European Kitchen Remodeling Idea
Thinking of remodeling your home? According to the experts, the two rooms where you’ll get the best bang for your buck as far as investment return are the kitchen and the bathroom. With that in mind, kitchens are getting a lot of attention these days, and one of the most popular trends in the European kitchen.
Europeans are generally obsessed with food – especially with quality foods and gourmet dishes. Unlike typical Americans, they view food preparation as an art and spend a lot of time in their kitchens. Everything in the kitchen revolves around preparing and consuming meals. In many European countries, cooking is a family affair – everyone pitches in.
If you want to get the European look and feel into your kitchen design, below are some ideas to get you started.
Modern European Kitchen
Modern kitchens in Europe are sleek, efficient, and very functional. Most are small, so every inch of space is cleverly utilized.
The kitchen is often fully integrated, with seamless pulls on doors and cabinets. Countertops are usually made of stone or recycled materials, as are floors. Backsplashes are often made of copper tiles, glass tiles, or aluminum tiles.
Most modern European kitchens have a large island where meals are prepped and which also functions as a place for family meals.
Sliding countertops are also very popular, as they make the best use of space in small kitchens.
Appliances are usually stainless steel and state of the art. In many European nations, the washer and dryer are placed in the kitchen, too.
Popular color motifs for modern European kitchens include neutral shades like beige, eggshell, and grey.
Old World European Kitchen
Many American homeowners love the look and feel of an “Old World” kitchen. This design is at the other end of the spectrum from the modern European kitchen. Think Tuscany and French country. With this design, materials are natural: stone, wood, iron, clay, and copper. Walls are usually old plaster or stucco, or faux finishes that mimic these. Floors are often of dark hardwood or stone tiles.
A Tuscan kitchen design is all about light and warmth, with lots of windows bringing in the sun. Pottery, urns, vases of flowers, rich tapestries, and small works of art are usually displayed. Tuscan kitchen colors like gold, olive green, ochre, soft yellows, burgundy, rust, turquoise, and cream add to the feeling of warmth.
Tuscan kitchens are usually large enough for families to cook together. Large islands are used for prepping and consuming meals and also function as a place for family members and guests to sit and visit with the cook while the meal is being prepared.
Most Tuscan kitchens have floors of slate, wood, limestone, terracotta, marble, or granite. Cabinetry and furniture are made of natural wood and are sturdy and of simple design. Such wood is often distressed and aged, and cabinets and cupboards are often open. Wine racks are a must for a real Tuscan kitchen, too.
A French country kitchen often has a monochromatic color scheme in beige or antique white, with splashes of accent colors like bright red, yellow, cobalt, rust, or green. Copper pots and pans are often displayed, along with spices and old cookbooks.
Floors are usually stone, brick, or terracotta, and ceilings are stucco, with large exposed beams. Cabinets are often distressed to make them appear old and weathered.
Fabrics for drapes and throw pillows should be in paisley prints or in florals and should be made of natural materials.
Most French country kitchens have a kitchen fireplace on one wall. Storage space in the form of shelves and cubby holes are used around the hearth and fireplace to display collectibles, antique kitchen gadgets, and large serving pieces.
Kitchen Remodeling California Style
Before the housing market became so depressed, it wasn’t unusual for people to buy a house, live in it a few years, then upgrade to a larger, more expensive house. Some homeowners did this frequently, climbing the rungs of the housing ladder until they finally acquired their dream home. Today’s version of the “housing ladder” is remodeling.
One of the most often remodeled rooms is the kitchen. Not only is it perhaps the most used room in the entire house, it’s also the best bet, along with the bathroom, to get a return on your investment.
Where does much of the U.S. turn to for the latest trends and styles? New York and Southern California are two of the “hottest” areas when it comes to fashion and decorating, and remodeling naturally follows. People love the laid-back Southern California styles because they’re often a wonderful blend of “California cool meets urban chic.” This can be observed in many California homes, especially in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Palos Verdes, or Irvine kitchen remodeling project.
A Southern California Kitchen
So what does a SoCal kitchen look like? Well, of course, they don’t all look the same, but there are obvious trends. Most Californians are very in tune with their surroundings, especially the great SoCal countryside. They like natural materials and incorporate them into home design whenever possible. In a kitchen, these might include stone floor tiles, natural wood cabinets, marble countertops, and copper sinks.
And since many California homeowners pride themselves as gourmet cooks, their kitchens reflect this. You’ll find the latest energy-efficient appliances that are both sleek and utilitarian. These might include under the counter freezer drawers, wine coolers, beverage chillers, and integrated kitchen appliances. Interesting cookware like copper pots and pans might be displayed in an area where they’re readily accessible to the cook.
Islands, food prep areas with their own small sinks, and lighted work areas are also popular. Natural butcher block countertops are making a comeback and are often incorporated into a prep area for the cutting, slicing, and chopping of foods. Lots of new California kitchens have also added a built-in computer desk.
Many Californians are also eclectic in their tastes. They often include a bit of themselves in their kitchen decor by adding small personal points of interest like inlaid mosaic designs into floors or an open-front cabinet or two to display collections, antiques, or even whimsical items to add interest.
Quirky works of art are often used, too. They also often add splashes of color to neutral kitchens. Some of the most popular California colors are paprika, kiwi, orange, chili pepper red, and teal. Even purple is being seen in more and more kitchens! But remember, these bright colors are used tastefully and only as “splashes.”
Many SoCal kitchens flow easily into adjoining rooms instead of being sharply defined by walls. For example, an island with seating might be all that separates the kitchen from the living room or family room. The kitchen might also be extended to an outdoor barbecue area with seating.