The ‘Latest and Greatest’ is About Personality

A good home remodel isn’t about what every other designer is doing. It’s about fulfilling your dreams.

“When someone comes in and says, ‘I want a white kitchen,’ I’m quick to say that’s great, and let’s do it with a twist,” says Julie Loehner, owner of Kitchens by Julie, in downtown Cary. “Some pops of color can bring in your personality. Or, you can use wall paint, window treatments and accessories to accent.”

Even when adapting design trends, stay true to yourself, says Loehner. If you’re after a white kitchen, try mixing white cabinets, counters and backsplashes with dark, chocolatey wood tones.

“A wood top or a butcher block top is warm, it’s durable and it breaks up the all-white palette,” says Loehner.

If it’s the vintage/farmhouse look you’re after, consider subtle accents such as faux ceiling beams made from knotty or reclaimed wood. An oven hood from reclaimed wood also makes a statement.

“I don’t like to do things that are so trendy that you tire of it,” says Loehner. “But if you like that reclaimed wood/vintage/farmhouse type of style, it’s always great to repurpose things from the home. If somebody has a really cool hutch, maybe we’ll design that into the new kitchen.”

Don’t forget about metal surfaces, too. Copper oven hoods and hanging copper cookware, for instance, create focal points. Faucets and hardware in a “soft gold” finish create a more subdued accent with a look that combines brushed brass and matte black.

“You don’t have to do everything in stainless steel,” says Loehner.

With more than 35 years in the business, Loehner is eager to help clients find whatever most appeals to them. Her husband, Mark, is hands-on in the process and handles all of the contracting, so the two maintain a close line of communication during construction.

“It’s not my space, but I try to feel the way they would,” she says. “I really like to see how their existing home is, so I can make the final design seem like a natural reflection of their personality.” ❚

Kitchens by Julie is located at 27-A Jandus Road, Cary, (847) 516-2226.