By Roelf Nel

French Country Kitchen Design

The French Country Kitchen design is one of many classic kitchen design themes that you could consider. It can provide your kitchen with a traditional look that has its roots in the hillsides of rural France. It is a style that can fit into both rural farmhouses and in the grandest chateau.

French country kitchen design conjures up images of the Provence and the French countryside with its pastoral settings, lavender fields and rustic French farmhouses. The French country kitchen represents country living that is uniquely French. In designing your French country kitchen you will discover that the French country look is always very rustic, old and warm.

There are many elements that go into the French country kitchen including the use of large pieces of furniture made mainly of light coloured woods and can be decorated with ornate carving.


Colour is an important place to start the design process. You can draw inspiration from some of the principle French impressionists like Monet and Renoir, Van Gogh. Colours that are used in the French country kitchen style can include sunny yellow or soft gold, bright red and rust, grass green, cobalt blue and soft ocean tones.

You can decorate in the style of the French country kitchen design by using vivid colours – poppy red, sunflower yellow, bright blue, meadow green, and sunset purple. Your walls and cabinets and large furniture can be painted in off white, ivory, light beige, and taupe. Cabinets can be painted a glossy white to brighten light-filled spaces in the kitchen or they can be left as natural wood. These colours can provide a light, airy feel so you do not want to use strong colours here. In fabrics such as curtains and seat cushions you might also add paisley, stripes and floral prints to your French Country Kitchen theme.

Natural Materials

Natural materials are an important element in walls, cabinetry, and furniture that is used in the design of French country kitchens. The materials used in creating a rustic French country kitchen look include natural stone floors, granite counter tops and tumbled marble back splashes. These natural materials can be used on walls and beamed ceilings, and can be rough stained or painted plaster, or wood painted in natural colours. Floors can be made of stone or brick and covered with wool or cotton rugs,  and wooden shutters as window coverings. Furniture and cabinets can have a rustic or even a distressed look. Countertops can be done in ceramic tile with tile back splashes.

Accent Pieces

In French country kitchen design you will find that tile, rustic urns, hand-painted European ceramics and pottery accents are used extensively. Ceramic tiles and terra cotta pottery pieces are used wherever possible. Add copper pots and a French country kitchen can encompass many old world-decorating colours.

Visit our French Country Board for more inspiring ideas .

By Roelf Nel

Taking a closer look at Kitchen Design Styles

While you are planning your new kitchen look, the style and design you select is very important in determining the overall feel your kitchen will portray. Whether you are going for the country charm of wood cabinets to modern-looking stainless steel appliances, kitchen design styles come in many choices and styles.

What determines your kitchen’s design style?

Many of the more successful kitchen design styles consist of many components going together the right way. The colour you select and the styles of fabrics, furniture, flooring, windows, cabinetry, appliances, and lighting can help to determine a kitchen design style. You will discover that various design elements of the kitchen provide each style with its own unique flavour.

The type of kitchen cabinets you have are an important consideration in regards to the overall kitchen design style. The cabinetry can have a powerful effect on the design of your kitchen. The style of kitchen cabinet you choose will give personality and a specific atmosphere to your kitchen.

Popular styles of kitchen cabinets today are:

English Country – Consists of open china display racks, unique paints and finishes.

Shaker – This style is characterized by purity, simplicity, and utility. Uses flat panel doors that are inset and flush with the cabinet frame. Other features include wooden counter tops, wooden knobs, and brass hardware pieces. It combines simple furniture design with clear crisp lines, and strength.

Country – This style creates an old farm kitchen look with glazes and layered finishes. Includes open shelves, pot racks for cast iron cookware, butcher block, and multi-coloured cabinet pieces that look like they are separate pieces of furniture.

French Country – So many elements go into the French country kitchen including the use of large pieces of furniture that are made mainly of light coloured woods and can be decorated with ornate carving. Natural materials are an important element in walls, cabinetry, and furniture that is used in the design of French country kitchens.

Arts and Crafts – This kitchen design style is becoming a popular style for kitchens. In this type of style glass doors and natural wood tones with a matte sheen are used. The style can be eclectic and artistic.

Contemporary – Kitchens that are done in the contemporary kitchen design style often use plastic laminates, special wood veneers, enamels, lacquers, or metal foil laminate for the kitchen cabinet facings. Cabinet doors in this kitchen design style usually use frameless construction with overlay door and no toe kick panel.

