Second Step In A Worry-Free Kitchen Renovation


At the end of this post, leave a comment for a chance to win $100 Visa gift card.
Welcome to part two of my series titled, "Four Steps To a Worry-Free Kitchen Makeover."  As a design professional, I know firsthand that for many homeowners the thought of a kitchen renovation is accompanied by anxiety over all the decisions that need to be made.  I'm teaming up with Sub-Zero and Wolf to share tips for each stage of a kitchen renovation to help put your worries to rest.  Recently, I shared that the first step to a worry-free makeover is to define your goals.  If you missed that post, please click here.  Today's post will address the second step, finding inspiration and applying it to your new kitchen design.  





Working with hundreds of clients, I know that choosing the style of a brand new space is not always easy.  To help clients that are struggling with this, I start by learning as much as I can about their everyday lives.  Then I can begin to zero in on a design style that complements their life style.  I may ask if they have a place that makes them feel the most happy.  Most times, there is a special place and using it as inspiration for their new space results in a design that they love for a very long time.  
To demonstrate this concept, I designed a custom kitchen (inspiration board shown above) inspired by my favorite vacation spot. After I was finished with the project, I looked at the inspiration board and thought: I don't think I would ever want to leave this kitchen (except to go back on vacation).  Let's take a look at my vacation photos as I explain how our trips to the cottage translated into this kitchen design…

Our vacations in northern Michigan are a great escape from the grind of our everyday schedules.  They are relaxing, refreshing and good for the spirit.  My goal was to have this kitchen evoke these same emotions.  To achieve that I went for a casual, light hearted, family friendly, nautical flavored design that depicts colors and textures of the lake.  The vintage sailboat pictured above is anchored near the end of our dock.  It was my color inspiration for this design.  I used the palette of crisp white, navy, red and dark espresso colored stain to guide my selections throughout the new space. 


This photo of the front of a white speed boat we rented inspired me to choose white cabinetry and silver finishes.  Shiny silver elements were applied to the design through lighting, cabinet hardware, faucets, and stainless steel appliances.  Weathered wood accents reminiscent of the old dock were brought in through weathered woven barstools and storage baskets.





If this kitchen was really going remind me of our family vacations, it was very important that it was extremely family friendly.  I kept the kids in mind with every selection.  

I provided simple solutions that give little ones easy access to snacks and drinks.  I also incorporated appliances that would make a busy mom's life so much easier, leaving her with more time to enjoy her family.







With all the shiny new finishes, it was important to add a little time worn character to the design.  Art was an easy way to do this.  This photo I shot of an old boat hoist while at the cottage last year inspired my art selections. 

 These vintage replica oars and oversized compass rose art were perfect.  





 Up north Michigan cottages are filled with kitschy art and vintage signs.  I found alternatives that remind me of "up-north" typography art, but are a little larger in scale.  Like this EAT sign.
To bring in a true sense of our northern Michigan beach, I selected a gorgeous pebble tile for the back splash.  This stone reminds me of the white stones found in our sand and all the hours my boys spend skipping them across the water. 
To really make the white cabinetry and pebble tile back splash stand out, I selected a high contrast wall color.  Paint is the easiest and most inexpensive way to bring drama to a space.  I pulled three beautiful shades of gray based navy for the walls from photos of our beloved lake.


This is a great example of a how a favorite place can become inspiration for a new kitchen design.  I took my family vacation and turned it into a brand new kitchen.  If you are considering a kitchen makeover, but you are stuck on choosing a style direction, using your everyday life to find inspiration could be a great starting point for your design.  It doesn't have to be a place or a destination; it could be any aspect of your life that makes you feel happy.  




