The Three C’s of a Modern Italian Kitchen Island

Modern Italian Kitchen Island The modern Italian kitchen resembles restaurant kitchens in many respects.  For example, stainless steel is often used, and the designs are minimalist and sleek.  The island is the hub where all parts of the kitchen’s working zone are accessible at any time.

Islands work well in both large and small kitchens.  Well-designed modern Italian kitchens are so beautiful, that they often look amazing even when combined with a living and/or dining room.

When selecting the island for your modern Italian kitchen, consider these three C’s:

Convenience- How you will use your island in your kitchen once it is remodeled?  While all parts of the kitchen’s working zone can be placed within the island, you may only select a few elements based on your family’s preferences and lifestyle.

For example, if you love the fact that your kitchen sink is currently under a window, you may want to omit it from the island; especially since rearranging pipes and plumbing can be costly.  If you have young children at home, you may refrain from placing the stovetop within the island for fear that they may reach over from a stool and burn themselves.

For most people, the working zone is the center of the kitchen so it is ideal to contain the oven, a sink and even a chest of drawers within the island.

Color- A design trend of recent years has been to select an island’s finishes that are different than the rest of the kitchen’s cabinetry.  While the color and finishes of the island can be different than the rest of the kitchen, they should complement each other.

A contrasting combination between colors, for example white and blue, or black and red, has become very popular.  The use of light colors in the contrasting combination will create an airy sense of freshness.  The use of warm colors will prevent the space from appearing cold and dreary.

Community- The island will be a place where family and friends gather often, so make it comfortable.  Choose bar stools with high backs on them for maximum comfort.

Many of today’s islands look like stunning furnishings in kitchens large and small.  They offer conveniences that will make preparing meals easier than ever.

By selecting the right one, you will experience joy not only when passing your favorite recipes down from generation to generation, but just by sharing a conversation and cocktail with a dear friend.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America. We would love to connect with you on Facebook.



The Top 7 Mistakes People Make in Kitchen Design

Creating a masterful design for a kitchen often comes from the minds of homeowners who envision something better. The kitchen is the center of most homes and therefore it can add a tremendous amount of value to give it an update. Popular television shows and magazines make it seem so easy to redesign a kitchen, with the latest in kitchen appliances, kitchen building and décor materials. Yet, very often things go terribly wrong when an inexperienced homeowner attempts to design a new kitchen. Here is a list of the top kitchen design mistakes that people make, that can ruin a good kitchen, with advice on how to avoid them.

Lack of a design layout – One of the biggest problems with re-doing your own kitchen is not understanding the golden rule of kitchen design  - the triangle layout. Each kitchen is comprised of three important elements that include the sink, stove and refrigerator, which should be positioned with the least amount of obstruction. Unfortunately, too many homeowners focus on their counters and cabinets and forget about where they plan to have these appliances, turning their kitchen into chaos.

Covering up structural faults – As part of any kitchen design process, most people will start tearing out certain elements of their kitchen. In doing so, they may discover problems with the walls, the floors, electrical wiring, plumbing, and other structural features of their kitchen. An inexperienced home designer will just cover them up, which can be a big mistake that can cause damage later on. A quality home designer will recommend repair of these items before laying the foundation of a new kitchen.

Forgetting traffic flow of the kitchen – Depending on your lifestyle, the kitchen can be the hub of activity for your family and friends. Being able to walk through the kitchen and get to the activities needed is critical to the best contemporary kitchen design. A mistake often made is forgetting to map out the traffic areas when planning a new kitchen design; an oversight that causes years of frustration.

The wrong storage approach – In many homes, particularly those that are small, the kitchen is also not roomy enough for storing necessities. A mistake that do-it-yourselfers often make is just trying to add some more shelves to a random wall or building a standalone pantry. This doesn’t fit in well with any kitchen, and could put a strain on the walls of the kitchen. Instead, consult with a kitchen design firm to build cabinets and storage for your kitchen that is beautiful and functional.

