Minimalist Room Designs to Help Your Create a Calmer, More Satisfying Space

There's something calming about a near-empty room. It's uncluttered, quiet, reflective--and it encourages us, as viewers, to do the same.

I don't have the willpower or organizational skills to commit to the minimalist lifestyle, but looking at pictures from people who can is deeply satisfying.

Minimalist Kitchens

Minimalist kitchens are popular because they always look clean, never look cluttered, and invoke a sense of quiet dignity. You can achieve this look by sticking to a neutral color palette and minimizing decor. Pay particular attention to areas of the kitchen that tend to get "loud" like the backsplash, curtains, and hardware.

Minimalist Home Offices

Minimalist style is perfect for home offices. Clutter, loud colors, and busy designs can be distracting and make it more difficult to focus on your work. Instead, opt for a home office design with clean lines, minimal clutter, and stark, soothing colors.

Minimalist Dining Areas

Whether you're wolfing down a quick breakfast and plopping down at the dinner table after a grueling day at the office, it's nice to feel relaxed during mealtime. Using simple, functional furniture is a great way to encourage your busy brain to focus on the things that truly matter during meal time, like the delicious meal before you or the lively conversation of your family members.

Minimalist Bar

Here at Remodelgramme, we're of the opinion that no house is complete without a well-stocked bar. When the time comes to relax with a tumbler of your favorite bourbon or a cold glass of wine, you can appreciate the experience with a simple, well-organized bar.

Minimalist Living Rooms

Living rooms, like the name suggests, are a place where we can host a lively get-together, relax with a favorite movie, or even take a much-needed nap. That's why it's important that your living room is a practical space that accomodate all of these activities and more.

Minimalist Bedrooms

There's a common misperception that minimalism has to be stark, uncomfortable, and brutally austere. But minimalism can be combined with cozy fabrics, soft colors, and warm accents--like the rose gold table lamp below--to create a simple, comfortable space.

Minimalist Decor

It's okay to dress up a minimalist room with a few accessories or artistic features. The key when decorating in the minimalist style is "more is less." If you're struggling to keep a room from looking cluttered, remove a couple of your least favorite decorations to see if that improves the overall look. And remember, you can always stash your belongings--pots, pans, extra bedding, clothes--in drawers, cabinets, and furniture that doubles as storage to make the room look cleaner and less cluttered.

Countertops 101: Butcher Block

Known for their warm, rustic appearance and rugged practicality, butcher block counters are a popular choice for remodeled kitchens. And since wood is relatively affordable, you can look forward to years of life from a butcher block countertop--as long as you can keep up with its unique maintenance requirements. 

Here are some insightful tidbits about butcher block to help you decide if these countertops are right for your kitchen.

What Is Butcher Block?

The first thing you’ll notice about butcher block counters is that they’re made of wood. That already makes them unique among popular countertop materials, which tend to heavily favor natural stone and imitation stone. 

Butcher block counters are built with toughness in mind. To achieve that, they’re assembled from many straight cuts of wood that are then adhered to make sturdy slabs. The finished slab gives you a sturdy surface to cut and prep your food on. It’s a big built-in cutting board! 

Keep in mind that not all butcher block countertops are made alike. There are three varieties you should know about, since they all have different traits:

Butcher block island featuring the distinct "end grain" pattern.
  • Edge grain is used most often for counters due to its strength, stability, and lower price point. Edge grain butcher block counters are made by placing the wood boards on their sides and connecting them so that the edges create an even, uniform surface. 
  • Face grain boards are laid flat to give the counters a streamlined appearance. This material is not used as often for kitchen counters since it can easily be marked or scratched when used to chop and cut food.
  • End grain is the most expensive material of the tree but is also the strongest. End grain countertops are made from small blocks that are arranged in an almost checkerboard pattern. It’s ideal for cutting food because it hides knife marks and does not run knife blades.

Which Wood Is Best for Butcher Block Counters?

Nearly any species of wood can be transformed into butcher block counters. Maple is used often because it is strong, and the grain is clear. Red oak and cherry are also appealing choices since they offer a stunning, rich color. Butcher block countertops can also be created from bamboo, particularly for end grain counters.

Tips for Maintaining Butcher Block 

Butcher block counters need some regular TLC to keep them in good condition. If you skip maintenance, your counters will turn dull and crack, and you’ll have to replace them sooner than planned. 

Butcher block needs to be oiled or lacquered 

Without a proper finish, butcher block counters will begin to crack, warp, and lose their natural luster. Luckily, keeping them intact is as easy as applying the right finish. 

The “right” finish depends on how you plan to use your new counter. 

If you plan to do a lot of cooking and food prep, we recommend using an oil finish like mineral oil. For homeowners who plan to use the space as a dining surface, you can opt for a lacquer finish instead. That’s because oil finishes can rub off on clothing or paper, which makes it more practical than aesthetic. 

What kind of oil is best for butcher block? 

Any oil you apply to your counter should be food grade for safety. But when it comes to your oii of choice, you have lots of great options to choose from. 

