The kitchen in your home is where you spend a lot of time, from important talks with your teens after school to life-affirming conversations with friends who are there for dinner. The central hub of the house should be a place where everyone feels comfortable, and where you can work unencumbered.
A California kitchen can accomplish all your goals while maintaining a bright atmosphere that feels informal. Here are some of the most important reasons to choose this style, and specific ways to incorporate it into your new remodel.
Overview of California Kitchen Design Style
There are several aspects of the California style that dictate what details are most popular. This kitchen is made for conversation and company, and it’s also reminiscent of California’s geographical location. You’ll also find Cali kitchens use eco-friendly materials and show care for the Earth.
Valuing conversation and company means many informal features in a Cali kitchen, as well as lots of room. If the cooking area is the central gathering location, it means the range is a focal point, as well as the sink, both places where the real work gets done. This type of kitchen also needs spaces that invite guests to relax and stay awhile, like an island with bar stools, or a bar on the other side of a counter top.
The geographical location means some Mexican influence, especially in the south close to the border. But the style isn’t strict about sticking to that as the only influence. There should be lots of light so it feels like a sunny day, even if that’s provided by light fixtures instead of natural sunshine (not every state where you install a Cali kitchen has the same weather as the original state of inspiration).
California is a forward-thinking state, so a kitchen designed to reflect that geographical location will have some modern influences. Your style will show that you care about the environment, especially when you use natural wood (even reclaimed wood) along with recycled materials.
But how do these details all manifest? Read on for some specific examples.
Cabinets California Style
With so many options, it’s hard to choose just one way to style your cabinets. If you decide to use natural wood, bamboo is a great eco-friendly option. Or you can try crafting your own if you possess those skills, and use reclaimed wood from pallets or other recycled sources.
White is also an option for a Cali kitchen, because of the focus on brightness and light. If you’re on a budget, you can paint the existing cabinets white to extend their life, or you can get all new cabinets for a full kitchen remodel.
For a colorful option, embrace the style of California’s Mexican neighbors and use open cupboards, or ones with a glass front, to show off what’s inside. If you have colorful dishes like Fiestaware, this will work perfectly, or it also gives you an opportunity to paint the backs of the cabinets inside, so that you can see the color through the glass. A bright yellow or turquoise would be festive.
For the floors in your Cali kitchen, a natural tile goes well with the theme. Anything with neutral colors means the focus is on your other details. You can also try a combination of tile in the kitchen area, and a wood or laminate floor for the dining area, if there is a natural division in the room.
With the Mexican influence of California style, some kitchens remind you of a hacienda, using old-fashioned odd-shaped tiles. And use the same natural wood from your flooring for accents in the trim around archways, doors, and windows, or even crown molding to create a look that holds together throughout the room.
The counter tops in a kitchen are a useful tool for bringing the theme together. Whether you choose to match the marble to a marble backsplash, or a stainless steel counter to similar appliances, be intentional about the style you choose.
Make sure you also think about the counter on the island, if you have one, and how you want to incorporate it. You can build an island out of natural wood with modern drawer pulls, or you can try something bright like a white island with a butcher block top. Either will work to match other counters or accent the room with its own style.
Colors can influence your feelings and those of your guests, as well as their thoughts about the food you cook. Studies show that the most important part of color choice is whether you choose colors that people find appropriate to the situation, rather than the actual color choice itself.
For that reason, to help your guests relax you’ll want to use traditional Mexican and California style colors like yellows, turquoises, coral colors, and bright whites. Even some black accents are appropriate, or brick, especially with tiling around the sink.
Natural colors work well, too, like bar stools with woven seats. These can be natural basket weave colors or Mexican-style serape patterns, or another great place to use reclaimed wood.
Chairs aren’t the only way to incorporate the colors — why not use a rug to get the job done? One with extra padding can find a place in front of the sink, or a kitchen without an island will have more room for a bigger rug down the middle. Make sure it’s washable, in case you have the occasional food spill.
Decorate Your Kitchen
After you’ve finished the rest of the styling, you’ll need to put your homey touches in place. Decorating with plants can complete the natural feel, and copper pots and sinks throughout the room will show off the hacienda style, if you go that route.
For modern light fixtures, try globe lights without shades that give lots of light to keep it bright inside. Other more unusual styles can work, too, especially if that’s the main theme you decided on for the room.
A Central Location
When you’re finally getting the California kitchen you’ve dreamed of, you’ll have lots of important decisions to make. Because the style encompasses many approaches to the same values, each step of the way means another opportunity to branch out. From cabinets and flooring to counters, colors, and final touches, your kitchen will be a reflection of who you are.
You don’t have to design your kitchen on your own. For help with the details, contact 800 Remodeling. Click here to get a free estimate today!