Author Archives: Alicia Lacy (From Curbly)

5 Decks to Inspire Your Outdoor Oasis

Nothing says summer living like a beautiful deck. Decks are what lazy weekend BBQs are made of (or, more accurately, made on). No matter the size or design, a deck can create an enjoyable outdoor living space with only a few key pieces - comfortable furniture, soft lighting, and potted plants.


Although summer doesn’t officially arrive for another two months, there’s no time like the present to get inspired by some beautiful outdoor decks.


5 Decks to Inspire Your Outdoor Oasis Image: Bender Arguitetura

This deck and its furniture are straightforward, but the space is made breathtaking by the lush plant life enveloping it. The architecture of the beamed “ceiling” is stunning, giving the illusion of a greenhouse.


5 Decks to Inspire Your Outdoor Oasis Image: Kim Bartley Design

This deck features a cool, wood tone on the flooring, wall planks, and wicker seating. Using neutrals on the cushions makes the vibrant colors of the throw pillows and lush greenery pop.


5 Decks to Inspire Your Outdoor OasisImage: Decks by Kiefer

The beautiful craftsmanship of this deck is a show stopper. The gorgeous wood, built-in bench and planters, and curved lines of this tiered deck create the perfect stage for simple lounge seating and potted plants.


5 Decks to Inspire Your Outdoor Oasis Image: Trex

A rooftop deck is a match made in heaven, especially when your backdrop is a stunning cityscape. A simple dining set works perfectly in this small, open space.


5 Decks to Inspire Your Outdoor Oasis Image: Tim Clarke Design

A neutral color palette and a spacious layout make this seaside deck the perfect place to relax under the shade of the vaulted ceiling. The combination of lounge-style seating and a comfortable sofa create a shared space for relaxing and gathering with friends.


Are your deck dreams in full swing yet? Which styles do you like best?

Colorful Dining Chairs for Every Style

There’s something about springtime that makes me crave color. The extra daylight, blooming flowers, and budding trees just make me want to bundle up the outside and bring it in. Vibrant colors make a huge impact on your décor because they’re unexpected and delightful.


My favorite way to incorporate color into a home is through dining room seating. I love colorful dining chairs because they make the space less formal and more interesting. Dining chairs are rarely the statement pieces in the room; their lines tend to be soft and they’re subtle because they tuck under the table. These two characteristics make them a great, safe candidate for color, because going big with colorful chairs won’t overwhelm the dining space.


The best thing about colorful dining chairs is that they work with a variety of styles. From modern to traditional décor, it’s surprisingly easy to go bold with vibrant seating; and by doing so you’ll instantly add more personality to your dining space. Below is a collection of colorful dining chairs in very different styles.


Modern


The very essence of modern design lends itself to pops of color. Clean lines, bold hues, and sleek shapes love color, making the possibilities for lively seating endless.


Colorful Dining Chairs for Every Style on the Interior CollectiveImage: Christopher Stark Photography for Cheryl Burke Interior Design
Colorful Dining Chairs for Every Style on the Interior CollectiveImage: Jessica Helgerson Interior Design

Eclectic



The beauty of eclectic design is that it allows you to mix and match styles to create very personal and unique looks. Bringing colorful chairs into the mix works so well with eclectic styling because the style is fun and one of a kind.



Colorful Dining Chairs for Every Style on the Interior CollectiveImage: Artem Oganayn

Colorful Dining Chairs for Every Style on the Interior CollectiveImage: Paulina Ochoa Photography for Collage Interiors

Traditional


Traditional décor tends to be simple, clean, and easy to achieve. By adding pops of color in the seating, the style is elevated, instantly making the room more interesting and glamorous.


Colorful Dining Chairs for Every Style on the Interior CollectiveImage: Meghan Bob for Armonia Decors
Colorful Dining Chairs for Every Style on the Interior CollectiveImage: Bower Power Blog

Cottage


The cottage style is characterized by soft colors and cozy staples. It lends itself to well-worn vintage pieces and weathered furniture. Colorful dining chairs, in both muted and vibrant hues, suit the cottage style well by making a bold statement among the more neutral colors that grace this style.