Popular oils for butcher block include:Mineral oil

  • Vegetable oil
  • Linseed 
  • Beeswax
  • Paraffin 
  • Diluted varnish 

Mineral oil is a fan favorite because it’s colorless, flavorless, and odorless. One applied, it keeps out water and protects the wood from bacteria and mold.  

You can find mineral oil at a drugstore or health food store. If you buy mineral oil at your local hardware store, be sure the oil is safe to use on the surface if you prepare food on the counters. 

How do you oil a butcher block counter? 

Remove all items from the countertops and wipe the surface with a damp cloth. If there is anything on the wood, use a dough scraper to remove it. You can also use fine sandpaper to buff away burns and scratches before oiling the counters. 

Pour the oil on the counters and rub it into the surface with a dry cloth. Let the mineral oil absorb into the wood. This step can take as little as one hour, or you can opt to leave the oil on overnight. Once you’re done waiting, simply wipe the counters with another dry cloth to remove any excess oil.

How Much Do Butcher Block Countertops Cost?

The price of butcher block will vary depending on the grain construction, type of wood, and thickness of the wood. Generally speaking, you can expect to pay between $75 and $150 per square foot of wood. 

Here is a list of butcher block types and their average cost per square foot:

  • Flat grain - $60 per sq. ft. 
  • Edge grain - $85 per sq. ft. 
  • End grain - $150 per sq. ft. 

Another affordable option is to contact the manufacturer of your choice and select a butcher block worktop available in standard counter sizes and lengths. If you’re a DIY savvy homeowner, you can cut the top to fit around corners and appliances and install it yourself. For those less confident in their DIY skills, a local handyman service can assist you without breaking the bank. 

Is butcher block for you?

Butcher block is a great option for homeowners who want a practical surface for cooking and food prep. And if you don’t mind doing a little maintenance here and there, your butcher block counters will last a lifetime. 

Although wooden countertops aren’t right for everyone, they can make an excellent addition to homeowners who don’t mind a little upkeep every now and then. 

If you think butcher block countertops are the ideal addition to your kitchen, you can check out slabs at a local showroom or speak with a trusted contractor about installation options.

Inspiration Gallery:

Butcher block counters with apron sink by Clayton Homes
Farmhouse style butcher block island by Cabinets by Graber
Tiered butcher block island with built-in bar seating by Water's Edge Woods
Waterfall style butcher block counter with live edge by Water's Edge Woods

Countertops 101: Marble

Marble countertops are a hot trend for kitchens and bathrooms.

Why? Because the unique patterns and colors bring a natural yet upscale feel to any space. The marble stone is also beneficial if you enjoy cooking or baking as the "always cool" surface is ideal for rolling out dough or other prep work.

To help you learn more, we put together this marble countertop guide that explains marble colors, finishes, how much marble countertop maintenance you should expect, and the average installation cost.

With choices for every budget and style, you can quickly transform your home with stunning marble countertops!

What colors do marble countertops come in?

Most marble is white, grey, tan, brown, green, black, or pink. Veins or flecks within the stone tend to feature these same colors along with unusual bits of golds, purples, blues, or silvers.

As marble is a natural product, each slab will have unique characteristics and veining. This "one-of-a-kind" feature is appealing to homeowners who want an exclusive look.

Image of various marble colors via TINO

What finishes are available for marble countertops?

Marble countertops are available in three unique finishes:

Polished: A polished countertop is buffed to a gorgeous sheen. The finish showcases the stone's natural beauty by highlighting all the colors and veins. It also reduces the chance of staining, but the glass-like surface is easier to scratch.

Honed: A honed finish creates a matte texture. The soft finish hides imperfections but also mutes the color and veining. Sanding leaves the marble pores open and more susceptible to stains, so sealing is a must for long-lasting wear.

Leather look: A "leather" finish is a texture on top of a honed marble surface. This finish creates a bit of gloss, yet helps hide imperfections and fingerprints.

Do marble countertops need maintenance?

All countertops need maintenance, and marble is no exception. The real question is, "Do marble countertops stain easily?"

The answer is yes, it can, as marble is a porous stone. Depending on the finish you select, marble can scratch or show annoying fingerprints.

Luckily, there are some simple ways to keep your marble countertops looking elegant for years to come:

Sealing

You should seal marble countertops to prevent staining.

Topical sealers form a waterproof barrier on the marble surface, but the finish wears off with sliding dishes or cleaning. Hot items set on a topical coating can also cause scorching.

Penetrating sealers seep into the marble to fill gaps, so liquid spills can't soak in and form stains. Penetrating sealers are not fully waterproof, but do allow time to wipe up messes.

Regardless of the sealing method you choose, both require yearly reapplication to keep the marble surface looking its best.

Cleaning

Clean up any spills immediately to prevent the chance of staining, especially wine or coffee.

Watch out for acidic cleaners, as it can cause surface marring. Avoid abrasive powdered cleansers or scouring pads to keep scratches to a minimum.

A spritz of warm water and liquid dish soap wiped off with a soft cloth is the best method to clean marble countertops. For tough messes, use a cleaner made specifically for marble or stone surfaces.

Protection

Use cutting boards when prepping food. When setting hot items on the countertop, use trivets to stop burns or discoloration.

We also recommend using placemats on marble eating areas, and adding felt pads on the underside of canisters or decor that sits on your countertops.

