2011 Kitchen Trends
By Guest Blogger Becky Sue Becker, CKD, CBD, CAPS
Wikipedia states that a Trend may refer to: Fads and trends, including fashion trends. Trendsetter (or early adopter), person who starts (or follows early on) a fashion or technology trend before most other people.
When it comes to kitchen innovation, there is no denying that much of the world looks to Italy and Germany for design and manufacturing trends. I find it quite interesting that Americans have become quicker to accept some of the modern tendencies that come from these countries with simple home decor, but shy away when it comes time to design their kitchens. Take a moment and Google “German or Italian Kitchens”; the results will quickly illustrate the night-and-day difference of what mainstream kitchen design is! With the continued growth of diverse nationalities living throughout the United States, over the last 20 years I have been very entertained watching the infiltration of modern design into our very comfortable, predictable, traditional market!
My trend predictions for 2011 clearly mirror the inspiring, eclectic changes going on in kitchen design today. Whether you are a tried-and-true traditionalist or have embraced the simplicity of modern design, these predictions are sure to make our kitchens more functional and delightful.
Tailored Storage Solutions
The kitchen is the center of the home, so your time here should work for your needs. I believe it is critical to take inventory on everything before design/layout begins. This gives a superior platform for the design to accommodate every important dish or appliance you own, and equally give attention to what types of food you buy and how much inventory you have! Key factors for choosing location and accessories include: how often special equipment/food is used, storing like items together and ease of use. A perfect example I’ve heard numerous times is, “I would use my (heavy) KitchenAid mixer more often if it was not so difficult to pull in and out of a cabinet.” Take time to make a list before you begin the design process. Prioritizing and thinking it all through may very well help you downsize items that are not worthy of the real estate they are occupying.
With all the cooking shows, popular chefs and magazines that inspire us to cook healthy and delicious meals, it is easy to see how the trend for restaurant equipment continues to rise. While the impressive stainless steel look is a driving factor, convenience is often the winning key. Whether it be a Pot Filler faucet to fill that pasta pot right at the cooking surface, convection ovens to speed cooking times and deliver juicer dishes, or high-arc faucets that make clean up easier, commercial-style equipment is a choice that makes your time in the kitchen more enjoyable.
Details in trim
There is nothing too exciting about a box. Use of interesting moldings, appliques and carvings are the epitome of attention to detail and can change everything. The price tags for any of these elements have become more affordable with the introduction of so many imported products, but choose carefully. I have been witness and victim to products that have sloppy craftsmanship that is not visible to the common eye when purchasing from a catalog or on the internet. Hold true to convictions that you get what you pay for and you will not be disappointed.
Mixing, no matchy match
Kitchens are easy to spice up … a dash of this, a pinch of that! Embracing different finishes and textures will give your designer the ability to build your own brand while keeping your character. On the top of the list is using two or more different types of counter tops (which is a bonus that aids in different tasks, such as baking or simply chopping on wood). Colorful appliances are not for the just the counter top alone; Viking and Aga offer an array of colors that can brighten anyone’s space! The goal is to mix up the design in a fashion that makes the room intriguing.
Follow the curve
One of my favorite elements to include when designing a new space is radius and gentle elliptical curves, as they break up the monotony of straight lines and boxy shapes. While radius and bow-front cabinetry can deter plans due to premium manufacturing costs, the use of round sinks and curved faucets and counter tops can equally change the feel of the kitchen’s appearance. Additionally, interesting patterns can be created in a backsplash to support the out-of-the box design concept.
Whether over an island, peninsula or nearby breakfast nook, pendant lighting is eye candy! Room size and ceiling height are large factors during the selection process, but odd numbers (typically three) are the most common application over an island. Lighting can give a sculptural boost, aid in focal points with a design and, best of all, give the most ideal lighting for tasks. Another growing trend is the use of larger chandeliers and lantern style lighting, which offer an incredible anchor to the room, as well as a fantastic conversation piece!
Open it Up
Just open up any trend magazine and often times the most interesting designs include open shelving. This storage trend offers a break from the boxy monotony of a standard kitchen design, allowing the space to breathe. Imagine (or compare while browsing magazines) what is not only more interesting, but more calming … a kitchen full of cabinets, or a mix of cabinets, glass doors and open shelves. A common rebuttal from homeowners is that their everyday dishes are not attractive. My challenge to this notion is that if you are spending thousands of dollars for a fresh look, why not consider working in just a few hundred for a new set of dishes that will not only be enjoyed everyday for dining, but double as decorative touch?!