Cook’s triangle.

Before you do any kitchen renovation of your own, make sure to plan the layout wisely. You can’t just doodle cabinets and extra tables on your notebook without checking if it’ll contribute to the betterment of your kitchen.

Have you heard of the “cook’s triangle”? If yes, then good for you. At least you won’t sacrifice mobility for grandeur spaces. But if not, then let’s put it this way: the cook’s triangle is the area where the cook occupies most of the time. Since the sink, the refrigerator and the stove are the three most vital parts of the kitchen when cooking, the space in between those should form a triangle (you can draw a line from the sink, then the ref, and the stove and back again to the sink to make a triangle). The more equilateral the triangle is, the better.


Photo taken from

Painting Tips

Color: For those homeowners that prefer bright colors, kitchens offer a blank canvas for applying colorful paint and wallpaper border combinations to wall coverings

Add new life to worn or dated cabinets by applying a complementary paint color to update the existing appearance.

Neutral Tones: “Color conservative” folks may opt to inject a soft palette of personality with the clever addition of painted stencil borders and motifs (including currently popular themes such as garden and natural designs) that coordinate with existing kitchen themes.

Paint Techniques: Consider coordinating a decorative paint treatment, such as ragging, combing, etc. (see Decorative Techniques) with a contemporary wallpaper border. Or, if you love the look of decorative paint but lack the time to complete such a project, explore the possibility of adding a “faux” wallpaper border (that mimics decorative paint techniques) to a painted, solid color wall.

Additional Decorative Ideas:

• Add color and pattern to a plain, white tile backsplash by applying color with a freehand or stenciled painted design.
• Inject a splash of color to ordinary beadboarding with the clever application of paint.
• Camouflage a damaged floor by selecting colors that are prevalent within your kitchen color scheme and painting a “faux” tile design.
• Unify a mismatched dinette set by painting the table and chairs using one cohesive color.
• Customize furnishings by applying a whimsical stamp or stencil to seats or seatbacks.


The New Smart Approach to Kitchen Design

Why merely enlarge a small kitchen layout or update cabinets and appliances? The new smart approach to kitchen design is to customize the kitchen to your own particular lifestyle. Combining form with function and beauty.

First, decide what you want to accomplish. Possible reasons for a kitchen renovation might include:

  • A better kitchen layout plan
  • Increased kitchen pantry storage or kitchen storage organization
  • The addition of a breakfast nook, breakfast bar, or work island
  • Increased counter space
  • Cosmetic purposes; whether to update present features or put together a whole new designer kitchen
  • Increase floor space
  • Incorporate a kitchen renovation floor plan to include separate space for dining, or added space for dining in the kitchen itself

After determining the main purpose for making alterations, consider the key function of your kitchen. Is it used for meal preparation; on a daily basis, or only occasionally? Do you entertain frequently? Is the kitchen used for homework, laundry, or eating purposes? Answering these type questions will help decide which aspects of new kitchen renovation design to emphasize.


Going Contemporary

Some key items for a beautiful, awe-inspiring, contemporary kitchen:

Counter Stool
Earthly and graceful, the Shinto Counter Stool is made of Chinese hardwood and would work well in a rustic urban setting. (ROOM & BOARD)
Can a stove be truly glamorous? The 5-burner, Double-Oven Cluny couldn’t be more so. (LANACHE)
The inky black Poliform Cabinets have beautiful sheen and spareness (POLIFORM)
Just pass your hands under the swan-necked faucet and water pours out. A kitchen first. How smart. (PASCAL CULINARY FAUCET)
Dining Table
The cut out base of the 42-inch round dining table would really stand out in a contemporary kitchen.

(House Beautiful Magazine, April 2006 Issue)

Black and White Kitchen from Maine

You can’t go wrong with black and white, even in the most unlikely place: a rustic, windswept house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The editor of House Beautiful magazine, Christine Pittel wanted to know how interior designer Mallory Marshall gave her kitchen a beautiful glow.

Here are some key questions and answers, taken from the conversation between the two:

CHRISTINE PITTEL: Where did the idea of black and white come from?

MALLORY MARSHALL: In Maine, we like plain good things. I like very classic surfaces. We built the cabinets all out of mahogany and finished them to match my favorite piece from my husband’s glass collection, these black bowls by Dale Chihuly. So of course the floor had to be white. It’s refined French limestone, the chalkiest things I could find. It’s like skin, and it’s heated from underneath so it feels soft under your feet. Even the furniture on it is warm all the time.

CHRISTINE PITTEL: This is a 1920s Tudor house. You seem to have leapt several centuries in a single bound with this addition.

MALLORY MARSHALL: It’s totally different, but in some ways the same…

CHRISTINE PITTEL: Why did you choose stainless-steel countertops?

MALLORY MARSHALL: Steel sink, steel stove, steel everything…[it] reflects light, but we scarred it up real fast to knock it back a bit. The more distressed it gets, the better…

(House Beautiful Magazine, April 2006 Issue)