How much do marble countertops cost?

The average price for installed kitchen countertops in a mid-range marble is about $3,000, but costs can be as low as $1,200 or upwards of $15,000.

Here is a list of popular marble types and their average cost per square foot:

Calacatta - $180 per sq. ft. (due to its rarity)

Statuario - $150 per sq. ft. (another rare marble)

Bianco Venatino - $100 per sq. ft.

Danby - $80 per sq. ft. (quarried in Vermont)

Black marble/travertine - $75 per sq. ft.

Bardiglio - $60 per sq. ft.

Yule - $50 per sq. ft. (quarried in Colorado)

Carrerra - $40 per sq. ft. (most common marble type)

Pink - $30 per sq. ft. (quarried in India)

Is Marble For You?

Marble countertops can be a serious investment in terms of time and money. The benefit is that no matter which type or price point you choose, it can last a lifetime with proper sealing and maintenance.

Searching for the "perfect" marble countertop can be a fun experience that allows you to bring the astonishing artwork of mother nature into your home. Nothing makes a statement and improves resale value like beautiful marble in your kitchen or bath.

With so many colors, patterns, and finish options, you are sure to find the perfect marble countertop to enhance your space!

Inspiration gallery:

This Statuary marble countertop by West Chin Architects extends over the island to accommodate built-seating.
This kitchen design extends the marble countertop to the backsplash to create balance and uniformity. Image via Architectural Digest.
Waterfall countertops extend the beautiful marble top all the way to the floor in this kitchen design by Silver Marble & Granite.
Honed Statuary marble countertops and backsplashes bring elegance to this kitchen designed by Workshop/APD.

6 Tips to Make Small Kitchens Feel BIG!

Does your kitchen sometimes feel like it was built for ants. You're not alone--anyone living in a studio apartment, vintage ranch home, dorm room, cramped urban apartment, or cabin understands the same struggle. The cabinets are packed, the floors are cluttered, and if there's more than one person in the kitchen, you're doomed to crash into each other as your struggle to cook.

Luckily, there are some clever tips you can put to use that will make your kitchen feel roomier, more comfortable, and better organized. And not one of them includes a wrecking ball and construction crew! All you need is a bit of ingenuity and the right equipment.

Drop leaf tables

Drop-leaf tables are game-changers for small kitchens. They're basically two tables in one convenient package. The normally diminutive table can grow to accommodate guests by simply raising the drop leaf. When your guests go home, the drop leaf table shrinks back into a postage-stamp size perfect for small kitchens.

Photo by Curtis Adams from Pexels

Floating shelves

When you have limited floor space, even small pieces of furniture can make the room feel crowded. You can free up space by trading your bookcases for floating shelves. Like the name implies, floating shelves look like they're hovering off the ground because they're wall-mounted. And unlike free standing shelving units, you can get creative with floating shelves by spacing them as far apart--or close together--as you want. You can also create cool visual effects by staggering the shelves in a zigzag or diagonal pattern.

Under shelf storage

Do your shelves have tall gaps between them? Then there's probably room for some clever under-shelf storage solution. Baskets for cooking supplies and hooks for hanging mugs are some of the many ways you can tap into that under-utilized space.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova from Pexels

Light color walls

Do you avoid wearing dark colors on sunny days? That's because dark colors absorb light while light colors reflect it. The same principle is at work when choosing paint colors. Light colored paints like white, beige, and light gray, are much better at reflecting light than darker shades like black, gunmetal gray, and navy blue.

Photo by Hakim Santoso from Pexels

Island with built-in seating

When you're trying to make a small kitchen work, it helps to think of furniture that serves multiple purposes. An island with built-in seating, for example, doubles as a kitchen table and a food prep surface. Not only is this is a practical use of space, but you can also get away with one large island instead of trying to cram a dining table and a food prep cart into the room.

Image source: snapixel

High-gloss paint on the ceiling

Glossy paints are pros at reflecting light and making a room appear larger than it actually is. So why don't we see glossy paint everywhere? Mostly because it has its downsides, too. High-gloss paint has a way of making every scratch, bump, and irregularity glaringly obvious. This is especially problematic in older homes with lump, textured walls. That's why a high-gloss ceiling is a comfy middle ground. Ceilings typically have way less wear-and-tear than walls, so they're a smoother, more attractive surface for high-gloss paint.

via Pinterest

As you can see, making a small kitchen feel bigger doesn't mean tearing down walls or spearheading a pricey kitchen renovation. There are many ways you can make the space look and feel larger simply by using some clever design tricks.

What are your favorite tricks for making a cozy kitchen feel roomier? Let us know in the comments!

7 Popular Types of Kitchen Lighting

Before you start remodelling your kitchen, you need to know what type of kitchen lighting options are available to you. This is because lighting often times requires certain fittings, which need to be taken into consideration before the building process takes place.

Generally speaking, there are two types of lighting: general lighting and task lighting.

General lighting is the light that fills the room. It helps us to see what is around us so that we can walk a clear path from point A to point B. This type of lighting typically comes from an overhead electrical fixture, which can take three different forms: recessed fixtures, surface fixtures, and pendant fixtures. General lighting can also come from the natural light that pours in through the windows.

