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Create A “Fusion Kitchen”

Kitchen cabinet design has come a very long way and no longer are our choices confined to having matching cabinetry throughout. Although the style of cabinetry has varied over the decades, we were always left with a huge wall of matching cabinets in the end, even after trying to personalize the kitchen with unique hardware and decorative backsplashes. To me, the past choices have been like having only a few choices of matching furniture sets to choose from. You might be able to get different finishes on the pieces but you are still left with a bland, boring set.

Thank goodness for inventive designers who have broken the “must match” rule in kitchen design. I call this new style the “fusion kitchen.” Our feature kitchen courtesy of Moen Products shows how you can mix up finishes and styles to create a truly unique space. While not for all, this particular kitchen shows us the possibilities for renovations in our own space.


First off, there is nothing “matchy” in this room yet everything works well together. The lower cabinets boast white, shaker-style drawer and door faces set on a backdrop of dark, rustic wood. It’s a mix of modern and rustic that works well. Now you have the option of using pre-owned cabinet faces in your new fusion kitchen. Until now, it was very hard to find used cabinets that would fit a specific space so we were left paying retail for new cabinets. Now, you can really go to town with your design and save tons of money as well.

The hardware in this room is a matte nickel finish which is current and mixes beautifully with the sleek design of the Moen faucet and deep stainless steel sink. The granite countertop is attractive and durable. There is no backsplash in this kitchen. This is another kitchen element that is not always necessary. As long as the area behind the sink is water resistant you’ll be fine.

I love the look of the floating upper shelves. You could hang pots, cups and utensils from cup hooks on the underside of these shelves for extra open storage. That’s the beauty of the new fusion kitchen, there really are no limitations when it comes to design. We can mix up old and new, with doors or without, painted or natural wood.

In our feature kitchen alone I can think of 10 ways to change up the look without a lot of cost or fuss. Flexibility is another positive element of the fusion kitchen. Add some colour by painting the white cabinet faces in a vivid colour like cobalt blue and mix in co-ordinating accessories to bring the colour to the upper shelves. Leave the cabinets but paint the wall in a popular solid colour like spa green. Along with a new wall colour, paint the floating shelves white to make them pop like the lower cabinetry does. Change the hardware to hammered black iron for a rustic look and replace the lighting. You get the picture.

You are now free to create the kitchen you want with found objects and leftover bits of paint. Now your dream kitchen might be closer at hand than you think.

– Connie Oliver is an interior designer from Winnipeg



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