August Kitchen of the Month

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Whew,  we just made it.  Can you believe it's almost last day of August and Labor day is right around the corner. 

Enjoy our August kitchen of the month that pays homage to the Arts and Crafts Movement. 

     The Arts and Crafts movement emerged from the attempt to reform design and decoration in mid 19th century Britain. It quickly spread across the oceans to America and Japan.  It was a reaction against a perceived decline in standards that the reformers associated with machinery and factory production. The movement was a rebellion against current design which was considered to be excessively ornate, artificial and ignorant of the qualities of the materials used. The intent of the movement was a revival of traditional handicrafts and return to simper, better designed objects and interiors.

Today the Arts and Crafts is still a popular style.  Quality materials and distinctive lines remain the defining factor. 

How to get this kitchen-

Cabinets: Crystal Keyline Inset/ Cherry Breezewood

Counter top: Soapstone

Hardware: Top Knobs/ Cup Pull/ Oil Rubbed Bronze

Back splash Tile: FireClay Handmade Tile

Pendant: Hubbardton Forge

Hood: CopperSmith


Kitchen Island 101: Part I The Planning Phase

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The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s an area that provides much needed alone time while you prepare a meal or try a new baking recipe, or serves as a space for entertaining guests. With such versatility, it is important that your kitchen mirrors your passions and preferences.

One of the most important parts in the design of your kitchen—the kitchen island—requires strict attention to detail if you are going to get the most use out of this structure. Understanding the design, utility, and functionality of a kitchen island can improve the time you spend in this room.

In Part 1, we will discuss what factors need to be taken into consideration during the design phase of your kitchen island. At Splendid Kitchens, we offer complete interior design services and construction consultations for the do-it-yourself builder. We can help alleviate the stress of designing your kitchen island!


Before You Begin

            It’s tempting to dive into a new project; however, the kitchen island is one that you want to take your time with during the planning phase. With a plethora of styles, designs, and elements available, it’s important that you slow down and stop to actually think about what it is that you truly want. Here’s how to begin the selection process:


            Make a List

What do you use your kitchen for mostly? How would you primarily utilize your kitchen island? What are the most important features? Questions like these can help to narrow down the options for your kitchen island. For example, if you love to cook or bake, a kitchen island might provide additional counter space for food prep as well as additional storage for pots, pans, and cookbooks.

Think about the key features that you want your kitchen island to consist of. Consider whether the sink will be a part of the kitchen island, whether the dishwasher or an additional oven will be utilized in this space, or if you want a built-in mini fridge for drinks or other items. If storage is your main goal, try and envision open shelves, closed cabinets, and drawers. Do you picture a mix of these three elements, a combination of two, or just one medium? Are you going to want a space for trash and recycling?

What goes on the counter is also important. From towel bars and hooks to a countertop range and butcher block, each of these features will impact the way you use your kitchen island and how the design and layout will fit together.


            Consider Your Preferences

Not everyone utilizes their kitchen in the same way. Some like to cook, while others like to bake. While the two might seem to go hand-in-hand, cooking and baking require different features and materials. People that enjoy cooking might need additional burners or more sink space. People that like to bake might prefer to have an additional oven and more counter space. If your main goal is to entertain, then consider utilizing your kitchen island as a bar. This is where the additional fridge comes in handy.

Keep in mind such concepts as height and seating. If your kitchen island will double as a prep area and a place for additional seating, the idea of tiers might prove beneficial. That way, you’ll have two different height levels and won’t have to worry about crouching over during food prep or not being able to reach the counter if seated at a lower barstool.


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            Proper Material Selection

All kitchen islands are utilized in the same way, which means that it is important that you know exactly what you want to use your kitchen island primarily for. Whichever category you prefer to work within will ultimately impact that materials recommended for your kitchen island.

Most likely, your preferences will fall into one of three categories: baking, cooking prep, or bar-style entertainment. For the person that loves to bake, consider a countertop made of marble or butcher block. Stainless steel is ideal for cooking prep. For a bar, granite or butcher block would provide the perfect surface.

Keep in mind that these are only recommendations. If you are not fond of these particular materials, Splendid Kitchens can help find a better fit. It is also beneficial to consider the materials used in the rest of the kitchen. Using similar design elements in your kitchen island will tie the space together quite nicely.


What’s Next?