Creating a style board (either on your own or with the help of a design professional) can help you visualize how your selections will look together.  Once your design board is finished, if you are still unsure of your space will look in the end, no worries!  There are many resources available to give you the confidence you need to move forward with your design.   By visiting a site like Houzz.com and conducting a search using simple key words that describe your inspiration, you can view dozens of real life kitchens designed by professionals with product selections or design style similar to yours.  This gives you an instant visual and can help you decide what you like and dislike.
For example, I went to Houzz.com and typed "nautical kitchen" into the search bar.  This beautiful kitchen was one of the results.  It has similar finishes to the selections I made (white cabinetry, nickel pendant lights and hardware):
Enlisting the help of a kitchen design professional is hands down the easiest way to put your worries to rest.  Finding a kitchen designer is easier than it has ever been.  The Sub-Zero Wolf site can help you find a kitchen design professional in your area.  It's also a fantastic resource for every stage of a kitchen renovation.  Visiting Sub-Zero Wolf you can read about kitchen trends, view an extensive kitchen photo gallery,  request a customized kitchen design starter kit, view a designer video series and more.  Also, be sure to check out Sub-Zero's Pinterest page and Wolf's Pinterest page, which features several different design boards for even more inspiration. Stay tuned for the next post in my series. The third step to a worry free makeover is finalizing your plan and executing it!


  In the meantime... For a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, tell me what part of your life could inspire your new kitchen design?

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184 comments:

  1. I would love to design my family room around the Northern Michigan/Nautical theme! What great ideas! Thank you.

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  2. Inspiration comes from so many places. You captured such a great look for this kitchen. I love northern Michigan and spent many summers camping there as a newlywed.

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  3. In my mind I am redecorating the kitchen in a home that we are looking at purchasing. Looking at using part of what is there and then changing up other parts that we can't live with, or that really need some updating. Your post today was perfect, I so miss northern Michigan. Northern Michigan is a big part of what I miss since we left MI. I am loving the pebble backsplash, I think that this is going on my design board, along with your wood floors. :)

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  4. Beautiful choices! I live in an apt so I'm pretty limited as to what I can do. I love adding color and making it feel warm and welcoming. So happy to have found your blog via Marty's ~ have lots of reading to do here. :)

    xo
    Pat

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  5. I would love to design my living room around a mountain/nature/landscape theme and my bathroom around a flower theme. I would pick shades of purple and grey.

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  6. I tweeted under @yarbr012: https://twitter.com/yarbr012/status/469516852767379457.

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  7. my inspiration would come from making the kitchen design easy and convenient to use; nothing elaborate to too much.

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  8. tweet https://twitter.com/LuLu_Brown24/status/469519089430302720

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  9. Our trip to Europe would inspire me to renovate our kitchen in Italian style

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  10. https://twitter.com/ElenaIstomina/status/469520658464907264

    elena150980@yahoo.com

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  11. I would love to have a cool coffee shop like vibe in my kitchen.

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  12. i would love to add color

    freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

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  13. tweet: https://twitter.com/akronugurl/status/469538204459466753

    freebiel0ve@yahoo.com

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  14. My inspiration would come from summers spent in my home town: fresh and airy with an European kind of feel. But most importantly it would have to be well organized and efficient for me

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  15. My inspiration would come from a cottage we stayed at last year, it was so cozy ,warm, and welcoming. I would like my kitchen to feel and look the same way.

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  16. tweeted- https://twitter.com/lil_lady_dz/status/469556040812347392

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  17. My inspiration would come from my love of nature and the outdoors with green, brown and cream colors. I love the pebble tile you show above! Leaf patterns are a favorite of mine and I would incorporate them somehow.

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  18. Tweeted: https://twitter.com/orchidlady01/status/469562979499782144

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  19. I live in a house built in 1895. The original woodwork and era give me plenty of inspiration.

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  20. I shared: https://twitter.com/cowladydeland/status/469565345292763136

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  21. The nature walks I take around a lake would inspire a new kitchen, I would incorporate browns, greens and blues.
    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  22. We desperately need a new kitchen...our house had no cabinets when we bought it!!

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  23. tweet
    https://twitter.com/Kellydinpa/status/469586325872447488

    kellywcu8888ATgmailDOTcom

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  24. My love for the outdoors could inspire my new kitchen design.
    heather hgtempaddy@hotmail.com

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  25. We would be inspired by our ethnic backgrounds (Spain and Portugal).

    mami2jcn at gmail dot com

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  26. tweet:

    https://twitter.com/mami2jcn/status/469645538015469568

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  27. I think my friend's garden complete with a pond full of gorgeous koi could help inspire my design.

