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Design & Planning Kitchen

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February, 2010

From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream kitchen in mind.

10 Commandments of Design

10 Commandments of Design

1.   Learn what inspires you.

No longer do we need to classify ourselves into a particular design style. Design today is about bringing together a variety of elements that inspire you. Maybe you're mostly traditional, but a sleek-lined contemporary faucet really inspires you. Don't be afraid to mix and match-just make it your own unique style.

2.   Don't settle on decorative items just to fill space.

The decorative elements in a room should be functional and inspirational. When searching for these items, don't settle on something that you are not sold on just because it fits your room or budget. If you can't afford to purchase the items that you love and will make you enjoy the room-be sure to wait. Leaving walls bare or rooms empty for a while will be worth the wait to have the perfect room.

3.   Make a plan.

It's like the saying "measure twice, cut once." Be sure that you have a plan before you start designing any room. This will ensure that the room will function the way that you need it to and it will help to make the entire design more cohesive.

4.    Invest in quality.

With more homeowners interested in design be wary of discount retailers. Just because it's pretty, doesn't mean it's quality. Buy brands that you know and trust. It may cost you a little more initially, but will provide you better results in the long run.

5.    Embrace color.

Color is a great way to infuse your personality into a room, so don't be afraid to use it! Find what shades make you happy and add some life to your room. Especially in smaller rooms that you don't use as often, such as a powder room, let your creativity run wild and express your personality through color.

6.   Decorate for you, not your neighbor.

While styles and trends are great ways to get new ideas to spruce up a room, don't base your entire design around what you think will impress your guests. Make sure that your style is uniquely yours. Remember-you have to live with your design choices every day, not your neighbors!

7.   Pay attention to lighting.

In addition to the functional aspects, lighting also helps to set the mood or add design to a room. Try different types of lighting, such as incandescent or halogen, or use lighting fixtures, such as sconces and chandeliers as part of your design theme.

8.   Incorporate art.

Many homeowners think expensive price tags when they think of art. However, art doesn't have to have a high monetary value as long as it has high personal value. Framing personal photographs of your favorite vacation can add a beautiful statement to a room, while making it uniquely your own. Even a unique faucet and sink as the focal point of a room can be considered art!

9.   Be sure to utilize all six room surfaces: four walls, a floor and ceiling.

If you're like most homeowners, when it comes to decorating, you only think about the four walls and floor of a room. But don't forget the ceiling. If there is no crown molding in a room, there is no reason to not extend the color on the walls into the ceiling to create a cohesive, never-ending look to the room. Just be sure to choose a ΒΌ lighter shade of paint on the ceiling since horizontal planes tend to look darker than vertical planes. Also, be sure to choose quality surfaces for your flooring. As the most used surface in a room, quality that will withstand foot traffic is essential.

10.   Be sure your room design fits with the rest of your home.

With open floor plans becoming more popular, it is important that you consider how your new design will fit or flow into the other rooms of your home. Consider how the color schemes or design styles fit together. Pull your favorite elements from one room into another, such as coordinating the metal finishes of the faucets and hardware of the kitchen into the metal surfaces of the lamps and coffee tables of the great room.

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