Whether you are concocting a gourmet multi-course meal, or just having pizza for breakfast, the kitchen will always remain as the heart of the home. A kitchen’s use extends beyond mere food preparation; it also serves as a place to entertain friends, complete homework and schoolwork, check emails, or just casually hang out.
One of the biggest trends in kitchen design today is the open floor plan, which continues to encourage socializing in the kitchen. Part of the popularity of open design is that it allows hosts to interact with the guests while preparing food. Additionally, combining sparsely used rooms, such as a formal dining or living room into a large multi-purpose area gives more usable space and makes a home feel more inviting.
Other trends include having dual work zones, with multiple sinks and multiple refrigerators for convenience. The first zone is for more casual uses, such as heating up the aforementioned slice of pizza or cutting a few vegetables. The second work area, for the more focused chef, has its own sink, cooktop, counter space, and oven.
Kitchen design, meanwhile, has migrated from more traditional looks (Louis XV seating) to a blend of traditional and contemporary. This new theme, known as “transitional” contains elements of both design philosophies, helping those who adopt this style retain the ornamental “fussy” traditional style, while still opening up to a modern aesthetic. The traditional palette contains a lot of neutral colors: grays, blacks, and whites, with a white kitchen being the most popular.
Countertops and Backsplashes
Countertop and backsplash surfaces importance are of particular emphasis this year. Surfaces of metal and stone – either natural or man-made, like Caesarstone or Silestone – continue to be popular choices. Another new trend is textures countertops, such as: suede, velvet, brushed, or leathered; textured surfaces are big in today’s kitchens. Other trends include increase use of wood, such as black walnut and waterproof marine –oil finish in dark chocolate brown. Where innovation speaks, however, is in the “organic edge” trend, where the natural edge off the tree remains while the woods knots are emphasized in the final polish.
Cabinetry: The Beautiful Carryall
One of the most important facets of a well-designed kitchen are beautifully constructed cabinetry. Cabinets are composed of the face or door style, the box or interior, and the hardware or knob and pulls. Today it’s all about personalization and tailored design. Anthony Maucieri, president of East Hill Cabinetry in White Plains, says “The types of woods havn’t changed, it’s the way we cut, stain, and treat the wood or mix different types of woods in the same kitchen.”
“For old oak kitchens, we’d take the tree and cut board out of it. With quarter-sawn, the tree is cut in fours and turned diagonally with the grain in all one direction,” he explains. With regard to color, cooler whites and gray-blue painted or stained wood are very of-the-moment as opposed to warmer, dark browns and earth tones. “Last year, there was a lot of ‘greige,’ or grays with browns,” he notes. “This year, they’re much truer grays and even some blues.”
“Now, with all the clean lines, we want fewer details,” he says. “So on a white cabinet, instead of a dark oil-rubbed cup, we’ll use a clean-lined brushed-nickel or stainless-steel knob or pull to blend in more with the cabinetry.”
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