The pieces that will have your room sizzling
If you're remodeling or redesigning your kitchen, you've got a tall order in front of you – the kitchen is one room where practicality is a must, but it's also a room that has great potential for theme and style.
Pieces That Work
Aside from the stove, refrigerator and other appliances, there are a few pieces of kitchen furniture that will also make your room work for you, not against you. The first among these is a kitchen island. Kitchen islands can do many things – they add extra working space, extra storage or both, depending on the type of island you choose. Some have built-in lazy Susans to make canned goods and other items easily accessible, while others have butcher block tops so you have a designated area to prepare your meals.
A kitchen island is also a great dining area if you don't have room for a full kitchen table. Choose the right kitchen island furniture, such as a set of bar stools or dining chairs, and you'll have a built-in seating area for your family to eat around.
If kitchen storage furniture is a must, you may also want to consider a bench seat. Comfortable to sit on when pushed against a wall, these seats open up to store household items you may not use every day but that you still like to keep handy.
Top Pieces of Kitchen Furniture:
Kitchen tables are a staple for any eat-in kitchen, and there's a style to suit any decor. If '50s and '60s styles catch your eye, try a retro kitchen table – a round kitchen table, diner-style with a vinyl top (in a checkerboard pattern, no less!) and metal legs and accent rim. A wood kitchen table is a more classic choice, but it still offers lots of versatility. The modern kitchen table take on wood is to incorporate light and dark stains, while a country kitchen table might be unfinished or distressed. If you do choose wood, pine and oak kitchen tables are very affordable, while teak and mahogany will take a bigger bite out of your budget.
If space is limited, small kitchen tables are the way to go. A corner kitchen table will help you cut down on space and can still sit two people comfortably, or try a fold-out table that can be pulled out and expanded for mealtimes, then tucked away again when not in use.
Once you've got the table, you're going to need complementary kitchen table chairs. For retro kitchen chairs, think vibrant vinyl, with a separate back and seat on a metal frame and large rivets running along the seams. A wooden kitchen chair set works in both country and contemporary rooms. Simple yet elegant lathed rungs on a chair give a cozy look to your country kitchen, while the sleek simplicity of ladderback chairs help create a more modern, magazine-worthy style.
Dressing up a kitchen chair can be as simple as buying new kitchen chair pads or covers. Parson chair (or parsons chair) sets, with their high backs and flat seats, lend themselves well to covers, whether it's modern white linen or an ornate tapestry. Kitchen chair cushions and pads were made for country kitchens. Often tying onto chairs with small bows, a gingham (or checkered) pattern will add a homey look to your room that you can change as often as your mood!
Spending time on kitchen cabinet design will help you choose cabinets that will hold up through the years, as well as through years of style trends. Amish kitchen cabinets are known for their simplicity and durability, but must custom kitchen cabinets also hold up well over time (more so than prefab cabinets). For extra storage, a china cabinet is a great addition. A pine or oak china cabinet is a basic option that works in any room, but you can also opt for specialized pieces, such as a corner china cabinet to save on space or an antique china cabinet to complement your room's theme.
Kitchen cabinet hardware is as important as the cabinets themselves. Switching out your kitchen cabinet handles – for example, trading in bar handles for kitchen cabinet knobs – can make a big impact on even the plainest kitchen cabinet doors. Just remember to change out the hinges as well for a complete look!
Finding Your Look
If there's any room in your house where you want to go full-throttle with a theme, the kitchen is it. Retro kitchen furniture of the '50s and '60s has always been a big hit, with pink mixers and diner-style tables and chairs solidifying the look. But the country kitchen could probably go down in history as the most popular kitchen theme. Country kitchen furniture usually entails more natural, organic pieces, such as unfinished pine or distressed whitewashing. Authentic or replica antique furniture, such as a baker's rack or baker's cabinet, and accents like washboards, butter presses and gingham seat cushions complete the look.
If you're looking for more modern kitchen furniture, think streamlined and sleek, yet still with a touch of elegance. A combination of deep and light wood stains in a table coupled with narrow high-backed chairs will give your kitchen a look fit for the trendiest home decor magazines. You can also try contemporary kitchen furniture pieces that incorporate metal and glass accents along with traditional woods.