Kitchen Perfection

The kitchen of your dreams can become a reality. Here’s how.

By Lenore Cullen Barnes | Photography by Eric Roth

Kitchen Design and Installation: Main Street at Botellos | Custom Home: Bayswater Development, LLC

Whether used for the first meal of the day, late-night snack, family dinner or grand party, the kitchen is the hardest working, most versatile room in the house. The best kitchens are well laid out for maximum efficiency and flow, inviting in style and ambience, and high functioning in terms of storage and access. The experts at Main Street at Botellos Home Center offer the following tips to consider when creating the ideal kitchen for your home and lifestyle.

1. style

Marry the style of your kitchen to the overall style of your home; sleek and urbane might feel out of place in an otherwise cottagey home, for example. Adhering to the tone of the home allows you to highlight architectural features and contributes to its resale value.

Here, the homeowners interpret laidback coastal elegance through their choices of color, cabinetry, finishes and lighting for their home in New Seabury, built by Bayswater Development LLC on Cape Cod. Note how the counters reflect the color of sand, the backsplash glistens like shells, and the pendants add nautical charm and sophistication.

2. layout

Fundamental to the design of any kitchen is a fluid layout. The “kitchen triangle” enables easy movement between the major work stations, the sink, stove and refrigerator,” says George Tobey, who has been designing kitchens at Botellos for more than 20 years. “The more closely these three are linked, the easier it is to work in the space.” In this case, the kitchen is situated in the center of the house. Although it has no window, the family still enjoys expansive views from the sink, positioned to overlook the living area and ocean beyond, while providing ample workspace and easy access to the refrigerator and stove.

Urban Electric Company pendant light

3. lighting

In addition to natural light, multiple light sources are essential in the kitchen. General lighting provides overall illumination and may be in the form of recessed or pendant lighting. Task lighting, often overlooked, can make a big difference when light sources are thoughtfully placed to focus on workspaces. Under-counter and accent lighting can propel a nice kitchen to a truly inviting room. Bold lighting fixtures are a fun, and functional, way to make a personal style statement.

4. storage

Maximizing storage space is high on the list when creating a dream kitchen. Since this kitchen has no pantry, the designers took advantage of the nine-and-a-half-foot ceilings and stacked smaller cabinets above the first row of cabinets. Tucking the microwave into the island also frees up counter and cabinet space.

5. island

An island provides a natural focal point, so use this opportunity to design one that reflects your taste and how you’ll use it. Decorative details, like turned legs, detailed trim, and shelving make an island feel more like a piece of furniture. Here, the farm sink adds charm. Copper, metal, stainless steel or oil rubbed bronze are interesting choices for a second prep or bar sink.

6. countertops

Victoria Falls Quartzite Honed was selected in this kitchen for the counter surfaces. While these homeowners opted to have the island and cabinet countertops created out of the same material, a current trend is to differentiate the island countertops from the cabinetry by using contrasting colors and materials—a wood surface on the island and stone on the perimeter counters, for example.

When selecting a countertop, consider your own personality and what you can live with; while you might love the look of marble, can you tolerate the stains that remain after your child pours orange juice on it? If you’d like a wood countertop, can you tolerate the inevitable scratches that will occur? If not, consider materials that are more durable like man-made quartz and quartzite in addition to granites, Corian and laminate.

7. cabinetry color

The color of your cabinets has a major impact on setting the tone of your kitchen. A small kitchen will appear larger with lighter tones versus darker colors or woods. Charcoals, grays and neutral pastels like pale blue, green and tinted whites are currently popular alternatives to standard white. Whitewashed woods, walnuts and white oaks in rift grain are also increasingly in demand. Adding cabinetry to the front of appliances creates a cohesive sophisticated look. Open shelving and glass-fronted cabinets offer another way to increase interest and break up walls of solid cabinetry.

As the kitchen designer, Tobey recommended “Nantucket Inset” from the Grabill Custom Cabinetry Traditional Line, and the homeowner wanted a specific shade of gray. Botellos was able to custom mix the perfect hue, applied with a hand-rubbed steel wool finish.

“To capture the ‘essence’ or colors of Nantucket Sound, which the home overlooks, the designer used a custom color, based on Benjamin Moore Gray Owl, which touches on the varying degrees of blues, greens and grays reflected in the Sound depending on the light and time of day,” Tobey says.

8. flooring

Underfoot, wood is the preferred choice for most kitchens. These New Seabury homeowners chose 3 1/4 to 5-inch Select White Oak with custom gray stain. At Botellos, Armstrong American Scrape (Nantucket color) is a very popular option, as is Maine Traditions Wire Brushed Red Oak, which comes in a variety of colors.

9. hardware

Hardware can make or break the look of a kitchen. If it’s too big and bulky, it will overwhelm your cabinets; too small and it might be a challenge from a functional standpoint. Because hardware serves as the “jewelry” for your cabinets, it’s worthwhile investing time and thought in the selection. Botellos’ showroom displays a wide variety of hardware styles and brands so customers can see and feel various options.

10. installation

Proper installation is critical to the design process. Botellos works with selected cabinet installers that meet their high standards. “My design is only as good as my installers,” notes kitchen designer Kim Calabrese. “You can have the best cabinets and materials, but if they aren’t properly installed, they are susceptible to warping or cracks,” Tobey says. “Protect your investment and use a professional kitchen installer, not a handyman.”

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