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The Questions You Need To Ask Yourself Before Starting a Kitchen Reno

The Expert Team

A kitchen reno done right strikes the ideal balance of style and function. We’ve all pinned and saved our favorites for inspiration, but the final product sometimes isn’t enough. How did they get there? With seemingly endless considerations, getting started on a kitchen design can be intimidating. But for our Experts, executing visionary dream kitchens is what they do best.

From picking materials and colors to the details that make a good kitchen great, our Experts offer up some Free Advice on where to get started and what to focus on.

Material Interest

Function First.

“Always start a kitchen design with cabinetry. The color or stain and placement of cabinetry dictates nearly every other detail of our kitchens - where to layer texture and patina and how to incorporate lighting, tile, and what stone to use.”

Park & Oak

Anchor your space.

“Start with the floor. It anchors the room and informs the materials I will use in the rest of the design. Some kitchens have incredible original floors - wood, tile, stone - others you have the joy of creating. I’m loving tile at the moment: checkerboard or a classic octagon. But also doing something refreshing with pattern or color. The floor informs the balance of texture & material. With the DNA sorted it’s then the little things that become big things - art, lighting, curios - the personality of a room.”

Clarence & Graves

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Timeless Texture.

"I love rustic modern spaces with wood cabinetry. We love grooved door fronts or more contemporary solid paneled doors. From there it's pretty easy to add texture with the backsplash and countertops.”

Becki Owens


“For us, it starts with a trip to the stone yard. Finding the right stone slab has really become an important first decision for us and one that we often build our designs around."

Kelsey Leigh Design Co.

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Color Theory

Keep longevity in mind.

“Neutral tones are best for longevity. Try earthy shades like soft blush, tan/taupes, warm whites, soft blacks and muted blues. You can always change out your accent pieces for a pop of color each season or year.”

Becki Owens

Context is key.

“Authenticity often dictates color. I work on a lot of period properties and am drawn to deep heritage colors. Greens, reds, yellows. The overall holistic tone of the house is important, and the kitchen is often the heart of a wider scheme.”

Clarence & Graves

Redefine what you consider neutral.

“We strongly believe that dark, rich colors can serve as a really beautiful neutral, and often bring more depth and excitement than traditional neutral shades. Find deep blues and greens as well as dark stains. We often start with Farrow & Ball when selecting colors for kitchen cabinetry. Their colors strike just the right balance of simplicity and depth, and they’re non-toxic, which is important to us and many of our clients.”

Park & Oak

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Hide and Seek

A streamlined approach.

“We always encourage our clients to opt for integrated refrigeration and appliances. So much of the beauty in kitchen design lies in the ability to make the room look cohesive, finished, timeless. Large, stainless appliances can break up that feeling and can make the room feel disconnected.”

Park & Oak

Functional focal points.

“If not hidden away, appliances can be great statement pieces if you opt for for something beautiful like a Lacanche oven range or a more affordable option from ILVE.” Kelsey Leigh Design Co.

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