Once your list is made and you have figured out what it is that you want, the primary elements that make up a kitchen island will be the final choices you will have to make. The primary elements will most likely be the hardest decisions in which you will have to make regarding your kitchen island. These elements include sizing & spacing, seating, storage, and shape & style. For more information on these aspects of kitchen islands, visit Part II of “Kitchen Island 101” to better assist you in the design of your ideal kitchen island. Don’t hesitate to call Splendid Kitchens at 970.403.8577 with any questions you encounter throughout the process. We want to ensure that you get the best final product possible!


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July Kitchen of the Month



        Happy July, Summer seems to be just flying by.  We are always up for a new kitchen or bathroom but with fall approaching now is a great time to start planning your fall and winter projects.  The Kitchen is usually the most expensive room in the home.  Not sure how much you should invest in your kitchen? Check out our new Kitchen Estimate tool this is a great way to get a ball park idea on a budget.  Of course this may vary greatly depending on your home and tastes.  There are certain things that will push the cabinet budget (think all wood construction, flush inset cabinets , glass front doors, stacked to the ceiling cabinets, etc, etc, etc).

Painted Kitchen cabinetry is also more expensive than a stained wood, people are often surprised by this.  However we believe it is one of the current kitchen trends that is here to stay. We don’t necessarily mean a white kitchen. Although if we had to pick something that we think is absolutely going to be here in pretty much the same form in 20 years, it would be the classic white kitchen.  That being said, we do live in Colorado and often versions of off-white, beige or gray are more successful then stark white with our mountain style homes.  We also love mixing wood and painted cabinets- That is a whole different post topic. 

We have been seeing a lot of stunning blue and green kitchens.  Our feelings on blue cabinets or any other color which might be deemed “non-traditional.” If you love the look and it suits your home then go for it! and we would love to help you pull it all together. 

How to get this  kitchen-

Cabinets: Kemper- Amstead w/ slab drawer/ Maple w/ Maritime paint

Hardware: Atlas Homewares- Thin Square Pull/ Champagne Brass

Floor Tile: Cle’- Encaustic Cement Tile/ Alhambra/ 8” x8”

Counter top: Cambria- Britannica Quartz

Back splash Tile: Highland Park Mosaics- Dove Gray Brick

Pendant- Robert Abbey/ Rio Pendant/ Antique Brass

How to choose the correct kitchen lighting

How to choose the correct kitchen lighting

Lighting is an important consideration in the design of any room - and can often be overlooked or under considered. For kitchens especially, the majority of most budgets can be quickly used up on appliances, furniture, cabinets, counter tops, and more. Lighting, however, plays a much more important role in the ambiance and atmosphere of the kitchen than one may initially imagine.

Kitchens are truly the lifeblood of the home, and inadequate lighting can affect one of the most important places where families gather, share meals, and make memories. In addition, when moving into a new home, people often rarely consider changing existing lighting, accepting the current setup without first considering the possibility that they can radically change the way that the room feels.



Using only one type of light source in the kitchen does not adequately illuminate all of the important surfaces and cabinet space. As a cost-saving measure, people will often install one large overhead light in the kitchen with the intention of lighting the entire room. Too often these lights are fluorescent or unnecessarily bright, creating a sterile or uncomfortable ambiance. A more comfortable and far more pleasing method of lighting a kitchen involves using a combination of lighting ‘layers’ that allow the homeowner to manage light in different areas of the room.

There are a number of different lighting options available, each of which serves a unique and distinctive purpose. Task lights help to illuminate the most-visited areas of the kitchen – pantries, counter tops, and most importantly; the kitchen sink. Accent lighting works to highlight particular areas of the room, adding a sense of depth to cabinets and counter tops. Decorative lighting serves as both a general source of light and as decoration for the room. The eye is naturally drawn to these types of lights, and they are commonly used above sinks and kitchen islands. Finally, ambient lighting is used to provide a soft base layer of light for the entire room. This type of lighting aims to fill the room but not to dominate it.

With all that in mind, the opportunity to properly light your kitchen also requires that a lot of choices be made. Nowadays there are thousands of different light fixtures from which to choose, making the decision process more difficult. Picking the right fixtures for your kitchen depends not only on their intended purpose, but also are pleasing to the eye and your personal aesthetics. 




