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Monday, July 25, 2011

Twelve Top Trends in Kitchen Design and Décor for 2011

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1. Green Design

Long before the economy reached where it is these days, the concept of energy-conserving, green living was already fast becoming mainstream.  Incorporating elements of green design into the kitchen is a hot trend that remains on the top of many industry experts’ to do list.  Using eco-friendly or recycled materials, bringing in energy-efficient appliances and incorporating natural sources of energy such as solar panels or skylights are some ways to implement green design into your kitchen space.

2. Elements of Nature

Bringing the outside in is a theme that will carry throughout the year and beyond.  As part of our love affair with all things green, elements of design that incorporate nature through things like pebbles embedded into walls, natural waterfalls, organic materials like bamboo and highlighting the colors of nature are popular.

3. Cool, Vibrant Color

Moving on from the tradition and very blah beiges, an influx of color has taken over as the new, hot trend in kitchen décor.  Splashes of oranges, reds, pinks and vibrant hues of blue and green – all draw attention to one of the most frequented spaces in the home.  Spanish tiles, painted cabinetry, unique backsplashes and, of course, display pieces and fixtures – are infuse color.  Warm and inviting, interesting and uplifting – lots of colors liven the space.  Spruce up the kitchen by using bold splashes of paint or wallpaper on one or two walls, and even the ceiling.

4. Raising Kitchens to New Heights

Gallery kitchens are seen more and more often, with taller cabinetry that reaches even greater heights than typically found in most kitchens.  Utilizing the wall space as an asset is particularly ideal for condos, apartment spaces or homes with smaller square footages such as those in big cities.  Gallery kitchen space is also a great transition from the main kitchen to the next room.

5. Dark, Exotic Finishes

Where white cabinets, light to medium counter tops, neutral walls and run-of-the-mill fixtures were once the norm, the new trend in both cabinetry and flooring is dark, natural finishes.  Balancing the dark elements of design with some neutral or metallic is a good idea but the overall shift toward espresso dark and chocolate brown looks are not only exotic but also practical. 

6. In the Age of Technology

In an age where everything depends on connectivity, we are seeing more kitchens with technology stations incorporated into the design and architecture.  Built-in desk space that provides homeowners with an area to write out bills, make phone calls, watch television, use the computer or sit back and relax, is a hot item lately.

7. Alternative Countertops

Keeping with the less formal look of many new kitchens lately, a new choice of countertops is soapstone.  Though granite remains the hottest option, homeowners are now turning to soapstone for its natural and more rustic feel.  The look especially complements kitchens with these days’ bright color schemes, as it offsets the heavy emphasis on color elsewhere in the space.

8. Customized Storage Solutions

There is never enough space and there is always room for improvement on how that space is organized.  Customized storage is particularly hot in kitchens as the new generations of foodies continues to breed, meaning that many unique and interesting tools, materials and appliances are used.  Storage solutions designed to accommodate a homeowner’s particular needs is currently on many people’s wish list.

9. Layers of Light

Gone are the days of just one ceiling light fixture and a hanging pendulum light over the kitchen table.  Now, multiple layers of light is the happening thing.  Providing new dimensions of aesthetic and functional design, there are several areas through which a kitchen can be illuminated.  Accent lighting installed under cabinets, along the sideboards and open cabinet interiors, task lighting designed to focus on a particular display area and varying levels of functional lighting give homeowners different degrees of light to choose from. 

10. Smart, Savvy Appliances

A streamlined wall of kitchen cabinets with hidden features creates a larger, fuller and more complete look.  Unlike the traditional kitchen space that is broken up by major appliances, the new trend that is incorporated in kitchens of all sizes and shapes is integrated appliances.  With the same exterior surface as the rest of the cabinets, integrated appliances are camouflaged, lending a customized look to the space.

11. High Glass is High Class

Glass tiling for kitchen backsplashes is a trend heavily used by top interior designers.  Lending a translucent and airy look that is not only classy and elegant, but also easy to maintain and practical – glass elements are the new neutral. 

12. Open Shelves

Gone with the old and in with the new cabinets that are unlike typical cabinets with no dimension that lack dimension and interest, incorporating open shelving into the kitchen is a trend that instantly enhances the space.  Open shelving allows homeowners to show off and display their wares while utilizing the storage space simultaneously.  Since there is a change from one cabinet to the next it lends an air of interest that is aesthetically pleasing.

1 comment :

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