Kitchen Confidential: The hottest design trends
It’s the most important room in the house, indoors or out
If you’re thinking of remodeling, the theme for today’s high-end luxury kitchens can be summed up in three words: spacious, streamlined and white.
And if you have your heart set on an outdoor kitchen, add green—as in environmental friendliness.
“White and soft grey are the most fashionably hot colors this year,” says Lauren Fiske of TriplePoint Design Build. “The timeliness and simplicity make these colors very popular with our clients.”
As for outdoor designs, sustainable materials and other “earth-friendly practices” are a must, says Diana Matlack of Dynamic Outdoor Spaces.
What is it about the white-and-grey combo that appeals to homeowners? “It creates a stable base for the rest of the color palette of backsplash tile, countertops, and the hardware,” says Fiske. She points to a patterned mosaic backsplash tile as a great way to introduce color, or the addition of glass tiles to set the stage for a contemporary twist.
“White is timeless,” says Michael Mastry of HavenHome Interior Design & Furniture. “It keeps the kitchen light and airy. With today’s open floor plans it also makes it easier to blend a more neutral kitchen décor with the rest of the home.”
Cabinets are getting updated, too. Streamlined is in; detailed and heavy is out. “Flat panel cabinets are a style that fits with more design themes, and it’s a timeless choice that you just can’t go wrong in selecting,” says Fiske. “Add LED lighting under the cabinets and countertops, and you can dramatically transform the ambience of the space. Some clients are even integrating music with lighting.”
Just as backsplashes add interest to kitchen walls, cabinet hardware can make today’s flat panel cabinets stand out. “An attractive lateral ‘pull’ or handle mounted horizontally on a cabinet can be beautiful in a contemporary kitchen,” says Suzan Decker of Decker Ross Interiors.
Tired of stainless? Stainless is still enormously popular, but new vibrant color appliances are allowing homeowners to express themselves. We’re not talking about the avocado green and harvest gold from the ’70s, but blues, blacks and reds with a European feel. “You can build your kitchen around a colored stove and have it be a dramatic focal point,” says Decker Ross. Not quite ready to go that big and bold? Matte black stainless appliances are becoming very popular, especially since they are fingerprint resistant and always look good.
Another new artistic kitchen touch—range hoods. “Big, custom range hoods are hugely popular right now,” says Decker Ross. Lauren Fiske agrees. “In island cooktops, we see more and more glass range hood canopies with the vertical stainless steel cover for the ductwork,” says Fiske.
You’ll find many of these design trends in outdoor kitchens, too—but as Diana Matlack points out, you should design and build “to withstand the test of time. Tearing down a kitchen after a few years because it’s outdated is not sustainable.” Her company recommends using repurposed and recycled materials wherever possible, and tiles, woods and finishes that are sustainably produced, harvested and non-toxic.
Whether indoors or out, kitchens are the focal point of the home, a place where style, good taste and good stewardship are more important than ever.