We certainly spend a lot of time in our kitchens: cooking, eating, entertaining, homework and even shopping.  So shouldn’t our favorite room incorporate our favorite things as well?  We definitely think it should! That’s why we like to plan kitchen remodeling to include beautiful display space for your favorite things, as well as functional counters and cabinets. The challenge is to find ways to integrate treasured artwork, mementos and collections without cluttering up counters or exposing those favorite pieces to damage from steam or spaghetti sauce.

Kitchen remodeling photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Here are tips to keep in mind as you plan your kitchen remodeling project.

Kitchen Remodeling Tips for Collectors

Built-in Display Shelves: With a little planning, kitchen cabinets can be configured to provide plenty of space for displaying objects you love. A common add-on to kitchen islands, for example, is book shelves that hold a few prized pieces or a collection of favorite cookbooks.  From a simple shelf added over the sink or refrigerator, to elegant wall niches, there are many creative ways to show off your treasures – and keep them away from countertop spills and splatters. If you’d like to have fresh herbs at hand, plan for the kitchen remodel to include wide windowsills (perhaps tiled to protect the surface from water) and windows with a sunny southern or eastern exposure.

Kitchen remodeling photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Cabinet Tops as Gallery Space: Varying the heights of cabinets can create beautiful spaces for your collections.  Even functional items like colorful Fiestaware or Le Creuset cookware can take on the status of art when displayed well! Careful design eliminates the cluttered look that can come from some cabinet-top displays by balancing the height of and relation to other cabinets so that the display doesn’t look random.

Kitchen remodeling photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Protecting Displays: Glass-front cabinet doors are a smart way to protect your treasures from kitchen moisture and spills. Having the back of the cabinet a contrasting color can add extra drama to your display, as can the right in-cabinet lighting. Styles can range from frosted glass doors, to “windowpane” doors perfect for providing individual frames for different objects displayed. Ideally, objects on a kitchen wall should be framed with glass. Glass is far easier to clean than acrylic which can yellow and scratch in the kitchen environment. Unframed canvasses and tapestries are not the best choice for kitchens since they can absorb kitchen odors and their surfaces can be difficult to clean.

Kitchen Lighting: Good kitchen design always includes task lighting as well as ambient lighting.  When designing the kitchen to include artwork or collections, you should also include accent lighting.  Examples can include fixtures designed to highlight a painting, light up a cabinet featuring beautiful china or glasses, or to shine down on a pottery collection.

Kitchen remodeling photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Photo courtesy Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Finishes That Pull It All Together: Color, texture and style are key elements of every good kitchen design. By planning in your collection right from the start of the remodeling project, these elements can be selected to complement the items displayed. The backsplash, countertops, paint color and flooring, for example, all can be chosen to coordinate with and highlight the colors from objects in your collection. Moldings are also important for pulling the look of the room together. For instance, the ornate feel of a large framed painting can be balanced with beautifully carved cabinet molding.

With a little advance kitchen remodeling planning, you truly can fill your dream kitchen with your favorite things – without cluttering up those beautiful new counters!

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