For the Home
Hot Trends for Cool Kitchens
Just in time for the HIgh Holidays!
Need a recipe for your perfect kitchen? Start with kitchen cabinets and add countertops. Mix in a backsplash, flooring and appliances. Finish with paint color and lighting. Sound simple? The options are many, and the combinations are endless. Here is how two very happy owners of newly remodeled kitchens and several kitchen design experts sorted out the latest kitchen trends and adapted them to meet their family’s needs.
Stu Dettelbach, the owner of SD Kitchens, in business for more than 40 years, is a certified kitchen and bath designer and past president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. He knows the top trends, and more importantly, how to incorporate them into kitchens to make spaces work for families.
Dettelbach lists today’s top kitchen trends below:
• Darker kitchen cabinets. Cherry is still the number one wood, but with higher costs, it’s dropping in popularity. Maple is another popular choice.
• Brushed nickel is the most popular finish for cabinet hardware. Chrome is making a comeback.
• More two-toned kitchens: Cabinets along the perimeter are one color, while the kitchen island is a different color.
• Stainless steel is the number one finish in appliances.
• People are using more energy-efficient appliances. Induction cooking is making a comeback. It’s faster and safer than traditional cooktops, because only the cooking vessel is heated.
• The backsplash is gaining prominence. Once downplayed, now backdrops are available in interesting patterns and constructed from materials, such as glass tile mosaics, stone or stainless steel.
• There’s more focus on lighting, since brighter spaces feels larger.
• Granite dominates countertops, especially now that its price has been driven down.
Dr. Bari Rudikoff and Gordon Manning live in a 20-year old home in Ellicott City. While the kitchen space was large, Rudikoff wanted a more modern look and a kitchen that would better meet the needs of her family. “The appliances started to die, and tiles began popping out of the floor,” she explains. “It was time.”
Rudikoff worked with Ilene Silberg, a kitchen designer from SD Kitchens, and interior designer Audrey Rothschild to update the kitchen and create a space to accommodate her family. Rudikoff wanted a place where her three children could be close to her while she worked in the kitchen. “We put stools at the island counter, so the children could sit near me and eat and talk while I cooked. We installed outlets in this area, so the kids can sit here and do their homework in the future.”
So, how did Rudikoff’s kitchen stack up against the latest trends. Bari and her team chose a two-toned scheme, white cabinets for the perimeter and a dark wood island. For hardware, they chose brushed nickel finishes. They put in hardwood floors, granite countertops, and a backsplash featuring a stone mosaic pattern. They selected stainless steel appliances. One of the appliances Rudikoff loves most is her induction cooktop. “In the beginning, I kept burning food, because I wasn’t used to how fast it cooked,” she laughs.
“I love my kitchen,” Rudikoff says. “Trends or no trends, we wanted a space that would be great for our family, and that’s what we got.”
Steve Keener of Keener Kitchens, a certified master kitchen and bath designer with almost 40 years of experience in the business, notes the effects of the recession on how life in the kitchen — and kitchen design — has changed. “Kitchens have a more casual feel these days,” Steve says. “With the recession, people are doing more entertaining in their homes, setting out food buffet-style, and incorporating their family rooms and kitchens.”
“Eating, entertaining, and cooking prep are all one space,” Steve says. “People end up hanging out in the kitchen, and we design spaces using islands and peninsulas so that guests can be part of the conversation, but away from the actual cooking space.”
Debbie and Gary Merwitz of Columbia also had their kitchen remodeled this past year by SD Kitchens. “I Iove it and don’t know how I ever survived with my old kitchen,” Merwitz says. Space and functionality were major factors driving her selections. She had her kitchen gutted but didn’t make any changes to the layout.
Keeping with the trends, Merwitz also used a two-toned scheme, putting in cream cabinets around the kitchen perimeter with a darker island, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and a backsplash that used small glass tiles. At the suggestion of her interior designer, Susan Sunderland, she extended her backsplash tile around the window frame, creating a real focal point of the kitchen.
To maximize her existing space, Merwitz had her pantry removed and put in a built-in cabinet for more storage. She also purchased an electric range with a baking drawer instead of a warming drawer. “The baking drawer heats to 450 degrees,” Debbie explains. “So we’re able to have a double oven effect without sacrificing wall space for an actual double oven.” She had the island remodeled to include a counter and added counter seating. Debbie removed a chandelier above the kitchen table and replaced it with recessed lighting. “We’ve opened up the room even further with this lighting scheme,” Debbie says. “And we have the flexibility to move the kitchen table.”
To make sure your kitchen recipe works, first figure out how you most want to use your kitchen space. Consider such space-savers as built-in appliances and extra cabinetry where possible. Talk to the experts and look through kitchen design magazines to see what trends you find most appealing to create your perfect kitchen.