Warm Up a Modern Space

9 de Enero de 2019
I pulled the trigger, and this modern kitchen is currently being built for our home. I love so much about it, but can’t help but feel the space is still so cold! Does anyone have ideas about how to warm the space up? The light fixtures have not been selected yet, but the cabinets are under construction, and the slabs purchased.

Comentarios (50)

  • lucky998877

    Love it, so different! I would add fabric in barstools. Some greenery in modern pots by the window.

  • cakaspari
    Thanks luckyblueeye. I like the bar stool suggestion, as well as the plants. Any ideas for light fixtures, or the ceiling?
  • PRO
    Norwood Architects

    Accessories and plants will help. The type of lighting you install can have a big effect also. Choosing light bulbs that have a warmer color temperature can impart warmth to a space. And I agree with luckyblueeye that introduction of fabric should introduce some softness to all the hard edges in your kitchen. Good luck!

  • nosoccermom

    Love it. Just add some green plants and bar stools. And perhaps some copper or brass metal. Are you going to have those branch handles?

  • disfromage

    Add people enjoying themselves in your new kitchen

  • kim k
    Wood block cutting boards leaning behind the cooktop will add warmth, are you doing window treatments? Beautiful kitchen by the way!
  • cakaspari
    Thanks for the reassurance! I suppose things in a rendered kitchen look stark, and I was starting to doubt our choices.

    Yes, we are doing the branch handles, and the cabinet color was inspired by my favorite cutting board so adding those details will hopefully help as suggested.

    Will incorporate the soft lighting suggested, and start the quest for the perfect island lighting.

    I hadn’t planned on doing any window treatments. Do you suggest it?
  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    Plan a warmer, lighter, wood for the dark cabinetry than the espresso. I’d suggest a nice walnut.

  • cakaspari
    The cook’s kitchen, the wood is walnut... Do you suggest an oil finish?
  • PRO
    The Cook's Kitchen

    No to an oil finish on any cabinetry or floors. It won’t wear well. You want a very light stain, as walnut lightens and fades over time, and the stain minimizes that issue. Top that with a clear conversion varnish finish.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    wow. I'm so in love w/that walnut cab and the unusual hardware. what a beautiful, modern kitchen. I really like the stools in the first comment. (but I'd prob do the gold) That island needs a better light fixture though. that one shown is too common looking. I'd get something a little showier, more modern looking. Put a nice orchid arrangement in the middle, maybe a little fern over by the sink.

    I don't think it looks overly stark. the walnut lends quite a bit of natural warmth. Tell me about the wall oven w/the blue. I kind of like that color pop w/that.

    Walnut is beautiful when it's oiled. I don't think you need to do anything else.

  • housegal200

    Your kitchen is stunning. Do you have undercabinet lighting planned? This would add an eye-level glow to the room. I think some small, beautiful antique items--just a couple--out on the island or the counter could add a lot:

    --Antique alabaster table lamp in a corner.

    --vintage rug runner as below.

    --Silver ice bucket with an unopened champage bottle in the bucket and a couple vintage wine glasses would look inviting or, if teetotaling--a vintage tray, teapot, china cups.

    --Check Ballard Designs for over-the-island lighting. Again a contrast of classical against your clean, modern aesthetic would warm up the space.

    --Other well chosen functional accessories, and not too many, would look great--raw edge wood fruit bowl, big butcher block cutting board, large vintage tray leaning against backsplash, handmade pottery that gets used (to hold utensils, for example)

    What makes any space inviting are objects that invite someone to pull up a chair, have a drink, chat in the kitchen, etc.

    Marina Del Ray · Más información

  • hollybar

    Looks terrific and as mentioned, a change in light fixture and upholstered stools along with a plant or two, will warm it up alot. Well done and I hope you post the finished space.

  • lucky998877

    If you absolutely need window coverings (for privacy) then I would only do a roller shade that can be hidden when not in use. Anything more would take away from the whole idea of doing this kitchen.

  • cakaspari
    Thanks everyone for the input! I love the idea of mixing old and new. I’ve also been loving nods to nature. I found this fixture, but it is a bit expensive and I’m afraid it will be a fad. What do you think? Even though the space is modern, I’m hoping it will stand the test of time.

    There is an oven wall on the RH side of the kitchen that is not shown here. The blue appliance is a rotisserie. We designed this kitchen a bit backwards (ie. ordered appliances before the cupboards), and in the moment cobalt blue seemed like a good idea for a rotisserie!

