Friday, 10 February 2017 18:18

Small Kitchen Big Ideas

We all want that big, bright, wide open airy kitchen.

I’ve been an architectural designer for almost 25 years and in that time I have never once had a client ask me to make their kitchen smaller. No matter what size space your working with we all want our kitchens to feel big, bright, open & airy. Even if you can’t go bigger, you can at least eliminate the claustrophobic. Here are some design tips to make your small space function better and feel larger:

1. Keep It Light. Your color palette should be white or at least on the light side. You can still have color, but edit it down to a few accents. White glossy cabinets are the best solution for a small dark kitchen. They add brightness. The gloss gives reflection, acting like a mirror, which adds subtle depth of space. It also bounces the lighting helping to illuminate the dark.

2. Clean Lines. Small spaces need to flow, and nothing interrupts visual flow more than too many fussy details. Avoid overly ornate and unnecessary detailing. Eliminating visual clutter goes a long way in making a small space feel roomier.

3. Good Lighting. Whether your space is big or small, bad lighting is a room killer. Every space benefits from properly designed lighting. Kitchens require layers: overall flush mount ceiling lights, accent pendant/task lights, and under cabinet lighting.

4. Glass Cabinet Doors. Having a big window in your kitchen is great for adding light and depth, however, that big window also takes up precious real estate where every inch counts. Adding some glass cabinet doors is a good compromise. The glass doors add depth reflecting light and space.  A few Internally lit display cabinets open up your kitchen and give you a place to display your best dishes adding more light and interest.

5. Open Shelving. Replace a couple of the upper cabinets with open floating shelves. A cabinet box takes volume away from the room, whereas a few open shelves still allow you to see the wall behind, thereby not taking away the visual space.

6. Most small kitchens don’t have enough counter space. A cutting board designed to fit over a portion of your sink will help.

7. Maximize Your Storage.  A corner in a kitchen used to be called dead space, but today we have many pull out shelve systems that turn the void into usable storage.

8. Counter Clutter. Get rid of it or put it away. The less you cover up your counter top the bigger your kitchen will feel.


Todd Haase - Showroom Director at Austin Designer Kitchens

Friday, 27 January 2017 23:38

Three Kitchen Must Haves for 2017

Friday, January 27, 2017

The open floor plan is greatly influencing kitchen trends.

For those considering a kitchen remodel in 2017 there are 3 hot kitchen trends that will add value, style, and modernity to the heart of your home. The popularity of the open floor plan that makes the kitchen front and center is somewhat responsible for these trends in kitchen design. They are not a flash in the pan but are key elements that will keep your kitchen bright and relevant for years to come. Here are three trends you shouldn’t live without;

1. Brass is back. If you are thinking of the bright shiny colonial shaped brass of the 80’s, think again. Modern, stream-lined brass, especially satin brass adds a warm glow and is right on point. Coupled with modern kitchen cabinets, brass brings life and color and a contemporary focal point. In a minimalist kitchen, having all the metal a uniform satin brass can be very striking. However, if it feels like it might be too much to have everything; lighting, faucets, and cabinet hardware all in gold, then go ahead and pick your focal point. Its fine to have your faucet in stainless steel and hardware in brass (or vice versa). But I would advise against mixing your metals on the same piece, please no chrome & gold knobs! Finally, try a bit a brass on the counter as a way to draw the eye. A brass bowl can add the right pop of light & color as a focal point.

 2. A Bolder Backsplash. The backsplash is usually the last permanent element of the kitchen to be installed. It’s a great opportunity to balance what the design might be lacking; brightness, sheen, contrast, texture, pattern or color. Tile companies are using more geometric shapes and bolder more complex patterns. Fireclay brand tiles have contemporary geometric shapes and beautiful color options. The glazes on these tiles feature subtle color variation that bring interest and depth. You can even choose the amount of color variety you want in your glaze. High gloss sleek European cabinets by Astra or Pedini need matte ceramic or the natural texture of a stone splash as a counter balance.

3. Back to the Bench. Growing up I remember being in kitchens with built in banquettes usually stuck into tight corners that made it hard to get in or out of. However, in the open concept kitchen of today, a single straight line banquette that allows you to pull your table up to any part of it is the trend. These benches can be exaggerated in length and blur the border between eating and living areas. They create flexible seating that spans the kitchen, dining and living space. A few cushions can help define the sitting areas and in between the built-in bench functions perfectly as a continuous low table.

Todd Haase - Showroom Director at Austin Designer Kitchens



With clean lines and contemporary finishes, affordable custom European kitchens are now close to home. Modern Italian kitchens just got a little closer to home with the opening of the new Austin Designer Kitchens showroom. The store features a variety of contemporary custom cabinetry for new homes, condos or bringing new life into a kitchen remodel. Since the early 1900’s Italy has been renowned for its contributions to the design world bringing both classical elegance and modern creativity to everything from handbags to cars. But, no place has the Italian esthetic been more popular than in their craftsmanship of sleek modern kitchens. Austin Designer Kitchens works closely with cabinetry designers such as Astra and Pedini who have each earned worldwide attention as trendsetters in European cabinetry design. “This cabinetry is furniture grade craftsmanship that adds a new level of beauty and style to any home” says Todd Haase, Showroom Director of Austin Designer Kitchens. “Our goal is to bring a cool new sense of modern design at affordable prices to Central Texas”, says Haase. The showroom, which features several concept kitchens, as well as bathroom and closet displays, had a soft opening in late 2016 with the official grand opening party being planned for early 2017. “We set ourselves apart by having architectural designers work with each customer throughout the entire process from taking measurements, drafting design options selecting finishes and hardware, and overseeing installation” says Haase. The European style kitchen has grown in popularity as more homes are created with open concept designs. This design makes the kitchen more a part of the usable living space and often the kitchen is the highlight of the space. Highly functional, esthetically tailored to fit your style, kitchens have gone from utilitarian work space to the place you want to live and entertaining. Those interested in creating a modern kitchen can visit the Austin Designer Kitchen showroom located at 8820 Burnet Rd. Suite 405, from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. weekdays or call for a free appointment with an architectural designer.