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Decorating & Furniture/our kitchen is missing a focal point


wine racks
wine racks  
we are remodeling our kitchin and in the proces of adding granet counter top, but we feel that there is something missing. Adding or subtrackting cabinets is an option

Hi Robert,

Often kitchens don't have a natural focal point the way other rooms do (fireplace, bed, vanity, etc.) so you have to decide which element of the room you want to highlight.  Here are a few options:

GRANITE:  You said you're replacing your existing counter with granite, which is a great choice for kitchens.  If you want the granite to be your focal point, choose one with a lot of movement (large swirls or streaks) and/or bolder colours to attract attention.  Minimize the other elements of the room so that the granite stands out by comparison, for ex. choose a lighter wood for the cabinetry (if replacing), or paint the cabinetry (if not replacing).  If not replacing, try a cream paint which will soften the contrast between the cabinets and the fridge.

BACKSPLASH: A fabulous backsplash can really tie everything together.  Glass/stone/metal mix mosaics are my personal favourites - the best off all worlds!  There are so many colours and styles to choose from, and it's a small investment for big impact.  You can also choose a simpler tile (like a cream 3"x6" subway tile) and have it installed in an interesting pattern, for ex. herringbone, 2 rows horizontal + 1 row vertical repeating, etc.  If choosing an interesting backsplash, choose granite that is more subtle in pattern so they don't compete.

LAYOUT: Without a larger picture, it's hard to say for sure what the best option would be for cabinetry.  What you have now is visually quite heavy, so a lighter wood or painting will help to brighten the space considerably.  There are also a lot of wine racks - if you have a lot of wine, then great, but if they're not all in use, keep only one set (both vertically or both horizontally) and add cabintry to the opening (you can never have too much storage in a kitchen!).

ISLAND: It's hard to tell from your photo if that's an island or a peninsula, but if it's an island, you can use it as a focal point.  Let's assume that you've painted your cabinets cream, have chosen a great backsplash, and a beautiful, subtle, dark granite top.  On the island, you can switch it up - dark cabinetry and a light granite top with lots of movement and interest. If anyone in your family is a baker, you can use a marble top too, though it comes with higher maintenance than granite.  Hanging 2-4 (depending on size of island) interesting pendant lights above the island will finish it off.

Hope this helps!  Good luck!


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Sarah Kidder


Ask me anything! I'm a formally trained decorator, am passionate about decorating and design and am pretty well rounded in all areas.


I'm a Certified Interior Decorator with a diploma in Interior Decorating from Algonquin College in Ottawa, Ontario. I'm a member in good standing of the Canadian Decorator's Association (CDECA). I've been active in the design industry for about 7 years. I've been working with private clients for the past 5 years while running my own decorating company.

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Currently working on a kitchen reno, a bathroom reno, and a bathroom design...and lots of colour consultations!

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