    We hadn’t planned on lighting the base boards although I’m not opposed to it, and the cabinet maker is not pushing back on minor tweaks (so far).

    What are your thoughts on finishing the interior of the cabinets? Currently they are spec’d as unfinished solid walnut boxes. To match the exterior would be about $2k more. Is it worth it?
  • housegal200

    Aged brass pendant to tie in with the brass hardware on the cabinet front would add warmth. (Forget what I said about undercabinet lighting since your photo doesn't show uppers.)

    A couple of these if the measurements work. What I like about them is their curviness to contrast with all the straight lines in the kitchen.

    1-Light Pendant, Warm Brass, 18.25" · Más información

    Hinkley Cartwright Single Tier Foyer Chandelier, Rustic Brass · Más información

    Here's the one Beth showed--gorgeous.

    Hudson Valley Glendale 13-LT Chandelier 8920-AGB - Aged Brass · Más información

    Sputnik Chandelier Satin Brass · Más información

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    I wouldn't waste the money and do walnut on the inside, except maybe the doors. or are the large doors also walnut on the other side?

    what you might look into doing is a laminate coating (on the inside) in that same cobalt. Another poster on here had her inners done in a turquoise to match her wall color. It really look beautiful. I'd do the back and side walls inside the cabs.

  • PRO
    Anthony Perez

    beautiful kitchen, nicely done, since you have rich materials with grain texture and pattern I think that all you need as mentioned before is chose a warmer type of light, Aslo agree with the fabric stool but they have to be minimal looking and if they were brushed brass finish, it will also help to warm up the space, in addition choose carefully your light fixture over the Island, the one you show may be too much and if you do the brass finish on the stools do the same finish on the light fixture, and maybe faucet, other that that the Idea of the wood cutting boards is great look for several of them in more organic shapes, look into for boards and hand made utensils, that will help you bring your project to life

  • cakaspari
    Thanks Beth. The doors throughout the home are walnut, and unfortunately the boxes are already in production. I’d hate to paint the boxes since they are natural, but not sure if I should stain to match the exterior.
  • housegal200

    Forgot to comment on the intricate lighting fixture you asked about, OP. While that would work well in a dining room, dust and grease do collect in a small working kitchen area like yours. Something easier to clean will be a better way to go. (Yes, I just realized I should delete the last pendant in my lighting lineup for the same reason.) I do think a pendant with more brass area would link to your gorgeous cabinet hardware.

  • PRO
  • PRO
  • PRO
    Anthony Perez

    a kind of fixture like this alone will do wonders in warming up

  • annettea
    What a stunning kitchen design. You appear to have a ledge behind the cooktop that you can display some beautiful bottles of oil, salt and pepper mills, etc.
  • ljptwt7
    Wow, it grows on you. At first glance I didn't like it. Then after reading comments and picturing personal touches I realized how gorgeous this is. I think that's why you thought it cold, the absence of any decor makes it look very stark. That walnut cabinetry is beautiful!
    Looking forward to seeing your finished kitchen.
  • PRO

    Here are all types of fixtures for your review.

  • silviakunst
    To me the idea is NOT to clutter your gorgeous kitchen up ! How about just a big fat vase of beautiful flowers on the counter ! Or a potted orchid ?? It's toooo beautiful to make it into another type of kitchen ! Your design is stunning ! Less is more !
  • NHBabs z4b-5a NH

    Have your cabinet maker do a clear finish on the cabinet interiors. Walnut is a soft and quite porous wood, so they will need the protection from wear and spills. Well worth the money.

    Beautiful kitchen! I like the idea of warm metal fixtures, but prefer the simpler forms of the lights Anthony or housegal posted vs. the more elaborate ones others have suggested, both aesthetically in this space and for practical reasons, and also prefer less shiny.

  • cakaspari
    Thanks everyone for the advice! This is a view into kitchen from the dining room. I am not sure i like the stone color rendered inside the cabinets. It matches the kitchen, but was hoping for some added feedback into how to make this go from good to great before signing off and building it as is. The stone cabinet on the right side will extend right to the wall.

    Also, I’m attaching a render of kitchen with two simple light fixtures for kitchen. Do either of these work from your perspective? The brass feels a bit too polished for my taste, but if moves to a brushed it might work. LMK
  • tartanmeup

    What a stunner of a kitchen. My vote is for a simple light fixture. I really like the one in the second picture you just posted. Understated elegance.

    Not sure about the dining room pic either. Why is the stone in the cabinets?

  • cakaspari
    Tartanmeup, the stone clad drawers was just an idea I got after looking at way too many pics on Instagram! It doesn’t really seem to fit, does it?

