Todayâ€™s kitchen is a quick-change artist that adores families and loves simplicity.
If youâ€™re looking to remodel your kitchen, weâ€™ve got good news and bad news.
First, the good stuff. According to trend experts Lita Dirks and Dominick Tringali, you donâ€™t have to shell out major cash to add space. Instead, look to expand what you already have. Vault your ceiling, add windows,Â squeeze in clever storage ideas. Make the space work harder, not bigger.
Plus, relax. Casual kitchens are trending, with doo-dads and gee-gaws (think elaborate trim and vent hoods that look like medieval castles) going away, and simpler, sleeker designs coming on strong.
Speaking on kitchen trends at the 2013 International Builderâ€™s Show in Las Vegas, interior designer Dirks and architect Tringali teamed up to describe the new AmericanÂ kitchenÂ as one piece of a larger, open floor plan.
Itâ€™s all part of a new kitchen gestalt that Dirks describes as the â€œprep-eat-playâ€ triangle, with flexibility and casual living as key ingredients. The notion tosses the kitchen into a design blender along with living, dining, and family rooms, and frappes everything into communal happiness.
Example: You can eat at a comfy banquette, or in front of the TV (donâ€™t tell your child-development counselor), or in the breakfast nook, or you can belly up to the island. No rules!
The bad news (OK, itâ€™s not that bad) is that weâ€™ve heard some of this before. Open floor plans have been around since the moon landing and yes, we like them. A lot. What we really have here is affirmation â€” and freedom to create kitchens that are less ornate and yet have more personality.
Just like you.
Of course, Dirks and Trengali definitely have the pulse of todayâ€™s home owner and offer some great takeaways. Weâ€™ve combined their goodies with our own kitchen trendspotting for 2013. If youâ€™re planning a kitchen redo, hereâ€™s what you need to know:Â
Contemporary kitchens are In.Â Specifically, theyâ€™re getting simpler and more modern, with less elaborate detail and trim. In fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association reports that in its annual survey of kitchen designers, â€œtransitionalâ€ design â€” meaning a simple, more modern aesthetic â€” has surpassed â€œtraditionalâ€ as the preferred design for the first time in the associationâ€™s history.
Kitchen cabinets are dark, or white.Â Darker, furniture-like finishes are popular, but so is pure white. The middle ground â€” think natural oak â€” is going away. Dark finishes help the kitchen integrate into the overall scheme; pure white is the ultimate accent color that readily complements the rest of the living area.
Islands rule. Kitchen islands are becoming more multi-dimensional, serving as food-prep areas, snack stations,Â wine storage, and display cabinets for objets dâ€™art. Also, theyâ€™re essential for directing traffic flow within an open floor plan, channeling guests toward comfy seating areas, for example. Small kitchen? Go with a rolling cart thatâ€™s there when you need it.
Countertop revolution.Â Say hi to porcelain and ceramic slabs that look like stone, wood, and fabric, saysÂ Jamie Gold, a California designer. The product is made from clay, quartz, and feldspar thatâ€™s subjected to high heat â€” just like regular tile. Unlike other engineered countertops, this product doesnâ€™t use cements or resin binders. Itâ€™s not readily available in the U.S. yet.
Appliances are disappearing.Â In the past, we loved our commercial-style kitchen appliances that made us look like we really knew how to cook. Now,Â appliancesÂ are hiding behind wood panels andÂ faux veneersÂ so they integrate better with the overall living space. New finishes, such as GEâ€™s slate and Whirlpoolâ€™s Ice White, are bucking the stainless steel trend, but donâ€™t bet on stainless going away anytime soon â€” itâ€™s still hot.
Espresso yourself.Â An eye-catching extra gives a kitchen a blast of personality.Â Cool sinksÂ andÂ high-tech faucetsÂ are au courant. Other possibilities include:
- One-of-a-kind tiles as accents onÂ kitchen backsplashesÂ and countertops.
Glass finishes.Â Glistening glass is popping up everywhere in the kitchen, especially glass tiles installed as backsplashes. Applying clear glass panels over walls painted soft colors gives a deep sheen that harmonizes with todayâ€™s contemporary looks. Bonus: Itâ€™s easy toclean.
Grab some fresh air.Â Outdoor kitchensÂ and entertaining areas are hot. Your indoor kitchen should have an outdoor doppelganger close by, available through wide glass doors.
Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSÂ®
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