Colorful Dining Chairs for Every Style on the Interior CollectiveImage: Donna Griffith Photography
Colorful Dining Chairs for Every Style on the Interior CollectiveImage: Authentic Pine Floors, Inc.

Have you made the leap to bold, colorful dining chairs? Or, are you thinking about sprucing up your seating with a vibrant splash of color? Tell us all about it in the comments below!

The Curbly House Kitchen and Mudroom Tour

Image: Curbly

For the last year, my family has embarked on a kitchen and mud/laundry room adventure that has turned our house inside out and upside down. Both rooms were part of an addition we’d planned to add to our house ever since we purchased it. The planning, preparing, saving, and working has been both exhausting and exhilarating. We DIYed up to a point then sought help from designers, contractors, and other specialists along the way. The road has been long (although, the whirlwind process all took place in a mere 10 month!), but the result is the kitchen and mud (and laundry) room of our dreams!


Here’s a tour of our spaces with all the information we used while planning out the areas.


Our Kitchen


The Curbly House Kitchen and Mudroom Tour on the Interior CollectiveImage: Curbly

When we set out to create our kitchen, we had a few “musts” on our list. We knew we wanted an island with informal seating, ample counter space, storage galore, crisp white cabinetry, and a family- and entertaining- friendly layout.


The Curbly House Kitchen and Mudroom Tour on the Interior CollectiveImage: Curbly

We went through an exhaustive process of looking at various countertop materials and colors (read all about it here LINK?), before settling on a Caesarstone color called Frosty Carrina. Its marble-like veining is clean and subtle, and the countertops have a finish that’s gorgeous and durable.


The Curbly House Kitchen and Mudroom Tour on the Interior CollectiveImage: Curbly

We worked with a professional kitchen designer (Jeannine Burnett afrom Gerhards Store) during this phase of the process. This was incredibly helpful, and led us to make choices we wouldn’t have otherwise made. For example, we originally planned to place our microwave in an upper cabinet beside the refrigerator. But that would have cut our upper cabinets in half, making them an awkward, unusable height. Instead, our designer suggested a drawer microwave, which took up less space, and worked seamlessly into the lower cabinet arrangement beside our stove.


Our Mudroom


The Curbly House Kitchen and Mudroom Tour on the Interior CollectiveImage: Curbly

In creating a mudroom and laundry, we wanted to add ample storage, as well as a lot of work surface (think: a clean, comfortable place to fold our mountainous laundry piles). We love this room, and let me tell you, there is nothing overrated about first floor laundry. Nada.


The Curbly House Kitchen and Mudroom Tour on the Interior Collective6Image: Curbly

We continued the Frosty Carrina quartz countertops into the mudroom, and we have a stupefying amount of countertop space. We love every bit of it, and managing laundry has become a breeze. The room also has a tremendous amount of storage, which keeps us organized.


The Curbly House Kitchen and Mudroom Tour on the Interior CollectiveImage: Curbly

In the initial addition planning, we had envisioned the kitchen being much larger than the mudroom. But as we progressed, we decided to give the mudroom more space, opting for extra storage and entry space, and forgoing a little square footage in the kitchen. We love entering our home through an open, airy space with lots of room to store our seasonal garb.


The Curbly House Kitchen and Mudroom Tour on the Interior CollectiveImage: Curbly

Are you in the midst of planning a new kitchen space that includes a mudroom or laundry addition? If so, please tell me about it in the comments below.

Metallic Mania: Decorating with Gold, Silver, and Copper

In the world of interior design, metallics are having their moment. The shimmer, shine, and texture of metals make them a unique element in home decor. While decorating with metals is certainly on trend, their timelessness makes them easy to incorporate into a variety of styles that are sure to last.


Gold


Gold is a classic metal that oozes elegance and class. However, it can quickly become overdone and gaudy, which is why people often avoid it when decorating their homes. At the moment, gold has returned to the design spotlight, and I love that this time around it's being used in small, impactful ways that embrace its warm tones and regal character. Here are some of the most stunning uses of gold in home decor.


