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Many design professionals will tell you “design is all about the details.” In kitchens, the small details are especially important because the room is typically used mostly for function. Houzz contributor and San Francisco–based designer Barbra Bright gives her tips on how to create a beautiful kitchen that also function with ease. Check out some of them below.
1. Color-coordinate the outlets. Local building codes often state that there must be an electrical outlet every 4 feet in the kitchen. White outlets are seemingly the color of choice for electricians — and therein lies the bane of my design existence. With their glaring contrast, white outlets in a nonwhite backsplash detract from the beauty of the tile. Fortunately, you can avoid this dilemma by coordinating your outlets and wall plates with the color of your backsplash tile.
2.Provide task lighting. The primary purpose of undercabinet lighting is to illuminate the countertop, which in turn makes food preparation easier on the eyes. That’s why it’s known as task lighting. Always install the task light toward the front of the cabinet, not toward the back. If the light is stationed closer to the back wall, it primarily highlights the backsplash tile and not the counter, defeating the purpose of the light.
3.Don’t crowd the hood. When using a chimney hood, always leave at least 2 to 3 inches between the hood and the wall cabinets to the left and right. Visually, the hood will not look cramped, and the sides of the cabinets will stay cleaner longer.
4. Countersink the screw. The cabinet next to a Lazy Susan cabinet with a bifold door often shows scratches over time. That’s because the head of the screw holding the Lazy Susan’s cabinet hardware in place protrudes and scrapes across the adjacent cabinet when the door is being closed.
5. Account for lid storage. Having to store pot lids can be a nightmare. There are many ways to solve this problem, but my favorite is to create a divider in a pullout drawer, as shown in this photo.
6. Rethink glass cabinetry next to a hood. Glass cabinets create a lovely focal point when placed next to a hood, but are they practical? Unless you’re prepared to constantly clean the glass of the grease and grime emanating from cooking, it’s best to install them elsewhere.
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