As we spend more time than ever in our kitchens and baths, consider this your inspiration board to infuse these beloved and bustling spaces with some serious style.
A bath by Leanne Ford Interiors features the Avalon bathtub by Native Trails.
Native Trails’ Farmhouse 3018 sink in slate by a sunlit window in a kitchen designed by Leanne Ford Interiors.
From BBC pastoral television series to a resurgence of the chintz craze, cottagecore is trending. Kitchens outfitted with exposed beams, well-crafted wooden cabinetry and the requisite farm sink, of course, ooze cozy charm harkening back to happy days of yesteryear.
"One of our most coveted designs to this day is our Scullery collection, which is inspired by the original 'cook's kitchen' typically seen in the grand townhomes and country estates of England," explains celebrated kitchen designer Christopher Peacock. "I believe it is this nostalgic escapism and slow pace of pandemic life that has many homeowners looking to design these heirloom-quality kitchens. There is beauty in simplicity and stripping down of the nonessentials. To create this casual livability we use traditional latch and pull hardware, warm natural wood tones, lots of Calacatta marble countertops and open shelving."
A kitchen oozing cottage charm by James Farmer in Georgia
"Whether you have a large or a small space, the farmhouse/cottagecore trend can work for a range of kitchen sizes thanks to a few clever design and color choices," explains Darren Watts, design director of Wren Kitchens. "For example, if you have a small kitchen, you might want to opt for cream- or ceramic white-colored cabinets to help encourage light to flow through the space, making the room appear larger while also keeping a cozy feel. On the other hand, if you have a larger space with plenty of natural light, a darker forest green, pebble gray or sophisticated navy can add depth to the room."
A kitchen showcasing the Christopher Peacock Scullery collection
To add to the charm, consider displaying curated cookbooks, crockery and herbs—ideally just snipped from the nearby potager garden. "If possible, placing your sink in front of a window will create an even more authentic cottagecore feel to the room, especially if it's facing a garden or any greenery," says Watts.
Earthy-Glam Powder Rooms
Why go for a cold and clinical bathroom when you could go bold instead? "Powder rooms are often used when you're entertaining at home, and they're great places to be a bit more playful," says Tineke Triggs of Artistic Designs for Living, who designed the San Francisco bathroom at right. "When guests open the door, it's fun for them to be greeted with a room that has a bit of personality." Adds L.A.-based Jake Arnold of Studio Jake Arnold, "A smaller room, like a powder room, is a great place to experiment with color. After a chaotic year, people have been looking to inject color into their homes—a powder room is a great place to start. I gravitate toward Roman clays or plasters, which give beautiful texture and warmth."
Tineke Triggs of Artistic Designs for Living worked with artist Caroline Lizarraga to create the deep-green malachite walls.
"The walls are painted by Caroline Lizarraga in a deep-green malachite pattern and they're stunning," says Triggs. " W e added frost patterns from Apparatus as a counterbalance and hung them with an asymmetrical swing to create another layer of interest." Whimsical hardware by Lisa Jarvis completes the look. In the room designed by Arnold, walls covered in Portola Paints & Glazes' Roman Clay in Hyde Park set the tone.
Roman Clay paint sets the mood in this glamorous bathroom by Studio Jake Arnold, while a sink from Berbere Imports, a Rose Uniacke sconce, a side table from Obsolete, a Waterworks faucet and a mirror from Galerie Half add an earthy, curated touch.
"My ultimate goal is to create a sense of lived-in ease and warmth, and I love to play up natural patinas and textures," says Arnold. "Color is becoming a timeless element; I'm really over the stark minimalism we've been seeing for many years now, so I think this vibe in a powder room will age well."
"Don't be afraid to experiment with your lighting," notes Triggs. "There are so many fun choices out there and you can play with asymmetrical lighting to create something unique. Replacing your vanity hardware can also make a big difference."
