Tips for Designing the Perfect Kitchen Island

islandPhoto: MGS by Design

Whether building a new house or remodeling an existing space, a kitchen island is a must-have design feature that can transform how you use and enjoy the busiest room in your home.  At the very least an island adds storage and counter space, creating a centering point between the different appliances and areas in your kitchen.  Beyond that, a great island creates a gathering spot where families can congregate and create amazing memories.

Start with Size

How big do you want your kitchen island to be? This depends on a lot of variables. How much space do you have to work with? And what is going to be the main purpose of your island? Will you use it as additional cooking and prep space, or will it function primarily as seating? Equally important to the size of your island is the amount of space around it. You always want to make sure there is enough room around the island so as not to impede the flow of traffic through your home or limit the ability of the cook to move around easily and efficiently.

An island this size can fit easily into a smaller kitchen.
smallislandhgtvPhoto: HGTV
A bigger island can really help define the space in a large open kitchen.14032810_321469251530534_1325135376_nPhoto: Caitlin Creer Interiors

Seating

Having seating at your kitchen island is a huge way to increase the functionality of your kitchen island. There are multiple ways to design your island to maximize seating capability. You can use a multi level island which will separate the seating area and work/prep space. You can use your island as a base for a banquette seating area. A table space can easily be incorporated into one end of an island or you can leave a counter overhang with enough room to move push chairs under when not in use.

This island creates a ton of seating for family and friends.fec91a7001fbPhoto: Kelly Deck Design
 A classic example of a multi level island.RS_heather-guss-rustic-neutral-kitchen_4x3.jpg.rend.hgtvcom.1280.960Photo: Heather Guss
Banquette seating is a wonderful option if your space allows it.03-kitchen-island-with-a-built-in-seating-areaPhoto: DigsDigs.com
Integrating a table space is a great way to utilize one end of a large island.tableincorporated            Photo: Kelly Deck Designs

Storage

Options are almost limitless for storage in your kitchen island. Any combination of drawers, cabinets and shelves give you the ability to really customize the island to your specific storage needs. With that in mind, its a good idea to think about what you want to store in your island. Everyday items need to be easily accessible. Small appliances and larger pots may require extra depth or height.

Drawers and cabinets with pull out shelving maximize storage potential in a medium-sized island.
10-classic-kitchen-island-with-tableware-storagedigsdigsPhoto: Digsdigs.com
Your kitchen island is the perfect place to store and display cookbooks.decorative-cookbook-holder-home-interior-design-transitional-kitchen-london-718x538.jpgPhoto: decorology
A mix of open and closed storage is the perfect way to showcase collectibles while concealing more utilitarian items.Kitchen-island-pots-storagePhoto: Homedit

When it comes to your kitchen island,  Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

Colorful Kitchens

You know your kitchen doesn’t have to be all white, right?  While there is no denying white is still one of the most popular kitchen colors, a new color scheme can change your kitchen in a major way. Finessing the right hues can turn the room from drab to sophisticated, add pizzaz to a classic, bring a little drama to a laid-back space, or ground a large room with a robust foundation color  Steal some decorating inspiration with these colorful kitchen design ideas.

Kitchens

The deep glossy blue on the lower cabinets adds unexpected polish and pop, while still feeling classy and classic.

Williams

An earthy red is always appetizing. This orangey-red backsplash provides a dramatic focus in the kitchen.

 

Hart

Aqua tones are perfect for those wanting (and perhaps even needing) the relaxing, transporting blue-green of tropical seas.

 

Bryant Residence
This green is wonderfully retro but surprisingly fresh.
Farmsworth Residence
Pops of white prevent the dark espresso colored cabinetry from overpowering the kitchen.
Surrey House IV
Blue up your grays for a look that’s subtly elegant, yet soothing and inviting.
Kitchen Renovations
Deep gray is very grounding in this spacious traditional kitchen.
Vallejo Street Highrise
Black on black is dramatic and sophisticated.
Kitchen
Navy and white is nautical, crisp, and timeless.
We hope you have enjoyed this look at colorful kitchens. For more kitchen design inspiration of the colorful kind, head over to our Pinterest board.
You can count on Prestige Marble & Granite when it comes to selecting natural stone countertops that will integrate with the latest in design and color trends. Stop by our showroom and speak with our knowledgable staff anytime. Designers, builders, and homeowners are all welcome!

