Deciding on finishes is one of the most challenging parts of any remodel – but particularly when working with a kitchen. Just look around the Internet at the myriad of options that are available to homeowners and you’ll get a sense of how confusing the process can be.

There is no set rule to choosing materials and finishes, and that can make it even more complicated – even combinations of clients and designers. Every project is different, but there are still some general guidelines that homeowners may want to keep in mind to help make sense of a kitchen remodel.

For today’s post, we decided to offer a few suggestions for choosing a kitchen materials palette.

Start with your countertops.
Countertops require careful contemplation, especially for a large island, as this can be the focal point of your kitchen. This large surface area is a great place to start and can be the basis for the rest of your kitchen’s materials palette, including hardware, flooring, and backsplash choices.

Granite, quartz, and other natural stone are popular choices these days, but you may also consider stainless steel, zinc, or natural wood. Large-format tiles or slabs of stone, like slate, will minimize grout lines and create a smooth and easy-to-clean surface. It’s highly recommended to stick with a single countertop material with only a slight variation at the pantry or island, if needed.

Consider the cabinetry.
Depending on the choices of counters for the kitchen, cabinets are the next big consideration. They are one of the most utilitarian aspects of a kitchen, so they’ve got to be functional, too! We recommend sticking to a small palette of three or four materials to keep it simple. Look for light-colored cabinetry to keep the space open and bright, while adding other, darker materials in small doses to add visual depth and texture.

Use additional finishes to pull the space together.
Finally, use contrast to pull all of the visual elements together. For example, if you choose countertops that are rich and dark, go with a lighter backsplash. A monochromatic approach is great, but if the countertop is visually active, you can calm it down with a subtle backsplash. Choose a color that visually contrasts with your countertop and cabinetry for your flooring. If your floors will not be decided based on the surrounding rooms, have fun and be adventurous with your choices. But make sure the colors won’t clash with the choices you’ve already made for your new kitchen.

The other little things – like lighting, fixtures, bar stools, backsplashes and hardware – can also tie the look of the kitchen together in a remarkable way. Explore the use of under-cabinet lighting to brighten darker corners or install unique hardware to accommodate the kitchen items you use regularly.

One last consideration…
Something else to keep in mind when deciding on a new finish is whether or not you will be replacing your existing appliances. Those essential items, including your stove, refrigerator and dishwasher, need to work in tandem with the finished look, regardless of an upgrade.

If you’re looking to give your kitchen a much-needed face lift or bring the design into the 21st Century with a new finish, be sure to contact the professionals at MDV Remodeling. Our expert contractors can get you started today with a fast, free estimate!

*header image via Wikimedia Commons