Kitchen trends to inspire
Kitchens continue to be the hub of the home, and increasingly designers are opening them to other living areas. In renovations and new construction we’re seeing few walls between kitchens, dining areas, and family rooms, so family members may easily interact with each other and entertain at home. In this Chicago-area home, designer Mick De Giulio positioned an island so those working there can see into the dining area and family room.
Kitchens are gaining square footage and commanding a greater percentage of a home’s footprint. This dominance and openness of the kitchen to the rest of the house, as well as the increased tendency to entertain guests in the kitchen, has boosted design and furniture styling, with integrated appliances (refrigerator, freezer and refrigerator drawers, dishwashers, trash and recycling centers behind cabinet doors).
Small and welcoming
A home doesn’t need to be large and modern to have an open plan, as illustrated by this charming cottage where one side of the kitchen flows into a cozy sitting area.
Millwork, such as crown moldings, paneled doors, and mantel-style treatments on vent hoods, give a kitchen “living room” styling that blends comfortably with adjoining rooms.
Stand out islands
Islands often feature furniture styling. New Jersey designer Jim Dove embellished an island for the Mansion in May showhouse with paneled sides, tapered steel feet, and a mirrored toe kick for a modern twist on traditional.
Eat-in kitchens are another trend, with more homes including generously sized casual dining areas within or near kitchen space. Upholstered settees face an oval pedestal table in this Boston area kitchen designed by Liz Caan.
Room for all
Large tables paired with benches, upholstered chairs, and settees are ideal for family meals and for informal entertaining.
Atlanta designer Lori Tippin says her children love sitting on the antique bench in her kitchen.
Elegant and practical
A banquette covered in “pleather” backs the island of this Atlanta kitchen. Side chairs designed by Barry Dixon are covered in Ultrasuede, a surprisingly easy-to-care-for fabric.
Window seat styling
A banquette tucked between two windows offers soft seating and storage underneath in this Florida bayou home designed by Phillip Sides.
Built-in corner benches make good use of tight spaces and create cozy casual dining areas.
Dining room comforts
As more families hang out in and near the kitchen, comfortable seating is on the upswing. Upholstered chairs surround a round table in a sunny breakfast room near the kitchen of this Connecticut home.
Mix it up
The “living room” effect also has given rise to the introduction of more textures and design elements into the kitchen. Rather than a run of a single countertop material, designers are mixing things ups, with stainless steel by the stove or sinks, wood/butcher block, mosaic glass on a small chest, and different colors and types of stones within the same space.
Mirrored refrigerators and backsplashes, along with polished and brushed stainless steel, reflect light for a dramatic effect.
There is less pattern in tile designs, with more tone-on-tone combinations or mosaics with a mix of similarly hued tiles. The effect is subtle and subdued.
Cabinet lines reflect a return to simplicity, with recessed panel doors and minimal ornamentation.
Out of sight
A desire for less clutter in the kitchen has driven an interest in having plenty of storage and places to conceal countertop appliances. Motorized doors in the Siematic countertops close over small appliances.
Latest in appliance garages
The coffee pot and other appliances are hidden behind motorized doors.
While simplicity is strong, another trend is adding measured doses of glamour, such as crystal chandeliers or large-scale nickel lanterns above an island.
Bit of bling
A crystal chandelier in a breakfast room adds dressy traditional details to an otherwise sleek, modern kitchen.
Other glitzy features that add sparkle to a traditional kitchen include antiqued mirrors and polished copper on backsplashes, cabinet door and refrigerator fronts, and even mirrored toe kicks (they reflect the floor).
When it comes to color, white and variations on white are still the big sellers in kitchen cabinets, as are weathered finishes that make cabinets look imperfect and time-worn.
Cabinets painted pale green warm this California cottage kitchen. Glass door fronts are popular in all styles—from cottage to contemporary.
Blue-and-white kitchens are perennial favorites, beautifully executed by designer Julia Kleyman in a showhouse in New Jersey.
Designer Louise Brooks spices up her white kitchen with accents of palest aqua on light fixtures, small dot tiles in the range backsplash, and decorative plates in a floor-to-ceiling plate rack.
Open to the outdoors
In new home construction and renovations, more and larger windows are being installed in today’s kitchens. Often windows flank the range and extend from countertops to ceiling, as in this Chicago kitchen by Mick De Giulio. French doors that connect the kitchen to a patio or deck are extremely popular, too.
Upper wall cabinets are often designed to look like cupboards. Cabinet depths and heights vary to break the monotony of a running line of door fronts.
Pretty and practical
The traditional white-on-white kitchen gets a graphic kick with a valance and sink skirt fashioned by fabric by Barbara Barry for Kravet. Ice cream chairs are painted soft blue-green.