Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

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Maybe not mirrors, but how to you tell which cabinet door is the fairest of them all? Does this image overwhelm you? If it does, then I probably shouldn't tell you that these doors only represent about 1% of the options available to you. "Endless possibilities" is a familiar tag line in the home industry, but no one is lying. It's true. In today's market, you cannot exhaust all the options.

So what's Snow White (or a dashing Prince) to do? Call a professional? Yes, I do believe in getting good help-especially with extensive projects like kitchens and baths. However, that professional can't get inside your head. You've got to know what you like and be able to convey your ideas to them.

Today's kitchens are evolving. A decade ago we generally saw one cabinet color. We might have added one contrasting element, but usually everything matched. Then we started mixing it up with similar cabinet styles, but two different colors. Perhaps a neutral perimeter cabinet with a pop of color for the island. Or light uppers, darker lowers. These combinations are still very popular.

Newer kitchen trends are focusing on combining different colors, materials, textures and styles of doors. Shiny lacquered cabinets with rough wood cabinets. Open metal shelving with painted cabinets and a mix of wood cabinets for warmth. Glass front cabinets with rustic wood cabinets. It seems there are no rules. Can we just put anything together?

I wish it were that easy. One of the reasons designers can break rules is because they know the rules. There are still fundamental elements of design they are following; considering space, color, texture, form, unity and so on. So how do you get the kitchen of your dreams?

Educate yourself. Today's homeowner has a plethora of images to peruse online. Start a digital file of images that interest you. After a while, you will see a theme emerge. You will know your style. Keep a note pad in your kitchen or bath and write down the ways your space functions well and the ways it doesn't. Then, armed with this information of form and function, you are ready to communicate your ideas to a professional who can design your kitchen.

So, don't be intimidated by all the options. The beauty of it is, you are unique. And those endless possibilities allow your space to be the fairest in the land.

Rochelle Grass, Interior Designer