Innovation Kitchen

BHG Guest Blogger

Walls and Floors: Making a Surface Statement

 

The BHG Innovation Kitchen, created for the May 2014 issue, is filled with fresh ideas and cool products. Here, senior editor Kit Selzer highlights a few of our favorites.

 

Walls and flooring are the spring rain showers of your home design plan: It’s easy to forget what a powerful punch they can pack. But don’t overlook these background players. The right surface treatments can make the difference between a so-so room and a “so pretty” one.

Most of our Innovation Kitchen features hardwood flooring, but in the pantry we switched to luxury vinyl tile, also known as LVT, by Mannington. This high-style, high-performing material is on the rise (it’s the fastest growing category in the flooring market) and comes in a range of patterns, including stone and wood looks. For the pantry, we chose a tile with a subtle pattern — a striated look that adds visual texture. The 12×12-inch tiles in gray and white are laid in stripes; think of it as an updated version of the classic checkerboard flooring pattern.

On the walls, we went for simple but striking. The backsplash is covered in 3×6 white ceramic subway tiles from Daltile, which you can buy at Home Depot. Two tricks bump up the style factor: The tile covers the wall from the countertop to the ceiling (a technique that’s best for affordable, neutral tile), and it’s finished with gray grout, which gives the expanse just the right amount of definition.

The remaining walls in the kitchen feature an innovative paint by Sherwin-Williams. It’s formulated to help reduce not only common indoor odors (pets, cooking, smoke), but also the smells that can come from new carpet, cabinets, and fabrics. It’s especially good for kitchens, pantries, laundry rooms, and bathrooms because it’s designed to resist mildew and withstand frequent washings.

 

Who knew hardworking walls and floors could look so good?

 

See more of the BHG Innovation Kitchen we created in collaboration with designers Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon of Fiddlehead Design Group.


BHG Guest Blogger

Beyond the Kitchen: Living Areas to Love

 

The BHG Innovation Kitchen, created for the May 2014 issue, is filled with fresh ideas and cool products. Here, senior editor Kit Selzer highlights a few of our favorites.

 

The ideal kitchen is much more than just a place to cook; it’s where people really live day to day. That’s why we incorporated places to eat, watch TV, do homework, catch up on household paperwork, and catch up with family in our Innovation Kitchen. And, like the kitchen itself, these adjoining spaces were designed to be equal parts pretty and practical. Here’s a look at how we put the fun in functional.

 

 

 

The dining room connected to our Innovation Kitchen works extra hard, serving as a home office when it’s not hosting a meal. But what really makes this spot special is how it veers from conventional dining room design. Instead of a long table and matching chairs, we chose a table that expands from a cozy 6 feet to more than 8 welcoming feet. Seating is a combo of vivid blue chairs and a built-in storage bench topped with a colorful cushion and pillows. Instead of a china hutch we used a tall cabinet in a lively green (SW 6432 Garden Spot from Sherwin-Williams) and filled it with books and accessories. Even the lighting offers a fresh take: Good-bye, formal chandelier; hello, playful pendant!

 

 

The dining room hutch is a storage workhorse without feeling like an office supply store. Decorative bins, boxes, and caddies get the credit by holding pens, pencils, pads of paper, and even an iPad. Pretty accessories make getting down to business a lot more fun.

 

 

In the nearby family room, the fireplace wall gets an unexpected treatment. Painted 1-foot-high stripes could be overpowering, but because they’re neutral and limited to a small area, they pack just the right amount of punch. Notice the other twist? There’s no mantel above the electric, wall-mount fireplace. Instead, two antique wooden beams are mounted to the adjacent wall. They’re useful shelves, but they also team up with the TV to create one large decorative display.

 

 

Here’s one of my favorite features: a large message board for back-door convenience. It’s made from a piece of glass so you can write a note using a dry-erase marker and just wipe it off later. So practical! Painting the back of the glass (it’s the same green as the dining room cabinet) and framing it to look like a window—well, that’s what makes practical perfect.

 

Have a little fun with your next project!

 

See more of the BHG Innovation Kitchen we created in collaboration with designers Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon of Fiddlehead Design Group


BHG Guest Blogger

3 Tips for Pairing Cabinetry + Countertops

 

 

 

The BHG Innovation Kitchen, created for the May 2014 issue, is filled with fresh ideas and cool products. Here, senior editor Kit Selzer highlights a few of our favorites.

 

 

 

 

 

Salt and pepper. Vinegar and oil. Bread and butter. Compiling a list of kitchen pairings can make a fun party game, but what’s the most important combo when designing a kitchen? We say it’s cabinetry and countertops. Together, they set the overall style of the space and have the biggest impact.

 

Whether you’re updating your existing cabinetry with paint or creating a kitchen from scratch, as we did, a few rules of thumb will help you get a polished look.

 

1. Don’t be afraid to use more than one color of cabinetry. In our Innovation Kitchen project, we used four: light gray in the main part of the kitchen, dark gray in the adjoining multipurpose pantry, white for a few select pieces, and a fresh green for a tall built-in the dining area. This combination of cabinets from Decora helps define zones, creates more interest than a single hue would, and sets the basic palette. Variation in cabinet color makes a kitchen feel more personal, less like it’s straight off the showroom floor.

2. Show restraint with countertops. When you use different cabinet colors, you’ll likely be happiest using the same countertop choice throughout. We love this quartz-surfacing countertop from Cambria, which, with its gray veining, resembles marble but is more durable and easier to care for. It looks great with all of our cabinet colors and gives the entire space continuity. Bringing in a second pattern would have created a busy look.

3. Cabinetry and countertops in similar tones gives the effect of furniture. Generally, it’s best to choose countertops that coordinate with but don’t match cabinetry for greater contrast. However, you can use near-matches for effect. Take this hutch, for example. It’s made from a glass-front cabinet placed on top of two slightly deeper sets of drawers with a slab of the kitchen’s quartz-surfacing countertop placed in between. Together they look like a single unit. Another idea: Match a countertop to a low, wide cabinet to create the look of a freestanding buffet.

 

Now you’re ready to create your own perfect pairings.

 

See more of the BHG Innovation Kitchen we created in collaboration with designers Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon of Fiddlehead Design Group