The kitchen is the heart of the home and though trends come and go, some things are timeless: like white appliances, clean, uncluttered lines and clean design.
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, a traditional look is only one of the reasons why 67% of consumers today say they prefer a classic white-on-white kitchen. But white doesn’t have to be boring or sterile. For a pop of color in a classic white kitchen, rely on colorful china or stoneware in a glass-front cabinet, eye-catching hardware – things like whimsical knobs, etc.
So, you’re not an old-fashioned kind of homeowner? White works with contemporary designs too, and you don’t have to give up style. One of the buzzwords today is “transitional design,” a combination of traditional and contemporary.
White subway tile backsplashes are one trend that’s come back around again this century. But for a newer look in your contemporary kitchen, try gray grout–and it won’t show every little speck like white can. In fact, gray–in shades of charcoal, fog, ash, shadow, dove gray, slate, stone, smoke and silver–is being called the “new white” or “new neutral.” Other hues that can function as neutrals in the palest pastel shades include pale blue, a green or sage gray, and tinted whites.
When it comes to our love affair with stainless steel appliances (which work with both white and gray color schemes), the honeymoon may be over. Though still popular, contemporary and sleek with a slightly industrial vibe, they’re also notoriously tough to keep shiny and fingerprint-free.
Living in black and white
For a touch of drama, black on white livens things up: black granite countertops with a harlequin black-and-white diamond floor, for example. (How classic a combo is this? Think Venetian palaces.)
Granite is still king and tops most people’s want list. But this solid stone has to be sealed regularly, whereas lighter, brighter quartz is easier to care for.
This makes quartz the latest contender in the counter craze. Made of crushed quartz stone with resin, the material is rated toughest by Consumer Reports. And there are dozens of color options.
Still on trend with a traditional flare is the kitchen island, peninsula and cabinetry-as-furniture look. So that floating island may sport corbels, claw or bun feet, and carvings. This works seamlessly if the “furniture” touches match the home’s overall feel.
A perennial classic touch, even in the kitchen, is hardwood flooring. Especially if you have the much-desired “open concept” layout where the kitchen is open to and integrated into the dining room and/or a great room, matching flooring creates a sense of flow. And if a kitchen is all white, or has a contemporary, cooler feel, wood floors in any color or stain add a feeling of warmth.
Looking to change it up a little? Consider a newer, sustainable flooring material such as bamboo, a softer and quieter product like cork, or a wood or laminate in gray stain palette instead of the familiar maple or oak.
A kitchen remodeling project is the perfect opportunity to consider the extras you always wanted—even if you didn’t know you wanted them. Think about a warming drawer, for example, or under-counter, hands-free, slide-out trash and recycling bins.
Bring in more light with a larger window or skylight. Hide electrical outlets under the cabinets instead of interrupting the backsplash, which could be solid stone. Under-cabinet lighting can reflect off a shiny counter to add a touch of elegance while providing better task lighting, and acting as night lighting.
Trends and what’s popular are one thing, but…
What’s most important, though, is what you want, which isn’t necessarily what “everyone else is doing.” What works for you? Different levels of counter workspace? Smooth surfaces that are easy to clean, or do you want more “gingerbread” in your Victorian? A prep sink in an island? (Consider adding a disposal to it.)
The professionals at 3W Design can help you check every item off of your wish list, whether you’re updating or doing an extreme makeover from the floor up. So picture yourself in the kitchen of your dreams—and expect to have lots of company there.