Using poor quality materials  - Designing a kitchen can be a costly venture for most, but it’s worth the investment as it can raise a home’s value by as much as 20 percent when handled by a contemporary kitchen design firm. However, if you try to cut corners by using cheap materials, the kitchen will look bad and your home’s value will drop. Use durable kitchen materials that are sustainable and will make your home look great.

Inadequate countertops – Every kitchen needs to have enough countertops to provide ample cooking and entertaining space. Most kitchens in older homes and apartments don’t have enough countertops, therefore the homeowner may just add new ones overtop the old counters. But this doesn’t make the kitchen better, it just perpetuates a bad experience in the kitchen. Instead, have a kitchen designer create an island countertop to expand the usable space for your kitchen.

Lack of lighting options – Kitchens of today are spaces where both natural and electric light shine, creating a focal point for the home. Many homeowners forget this, and opt for tiny ceiling lights instead of opening up the space and using natural lighting and enhanced surface lights. Hire a professional kitchen designer to provide contemporary lighting styles that will make your kitchen more illuminated.

As you begin to plan for the redesign of your modern kitchen, be sure to call on the professionals at Berloni America for support.


Choosing the Best Backsplash

Choosing the backsplash of your modern Italian kitchen is a great way to infuse your unique tastes.  It is also an opportunity to create a focal point or play with the way the space appears.  For example, vertical backsplashes will make the kitchen appear larger and taller.  Marble, a classic choice, can be used to make your modern kitchen backsplash feel royal – especially with an uncommon counter-to-ceiling wall application. The only limit on your backsplash options is your imagination.  Wallpaper has resumed its popularity in the last few years and a simple coat of paint will never go out of style.  The challenge with both of these options is that they won’t protect the walls from spills and stains over time.

The following options are recommended because they are easy to clean and are perfect for complementing any modern Italian kitchen design:

Tile is the most popular backsplash choice.  It’s also the most overwhelming in terms of options since there are hundreds of styles.  Tile is available in a huge variety of sizes, colors, textures and shapes.  There are also many options within a specific tile size.  For example, there is an abundance of options for   subway tile.

When redesigning my own kitchen, I was overwhelmed with amount of options and photos available of tile backsplashes; all equally exquisite.  I recommend keeping it simple by choosing a tile that mimics the floor you have chosen.  The result will be a sense of uniformity and sleekness in tune with modern Italian kitchen design.

You can create a unique tile design by adding accent tiles made of metal or glass above the sink, stove or focal point of any wall with a backsplash.  A great way to highlight the character of your modern Italian kitchen and create a sense of continuity is to add a border approx. two-thirds the height of the backsplash.

Glass and stone mosaics are currently very popular.   They are perfect for a kitchen backsplash because they are impractical for most other kitchen surfaces.

The use of stone in particular is a great way to soften the edges of an industrial modern kitchen.  As you can see in the photo, the use of natural stone along the walls infuses an element of warmth into the modern kitchen.

Stainless steel is ideal for a very clean, modern look.  Stainless steel backsplashes are perfect for the kitchen because they are easy to keep clean and look especially beautiful in modern settings.  As an added bonus, they are eco-friendly.

The placement of a single sheet of stainless steel can create an element of sleekness and is practical for kitchen use.  There are also miniature stainless steel tiles available which add an industrial edge to the modern kitchen.

This post has been brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America, leaders in modern Italian kitchen cabinets , modern Italian sofas, and modern Italian home design. We’d love for you to connect with us on facebook and twitter for more tips on designing the home of your dreams!

SOFTEN THE EDGES     The look of this industrial modern kitchen is softened by designer Randy Weinstein with an ivory subway-tiled backsplash and contrasting rich wooden cabinetry around it. Four open shelves allow the backsplash more function by providing visible storage space, while adding a decorative quality with eclectic dishware and accessories.

Nothing is more eye-catching than a sparkling mosaic backsplash. Designer Linda Woodrum created this kitchen's focal point by combining reclaimed stained-glass tiles in gray, white and yellow to create a stunning, detailed backsplash against the entire back wall. The colorful glass tiles complement the dark wood cabinetry and the kitchen's overall urban edge, while also integrating a bold dose of color to match the golden-yellow work island.