    Our cabinet maker swears by the tipon (sp?) for the drawers and cupboards. I’ve never had this before, but he said that it is simple to swap out for hardware as you suggested if we hate it. I agree that it could warm things a bit more though!
  • cakaspari
    Tryanmeup, you liked the walnut fixture, or the brass?
  • tartanmeup

    I wouldn't busy up those beautiful cabinets with hardware. You've got the exquisite branch details on the left which add an organic feel and low shine to the space.

    Don't worry about adding warmth to the space. You've shelves on which you can add beautiful metal bowls and gorgeous books. You've a huge island that could easily accommodate some flowers or greenery in a woven basket. Leather stools. Kitchen linens. You'll be cooking there? It'll be warm and lived-in. ;-) Were you planning on any window treatments?

    ETA: Just saw your question. I prefer the walnut fixture to the brass but both are winners. My consideration, if it were my kitchen (ha!), would be maintenance. Which one will be easier upkeep and last longer (would the sun affect the walnut, etc.)?

  • nmshea
    Beautiful kitchen. My only comment is that the two branch handles should not be symmetrical. The symmetry makes them look more like a creature than a tree.
  • PRO
    Acassa Construction Corporation
    Add some dramatic pendants with either colored globes, or warm yellow light. A light in the 3K spectrum will warm up the look. Use colorful vases, props to add color as well.
  • cakaspari

    Kitchen is going up! It is prettier than I imagined in person. Still no lights picked out, but so far the room doesn’t seem as cold as I had feared.

  • cakaspari

    The view from the corner is a bit cold, but I think furniture and the lighting we end up with should warm it up. Still feeling like the lights should be walnut to blend and warm, and not take away from the fridge handles...

  • snowcountry

    cakaspariHow high is your rangehood from the cook top? It looks gorgeous.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    caka, that's stunning! the walnut works magic to warm up the space. those handles are magnificent!

  • Kirsten E.

    It’s even better than the rendering; love love love!

  • tartanmeup


  • njmomma

    Wow! .......following

  • ilikefriday

    What a spectacular space! That hardware is a work of art. Love it!

  • cakaspari

    You’ve been so helpful with kitchen suggestions. Can anyone recommend a mirror for this powder room?

  • cakaspari

    Also, should the mirror end before the pendant lights, or continue behind? Suggestions welcome!

  • PRO
    Beth H. :

    beautiful! I would keep it rather simple. you could choose to do a type of beveled or brass framed mirror all the way across . I think that would look nice to reflect back the pendants. or, maybe just a taller mirror over the sink area. I'd go as wide as the sink or just inside of it.

    But, I think you could also do 2/3rds the length of the entire span. I really don't think there is any wrong answer.

    i have a similar backsplash like yours, but used sconces.

    you could do a single mirror like I have, but i'm wondering if it will look to bare on either side

    Here's a visual for you

  • cakaspari

    Thanks Beth! The image helped. I like the simple direction, and also think you’re right about things looking too bare on either side.

    PS - what a magnificent window in your bathroom!

  • felizlady

    I would suggest a patterned fabric window treatment with some color. I would start with the fabric and either make simple curtains or have a custom Roman shade made. I would select bar stools which match one color in the window fabric or maybe bar stools with seats covered in the same fabric. Then you can use a few colored accessories: ceramic pot to hold large kitchen utensils, a vase for fresh flowers, salt and pepper shakers, potholders and kitchen towels. Hang a piece of framed art on the white wall to the left and on any other bare wall in the kitchen. A runner rug in front of the sink cabinet can also bring in color.

  • skunst2017

    I think your kitchen is gorgeous as is ....except ..I would add a beautiful big romantic chandelier and put it on a dimmer ..and just use your kitchen , it will become warm and fuzzy ...when you use it and put some of your pretty utensils , set the table ...put a candle ....I would not add elaborate bars tools instead I would stick with the modern elegant design and keep it simple . BLack come to mind ! And you can always add a low wide vase with lilies or tulips ..or a beautiful orchard . !!! Sooo elegant ! Enjoy !!! You did a great job need for much more ..!!!! Just pop that bottle of champagne and start cooking .

  • tartanmeup

    cakaspari, that's a lovely powder room but I must ask: won't the pendants get in the way? I could see a mirror covering that whole wall but then I wonder, how would one access it easily to clean it? I like Beth's visual (the second pic) and don't think the walls next to the mirror look particularly bare but do think it would look nicer if the pendants were reflected in a mirror.

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