Seven Ways to Make Your Outdated Kitchen Feel Fresh & New

Is your kitchen beginning to feel like a blast from the past? Not only does an outdated kitchen feel dull and uninviting, it can make your entire home feel tired and worn. It can also lead to can lead to inefficient meal prep, high energy bills, and challenges selling your house.

But whether you are trying to sell your home, or you plan on staying in your space for decades to come, there are a number of  things you can do to bring your kitchen into the present. Here are some ways to make your outdated kitchen feel new and inviting.

Paint the Cabinets

If new kitchen cabinetry is not a viable option, painting your existing cabinetry can make a huge a difference. Whether you choose a vibrant hue, a modern dark finish, or stick with relatively subdued colors like white or gray, covering up outdated wood and dingy colored cabinets of yesterday will make a world of difference.

Heights Kitchen Remodel

Lose the Upper Cabinets

Walls filled with upper cabinets, especially in a small kitchen, can consume the eye and make the kitchen feel crowded. Consider removing some (or all) of them and adding open shelving to make the kitchen feel larger and more open.

Contemporary kitchen

Update Your Countertops

Countertops typically take up a large portion of real estate in most kitchens, so outdated surfaces (think tile-and-grout or cheap laminate) can really drag down the look of the entire space. Natural stone countertops are enduringly beautiful and will always stand the test of time. From marble to granite, to all the stones in between, such as limestone, soapstone, quartzite, there is something for everyone, and every budget.
Prestige Marble & Granite marble in kitchen
Prestige Marble & Granite marble in kitchen

 Add Kitchen Seating

For most homeowners, the kitchen is the heart of the home and tends to be the gathering place for busy families with children or when entertaining friends while cooking. From bar stools to banquets to tables and chairs, seating has become essential in today’s modern kitchen.

Cary Bernstein Architect Potrero House

Tear Down Walls

Many outdated kitchens feel boxed in and compartmentalized. Consider knocking out a non load-bearing wall (or two, or three!) to open up your kitchen to an adjacent dining room or living space.

Open Concept Kitchen

Go Green

Lessen your carbon footprint and save money, too, by replacing your outdated appliances withe energy-efficient models. Look for appliances and plumbing fixtures with Energy Star  and WaterSense labels. Saving water and energy are  good for the earth– and for your utility bills.

Don’t Forget the Lighting!

Oftentimes, kitchen lighting is an afterthought, but getting it right is an important part of a modern kitchen. An effective way to modernize your lighting is to illuminate in layers with ambient, task, and accent lighting. (Click here to learn more about the best lighting to enhance your stone countertops.)

Sea Cliff Hideaway

These are just a few of the cost-effective ways to change the look and feel of an outdated kitchen. We’d love to hear about some of your ideas in the comments!

When it comes to your countertops, Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

Kitchen Design Trends in 2017

Kitchens, along with master bathrooms, continue to be the most desired areas for home improvement projects. With the current low interest rates and increased property values, most consumers believe kitchen and bath renovations offer a good return on investment. While we believe that any remodel should reflect the style of architecture and location of the home, as well as personal tastes and lifestyle, each years brings new design trends which might be worth considering. Let’s take a look at what’s in store for kitchens in 2017.

Is Gray the New White?

While white cabinets continue to be tops, gray is closing in and could be the top kitchen kitchen color in 2017. And combining cabinet colors is a trendy look that’s holding strong.

Gray kitchen
These gray cabinets are painted in Grey Owl by Benjamin Moore.
Gray and white cabinet combination with marble countertops.
Gray and white cabinet combination with marble countertops.

Sinks in New Hues

A colorful sink is a great way to pop in a small amount of color in a neutral kitchen or make it more of a focal point by using the same hue in the backsplash.
Elkay Sinks and Faucets

Architectural Lines

On the faucet front in 2017, keep things clean and minimal by choosing a linear silhouette. The architectural aesthetic will instantly update your look and works  with a wide range of styles.

Kohler K-7547-4 Purist Double Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet with Rotating Spout
Kohler Purist Double Handle Bridge Kitchen Faucet

Bold Light Fixtures

Oversize light fixtures lend a great sense of depth perception and can be used to create drama in a room with a low ceiling.

Kitchens

Marble Mania

This classic countertop material took a backseat to granite and quartz because it is more vulnerable to staining, chipping and fading. But designers and homeowners are drawn by marble’s rich natural tones and timeless style and are returning to the material. (Find out more about what to expect with marble in the kitchen here.)