Homes can come in many different styles, and built using a variety of materials. So the same goes for kitchen design styles. However, in most cases, people will want their kitchen to match the overall design and style of their home.

It may not be absolutely necessary to select a kitchen design style that is the same as your home’s exterior architectural style. Although it is considered a good idea that you should really try to select the kitchen design style that will best complement your home’s style.

Visit our Pinterest Board  and get inspired by the kitchen ideas we came across.

By Roelf Nel

What is the best Splashback material?

When it comes to decorating, the splashback can mean the difference between an ok kitchen and a kitchen that has a truly unique look. If you are redecorating your kitchen for aesthetics as well as purpose, the splashback is also a good way to create a bit of extra style without sacrificing your kitchen’s functional properties as well.

What sort of materials are the best for a splashback? This depends entirely on your personal taste, of course, but the location of the splashback will also affect what materials you should use. However, there are many materials to choose from that are both durable and beautiful.

For example, if the area you want to decorate is located behind a stove, it is ideal that you pick a material that is both heat resistant and non-absorbent. If you are looking for a warm, organic look, then using stone tiles may be the perfect choice for you.

While not all types of natural stones tiles are ideal for enduring the intense heat and regular grease and food splatters that commonly occur, there are several ideal choices, such as soapstone, granite, and several others. Less durable such as marble or quartz also make an attractive addition to areas of your kitchen that are less busy. For a truly unique look, try using copper splashback tiles.

If stones are not for you, porcelain tiles are also ideal for any area of your kitchen. Along with coming in a variety of different textures and colours, they are also naturally heat and stain resistant, resulting in a beautiful splashback that will last. Many decorators will recommend that you use the same porcelain tiles as your floor for a simple, homey look.

Glass splashbacks are ideal for countertops. Depending on the colour and pattern, you can create a sterile, clinical look or a truly eclectic statement. One of the best things about using glass is that this material is easy to install and comes in a wide variety of textures and hues. Some glass splashbacks actually contain bits of crushed mirror shards or flecks of vivid colour to create added texture. However, as it is not very heat resistant, keep it away from the area behind your stove.

These are only a few of the materials that are ideal for splashbacks. Regardless of what kind you choose, you will be able to rest easy in that you are making your kitchen truly yours.

Visit our  Pinterest Board, and get some fantastic ideas on creative splashbacks that will give your kitchen a unique look.

By Roelf Nel

Great Ideas for your Kitchen


In most families, the kitchen is the gathering ground, and is more than just the place to cook meals.

Here are some great ideas to bring the heart back into your kitchen:

  1. Add a large window allowing natural light to flow in.
  2. Space, space, space. Add an island for additional working and “kuier” space.
  3. Now use those large windows and natural light to grow your herb garden.
  4. With all the natural light streaming into your kitchen, the attention is drawn to the colour scheme. White is still the dominant colour trend for 2016, with charcoal, and natural pastels like pale green and blue being the alternative to standard white.
  5. Trendy appliances compliments the heart of the home making this gathering point a stylish hub.
  6. In this hi-tech world, consider creating a spot for all your smart devices.  Find a hidden spot to keep your techy gadgets charged. A draw with a plug point attached is super trendy.

Why not extend your kitchen to flow into the outdoors? Let the heart of your home extend into your outdoor living with ease and make the most of the South African good weather.

Get inspired and let your creative juices flow, visit our Pinterest Board for more ideas.
Follow Buildforce’s board Kitchen Trends on Pinterest.

By Roelf Nel

Kitchen splashback design ideas

Gone are the days where your only option for a splashback is a mosaic tile. Today, technology has made it possible to be creative, fun and inspiring. Let your kitchen reflect your creativity.

Digitally printed glass has opened up the creative minds of designers, and home owners. You can truly create your own space, with your own unique feel.

What should you keep in mind when creating a unique splashback?

  • Select high resolution images with the dimensions at least half the print size. Printing images on the back of a glass splashback is expensive, take the time to get the best quality you can afford.
  • If you are an experienced photographer, then you can use your own images; alternatively visit any stock photo database and purchase an image.
  • Create a centre piece in your kitchen using a unique image or eye catching design.
  • The stove splashback area usually works well with portrait images.
  • Behind the work surface you can look at panoramic or landscape images.

