Blogging...Design Star, Episode 2

072509-designstar01.jpgThis week's episode, "Dueling Kitchens," had the teams racing against the clock. They had 26 hours and $20,000 to design and install a fully-realized kitchen. While the spaces were similar in layout, it was the choice of building materials, cabinets, flooring and accessories that set them apart from each other. The finished projects and design tips, after the jump...

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The Boucher Team: Nathan and his teammates: Antonio, Jason, Torie and Jean, were hoping to create a great space for a family that spends a lot of their free time hanging out in the kitchen and that bore touches of Italy and Morocco. Although we weren't big fans of the final result, here are two tips we got from this project:

  • Tip 1: If you can't afford to re-tile your backsplash or you're in a rental and re-tiling is not an option, why not use linoleum floor tiles instead, as Torie did here? She used metallic tiles which create a warm focal point. Our favorite chalkboard paint is another option for a backsplash.
  • Tip 2: When combining two cultures, find the things they have in common like colour palate, shapes, materials and use those instead of trying to put disparate things together (Buddha, hanging lanterns and paisley wallpaper).

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The Johnson team: Amy and her teammates, Dan, Jani, Tanicha and Torie, were striving to create a unique contemporary and decidely modern space. The palate is nice but a little safe. We'd have gone with something a little more striking (one of our favorite kitchens has black cabinets and black granite with white open shelving above that makes a small space seem huge). The tips we got here:

  • Tip 1: A kitchen needs food. Some of the food you intend to use is not only best when left out (tomatoes, apples, onions) but it also adds warmth and life to a kitchen. In your own kitchen try a bowl of fruit. Go traditional with a wooden bowl of mixed fruit; a modern approach is green apples on a square plate or lined up on a plank. Other ideas: a flat of fresh herbs, a basket of onions, a loaf of fresh bread, cookies, even a tea kettle.

  • Tip 2: Don't be afraid to experiment: Try something unexpected. Picture this room with a colorful or unusual backsplash, an ornate chandelier; a chalkboard refrigerator; little or open high shelving. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen; I want to have fun with it!

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