When it comes to designing your kitchen, making the space both welcoming and functional can be an unnerving prospect.
In Cayman, modern designs are proving popular among those creating new kitchens or refurbishing old ones.
One company offering sleek, clean lines with innovative designs is Aster Cucine from Italy.
Aster Cucine offers many alternatives, from the ultra-modern to a more traditional feel, and can turn any space into a glamorous room with original designs, unusual materials and innovative technology.
Aster Cucine designs reflect the growing demand for kitchens with unique, ergonomically-designed cabinets and vibrant colours.
“They use every part of the kitchen, they’re very practical, but you can’t even see them. They are phenomenal,” explains Rick Singer, of Pooley Design Studio.
“A lot of the lines make a kitchen not look like a kitchen.” Giving your kitchen a facelift does not have to break the bank. In these cash-strapped times, Dream Maker Bath and Kitchen offers an alternative to gutting the kitchen and forking out for brand new fixtures and fittings.
Graham Peck, of Dream Maker, says a fairly straightforward makeover involves stripping the kitchen and repainting the cabinets, countertops and even the fridge, which can give the space an entirely new look.
“We don’t do old stuff, we just make old stuff look new,” he says. “We come in and take the cupboard doors off and we spray inside and outside the cabinets. We take the doors back to the spray booth in the workshop. We spray the doors and they look like they have been plastic dipped. Then we add the handles or door knobs. When we reinstall them, people go ‘wow’. They say it looks like a new kitchen.”
The company re-sprays cabinets and cupboards in solid colours, such as white or red.
“A lot of people are opting for white, with stainless steel handles,” Graham says.
Dream Maker charges around $2500 to $3000 to remodel an average-sized kitchen.
The company can even revamp a battered old fridge.
“We take the door and spray it up. We can match any fridge colour,” Graham says, adding that if the client wants something more innovative or funky, Dream Maker can spray the door any colour or even a combination of colours.
Another trend catching on in the kitchen is the desire to be green. Nowadays, being environmentally friendly does not just mean keeping recycling bins or buying organic food.
Crystal Cabinets is producing GreenQuest, a new frameless, environmentally-friendly cabinet line that offers a multitude of options to design healthy and sustainable custom cabinetry.
The cabinets have no added urea-formaldehyde boxwork. They are made of wood species certified according to the Forest Stewardship Council criteria and use low-emitting water-based finishes and recycled materials.
Woods Furniture & Design recently started carrying the GreenQuest line.
For every tree that is cut down and used in GreenQuest wood products, two are planted, explains Ken Holland, kitchen and bath design consultant at Woods.
“People want to be environmentally conscious,” he says.
Even while choosing the greenest products possible, aesthetics are usually at the centre of the every design decision. Horizontal rather than the more traditional vertical lines are proving popular, as are sustainable woods, like Lyptus, made from eucalyptus trees or bamboo.
Holding up a square of bamboo wood, Ken says that in the past, the wood would have been installed with the lines running vertically, but the more contemporary style tends towards horizontal.
Colour and lighting
With colour, more people are turning to subtle shades like sage green, chiffon and butterscotch. Mixing and matching colours in kitchen cabinetry is a relatively new trend that offers a wider palette of choices to kitchen designers.
There are also many more lighting options available than ever before.
Ken describes the innovative option of having shelves that are installed with LED lights, so the shelves themselves become the light, avoiding the need for under-cabinet lights to illuminate countertops.
The range of countertops is also greater than ever, with many new options for granite hitting the market. The availability and demand for granite countertops means granite is becoming more affordable.
“We are able to source new granite from different parts of the world. New granite is coming along all the time. We’re always seeing different new designs and new names,” she says.
Blue Eyes Granite stocks granite from Italy, Brazil and India. Among some of its most popular granites are Uba Tuba, Cold Spring, Sant Celilia and Blue Pearl.
The versatility and durability of granite means that it is ideal for the growing trend in Cayman of outdoor kitchens.
“You can have an outdoor kitchen by your pool, it’s ideal for here,” Jacky says, adding that Blue Eyes Granite recently provided a large outdoor dining table for a house patio. Since granite is able to withstand the elements, it is perfect for outdoor entertainment.
Get it right
Being able to see and touch the materials when creating the ideal kitchen is vital to ensuring that you get what you want. With no manufacturing done in Cayman, buyers often have to wait weeks, if not months, to view and feel their purchases as they are shipped from overseas.
Green Thumb Home and Garden Center, which has its own factory in China, supplies tiles, cabinetry, quartz and granite, among other kitchen design necessities. Designer Cameron Walker explains that those items are shipped to Cayman in large volumes and are available immediately, so there is no time lag between deciding what you want and being able to get it.
He said wooden finishes in Shaker-style cabinets are popular choices among clients when it comes to cabinets, with beech, walnut and mahogany amongst the big sellers.
“People like to see the wood finish, they like to be able to see the grain,” he says.
Of all the rooms in a house, the kitchen is the one that best reflects a person’s lifestyle and character. Choosing the right kitchen to suit your needs should be done with care. After all, it is the heart of your home.