We are adding a new series into our blog, Insider’s Insight, where we are sharing thoughts, tips and trends from some of the top thought leaders in the design industry.
Barbara Sallick is co-founder of Waterworks, one of the world’s most prestigious makers of luxury design goods. I personally love the quality and craftsmanship found throughout the Waterworks’ plumbing line, and I am amazed at all Barbara has accomplished over her lifetime.
Enjoy below, as Barbara shares some practical advice for creating a kitchen you will love and appreciate for years to come.
You have one of the most admired kitchen and bath brands in the industry. What’s the secret?
The secret to staying in business for 40 years and maintaining brand leadership is to consistently deliver innovative and authentic product, outstanding experiences, and impeccable service.
I am familiar with the rigor that goes into designing, engineering and manufacturing all of our products. There is such a high level of integrity and craftsmanship in creating things that are timeless and meant to last a lifetime.
What is your most important piece of advice when renovating a kitchen?
Plan carefully. Do your research long before you set foot in a kitchen showroom or talk to a cabinetmaker. Only thoughtful preparation will allow you achieve the results you have dreamt about.
What’s the trick to creating a timeless kitchen?
You need to pay close attention to function and style. Your kitchen layout must flow easily. The design should be both practical and personal.
You should use the finest, most honest materials you can afford—things that will only become more beautiful with age.
But (and here’s the trick), you must first look back and think about the kitchens you’ve loved and were happiest in during your life.
Remember how you felt in those rooms and think about how their design contributed to that feeling. Then, through your design choices, try to recreate that emotion in your own new kitchen.
In your opinion, what should people splurge on in their kitchen?
First, use amazing hardware, it is the jewelry of the kitchen.
Next, select a high-grade sturdy sink and faucet together; they are the hardest working appliance in the kitchen.
Finally, do something special on your backsplash. Please don’t follow the trend and use white 3 x 6 tile.
What 3 things should every kitchen have?
Every kitchen should have a faucet that is comfortable to use. You will turn it on/off multiple times a day. This is the practical must-have.
The room should have a beautiful backsplash. This is the decorative must-have.
Your kitchen also requires a range of lighting choices, including general illumination, decorative accents, and—most important—task lighting. The way you layer lighting plays a big part in creating a kitchen that is personal and brings you joy.
What color palettes are you loving for kitchens and baths at the moment?
I am seeing lots of dark blue and, most especially, I see a mix of two colors. Either the top cabinets are light and the bottom are dark or the perimeter cabinets are all one color and the island is something different.
In my own kitchen, I used a mix of Waterworks paint colors—pale whisper gray on the upper cabinets to make the space feel wider, and navy for the lower cabinets.
What do you love most about your kitchen?
I love that my sink is in the island placing me squarely in the middle of the kitchen. I am, therefore, in the center of all activity—cooking, visiting, and looking out at my beautiful terrace.
Even though it is a small space, it has the kind of charm and functionality that make it the perfect classic and timeless kitchen.
What is one thing you absolutely can’t live without?
I never thought this was important, but having all of the cabinet interiors with pull-out trays is essential. There is no digging around and everything I have is visible. And, natural light is essential.
I hope you enjoyed this interview with our Industry Insider, Barbara Sallick. I particularly enjoyed how she emphasized to buy the finest materials you can afford as they will only become more beautiful over time.
To learn more, pick up Barbara’s book, The Perfect Kitchen.
Thank you, Barbara, for sharing your insight. Cheers, friends, to creating your perfect kitchen.
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