Kitchen Trends: Part 1
Whether you are in the middle of a long-desired kitchen remodel or are simply contemplating one, chances are your dream kitchen involves more space, designated areas for kitchen toys, and an open plan concept. For the most part, our Washington, DC area clients desire a more laid-back and multi-functional kitchen, and they are willing to spend more money than in years past to get just the kind of informal space we associate with modern life. Not only do today’s kitchens remain the heart of the home, they are also showplaces fit for gourmet chefs and five-star dinner parties.
Over the years, our design-build team has witnessed some cringe-worthy kitchens that were surely dated long before the construction crew had packed up. Fortunately, today’s kitchen remodelers and homeowners are savvier and in for the long haul, keeping the focus on kitchens that will last and investing in trends that will improve livability, enjoyment, and resale.
Kitchen Remodeling Trends
To get the most out of your kitchen, think about current trends and also what will last. Try to be sophisticated and up-to-date but not too trendy. Keep the following trends in mind:
Informal Is the New Formal
When a homeowner comes to us with a potential kitchen remodeling project, they are typically tired of their cramped quarters or their separated kitchen, living, and dining areas. This is an especially common complaint in DC’s historic neighborhoods, where kitchens are not only small, but often walled off from the dining room or living room. As a result, our team often looks to increase the size and efficiency of the kitchen through a reconfigured floor plan. By eliminating unnecessary walls and making use of underutilized space, today’s best kitchen renovations seamlessly incorporate living, dining, and cooking areas, allowing for a more informal lifestyle.
Many townhouse owners struggle with a poorly laid out galley kitchen, where they are often walled off from family and guests. But by using dead space, eliminating unnecessary corners, and often opening walls to the adjacent living spaces, we can create a kitchen design that maximizes every square inch of space. Such reconfigurations make the kitchen more practical and, perhaps more importantly, more livable.
Light and Bright
Where trendy (and certainly beautiful) cherry cabinets were last decade’s “it” cabinet, lighter and brighter is the norm today. Light wood or painted finishes are today’s most popular cabinet options. Often, as a way to add visual interest with minimal cost, our team will suggest a mix of finishes and colors: the island or peninsula can be in one painted finished, and the perimeter cabinets in a different, yet complimentary, wood or paint.
Even today’s kitchen countertops are lightening up. Instead of the black granite that homeowners once equated with modern kitchen design, light stone or manmade synthetics are in vogue. For homeowners who veto marble because of upkeep concerns, we embrace modern technology, suggesting manmade synthetics that resemble natural marble in every way, down to the veining and non-uniform character.
To further brighten up new kitchens, our team will incorporate improved lighting throughout. From recessed lighting to under-cabinet task lighting to decorative pendants, homeowners find upgraded lighting necessary for both current enjoyment and long-term livability. For many DC homeowners, aging in place is a frontrunner in reasons to remodel, and functional lighting is one way to ensure a kitchen has staying power.
Feel free to visit our kitchen photo gallery and check back soon for “Kitchen Trends: Part 2”!