Part One: The Kitchen and Living Area
Let’s start with what has become the most social and important of rooms for families in Loudoun County: The kitchen and living area.
• Mix & Match: Make a splash with your kitchen cabinets while keeping it classic. Consider a two tone color pallet, and keep a neutral color such as white or grey on the cabinets, and add interest with deeper colors, or even wood tones on your kitchen island. Want to really jazz things up? Try a different color on your bottom cabinets. Tie it together with your navy sofa or favorite Persian rug to connect a cohesive color pallet from kitchen to living area. Pick either cool colors like blues and grays or warm tones of reds and browns and get that designer look.
• Storage: For some time now lower cabinets have been giving way to storage drawers and the trend is only continuing. Drawers are getting larger and deeper to accommodate pots, pans, serving bowls and trays. Convenient dividers allow for ease of organization and can be personalized for your lifestyle. Drawers are popping up in side cabinets and under ovens and everywhere in between.
The Kitchen Desk:
As any homeowner with a kitchen desk knows, they are hugely convenient. “Look, Mom, no more messy junk drawer!” Everything from receipts to calendars, school flyers and kid’s homework and recipes can be neatly stored within this vital piece that suits both kitchen and living area.
The Walk-in Pantry:
Designed for easy access and unobstructed storage, no kitchen should be without the walk-in pantry. Shelving can be personalized to accommodate pull-out spice racks, wine coolers and even ice makers, not to mention additional dishes, pots and pans. Do you have extra space? Turn your pantry into a room of its own and add a separate dishwasher just for glasses.
The Kitchen Island:
If the kitchen is the heart of the home, the kitchen island is what keeps it beating. And they keep getting bigger and more important. Not only can kitchen islands provide extra work space in your Leesburg or Sterling kitchen, they can also include an extra sink for prepping, storage via cabinets, or drawers, and extra seating for a casual family dinner. Even a staging place for you guest while you prepare diner. Islands work in the place of conventional walls to transition from kitchen to living space. Spice up your kitchen island with a counter top different from the rest of your kitchen counter tops and secure its place as Queen of The Kitchen. Paint the base different, or add decorative molding to make it feel more like a piece of furniture, than a kitchen island, and make the transition from kitchen space to the living room seamless.
Add Some Furniture (in the kitchen?):
Absolutely! Add a cozy love seat, or window seat, to soften stainless steel and glossy countertops. Throw in an inspiration piece in the form of a funky chair, or perhaps the family heirloom arm chair. Don’t neglect the flooring. If you want sleek and modern, shy away from throw rugs and opt for something dynamic like concrete, or bamboo flooring, and extend it into your living area with bold splashes of color. If you want something warmer try wide plank pine floors with some colorful throw, or classic Persian rugs; the perfect antidote to a sterile kitchen.
• Bye-Bye Stainless? What? Doesn’t every homeowner want and love stainless steel appliances? Yes and no. While stainless remains the favorite among Loudoun County Homeowners, some are opting for stainless colored black appliances. Or go bold with appliance in a firetruck red or sea-green. Want something in between? Try a stainless bronze finish.
• Want something softer? Have appliances covered with wood cabinetry and create a warm, cohesive look from living space to kitchen space.
• Specialty Appliances: There has been a lot of talk about the health risks of using microwaves but boy are they convenient in a pinch. Want another option for your Leesburg Family? Opt for a steam oven instead. Steam ovens cook almost as quickly and promise a more enjoyable meal. Like to entertain? Nothing beats a warming oven to give cooks a little extra time to pull the meal together, while keeping everything hot. Even better add a double oven, along with the warming oven, and have a kitchen worthy of a chef. Do you have little kids? Then you need both quick cooking and safety. Induction cooktops are perfect for both. In fact, with their ease of clean and sleek lines they’re perfect for anyone.
And everything is getting smarter:
• Smart Technology is here to stay and only getting smarter. From appliances that can be activated from your smart phone to appliances that self-regulate; it’s all happening, and it’s saving Loudoun County Homeowners money. Did you know that on average 33% of your budget is spent to maintain your home? Smart Technology claims to lower these costs through vigilant and efficient monitoring of home heating, electrical and plumbing systems.
• Smart Home Safety can monitor open doors, gas leaks and even if you forgot to turn off the oven. Video doorbells allow visitors to be seen on your smart phone. Just like their not as bright little brothers (alarm systems) Smart Home Safety will soon be a staple of any household.