Helping you create a better home
Effective kitchen design reaches beyond cabinets. You should consider how your kitchen fits into your home’s flow, what features would help you personalize the space to your needs, and how you will likely use the space in the future. To assist your planning, we've gathered information on the current approach to these and other issues.
Designing a layout for flow and function
For many families, the kitchen is the hub of the home, so it is important to acknowledge how the space impacts adjacent rooms and traffic flow. New design features help to customize your space, including the ability to accommodate varying levels of mobility. Technology also comes to the kitchen, bringing energy-saving strategies with it.
The home of the future
Current trends indicate that by 2015 new homes will be smaller, greener and more casual. Open floor plans satisfy a desire for gathering and connecting, and transition easily for multi-purpose uses – integrating foyer, kitchen, dining and living functions.
Dedicated rooms are now devoted to specialized needs such as office, exercise or music
Transforming an existing space with the removal of a wall or other open-floor plan strategy is preferred over significant additions, and trends toward eco-friendly architecture are blending outdoor spaces with the overall home design
Glass walls, sliding doors, and other transparent features open the home to "patio" or "garden" rooms
Home management is facilitated by a dedicated service entry featuring a message center with key racks and mail slots, individual lockers and even dog showers
Making your home accessible
Smaller homes emphasize flexibility, making it possible to accommodate people of varying levels of mobility and sensory capabilities. Sliding and pocket doors, movable partitions and various automated technologies such as mechanized drawers, make homes more comfortable for people of all ages and abilities. It is expected that by 2015 Inclusive Design features including zero-step entries and showers, widened door and hallways and non-slip flooring will be commonplace.
Personalizing your kitchen
Today's streamlined kitchens feature a number of ways to add a personal touch that not only serves a functional purpose but also adds a level of personality to your kitchen. Some of the most popular functional trends include:
Open shelving, cook tops, wall ovens, and under-counter options such as specialized drawers for wine, refrigeration and microwaving
Pull-out faucets and pot fillers
Brushed nickel finishes for faucets, hardware and lighting (Other popular options include: pewter, polished chrome and antique bronze)
French door and bottom-freezer-style refrigerators
Efficient dishwashers, steam ovens, induction cooking, under-counter vegetable crispers and dedicated drawers to accommodate savings and lifestyle preferences
Going green and integrating technology
Technology has changed the world – and the home is no exception. Kitchens increasingly serve as the home's control center, a place to manage schedules, charge cell phones and share the day's events. Technology is also bringing green features into kitchen design including low-E windows, dual flush toilets and low-flow faucets. Make your home smarter with Energy Star-rated and Wi-Fi-enabled appliances that relay maintenance information to the manufacturer and the owner.
Selecting styles you'll love today...and tomorrow
Today's styling trends favor "less is more" aesthetics, emphasizing clean lines and simpler mouldings with carefully selected accents to create a strong and easy to maintain space. Some of the most popular ways to create this look include:
Flat-panel, Shaker-style door treatments
Granite countertops partnered with a butcher block, stainless steel appliances
Glossy ceramic, porcelain, granite or glass tile backsplashes
Natural flooring such as ceramic, stone and hardwood; or reclaimed and distressed wood finishes in wider hand-scraped planks ranging in color from gray and charcoal to bone and cork
Using colors to tie the kitchen to the rest of your home
Color trends are soft, moving away from stark whites in favor of creamy neutral palettes with just a hint of color, such as gold, lavender, blue, green and raisin. Painted, stained and matte finishes are increasingly mixed with wood, usually in earth tones including muted greens, chiffon yellows and deep blues, as well as browns, reds, blacks and grays.