Most people know what they like when they see it but are not necessarily sure how to go about putting the right elements together to make a space say “wow”. It is easy to read a few magazines and see ideas you like but which ideas work together? Which design elements are right for your home’s overall style? Are you going to overwhelm the space? Or worse, delve into the realms of seriously overdone?

Give me some wow!

1.A strong focal point.

Every kitchen needs a focal point. Consider making the utilitarian hood a decorative feature. A hood that is set off alone without cabinets crowding it can be a great focal point in almost any space. You can spend thousands on stunning custom hoods of all sorts of materials or hundreds on a simpler hood but that can take center stage if you allow the cabinetry to stop short of it. The key is to let the hood have some breathing room so it becomes an architectural element.

2.Amazing lighting.

Lighting is often underrated, poorly designed, and usually an afterthought in many homes. It pains me to see this as proper lighting can be an easy wow and for less of a strain on your budget than many other design decisions.

Challenge the status quo and step away from the typical 2 or 3 small pendants over the island and be bold. Consider a drum shade pendant in a striking color for over your island or breakfast table or even a pendant over a kitchen window. Pay attention to the scale of the space and the height of the ceiling when selecting but step outside of your comfort zone and go a bit larger than you may initially think is good. If you are unsure, mock up the size of the light you like and see how it looks.

3.Colorful Accents

It is no secret that the right colors can add a lot of presence to any space. If you hate any color then move on to the next idea. But if you like color even a bit, this is a sure fire way to add easy wow to any space, especially the kitchen. You can do it with a bold wall color and softer cabinetry tones or just the opposite. Even small splashes of a single color can set off a more neutral backdrop. The key here is to not run wild with the crayon box. You will get the greatest impact by using one or two strong colors as an accent in pottery, artwork, dishes or countertop containers. Small side note: I am not a big fan of appliances in color but there are a few exceptions that can work well.  (I am a product of the avocado green and harvest gold generation and was traumatized).


This area can be a more expensive wow but if you are starting new or remodeling, you should consider options besides the ubiquitous granite. Today, quartz countertops have made strong gains in popularity. Wood, glass, metals, and even recycled options are also available for the more daring. These are all higher end selections but even the lower end laminates have far more choices than ever before. Many of these ‘wow’ choices would not necessarily be bold in color but in the material itself or the pattern and design.

5.The small details.

Yes, the details do matter and when trying to create a wow look, you want to think of the details throughout the design and build process. Ideas such as custom crafted metal corbels for your island support, unique hardware for the cabinetry, specialty glass that can be ribbed, antiqued, or hammered , or display areas designed within your cabinetry are all ways to add wow through the details. Your own personal style can often be incorporated into these details as well. I can think of many instances of getting the wow in the details from fleur de lis leaded glass inserts for a Louisiana client to some rather interesting nautical island supports for a family who loved the water!

Thank you for stopping by! Please let me know what you think!