Mar 24, 2011

Kitchen trends to know when you update.

Kitchens are the most frequently remodeled or updated spaces in a home or apartment. Whether it is to improve saleability or function or simply to update the style, decisions made in this space should be enduring. These style options, while very popular in the last two years, are also considered classic and good choices for the long-term.

Shaker Style Cabinetry:  Shaker doors are a timeless classic whose shape crosses many style boundaries.  They can make a modern home cozier but retain a sleek look preferred in minimalist interiors. Traditional kitchens tend to dictate the style of adjoining rooms and can limit the decor, but Shaker style enables the use of more contemporary furnishings.  For formality, stain them and paint them for a casual look. Don't forget that the choice of hardware will have a tremendous impact on the overall style.

Dark Finishes: Despite concerns for energy use by over-lighting, dark finishes remain at the top of the list for kitchens.  More modern style kitchens tend to use mid-toned finishes but NKBA surveys indicate that traditionalists prefer warm, dark hues. A great way to lighten a kitchen and retain a dark, traditional finish, is to mix dark base cabinets with lighter uppers, and even mix colors on islands, pantries, and display cabinets.

Unrefrigerated Wine Storage: Finding space for a wine captain can be challenging, but carving out a niche in the cabinets or shelving for wine racks is easier. It allows one to add specialty function to a kitchen without dedicating it to an appliance.

French Doors:
  With new zero clearance doors and bottom freezers, French door style refrigerators are easy to use, easy to conceal, and very efficient. The look can be modern with stainless fronts, or traditional with iron handles and cabinet panels. The interior space is larger than side-by-side models and storage of large containers such as cakes and pizza is made possible.

LED Lighting: Incandescent light bulbs are on their way out. While energy-efficient halogen and compact fluorescents are also used, the extended life cycle, reduced cost, and lower energy usage will drive LED to the forefront.  Multiple color temperatures are available for light from pure and white to soft and yellow.  With bulbs, pucks, strips, recessed fixtures and more, the options for lighting with LED are nearly limitless.

Induction Cooking: Concerns for energy costs may be spurring the increased interest in efficient induction technology. They incorporate onto work surfaces well and are safe to touch. They enable instant adjustment, no heat is wasted beyond your cooking vessel, and it's easy to install in place of gas or electric appliances. A minor negative is having to use the right cookware.

Waste Disposal:  Increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling leads to an overall concern for sustainability and a household's environmental impact. Incorporating garbage, recycling, and even composting space into kitchen design is a long-term positive feature. New compacting units assist with space requirements, and look as good as their function.