As one of the key rooms in your home and one of the most costly to remodel, kitchen design and decorating should find a balance between what's trendy and what will endure the test of time. You may have a limited budget and feel as though there's little you can do to create a new look. Surprisingly, it's often the little details that make a big difference in how the central hub of your home is perceived. Whether you're starting from scratch and building a new home, remodeling your kitchen completely or just freshening things up, these ideas should last long after the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve.
The Grey Area
White is still the most selected cabinet colour today, but grey seems to be gaining ground fast. Soft grey shades are being offered by leading cabinet manufacturers with great results. No need to tear out those old cabinets. Even grey painted accents combined with deep stained wood makes a beautiful combination. This trend of mixing and matching cabinet colours is still very popular and is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
The Classic Colours
High contrasting colors like black and white will always be a favourite combination. White lacquer cabinet finishes and black granite countertops
always provide timeless beauty and a lasting design. Adding a rustic hardwood floor will help soften the look and meld country with contemporary styling. Again, it's the simple things that can change the look of the room - add a black and white checkered rug under your table, use black with white placemats or a patterned window valance in those hues.
Light It Up
There's nothing more trendy than LED lighting. When it comes to total energy savings, LED lighting is considerably more affordable than other products. Forecasts by the U.S. Department of Energy indicate that these will make up to 75% of all lighting sales by 2030. Another great idea actually solves an age-old problem of not being able to see inside a dark cabinet. New fixtures are now available for inside drawers and cabinets. They turn on when opened for a bright, clear view of what's inside. Other fun trends include oversized light fixtures or multi-coloured glass pendants. Fabric shades can add texture and warmth; gemstone palettes will be the eye-catching centerpiece of any island workspace. These generate a little drama in the room and can be used with dimmers to create a cozy atmosphere for those romantic late-night snacks.
A Place for Everything
You can never have enough storage space in your kitchen. Luckily, cabinet manufacturers have found some innovative solutions to maximize organization. From multi-tiered drawers, to appliance garages, to door caddies, there are endless ideas for keeping cookware hidden until its needed. Another great trend, if you've got the room, is to add a walk-in pantry. Buying in bulk makes even more sense when you have a place to store the extras. Keeping everything tucked out of sight but easily accessible is the best of both worlds.
The Wave of the Future
Automation is everywhere and the kitchen is no different. This trend toward embracing technology is evolving quickly and is definitely here to stay. Updating your kitchen can be fun and make your life easier with items such as: motion-sensor lights that turn on when you walk into the room; hands-free faucet so you'll never have to touch it again with sticky fingers; smart appliances including a stove that stores your recipes; a meat thermometer with a smart phone app to tell you when the meal is ready; and even a phone-controlled tap that can give you everything from brewed coffee to chilled water with the touch of a button. New ideas are being introduced every day, so you definitely want to be on the cutting edge of this trend.
Sinks Make a Statement
Sinks are no longer content to take a back seat to the room's colour scheme. Just as cabinetry is trending away from basic shades, so too, are sinks. Bright hues are now available through major plumbing manufacturers as a focal area or to bring a little colour to a neutral kitchen space. They're also being designed in a variety of configurations to accommodate deep pots or timeless apron fronts.
Now, more than ever, kitchen designers are utilizing contrasting shadows and textures to create interesting combinations. Dark cabinetry with white mosaic backsplashes and countertops actually add volume to small rooms. You can mix and match wood species as well as stains. Today's kitchens are adding drama through a balance of dark with light. Whether you hire a professional designer or do the work yourself, you should feel confident that most everything goes.
Step Up to Functionality
Functionality in a kitchen is paramount to any other element. You can maximize work space and create a vertical dynamic to the room with tiered countertops. You don't need a lot of room to make this trend work. Double-level islands and backsplash shelving give the chef plenty of extra area for unobstructed cooking.
High-definition Is In
There's no need to break the bank when selecting a new countertop. While granite and quartz
are still strong choices, high-end laminates give the appearance of hard surface products without the cost. Many of the patterns mimic stone patterns plus beveled or rounded edges give the high-definition look that will have your guests touching it to see if it's real.
Even More Countertop ChoicesToday's countertops
designs and materials are getting noticed. Caesarstone quartz countertops
and other natural stone products are offered in many new neutral shades to fit into contemporary or traditional designs. In addition, wood countertops are making a comeback as stand-alone island toppers or combined with marble.
New kitchens are generally open to other rooms in the house. Doors no longer separate the workspace from the living space. Decor should harmonize between rooms, including colour palettes and accessories. It helps tie the rooms together if you add colour elements from each room or a theme with similar artwork or accents. Open shelf units in the kitchen area can complement a similar unit in the great room. Coordinating area rugs or floral arrangements will add a subtle contrast and eye-pleasing finishing touch.
Smaller kitchen floor plans are becoming the norm. With it, more designs will be streamlined and minimalistic. Consider clean lines for your small kitchen. Removing some upper cabinets and replacing them with open shelving is a concept that is gaining ground. This will make the room feel more open and less cluttered. A mix of closed cabinets and open shelving can also be practical - keeping mismatched small appliances out of sight while displaying more decorative pieces. Larger appliances can also be hidden behind paneled cabinets or under countertops for an even more integrated design.
Bring the Outside In
If you're in the market for an even more illuminating idea, add some large windows or French doors to your kitchen. Natural lighting will brighten the room and your mood while you're working there. No need for heavy window treatments - a simple valance or decorative topper will soften the look and add a splash of colour.
Whether you want to add a few new items to freshen up your tired old kitchen or want a completely new design, today's trends are catering to simplistic and practical. Small details like colours and textures will speak volumes when you incorporate them into your new room. Smaller kitchens are more common so look for those items that will serve a dual purpose of form and function. The best trend for 2015 and beyond is everything goes with everything. You no longer have to worry about matching every component in the room. Just keep in mind that contrasts of light and dark will give depth and drama to the room, no matter what size.