Task lighting is lighting that helps us complete tasks like reading, writing, and cooking. The kitchen is one of the few places in the home that requires both general and task lighting in order for the room to be practical. Task lighting can come from reading and desk lamps, or as is the case in the kitchen, track lights, pendant lights, and spotlights.

Keep reading for a description on the different types of light fixtures you can put in your kitchen in order to have the optimal lighting for all your kitchen needs.

Recessed Lights

Just as the name implies, recessed lighting are lights that disappear into the ceiling. They are easier to keep clean as the recession helps hide the dust, and they help maintain a sense of openness in the room. They are used for both general lighting and task lighting areas. For general lighting, they are spaced about 5-6 feet apart; about 2 feet apart for task lighting.

If you are considering recessed lights, you need to plan in advance because they require space above the ceiling in order to be properly installed. Ceiling joists, plumbing, and wiring can all limit the location of the recessed lights. Once you decide on the location, you also want to pick out the trim. A baffle trim is a good choice because it helps reduce any glare.

Recessed lights are not capable of lighting up broad areas, therefore, you must install several of them throughout the ceiling.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Pendant Lights

Pendant lights are an architectural work of art. They should bring the room together by their color, shape, and style, and serve as a focal point in the room.

These lights are an excellent choice for task lighting. Most times, you see pendant lights hanging in twos or threes above a peninsula or an island near the center of the kitchen. Since they hang much lower than regular lights, they bring the light closer to the work area for increased visibility.

While pendant lights are also a great option for providing general light, you must work with the fact that they hang from the ceiling. They work wonderfully in homes with tall ceilings. However, they must be regularly cleaned.

Photo by Im3rd Media on Unsplash

Multiple Lamp Fixture

The multiple lamp fixture is a set of lights that are all connected to a single rod. The rod attaches to either the wall or the ceiling. Just like the pendant lights, they are a great choice for lighting up a peninsula or island. To help with the glare on the countertop, you can have them operating on a dimmer switch.

You can sometimes find adjustable multiple lamp features to install on your wall.

Most multiple lamp fixtures cast light over a two feet area for each lamp on the fixture. Therefore, they are a great choice for task lighting. Because they contribute to the aesthetics of the room, you should pick them out with style, shape, and design in mind.

Surface Lights

Surface lights were popular before recessed lights became a thing. They are installed on the surface of the ceiling and are a source for general lighting. Because they are installed on the ceiling, they have a tendency to break up the space in the room, for better or for worse. In addition, they must be cleaned on a regular basis, as they can quickly accumulate dust. The dust on surface lights will be more apparent than the dust on recessed lights.

Because they go on the surface, there is little advanced planning that needs to take place, like in the case of recessed lights. Surface lights are much more efficient than recessed lights, and are therefore making a comeback, especially as are more attractive “mushroom” units come on the market.

As they are a source of general lighting, surface lights should be spaced at regular intervals around the room, and complemented with task lighting fixtures.

Photo by Saviesa Home from Pexels

Cabinet Lighting

Cabinet lighting can bring your kitchen to an entirely new level. They have incredible display potential, but they are also an excellent option for task lighting.

Cabinet lighting can take the shape of puck lights, which are installed in cabinets that have glass doors. Alternatively, you can install LED light strips underneath the cabinets. Both puck lights and LED strips can be on a dimmer switch, which helps set the ambiance and also reduce the amount of heat.

While puck lights are not really general or task light fixtures, they do wonders to brighten up the room, especially if you have glass doors on your cabinets.

Modern kitchen with black furniture and wooden floor

Spotlights

If you are planning a larger kitchen, you may want to consider spotlights. Just like the name implies, spotlights are designed to project a bright light over a particular spot. Spotlights are task lights, and should therefore be installed in areas where more light is needed in order to complete a task. You might place them over an island or a peninsula. They can hang down, just like pendant lights.

Spotlights are really effective at lighting up a room that has minimal wall space. More often than not, however, spotlights are used in conjuction with general light fixtures, like recessed lights.

Track Lights

Track lights are now made with smaller lamps, which make them another great option for improving the design and lighting elements of your kitchen. Over the years, track lights have really evolved to keep up with the times. You can now find them with LED bulbs, which are an excellent choice because of their longevity and durability.

Track lights are very simple to install, and you can even add pendant lights to the track to help balance the architectural look. They are best suited over islands and peninsulas, and they are not the best choice for a general lighting fixture.

Track lights are a great option for both task lighting and decorating. You can decide how many lamps you want on the track, and you can make the track curve, which adds a refreshing look to your new kitchen.

What’s the best type of lighting for your kitchen?

Lighting can really make or break the ambiance of your kitchen. That is why it is so important to plan ahead and start thinking about what purpose your lights will serve, what types of lights you want, and where you want to install the lights. The kitchen lighting should not be an afterthought, as light is an essential part of being able to effectively work in the kitchen.

Most homeowners will have a combination of general lighting and task lighting in their kitchen, brought about by a mixture of any of the light fixtures mentioned above. This makes the kitchen both a practical and beautiful place to be.