Decorating with Gold, Silver, and Copper

Images:


Mounted Deer: Nothing makes your mounted taxidermy shine like a gold finish, ZGallerie


Pouf: A shimmery pouf will add a touch of glamour to any room, Imports from Marrakesh


Glassware: This carafe and glassware would be the star of any bar or tea cart, Design Within Reach


Chair: The antique lines and soft color of the chair are made modern by a simple gold cross, Anthropologie (past season)


Pillow: This throw pillow is a great example of how gold adds a little whimsy is a quiet way, Layla Grace


Wallpaper: The small gold dots that adorn this wallpaper are fun and funky, Good Regards


Silver


Silver is a timeless metal with a mirror-like quality that makes it easy to incorporate into any home decor. It's an understated, cooler metal that rarely takes center stage, but when it does, it can be magical. The versatility of this metal makes it interesting to work with because it has many distinct finishes. The shiny,, polished sterling finish is sleek and glamorous, while the burnished, nickel-like finish tends to be warmer and softer. Here are some of my favorite uses of silver in interior decorating.


Decorating with Gold, Silver, and Copper

Images:


Serving Cart: Serving carts (and bar carts) are one of the best furniture pieces to own because they make entertaining elegant and easy, Williams-Sonoma


Pillow: This shiny pillow is full of modern class, Zara Home (past season)


Telephone: This vintage-inspired telephone is brimming with character, Liberty London


Penny Tile: The polished finish on these penny tiles creates a shiny glow that becomes a show-stopping focal point, Ann Sacks


Pendant Lighting: The gourd-inspired shape of these simple pendants makes them interesting enough to stand alone or bundle together for a chic organic look, Calabash


Raindrop Tumbler: Tiny silver raindrops adorn this sweet tumbler creating a shimmery glow, Moorea Seal


Copper


Copper is a beautiful metal to incorporate into home decor because it's soft and versatile. It's different from other metallics because despite being a strong, durable metal, there's nothing hard about its look - its warm color and supple nature make it easy to mix with a variety of colors and textures. And although it's full of "old world" sensibilities and character, it's gorgeous in modern decor. Here are some of my favorite coppers in interior design.


Decorating with Gold, Silver, and Copper

Images:


Copper Pendant Lighting: Bundling these simple pendants together creates a bouquet of incredible lighting, Tom Dixon


Sink: This copper sink is reminiscent of an oversized bathtub, but its true beauty comes through in a much more subtle way, Rohl Home


Faucet: The simplicity and warm tone of this copper faucet help those stunning tiles shine, Made a Mano


Candelabra: This gorgeous, U-shaped candle holder is modern and sleek, making it work seamlessly with a variety of decors, Minimalux


Are you comfortable with including metallics in your home decor? Do you have a favorite metal you use in decorating? Tell me all about the metals in your home in the comments!

Simple DIY Centerpieces for the Holidays

Image: Martha Stewart

Nothing declares the holidays’ arrival like pine trees, festive mantels, and inviting tablescapes. It’s the season to embrace the beauty of winter, deck all your halls, and gather ‘round the table with family and friends. If you’re still thinking about ways to spruce up your home for the holidays, I’ve rounded up 5 beautiful, simple, DIY centerpiece ideas to inspire your winter hearth and holiday table. These beautiful DIYs involve seasonal items most of us have lying around the house, making them easy to pull together at the last minute.


Red Floral Pomander Balls


Rosy red hues and pomander balls are both Christmas staples, so why not combine them? To create a similar look on your tabletop, soak florist foam in water and cover it with red flowers of your liking (roses and carnations work well for a project like this). Once your pomander flowers are assembled, place them atop vases or flower pots. They also look beautiful hung from ribbons!


Pines Cones and Ornaments


Five Simple DIY Holiday Centerpieces on the Interior CollectiveImage: Yellow Bliss Road

If guests are coming and your table is still bare, you can easily recreate this elegant centerpiece by arranging ornaments, pine cones, and pine sprigs in a vintage crate or serving bowl. The combination of silver and brown work beautifully all winter long and can easily grace your table through the new year.


Magazine Christmas Trees


Five Simple DIY Holiday Centerpieces on the Interior CollectiveImage: Zansu Creations

Paper trees are easy to make and are beautiful on the mantel or as a centerpiece. There are so many wonderful varieties of paper tree tutorials out there; a quick Pinterest search will show you dozens. I love this magazine one because nearly everyone has old magazines to spare. Martha Stewart has a complete tutorial on how to create simple trees. Once they are assembled you can leave them as they are, or you can make them more uniform by covering them with spray paint and glitter.


