Mud Australia flared ceramic bowl
Mud Australia flared ceramic bowl, $126

Photo: Courtesy of Mud Australia
Natalie Konstant
Photo: Katrina Wittkamp

Natalie Konstant

Founder of Konstant Home in Skokie

You can do a lot with accessories to warm up a sleek and modern kitchen. I love showcasing useful items that add color, like cookbooks, pitchers, and ceramics. Something like Hudson Grace’s spalted maple bowl, a contemporary teapot, or a hand-painted tray can function as a piece of art in a utilitarian setting. Even updating your everyday dishes or glassware is a practical and creative solution. One of my favorite ceramics brands is Mud Australia, which offers beautiful artisanal dishware in a variety of colors. Pairing those with LagunaB’s handmade water glasses, which could also be used for floral arrangements, creates a unique tablescape.


Brownstone Furniture Balboa driftwood counter stool
Brownstone Furniture Balboa driftwood counter stool, $780

Photo: Courtesy of Brownstone Furniture
Mick De Giulio
Photo: Dave Burk/Hedrich Blessing Photographers

Mick De Giulio

President of De Giulio Kitchen Design in River North

A strong kitchen personality can hurt resale, so concentrate on items that can be changed out fairly easily. One example: lighting fixtures such as the sophisticated sculptural Apollinaire sconces by Jonathan Browning. I also love the organic feel of the light but sturdy driftwood counter stool by Brownstone Furniture. Mirrors provide a relatively inexpensive way to cover a backsplash, and they can have an enormous impact, especially for smaller spaces. Cabinet and drawer hardware, which is simple to swap, can be as glamorous as jewelry. For instance, I designed stainless steel handles with random hand scoring, which gives them a faceted effect.