Think Durability & Style in Kitchen Updates

In most homes, no room gets more wear and tear than the kitchen. That’s why it’s important to incorporate high-quality material into your design, when updating or designing a kitchen, says Kayla Hauch, kitchen and bath designer at Benson Stone Co., 1100 11th St., Rockford.

She recommends quartz or granite for counters.

Quartz is a man-made material that may be solid in color or have a controlled pattern. Granite is a natural stone with more variation in its pattern.

“They’re both very, very durable countertops,” Hauch says.

If you want to add a “wow” factor to your kitchen, you have to think about all design elements, from floor to ceiling, says Hauch. For example, the right kind of lighting can add a sense of luxury.

“Layered lighting really adds to the overall function and look of a kitchen,” Hauch says. “We’re adding recessed cans throughout the space, as well under-cabinet lighting. Installing a decorative pendant or chandelier over an island is another design element that we do quite often.”

Today’s kitchens are often designed with more than one color of cabinetry. White cabinets are classic, but consider using a contrasting color or stained wood for an island.

“We do a lot of remodels where the home already has golden oak trim throughout,” Hauch says. “When remodeling the kitchen, we take that into consideration and choose colors that complement what’s already there.”

Since the living room is often situated near the kitchen, Benson Stone sometimes refaces fireplaces during or after a kitchen remodel to coordinate the overall look of a home.

“The kitchen leads into other projects, like refacing fireplaces or running the same flooring throughout the house for consistency,” Hauch says.

Hauch also sees more people installing under-cabinet tracks for light switches and outlets, so that the backsplash tile has no interruptions.

“This just makes the kitchen and countertop look a little more clean.” ❚