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Remodeling an outdated kitchen presents an exciting opportunity to select cabinets with nifty hidden storage, countertops in shiny high-tech finishes, and appliances with all the bells and whistles. Investing in all of the latest and greatest might make for an amazing kitchen, but it can also cause the updated space to stick out from the rest of your older home like a sore thumb. By incorporating a few thoughtful design elements into the brand-new space, you will ensure it will feel like a seamless extension of your home.
Creating a cohesive kitchen is also a budgetwise move. Remodeling is expensive and you want that investment to last as long as possible. A kitchen that looks out of place in its surroundings will turn off potential buyers; one that is updated yet has timeless appeal becomes a selling feature. Thinking about period-appropriate design details early in the remodeling process can help guide all your decisions.
To make sure your new kitchen will stand the test of time, start by taking stock of your home's age and style. Look through books dedicated to similar architecture and make note of consistent themes in the kitchen (colors, patterns, millwork, etc.). What are the elements you can integrate into your remodel without sacrificing style, budget, or amenities?
Start with the bones of the room. Perhaps the flooring from an adjacent room can continue into the new kitchen. If the rest of your home has crown molding, add it in the kitchen for continuity. Wall color is another design element that can easily connect the new space to the rest of the home. Likewise, let the other interior finishes inform choices for the remodel. If all other rooms include walnut and brushed nickel, it will feel disjointed to use oak and antique bronze in one room. Even small details, such as cabinet hardware and light fixtures, are a great way to showcase classic design elements.
The goal here isn't reproduction, but rather a modern space that hints at the past. Staying true to the original design doesn't mean foregoing modern space planning, functionality, and amenities. For example, in a midcentury modern home, it's okay to install checkerboard floor tile for character and still choose a fancy black granite countertop rather than the Formica popular in the 1950s. In a Victorian home, choosing era-appropriate leaded-glass cabinet fronts doesn't rule out also installing a professional range and a built-in espresso machine. In a cottage-style home, an apron-front sink looks traditional but can include all the features available on any new basin.