AUTHOR: KATIE GOODRICH
Spice up your life! As a teenybopper during the Spice Girls phase, I can’t help but feel like that song is more like a memory than an actual beat with lyrics. After the 200th play, I no longer get that ecstatic shot of adrenaline or that girly urge to do a sideways head-bang. Now, all I hear is a vacant hum that was once an inspiring BOOM. Sort of like your kitchen… and mine.
Sometimes a sound, smell, touch, these sensations can pass over our consciousness. For example, a New Yorker is no longer startled by the horn of a taxicab, a florist can no longer smell the roses. Our minds instinctively create an “off” switch when we find ourselves overexposed to something. As a decorator, I am particularly sensitive to this numbing pattern. Some things I see and my senses are not ignited but sedated. It’s not that cringing sense, like when I look back at my splatter-painted MC Hammer pants or my Mom’s Rod Stewart mullet that she sported for far too long. No, this feeling is different. It’s worse. It’s empty and void of emotion. And this, my friends, defines the death of design.
To be blunt, I am on Stainless and Granite OVERLOAD. These two materials were once an aesthetic preference for anyone looking to buy or rent but it’s now become a standard for resale. This trendy stipulation leaves sellers running for the Home Depot hills to grab any rock swatch they can find.
“Speckled brown?…Yea that works.”
But why I ask? Why do we feel so chained to granite and stainless? Must I bring up the whole “bridge” example… Just because someone jumps, would you?
That kind of dependency may have worked for Jack and Rose Dawson on the Titanic but in decorating, if you feel like you’ve “been there, done that,” let that sucker drown. Design evolves and so should we. When one goes against the grain (within reason), I argue that he or she will derive MORE emotion and MORE allure than playing it safe. For most, buying a home is an emotional decision; take advantage of this driving force. In turn, a real estate agent can sell a particular feeling associated with your home; a life that’s just around the corner verses a blasé room with four walls and a roof.
So I compel you to ditch those life preservers. Go outside the wake. The kitchen is the family nucleus, a hostess’s coliseum; it is your ticket to resale. Do not stay the course. Do not become the white noise. Make your kitchen scream and shout and let it all out…wait no that’s Britney Spears. Try this… Every boy, every girl, spice up your life!
6 (other) Ways to Get Your Kitchen Noticed
1. Paint the Town!
Appliances now come in SO many different colors. They carry a price tag but this decorative style can also carry you’re entire kitchen. A colored refrigerator or oven packs a huge punch! Add a fresh look and uniformity by including dishtowels, art, or small appliances of the same color. Warning: Pick a color that you will never get sick of!!!
Black is always a go-to!
Instead of color, try switching-up the material like putting reclaimed wood over an inexpensive ikea hood or for a farmhouse look, steel is an option.
2. Move On Up!
Subway tile adds a clean element to the kitchen. Add a new twist by bringing the tile all the way up to your ceiling. Hell! Cover your ceiling!
SourceYou can even line your cabinets for a unique alternative.
2. A Backsplash with a Touch of Whiplash
Turn heads with a backsplash that challenges the ordinary.
I love a beadboard backsplash!
SourceExtend your countertops…
If your kitchen is elegant, bring in an unexpected contrast with a natural element.
Add a global interest with a Spanish or Moroccan tile.
3. The Roof is on Fire!
Create an over-the-top look that draws the eye.
Paint your recessed ceiling!
Keep it real and expose the original framework.
Setting fixtures into an unusual element creates a custom feel.
And ya gotta love tin!
4. Leave No Stone Unturned
I may be from New Hampshire (the Granite State) but sadly I’m not too loyal in this department. Like the Man on the Mountain, all good things must come to an end (or at least a hiatus). Granite can be very nice but there are so many options. Don’t sell yourself short.
Quartzite- A natural metamorphic rock placed under pressure and heat. There are beautiful irregularities in the pattern. Varieties can look similar to its softer alternative, marble. It’s durable but can sometimes be absorbent. You can find my old kitchen below. I had problems with water rings but it was really solid and often mistaken for marble.
Mother of Pearl Quartzite
Quartz- This countertop is man-made and engineered using one of the hardest materials on earth. It’s known for its strength and attractive qualities. It comes in a lot of different colors and patterns. I really like this option. I chose against quartz because it didn’t have the random imperfections of a natural slab. However, this material is low maintenance and definitely a smart choice both aesthetically and practically speaking.
Concrete- Such a cool option! Yes it’s cold, but it’s so unique. This material is moldable, hard, and can age to a beautiful patina over time. It also has many color options. Yet, watch out Winos! It may be porous if not stained correctly.
Soapstone-A natural metamorphic rock that ranges in softness depending on the amount of the mineral called Talc. This material has been around for centuries so it’s time tested! Its natural inconsistencies are beautiful, ranging from a veiny green or gray depending on the region. Cons: Due to softness, it can dent and wear (but can be somewhat salvageable with proper maintenance and repair) and also there are limited looks.
5. Take the Road Less Traveled
Rethink the traditional wood floor kitchen and walk in your own footsteps with these one-of-a-kind alternative
Paint or Stain your floors!
Look for a new take on wood floors, sometimes a tweak in the pattern makes all the difference.
Tile can be beautiful if executed correctly.
Incorporate Spanish tile for some So-Cal living!
Source6. Don’t Underestimate Decor
If you’re selling your home, art and fixtures may be going on the Uhaul BUT don’t underestimate the importance of presentation. People hire Stagers for a reason, especially in Boston. Décor, big or small, can create emotion. Do not miss out on this opportunity. Seize the moment and capitalize on pieces that are unique, stylish, and original.
Extravagant fixtures like chandeliers over the island
Chalkboards and chalkboard walls can be playful and family friendly!
Use a ladder as a functional way to reach new heights!
Let’s be honest, when it comes to the home, the kitchen is the epicenter of interaction. It is the memories, the cooking, the comfort, the conversation. If you find yourself fortunate enough to have the means… invest here. At Ivory & Bone, we believe at the core of everything lies emotion…décor should EVOKE. You are creating a feeling. Allow yourself and guests to be impacted. Do not let your home become that song you’ve heard one too many times. Be loud. Be fearless. Be different!