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Kitchens that are larger, open and multi-functional are here to stay according to industry experts. A generation ago, the kitchen was the room where mom cooked meals alone. Now it’s the “centre of the home,” filled with family and friends.
Instead of pricey fads like glass countertops and large-sized microwaves, look at these few kitchen design ideas that will be worth the time and money.
A quick prep area with a small sink, cutting board and microwave or a larger sink in the island helps with gourmet cooking. Mixed and matched cabinet finishes, exotic woods, jewelry-like hardware and display areas that show off glass collections give the kitchen an eclectic look. Wrap-around desks that extend into the family room provide more space. Cabinet storage for pull-down spice racks and buffet storage for beverage centers make the kitchen run more efficiently. And that’s a goal worth investing in.
Trend #1: A Kitchen within a Kitchen
As more people build homes with kitchens that are open to living and dining rooms, kitchens are being treated more like any other room. Together with it come elaborate moldings, special lighting, and finely crafted floor and ceilings.
Chances are your kitchen needs to be big and small at the same time. On the weekdays, you need to be able to jump in your kitchen quickly when you’re warming up a simple meal. But on weekends, you may prepare a gourmet meal ant entertain your friends, so your kitchen needs to be large and open.
As a result, you see more and more quick prep areas where a small sink, cutting board, and microwave are geouped together. Larger homes may have a small pantry next to the main kitchen, with a clean-up sink, microwave, prep area and small refrigerator. The pantry has the additional convenience of keeping dirty dishes out of the way while entertaining, and storing large amounts of serve ware, etc.
The days when the kitchen always had one sink right under the kitchen window appear to be over, designers say.
Trend #2: Eclectic is In
People of all kinds are interested in the new, unusual and artful. While the upscale market is driving innovation, these trends are now becoming common at all price levels.
Instead of having a solid array of cabinets with a bland look, new kitchen designers are mixing and matching finishes, putting cabinets on feet to make them look more freestanding furniture. Exotic woods and hardware are also appearing in the kitchen.
White cabinets are still popular, but the sales are going down for those as remodelers go for painted finishes like chili pepper red, or rich, hand-rubbed finishes like dark cherry.
“Customers are adding more display area into upper cabinets as well, putting in clear or art glass inserts into their door fronts and gallery lighting inside the cabinet to show off prized ceramics or hand-blown glass collections.” says a manager of one large cabinetry company.
Trend #3: More tall, less wall
As kitchen floor plans continue to be more open, there is less space to mount cabinets above the counters. As a result, manufacturers are creating more height options for cabinets to help break up the space between rooms.
A popular alternative is a pedestal cabinet – these are cabinets which are taller than the rest, usually 42 inches or more, that act almost like a built-in-pedestal at the end of a long row of cabinets. It’s a great place for a column or other architectural element for the room.
Designers are also creating counters with two levels. The high level breaks up space between kitchen and living room and reduces the appearance of counter clutter.
Trend #4: Expanded work desk areas
Today, people are getting rid of the tiny kitchen desks and go for larger desks that wrap around into the family room – for watching the kids while they surf the internet and paying the bills while enjoying TV with the family.
Trend #5: Everything at your fingertips
You don’t just need cabinets that look good. You want them to work efficiently, too. You can consider a whole lot of cabinet storage options, from overhead wine racks, to pull out spice racks and chopping boards, and more. Appliance manufacturers have been quick to capitalize on the trend too, as they develop warming drawers, beverage chillers and more for under the counter.
New kitchens, offering more options like buffet storage for linens, fine glass storage, beverage centers, and the like, make your kitchen more modern, more pleasant to live in. Now you can use the kitchen to have a formal dining area, a casual dining space, a homework area, a wine service/bar area, or anything you need, just by carving out a corner of space in the kitchen.