Choosing the Best Kitchen Colors and Materials

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When it comes to a kitchen renovation, the most important part- other than making sure all the plumbing, gas lines, and walls are properly installed- is choosing colors and materials that will not only withstand trends but also daily wear and tear. Unfortunately for most, this is one of the most intimidating aspects of designing any space.

So how does one choose a color scheme and materials? It’s actually not that hard to do thanks to the Internet. One of my favorite ways to narrow down style preferences is to create a Pinterest board that I can share with the family. Quick tip: Don’t share it with your friends unless you admire their design choices- they will have an influence on you so it’s important to first trust their style. Do share it with any designers, architects, or interior decorators you may have hired to help you with the space. That way they can add images of products and styles they think you may like.

Once you’ve created the board, you will immediately be able to see what styles, colors and materials you and your partner are drawn to and if there is a happy middle ground that will leave the both of you satisfied (and happy) with the space at the end of each day.

Our original kitchen was dark, cramped, and inefficient. Everything from the countertops to the cupboards felt sticky no matter how often I would clean them. On my Pinterest board, I noticed I had been pinning bright, white kitchens that were open and airy. I gravitated towards glossy cabinets that further reflected light and liked a combination of marble-like surfaces for their rich look and feel and oversized, white subway tiles for a classic nod in an otherwise modern space. 

An added benefit of choosing a white kitchen is that the space becomes extremely flexible in regards to accessories and décor. We could add pops of color through kitchen towels, glasses, and rugs- all of which could be easily swapped out when our mood changes. And down the road, we could easily paint a wall or two if we feel like it, although to be honest, I do love having a space that is minimalistic compared to the rest of the house.

Once you’ve decided on the general color scheme, it’s pertinent to check out the materials in person. Like I said, the Internet is great, but nothing beats seeing and feeling the materials with your own hands.

When we arrived at the tile store, I was sure we would end up with Caesarstone’s “Blizzard” color because it was one that we were familiar with. While I love the look of marble, my husband was initially resistant to the gray veining, afraid it would be too distracting in an otherwise white space. What we found was that Blizzard appeared a bit flat when paired with the glossy cabinets and subway tiles and that Calacatta Nuvo was in fact the better choice- especially when we added the dark gray grout between the subway tiles in the mix, giving the marble-ing in the Calacatta a color to bounce off of and make it feel warmer, intentional, and dynamic.

As for choosing materials, we took into account that the kitchen takes a lot of abuse, especially when kids are involved. Definitely examine your budget and purchase the best materials you can afford. We adore Caesarstone- unlike marble or natural stone, quartz is a material that can withstand long-term abuse and still look great. Kitchen renovations are expensive and it would be sad both aesthetically and financially if you buy a material that won’t look as good as new 15 years later.

Ultimately, there is nothing better than coming home after work, running errands and fighting traffic to a bright, clean space with plenty of countertops to drop groceries on. The open and airy feel of the kitchen feels like a reprieve at the end of the day- and in today’s crazy would, that is priceless.

For more white kitchen inspiration: 7 Impeccable Minimalist Kitchens | 5 Ways To Add Color To Your Kitchen

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Currently the Senior Lifestyle Editor at the website, Andie Huber has been producing, writing and styling home decor stories for the past 15 years for magazines such as Real Simple, Vanity Fair, Garden Design, HGTV Magazine, Brides and Country Living. An expert in home decorating with experience in gut renovations, Andie has traveled across the country offering home styling and organizing tips and has appeared on Fox, CBS and NBC morning shows as a decorating expert. She moved to Los Angeles in 2012 with her family after living in NYC for 14 years.