Which Kitchen Remodeling Projects Have the Best ROI?

No homeowner wants to hear the dreaded declaration, “your kitchen looks dated.” Whether it’s coming from the lips of a beloved friend or a potential homebuyer, nothing will take the wind out of your sails more than hearing your kitchen is old, outdated, or out-of-style. However, that doesn’t mean we all have cupboards full of cash we can dig through to splurge on pricey kitchen remodels. Luckily, there are tons of kitchen remodeling ideas that pay off. 

Just like cars, some kitchen remodeling projects retain their value better than others. When the time comes to sell your home, projects with a better ROI will help you recoup the cost of your initial kitchen remodel. Popular projects can even help your home sell quicker! 

Let’s take a look at the best kitchen remodeling ideas for ROI: 

New Kitchen Cabinets

Photo by Level 23 Media from Pexels

Kitchen cabinets take up the most real estate in your kitchen, which means they’re appearance makes a huge impression. Dated, beat-up cabinets can drag down the appearance of the entire room. If your cabinets look old, faded, scratched, or discolored, then a cabinet upgrade should be at the top of your list of kitchen remodels--especially if you're planning to sell your house in the near future. 

You’ll be happy to hear that upgrading your kitchen cabinets doesn’t necessarily mean tearing out the old ones and replacing them with pricey handcrafted models. Refacing or refinishing your cabinets is a great way to restore their appearance without the gut-wrenching price tag of buying new cabinets. With cabinet refacing, your old cabinet boxes get a fresh coat of paint, new cabinet faces, drawers, and hardware. Refacing is a lot cheaper than installing new cabinets, but refaced cabinets have the modern appeal to catch a buyer’s eye. 

Energy Efficient Kitchen Appliances

Photo by House Method on Unsplash

These days, modern kitchen appliances come with tons of bells and whistles that look flashy but drive up the cost appliance installation. While connecting your phone to your fridge is neat, you probably won’t get a high ROI. Instead, focus on energy-efficient kitchen appliances. Green appliances have a better chance at boosting your home value. And in the meantime, you can look forward to lower monthly utility bills! 

Quartz Kitchen Countertops

Photo by Andrew "Donovan" Valdivia on Unsplash

Countertops come in a beautiful array of designs and materials, from traditional marble to ultra-modern polished concrete. But if you’re looking for something that is both beautiful and has an excellent ROI, there’s no better choice than quartz. 

Quartz countertops are a combination of natural minerals and artificial resin. Since they’re man-made, quartz countertops come in an endless variety of colors, pigments, and designs. And unlike natural stone countertops, they’re non-porous, anti-microbial, and scratch-resistant. That means your quartz countertops will withstand years of heavy use all-the-while maintaining their natural beauty. 

Modern Kitchen Hardware and Fixtures

grey kitchen cabinets

Copper, oil rubbed bronze, satin nickel, oh my--these are just a few popular options in the vast sea of kitchen hardware choices. Despite its small stature, new kitchen hardware has the power to completely upgrade the appearance of your cabinets. Plus, new knobs or drawer pulls are budget-friendly and easy to install all by yourself. Since they’re made of tough metals, your kitchen hardware won’t wear out anytime soon! 

A Stunning Kitchen Backsplash

Photo by carolyn christine on Unsplash

Kitchen backsplash updates are a popular kitchen renovation project because they have an excellent cost-benefit ratio. Installing a kitchen backsplash may have a small price tag, but it has an oversized impact on your kitchen’s aesthetic. Plus, backsplash installation is a great DIY project, so you don’t have to worry about hiring a costly professional. From contemporary glass mosaics to homey tile backsplashes, you have a nearly infinite variety of styles to choose from. 

Want to learn more about kitchen backsplash options? Take a look at Remodelgramme’s roundup of popular kitchen backsplash styles for inspiration and ideas! 

A New Coat of Paint

Photo by Saviesa Home from Pexels

A bucket of paint is cheap, but a new coat of paint can revitalize your walls and inject new life into your kitchen. And unlike other kitchen remodeling projects, it’s easy to swap out paint as popular trends come and go. From traditional white to chic shades of gray and funky turquoise, a simple coat of paint will completely alter the mood and atmosphere of your kitchen.

Contemporary Lighting 

Photo by Sidekix Media on Unsplash

Looking for ways to illuminate your kitchen? Try under cabinet lighting. Strips of LED lighting are installed on the underside of your cabinets to give your kitchen a soft, otherworldly glow. This is ideal for homeowners looking to add “layers” of lighting to their kitchens, each with a specific purpose. In other words, bright overhead lighting might be great for cooking, but you can switch over to softer, atmospheric lighting styles for dining and entertaining. 

6 Popular Kitchen Flooring Options

When it comes to the style and comfort of your kitchen, the kitchen floor is just as important as the cabinets, appliances, and countertops. Kitchen floors come in a variety of different materials and styles, each with their own unique characteristics. Price, durability, appearance, and maintenance are just some of the many traits that vary from floor to floor. 

Here are some of the most popular kitchen flooring styles on the market: 

Hardwood

Hardwood floors are a true kitchen classic. They're also incredibly long lasting (with the right maintenance!), so if you want to replace your kitchen floors just once in your lifetime and never have to worry about it again, hardwood is your best friend.

