8 Interior Design Ideas to Update Your Kitchen
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8 Interior Design Ideas to Update Your Kitchen

Architects and other design pros share new kitchen trends.

By Yelena Moroz Alpert
Thu, Nov 4, 2021 10:59amGrey Clock 5 min

IF EVERYTHING wants to stand out, nothing will,” said Kelsey Hills, a Dallas homeowner who hired a local pro to quiet the centre of her house, the kitchen. Architect and designer Eddie Maestri infused the room with white oak—on the floor, flat-front cabinets and island. “Having a kitchen without a lot of competing design elements calms me,” said Mrs. Hills.

Enter the era of seamless kitchens. “Visual cues are changing,” said Mr. Maestri. Gone are look-at-me hoods and, for some, hulking marble islands. Panelled cabinets bejewelled with pulls are giving way to overlay fronts and hidden hardware. The visual cacophony of open shelves is history.

When Ferguson Kitchen, Bath & Lighting Gallery—a showroom retailer based in Newport News, Va.—recently surveyed homeowners on which room they wished to redesign, 47% replied “the kitchen,” more than chose any other room in the house. If you share that impulse, here are five ideas to update your kitchen, plus the trends designers consider passé.

IN: Woody Kitchens

“Ninety per cent of our clients are doing all wood, compared to only 30% to 40% of clients who wanted all wood a year or two ago,” said Candace Matlock, senior designer at Italkraft, a design consulting firm in Miami. The grainy finishes conjure a “relaxing feeling, like a spa,” she said. A recent Miami Beach kitchen combines tropical and minimalist design, using floor-to-ceiling teak veneer and white oak flooring. “The wood millwork gives warmth to the barefoot elegance of the home,” said Kobi Karp, the Miami architect on the project.

OUT: The stark contrast of coal grey cabinets and white counters is the antithesis of warmth.

IN: Hidden Hoods

Designers are tucking stove vents behind cabinets or drywall both to save money and to shift the emphasis to less-prosaic features. “[A kitchen’s] visual statement should be more than an appliance,” said Mr. Maestri, who hid a vent behind a false cabinet front so a brass-inlaid backsplash of black marble could shine.

OUT: Ostentatious hoods

IN: Tablelike Islands

In the New York City kitchen above, design gallery and consulting firm Colony opted for the airiness and simplicity of a Parson’s-inspired white oak table instead of a voluminous island. In Chicago, interior designer Claire Staszak worked with a maker on Etsy to transform a pine table into a vintage-tinged country-style piece that suited a tight kitchen space. “The table brought character to the white kitchen, and unlike a solid island, created a feeling of circulation,” she said. Another perk: Portability offers more layout flexibility.

OUT: Islands with two levels—one counter height, the second raised to accommodate bar stools—skew commercial. Plus, “it cuts usable food-prep surface in half,” Ms. Staszak said.

IN: Glass Cabinets

See-through storage is clearly back but not in a traditional “grandma’s china cabinet” way, observed Mr. Maestri, who opted for reeded-glass panels set in black steel to complement a noir-and-brass backsplash behind the cooktop (shown left). The groovy glass not only adds texture but camouflages storage so “you see a ghost of what’s there,” he said. Ms. Staszak invigorates more-traditional, bevelled-glass cabinets by lining the interior with peek-a-boo Schumacher wallpaper.

OUT: Open shelving is left in the greasy dust.

IN: Integrated Stove Tops

Rather than installing range-oven units, some designers are opting for the cleaner look of a stove top only, set into counter material, with ovens installed elsewhere. The range’s control knobs can then be integrated into material that matches the lower cabinets or counter material. In an East Hampton, N.Y., cottage, architect and designer Noam Dvir fused the range components into terrazzo-like Ceppo di Gré stone, using “the heavy marble like wrapping paper.” A polished stretch of stone flows seamlessly from a backsplash into a counter (into which the stove top is sunk) and then to a fascia for the knobs.

OUT: A standard range that disrupts visual continuity.

IN: Brass and Blue

The subtle wink of colour in a kitchen bathed in blue can ease you out of sterile, snow-white cabinetry. “Calming, subtle and versatile, soft blues can make spaces feel more open and airier,” said Arianna Cesa, colour marketing and development specialist at Benjamin Moore. Dallas interior designer Gaia Guidi Filippi woke up these original Shaker cabinets with Benjamin Moore’s Van Courtland Blue, then added hardware in brass, a “sunnier, softer” metal. Bonus: Homes whose real-estate listings mention brass can sell for almost 2% more than expected, according to recent research by real estate website Zillow.

OUT: White cabinets outfitted with chrome details can look lab-like and dated.

IN: Sky-High Backsplashes

“The backsplash has evolved from an accent to a feature,” said New York designer Elena Frampton, who used blue-grey, floral tile on kitchen walls that she had liberated from upper cabinets. “Taking the tile from counter to ceiling and flanking the windows packs a punch,” and proves much more stylish than a stack of appliances or cabinets, she said.

