THE SMART KITCHEN
In just a few years, technology has entered the kitchen in full force. We all know that there are smart gadgets and appliances such as smartplugs and instantpots, but soon, it will be hard to buy a large appliance without built-in Wi-Fi. Head to any kitchen appliance store, whether high-end or big-box, and you’ll find everything from refrigerators that know their contents and food recognizing ovens to motion sensor faucets and phone controlled lighting systems.
ECO-FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABILITY
Growing awareness about our planet has brought about an increase in ethical consumerism. Homeowners are looking for eco-friendly interior design options for more sustainable living. For the kitchen, the solutions are both big and small.
- Dedicated recycling stations or cupboards;
- Energy-efficient appliances;
- Water filtration stations;
- Refacing existing cabinets;
- Eco-friendly cabinet manufacturers;
- Low flow aerators on sinks;
- LED lightbulbs;
- Integrating recycled materials.
- Low VOC finishes.
DARK CABINET COLORS
White kitchens will always be in and work with almost every kitchen design style, but dark cabinets have slowly been sneaking into the mix. Natural shades like blue and green are the most popular choices, but some brave homeowners will opt for darker jewel tones like navy, emerald, plum, and even black. Dark cabinets lend elegance and richness to a function-focused kitchen.
Too scared to commit to an allover darker palette? Try breaking things up by painting or staining the island a bolder color, installing a pantry wall in dark cabinets, going dark on the bottom and lighter on top.
Kitchen islands have become focal points and hubs of the kitchen. It is meant to have an impact and make a statement. As open concept kitchen designs continue to be the norm, kitchens have fewer walls for cabinets. Today’s kitchen islands are being designed in a large single level size for seating and serving, but also with fittings for numerous under-counter appliances and storage options.
With the kitchen island growing in size, many homeowners are making adjustments and adopting another trend. Broken-plan living turns the home into a connected space. Shifting away from designated zones, kitchens, livings rooms, and dining rooms are all merging into one open space.
For high-end kitchens, quartz is still on top. It looks beautiful, is easy to maintain, and is anti-microbial. It’s also an extremely hardy material — quartz can practically last forever.
New technology has allowed manufacturers to increase the range of color options and stone patterns. Now, you can find quartz inspired by other materials, like natural stone. Popular color trends are notably softer and neutral, following along the lines of the cleaner design styles of the new decade.
APPLIANCES – HIDE THEM OR HIGHLIGHT THEM
If you are over the look of stainless steel appliances, you are in luck. The new trends for incorporating appliances into kitchen design, give plenty of room to play.
Often associated with older generations and considered old fashioned, built-in appliances are experiencing a reawakening. Adding fronts to your appliances to match your cabinetry will help refrigerators and dishwashers disappear. Hidden kitchen appliances make it easy to match any style and eliminate the stress of picking out finishes. Instead, the focus is solely on function.
If built-in appliances feel too monochromatic but your craving something different, liven things up with colorful accents. Appliance manufacturers have started introducing refrigerators, stoves, and microwaves in a variety of colors. You can find appliances in shades ranging from mint green to yellow.
Of course, not everyone wants to jump aboard the color train. Thankfully, classic black has found its way into the world of appliances. Sophisticated shades of slate and black will add a touch of glamour and luxury to your kitchen.
Home storage solutions are having a moment. From books to social media, home organization is everywhere, and the kitchen is no exception.
One of the fundamentals of functional kitchen design is kitchen storage. Homeowners are starting to look for that storage within their cabinetry. Deep drawers make it easier to store small appliances and even food and drinks — some even include produce baskets and refrigeration. Other popular options include appliance garages, drawer dividers, spice drawers, roll-out trays or caddies, and built-in garbage and recycling.
In the fifties, pantries were known as larder cupboards and were about the size of a small china cabinet. Any overflow was stored in the cold room or cellar. Then there was a shift to small built-in closet designated to food storage and, eventually, the popular corner pantry. Today’s kitchens, however, are prioritizing pantries with an entire wall being dedicated to storage or even entire rooms, known as butler’s pantries.
It’s not just the construction of the pantry that were given facelifts either. Pretty storage containers and baskets take things one step farther. Gone are the days where cereal stays in the box. The modern kitchen makes pantry organization look pretty with color coding and labeling.
Open shelving will continue to be a top kitchen trend. For many, they tackle a lot of design questions at once: practicality and aesthetics. Showcasing beautiful kitchenwares, heirlooms, or antiques combines function and beauty. It’s working art. The key to open shelving is keeping it clean and tidy. You will also enjoy it more if you keep everyday items on the most accessible shelf.
As homeowners continue to prioritize efficiency and simplicity, we will continue to see a focus on kitchen organization.
The coming year will see kitchen design pull from a broad and diverse range of sources for a more eclectic style. The old rules of keeping things matchy-matchy are being broken, especially when it comes to metals. Manufacturers are getting in on the trend too. Plumbing and lighting fixtures now feature mixed metals, making them easier to incorporate with other elements such as cabinet pulls. You can avoid feeling overwhelmed and nail this trend using these guidelines:
- Don’t use too many metals. Choose one primary finish for seventy-five percent of the fixtures, then add a second finish for the remaining twenty-five.
- Make your base metal a cool hue like stainless steel, pewter, chrome, or nickel. They function more like a neutral and work well with most styles and colors.
- Make warm metals your accent. The aim here is to add dimension and drama using metals like gold, bronze, copper, or brass. The eye is drawn to these warmer hues so a little goes a long way.
- Use them to enhance other materials. Evaluate how the style, texture, and tone of the metal will work with floors, paint, countertops, and cabinetry. Use it to add sharp contrast (rustic with modern) or to enhance existing features (glossy tile sheen).
- Keep sets consistent. Maintain the same finish on matching fixtures.
A MODERN SPIN
While familiar styles, like farmhouse and mid-century modern, will still be popular, the overall design will be streamlined. But don’t mistake that for boring. The focus will be on clean lines and sleek simplicity. This leaves room for adding drama with a focal point, such as a range hood or ceiling treatment, or building depth by playing with textures like rough-cut wood shelves or sculpted backsplash tile.
One of the biggest trends in backsplashes has to do with size. The move is toward larger slabs of tile and larger areas of the wall be covered. As designs lean into a crisp, clean feel, people are opting to remove their upper cabinets, which leaves room for a feature wall of tile. If color is your thing, this is a great opportunity to get creative with your design. When sticking with neutrals, look for texture and detail, such as veining.
Need Help With Your Kitchen Remodel?
Romano Carpentry is a licensed and insured remodeling contractor serving the Baltimore area. We specialize in kitchen design and remodeling projects including kitchen cabinets, kitchen countertops, kitchen flooring, kitchen lighting, kitchen built-in storage solutions, and more.
If you’d like to schedule a consultation for your kitchen remodeling project please give us a call (443) 207-3495 or fill out our contact form and we’ll get right back to you.