Take the time to browse through image libraries, and get inspired to create a unique look for your kitchen. Visit our Pinterest Board and see what others have created.

Follow Buildforce Building Contract Managers’s board Glass Splashbacks on Pinterest.

By Roelf Nel

Kitchen Floor Designs

The kitchen is the heart of the home where the family gathers to share food passions, stories and creating memories. Stimulate this gathering ground by creating a warm, welcoming space. Here are some tips on floors options to consider.

1. Travertine Tiles
Travertine is a form of limestone that originates in groundwater and streams just below the earth’s surface. Travertine creates a fresh, modern and functional atmosphere while still feeling warm and welcoming. It is the kind of floor that will disguise crumbs and spills. Selecting a neutral and timeless design, gives you room to be more creative with the décor of your kitchen.

2. Hardwood Flooring
Wood floors creates that “cosy” feel and can take on lots of traffic without losing its lustre. The challenges of wooden floors is the exposure to sunlight, heat and humidity which can cause warping, leading to more wear and tear. The solution is to go for engineered flooring. Factory-Finished wood will stand up to moisture fluctuations better than any wood flooring that is finished on site.

3. Laminated Wood
A popular route to take with wooden floors are the laminated version, it is less expensive than the solid hardwood option. Laminated floors keeps the realistic wood-look, but is water-resistant, pet-proof, kid-friendly, mess-proof and suitable for high traffic zones.

4. Bamboo
For the environmentally conscious, modern and trendy homeowner, Bamboo offers a strong, sustainable alternative to traditional hardwood floors without the high price tag. Bamboo is resilient and can take a greater impact than most hardwoods without denting. This attractive alternative is durable, moisture and insect resistant, and can handle high traffic.

5. Tiles
Before selecting your tile, you need to know that the tile can withstand the traffic without wearing out. Tiles have a wear resistance or PEI (porcelain enamel institute) rating which is an international standard that measures the degree to which a tile’s surface will withstand wear. For kitchen tiles, the rating should be PEI3 or PEI4. Another concern in selecting a tile for the kitchen is to ensure it is slip resistant tile which has a matt finish. Tiles come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colours. If the room you are tiling is very small, then it may not look good with large dark 500×500 tiles as this will just make the room appear even smaller. However, large tiles would work very well in a wide, open space. When choosing colour you need to consider fixtures and fittings and the wall colour of the room.

There are endless possibilities when selecting what type of flooring you should opt for. Consider the above, and do your own research to discover what the best flooring option for your kitchen is.

Follow Buildforce’s board Floor Designs on Pinterest.

By Roelf Nel

Kitchen False Ceiling Designs

One way to change the look of your kitchen is to change the ceiling from white and flat, to something that gives your kitchen character. Get inspired and look at suspended ceilings, false ceilings, wooden, or metal ceilings. The ideal kitchen ceiling is easy to clean and allows for simple installation of new lighting fixtures, ventilation or air conditioning systems.

  • Metal Ceilings designs are aluminium ceiling panels and tiles creating a fresh stylish kitchen. This is ideal if you want to make the room feel larger. The aluminium ceilings are fireproof, moisture-proof and mold-proof which makes them perfect for the kitchen.
  • Plasterboard and gypsum board are popular materials for the construction of false ceilings. This material is light weight, fireproof and flexible, which makes it ideal for the kitchen.
  • Wooden ceilings work well in keeping with a traditional type kitchen, or farm house effect. The wooden roof creates a warm feeling in the room

Enhance your ceiling design by adding LED lights. Have suspended light fittings by the island. Pictures are worth a thousand words, visit our Pinterest Board and unleash your creativity and design your kitchen ceiling.

Follow Buildforce’s board Ceiling Designs on Pinterest.

By Roelf Nel

Kitchen Design Trends

The kitchen is considered the heart and soul of the house. The 2015 trend has seen the traditional kitchen transformed into a luxury, creative space.

Brass has made a comeback creating an elegant space with this shiny metal. Luxury metals including brass, copper and gold can be featured from the hood, backsplashes to taps and cabinet handles. If brass is too shiny for your liking, try copper.

Open plan kitchens has been a favourite design for a while now. The new trend is to have minimal walls cabinets to enhance the room’s sense of spaciousness. Creating an airy, bulk-free look allows you to focus on other design elements such as large windows and glass doors bringing in natural light and connecting the outdoors.

