The key to creating a loft-style kitchen is to keep the design simple but use rich, elegant materials. In the Asian-inspired kitchen above, full overlay panel doors create a smooth, flat surface.

Other elements of a loft-style kitchen include:

  • Cabinetry with varying heights and depths
  • Cabinet hardware, stainless steel hoods, and inset panels or textures that accent the simple style
  • Cabinets with simple trim, and trim in unusual places, such as under a base cabinet.
  • By varying the height and depth of cabinetry, you create “movement,” which helps balance the simple lines. This can be done with a creative use of stock material, such as installing a bath vanity or desk-height cabinetry, using wall cabinets on the floor, or flanking lower cabinets with end panels and fillers.

    Merillat Industries

    When you lower the cabinet height, it also offers you an opportunity to vary the style of the countertop. On the island in the project shown, we used vanity-height cabinets and topped them with a solid-surface countertop that has a 4½-inch-thick edge. The rich adobe color complements the earth tones of the cabinetry, keeping sharp contrast to a minimum.

    Another element that helps vary the cabinet height is building a higher-than-normal toe kick. To create this look, use a refrigerator-depth wall cabinet as a base. You'll have to install the toe kick in the field. Finish the toe kick with a veneer to cover the framing. —Nick Ritota is manager of Masterpiece Business Development for Merillat Industries. He is a featured speaker throughout the country on product, design, and CAD software;