Next up in our summer Design Guide mini-series is the command center, otherwise known as the kitchen. This multipurpose space has always been considered the heart of the home, where memories are made over shared meals, recipes are passed from generation to generation, and the confluence of our busy lives happens as everyone in the household moves about their day. This past year added home office, homework headquarters, date night, break room and many other functions to its already overloaded performance. Our “new normal” caused many of us to notice areas of improvement that previously went overlooked. We also collectively redefined our utility of the space with renewed appreciation. Dwayne Bergmann received many a call for a kitchen refresh and unsurprisingly, his client’s must-haves were informed by how they want to live combined with how they actually live.

The key to functional design is organization! Dwayne is a big believer that a methodized home is a happy home. His line of custom cabinetry features solutions for storing small appliances, displaying heirloom treasures, and temperature-controlled beverage centers. Clean kitchens give us a sense of peace, so ensuring that every plate, tool, and gadget has a home is essential. The pantry is a great area of opportunity to put your organization skills into practice. Invest in uniform containers, stylish bins and baskets to store dry goods, snacks, and bulk products. Labeling each not only looks great, but helps keep each family member accountable for keeping the pantry in order.

Watch one episode of any “fixer upper” show on HGTV and you’ll notice the kitchen is almost always the room that needs the most work. Those built in the middle of the last century to accommodate new appliances were the cutting edge of technology and style in their day. L-shaped yellow or green cabinets, punctuated by a matching refrigerator, surrounding a kitchen table in the center of the room became a familiar sight. At the turn of the century, rich wood cabinets, granite countertops, tiered islands, and paneled appliances, designed in the French bistro or Italian villa style were the epitome of luxury. In recent years, the trend towards all white kitchens dominated our Pinterest boards, offering a clean, fresh, magazine-worthy space. Today, while white kitchens are still widely appealing, the “trend” if you can call it that is all about function. Aesthetically, streamlined cabinetry, natural stone counters and backsplashes, and chef-approved appliances make for an elegant, high-end space. Statement lighting over large, flat center islands and floor to ceiling storage now define the layout. As self-proclaimed home chefs, details like pot fillers over the stove, dream closet-like pantries, and custom storage solutions dedicated to their contents have risen to the top of the list. Moving away from the all-white look, bold color, unexpected materials, natural textures, and personality define kitchens today.

Not ready to completely overhaul your kitchen with custom cabinets and top of the line finishes? No problem! You can still make your space as functional as possible, but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style! Maximize your kitchen design with matching cannisters, decorative accessories and simple swaps that make a big difference. Start by clearing your countertops of any unnecessary clutter. Look for matching cannisters in a bold accent color to house thing your reach for regularly like sugar packets or tea bags. Consider turning your coffee machine corner into a café inspired coffee station. Arrange jars of either uniform or graduating sized filled with beverage accoutrements on a tray next to your machine. Then line up a set of mugs and add a bud vase for good measure. Don’t underestimate the power of fresh flowers! Swapping your old dish towels, potholders, or drinking glassware for simple, chic, matching sets can be the affordable face lift your kitchen needs.


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