As floor plans are becoming more open and the kitchen is more integrated into the main living areas of the home, it becomes increasingly important to carry good design practices into the kitchen. This includes decisions on appliances, cabinetry, accessories, backsplash color, among other things.
The kitchen is seeing renewed attention as an area to make improvements-particularly among do-it-yourselfers. According to a recent survey from Lowe’s, more than 70 percent of women homeowners surveyed say they feel prepared to be solely responsible for their home-including maintenance, repairs and improvements. Nearly all of these female homeowners say they prefer to take on these projects without professional help, a significant increase over what they said just three years ago. According to the survey findings, the kitchen is the most popular room to upgrade.
Renowned design expert and HGTV host Sarah Richardson recommends a starting point to help make sense of kitchen design trends. “It’s important to consider three main points when determining design direction, they are: color, materials and the function the space will serve for the family,” she advises.
When people think about introducing color into kitchen design, they generally go directly to the wall color or backsplash pattern or flooring. Today’s color choices extend beyond those areas to dishes, glassware, small kitchen appliances, pots and pans, cabinetry, countertops and furniture. Richardson advises, “Yesterday’s neutrals have given way to an intense color palette. A few hot trends: poppy red, blue-gray and luminous, metallic finishes.” Even homeowners not ready to make a bold color choice on the walls can add colorful accents to the room by choosing bright accessories or adding beautiful fabric upholstery to the kitchen chairs.
As color choices in the kitchen are evolving, so are appliance finishes. In the past, solid colors, such as white and black, were the standard options for appliances. Now stainless steel is a top-seller and trends point towards the growing popularity of a new metallic neutral. For example, the Frigidaire Elements line offers an industry-first metallic nickel finish, with a timeless look that will stay great even as you change color schemes. Features include:
- Unique Finish: The sleek and durable metallic nickel finish is fingerprint resistant and will coordinate with any color scheme to give your kitchen a fresh new look.
- Built-In Dishwashers: These Energy Star rated appliances hold 14 complete place settings in one load, which means fewer loads per week and more savings on your energy bill.
- Refrigeration: From adjustable shelves to gallon-door bins, you’ll have all the storage capacity you need. Along with the PureSource 2 filtration system you get bottled water quality for your water and ice.
- Ranges: Both the electric and gas top ranges allow consumers to cook in convection mode, so with the touch of a button standard recipes are easily converted to convection time to brown evenly and seal in juices.
Another trend in a kitchen re-design: The traditional granite and wood choices for counter tops and cabinets elements are being swapped out for metals and more exotic materials. As environment issues are becoming more top-of-mind, they’re affecting the choices homeowners and designers are making. In fact, other natural materials such as bamboo are replacing wood in flooring and cabinetry.
Essential to any kitchen design is the work and traffic flow. A traditional theory on kitchen layout is the triangle relationship among the refrigerator, oven and sink. That shape has evolved into circles, squares and many other configurations as unique as the individuals who use them. Despite this evolution, the emphasis on function remains essential. Many homeowners are installing two of everything, from dishwashers to ovens to sinks. The added functionality of having pairs of appliances allows for more family members to be involved with cooking, provides more space to store food and makes entertaining more of a breeze as food preparation and clean up are twice as fast.