Remodeling a kitchen? Draw inspiration from locations and cultures around the world

(BPT) – Traditional, rustic, contemporary, modern – which style will you choose for your kitchen remodel? While each design style has its own appealing characteristics, what if you want a look that is worldly and inspired? You can add flare to any kitchen – and any kitchen design style – by incorporating cultural influences from around the world.

Here are some simple ways to draw inspiration from beautiful locations and cultures:

* Create with color – Color transforms mood and can evoke specific world cultures, regions and locations. Manipulating color in your kitchen design can allow you to either create a complete ethnically inspired theme or simply hint at a regional influence. For example, walls in a soft, glowing orange paired with dark red accents (think cabinetry or window treatments) can build an Asian-influenced backdrop for a kitchen. Or, a tile backsplash with Aegean blue and pale sand hues can speak of a subtle Mediterranean influence. For a Tuscan effect, incorporate rustic, earthy hues like umbers, creams and forest green.

* Count on countertops – As one of the largest design elements in any kitchen, countertops can be a great way to underscore a globally inspired design. Not sure what material, pattern or color might match your chosen theme? Wilsonart Quartz countertops offer creative guidance with a line of durable, beautiful countertops inspired by locations around the world. Underscore your Asian look with Niwa, a subtle marriage of white and gray that harkens to the sacred spaces in the Shinto religion that are often demarked by white and gray pebbles. For upscale European styling, Vittorio incorporates two tones of gray with brown and blue highlights in homage to the Galleria Vittorio, a high-fashion shopping mall in Milan. Wilsonart has made engineered decorative surfaces for more than 50 years. To learn more about Wilsonart Quartz natural stone countertops, visit

* A way with walls – Kitchens in different areas of the world have different signature design elements. For example, wood paneling on the walls is a hallmark of English country kitchens, while modern Japanese kitchens, which are often limited in space, are made to look larger with walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. Tile on walls can create a Spanish or Italian effect, while arches, sandy hues and bright tile accents speak of a Mexican influence.

* Open up with cabinetry – Just as countertops significantly impact a kitchen’s look, cabinetry has a fashionable and functional effect. The material and color you choose for cabinets will play a defining role in the overall appearance of your kitchen. For example, flat white or frosted glass doors can impart a very modern Asian flare, while distressed woods in rustic hues create a Tuscan effect. White wooden cabinets paired with pops of blue in door knobs and accessories are reminiscent of kitchens in Greece.

* Flooring is a foundation – Certain materials establish a regional look because they are widely available in that region. In India, where quarries make natural stones easily affordable, kitchens commonly feature floors of glossy marble or other stone. Tile is also abundant and beautiful in Spain and Italy, and a wide variety of styles is available to create the underpinning for any regionally inspired kitchen design.

Finally, remember the power of accessories and wall art to bring a look together. A wallpaper mural of a Tuscan countryside can bring the charm of Italy into your kitchen, while window treatments and wall art with a cherry blossom theme serve to transport the imagination to Italy. Whatever your design tastes, you’ll create a kitchen that’s inspired, beautiful and practical when you draw together influences from around the world.