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  28. tweeted
    https://twitter.com/rubylorikeet/status/469713879958691840

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  29. I am currently trying to recreate that old farm house kitchen feeling in my kitchen. I'm using vintage items when I can, but for my appliances am going brand new for safety and durability.

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  30. I am a nature lover- anything green or blue- the garden or the ocean- that's where I'd find my inspiration.

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  31. probably a couple of my friend's houses. or the outside view of arizona downtown is so gorgeous :) thats a good theme

    vanitizebaby@yahoo.com

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  32. tweet https://twitter.com/MeandBells/status/469906066818740224

    vanitizebaby@yahoo.com

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  33. I would be inspired by our vacation last year.
    reklaw422 at Hotmail dot com

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  34. I've actually been browsing a lot on pinterest for home ideas. and I've created a few boards as well so I would love to incorporate some of those ideas in.

    amypugmire@live.co

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  35. https://twitter.com/1amypugmire/status/470050599149793281

    amypugmire@live.com

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  36. I would to do new marble counter tops with new cabinets in my kitchen..Bring more light into the kitchen would inspire me to spend more time in that part of the house

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  37. I don't change much about design or decor in my home; however, now that I'm a grandmother, I'd say having energetic young grandsons around could influence the design of my kitchen ;)

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  38. Tweet! https://twitter.com/lexiquin/status/470377047194218496

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  39. I think my children would inspire me to change my kitchen so it is more suited towards their needs and requirements.
    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

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  40. Tweeted

    https://twitter.com/mummytotwoboys1/status/470634539681722368

    mummytotwoboys@yahoo.com

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  41. The love of sea and swimming could be our inspiration for the new kitchen design.
    tcarolinep at gmail dot com

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  42. -https://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/470751971834888192

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  43. My inspiration would come from a cottage we stayed at last one Summer. It had such a homey feeling.

    s2s2 at Comcast dot net

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  44. https://twitter.com/susan1215/status/472788940634611712

    s2s2 at Comcast dot net

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  45. my inspiration would come from all of these home makeover shows i seem to be obsessed with on HGTV!

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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  46. i posted a tweet:

    https://twitter.com/bellows22/status/473278882389708800

    debbiebellows (at) gmail (dot) com

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  47. My kitchen design would be inspired by my childhood in the mountains.

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  48. We are moving from the beach to the mountains - they could definitely inspire me!

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  49. Spring time and the colors that arrive at that time. I though like a traditional look.

    msgb245 at gmail dot com

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  50. I tweeted: https://twitter.com/peg42/status/474237848347217920
    Thanks again.
    rickpeggysmith(at)aol(dot)com

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  51. My inspiration is healthy living -- I've recently become more health conscious and am cooking more, so my kitchen could use more work-top space, better lighting, and more vegetable storage areas.

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  52. I usually draw my inspiration from my travels. :)

    SeasideMermaid@twc.com

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  53. I would change colors and take out the L shape counter and add an island.

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  54. I would be inspired by nature.
    austma7@aol.com

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  55. my inspiration come from HGTV. I love all the shows and I get ideas from HGTV.
    tina19820115@gmail.com

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  56. https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/474360095325687811
    tina19820115@gmail.com

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  57. https://twitter.com/HappyTina0115/status/474360095325687811

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  58. My inspiration for a new kitchen design would be one that could serve as the entertainment house for my 3 year old son and his friends as he gets older

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  59. My inspiration for a new kitchen design would be one that could serve as the entertainment house for my 3 year old son and his friends as he gets older

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  60. My kitchen can't be redesigned by me as it is a rental but if I could redesign it, I'd make it larger and add in a pantry and an work island to give us more storage space and work space. As for design, the clean lines of an industrial kitchen would be my inspiration.

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  61. I love travelling to the beach and would like to use beach colors to update my kitchen.

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  62. Tweet
    https://twitter.com/clc408/status/474498342027030528

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  63. I love mermaids so I would love to have a mermaid theme in our bathroom.
    stoopidgerlart@gmail.com

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  64. Charles BurbridgeJune 5, 2014 at 9:13 AM

    We are living in the house that was my mother's. We want to try to change it into "our" house, not "hers," but the going is tough, both money wise and sentimentally. ayeembored at hotmail dot com

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  65. My inspiration would come from my love of literature.