Faceted Paper Vase with Stars


Five Simple DIY Holiday Centerpieces on the Interior CollectiveImage: Kate Nicholson

This faceted vase with hanging stars reminds me of the playful magic that takes place this time of year. I love the whimsical nature of this modern centerpiece. To create your own, all you need is cardstock, glue, scissors, a scoring tool, and this free template from Oh Happy Day.


Painted Bottles and Pine


Five Simple DIY Holiday Centerpieces on the Interior CollectiveImage: Real Home Love

This centerpiece is about as simple as it gets, yet it’s stunning. To create your own, use glass bottles, spray paint, evergreen swag (or juniper or pine branches) to create a classic centerpiece that could grace your dining table or mantle all season long.


Do you have a favorite centerpiece that’s beautiful and easy to put together? If so, please share it in the comments below!

Five Inspiring Mix-and-Match Kitchen Designs

Image: ShootFactory

These days, mixing interior decor styles is very on trend, and the kitchen is one of the most interesting places to try it. Combining various looks can make a space feel personal, inviting and a little eccentric. Take a look at these five mix-and-match kitchens:

1920s Charm Meets Minimalist Style


1920's Minimalist Kitchen on The Interior Collective
Image: Ashley Poskin/Apartment Therapy

This retro kitchen embraces the good old days with vintage appliances and fixtures. Yet it’s beautifully balanced thanks to the clean lines and naturals wood tones of the minimalist breakfast bar and shelving. The consistent use of black,white,wood and metal keep things looking fresh and modern while still allowing the charm of the vintage pieces shine. I love the way two eras and styles come together to create this cozy and functional kitchen.

Charming Farmhouse Meets Modern Industrial


Mix and Match Modern Farmhouse
Image: ShootFactory

At first glance, this kitchen’s charm is apparent. The tiled farmhouse stove’s built-in and whitewashed plank flooring are a nod to country roots, but the kitchen receives a healthy dose of modern through sleek appliances and industrial-inspired lighting. The mixed styles in the space work well together because of the neutral color palette and heavy metals. The use of stainless steel and chrome reflect the whites in the space in a stunning way.

Contemporary Meets French Country


Mix and Match Contemporary French Country
Image: Laura Ashley Kitchens

There is something so charming about French country decor, but the style can quickly begin to feel too pretty and gaudy. The thing I love most about this kitchen is the way the French country-inspired table and chairs feel special in a more contemporary room. The glossy white cabinetry has simple lines and modern hardware. The finish on the cabinets give it a mirror-like quality that reflect the lines of the scalloped table and Windsor chairs. These two unique styles come together in a complementary way that makes them both stand out.

Rustic Industrial Meets a Vintage Tile Floor


Mix and Match Rustic Industrial
Image: Whit Preston

The beauty of vintage tile flooring is in the fine details. The patterns and designs are thoughtful, delicate, and perfectly dated. The way this kitchen holds tight to the vintage flooring while incorporating rustic wood tones and modern fixtures is simply gorgeous. I especially love the way the floor plan of the tiling was the inspiration for the kitchen’s updated layout. The renovation is modern and intentional, making the whole space timeless.

Classic White Meets Persian Beauty


Mix and Match White Persian
Image: Bruno Bornsztein/Curbly

White kitchens are having their moment. There’s an indisputable classic appeal that comes with a white kitchen; their clean color palette makes them easy to incorporate into nearly all styles. In my own kitchen, I wanted to give the classic look of white a little more depth. I achieved this by using a kilim rug. The colors and patterns on the rug add the ‘something old’ that my new kitchen was longing for.

Do you have a favorite way of mixing old and new or vintage and modern in your kitchen? Share your ideas in the comments below!

10 Gorgeous Bedroom Chandeliers

Image: Martha O'Hara Interiors

Nothing says glamour like a chandelier, which is why they have become the superstars of the lighting world. They are statement pieces, focal points and true beauties that naturally become the nucleus of every room they grace. This is why they are obvious choices for dining rooms, grand foyers, and lofted living rooms.


