Friday, March 28, 2014

March Focus: Kitchens {Week 4: Finishing Touches}

In this last week of March, we explore some great ways to finish off your kitchen's unique style! 

Pendants over the Island:
Everything else in your Kitchen can be classic and streamlined, and oversized or unusual pendants add a huge dose of style.
photo via Pinterest credit Home Beautiful Magazine

photo via Pinterest

Decorative Hoods:
This stainless steel hood is the star of the show! The white cabinets, gorgeous marble, elegant backsplash, and simple pendants are all beautiful on their own, but the hood really is what makes this kitchen spectacular.
photo via Pinterest

Window Treatments: 
Patterned roman shades, like those shown here, or as an alternative, woven grass shades, are the perfect way to add a design element that also adds some softness to any kitchen.
photo via Pinterest

Cabinet Hardware:
This is a change you can make to your existing kitchen that gives you a lot of bang for your buck. Cabinet hardware does not have to match the plumbing or door hardware. A mix of pulls and knobs add interest, and the longer bar pulls (shown just below) always look up-to-date.
 photo via Pinterest credit House Beautiful Magazine

 photo via Pinterest 

photo via Pinterest 

Furniture & Fabrics & Patterns:
So many homes have open floor plans now, and that means you have living and dining spaces that are adjacent to your kitchen. This gives you a great opportunity to add style, color, and panache to your kitchen by association.  
photo via Pinterest 

photo via Pinterest credit New England Home

photo via Pinterest 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March Focus: Kitchens {Week 3: Countertops & Tile}

Let us inspire you this week with three timeless countertop choices as well as great uses of backsplash tile in the kitchen.

Black Honed Granite Countertop:

Butcher Block countertop (shown in a natural finish but available in many wood species, colors/finishes, and edge profiles):

White Marble Countertop:

 Inset Tile above Cooktop (classic white hand-made subway tile for the perimeter, and blue/green glass tile inset with brown glass border):

 Tile Backsplash (gorgeous pale blue ceramic in a moroccan shape):

Tile to the ceiling:

Friday, March 14, 2014

March Focus: Kitchens {Week 2: Plumbing}

This week's post is all about some of our favorite plumbing options. From farmhouse sinks to bridge faucets we break down what you should consider when building or renovating your dreamy new kitchen! 


Rohl RC3018
Your kitchen sink is something use more than anything else in your house. Everyone has their "dish washing style" so you need to find a size and shape to fit your needs. 
A farmhouse sink (picture 1) is a great way to add some old school flair to any kitchen whether it be modern, traditional, or cottage-style. Rohl white fireclay is the gold standard ('Sinks') and one of our favorites to use. White fireclay is the most common finish/material, however more modern stainless farmhouse sinks are available as well. 
The most common type of kitchen sink is an undermount sink (picture 2). These are available in a variety of materials but our favorite is a heavy gauge stainless steel. 
Whether farmhouse or undermount, single bowl sinks are more commonly used now than double bowl sinks. One large bowl suits both large and small dishes and have proved to be very functional. Also very popular and easy to use are double bowl sinks with a lower "smart divide" between bowls. This gives you the functionality of two bowls with the added ability to fill both bowls up totally. This essentially turns your two bowls into a single bowl that will fit a cookie sheet or long-handled pan. 
No matter the finish, we recommend a grid strainer for the bottom (picture 3) for more efficient rinsing and added protection from big heavy pots. 
Again, your kitchen faucet is something you use more than any other faucet in your house. You need to not only love the way it looks but how it functions as well. Often the kitchen sink and faucet are major focal points of your Kitchen; for example, they always look pretty centered on your island or under a window. In this case we prefer a more decorative faucet such as a bridge faucet (picture 1). This Rohl faucet is our all time favorite and suits almost any style kitchen. The hot and cold levers are separate and you need a separate hole for a pull out spray. An alternative is a single hole faucet with a pull down spray (picture 2). These tend to be more common, less expensive, and very functional. It has everything you need all in a streamlined look. There are many faucets on the market now that have "touch" technology, which is great if you always find your hands are covered in something!

Prep Sink:

For larger kitchens, we like to add a small prep sink in a location that suits the chef and/or entertaining needs. Typically this is across the kitchen from the main sink and provides a place for tasks such as rinsing fresh vegetables or fixing a drink.

Pot Filler:

A pot filler is a nice feature for filling your pots directly on the cooktop. Mounted on the wall, potfillers typically have a bendable arm and should reach all of the burners on your stove. Gone are the days when you fill up a big pot in the sink and have to carefully walk across the kitchen without sloshing water on the floor! We recommend this luxury for large kitchens where the main sink is not in close proximity to the cooktop or for the crab, lobster or Low Country boil (or Frogmore Stew as we call it in Charleston) enthusiast!

Friday, March 7, 2014

March Focus: Kitchens {Week 1:Cabinetry}

March is Kitchen month here at Riverside Designers! We are going to explore various design elements throughout the month of March that will take your kitchen's design above and beyond, while maintaining classic style.

Up first: Cabinetry. Well-designed cabinetry is essential to the overall function and appeal of a kitchen. The cabinetry in your kitchen is the largest design element and also the largest expense, so it pays to mind the details. This week we explored a few of the many cabinet designs that can really set your kitchen apart from the rest. 

Mixing Finishes:

Do not be afraid to paint the cabinetry two different paint colors or mix in a wood tone. This is a great way to add interest to the focal points of the space. The colors need to coordinate with each other and the overall aesthetic throughout the space. Contrast is fine but do not overdo it with two colors that do not complement one another. 
Picture One: We love the mix of the washed oak with the high gloss white in this first picture. 
Picture Two: The faux finished island in picture two is the perfect color variation to blend with the pale gray perimeter cabinetry.

Open Shelves: 

While these may not be for everyone, open shelves are a great way to display your gorgeous china, glassware, etc. and create an open feel. What you choose to put on the shelves is crucial, but it is a great way to add some interest and break up the monotony of cabinet doors. You don't want the shelves to look cluttered so select your favorite pieces, and remember less is more!  Also, open shelves always seem to work better around a sink instead of a cooktop (think of food splashes while you're cooking!)


Islands are one of the main defining factors of modern kitchen design. They are not only funtional but provide a central gathering place for families and entertaining. Bar seating is a great way to bring a casual dining space into the kitchen. Instead of a raised bar, we prefer a counter height overhang. This maintains the open feel of the kitchen and is more comfortable than bar height. For larger kitchens, two islands is a great use of space. 

 Glass Doors: 

For smaller kitchens or long walls of cabinetry we suggest mixing in some glass cabinet fronts. Add glass shelves and down lighting for some extra glam! Another idea is to paint the insides of the glass cabinets to add a pop of color. If clear glass is not for you, there are a variety of glass options that you can not see directly through.