As we enter into the heart—and heat—of summer, the beautiful East Tennessee outdoors beckons to all of us.  For some of us, we are called to enjoy the sunshine as it reflects off the lake or pool.  For others, the scent of grilled meats and fresh vegetables at a cookout with friends and family brings a smile to our face and makes our mouths water.  It is no secret that soaking up the sunlight and gathering together to enjoy yummy summer eats is one of our favorite things about this time of year.  So what better time to bring some of the aspects we love about summer into our kitchens?

When doing a new kitchen layout or redesign, lighting is a key component to the overall feel of the space.  One of the best ways to open up a space is to bring more natural light into it.  In addition to making a space more welcoming, natural light enhances the look of certain materials or kitchen elements such as white quartzite countertops, polished hardware, or a crystal chandelier.  Depending on the time of day, the light reflects off different pieces within the kitchen to change the feel of the entire room.  Clean, natural light is not only a great sensory tool, but creates a kitchen environment that says, “Come relax…Stay awhile.”

There are many other ways to bring elements of the beautiful outdoors into your kitchen.  Even the clean look of a white kitchen can benefit by adding elements of wood to add warmth to a space, whether it’s in flooring, countertops, or ceiling beams.  Different wood species of various thickness used as a countertop gives the room a more natural, rustic touch.  Floors and backsplashes composed of natural stone and tile or black or pewter finishes and hardware also are great kitchen updates that also embrace nature’s finest elements.  So with the right kitchen redesign, you can enjoy much of what summer has to offer—all year long!

... ...