Talking Trends with Pamela Coslet, CEO of Vineyard Chic Kitchens
There is no other room in the house as revered as the kitchen. We use it for the obvious, such as cooking, but also for entertaining, studying, gathering and even working. Here are some of the top trends in the forefront of kitchen design today:
Tendency Towards Technology
According to Kitchen and Bath Business Magazine, Nov. – Dec. 2017 issue, technology in the kitchen is in some cases as important as the design itself. Appliances, light fixtures, security programs and thermostats are Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled and can easily connect to phones or virtual assistants. Manufacturers are making homes smarter by adding conveniences such as mobile video home monitoring and home “app” controls. These systems have the ability to observe the occupants’ movements and even report falls or lack of actions, which can save lives. Self-diagnostics for appliances and refrigerators that can take their own inventory help both with the elderly and for those that simply need more time in their lives.
Our clients tell us that second to a creative, beautiful design, adding storage and making it easier to use is the biggest motivator they have in deciding to redesign. Storage should be accessible and provide multi-functional spaces for guests and families. Solutions today can be included in pantries or beverage centers to create more space. Full-access cabinetry, sometimes known as frameless, gives users a greater range of access to the interior of a cabinet. Cabinets that slide out eliminate straining to reach an item. Lift systems for upper cabinets, either manual or automatic, make it much easier to access items, especially for cabinets above refrigerators or ovens. Drawers and organization systems, such as pull-out spice shelves in base cabinets are also important additions. Great ideas that we used in our own kitchen remodel include building upper cabinets deeper to 15” rather than the standard 12” depth, giving us more space to store dishes and glasses. We also replaced most of the base cabinets with drawers. Building a step stool right into a cabinet is another great idea for those height challenged individuals for accessing hard to reach upper shelves.
Gray, Black and White
These colors can work to varying degrees, whether in cabinets, countertops, appliances or subtle hues coming through in various accents such as kitchen accessories. While black and white have always been popular finishes, 2017 was key for gray products and this trend will continue in 2018. Color mixing in cabinets, such as gray on the lowers and white on the uppers, will continue as well.
This style has grown in popularity in recent years. It became especially popular in Scandinavia and with city dwellers in the U.S. in the past few years and is set to continue in 2018. Characterized by details such as exposed brick and pipes, rustic metals and minimalist furniture, the trend is inspired by factory spaces. This look combines the beauty of raw materials such as wood, stone and concrete, echoing our desire to rein things in, back to what really matters: form, function and aesthetics. The 2011 Kitchen and Bath Show (KBIS) featured this look, but it had not yet appealed to the clients we were serving in the Western Suburbs. Now, we see it and use it in our designs all the time. In fact, in our new Geneva showroom, we used the “bones” of an older space that had exposed brick, distressed iron and pipes, adding modern influences such as flat panel
cabinetry in colors of white, deep navy, gray and earthy hues as well as chrome, silver and gold plumbing fixtures.
Light It Up
Lighting is a critical part of kitchen design. Ceiling canned lighting can be redistributed and bulbs can be replaced with more efficient and cost-saving LED. Under, over and in-cabinet LED lighting that can dim and brighten at the touch of a remote not only creates beauty and ambiance, but can also provide ample lighting for various tasks and family activities.
More and more, families are moving in together and people are staying in their homes longer. Creating a design that fits everybody is essential. Design elements have to have simple, intuitive uses. Space design should involve low physical effort. In the kitchen, these principles are essential not only for prevention of injury, but also to make daily tasks easier. During a recent workshop at the National Innovation Center for Aging, participants in multi-generational homes were asked what their key requests were for the kitchen of the future. Answers included voice activation, a big screen for Skype/FaceTime, two workstations, flexible height surfaces and accessible storage.
The number of people upgrading from laminate to quartz has risen steadily throughout 2017. This trend looks set to continue in the year ahead as the quality and value of materials becomes an important consideration. Previously, quartz was seen as a luxury kitchen surface, perhaps out of the price range of the average household, but the development of composite surfaces is opening up.
Clean and Clutter-Free
Having clutter-free worktops is an emerging interior design trend. It can open up the space of a kitchen and allow the home cook to calmly prepare their food on a clear surface. Cabinetry options are developing to enable this layout, featuring various compartments, deep drawers and shelves for everything from seasonings and oils to paper towels and tea bags. Designers still prefer to hide small kitchen appliances, therefore food processors and coffee pots will find homes in tall appliance garages. Clear countertops can also create the illusion of a larger kitchen.
The outcome of a kitchen renovation can vary, but according to houzz.com, a third of homeowners report that they are leading healthier lifestyles after completing a kitchen renovation. This is reflected in cooking more meals at home, ordering less takeout, and eating more fruits and vegetables. In fact, three quarters of homeowners cook five or more meals at home each week after a kitchen renovation.
Stand in your own kitchen, close your eyes and imagine what features and benefits are possible to make your lives brighter, more comfortable and happier. The opportunities have never been greater than today.
Visit Pamela and Bill Coslet and the talented Vineyard Chic team in Booth #111, or at their showroom located at 211 James St. Unit C in Geneva or on-line at www.vineyardchickitchens.com.