The most common type of wood floor is oak, but hardwood floors also come in ash, maple, walnut, and hickory. Whichever type of wood you choose, you can look forward to a floor that matches every style of kitchen, from traditional to contemporary, and rustic to Craftsman style.

Keep in mind that wood floors are one of the most high-maintenance kitchen floor options on this list. They’ll need to be sanded and stained every 5-10 years to keep them looking their best. Plus, they can be damaged by water and heat, which means they’re not always the best option for a utilitarian room like the kitchen.

Tile

All you have to do is think back to the black-and-white checkerboard floors of the 1950’s to know that tile has been a popular flooring option for decades. Tough, easy to clean, and available in many different colors and patterns, it’s easy to see why tile is one of the most popular kitchen floor options. 

Despite its greatness, there are a few downsides to tile. Tile flooring can be uncomfortable to stand on for prolonged periods of time, and if you frequently cook meals at home, that can be a big problem. Tiles are also incredibly tough to remove, so if you like to update your floors every couple of years, you may want to opt for something easier to swap.

Linoleum

Linoleum is a practical choice for kitchen floors. Durable and antibacterial, it’s a great flooring option for kitchens where food-borne bacteria is always a risk. Plus, some varieties of linoleum include a bit of cushioning to make standing in front of the stove a bit more comfortable. Environmentally-conscious homeowners will be pleased to hear that linoleum is made using natural materials, unlike their close relative, vinyl. 

Photo by Chastity Cortijo on Unsplash

Laminate

Like linoleum, laminate kitchen flooring is practical and budget-friendly. Best of all, it’s stain-resistant, so dropping a pot full of pasta sauce or a glass of red wine is no longer the traumatic event it used to be. The achilles heel of laminate flooring is water, since water will cause the planks to swell and distort. Unfortunately, there’s no way to repair a water damaged laminate floor. Replacement time it is! 

Vinyl

Vinyl might just be the king (or queen!) of modern kitchen flooring. It’s easy to take care of, straightforward to install, and available in a wide range of price points. Basic vinyl flooring is one of the most affordable kitchen flooring options, but you can splurge for high-end “luxury” vinyl if it suits your tastes. Vinyl is also incredibly versatile in terms of appearance. It comes in a variety of colors and styles, and can even mimic other high-end flooring materials like hardwood and ceramic tile. 

Photo by Random Sky on Unsplash

Bamboo 

Bamboo kitchen flooring is a popular alternative to hardwood flooring since it shares the same durability and price tag. Unlike hardwood, bamboo has a lighter, sleeker look that makes it perfect for contemporary kitchens. Keep in mind that bamboo is “thirsty,” which means it will eagerly suck up any water or moisture that makes its way onto your kitchen floor.

Photo by Mark McCammon from Pexels

Favorite Kitchen Flooring Trends

Whether you’re planning to remodel your kitchen or simply perusing possibilities for your future dream kitchen, there are many excellent options to choose from. From practical to high-end, high-maintenance to nearly maintenance free, there’s a kitchen flooring option for every style, budget, and lifestyle. 

What’s your favorite option for kitchen flooring? Let us know in the comments! 

Popular kitchen backsplash styles

We're lucky to live in an age of almost endless backsplash options. We can mix-and-match an array of textures, patterns, and designs to create something that captures our unique inner style, and project it into the spaces we create for ourselves. And what room is a better reflection of our inner-selves than the kitchen? There's a reason it's nicknamed "the heart of the home!"

We put together a helpful resource to guide you through choosing the best kitchen backsplash style for you. From classic subway tiles to modern mosaics and rustic wood paneling, we're confident you'll find the perfect complement for your kitchen!

Subway tile backsplash

Simple, easy on the eyes, and available in an endless array of colors and designs, subway tiles are a classic choice for kitchen backsplashes. You can find subway tiles in just about every color and shade under the sun, making this backsplash option one of the most versatile on the market.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

You can also put a unique twist on the classic subway tile backsplash by stacking the tiles vertically.

Photo by Charles Deluvio on Unsplash

Chevron backsplash

The iconic lightning bolt zig-zag of Chevron is a great way to bring some electricity to your kitchen backsplash. You can decide how much voltage you want by selecting either subtle, similar hues, or dialing it up a few notches with bold, contrasting colors. 

Photo by Derwin Edwards from Pexels

Solid slab backsplash

Solid slab backsplashes are built using large blocks of material instead of the smaller bricks and tiles we're used to seeing. The result is a smooth, seamless backdrop. Solid slab backsplashes are available in a variety of different materials like natural stone, wood, and stainless steel.

Stacked stone Backsplash

Natural stone, like wood, adds a rugged, organic feel to your kitchen. Stacked stone backsplashes come in a wide array of shades, from slate gray to warm sandstone and almost everything in between. While very beautiful, a stacked stone backsplash isn't the most practical backsplash option: it's hard to clean between the stones.

