp or iconic Herman Miller pendant. The perfect light fixture sets the tone for the entire kitchen and is a great way to highlight an island.
Design around neutral finishes.
I like to stay away from bright hues for countertops, backsplash and cabinets and opt for a neutral scheme instead. Limit colour to window coverings, paint or accessories like designer Sabrina Linn did here. This way, your kitchen won’t date as quickly and it is easy to change the look without a complete renovation.
Choose a hardwood floor for timeless style.
Wood wears over time but tends to hide dirt well. A hardwood floor also adds loads of character and warmth and is softer underfoot than marble or tile. I personally prefer the real deal over manufactured floors but there are some great products available nowadays that are easy to install yourself.
See more of Suzanne Dimma’s Kitchen Decorating Tips.
For more lighting options, see our Statement Lighting photo gallery.
Design a kitchen to look homey, not tech-y.
Keep the microwave off the counter and hide it from view. No matter how sleek the design, these appliance tend to look clunky and take up a lot of space. I like to hide one in the island rather than building it into a wall or above the stove. Wherever you place it, keep it out of sight for guests. The less tech-y a kitchen looks, the more homey and warm it will feel.