Q: Can I use wood flooring in my kitchen?
A: Most definitely, I love wood floors in the kitchen for several reasons. To start you can see here how the wood flooring adds warmth and texture bringing an organic feel to the kitchen. The tone of the wood flooring in relationship to the crisp white cabinets creates the perfect contrast. When possible I try to run the same flooring throughout the first floor to create seamless transitions from room to room. When you use the same flooring it can make your space feel larger and creates a positive flow of energy through each room. With the finishes available today your floor will be extremely durable and able to withstand the daily demands in the kitchen.
The challenge arises when you have wood tone cabinets verses a light painted finish. In this case I suggest creating a contrast between the wood finish of the cabinets and the floors so they do not match or blend too closely . I suggest going a few shades lighter or darker on the floor finish to create a nice contrast to the cabinets. Have your contractor put the finish samples right on the actual floor once the cabinets are installed to get it right the first time.
Q: My teenager wants to design her own room, do you think that is a good idea?
A: Yes, I do think it is a good idea within reason. You will need to oversee the process and guide her through it. First, you need to establish a budget so she understands what the limits are and then determine what the big ticket items will be. I like to start by selecting the furniture and space planning the room. Many of my clients cannot visualize the scale of the actual pieces so I use blue painters tape and tape each piece out on the floor. Then select your furniture taking into consideration any pieces you maybe able to re-purpose or re-paint. For the new pieces take a look at Young America by Stanley, PB Teen and West Elm for some great options. Hit the thrift stores as well, you will be amazed at what you will find. If you are close to NYC I love NYC Housing Works Thrift on West 17th (West Elm is on the same block also, score!). Then fill in with pieces from Target or Home Goods to fit the budget.
Next would be the Wow Factor, creating that dramatic feature that can inspire your design. Above, it is this fabulous area rug maintaining that girlish pink but adding more sophisticated tones of terra cotta, gold and black for a more mature feel. The Wow Factor can also be the bedding, a piece of art, maybe one of her originals if she is artistic, wallpaper, window treatments, the list goes on. Once the big decisions are made then I like to address the walls, paint or wallpaper. If you are painting; decide on a single color, select two colors using one as an accent or a mural. If you decide to wallpaper; decide if it will be on all walls, two walls or an accent wall. Then on to the windows treatments and accessories. Try to make the process fun and enjoy the time you get to spend together, with teenagers it is not so often. One thing is for sure your daughter needs to LOVE the Wow Factor in her space and she will need to select it!