September 2, 2015

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Michele and Jay just purchased one of those stately older homes in south Kansas City and want to modernize it before moving in. The first room they want to remodel is the kitchen.

The kitchen in their new home needs an update, badly! The appliances are outdated, the cabinets used to be stained but have been painted over, the floor is an old linoleum that has seen better days, and the lighting is dark and dull.

Michele and Jay want a vibrant, welcoming look in the old house’s large kitchen because they entertain a lot, and people inevitably end up in their kitchen.

Michele and Jay know that when you are remodeling a kitchen, it is important to find a designer who:

  • Will listen to what you want to be done,
  • Make suggestions when something you want doesn’t work well, and
  • Will do a quality job.

They decided to begin their selections of materials for their kitchen renovation by choosing the room’s wall scheme.

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Choosing wall materials for large walls

In larger kitchens, as in Michele and Jay’s new home, there is often a large wall with no appliances against it. This wall can either become the focal point of the kitchen, or it can blend in with the rest of the walls. When it is a focal point, there are some interesting choices:

Living green wall

Although many people have not heard of them, living green walls originated sometime in the 1930’s. A living green wall has a panel composed of plants that are grown upright using a hydroponic system. Previously found only in businesses, living green walls are just now beginning to be used in larger homes like the old home Michele and Jay are purchasing.

Waterfall walls

There are many designs for waterfall walls. Basically, they are an enclosed system of water that pours down an installed wall façade and recycles itself for continuous running. Many people find them quite soothing, and they can be an interesting focal point for any room.

Stone veneer

When you want to create a wall that looks like it is made of brick but don’t want to close in the room with actual bricks, stone veneer is a great choice. Stone veneer can create a focal point wall that can also blend in with the rest of the room.

Michele and Jay chose the Waterfall wall for the focal point in their kitchen renovation. Next they looked at options to replace the linoleum flooring.

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Choosing flooring options for a kitchen

Here are a few facets to consider when deciding on the material for a kitchen floor:

  • Do you do a lot of cooking? If so, you will want to choose flooring that has a great deal of resiliency to it.
  • Do you have youngsters? If so, your kitchen floor needs to be easy to clean.
  • Is the kitchen in a heavy traffic area? You will want your flooring to stand up to the traffic and remain attractive.

Here are some of the most recommended types of flooring for kitchens:

  • Wood flooring Prefinished wood flooring stands up well to heavy traffic and is a great choice for a kitchen floor.
  • Vinyl A great option is vinyl flooring, which is resilient, available in many styles and colors, and can be a do-it-yourself project if necessary.
  • Cork A great alternative to traditional flooring, cork is hard-wearing, noise-dampening, and resistant to water stains.
  • Ceramic or stone tile Tile floors or stone floors offer the option of creating intricate designs that bring together the entire room into a focal point using different colored tiles. Whether intricately designed or all one color, stone or tile flooring is wonderful for areas of heavy traffic.

Matching appliances to the rest of the kitchen

Today’s appliances are more energy efficient than their predecessors. Dishwashers are quieter and have more racks that meet the needs of the modern family. Stoves have easy-clean tops, and refrigerators come in a wide variety of storage choices.

Modern kitchen appliances also come in a wide assortment of color choices designed to either blend in with any kitchen décor or offer an interesting contrast.

Michel and Jay chose wood flooring and bronze appliances to match the bronze wall waterfall. They are well on their way toward getting their kitchen remodeled.