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  66. My kitchen design would be inspired by my childhood in the 90's!

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  67. tweeted: https://twitter.com/ryanmorin888/status/474632559771410432

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  68. my vacations could inspire new kitchen/home design.
    stigay at comcast.net

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  69. My inspiration is the new deck we put on our house I love the fresh breeze and the wood. I love the open space and the happy feeling from being outside.
    Cathy Truman

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  70. My friend's new home in Switzerland - modern and calming
    tvollowitz at aol dot com

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  71. My kids would be my inspiration :) They have great ideas and think of things that I never would. They're fun and imaginative which would make the look unique :)

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  72. Tweeted :) - https://twitter.com/Enter_Now/status/474727494097321984

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  73. My love of computer and technology would make a good kitchen

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  74. I GET INSPIRATION FROM PLACES I GO.. THINGS I SEE.. PEOPLE I MEET.. JUST TALK AND ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS AND GET IDEAS :)

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  75. I live in Santa Barbara so I would love to have a beach themed kitchen. It would feel so laid back! sbcashortie at hotmail dot com

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  76. We are a family of six, three of which are teenagers! Our busy lifestyle would inspire me to design a modern, streamlined kitchen.

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  77. I would love to decorate my family room around a beach theme. We travel to many different beaches in the summer and it is so relaxing.
    mintstatesportswear(st)juno(dot)com

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  78. I would design it around family get togethers. I love having everyone around and the house full. I'd want a big open kitchen with lots of counters and double ovens (we love to bake).

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  79. tweeted - https://twitter.com/DonaldLight84/status/474969150515724288

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  80. our summer hikes could give me the inspiration i need

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  81. https://twitter.com/raggammuffin/status/474988100410556416

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  82. Nature would be my inspiration Sarah.denton@gmail.com

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  83. I would settle for a different color scheme in my kitchen.
    MCantu1019 at aol dot com

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  84. We remodeled our kitchen last year and my inspiration was the beautiful woodwork that is already in the (early 1900's) house. I wanted everything to look as though it belonged here from day 1.

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  85. Lauren Olivia WoodJune 6, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    My experience in the Hospitality Industry could inspire a new kitchen design! olivia41393@yahoo.com

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  86. i love purple and warm colors

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  87. https://twitter.com/purplelover04/status/475384090683015168

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  88. It would be ultra modern with touches of nature - think rocks and wood

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  89. A trip to the ocean where I discovered I love Sea blue and coral and sand colors!

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  90. Being a natural beauty lover would inspire my design.
    Flowers butterflies and bright colors.
    thank you

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  91. Tweet https://twitter.com/JalapenoMama/status/475470979737866240

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  92. I love backpacking and spending time in the mountains/woods...so anything that would make me feel at home indoors that was outdoorsy would be great.

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  93. I like stuff that feels homey and clean.
    tamarsweeps-at-gmail-dot-com

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  94. My inspiration would come from my personality, Light, Calm and relaxed.
    debbieritenour81@gmail.com

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  95. I would let my love of the sea influence my kitchen design

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  96. I would love to do my kitchen in a vintage 60's style. Think orange, green, blue, and yellow; with tons of mushrooms and stripes :) because reminds me of my grandma's home.
    I would love to do the rest of our house in a nautical theme, I love it.

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  97. I was inspired by our recent trip to the Bahamas for a kitchen design. I'd love a pale blue sea glass back splash!
    aleksnearing gmail com

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  98. My inspiration would come from making it a fully functional kitchen that is kid friendly

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  99. tweet https://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/476144171988680704

    tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

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  100. I would love to have a coastal inspired kitchen/.

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  101. I like my history learning french, so would love some french cafe posters for my kitchen.

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  102. I would love to transform my bedroom into a nice spa getaway

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  103. I've been really focused on simple living lately, so I would use that to redesign my kitchen!

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  104. I like the beach house look and recently redid my kitchen, bathrooms, and living rooms in that theme.

