Determining Your Kitchen Style9 Min.
From the time that a homeowner starts dreaming of their kitchen remodel, to the point that it actually begins, it’s likely that they will collect, compile and save thousands of inspiring kitchen photos. It’s also likely that those pictures will differ wildly in style and look – the colorful Berkeley farmhouse will be filed right next to the sleek and modern Soho loft space. So, in this age of overwhelming choices – how does one narrow down the endless (and lovely) options to find the style that suits them perfectly.
Those of us not blessed with a strong and defined sense of style, or as I prefer, those of us who appreciate many different aesthetics, can have a hard time deciding which of those gorgeous inspiration pics will be the best fit. Here are a few tips that I found on Houzz (that’s where you go to source all those millions of pictures) to set you on the path to finding your style.
Step 1: Collect Images with Wild Abandon. Grab everything that makes you happy, every image that speaks to you should be saved and stored. Don’t edit yet – just let your mind open and take in everything that you feel an emotional connection with. You can start to loosely organize these if you want to, but there’s no rush. This time is all about being inspired and getting excited.
“Believe me, there’s a pattern there — you may not be able to see it at first, but a pattern will show itself. You may find that a whole bunch of your kitchen inspriation images may need to be added to an ideabook for a future farmhouse or weekend getaway, but don’t skip over them just because they don’t relate to this project, save them for later.” Rebekah Zaveloff, Houzz contributor.
Step 2: Calm Down and Categorize. Once you’ve gone nuts with the inspiration pics it’s time to get serious. Go back and put your photos into loose categories – they may be style based, i.e traditional/rustic or area based, i.e sinks/islands/hoods. Whatever makes the most sense to you. Once they are roughly sorted, start editing. It’s highly likely that your sense of style will evolve throughout this process and some of the pics you saved may no longer be relevant. That’s ok, as Houzz says “If it doesn’t speak to you any longer, ditch it.” Easy!
Step 3: Bring in the Experts. At this point, it’s time to bring in your kitchen designer and show off your hard work. It may be tempting to bring in the pros earlier in the process, but I recommend holding off. Giving your designer a deluge of every style you have liked over the past few months (years even) can be confusing and lead to a misguided sense of what you are really looking for. Once you have put in some editing elbow grease your designer will have a clear view of what makes you tick and will be able to expand on that and probably even add a few surprises that you’ll love.
Step 4: Collect Selectively. Now is the time to head back to Houzz, or your favorite magazines, look critically at each pic and make notes. With a clear view of what you love and what you no longer love, you’ll be able to find inspiration photos that can really help your designer dial in exactly what you want. Remember, not every aspect of a picture needs to be perfect, perhaps the backsplash or faucet interests you even though the cabinets and counters do not. A good designer will be able to look past color or layout changes to see the ideas that you are putting on the table, this is where you can start to get more detailed.
As you progress deeper into your design the scope of your project and your budget may start to determine some of your choices. If you have a clear idea of the look and feel that you want to achieve you will be able to make design decisions and find solutions that work for your style and your scope.