Calacatta Gold
Calacatta Gold Marble  – by Prestige Marble & Granite

Waterfalls

A growing desire for contemporary lines accounts for the popularity of waterfall countertops, as homeowners are opting for cleaner cabinet styles, simpler doors and less molding.

Waterfall countertop
Waterfall countertop in marble.

Patterned Tile

Funky patterned tiles might be taking the place of subway tiles in 2017.

Kipling Residence
When it comes to your countertops, Prestige Marble & Granite is here to help you with a vast selection of unique, exotic and rare natural stones from around the world. Our knowledgeable staff will guide you through selection, layout, design and installation. We welcome homeowners, designers, and contractors to browse our showroom any time!

Five Easy Ways to Upgrade Kitchen Cabinets

Are your kitchen cabinets beginning to look dated? Are they boring, builder-grade cabinets? Do they make your kitchen feel closed in? If you answered yes to any of those questions, consider a cabinet upgrade. Easier and cheaper than a full-on renovation, giving your cabinets a facelift can make your kitchen feel fresh and new. Here are some simple ways to upgrade your cabinets.

Paint

If your kitchen has good bones, but just looks a little tired or dated, a paint job could make all the difference. Try mixing up colors on upper and lower cabinets, or on cabinets and islands to add dimension and richness.

Heights Kitchen Remodel

Lose the Doors

A closed off kitchen can be lightened up by removing some of the doors to create an open shelving concept. Tip: To make open shelving practical, fill those shelves with the things you use most often.

Ski House

Add Glass Doors

If open shelving is not your thing, adding glass door inserts can also create a more open look. And there are lots of options besides plain glass: etched, colored, crackled, and fluted are some alternatives.

Transitional White Kitchen with Apron Sink

Attach Crown Molding

Adding crown molding to plain builder-grade cabinets adds height (which can make the space appear larger), and is a easy way to achieve a high-end look.

New Kitchen in Historic Downtown Charleston, SC Townhouse

Change the Hardware

One of the simplest fixes for boring cabinets is swapping out the hardware. Updating your cabinet hardware can give you a fresh new look without spending thousands of dollars. Tip: If you’re switching from a two-hole pull to a one-hole knob, choose hardware with back plates that will cover the holes.

Kitchen

Replace the Countertops

And last, but certainly not least, new countertops can take a dated-looking cabinet from drab to fab in no time. Of course, we’re partial to this solution, but especially if you are going to paint or reface your cabinets, be sure to put the icing on the cake with beautiful natural stone countertops!

Alexandria Timeless Kitchen Addition
Whether you’re going for a kitchen refresh or a full-on renovation, Prestige Marble &  Granite is  your Middle Tennessee source for beautiful natural stone countertops. Stop by our Columbia showroom and browse our large selection of exotic, rare, and classic stones!

All About Soapstone

Fantasy Soapstone from Brazil is a beautiful, soft blue-gray with dramatic quartz veining.

Do you remember your high school chemistry class? If so, you might recall the black countertops the Bunsen burners sat on. Those countertops are made of soapstone, a metamorphic rock that consists of talc, steatite, magnesite, quartz, and other magnesium rich minerals. Soapstone is the countertop material of choice for chemistry classes because its chemically inert composition and high density make it impervious to stains and bacteria. The qualities that make soapstone a good choice for chemistry classes are the same qualities that make it good choice for kitchens and bathrooms.

Physical Characteristics of Soapstone

The talc found in soapstone is soft to the touch, lending a smooth feeling of  dry soap, which is how soapstone got its name. The colors of soapstone are typically medium gray and can have a greenish cast or bluish cast (the greener the slab, the softer it is, so seek out slabs with less of a green cast if you want a harder slab). Soapstone slabs can contain pronounced veining, which is produced by quartz in the stone.

Qualities of Soapstone

Durability is one of soapstone’s top features. It’s unaffected by heat (it was often used for wood-burning stoves from the 1800s that are still functioning today) so you can place your hot pans and pots directly on the surface with no risk.

Unlike granite, marble, and quartzite, soapstone is not porous. This means that you can put raw foods on the countertop without worrying about bacteria growth. It never needs sealing and cannot be stained.

The talc content is what makes soapstone softer than some other stones, which leads to edges and corners being eased over time. Nicks and scratches may accumulate, but they can be easily rubbed or sanded out or considered part of its patina.

