Q&A with Award-Winning Interior Designer Patricia Davis Brown Blog

In our latest Quartz Talk session, we sat down with award-winning interior designer and digthisdesign.net blogger Patricia Davis Brown to talk about this season's hottest design trends and what you need to know when selecting a countertop for your project.

What are the biggest countertop design trends you are seeing this season?

I attended the EuroCucina show in Milan where the trends are first spotted. Trending in countertops is thin and simplistically designed. The color brown was popular, where counters were paired with bronzed fixtures.

What color palettes are most popular for kitchens and baths this year?

Brown, warm tones. I see these trends also mixed with cool tones like gray, but I see a trend for darker palettes as well.

I love the transitional style. How can I get that look in my kitchen?

A transitional style is free of clutter. There needs to be a balance of textures and patterns so that the eye is not overstimulated. For example, a calm countertop with not a lot of pattern movement mixed with painted wall cabinetry and an open grain, stained island that adds texture. There are different ways to achieve it, but there is a balance of textures and colors.

What are some quick and easy ways to update the look of my kitchen for Summer?

I love decorating for the season and summer is my favorite. I like to pop colors by strategically placing seasonal flowers on my countertops. I also use framed pictures that I change out that represent my family enjoying the pool, boating, etc.

I want to renovate my kitchen. Where should I start?

Start your design process by doing your own personal research of what's trending and what you like, and know your budget. Then, the best money you will spend is hiring a design professional. Certified kitchen designers are worth their weight in gold. Share with your designer what you learned in your research and start the design process. By doing this, you will save the money you spent on a design professional by eliminating change orders that will blow your budget.

The kitchen and bathrooms are the most detailed rooms of the house and need to have special attention paid to the design. Once you have a professional design the ball is in your court, you can now bid your project out to more than one contractor. Have your design professional evaluate the bids and help you select the right team. That is a successful way to do a kitchen or bath design.

When it comes to selecting a new countertop, what things should I consider?

When choosing a countertop you want to consider your lifestyle. My home is busy with lots of people using the kitchen at any given time, which means it's got to hold up, so maintenance free is super important to my family.

Another important thing to consider is color and pattern. Your countertop is a big investment and you want to choose a color and pattern you can live with for a long time without tiring of it. I have remodeled a lot of kitchens where the client is over the look of the countertop material and never wants to see it again – you don't want to be that person. It’s a big decision. Wild patterns that might be popular today could be dated in 5 years. If you are going to choose a large pattern, you might consider doing it as a focal point just on your kitchen island so that if later you are tired of it, you can replace it without too much of a hassle, cost, and disruption. 

Where do you get inspiration for new designs?

I get inspiration for my designs everywhere. Design is patterns and rhythms that are seen in everyday life. When I meet with a new client, I listen to what they are saying about how they live, what they like and I get inspired by their ideas. As a professional, it's up to me to bring their visions to life, and I get a thrill out of taking their ideas beyond their vision to an unexpected place that gets them excited about their project.

Design is a process for everyone involved. First, you have to figure out what you like and that takes researching current trends and expanding on them with your own personality mixed in – that’s a great design!