how to confidently choose materials and finishes for your kitchen

Choosing big ticket finishes for your brand-spanking-new or updated kitchen shouldn’t cause sweat to drip down your cheeks. (Face OR Bum) To avoid a fresh set stress pimples and/or swass ask yourself a few questions when designing your ideal kitchen.

choose kitchen materials

Does it Work? This is the first and most important question I ask myself when I’m designing anything - but especially a kitchen. Most kitchens are multi-functional working, gathering, playing, anything goes zones. They need to be equipped with materials and finishes that are functional and durable so what I’m saying is that your kitchen needs to have the right tools for its job. For example: countertops. Granite and marble tops are an investment that require regular maintenance! If you’re a busy mother of two with a tasty budget, you might rethink these materials because, well, maintenance and um, stains. But hey, have you ever heard of quartz? If you got money to burn the cost of quartz is comparable to granite and marble and quartz is maintenance free! Plus it basically is just a bunch of really nice rocks crushed up in an epoxy resin so if you were still hoping for stone, you got it, babe. From the perspective of a hustling mama of three, quartz is the better choice - that shit works.

Is it pretty? Don’t judge me - this matters. Coming in close second to whether or not your materials and finishes perform. Your kitchen is most likely, the hub of your home. You and your family will spend ridiculous amounts of time gathering there. Actually, I’d be willing to bet that if you put a timer on every time you used your kitchen, even just for one day, your mind would be blown! Especially if you’re a stay at home mom like this girl. So yeah, when you’re spending the majority of your day in one place, you might want to at least make it easy on the eyes. 

materials for kitchen

Can it relate? Does it jive with the rest of the finishes in your house and particularly in your kitchen? There’s not really any visual or functional advantage to having a traditional farmhouse kitchen if the rest of your house is ultra modern. That’s just confusing. When you’re selecting materials and finishes for your new kitchen, one sure-fire way to be positive that you have selected a cohesive design is to gather up your material samples and put together a “material board”. We used to do this in design school all of the time as a part of our design presentation and this carried through to when I was working at a custom kitchens and millwork shop and I even apply it to my artwork. Because this method works. Collect samples of all the finishes you’ve chosen and arrange them all together. Is there one thing that kind of stands out and makes you cock your head? Get rid of it. When you replace it, bring your other material samples with you and save yourself the back and forth. If they look nice - great job, your kitchen will be lovely. Even when you’re considering the scale and proportion of each finish you’ve selected, trust that if it looks good on your “material board” the finished product will be a success as well.

Does it feel good? Aha yes. Please come sit in my office, put your feet up and let’s have a quick therapy session because I am, indeed, talking about the feels and not the touches. (Although, texture is another element you will likely consider when designing your kitchen) As for your heart though, let’s just say if visually your board is really gorgeous and all the things are looking well together but the very sight of that board makes your chest pound and you feel anxious or excited - something isn’t working. Bright orange and pink are a luscious colour combination but if you’re more of a natural, earth tones kind of lady, you’re probably going to hate this. Be sure that all of the colours, textures and finishes that you are choosing are something that you actually like and are excited about (the good kind) because now is not the time to completely step out of your comfort zone. I’m not saying don’t try new things, but I am saying do yourself a favour and avoid exploring pink and orange if earth tones are what your soul survives on.

When you’re selecting materials and finishes for your kitchen, ask yourself questions to make sure you’re getting what you need our of your selections, they look wonderful together, they compliment the other materials and finishes in your home, and that you are happy with them all. Trust the process and trust yourself. A new kitchen is a huge undertaking and you’ll want to make sure and get it right - the first time.

Happy Planning!

Tenille Bohay