When installed in an unexpected place - like a bedroom - they become the center of attention in the most graceful and wonderful ways. Below is a collection of 10 lovely chandeliers that have transformed these bedrooms into works of art, true sleeping beauties.


1. Bowl-Shaped


Bowl Shaped Chandelier

The wavy lines of this bowl-shaped fixture above make this chandelier breathtaking. It has the softness of a doily, yet its large size combined with the soft blues of the painted ceiling make the chandelier the dominant focal point in this bedroom.


2. Soft White



Classic White Chandelier

Image: Jamie Herzlinger

The soft whites and neutrals of this bedroom are accentuated by the large scale of this stunning fixture. In addition to its size, the classic lines of this chandelier create a softness that makes the room simply stunning.


3. Glamorous


Kirakrumm Glamour Chandeliers
Image: Miromar Design Center

Sometimes, you just can't get enough of a good thing, which is certainly the case with these chandeliers. The soft, symmetrical beauty they bring into this bedroom adds glamour and balance to the room.


4. Black


Tracy Murdoch Black Chandeliers
Image: Tracy Murdock

There is nothing subtle about this ornate pair of chandeliers that flank the canopied bed in this master suite. The glossy black color and dangling gems are bold, yet sophisticated - adding drama to the room.


5. Quirky


Kimberly Peck Quirky Loft Chandelier
Image: Kimberly Peck

This loft bedroom has a lot of charm with its brick walls, high ceilings, and clean lines. The geometric shape of this chandelier adds an unexpected, quirky design element to the room. Its’ aerial lines make it appear as though it's floating, adding a bit of whimsy to the space.


6. Organic Antler


Artistic Design Organic Antler Chandelier
Image: Artistic Designs for Living

This nontraditional chandelier brings beautiful organic lines into this linear room. Geometric shapes found in the furniture, artwork and windows are broken up by the smooth organic lines of the twisting antlers. I love the way the light bulbs move around the chandelier adding softness to the fixture.


7. Eclectic


Jenkins Baer Eclectic Chandelier
Image: Jenkins Baer Associates

This bedroom is made perfectly eclectic because of the iconic crystal chandelier that hangs above the foot of the bed. It brings a glamorous, feminine quality to the more masculine wood tones, and chunky lines. It is a charming balance that makes the space beautiful and fun.


8. Capiz Shell


Roger Davies Capiz Chandelier
Image: Roger Davies

This traditional bedroom could easily host a traditional chandelier. Instead, the designers added this oversized capiz shell chandelier which complements the soft colors of the room. The tiered shells converge and draw your eye to the center of the room, cleverly separating the bed from the sitting area.


9. Blue


Pat Healing Blue Chandelier
Image: Pat Healing

The bold use of blue in this bedroom brings the whole space together. The black frame and the blue ombre shades play off the simple color palette of the bedroom and serve as an impactful centerpiece.


10. Geometric


Pendant Contemporary Chandelier
Image: Wendy Mills

The bright interiors of these pendant chandeliers add a pop of unexpected color that brings the whole room together. The playful primary colors and quirky geometric lines work off of the other design elements in the room.


Chandeliers clearly have the ability to function as impactful pieces that can make a dramatic effect in the bedroom. They create a special ambience and can serve as beautiful and sculptural pieces in any bedroom.


Do you have a chandelier in your bedroom? Tell me about it in the comments below!

Kitchen Organization 101

A disorganized kitchen is my arch nemesis. I love the world of kitchen gadgets, small appliances, utensils, and the like, but I don't like the clutter they create or the dust they gather when not in use. My husband and I are in the final stages of a major kitchen remodel, and one of our main objectives in creating the kitchen of our dreams was to create spaces for all of our culinary goods. Below is a collection of clever storage solutions and beautifully organized pantry shelves that have inspired our design process.


Small Appliance Storage Solutions


Kitchen Appliance Storage
Image: BHG

The beauty of this storage arrangement is that the cabinet housing the microwave and toaster (two frequently-used items) features slide-out shelves that offer easy access to the appliances. I also love that the upper shelves showcase beautiful, colorful, kitchenware. It makes the open cabinet aesthetically pleasing; I would never complain about the doors being left open!


