Exciting Tips for Renovating Your Kitchen

Getting your home back in order after storm and flood damage will have many Houston-area residents facing the prospect of putting in new kitchens.

Those who hire contractors and interior designers will get their professional advice, but those on more limited budgets will make decisions on their own – some driven by wants, others driven by needs.

Pinterest and Houzz websites are full of great ideas and are great places to begin your planning. Save photos of the kitchens you love to either of these sites, then assess the common threads. It will help you determine your style.

Decide in advance what you want your focal point to be, and stick to one, maybe two things, suggests Houston interior designer Missy Stewart. It could be great tile for the walls, a splash of color on your cabinets or island or an interesting light fixture or range hood.

Here’s a list of current trends in kitchen design, from Missy Stewart Designs:

1. Cabinets: Nothing dates your kitchen faster than out-of-style cabinets. Modern cabinets inherently come in a sleek, flat style. If you opt for transitional or contemporary styles, look at flat-panel or Shaker-style cabinet doors.

While you can’t go wrong with white paint, you also should consider gray paint or a dark espresso stain.

2. Counters: Our countertop vocabulary used to include laminate, marble and granite. Now, consider porcelain. It’s more durable than granite or marble, and won’t stain or nick. Big sheets of it can wrap an island and can be placed as perimeter counters, just as marble would. Look for veiny gray-white styles that mimic Cararra or Calacatta marble. You can use this same porcelain for your backsplash, in a smaller tile.

3. Island: The island does not have to match your perimeter cabinets or counters. If you have white cabinets, a splash of color could work on the island. Right now, Stewart loves navy. Homeowners also should think about their favorite colors – and what would blend with rooms visible from the kitchen. If your budget allows, consider installing a microwave drawer or refrigerated drawer in your island.

4. Flooring: Rule No. 1 – square is out when it comes to tile flooring, Stewart says. For a bigger kitchen, go with a 24 x 32 format. For a smaller kitchen, use planklike tile that’s 8 inches wide by 36 inches long. When you’re shopping, look for “rectified” tile – the edges are a sharp 90 degrees – which allows it to be set with a super-thin grout line. Let your installer know that you want tight, almost non-existent grout lines; most will use the wider grooves by default.

5. Lighting: This could be one of your most important decisions. You’ll want a combination of recessed lighting and ceiling fixtures. Consider one large hanging fixture or a group of pendants for over an island – and pick something with personality. 12 tips for renovating your kitchen – Houston Chronicle