OUT: Solid tiles in a smooth finish relegated to a strip between countertop and cabinet.

IN: Custom Pet Stations

“Your pets are members of your family, why not give them a beautiful space to enjoy their food and water?” said Jen Samson, an interior designer in Laguna Beach, Calif. For her canine-loving clients, Ms. Samson added a pot filler—a faucet on an extendable arm, easily plumbed from an existing island sink—and lined the puppy oasis with Calatorao marble to match the countertops. Brass fixtures kept the station in-line with the rest of the kitchen’s hardware. “It’s definitely a space saver,” Ms. Samson noted.

OUT: Pet water bowls skidding along the kitchen floor like hockey pucks, spilling contents on their way.

 

Reprinted by permission of WSJ. Magazine. Copyright 2021 Dow Jones & Company. Inc. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Original date of publication: November 2, 2021



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Anger Does a Lot More Damage to Your Body Than You Realise

We all get mad now and then. But too much anger can cause problems.

By SUMATHI REDDY
Fri, May 24, 2024 3 min

Anger is bad for your health in more ways than you think.

Getting angry doesn’t just hurt our mental health , it’s also damaging to our hearts, brains and gastrointestinal systems, according to doctors and recent research. Of course, it’s a normal emotion that everyone feels—few of us stay serene when a driver cuts us off or a boss makes us stay late. But getting mad too often or for too long can cause problems.

There are ways to keep your anger from doing too much damage. Techniques like meditation can help, as can learning to express your anger in healthier ways.

One recent study looked at anger’s effects on the heart. It found that anger can raise the risk of heart attacks because it impairs the functioning of blood vessels, according to a May study in the Journal of the American Heart Association .

Researchers examined the impact of three different emotions on the heart: anger, anxiety and sadness. One participant group did a task that made them angry, another did a task that made them anxious, while a third did an exercise designed to induce sadness.

The scientists then tested the functioning of the blood vessels in each participant, using a blood pressure cuff to squeeze and release the blood flow in the arm. Those in the angry group had worse blood flow than those in the others; their blood vessels didn’t dilate as much.

“We speculate over time if you’re getting these chronic insults to your arteries because you get angry a lot, that will leave you at risk for having heart disease ,” says Dr. Daichi Shimbo, a professor of medicine at Columbia University and lead author of the study.

Your gastrointestinal system

Doctors are also gaining a better understanding of how anger affects your GI system.

When someone becomes angry, the body produces numerous proteins and hormones that increase inflammation in the body. Chronic inflammation can raise your risk of many diseases.

The body’s sympathetic nervous system—or “fight or flight” system—is also activated, which shunts blood away from the gut to major muscles, says Stephen Lupe, director of behavioural medicine at the Cleveland Clinic’s department of gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition. This slows down movement in the GI tract, which can lead to problems like constipation.

In addition, the space in between cells in the lining of the intestines opens up, which allows more food and waste to go in those gaps, creating more inflammation that can fuel symptoms such as stomach pain, bloating or constipation.

Your brain

Anger can harm our cognitive functioning, says Joyce Tam, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. It involves the nerve cells in the prefrontal cortex, the front area of our brain that can affect attention, cognitive control and our ability to regulate emotions.

Anger can trigger the body to release stress hormones into the bloodstream. High levels of stress hormones can damage nerve cells in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus, says Tam.

Damage in the prefrontal cortex can affect decision-making, attention and executive function, she adds.

The hippocampus, meanwhile, is the main part of the brain used in memory. So when neurons are damaged, that can disrupt the ability to learn and retain information, says Tam.

What you can do about it

First, figure out if you’re angry too much or too often. There’s no hard and fast rule. But you may have cause for concern if you’re angry for more days than not, or for large portions of the day, says Antonia Seligowski, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, who studies the brain-heart connection.

Getting mad briefly is different than experiencing chronic anger, she says.

“If you have an angry conversation every now and again or you get upset every now and again, that’s within the normal human experience,” she says. “When a negative emotion is prolonged, when you’re really having a lot more of it and maybe more intensely, that’s where it’s bad for your health.”

Try mental-health exercises. Her group is looking at whether mental-health treatments, like certain types of talk therapy or breathing exercises, may also be able to improve some of the physical problems caused by anger.

Other doctors recommend anger-management strategies. Hypnosis, meditation and mindfulness can help, says the Cleveland Clinic’s Lupe. So too can changing the way you respond to anger.

Slow down your reactions. Try to notice how you feel and slow down your response, and then learn to express it. You also want to make sure you’re not suppressing the feeling, as that can backfire and exacerbate the emotion.

Instead of yelling at a family member when you’re angry or slamming something down, say, “I am angry because X, Y and Z, and therefore I don’t feel like eating with you or I need a hug or support,” suggests Lupe.

“Slow the process down,” he says.

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This stylish family home combines a classic palette and finishes with a flexible floorplan

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