Double islands are truly the new breakfast table because they create a ton of extra surface space within the kitchen and offer an amazing flow for entertaining. One way we keep the kitchen from feeling repetitive is by playing with the cabinet finishes and using dual tones for fresh contrast.
With the last few kitchen renovations I have done, we have opted for a concealed hood. There are a couple of functional reasons why. The projection and angle on a lot of hoods bump into taller family members while cooking, and keeping the hood clean is another consideration.
Using two-tone cabinetry can work just as well in a traditional transitional kitchen as it does in a more contemporary/modern space. I love using two different paint colors as well as using one paint color and a more natural-looking wood together.
Mixing metals is a great way to add visual interest, particularly in a kitchen. When you mix metals, like bronze and brass, you are creating depth. This works so well in a kitchen because you have the opportunity to use different finishes in your plumbing, hardware, and lighting. A matte finish combined with a shiny one creates a great balance. Strive for a coordinated look rather than a matchy-matchy one and the end result will be far more interesting than selecting the same finish throughout.