Hard-Working Rooms

Don't get trendy with kitchens and bathrooms.

We all know that kitchens and bathrooms are the most attention-worthy rooms. Any realtor will tell you this is where you should put your money and any nester will tell you this is where the magic happens.

So as we set out to execute on our vision of farmhouse fabulousness we invested a lot of time (and money) in these hard-working rooms. Here’s an in-progress look. Not too exciting yet.

From the outset, we had a clear plan for the spaces – white, bright, breezy and of course gorgeous. A kitchen we could gather in. A place to cook as a family using fresh vegetables from our garden. Double ovens and pot-filling taps. A pretty bathroom for a pre-cocktail hour primp after having spent a long day doing nothing. Shower spa jets and waterfalls with surround-sound music. Ahh, the dream.

However, we can’t let our hearts totally sweep us away. As we designed these expensive and enduring rooms I was reminded to infuse a bit of practicality and fiscal restraint. This is especially important if you are designing a vacation/leisure property where you will be less likely to make multiple renovations and may not want to invest as much as you would in your primary residence. You’ll want to get it right the first time so it lasts a long time – so here’s some advice.

How to Create Timeless Kitchens and Baths

Photo: Brittany Albridge | Domino

Select non-fussy cabinetry – a simple shaker in white will endure.

Photo: Lincoln Barbour  | Lonny  | Design: Jessica Helgerson

Invest in a classic counter top that you won’t get tired of – “hello Carrara marble” (even if the store person insists that you should not use it in the kitchen).

Photo: Light Locations

Be basic with your kitchen back splash and  bathroom tiles – nothing dates a space like ceramics, stick to white subway tiles for a cheap, cheerful and lasting option. 

Photo: Jean Allsopp | Birmingham Home and Garden

Play with accessories – gold fixtures are hot today (and I want them), so go ahead, it’s easy and not too expensive to switch the cabinet handles back to brushed chrome when they come back in vogue.

Cynthia Zamaria | Photo: Per Kristiansen
Cynthia Zamaria | Photo: Per Kristiansen

Experiment with your lights – have fun with light fixtures to simply add confident flair – lights are also relatively easy to replace if you want a refresh.

Photo: Paul Massey | Domain

Floors that get better with age – dogs, dropped cutting boards and lots of traffic will inevitably beat up your floors so choose a hardworking surface that gets even more charming with the patina of life.


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