Caring for Soapstone

Soap and water is all you need. Because of its extreme density, soapstone is naturally resistant to bacteria and germs. Use a bit of mild, pH balanced, clear dish soap when you want a heavier clean than just water. As with marble and granite, do not use any acidic or heavy duty cleaners on your soapstone.

Many homeowners like to oil or wax their soapstone once or twice a year. This keeps the color more vibrant and will bring out a charcoal to black color. This is an optional treatment. If you don’t treat your soapstone, it will develop a beautiful patina over the years.

Little white scratches on your soapstone countertops can usually just be wiped away with your hand or a bit of mineral oil. If you really cut hard with a knife, or accidentally drop something heavy onto the stone, you may get a nick or scratch that can’t be wiped away with water or oil. In that case, the scratch can be sanded out. Use three sandpaper pads (60, 100, and 220 grit), and lightly sand the spot in a circular motion with each, starting with the lowest grit. Then wipe off any dust and use mineral oil or water to restore the color. It’s that easy.

The ageless beauty of soapstone is at home in any design style and will be an asset to any project. Here’s a look at some beautiful uses of soapstone in kitchens and baths.

Chestnut Hill kitchen
updated kitchen
Crocus Hill Kitchen
Interior Paint Projects
Elk Ridge Lodge
SoHo NYC Loft Kitchen With Virginia Alberene Soapstone
San Francisco Edwardian Home
Northwest Guest Bathroom
Spa-Like Bathroom
To see even more beautiful soapstone countertops, click over to our Pinterest board! 
Prestige Marble and Granite offers quality sopastone, in addition to many other beautiful stone varieties. Whatever stone you choose, rest assured our experienced fabricators can handle the job!

Don’t Make these Kitchen Design Mistakes!

9 Common Kitchen Remodeling Mistakes to Avoid

Renovating your kitchen is a big project with a lot of variables to consider. Here’s a look at the most common mistakes people make when redesigning a kitchen – avoid them, and you’ll be sure to have the kitchen of your dreams!
 1. Ignoring the workflow
Your kitchen’s busiest areas are the sink, stove and refrigerator. Make sure they are in an efficient location. Respect the work triangle!

Urban Kitchen

2. Too little counter space
This one is close to our hearts! But truly, counter space is one of the most important elements in your kitchen, so don’t settle for less. Make the most of your space by carefully planning for maximum counter space. You can even extend the work space by adding decorative corbels for more counter top.

Garrett Park

3. Not enough electrical outlets
Think about your all your appliances, phone and tablets and you’ll realize that there is no such thing as too many outlets. Be sure to include them on your kitchen island and even in a drawer or two!

Quail Creek Kitchen

4. Forgetting about the trash
The trash receptacle is easy to forget, because it’s just not sexy compared to countertops and backsplashes. But don’t forget to consider its placement lest you you be stuck with a big ugly trash bin in the middle of your beautiful kitchen.

Formal white kitchen with blue island - Mullet Cabinet
5. Choosing appliances last
If you’re going for a major reno, choose your gadgets and appliances first. It’s easier to choose cabinets and countertops to fit your appliances rather than the other way around.
Mai

6. Skimping on cabinet storage solutions
Don’t miss out on optimizing your kitchen storage. Pull out pantries and and storage features like drawer dividers and inserts, lazy susans, etc. offer a lot of bang for your buck, helping you to get the most out of your cabinets. (Plus they are much more costly to add them later!)

Classic Beach House

7. Playing it too safe and not having fun
While it’s prudent to think about resale and not being dated in a few years, don’t play it so safe that the result is boring. Our advice: Choose what makes you happy and live a little!

AFID

8. Not enough types of lighting
Technically, a good kitchen design has three types of lighting: overhead (for general illumination), spot (for specific tasks), and accent (for looks and drawing attention to design elements). Don’t forget to add under cabinet lighting to show off those gorgeous stone countertops!Trimble Road

Photo by Allard Ward Architects

9. Not consulting a professional
Even if you are a DIYer, make sure to consult a kitchen design expert to help fine-tune your plan and offer tips and advice. Kitchen design mistakes can be costly and a professional consultation is well worth the price.

Photo Credits: Click on images to view sources.

For kitchen countertops, marble and granite remain the premier choices among the varieties of natural stone, due to their dramatic beauty and seemingly endless variety of colors and patterns. Prestige Marble & Granite offers the largest selection of the highest quality, rare and exotic natural stones available in Middle Tennessee – we would love for you stop by the Prestige Marble & Granite showroom and browse any time.