Make Your Kitchen and Bath Pop With Personality

You will spend a lot of time in your new kitchen and bath so each space should be designed in a way that thoughtfully reflects your own personality. Personalizing your kitchen and bath can be done many ways - maybe it's your favorite color, a collection of items that you and your family already own or even a specific theme that you are passionate about.

Personalize with Color

Paint color is an easy and inexpensive way to personalize your space and create visual interest. I always tell my clients that the paint color choice is the backdrop for the kitchen and bath and will serve as a foundation for the overall design. I generally choose a single color for large masses within the space and then one or two additional colors or textures that will complement the base paint color and overall design.

Keep in mind that paint colors can visually be warm or cool so it’s a good idea to be consistent with the other finish colors and tones that will be used in the rest of the space; for example, in a master bath design, if you plan to use a light blue ceramic tile, you would want to use a cool foundation color so it is consistent with the cool blue tile.

Add Personality with Tile

Your tile choice for the kitchen or bath is another way to add personality to your space. I love using tile as an element to add color and texture. In designing a smaller kitchen or bath, choose a foundation tile that will not overwhelm the space or make it feel too busy. Then, consider bringing in a secondary tile that will add color and texture to the space and complement the foundation tile. In a kitchen, this could be a backsplash tile installed above a solid surface quartz or marble countertop; in the bath this could be an inset mosaic tile integrated into the floor or wall tile.

Integrate a Collection Into Your Space

Integrating a collection into your kitchen or bath truly enables you to inject your personality into the space. Designing around the collection can add charm and style. For an arts and crafts style kitchen remodel, we recently built recessed niches into the walls surrounding the breakfast area. Here we set individual pieces of the homeowner’s historical pottery collection. The beautiful matte colors of the pottery were a wonderful compliment to many of the arts and crafts elements within the space.

Try to incorporate your collection in a thoughtful way: Consider shadow boxes, integrated shelving or framing your collection as artwork so it will become an integral feature within the space.

Don’t Forget About Hardware

Using decorative hardware such as distinctive door and cabinet hinges, doorknobs and cabinet pulls, will influence the overall look of your kitchen and help to reflect your personal style. While I am not a fan of novelty hardware, I consider the hardware selection the jewelry of the kitchen and bath space. Even though it is a small element within the space, it is ever so important to carefully select hardware that will reflect your personality and the overall design concept for the space.

Go Vintage

In designing kitchens and baths, I often start with the architectural style of the home as a basis for my design. Incorporating vintage fixtures into your space is a great way to reinforce the architectural styling while layering in the comfortable feeling of a well-worn antique. Throughout the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Valley areas, there are numerous architectural salvage shops where you can purchase vintage fixtures at great prices. You might consider incorporating vintage lighting, a vintage sink basin or even convert a vintage furniture piece into a center island for the kitchen or a custom vanity for the bathroom.

Use Finish Materials in Unique Ways

Think outside the box with finish materials such as wallpaper, glass and wood for a custom look that is truly your own. Here are a few ideas:

  • Wallpaper isn’t just for walls; consider using it to add texture and color in the inset of your cabinet doors, behind your open shelving or on the ceiling of your kitchen or bath.
  • Glass can be back-painted in any color and used for a truly custom look instead of tile as a backsplash or even as a full-height shower or bath wall covering that will look spectacular and is very easy to maintain and keep clean.
  • Painted wood surfaces on the walls or ceiling add great texture and color to a space. Wood paneling can be used to mask imperfect walls or ceilings and then painted out a coordinating color; the end result is a unique, often rustic, look that will layer texture into the design.

However you decide to personalize your kitchen or bathroom, let it be a true reflection of yourself, and make sure you have fun while you're doing it. Make your kitchen or bathroom something special by personalizing it with meaningful items that really show the true you.

Robert Frank is a local resident and owner of Robert Frank Interiors, a full-service interior design firm specializing in interior design, kitchen design and bath design. Robert Frank Interiors works in collaboration with clients to create beautiful, functional spaces that reflect their lifestyles and personalities. Visit us on the web at