The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. It needs to be functional, aesthetically pleasing, but most importantly tough enough to stand up to a variety of daily uses. If you build your own home, you have the unique opportunity of designing your kitchen from the ground up. Or maybe your current kitchen and appliances are outdated and need to freshen up. In either case, being familiar with today’s kitchen trends will help add timeless value to your home while getting you the kitchen you’ve always dreamed of. These 5 tips will help you achieve that goal.
Tip 1: Know your materials
Let’s take a look at some of what’s in and what’s out with today’s kitchen designs. According to the Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), quartz is the most popular countertop right now. Part of that is probably due to color choices, consistency, and its tendency to be non-porous compared to other stone countertops. Quartz offers an extremely hard surface that doesn’t require regular sealing unlike other natural stone surfaces. Also, because it’s manufactured from clear quartz material, the variety of colors and patterns far exceed those of quarried stone. If you love the look of granite, there is no substitute, however, if a specific color is required, you cannot avoid quartz.
Tip 2: Sleek up your appliances
Induction cooktops are extremely popular right now. If you’re not familiar with how these work when compared to conventional stovetops, keep reading. Induction cooktops heat your cookware using an electromagnetic field versus radiant heat. As a result, they cook significantly faster than radiant element stoves. Additionally, they only heat the cookware in contact with the element. That means spills don’t get scorched which makes cleaning the cooktop easier. You will need to check your cookware to make sure it will work properly with an induction cooktop. You can do that by holding a magnet to the bottom. If it makes a strong connection, it should work well on an induction range.
Convection ovens are also big sellers. If you’ve never had a convection oven, you don’t know what you’re missing. Conventional ovens apply heat from the bottom up by way of the heating element. Depending on what you’re making, that doesn’t always provide the best results until you learn how to get along with your oven. A convection oven uses a fan to circulate heat evenly throughout the entire oven. This eliminates soggy casseroles with burnt bottoms.
While stainless in appliances is still definitely the strongest trend at the moment, appliance makers are experimenting with brightly colored finishes as well. The latest trend is blackened stainless steel (oxidized look). If you can only make one change to an otherwise drab kitchen, this might be a direction you want to go. Choose opposing colors that make the most of any contrast will dramatically change the look of your kitchen.
Tip 3: Cool down on cabinet colors
Traditionally styled kitchens are currently on the way out. People are instead choosing more transitional and contemporary designs for their new or remodeled kitchens. This can be a tough one to adapt to if you’ve always had traditionally designed kitchens and prefer that look and feel. These trends tend to fluctuate so take that information with a grain of salt. Unless you’re remodeling with the intent of modernizing your home for the market, it’s all about personal preferences anyway.
If you’re just looking to maybe change up your color scheme, the NKBA says that, “Gray and white painted cabinets dominate kitchen color schemes and show no signs of slowing down, especially gray. Black and blue toned cabinets are gaining popularity.” The beauty of painted cabinets is that traditionally designed kitchens can be easily and affordably updated with a simple coat of paint. Mixing materials and metal surfaces to create two toned kitchens is also gaining popularity.
Tip 4: Turn up the lights
The way you light your kitchen is also changing. LED rope and cove lights are being used more and more for a variety of reasons. They can be used under cabinets for lighting countertops, under toe kicks as nightlights and above cabinets to provide indirect, soft lighting in your kitchen. LEDs are ideal for these locations because they give off zero heat that would make them otherwise dangerous against a wood surface. They are also far more energy efficient than almost all other types of lighting.
We mentioned earlier that transitional and contemporary designs are by far the most popular right now. There is one exception and that’s the farmhouse style. Using a combination of natural materials like wood, to include reclaimed wood, rustic fixtures and cabinet hardware, it’s easy to see the appeal of this style. When combined with other rustic furnishings such as Amish made hardwood tables and chairs, it’s almost like stepping back in time.
Tip 5: Don’t sacrifice function for style
Under the counter cabinets often have the potential to turn into the Bermuda Triangle. They can be dark, deep and hard to reach. One trend that is long overdue is using that space for drawers instead of cabinets. If you’re watching costs, know that these will run a little higher due to the extra hardware and construction required. With that said, it is a more than worthy investment to have that space easy to access and use.
The last trend we’ll discuss is the uptick in smart storage for smaller spaces. With people continually downsizing, the need for smart storage has exploded and with it some exciting innovations. Pull out shelves are perhaps our favorite as they allow you to see every inch of storage space available and what’s in it. Have a pantry where things go to die? There are tons of smart systems for rollout shelves and accordion style shelves that will help you tame that monster.
In conclusion, allow the purpose for your kitchen design guide your decisions. If you’re prepping a kitchen to raise the market value of your home, consider implementing these top trends. But, if the design is to get the kitchen of your dreams, let your heart take the lead. Either way, our specialists are here to help expertly guide you in achieving your goals.