• Nikole Starr

Design a kitchen that is perfect for YOU

Updated: Oct 18, 2018

Hi guys! This is my first blog post and unfortunately I haven't got a clue what I'm doing or how to blog. Haha. Probably not the best introduction. In a nutshell I'm an Interior Designer serving Houston and surrounding areas. I'm super passionate about all things interior design. This blog is going to serve largely as an outlet to share and breakdown beautiful spaces and to hopefully help educate my readers about the interior design process. I'll for sure share some of ugly side of interior design - the nitty gritty mind-boggling frustrations that go on behind the scenes.

With that said, lets just jump right into how to design the perfect kitchen! One room challenge


When designing a kitchen I always start by determining one important concept. Stained or painted cabinets. While its no secret that white painted cabinets are trending, this is not information you should use as a factor in deciding to go with stained or painted. Go with what you are drawn to. When you look at inspiration photos, what are the kitchens that you find yourself swirling in circles with you arms out and jumping for joy with a warm fuzzy feeling in your heart? Is it a kitchen with stained or painted cabinets? Let's be perfectly honest, both options are classic and timeless. This decision of stained vs painted will immediately set the tone of the room. Painted will give a fresh and crisp feeling while a handsome stain will leave a lasting, stately impression.

Beautiful stained cabinets in a kitchen we decorated.

Are you unsure if you want fresh and crisp vs stately and remembered? Well I can appreciate wanting the best of both worlds. Fear not friends! Mix it up. Thats right! Oh how I love a kitchen that boasts a white painted perimeter with a nice anchor in the middle - that anchor being a rich deep stained or painted island base. Below is a construction view of one of our projects, with that concept implemented.

Progress Picture of my clients beautiful kitchen with contrasting counters and cabinet bases. There is no denying this combination is mighty fine.


Next important consideration are the floors. What?? The floors you ask? What about the counters? Isn't that the next important decision? Nope. It is the floors. A lot to consider on these as they will anchor the room. If you know me, I am not one to believe that wood is not allowed in the kitchen. If I'm doing white cabinets, you can bet your britches I will select a nice warm wood stain for the floors. After-all, I love both painted and stained cabinets, so if I must forgo stained cabinets, I will makeup for it by adding richness on the floors.

Here we put wood floors in this white kitchen and stained the cabinets in the butler bar to mix it up.

My arm was twisted to do marble floors in a white kitchen, so I stained the island base for some contrast and to add warmth.

COUNTERSThe next important factor. Quartz, and granite and marble, oh my! Currently, those are the three most popular choices. Granite has held the torch for a good rein over the last decade, quickly getting taken over by Quartz. Marble, while absolutely timeless and stunning on counters, is best used in a bathroom as it EASILY scratches, etches and stains.

So what is quartz, anyway? It is a man-made product that is almost indestructible and you can get the LOOK of marble with out the headache. The only downside is it can scorch, so don't put a hot pot directly on it. I used quartz in my kitchen (below) and have been super happy with it.

My Kitchen

I opted for a two-tone counter. I went against the common "rule of thumb" that if you do contrasting counters, you need contrasting cabinet color bases on the island vs perimeter. Well what is this post all about guys?? How to design the perfect kitchen for YOU. Not for the general masses. My kitchen = my preferences. Sure, I often look at it and think I should maybe oblige and go paint it to be more "correct" in the design world. For now I'm just enjoying it as is and entertaining the idea of painting the island a lovely shade of jade green. I'm not kidding.


Long gone are the days when the backsplash was just a 4" return of the counter. With so many options out there, and ways to design a backsplash, this deserves a post of its own. Investing in a stately backsplash design is a smart investment. A backsplash is the one area that can be jam packed with style in the smallest amount of space.

This marble pattern tile was out of budget, so we maximized the use by placing it as the main design over the range.

We designed this elegant tone-on-tone kitchen to have a pop of contrast in the splash over the range.

Another example of how we used a glorious pattern stone tile to maximize the impact. Used only over the range. Other areas of the backsplash we went with painted bead-board.

At the end of the day, there is no one right way to design a kitchen, except that it feels right to you. I mean it! I want you twirling around with your arms out in sheer joy when you enter your kitchen. If the idea of selecting all the elements feels overwhelming, well call in the help of a professional interior designer. It will be worth the investment and happy dance when it is all said and done!

Thanks for making it all the way to the end of my first blog post! Comment if you have ideas for another post. I've got nothing haha.

#kitchen #design #interiordesign

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