Choosing Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen

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One of the most daunting tasks when starting a kitchen project is choosing the materials. Instead of trying to visualize an end result, what’s helpful for me is to create a narrative; to write down in words the feeling that my clients and I want that kitchen to express.

That may sound elusive. But by focusing on the spirit of the space, I find the right palette of materials with which to begin creating visual compositions (the island, sink area, oven wall, range hood, etc. are individual compositions to me) that come together to form the kitchen.

Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

For instance, if I want the space to feel clean, white is an obvious choice. I think of white as both a color and mood. I might choose Caesarstone Pure White for my palette, because there is a depth and a precision to the material that give me the visual strength of a natural stone with a level of performance that’s exciting. If I want the feeling of serenity, I look to the same idea of clean and simple—and white. If I want the kitchen to feel more informal, I may look for a countertop material with texture, such as a brushed stone. It doesn’t feel as tailored as a polished granite, for example. The idea is that materials connect to the feeling of the space, the comfort and warmth—and there’s a whole spectrum of that too. Color brings out those emotions: white with a tinge of blue feels cooler, while white with an underlying tone of pink or red is warmer.

Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

Then comes the interesting part, the mixing of materials. I often use many types of woods, countertop materials, finishes, and design vocabularies in a single kitchen. It’s about creating visual texture and, again, that goes back to the feeling I’m trying to create. If the space is to feel soft, I will choose a mix that feels effortless—perhaps Frosty Carrina Caesarstone for the field of an island countertop with a similarly-toned, 4-inch frame of London Grey Caesarstone around it. The effect is subtle texture.

Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

And then there are mixes that create drama, and they’re often based on counterpoints. At the recent International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of designing the Caesarstone/Bosch/Thermador exhibit. And in it, I trimmed Caesarstone countertops with an edge of stainless steel or bronze to great effect, in much the same way one would use piping on upholstery.

Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

That kind of unconventional use of materials (stainless steel in that case, as piping) is something I constantly explore— and really pursued at that IBS exhibit with Caesarstone as my focus. Instead of using the material only in long, continuous sheets as a countertop, we evoked new uses and feeling from the material.

For instance, I often like to de-mass cabinets by putting a frame around them. Because of its ability to be precision cut, Caesarstone is a beautiful material for that kind of application.

Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

We also showed different colors of Caesarstone combined in the same countertop, with a 1/8-inch pinstripe of polished stainless steel embedded between the two. Again, Caesarstone’s ability to be cut with impeccable accuracy makes this more exacting application possible. We also created a Caesarstone tile wall, where the material was cut into pieces and then reset tightly with no grout. The effect was fabric-like texture.

Materials to Create Your Dream Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: Caesarstone US

I like to tell clients that the process of choosing materials should be liberating. Materials help express a feeling and can unlock the spirit of a kitchen. What materials do you envision in your dream kitchen?

1 Comment

  1. Absolutely LOVED the use of stainless steel piping on the Caesarstone display at KBIS 2014!

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