Focus In    The first thing you notice upon entering HGTV Dream Home 2010's kitchen is the dramatic floor-to-ceiling backsplash in soothing hues of aqua and turquoise. Designer Linda Woodrum wanted to ensure that the backsplash was the star of the kitchen by keeping the cabinetry low and by using soft, subtle neutrals in the surrounding decor. Inlaid in recycled aluminum, the sleek glass tiles coordinate well with the contemporary stainless steel furnishings, while also lending a colorful and artistic element to the space.

WARM IT UP To add visual warmth to this urban kitchen, designer Tina Muller used tumbled natural stone along the walls for the backsplash. When paired with stainless steel appliances, white fusion granite countertops and dark-chocolate maple cabinetry, the backsplash instantly appears clean and contemporary.

UNIFY YOUR DESIGN    In this contemporary kitchen, designer Erinn Valencich takes the glossy blue-gray backsplash all around the room to create a unified design with elegant and romantic appeal. The mosaic glass border, with hues of brown and blue, provides a sufficient dose of color and pulls in the scheme from the adjacent dining room for a consistent look that appears subtle yet captivating.

Make it pop  This stunning gray backsplash makes a colorful statement against crisp white-lacquer cabinets and countertops. "The backsplash is so highly reflective that it looks wet and reflects so much light around the room," says designer Samantha Pynn. To further play up the backsplash, she coordinated the gray tiles with gray living room decor, such as the sofa and other accessories, for an open and cohesive look.


Tiny, but Never Insignificant - A Modern Approach to Apartment Kitchen Design

Life in an apartment or condo can be both comforting and cramped at times, but there’s nothing like having the freedom of expression in your own little piece of real estate. Modern apartment kitchen design offers the chance to open up the space in your apartment with simple lines, eye-popping colors, and amazing contemporary furnishings inspired by European designers. Using a more modern approach to apartment kitchen design may seem a little unusual for such a small space, yet it works well for most flats. In some cases, your apartment may be filled to the brink with mix and match pieces, and outdated kitchen looks. The kitchen is the center stage of your apartment, so this is the best place to get started with a redesign that will create added value, for entertaining or just everyday life.

Get started by determining how you like to use your apartment kitchen, and what needs to be improved. For many apartment dwellers, who have busy schedules, having conveniences like a beverage center, well-lit food prep areas, easy-care appliances, and comfortable seating areas are important. Starting with a drawn out idea of your contemporary kitchen will help you decide where to begin planning the kitchen of your dreams.

Kitchen cabinets and countertops are often a good place to start, when designing a modern kitchen space. Removing old cupboard doors and replacing them with sleek European cabinet doors and handles can give your apartment kitchen a brand new look very economically. Increase kitchen and pantry storage by adding extra interior shelves and special wall racks for storing contemporary dinnerware and cooking elements. Adding stainless steel or granite cabinet tops can improve the look and function of your kitchen, while giving it a modern Italian look for less.

In a small kitchen, having the ability to prepare meals and entertain guests are the elements of a modern lifestyle. More families are choosing to dine in or have guests over than ever before, so you’ll want to make your kitchen seem bigger than life with contemporary elements. Choose overhead lighting made from recycled glass pendants to illuminate your breakfast bar or kitchen island. Add a clever wine rack to the end of a cabinet to create a mini-bar. Create an instant café by adding a simple tray and your espresso machine to a table, for a modern Italian kitchen experience.

In the modern apartment kitchen, you’ll also want to make a statement by choosing contemporary art pieces, displayed on walls and surfaces. Use an oversized print to draw the eye to your modern dining room table and Italianate chairs. Hang a unique chandelier overhead, and use modern lighting in all the room corners to give the illusion of a larger dine-in kitchen. As often as possible, buy artwork from local sources to give your kitchen more charm.

The idea with a modern kitchen design is to create an environment where you can spend memorable time at home in your apartment, with friends or family. Contemporary design elements are very popular for apartments because they are simple to achieve more with less clutter. Using simple lines and arrangements, as well as light-enhancing colors, your apartment kitchen can provide you with years of enjoyment.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Berloni America—leaders in modern Italian kitchen remodeling.  We would love to connect with you on Facebook.