We all appreciate well-built kitchen cabinets and sleek appliances — especially as we spend more time at home and cooking our own meals. But these days, fun kitchen designs aren’t about those two ingredients. If a classic white kitchen is comparable to the “little black dress” in fashion, then bring on the accessories, because that’s what elevates an otherwise plain ensemble.
Atlanta kitchen and bath designer Matthew Quinn opened the Matthew Quinn Collection in 2008 because he couldn’t find cabinetry hardware that fit his design visions. Today the company has hundreds of cabinet handles, drawer pulls, towel holders and more, in materials ranging from leather, acrylic, hammered metals and many other mediums — little pieces of art for the home.
What trends are big right now? Brass is on-trend, says Margaret Demetree, showroom manager for Matthew Quinn Collection, including unlacquered brass (with a finish that ages over time), satin brass, antique brass and two-tone brass combinations. “Mixing those warm, gorgeous hardware tones in with any appliance, faucet and light fixture finish brings new life to each space where it’s used,” says Margaret.
“We’re also seeing a desire for textures in hardware (coined detail, beading, hammering and other treatments) to add dimension and depth to each piece,” Margaret adds. “And there’s a trend for long, sleek hardware in darker finishes such as matte black, oil-rubbed bronze and other bronze material finishes for clients who want a more modern look.”
For her clients in Louisiana and beyond, Baton Rouge designer Rachel Cannon has a variety of tactics for jazzing up a neutral project. “With our clients who like an all-white kitchen but want to personalize it, we love to include color on window treatments, counter stools, artwork and accessories,” she says. For homeowners who are a little braver, we love to use wallpaper — a grass-cloth adds not only color but texture as well.”
For a recent loft project, Atlanta designer Kit Castaldo selected a black-and-white theme, choosing few — but striking — accessories to give the space a sophisticated look. She chose the “Alice Sconce” by Visual Comfort as a minimalist light fixture that brings in a circular motif to complement the straight surfaces. For hardware, she went with satin-nickel pulls rather than knobs. “We wanted to keep the sleek-modern feel and only use long pulls to reinforce the linear lines of the overall design,” she says.
With most design subjects, rules are made to be broken — as long as they’re done thoughtfully. The days of an all-chrome or all-bronze kitchen where hardware, faucets and even light fixtures are all in the same tone are gone. “I’m all for mixing metals,” says Rachel Cannon. “There’s no rule that says everything must all be the same finish or color. If clients want it to feel cohesive, I don’t like it all to be matchy-matchy, but I might do a faucet in aged brass, cabinet hardware in un-lacquered brass and light fixtures in gilt or gold leaf.”
Whatever your design taste, there are undoubtedly the perfect accessories to complete the space. Here’s to a stylish, well-accessorized kitchen!