Whether it's crafting restaurant-level family meals or just baking sourdough, we've all been getting a lot more ambitious in the kitchen over the past 18-plus months. Now, homeowners are taking their kitchens to the next level with truly professional-quality appliances to realize their culinary dreams—and add value to their abodes. "With people staying at home, they realize the importance of investing in their home," notes Tim Tyler, director of marketing for Viking Range. The effect on the market is clear, says Larry Santello, a 21-year veteran of the industry who manages the showroom at Chicago's BSH Experience and Design Center, which focuses on ultraluxe brands Gaggenau, Thermador and Bosch. "We've never seen demand like this."
A kitchen showcasing the latest Gaggenau 400 Series appliances, including a wine cooler, an induction cooktop and a Combi-steam oven
Not just any luxury appliance will do when it comes to making the ultimate kitchen. The hottest technologies right now? "Customers want to see induction technology in cooktops," notes Santello, who adds that steam ovens and speed ovens—a recent innovation that gives the results of a convection oven with the speed of a microwave—are also at the top of the list. As for Viking, Tyler is bullish on the 7 Series line, which offers everything from 23,000 BTU elevated surface burners to infrared broilers, gentle-close doors, full-extension racks and LED-backlit knobs."These features that were once reserved only for commercial kitchens are now available for the home kitchen."
Viking’s state-of-the-art 7 Series range and French door built-in oven.
"Viking refrigeration is hot right now due to the Bluezone technology [for air purification]," notes Tyler, "and we will soon introduce new 36-inch built-in column refrigeration containing this same technology."
Santello has some simple advice for those choosing to indulge in professional-level appliances: Before pulling the trigger, experience the technology in a live showroom; ask yourself what upgrades, electrical or otherwise, your home might need to accommodate the technology. And, for Pete's sake, once you bring these culinary wonders home, learn to use them. Notes Santello, "If they get an induction cooktop and just continue to do what they did before, it's just another cooktop. If they're serious enough to learn how to use it, it will change their lifestyle."
Bathroom Wallcoverings & Tiles
Statement rooms have recently surged in popularity. Adding swaths of bright colors or swirls of unique prints packs a punch in any room. Case in point: these three powder baths where the design minds behind each space opted for wow-factor elements by way of bold wallcoverings and swoonworthy tiles and stones. The end result? A creative nook that delights and inspires.
The black and white swirling lines help maximize the feel of the space.
"This room was designed for a couple who truly embraced a black and white theme throughout most of their downstairs rooms," notes Jean Liu of Jean Liu Design. "In a similar vein, they gravitated toward this black and white patterned wallcovering by Calico. From a design standpoint, the pattern and movement in the paper also helped to minimize the narrowness of the room."
The prints and colors of this wallpaper evoke a Colorado aesthetic.
"This powder room was inspired by our Colorado-loving clients," shares Liu. "The wallpaper by Calico was chosen to remind them of their time spent there. They love nature and the outdoors so the use of a wood slab and concrete vessel made sense for this particular part of the design."
This powder bath offers the perfect wow factor with a stunning agate piece.
"[With it] being a modern home and using a precious stone like this, I felt the vanity design needed to stay simple," shares designer Shay Geyer, owner of IBB Design. "Anything fussy would take away from the gorgeous natural pattern that the agate creates. The stone drastically changes colors when backlit, so that was a must to incorporate into our design. Amethyst grass cloth wallpaper and rose gold pendant lights and faucet were selected to enhance the color palette seen in the agate vanity. A simple flush vertical mirror offers function without overpowering any of the other design elements."
“Book-matching is and will always be timeless. Artisans... have been book-matching material for centuries; [it is] not just a fleeting trend,” says Noah Kimberlain of Levantina USA. Showcased here is Tropical Storm quartzite by Naturamia.
For places we frequent, kitchens and bathrooms don't have to be dull; instead, they can be places of inspiration and creativity, and that starts with stone—nature's own masterpiece. Even more satisfying and interesting is book-matched stone, where t w o slabs are laid to mirror each other and polished on opposite sides, creating a Rorschach-like image. According to Noah Kimberlain, sales manager at Levantina USA's Atlanta showroom, book-matching is very specific. "Book-matching is the practice of matching stone surfaces so that two adjoining surfaces mirror each other," he continues, "whereas vein matching is the practice of matching the same vein to make the pattern run consistently so that there is no break in the pattern." Both are beautiful but it truly depends on what the client wants.
