Posts made in April 2017

Open Concept Living: Kitchen and Living Room

In some houses, you have the ability to look out into the living room while you are preparing dinner. While this is amazing feature of your home, this can produce different questions- how do you remodel and decorate to make it flow?

One of the major areas of consideration in this situation is going to be color. In order to make the two rooms look unified, it is best to stick with neutral colors and keep to the same accent colors for both rooms. If you are having problems matching pillows and appliances, it might be best to stick with neutral colors throughout with pops of bright colors as accents.

Another area of focus will be the floors.  To fully unify both rooms, consider using the same wood, tile or stone flooring throughout the space, with an area rug in the living room. This is one of the many things that you can do in order to establish the living room as its own space, without interrupting the flow of the rooms and make a great focus.

Islands are a great tool for open concepts. Whether it be that you use it to cook at or use for seating, it is a way to keep eating in the kitchen and dining room area, while making everyone from the two rooms feel included in the experience.

Consider the number of windows in your living room. Are you able to make them a focus of the room? Having an open concept that leads out the backyard will make your space look and feel even bigger.

Having an open floor concept in your home is great for hosting parties, family dinners, and feeling closer to those who are in your home. Once you make the decision to open up your home, opportunities for decoration will open up just as much.

Choosing the Best Tile Backsplash for You

Your kitchen backsplashes provide an excellent opportunity for you to personalize your kitchen. Although there are the standard required elements including appliances and cabinets that make up the functionality of your kitchen, your backsplash is an area where you can be creative and reveal your own personality. But what to do?

Tile Indecision

If you’re having a hard time deciding what kind of tile you want or what color, “wear” them for a little while.  Tape them up to the area that they will be in and see if one speaks to you more than the others. See how they look throughout the day- in natural light or not. How do they compare to your countertop and the lighting in your kitchen?

Color of Tiles

One popular trend is to make the backsplash a certain color and use accents throughout the kitchen to tie the color in. Also, having a pattern of colors gives it a more textured look. Some of the more popular colors include white, ivory, yellow, red, green, blue and gray.

High Impact Zones

Certain areas of your kitchen will receive more visual attention than others, such as the area above your sink and above your stove. You might enjoy highlighting these areas and have the rest be a neutral color.

Play with the pattern! Some fun options include stacking them like bricks, tiling them diagonally, or using different types of tiles within the same space.

Metal Panels are another practical idea. They also come in a variety of finishes that won’t kill your wallet. They are a little harder to keep clean, but they are extremely durable.

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Remember to ask about the trim pieces, which can be different based on the type of tile you use.
  • Make sure that the style you want is in stock. You don’t want to make decisions based on tile and find out that the kind you wanted is no longer available.
  • Ask about wear and tear. How do you clean the tile, and how do you seal it? The extra step is generally needed for natural tiles in order to keep its appearance. Any material can be used, but with porous materials you want to make sure they are sealed.
  • Talk to your supplier to see if there are eco-friendly options if you are interested in going green or incorporating this element into your kitchen.
  • When you are a client of Bay Area Kitchens, we handle all this for you (of course, you are welcome to join in on the process if you like).

Giving Your Kitchen the Best Lighting Possible

The kitchen is a room that gets a lot of traffic, so it is important to make sure it is properly lighted. There are many ways of going about this, but there are certain things to keep in mind when selecting lighting fixtures.


When picking out lighting fixtures, it is important to think about how you are going to make sure everything is illuminated. There are four layers- task, accent, decorative and ambient.

  • Task lighting is specific to work spaces, such as over the stove.
  • Accent lighting is what is used in order to add depth to the room. Examples of these are fixtures on top of wall cabinets, or at the base.
  • Decorative lighting is the cherry on top when it comes to illuminating your kitchen. It adds interest to your space. Examples of this are chandeliers and wall sconces.
  • Ambient lighting is the lighting that fills the whole room and doesn’t really leave room for shadows. This will leave your guests looking great as well. Generally, this starts with the ceiling lighting.

How to Make Layers Work Together

Having these layers work together to light up your kitchen adds a lot of interest and depth to the space. You don’t have to worry about your room looking too much like a museum (only certain areas lit up). There are ways to make your light fixtures work for you and your design.

  • Flow of the nearby rooms: You want your kitchen to have a natural flow with the rest of the house, but you don’t need to make them look exactly alike. For example, if all the over fixtures in your house are made of bronze, then it makes sense to use bronze in the kitchen as well, they just don’t have to look exactly alike.
  • Different shapes: One way to make the lighting look more interesting is to use lights of different shapes. If most of your lights are circular, think about adding a rectangular fixture or bulb above your sink.
  • Use fixtures that pop: More and more lately fixtures are becoming over scaled. If you have an island, you can have one or two fixtures over it in order to make a statement.

Although trying to map out your lighting in your kitchen may seem confusing and even daunting at times, remembering to use a layering system will help you to make sure every area of your kitchen is covered.