When I think of modern kitchen designs, I think of frameless cabinets, sleek and simple hardware, strong horizontal lines and a lack of ornamentation, with the natural beauty of the materials shining through.
Paris bistro kitchens. If you long for a sugar-laced café au lait on Rue Monmartre, why not bring a little Parisian style into your house? Intimate kitchen lighting, pretty cookware on display, tile floors and a striped awning ought to do it.
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Glazed and antique cabinet finishes. Traditional kitchens often feature cabinet finishes that are glazed or made to look aged and distressed. Whether you’re using antique white or a color like the island shown, a bit of glazing can add instant age and patina. Be careful, though. Some antique finishes look fake, so make sure your cabinetmaker has samples for you to approve before ordering.
Organic materials. Surfaces with a connection to the earth feel most at home in Asian-style kitchens. Consider woods, subdued stone or even butcher block. More contemporary materials, such as concrete or glass, have a place here as well, but be sure to balance them with natural ones so that the kitchen doesn’t feel cold or harsh.
Soft colors. The cottage palette is usually light and airy, and kitchens follow suit. It’s hard to go wrong with crisp, classic white, but soft yellow, pale turquoise or light khaki all look fresh and appropriate as well. Or try a mix of cabinetry colors: one shade on the island with a contrasting hue on the cabinets.