The Riches are in Kitchen Nooks & Niches

Storage nook for spices and cutting boardsIt’s the special touches that really make a designer kitchen unique; it can even be something as inconspicuous as kitchen nooks and niches. Kitchen niches are little cut outs in columns, pillars, and walls that would otherwise be dead space. Normandy Designer Vince Weber says in most cases nooks and niches in the kitchen are little features that a designer creates to add semi-hidden functionality. Not surprisingly, many people love this unique storage solution.

“Niches in the kitchen are generally created in an odd corner where upper cabinets aren’t an ideal solution. Instead, these pockets can be cut out to custom fit your daily kitchen essentials,” Vince says. “These aren’t cooking or cleaning zones but rather a mini open storage area where tools like your blender or toaster are easily accessible.”

Choosing a great spot to tuck in a kitchen niche is determined by its function and purpose.  “The niche should be versatile and properly located near another station in the kitchen,” suggests Vince. “A niche that holds cutting boards and a knife block near the sink is a good example.”

The ideal way to incorporate a niche in your kitchen’s design is to help it blend into the background. “If you’re using your niche to hide kitchen appliances, you probably don’t want to call attention to that little pocket,” Vince offers. “Using the same paint color in the niche as the wall makes it disappear.”

Niches don’t have to be designed to fit a specific style of kitchen, they can fit into modern, traditional, transitional or any aesthetic. There isn’t a specific size recommendation, though Vince suggests, “The niche shouldn’t be too small that it seems like a design error, but not too large that it dominates the area where it’s placed.”

The idea of niches in the kitchen can be polarizing. Some people love that niches can hold essentials at arm’s reach and love the quirky interest they add to a kitchen. While others feel the niche adds visual clutter, because the “hidden tools” are still in plain sight, just tucked away.

Whether you’re a fan of niches or not, Vince is ready to discuss your kitchen or home remodeling needs. If you’re not quite ready to talk to a designer about your remodeling project, we invite you to scroll through the images we’ve curated of our projects. Follow us on Pinterest and Instagram for ideas and inspiration.


Niche for hidden kitchen storageKitchen with slab backsplash, hammered metal range hood and open shelvingOversized stainless steel hood with professional grade cooktop

Make a Statement with Stone

Kitchen with a natural stone to make a statement on the islandChoosing to make a natural stone countertop your kitchen’s statement piece takes careful consideration, and a long-lasting commitment. So, if you already know you want natural stone on your kitchen island because of its beauty, you might as well go bold. Normandy Designer Abby Osborn says this focal piece should be viewed as a stunning piece of art.

Island countertops are a fantastic place to make a statement in your kitchen,” says Abby. “They can naturally become the focal point of the room.”

Selecting your stone may take some time, especially if you plan to build your room around it. “If you’re visiting a stone yard, you should come with some ideas in mind,” suggests Abby. Open shelving above textured tile in the kitchen“Though, you may discover that even if you were on the hunt for something bright and colorful, you could end up falling in love with a bold black and white design like this customer did.”

Sometimes, your kitchen selections have already been chosen, but you spot a stone you just can’t live without. Incorporating a new idea and possibly new color scheme into your kitchen can be an act of balance and compromise. “You may have to redesign the kitchen and adjust other selections to work with the statement piece,” Abby says.

“The original plan for this kitchen backsplash was more colorful, but we wanted that beautiful stone to take center stage. So, we tweaked the colors and opted for a really cool dimensional backsplash with an undertone of soft green,” says Abby. Too many loud conflicting colors and patterns in one room can look busy.

White kitchen with two tier island with natural stoneThis quartzite slab, called Orca, features natural colors of white and black which are neutrals and quite timeless. Though, if you lean towards multicolored stone or dynamic movement in patterns, it may feel too of the moment. How do you know you won’t get sick of it in a few years? “So many people would never commit to a bold patterned stone because of that fear,” Abby comments. “Go with your gut, and if it’s love at first sight you can rest assured it will be a treasured focal point in your kitchen for many years to come.”

When it comes to choosing stone countertops for your kitchen remodel, it’s wise to understand the differences in material. Decide which features are most important to you, and what works with your budget. Natural stones, such as marble and quartzite, offer more unique, one-of-a-kind choices, because they are created in nature and reflect the veining and movement of a natural material. Quartz, which is manmade, offers better durability than some softer natural stones, but produce predictable patterns that are manufactured.

“Exotic natural stone of this size can be pricier than other options,” Abby says. “It’s important to really understand what you’re getting and discuss with your designer how best to care for your investment.”

Are you ready to take a big leap into showcasing natural stone on your kitchen island or countertops? Set up a time to talk to Abby about your kitchen, bathroom, or addition projects. And, in the meantime, browse our photo gallery or Instagram page for plenty of images to get lost in.


White kitchen cabinets with waterfall wrapped island in natural stoneIsland countertop in quartziteModern kitchen with light wood cabinets and dark stone countertopWhite kitchen with metal hood, black accent cabinets, and kitchen island

Schedule an Appointment