Kitchen Designers Can Turn Seasonal Style into Profits, CKD Notes

Kitchen Designers Can Turn Seasonal Style into Profits, CKD Notes

According to James W. Livingston, CKD and president of Chicago-based Smartrooms, Inc., the answer is simple: Bring the beach to your clients.

In fact, Livingston stresses that creating a summer home kitchen design vibe regardless of the season is a prospect that could make your design firm sizzle year round.

He explains: "A summer home kitchen design really evokes a comfortable, casual aesthetic that's soothing and relaxing for many people. Done effectively, a summer-themed kitchen can make clients feel like they're on vacation even if the kitchen design isn't actually in their vacation home!"

Accomplishing this, however, first requires selecting the right palette, he notes.

For example, Livingston points out that bright, airy, solid colors can help create the proper summery aesthetic. Off whites, pastels and lighter wood shades would also work well, he adds.

Cabinets can also sport darker wood finishes to create an eye-catching contrast to lighter-painted walls, ceilings, trim, doors and molding, he continues.

"It can [create a nice-looking design] to blend a mix of colors in a summer-home kitchen design to create focal points and variety," he points out.

Livingston points to Brookhaven's Country Estate Seaside Cottage kitchen design as a good example of this type of seasonal design.

The design which features bright white doors, windows and ceiling beams offers a rich complement to the dark-stained cabinets, he points out. In addition, off-white painted stools and a bench nook featuring a beadboard with coat pegs also add a soothing tone and balance to the kitchen.

When planning for a summer kitchen theme, Livingston warns that generous natural light is essential, which means designers need to select extra and larger windows in the kitchen area, or consider skylights for extra light.

Livingston also advises designers to consider selecting wood flooring which is typically the flooring material of choice for a summer home kitchen. "The hardwood flooring in your kitchen should match and complement those other areas of the home," he says. " But again, if you want to tap into that summery recreational look and feel, you may want to install a more unique wood floor in the kitchen by using a knotty pine or scraped walnut, for example."

To complete the summer home aesthetic, Livingston suggests topping off a kitchen with colorful d├ęcor and countertop conversation pieces, such as wildflowers in a colored vase or a small fishbowl filled with sand and attractive shells.

He also suggests carrying the design theme, colors and accents into adjacent rooms and living areas for continuity.

"In a summer home, the kitchen is often open and adjoined to recreational areas like the living room, so the theme can be carried over into the neighboring rooms and spaces, too," Livingston says.

He concludes: "The overall goal is to transform the kitchen into more than a food preparation area. Rather, the goal is to make it a fun meeting and gathering place one with a distinct character and personality that emanates into the other areas of the home."