Around the House: Cooking Up a Hot Looking Kitchen

Many kitchens open up to a family room, so the two spaces need to interact.

Who hasn’t entertained the idea of renovating their kitchen? All the cool pictures we see on Pinterest and HGTV make it seem so appealing. But it’s important to realize how many big (read: expensive!) decisions you’ll have to make if you undertake the project. And to give you the ideas about kitchen countertops, you can read what Home Repair Ninja says about granite vs. quartz countertops here for more info!

Some people renovate before moving into a new home, or when there’s a need to expand. But many people take the leap when their appliances break, or their cabinets are in total disrepair. Either way, you’re faced with decisions about styles and features you’ll live with for the next 10 to 20 years. If any of your appliances malfunctions and you need immediate appliance repair services, you may look for a local appliance repair technician to have it properly fixed.

I spoke with Danielle Florie, senior designer at Bilotta Kitchen & Home in Mount Kisco, to get the latest on trends in kitchen design. “Most of the kitchens we’re doing are transitional, or edge towards contemporary,” she said. And you can achieve that contemporary look with beautiful shelves and carts that are also very functional.


“In other words, we’re still doing a lot of cabinets with Shaker doors, but many people are doing Shaker with a small detail,” Danielle added. More contemporary customers are using slab doors in high/low pressure laminates that look like wood and other high gloss materials.”

There are many choices when designing a kitchen, and it can be helpful to have input from an interior designer in addition to a kitchen designer, to achieve a look that flows with the rest of the house. Many kitchens open up to a family room, so the two spaces need to interact with finishes, surfaces, lighting, and soft upholstery.

The most important things to consider when planning your kitchen are personal habits and cooking style.

Are you an enthusiastic chef who loves to host parties and make complicated recipes?

Do you have lots of friends who help?

Or are you more often a take-out person?

Answering these questions will help determine things like lighting, counter surfaces, storage, and appliance needs.

Be prepared to be inconvenienced during your renovation for at least six weeks. It’ll be worth it.


Choosing appliances, like the best non stick cookware one, deserves careful thought. Fran Schwartz from Atlantic Appliance in Yorktown agrees: “Obviously budget and space are two key constraints, but it’s most important to consider your cooking habits. Not everyone needs a double oven.” It’s also better and cheaper to just have your old appliances repaired if it still looks brand new. If it’s your first time getting your appliances repaired, many articles are available that explain what you need to look for when choosing an appliance repair service provider.

Some people are moving away from microwaves and opting instead for speed ovens or steam ovens, which warm almost as quickly, but retain moisture and nutrients. Manufacturers such as Bosch are offering a standard oven/steam oven combination in the space of a traditional double oven.

Stainless steel continues to be the most popular finish for appliances, although there’s a new trend towards matte black and matte white. Are you ready to dive into that?


No matter your age or budget, undercabinet lighting is a must to clearly see what you’re preparing.

Here’s my list of imperatives for my clients and their kitchens…

  • Undercabinet lighting is non-negotiable. I don’t care your age or budget. You must have it. It’s the only way to really see what you’re preparing; plus, if you turn off the overhead lights, it creates great mood lighting.
  • No “snowmaggedon kitchens.” I know, white never goes out of style. But you can and will get bored. Show your personality and add some color in the cabinetry or quartz kitchen countertops.
  • Make sure you have a dimmable pendant light over the kitchen table.

Thinking of doing your kitchen and want to talk to someone? Give me a call at 914-238-6614 and we can set up a consultation.

Constance Hall is an award-winning designer with experience in space planning, construction, and all phases of design. Contact her at constance@constancehalldesign for more information.

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About the Author: Brian Novak