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  105. https://twitter.com/smilekisses/status/476295340476219392

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  106. My most memorable trip was to Turkey a few years where my husband proposed. I have a great kitchen already (blessed with 3 sub-zeros including a bev center and a wolf oven and cooktop) but when we do redecorate I would love to use the Blue Mosque as my inspiration for tiles, colors, woodwork

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  107. The blue mosque in Istanbul - I love the tiles, wood, illumination

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  108. we have a small eat-in kitchen and no dining room. having a design that would allow me to cook a big meal and have the whole family over to enjoy it is a pretty inspiring thought

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  109. always wanted an island with counterspace to eat at, maybe if i knock out a wall - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

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  110. The colors of fall in the New England states

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  111. https://twitter.com/mkjmc/status/476463315166965760

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  112. I would use my gardening hobby to inspire my kitchen design pryfamily5@gmail.com

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  113. i tweeted https://twitter.com/thepryfamily5/status/476544642528202752 pryfamily5@gmail.com

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  114. My love for the beach could inspire my new kitchen design.

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  115. my insoiration would be a beach theme to feel relaxed

    joe gersch

    JOEBISSY@MAIL.com

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  116. My husband always inspires new ideas!! ky_grandma40@yahoo.com

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  117. My inspiration would come from antiques, I would love a vintage style kitchen.

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  118. We are trying to live a healthier lifestyle and that includes eating less processed and better prepared food. I would redesign my kitchen to help with these goals. A grill top on the stove, bins for fresh produce that do not need to be refrigerated. A better flow to the kitchen in general to make cooking more appealing.

    Claire McKeon (mosaic317)
    mosaic317 at gmail dot com

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  119. I love to cook with my son, so I would build in all kinds of kid friendly designs.

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  120. tweeted - https://twitter.com/dmarie824/status/476768922025201664

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  121. In the fall I love to walk in the woods and love the colors of fall so I would want my kitchen to remind me of fall inspired design and colors

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  122. https://twitter.com/klp1965/status/476777566997471232

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  123. Definitely my travels - so many excellent ideas from other countries!
    wilburnnewsome atyahoodotcom

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  124. Tweeted - https://twitter.com/Giantsis/status/476799419933679617
    wilburnnewsome atyahoodotcom

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  125. We could use our travels to inspire our kitchen. I already have one picture from a hike I've taken in there.

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  126. A camping trip that I took with my family would make great inspiration for a new kitchen.

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  127. https://twitter.com/lachman4141/status/476842842082783232

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  128. My inspiration is the bright sunny colors of summer!

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  129. I use the colors of summer as my inspiration!

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  130. When we traveled to the Caribbean I had the opportunity to see a beautiful Mediterranean kitchen and I would use that as inspiration if I had the funds to redecorate how I wanted!

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  131. We live in Alaska and need our kitchen to feel warm and cozy. I love my hickory cabinets and wouldn't change those, but maybe softer lighting and ???? ... that's where my creativity ends. I need some suggestions.
    D.Hayward

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  132. I'm with you. Totally inspired by Northern West Michigan from Pentwater to Petoskey. Stone & driftwood colors add the warmth along with the aqua, blues, greys and navys of the big lake. Throw in some copper sunsets - heaven.

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  133. I'd be inspired by my musical life for my kitchen!

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  134. https://twitter.com/SkyShyskyk/status/476914723833655296

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  135. I really would just like a fun bright colored kitchen to get me in a feel good mood.

    motioncitycutie(at)aol(dot)com

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  136. I'm a big gardener so my dream kitchen would have lots of herbs and flowers in the design.
    Thanks for the contest.

    slehan at juno dot com

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  137. https://twitter.com/slehan/status/476956980943134720

    slehan at juno dot com

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  138. I would love to re-do my bathroom like this

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  139. I love to cook and love my kitchen utensils, gadgets and appliances. There's nothing better than having everything organized and easy to access. I would love a more simplistic kitchen design where my cooking and baking accessories are the stars of the decor. Open shelves replacing top cupboards would be great and give it an open and welcoming feel.

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  140. I'd make it more kid friendly for my grandchildren
    traymona[at]aol.com

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  141. Sunrise at my favorite place on earth would inspire my kitchen design... and the ocean itself, too. I love the carefree lifestyle there, so my kitchen would feature things to make my life easier.

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  142. My new kitchen design will be inspired by the beautiful colors of spring. I love bright and colorful spring themes. I am excited to redecorate the kitchen soon!

