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Patti Cowger

Last week, I described six kitchen ideas that, if implemented well, have staying-power. I call them ideas instead of trends because I have so many questions about trends. When is a trend a trend? How popular does it have to be and how long does it have to last, in order to qualify as a trend? Is a trend just another way to sell a product? When does a trend become permanent and is that an oxymoron?

To recap last week’s column, long-lasting ideas include two-toned cabinets, wine chillers, patterned floors, subway tile, specialty sinks and quartz. Here are a few more ideas that have staying power:

White kitchens. I liken a white kitchen to a white shirt. It’s timeless and fresh, looks good with almost every accompaniment, and is easy to wear. The design challenge in a kitchen is to make it look unique. One approach is to make everything white – cabinets, countertop, backsplash, paint – and add an interesting hood, floor, or light fixtures.

Furniture-styled cabinetry. Not all cabinets should look like furniture but a single large piece (island, pantry or desk) can enhance a kitchen’s style.

Specialty doors and windows. I like to add a decoratively-painted, carved or otherwise embellished door when possible. This can be a full-sized pantry or closet door, for instance. Patterned, lead-glass upper cabinet doors or windows can elevate a kitchen from so-so to spectacular. I especially like lead-glass shaped in a harlequin pattern.

Details. A less costly alternative to lead-glass cabinet doors is molding appliques. I used them recently on upper cabinet doors. I started with clear, glass-paneled doors and added two sets of thin molding to create intersecting half-circles. In another kitchen, I added an extra layer of crown molding in a contrasting color (that matched the island). Details are extremely important in good design but must be added judiciously. Adding too much can dilute the design’s impact but not adding enough won’t make an impact at all. In ultra-modern kitchens, exercising restraint is, in fact, the detail.

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What ideas do I think may not go the distance? Waterfall islands, Crittall windows and doors, and blush pink cabinets. I have nothing to base my opinion on other than a hunch. I actually like all three of these ideas very much but they leave me wondering.

A waterfall island is one where its slab countertop extends down one or more of the cabinet’s sides and down to the floor. It looks best in modern, industrial and otherwise contemporary kitchens.

Crittall-style windows and doors are popping up in all the shelter magazines and other media. They are glass panels with multiple panes encased in black, steel frames. You may even have seen them used as shower panels. They get their name from the 19th century steel-framed window manufacturer based in Essex, England, founded by Francis Crittall. This is another detail that works really well in modern and industrial spaces. It also suits Arts & Crafts and farmhouse styles.

Although blush pink is a popular color choice these days, it may not be for everyone. I have to say, though, that it is really pretty, and if used in a champagne, black and/or white color palette, could be very sophisticated.

Whether good or bad, there is no shortage of ideas that enable homeowners to create kitchens that suit their homes and personal styles. Past columns about kitchen design can be found at plcinteriors.com/blog.

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Patti L Cowger is an award-winning Napa-based interior designer and owner of PLC Interiors. For more information about her design services, visit her website at plcinteriors.com call (707) 322-6522; or email plcinteriors@sbcglobal.net.

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