Kitchen Appliance Storage
Image: BHG

This clever corner cabinet manages to house seven small appliances without feeling the least bit overwhelming. I love that the homeowners made use of what could have been a tricky corner space, and had the foresight to add two sets of electrical outlets to the area. The pull-down vertical metal door is the perfect finishing touch!


Pantry Storage Solutions


Kitchen Ingredient Organization
Image Source: Coordinately Yours by Julie Blanner

Our pantries are often filled with a chaotic variety of packaging. To simplify your pantry shelves, consider using glass receptacles and a uniform set of labels on your staples. This pantry is beautifully organized because all of the ingredients are visible, and the labels are clean and simple.


Kitchen Ingredient Organization
Image: Everyday Occasions by Jenny Steffens Hobick

Much like the previous kitchen, this baking cabinet features clean ingredient storage and organization. I love the addition of small J-hooks on the inside of the cabinet doors to hold measuring cups, spoons, and mixer attachments.


Simple Additions That Will Make Organizing a Snap


Creating a dream kitchen that meets all your storage needs is a privilege; dream kitchens aren’t something all of us inherit when we move. Fortunately, there are some wonderful options available to help you organize all your small appliances, gadgets, and pantry staples. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Lynk Roll Out Cabinet Drawer


Roll Out Drawer
Image: Linens and Things

2. Baskets


Kitchen with Basket Storage
Image: Kitchenimages.net

3. Free Printable Pantry Labels


Printable Pantry Labels
Image: Lia Griffith

When it comes to tidying up the clutter of appliances in your kitchen, smart storage and organization are key. The great news is that these solutions can be as simple as a label system, or as fancy as custom kitchen cabinets designed to house all of your kitchen goods.


Do you have a favorite kitchen organization tip? Please share them in the comments below!

Five Bright and Light Breakfast Nooks to Inspire Any Kitchen

It’s been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. What better way to enjoy this meal than in a cozy sun filled nook? Breakfast nooks come in all forms and configurations. Banquettes, built-in booths, and cushions are all common features; but, the real beauty of a breakfast nook is that it can be as simple as a thoughtfully placed table and chairs.

Whether your kitchen is tight on space or has room to spare, creating a designated place to begin your day is easier than you might think. Here are 5 amazing breakfast nooks to inspire any kitchen layout.


Images: (Left) Country Living , (Right) Maison & Demeure

Bench


These sun-filled corners, featuring built-in benches, are the hallmark of a perfect breakfast nook. The eating areas are bathed in natural light, are open to the cooking areas, and make the spaces feel open and airy. I love how the unexpectedly small tables make the eating nooks even more intimate – perfect tables for two.


Image: Homedit

Table & Chairs


Depending on your kitchen's layout, special placement of a table and chairs can create a perfect place to break bread. This sun filled space beckons the bleary-eyed with its floor to ceiling windows, creating the perfect morning gathering place. My favorite thing about this area is the way the simple glass table and chairs mirror the space. The fresh airy colors and lighting make this nook celestial.


Image: Style At Home

Small Space Solution


The beauty of a breakfast nook is that you can create it in even the smallest spaces. By placing this cafe table in front of a window, adding two bright chairs and a colorful pendant, the space becomes an easily defined dining nook.


Images: (Left) Better Homes & Gardens, (Right) Houzz

Banquette


These days, banquettes can come in all shapes and sizes: curved, stand alone, high-back, and low. My favorites are the restaurant-style banquettes like this one on the left. There's something charming about having to scoot into a nook to enjoy your meal.

Defining Your Nook


There's no better way to define your nook than with the addition of custom millwork. The woodwork around this dining space on the right gives the illusion of a frame, making the breakfast nook a work of art.

Which breakfast nook is your favorite? Tell us with a comment below.

3 Ways to Keep Your Focus When Planning a Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen remodels can be difficult. I know because I am currently in the process of remodeling my kitchen with my husband. That is why over the next few months I'll be sharing updates about our project on the Interior Collective to help walk you through the process.

This project has been a long time in coming; we moved into our house last year with a 2-week-old, and the place didn't even have a stove (that's right; we made due with a toaster oven and a hot plate for nearly a year).

The old kitchen had bright yellow cabinets, floor-to-ceiling sheets of plastic tile, and approximately two square feet of countertop. Within two months of moving in we had detailed kitchen plans drawn up, and were ready to start working. But if you've ever been through a big remodel, you know how easy it can be to get off track. In our case, a bunch of weather-related delays gave us lots of time to second-guess our choices.

