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Design Essentials: The Kitchen

Have you ever walked into a room and felt as if it just didn’t feel complete? That it didn’t give you the warm fuzzies or that sense of delight? It is most likely because it is missing a key element to the design, if not several key elements. In this series, we will be discussing design essentials for every room in your home! Whenever Asha Maía Design is hired for a project, we consider a specific set of elements in each design. Because room size, shape, and/or design style vary, not every project always calls for each specific item; however, it is still our goal to incorporate these essentials into each finished project.

The kitchen is arguably considered the heart of the home. It's quite often a space where the entire family, and even guests, gathers while wonderful meals are being prepared. So much happens in the kitchen. It's where the kids climb up to the counter for a bowl of cereal in the morning and complete their homework in the afternoon. It's where new recipes are explored, and savory aromas permeate. It's even where we pour a glass of wine or scotch to wind down after a long day. No matter the occasion, it always seems inevitable that it all comes back to the heart of the home, the kitchen.

It is always our goal to ensure that the kitchen feels like a space that can host all of the special occasions. A place that feels warm and inviting and primed to gather. Kitchens require specific elements and furnishings to make them successful and feel complete. We believe a successfully designed room has three main categories of furnishings 1.) Furniture & Fixtures 2.) Lighting, and 3.) Styling. Each of these categories is important to a full and cohesive end result. The furniture sets the foundation, lighting (as well as color) sets the mood, and the styling brings everything together and creates a sense of home.

Here is our list of our essentials for an impeccably designed kitchen:

Furniture & Fixtures:

  • Cabinetry - Cabinetry is the foundation for the kitchen. Beautiful, great-quality cabinets with appropriate storage solutions will truly elevate your kitchen and increase functionality.

  • Countertops - A beautiful marble, soapstone, quartzite, or even quartz create the perfect surface for preparing meals in style.

  • Backsplash - The backsplash is an important component of the kitchen that can add personality to the space while also protecting your walls from the perils of food splatter, etc.

  • Plumbing Fixtures - This includes the main sink faucet, pot filler, and even a prep sink faucet. This is another great place to add personality to the kitchen. Mix it up by alternating the finish from that of your lighting.

  • Sink - An apron sink, undermount sink, stainless steel, porcelain, soapstone, the possibilities are endless here.

  • Hardware - Cabinet knobs and pulls can take your cabinetry to the next level. There are so many possibilities here to add that extra pizazz to your kitchen while also, yet again, being quite functional.

  • Counter Stools - To be placed at the island or peninsula.

  • Kitchen Table - We love a kitchen table for less formal meals

  • Kitchen Table Chairs

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  • Overhead Lighting - This is the perfect opportunity for recessed lighting.

  • Pendant Lights - Place these over the island, peninsular, or even sink.

  • Chandelier - For over the kitchen table.

  • Task Lighting (Sconces) - Sconces are great for specific areas where you need dedicated lighting like the coffee bar or even the kitchen sink. These can also be decorative for additional style.

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  • Area Rug - We love a kitchen runner for the main prep area and an area rug under the kitchen table.

  • Shades/Drapery - At AMD we recommend shades for a kitchen for simplicity and functionality. We of course love a combination in the kitchenette space.

  • Cutting Boards/Cheeseboards - These are great decorative items that are also functional. Stack them at the back of the counter or behind the stove.

  • Oils/Vinegars - Also great decorative items that are also functional. We look for bottles with simplistic designs to complement the space.

  • Vases - We also add greenery to our spaces and love filling a vase or two with eucalyptus or other stems and placing them on the counter or table.

  • Large Trough/Bowl - These are great for keeping fruit or veggies in on the counter while also adding simplistic style. Green apples, artichokes, or pears are our favorite to fill them with.

  • Cookbooks

  • Art

  • Plants

  • Candles

We’d love to hear from you! Let us know your thoughts on this list and if there is anything you’d add!

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Interior Designer Serving Alexandria, Virginia; Arlington, Virginia; Chevy Chase, Maryland; Bethesda, Maryland; Potomac, Maryland; North Arlington, Virginia; Mclean, Virginia; Washington, DC; Falls Church, Virginia; Great Falls, Virginia; Vienna, Virginia, Fairfax, Virginia


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