Going with the airy feel, open shelving offers a practical solution for the kitchen space. Your space is personalized, making it feel lived in and warm, yet functional at the same time.

Ceilings are moving away from being functional and adding to the rooms beauty. The trend is to draw your attention up, using lighting, bulkheads, coffer ceilings, beams and windows.

Spice up your kitchen design using bold, rich colours like crimson red, royal blue, mustard yellow. Use these bold colours with contrasting shades to get that aesthetic look.

How will you design your kitchen?

Follow Buildforce’s board Kitchen Trends on Pinterest.

By Roelf Nel

Concrete design countertops

When considering counter-tops that are highly customizable, then the versatility and design of concrete is a good choice. Concrete tops create a simple clean look that is not formal. Whether you want a more traditional style or sleek, polished surfaces, then concrete tops offers you a range of options to choose from.

You don’t have to settle for the popular stony gray look. Concrete tops can be made in virtually any colour. A white concrete counter-top provides a crisp, clean look that is appreciated by many home owners. If you would prefer a more traditional look, then brown is a good option. Brown concrete creates a similar look to natural stone, bringing warmth to your home. Concrete offers limitless colour possibilities. If you are wanting to add drama to your home through colour and design, concrete can help you achieve this.

Concrete is a natural material which is porous and needs to be sealed to prevent staining. Ask your contractor if the sealant they use will discolour the surface. Concrete counter-tops offer minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning with non-abrasive cleaners is recommended, and periodic waxing if you have opted for a polished finish.

Benefits of Concrete Countertops
• Concrete counters can be designed to fit your space.
• It is available in a wide variety of colours to match you palette.
• It provides a textured, soft natural feel to counters.
• Properly sealed and maintained concrete tops will wear well for years and can be used indoors and outdoors.

Problems of Concrete Countertops
• This porous material will stain if not sealed properly.
• They develop minor hairline cracks which are non-structural because of the natural shrinkage of the material.
• It’s hard to control concrete’s natural variation in colour and texture.

If you are looking to design with an eco-friendly material that is durable, and will last a lifetime, consider using concrete for your counter-tops.


Follow Buildforce’s board Concrete Countertops on Pinterest.

By Roelf Nel

Add the Marsala design touch to your home

Marsala is the 2015 Pantone Colour of the Year. This colour is warm, rich, natural and pleasant. It is the perfect shade for natural interior decorating colour schemes. The modern colour is inspired by pomegranate, rich, deep and soft pastels of plum juices, red wines and autumn leaves.

The reddish wine colour hues can create dramatic accents and add a peaceful look to modern interior decorating. This colour can transform interior design and bring coziness into your room decorating. The Marsala colour combinations can include bright rooms colours, cold colour tones, warm colour shades, pastels and neutral colours, and look attractive and inviting.

How can you introduce Marsala into your home?

  • The sharp contrast in Marsala colour walls again white paint trimmings offers a fabulous finish. From creamy shades, vanilla and pearl to pale gray colour tones, these colour combinations feel warm and stylish with the Marsala colour. Black and white decorating ideas, gray and pale beige can be mixed with the modern colour for schemes that are contrasting, dynamic and harmonious.
  • Create a retro feel in the kitchen featuring a Marsala coloured stove or Marsala coloured drawers with a white or stainless steel contrast. For a cottage styled feel paint a featured wall with Marsala colour.
  • Create an elegant and sophisticated feel in your living room boasting modern marsala coloured couch set against a neutral background.
  • In a small space like a guest bathroom, create the contrast with white porcelain against a Marsala backdrop creating a rich luminous feel yet cozy as well.

The options are endless. This modern colour inspired by sunsets and elegant roses, is elegant, sophisticated creating a modern home with impressive finishing’s. Sip on a glass of red wine, and get inspired by the rich colour.

Follow Buildforce’s board Marsala 2015 colour of the year on Pinterest.

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French Country Kitchen Design
Taking a closer look at Kitchen Design Styles
What is the best Splashback material?
Great Ideas for your Kitchen
Kitchen splashback design ideas
Kitchen Floor Designs
Kitchen False Ceiling Designs
Kitchen Design Trends
Concrete design countertops
Add the Marsala design touch to your home