Here are three tips I've discovered that helped me regain my focus when it came to design decisions:

1. Remember What Matters To You


Taj Mahal Kitchen
Tile Kitchen
Image: Paul Barbera


When you're browsing the internet for inspiration, it's really easy to get distracted by all the beautiful kitchens out there. The problem is that while those kitchens might work for other people, they might not necessarily work for you.

In our case, when the time came to make final design decisions, I found myself in a strange conundrum. My clear pre-project vision had gotten blurred by the long delay; I had just enough time to start questioning everything: I went back and forth on cabinet colors; the tile I loved was suddenly not so right; I began wondering if I really wanted a farmhouse sink;, and I stayed up at night worrying over fixture finishes. Clearly, I was over-thinking it.

After a few days of reeling, my very rational husband and I sat down to talk. We realized this didn't need to be the Taj Mahal of kitchens; it just needed to be ours.

Every kitchen has a personality all its own, and that's why we love them. For me, it's the warm aromas and the busy mess. It's the place every family member (and guest) inevitably gathers (cozy living room be damned). It's where my four-year-old helps bake banana bread, and where my infant bangs on pots and pans. It's where I lumber around the room hindered by children wrapped around my legs.

Cozy Kitchen
Simple Kitchen
Image: BHG


The talk with my husband was just what I needed. It reminded me I knew what I wanted: a kitchen that was light and warm; one that embraced gathering, and allowed me to comfortably move with children attached to my limbs.

2. Get Inspired Online


These days, every product under the sun is available to purchase and preview online, and that's great! It lets you explore a huge range of options from the comfort of your living room couch. I'm a big fan of Houzz, Pinterest, and home design blogs.

But you can also get inspiration in other places online. Retailers' web sites (like Anthropologie, West Elm, Kohler, and others) often include lots of great imagery that can get your creative juices flowing.

I use a Pinterest board to keep my ideas organized. You can share a board with another person (in my case, with my husband), so you can both add to it. Another option is to use a Google Drive document or spreadsheet; they're share-able and accessible from anywhere – even your phone! – so you can jot down ideas while you're on the go.

Alicia's Kitchen Pinterest Board
Pinterest Kitchen
Image: Pinterest



3. See Things In Person


The online design world is awesome, but let me tell you: a good showroom can be like your very own Judge Judy. Seeing things in person sharpens your decision-making, and also reduces some of the anxiety that comes from having too many options.

Caesarstone Showroom, Melbourne
Caesarstone Showroom
Image: Caesarstone


When we were trying to decide on countertop colors, I was in love with Caesarstone's huge library of color options. We planned on using something light - white or grey - and were amazed by the number of options these seemingly simple color choices presented. Unfortunately, just seeing them online isn't enough. We found a Caesarstone showroom nearby, and within minutes of arriving we were able to narrow our choices down, and for one simple reason: We could see the countertops in real life! The showroom had lots of realistic kitchen displays that gave us a sense of how our future countertops would look, feel, and function. We left the showroom with four samples, several photos, and a huge sense of accomplishment. Can you hear my sigh of relief through the keyboard?

Seeing your surfaces in person has numerous benefits. The tiny nuances of each color are hard to pick out in brochure and sample-size form. For example, the Blizzard color I loved in the brochure really has tiny little flecks in it. They're beautiful, and will work perfectly in a kitchen more modern and minimalist than ours, but it's not my final choice.

Our favorite "whites" ended up being "Misty Carrera" and "London Grey". Both have a marble-like feel, but with different organic patterns that reveal themselves when the product is installed on a larger scale. We're still in the process of deciding whether we're going to stick with one color for all of the surfaces, or go with a contrasting color like "Raven" or "Piatra Grey" on our kitchen island.

But, the fact that we've narrowed it down to two favorites and two more possible accents is a crucial step in our process. I can barely believe, after all those months of waiting, and all those sleepless nights, that we're finally getting this close to having our kitchen complete. It's going to be beautiful, and I can already smell the banana bread baking.

What are some tips you have for getting started on your kitchen remodel? Tell us below!