Transforming problem houses into Dream Homes

Kitchen Design Tips From Pro’s?

I read a lot of blogs about kitchen design and residential remodeling. I like knowing what is going on in my field. I often learn something I didn’t know before. I’m often inspired by the designs of others.

Sometimes, I wonder what they were thinking.

Just this week I read an article, 8 Tips for Renovating Your Kitchen from Design Pro’s, that appeared on the Bon Appetit website. While the article on the whole seems innocuous enough, and the pictures are pretty, there are a couple of pieces of advice in the article that I would never give to my clients, or would only give under specific circumstances.

Onward to my disagreements!


A solid quartz back splash in a contrasting color runs from the counter to the ceiling behind the induction cook top.
A solid quartz back splash in a contrasting color runs from the counter to the ceiling behind the induction cook top.


Consider Getting A Hood for Your Range

Consider getting a hood for your range? Consider? Really?

Is it an option?

Absolutely not. Having an exhaust for your range/stove top is essential. The exhaust helps to:

  • control odors
  • reduces the impact of steam on your cabinets and other finishes helping them to last longer
  • reduces the amount of fat particles that spray around when you are sauteing or frying foods, making clean up easier
  • can be used to help remove smoke if you burn something in the oven

Depending on the type of cooking you do on a regular basis, the exhaust fan can be a critical element in the success of your kitchen, especially if your kitchen is open to the dining room or living room. If you regularly saute or fry foods, a good exhaust is essential.


Using Marble Counter Tops

As the article points out, marble is a beautiful material and can develop a wonderful patina when used for decades. But I wouldn’t make a blanket recommendation of marble for all counters.

  • It is expensive.
  • It requires regular care.
  • It is a soft stone.

Is it appropriate for every kitchen? No. Would I recommend using it throughout an entire kitchen? Only if the clients understood that the counters would require twice yearly maintenance (marble should be sealed after installation, and approximately ever 6 months afterwards). The clients would have to understand that marble is one of the softer stones, and you can’t cut on it or it will get knicks and scars from knives. The clients would also have to understand that marble can stain, even if it is sealed.

Marble is great for a baking center in the kitchen, but I wouldn’t recommend it for much else unless the clients understood the drawbacks.


Union City Kitchen
Union City Kitchen


Using Open Shelves

Open shelves in a kitchen are a particular pet peeve of mine. They look nice if you curate your belongings. But, really, I’m kind of lazy, and open shelves need to be cleaned regularly, at least weekly, along with everything on them. If you don’t clean open shelves and everything on them, they will get really dirty. This is true if the open shelves are in the living room or office, when you probably should dust once a week and a more thorough cleaning every 6 weeks or so.

In a kitchen, though, not only is there normal house dust. But there is air born grease from sauteing and frying. If you bake at all, there will also be air born flour.  Think about all the greasy dust bunnies that accumulate on the top of your refrigerator. Do you really want them developing on your serving dishes, mixing bowls or daily use plates and bowls?

I recommend displaying pretty things behind glass in the kitchen, or on open shelves in the dining room. If you enjoy cleaning your kitchen and want even more things to clean, by all means, use open shelves in the kitchen. If you want to make your life easier, use upper cabinets with doors.

ebook cover

Whew. I’m glad I got that off my chest. If you’d like more ideas about improving your kitchen, you can get a free copy of my ebook, 12 Ideas to Freshen Up and Improve Your Kitchen.

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