Hexagon tile backsplash

Geometric patterns have hit the remodeling world in a huge way this year, and it doesn't look like they'll be leaving anytime soon. Hexagon tile backsplashes have much of the same visual appeal as Arabesque (see below), but with harder lines and angles. All-white hexagon backsplashes create an ultra-modern aesthetic, while multi-colored tiles can be used in a beautifully variegated mosaic.

Photo by Creatv Eight on Unsplash

Arabesque tile backsplash

Elegant, ornate, and eye catching, it's no wonder that Arabesque backsplashes are all the rage. The organic pattern created by Arabesque tiles is a refreshing escape from the hard corners of subway tiles, bricks, and stacked stones. Depending on the color of arabesque tile you choose, the overall look can be clean and contemporary, like the picture below, or something more funky and bohemian.

Source: backsplash.com

Glass mosaic backsplash

If you want a high-end look without the high-end price tag of natural stone, then a glass mosaic backsplash is an excellent middleground. Polished glass tiles have a stunning iridescent quality that are sure to light up the room. They can be a little tricky to clean given the gaps between the tiles. But the good news is that they don't have the same pickiness when it comes to cleaning products that natural stone backsplashes are notorious for.

Square glazed ceramic tile backsplash

From 1950s diners to little old farm houses, this classic checkerboard pattern takes us back to the kitchens of yesteryear. While less common these days than rectangular subway tiles, square tiles are a true classic that will never truly drop out of style. For a vintage look, try pairing black and white tiles in a checkerboard pattern. If you'd like something more contemporary, try a muted color palette like shades of gray or the light beige and brown featured below.

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

You can spice up this classic backsplash style by shrinking the squares down to create a busier, mosaic-inspired look:

Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash

Glass backsplash

If your backsplash style is ultra-subtle, then a glass wall might be just what you’re looking for. Like the name suggests, a glass wall kitchen backsplash is a single sheet of glass affixed to the wall. Many homeowners choose to let the natural paint color of their walls shine through, although for a bolder look, you can paint the backside of the glass pane. A glass backsplash has the subtlety of a bare wall, but is much easier to clean than drywall. 

Photo by Jon'Nathon Stebbe on Unsplash

Tongue-and-groove board backsplash

Wooden boards have an old-fashioned appeal, and they’re versatile enough to be paired with kitchen styles ranging from Old World to farmhouse and contemporary brick-and-glass. Painting your tongue-and-groove backsplash white or gray and pairing it with a butcher block countertop will create a quaint, rustic look. For something more contemporary, go with a black backsplash paired with dramatic marble or quartzite countertops. 

Photo by Татьяна Танатова from Pexels

Basketweave Backsplash

One of the most elaborate (and challenging to install) kitchen backsplash styles is the basketweave. Built with interlocking rectangular and square tiles, the end result is a backsplash that looks like it's been hand-woven out of tile.

Photo by tamil king from Pexels

Your Kitchen Cabinet Style Guide

Kitchen cabinets bring a lot of personality to the room, and it can feel overwhelming to pick out the cabinet style that best matches your style.

Shaker style kitchen cabinets

The most popular kitchen cabinet is the shaker style. Simple and classic, shaker cabinets look like a wooden frame surrounding a sunken wooden panel. Usually they’re built using sturdy hardwood like maple, hickory, and oak, and they’re a great complement for both traditional and contemporary kitchen designs.  

Contemporary shaker cabinets with bar pulls
Traditional shaker cabinets

Slab kitchen cabinets

Unlike the recessed panels of the Shaker style, slab cabinets (AKA flat-panel cabinets) feature a single flat slab of material. Their hard lines and uniform surfaces make them the perfect centerpiece for contemporary kitchens and fans of sleek, minimalist designs. Slab cabinets are built from a variety of materials, from hardwood (pricey) to furniture grade plywood (less pricey) and participle board (least pricey of all). 

Slab cabinets with bar pulls
Slab cabinets with no hardware

Inset kitchen cabinets

Inset cabinets often look like shaker cabinets, but their construction and design is totally different. The door of the cabinet is inset within the frame itself, making for an incredibly sturdy, long-lasting design. It may come as no surprise that inset kitchen cabinets are some of the pricest on the market, but given their long lifespan, they’ll pay for themselves in no time. 

Louvered kitchen cabinets

Although it’s rare to see louvered cabinets in the kitchen, they make an undeniable impact on the room and a lasting impression. Louvered cabinets look like a washboard made of horizontal wooden slats. With an open space between each slat, louvered cabinets are well-ventilated and ideal for pantries and cabinets near washing machines or radiators.

The only downshot of louvered cabinets? Brace yourself for a hefty price tag!

Beadboard kitchen cabinets

Like louvered cabinets, beadboard kitchen cabinets also feature thin slats of wood. The key difference is that beadboard cabinets use vertical wooden slats, and the slats are fused together instead of allowing air to pass through. This cabinet style looks great in rustic and farmhouse style kitchens. However, keep in mind that the recessed gaps can be a little tricky to keep clean, so beadboard cabinets do require some TLC! 

Glass kitchen cabinets

Glass cabinet doors are a popular alternative to solid doors. They look like a picture frame--wood surrounded by a clear panel of glass at the center. Adding glass door cabinets to your kitchen is a great way to showcase your servingware and glasses, in addition to making the room look bigger. When wired with interior lighting, glass cabinets also add a unique ambiance to your kitchen. 