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  143. My inspiration would come from my recent trip to germany with my husband saw so many designs I loved

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  144. I would love a big old fashioned country kitchen with lots of counter space, because I love to cook and love the country design. Thanks!

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  145. My love for the beach could easily inspire my design.

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  146. My inspiration comes from the necessity of replacing the appliances. When many things stop working at once it is an opportunity to start over again.

    darkmysticnight(at)hotmail(dot)com

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  147. https://twitter.com/dddiva/status/477149085938368512

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  148. thischickwins said:
    the old kitchens of my extended family inspire me to add a little fun design to my current kitchen

    thischickwins at gmail dot com

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  149. My sons and my Turkish background. I would love to design my kitchen with an Ottoman feel. Maybe a low table and throw pillows and sit on the floor.

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  150. My favorite colors would inspire a kitchen makeover.

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  151. http://twitter.com/ccboobooy/status/477212761705836544

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  152. I would like it to reflect my love of travel.

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  153. love to design my kitchen in italian style

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  154. https://twitter.com/momsfocus/status/477235833791979522

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  155. Would love to get my cast iron clawfoot tub......

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  156. My inspiration would be my kids, they love cooking with me and I would like to have a much more kid-friendly kitchen so we can enjoy more cooking time together.
    neiddyruiz@gmail.com

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  157. Tweeted -https://twitter.com/neiddy_ruiz/status/477450878266273792
    neiddyruiz@gmail.com

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  158. I live near the beach so that could inspire my kitchen design.
    ajoy1332 at yahoo dot com

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  159. https://twitter.com/ajoy1332/status/477473326298722304
    ajoy1332 at yahoo dot com

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  160. My love of using locally grown items could inspire a cozy kitchen feel for me!

    Thanks for the chance to win!
    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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  161. tweet--https://twitter.com/WildOrchid985/status/477771351328305152

    wildorchid985 at gmail dot com

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  162. We love to spend time at the beach in the summer so a fun, beachy theme or color scheme would be my inspiration.

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  163. https://twitter.com/PrettyHotPink6/status/477847310286987264

    prettyinhotpink6@gmail dot com

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  164. I would love to renovate my kitchen. I need some newer appliances, mine are pretty old

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  165. I'd love a kitchen that reflects a bit of a chic café, with some chalkboards. Would love black appliances. Thanks!

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  166. Here's my tweet! https://twitter.com/pixel_berry_pie/status/479418558632701952

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  167. My inspiration has to come from nature. I love the natural woods for cabinets and the colors of trees and flowers for linens, appliances and accents.

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  168. Tweet - https://twitter.com/willitara/status/479575424679571456

    willitara [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  169. I would say summer could really inspire it
    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  170. https://twitter.com/aes529/status/479612784070897664
    pokergrl8 at gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  171. I make chalkboards and vintage signs as part of my home business. I love having that same feeling in my kitchen. I have plans for a chalkboards on the pantry door and some great wooden lettering ideas around the kitchen.

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  172. Our kitchen is mostly characterized by our many travels all over the world. I have charming little mementos, magnets, souvenirs in our kitchen. (email address is in my profile)

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  173. I love the ocean so that could inspire it.

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  174. https://twitter.com/thomasmurphy40/status/479703674269089792

    rounder9834 @yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  175. I would say the love of fresh fruits and vegetables would inspire it with an open market feel.

    ReplyDelete
  176. https://twitter.com/myfolly/status/479774061157822464

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  177. I would love to design my kitchen in a 1950's malt shop theme. I love the 1950's style malt shops, and think that would be really cute and not too difficult to do.

    ReplyDelete
  178. I tweeted
    https://twitter.com/tracylr233/status/479814146289332225

    ReplyDelete
  179. I would love to design a kitchen that is open and airy--reminding me of the beach

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  180. https://twitter.com/laborders2000/status/480889185398976512

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  181. I've been looking at photos of beautiful vintage crates and now I want milk-paint on my cabinets.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    margueritecore [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete
  182. and a tweet: https://twitter.com/AnnaZed/status/483393489493704704
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    margueritecore [at] gmail [dot] com

    ReplyDelete

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