Book-matched natural stone—whether it be marble, quartzite, granite or travertine—has a reputation of being an expensive product due to the time-consuming and labor-intensive harvest process, but a little bit of high-quality marble can go a long way, acting as the constant in a home as it transitions throughout the years.
With so many different types of stone, each slab has a distinct grain, color and veining depending on where it was sourced. Some present practically white, while others spiderweb out in all directions, creating a dialogue on the slab. The outcome makes a statement. Book-matched stone is the best way to showcase the true natural beauty of stone so that it can become a piece of art. Naturally occurring symmetry is not only satisfying to the eye, but it instantly makes a space feel customized and exclusive.
"Having the right fabricator is the key to a good book-match on stone surfaces," says Kimberlain. "Fabricators are like artisans at what they do. They see patterns and pay attention to the details and make sure that one vein matches another vein to a 16th of an inch or closer." He adds that having the right stone is also key to book-matching as not all bundles and blocks are cut to be book-matched.
While sleek European kitchens will always have their place, there's been a move toward embracing organic materials in the kitchen—and not just for cabinetry. "Organic textures and nature-inspired colors literally ground you and bring you back to earth," says interior designer Jennifer Robin, who created the Napa Valley kitchen at right with Wade Design Architects. "When current affairs feel so uncertain, these qualities of an interior are what people will be yearning for—a sort of visual meditation to calm the senses."
“Every day I’m hearing from clients that they are wanting their homes to be calming, spalike, earthy and organic,” says Jennifer Robin, who designed this woodsy kitchen. “Whatever the tones, wood finishes are a great way to create this, as long as people are using reclaimed or sustainably harvested woods.”
Inspired by the redwood trees surrounding the home, Robin used copper accents to complement the reclaimed wood and forest green cabinetry seen throughout the kitchen. "We wanted to blur the lines between inside and outside and create a space that was earthy and organic but still sophisticated. The Atlanta kitchen (on opposite page) by Jessica Davis of Atelier Davis also incorporates organic elements in the clean-lined space, using salvaged magnolia wood throughout. "I wanted to keep the design tied to the period of the home but updated for modern living," she says.
An Atlanta kitchen by Atelier Davis incorporates salvaged magnolia wood, tiles from Fireclay Tile and counters from Dekton.
Although the sun-drenched kitchen by Bestor Architecture and Reath Design uses wood as the main material, lighter-toned Douglas fir—balanced with smooth marble and granite countertops and white backsplash tiles by Waterworks—provides a bright and modern look and feel.
Bestor Architecture and Reath Design used Douglas fir in this modern kitchen.
"Pull colors into the cabinetry and walls that are a mirror to the natural surroundings so the inside-outside line is blurred," says Robin. "Choose colors and textures that ground you to the earth and comfort you in warmth." Adds Davis, "Don't be afraid to mix wood tones and think about using wood on surfaces other than the standard issue (floors). Wood ceilings, adding wood beams for dimension and texture, wood counters, even a wood backsplash are interesting ways to incorporate wood tones to warm things up."
Pop of Color
Seeing red? Homeowners are shedding their neutrals in favor of bigger and bolder tones. As shown at High Point Market, red and orange hues provide a pop of brightness while still bringing a warm and inviting vibe to a kitchen or any room.
"Add a statement piece to your outdoor space with our Elements," says Daniel Germani, creative director of Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens. "All cabinets are powder coated, providing durable covering built to withstand the outdoor elements." Or make your range the anchor in your kitchen with Bertazzoni's Professional Series, available in bright colors like orange, yellow and red.
York Wallcoverings Bird of Paradise print
Top-tier brands like Arteriors, Bertazzoni, Brown Jordan Outdoor Kitchens, Cosentino and York Wallcoverings are unveiling showstopping colors in everything from appliances and furniture to wallcoverings and surfaces. The red and orange tones are sure to be a conversation starter, and rich velvet hues add a sense of luxury to any interior.
“Celebrate the Mediterranean landscape at sunset with Silestone’s Arcilla Red,” says Elizabeth Ramos, marketing director for Cosentino. “It delights the senses with a delicate texture that serves as a compelling contrast to the burst of color it brings to a space.”