Your Kitchen.

Wait, What?! When it comes to historic battles, home renovations can often rate right up there with some of the greatest conflicts of all time. And the supreme battle? (Cue dramatic music.) The ever-frustrating, ever-epic …

The Battle over Design Choices

He wants a Man Cave/Pub-Inspired/Stainless Steel Shrine Kitchen:

His: Man Cave Pub Inspired Stain Steel

She wants a Shabby Chic/Make-Martha-Proud/Homegrown Goodness Kitchen:

Hers: Shabby Chic Make-Martha-Proud Homegrown Goodness Kitchen

And, never the ‘twain shall meet — or can they?


How to Make Kitchen Design Choices Without Starting a War!

Here are a few tips to get the best out of your design without drawing up battle lines:

* Know The Terrain

Okay, obviously, I’m talking about indoor space in most cases — unless you’re renovating an outdoor kitchen! What I mean by “terrain” is – know the layout you want to stick to. Sit down as a couple and discuss your must-haves and your negotiables. By the way, a must-have is NOT defined as a car grill from a ’57 Chevy mounted to the front of your island — no matter how cool that would be. Decide on a floor plan, and flow, if you are completely redoing the space, or decide what will come out or be added if you are simply sprucing the space up.

* Bring The Right Gear

This is an important part of design, and especially kitchen design, because it means choosing the elements that make up the finishes and work spaces of your renovation. He wants a concrete countertop, and she wants a Corian countertop? Meet in the middle with granite in either a light, natural finish or a dark, strong finish depending on your compromised choice.

Kitchen Design :: Latinum Granite Traditional Kitchen


Kitchen Design :: Absolute Black Granite Contemporary Kitchen

He wants metal, modern cabinets, and she wants fluted white washed? Choose a lighter finish flat panel door that combines the elements of both. Choose modern hardware to give it the final edge.

Or, choose a more traditional door, but do a deep painted finish in Gray or non-painted in a rustic wood. The possibilities are truly endless.

Modern Kitchen Renovation

* Trust Your Battle Buddy

At the end of the day, remember that the space will be enjoyed by everyone, so being able to trust each other in the decision-making process is half the battle (pun intended). Chances are, you’re together because you share some fundamental tastes in life. Make lists, create a Pinterest board, visit design showrooms — but do it together so you are getting the best feedback from both sides AND outside resources.

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* The General Has The Final Say 

Ok, don’t kill me, but when all is said and done — the person that cooks the most should have the final say for design choices pertaining to appliance placement and cook space. In some homes (like my own!) this might be a shared role. But in many homes, one person wears the chef’s hat a little more often than the other. If this is the case, try to defer to their preferences on these choices because it will make dinnertime much more enjoyable if the cook isn’t frazzled!

Have a battle story of your own? I’d love to hear how you resolved the conflict!

Happy Designing!


 Note from the hosts: Kate is one part of the husband and wife team of Nathan & Kate, the dynamic duo and driving force behind Signature Cabinetry & Design. They work both independently and cooperatively (as they did on this piece) bringing their experience, passion, and know-how to every project. 

Signature Cabinetry & Design

Thanks Nathan & Kate … wonderfully thoughtful post. Thanks for writing. Oh and for reading. I’d love to see y’all drop a comment for them down below. For much more in our Kitchen Design category and/or for more thought provoking home improvement essays, please stick and click.  ~jb

All images via Houzz.com.