Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Update a Kitchen with Rustic Floors

I recently had the pleasure of working with a new client who was faced with the challenge of picking materials and a colour palette to update their kitchen and eating nook – the challenge being they are not going for a ‘top-to-bottom’ renovation and wish to keep their existing floors and cabinetry.

They love their very rustic concrete floor (which were coloured to look more like thick, mottled tile work), and if they were updating their cabinetry in any way (painting, re-facing...), there could have been a plethora of directions to go in for their new countertop, backsplash and wall colour. 

But -- with wanting to keep their bright, glossy white cabinets, the style contrast between the floors and kitchen cabinets narrowed the choices significantly.

Here is their existing space:

To successfully update older, big fixed elements, it is important to select a colour palette and materials that will ‘bridge’ any contrasting style between them.  My client was attracted to more rustic / earthier materials for the backsplash, which would work well with the floors, but not the cabinets.

Here is one of the renderings we did to show them that a darker/earthier option for the backsplash would not look good:


I recommended a warm light grey for the countertop (they fell in love with a darker one, which works also), and a honed (matte-finish), tumbled white marble tile for the backsplash, with accents of tumbled light grey marble (which has veining and variations in it that speak to the terra cotta floor).

The white colour of the marble creates a link to the cabinets, and the heaviness of the stone and all its variations also links to the floor – and thus is the perfect ‘bridge’ to tie the two contrasting styles together.


In their eating nook off the kitchen (ok, it’s bigger than a nook), they have a fantastic tall coved ceiling.  I recommended that they paint the ceiling grey to both create an accent but also to lower the ceiling a bit (visually).

The ceiling height of the kitchen is so much lower, by giving the illusion of lowering the very tall ceiling in the eating area, it will give the illusion of adding height to the kitchen ceiling.


I designed the sideboard unit to be able to house a wine fridge ... it's expensive to go custom to achieve that functionality, but the concept looks great; don't you agree?!  They have a very interesting collection of wine labels which hold a lot of meaning for them, so I recommended they create a collage of framed pictures above the sideboard.

Do you agree that the recommended colour palette and materials update the rustic flooring, bridge the contrasting cabinetry and create a soothing and inviting space?

It's Your Space, Your Place, Your Life -- if you want a great-looking space that's right for you and embibes the feel you'll love living in, contact Liz to help make it happen!



- Elizabeth Roberts
- Rendering work: Margarita Poliakova


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