Some homeowners have a difficult time visualizing their new kitchen design. Trying to imagine what the room is going to look like compared to what it looks like now isn’t something that comes naturally to everybody.
The truth is, even professional kitchen designers aren’t always born with this talent. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. If you want to train your eye to be able to visualize a new design, there are a few tips and tricks we can pass along. We find that having this ability tends to help the process along when it comes time to sit down with your design team to discuss your remodel.
Design 101: The Basics
When you look at a kitchen design, you first want to imagine what you would do differently. Function matters, but it should fit into a design framework that supports an aesthetic.
Some of the aspects we look at include:
- Harmony: how the elements work together to create a unified design theme.
- Balance: balance doesn’t always have to be symmetrical, but objects within the design scheme should achieve balance.
- Order: repetition, progression, alternation – these are all approaches we take in the effort to achieve a unified order.
- Focal points: a single focal point that draws the eye can emphasize positive aspects or downplay negative ones. In a large kitchen, you might have more than one focal point.
- Contrast: we create contrast using textures, colors, or variations in shapes and geometry. Without contrast, every aspect of the room would blend into the next, and the design would lack depth.
- Proportion/perspective: if you have an inordinately high ceiling, for example, we might choose items that marry the high and low points of the room. A pendant or chandelier over an eating area accomplishes this task nicely.
- Small details: sometimes, it’s the “little things” that make all the difference. This could be accent colors, glass-front cabinets or open shelves, pendant lights over the island, or gleaming glass subway tiles on the backsplash.
Harmony, unity – whatever you want to call it, it is a principle tenet of any design approach. First, you want to think about your overall design approach.
Think about what kind of look you are ultimately going for. Do you want a traditional kitchen? Modern? Contemporary? Transitional? If you are unsure, sitting down with your kitchen designer is a good place to start.
Creating A Focal Point
Think about the first thing you will see when you enter the kitchen. Where does your eye go, naturally? Perhaps you already have an interesting architectural feature, an amazing kitchen island, or a beautiful backsplash, but if you don’t, you can create one.
This could be accomplished with any of the features mentioned above. Or, you might decide to add stunning new or unique appliances, colorful accents, or another thematic detail that means something to you.
Once you have established what the focal point is going to be, the rest of the design will center on drawing the eye to that feature. To achieve this, we use lighting, color variations, textures, and contrasting aspects.
Balance in kitchen design is achieved using symmetry, contrast, color, and texture to highlight the design itself.
Symmetry or asymmetry can be approached in many different ways. Classically, a symmetrical design radiates out from a central point with similar/same features on either side. Radial symmetry moves out from the focal point in a circular pattern.
Color can be monochromatic, complimentary, or contrasting.
Contrast gives you juxtaposition, either between dark and light, high and low, lines and curves, or between different types of textures.
Texture can be varied to make the design more dimensional and interesting from a visual standpoint.
A great kitchen design has a distinct flow to it; a sense of rhythm that translates in a visual sense. We accomplish this in several ways:
Repeating or alternating patterns, line directions, shapes, colors, design elements – anything that gives you continuous movement.
Progressing from light to dark, from small to large, or through different shades of the same color are all ways that we establish a progression.
Transition is about drawing the eye from one feature to another, creating movement from one area to the next.
Training your eye to visualize a new kitchen design might not be easy, but it’s not an impossible task to master, either! If you are getting ready for a kitchen remodel to your St. Louis home, we’d love to help. Reach out today to set up a consultation with one of our kitchen designers.