Open shelf kitchen “cabinets”

Open shelf cabinets aren’t truly cabinets per se, but they’ve become a popular--albeit controversial--alternative to traditional cabinets. Instead of looking like a cabinet, which is made up of a cabinet box with solid door faces, open shelf cabinets are simply...shelves! Floating shelves in your kitchen can open up the room and give you a chance to display your servingware, cookbooks, and kitchen knick-knacks. 

The downshot of open shelf cabinets in your kitchen is that they can make the room look cluttered or crowded. Everything--yes, even your cereal boxes and messy bags of flour--is on display for the world to see! However, open shelves can also be used to create a charming, maximalist kitchen with a down-to-earth, nothing-to-hide vibe. 

Last but not least...custom kitchen cabinets

When it comes to designing kitchen cabinets, the only limit is your imagination. You can partner with local kitchen remodelers and cabinet makers in your area to create something totally customized and wholly unique to you!

When the time comes to upgrade your cabinets, there are options for every style and price point. Which one will you choose? Let us know in the comments!

Top Kitchen Countertop Materials

At the heart of every well-designed kitchen is a beautiful countertop. Kitchen countertops have the power to set the tone of the entire room, since they take up the most real estate in your kitchen alongside your cabinets. 

Before you choose your next countertop, first think about your overall “vision” for the space--do you want something sleek and elegant, or warm and welcoming? Are you a fan of traditional kitchen designs, or do you have an eye for something bold and contemporary? Whatever you have in mind, there’s a countertop option out there that meets your tastes. 

Not just a visual focal point, kitchen countertops also play a major role in your kitchen’s usability. Each countertop option has different properties when it comes to maintenance, durability, and price. We’ll explore the pros and cons of each kitchen countertop option below, so you can choose the best option for kitchen countertops that fits your style, needs, and budget. 

Natural stone countertops

Photo by Jessica Lewis from Pexels

Natural stone kitchen countertops, like the name suggests, are cut from the earth and all-natural in structure and beauty. They come in a variety of organic colors, patterns, and designs, and are renowned for their natural beauty. Keep in mind that they do require a bit of maintenance: to keep them looking good, you’ll have to seal them periodically to prevent staining. 

Some of the most popular natural stone countertops are: Granite countertops

  • Marble countertops
  • Limestone
  • Soapstone

The cost of natural stone countertop varies, but they tend to be on the higher end of the price spectrum.

Manufactured stone countertops

Photo by Mark McCammon from Pexels

Manufactured stone countertops are engineered using a mixture of natural rock fragments with elements like resin and concrete. They’ve become hugely popular in recent years because they’re lower maintenance than natural stone and aren't susceptible to staining. 

Popular options for manufactured stone countertops include: 

  • Quartz
  • Quartzite
  • Travertine

Unlike their natural stone counterparts, manufactured stone countertops are a bit more budget-friendly. 

Butcher block countertops

Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy from Pexels

Butcher block countertops are made of a solid slab of wood like birch, walnut, and acacia. They feature beautiful wood grain patterns and will make your kitchen look homey, rustic, and inviting. The benefits of wooden countertops don’t end there: they also have natural antibacterial properties and are more sustainable than other countertop options. 

Wood countertops require more maintenance than other types of kitchen countertop; they need to be regularly sealed, otherwise they can dry out, warp, and discolor. Butcher block countertops are also prone to scratches, dents, and water damage. 

The cost of butcher block countertops range from high-end teak and American cherry to budget-savvy options like beech, oak, and pine.

Plastic laminate countertops

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Long gone are the days of lime green acrylic countertops (unless that’s what you’re into!). Modern laminate countertops and acrylic kitchen countertops are versatile, lightweight, and ultra budget-friendly. These modern countertops are manufactured in various styles and can even mimic high-end countertop materials like natural stone and wood. You can also get funky with bold colors and designs. Keep hot pots and pans far away from them, though--they’ll melt! 

Concrete countertops

Stainless steel sink with a tap on a kitchen counter.

While concrete in the kitchen might sound unusual, this alternative countertop option has recently experienced a big spike in popularity. Concrete makes some of the best kitchen countertops for durability, customizability, and affordability. Although they do need to be sealed each year, the maintenance is worth it since they are both heat-resistant and scratch-resistant. 

Concrete countertops are visually versatile. Since they’re poured out for each project, your concrete countertop will be custom made to fit your kitchen’s size and layout. The surface of your new concrete counter can be left matte or sealed and polished to make it gleam like it’s wet.

Stainless steel countertops

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Looking for a sleek, modern addition to your kitchen? Stainless steel countertops are both striking and practical. With a mirror-like shine, they look beautiful in every lighting and create the illusion of a larger, more open kitchen. 

They’re also incredibly durable, heat-resistance, water-proof, and non-porous so you don’t have to worry about bacteria. However, stainless steel countertops can scratch and dent if you have an aggressive cooking style! If you’re careful with them, the most maintenance you should have to do is cleaning up smudges and fingerprints from time to time. 

The biggest drawback of stainless steel countertops? They’re one of the most expensive options on the market.