When choosing fixtures, it’s paramount to consider where they will go in a room and what purpose they will provide. It is more common for homes to have open layouts where the kitchen, dining area, and living area are all located in the same room without separation. Your kitchen lighting, therefore, may have an effect on the ambiance of these surrounding areas as well, meaning that the decision will have to consider how the kitchen lighting will affect these areas.

Kitchen islands provide unique opportunities for lighting in the kitchen, most often in the form of one or more pendant lights. If you have a kitchen island, you have to consider how the fixtures you choose will affect the lighting of surrounding surfaces. These pendant lights will often be the first thing that people see when they enter the kitchen, so it’s crucial that these lights reflect the overall style of your kitchen and home, as well as provide a


We firmly believe that paying special attention to every aspect and design feature of your kitchen will provide you with the kitchen your home deserves and will inspire your cuisine. Flexible lighting options in particular play a concrete role in creating a warm, inviting kitchen environment.

Here at Splendid Kitchens we are more than happy to assist you in the process of choosing the right lighting for your future kitchen space. We have years of experience with many different styles of kitchens, both classic and contemporary.


Splendid Kitchens

Inspired by your good taste!




 Interior Design Trends for 2016

Interior Design Trends for 2016

If you are itching to update your home or office and looking for some design inspiration, we at Splendid Kitchens love design and are pleased to help! Check out some of the latest trends for what’s hot in 2016:

1. More useable interiors

Rooms that are “decorated” and also functional, including family and pet-friendly.One of the ways people are achieving this is by using outdoor fabrics indoors. Using an outdoor fabric allows you to use lighter whites and creams that might not work in a traditional fabric.Most outdoor fabrics are stain resistant, and many are coated so that liquids ball up instead of soaking in. Most also have very high double rubs or durability. They are also UV resistant so that strong sun light won’t cause the fabrics to fade over time.

Click here to visit one of our favorite manufacturers, Kravet.

2. Mixing Metals

As a designer, I notice that this is one of the things that people unnecessarily worry about.We can’t tell you how many discussions we have had on this very topic. Mixing metals is not only OK, it’s in style! Mixing metals goes along with the more eclectic design styles that people are striving for. Mixing metals is a great way to add a personal touch that is unique to you and your space. There are some very cool copper and rose colored metals also popping up in the design world. Source:

3. Extra-large format tiles

12”x24” tiles have become quite common. Manufactures are going even bigger. Large format tiles are a great way to minimize grout joints and really show off some exciting textures and patterns. Make sure you discuss the installation with your contractor, as large format tiles can be tricky to install if your floors/walls are not level.

Here is a link to a seriously large tile from Crossville:

4. Bold Powder Rooms

Powder rooms are an easy room to go wild in and express your creativity. Powder rooms are one of the spaces in your home that most guests will visit. They are also contained, so why not do something different than the rest of your home? They are usually a smaller space so you can splurge on some higher end materials without as much expense, and they can be changed more often than a large complex space.We love this bee-inspired wall paper.


5. Art Deco-inspired shapes and patterns

Art Deco was a popular style in the 1920 through the 1940’s, and has always been one of our favorite eras.  We are so glad to see references to this style returning. Art Deco accents and details can be used to create glamorous and eclectic spaces. This style can be elegant, while also being fun and playful with punches of color.

Here is a beautiful Art Deco historical photo. We are inspired by the clean lines and nostalgic flair!

Wallpaper is an easy way to reference this style:

A new release from Ann Sacks tile, it references the Art Deco style and mixes metals.  We have a powder bath in mind with this…

One of the biggest mistakes we see people making in their home interior is the beige-on-brown-on -tan look, otherwise known as BLAH. People don’t trust themselves with color and pattern.  “What if I get tired of it?” is what we often hear. If you pick colors and/or patterns that are classic and that you LOVE, no matter how ‘out there’ they may seem, you will derive much more pleasure from that space than if you had played it safe!  Your home is an expression of you, and if you express yourself with an interesting or unique interior space people will appreciate it, even if it doesn’t reflect their own tastes.  They may think to themselves, "The painted wood tiles that reference cement - why didn’t we think of that?”  You never know – you may provide some design inspiration to someone else!

Do you ever see products that just speak to you? That is how we feel about Mirth Studio.  It’s just so cool.  For more products we love, check them out here: