Renovating or designing a new kitchen is a major undertaking and you owe it to yourself to take extra time during the planning stage. After all, the kitchen is probably the most populated room in your house and you want to enjoy spending time here.
If your final color choice or cabinet style is not quite right, it can be hard to adjust to. The following points are designed to get you thinking about what you really want, and point out some pros and cons you may never have considered.
1. How much natural and artificial lighting is available in your kitchen? Just having a light stain does not a bright kitchen make. If it's more closed in, rather than open, consider creating a window to take advantage of lighting in adjoining rooms, or add reflected lights from your cabinets.
2. What's going on in the neighboring rooms? Are there stains or color schemes being used that you'll want to bring into your kitchen decor?
3. Are you looking for a contrasting decorating scheme or a decor where colors are softer and flow from room to room?
4. If you decide on a lighter opaque color, keep in mind that this shade does not wear as long as other colors or finishes. Depending on the size and age of your family, you may find yourself cleaning these cabinets more often.
5. Consider any themes you may want to feature, such as traditional, formal, country, rustic, or modern. The style and color of cabinets will vary depending on the theme you choose. For instance, a more formal look may include a stain or glazed cabinet finish with upgraded crown molding and possibly decorative legs to make your base cabinets appear like furniture. A contemporary look may have a smooth, molded style of door and possibly be painted instead of stained.
6. When choosing a color scheme, you may want to consider less traditional shades that provide a cool/warm contrast, such as khaki, oyster grey, or grey/blue.
7. Once you choose your cabinet shade, it must be coordinated with your countertop, backsplash, sink, and appliances. Any decorative lighting such as pendants over an eating area should also be considered. Pendant lights can provide nice accents, but can also be unobtrusive and simply disappear.
8. The size of the room will go a long way in determining your lighting choices and color scheme. Dark cabinetry is fine in a well lit, small room with light walls; however, a blending of light shades will make a small kitchen appear less busy.
9. If you're going with a fairly neutral kitchen, you may want to consider some accents to add interest. In a large kitchen with lots of cabinets, choose one wall and add glass inserts to break up the wood. If you have a large backsplash area over the stove, a decorative tile image can liven up the work space.
10. The various species of wood for your cabinets all lend themselves to different looks and decor styles. The more popular choices are maple, cherry, birch and oak. The latter was more commonly used in the 80's, but is still popular for modern style doors, or for painted cupboards where you want the grain to stand out.