7 Kitchen Trends This 2017
Studies show that a person spends an average of just over an hour a day in the kitchen. With that much time spent in the triangle between your stove, refrigerator, and sink, it’s no wonder that renovating the kitchen is one of the first things on most people’s home to-do lists. However, when it comes to doing a kitchen makeover, the last thing you want is to pick something that’s a flash-in-the-pan trend and will look tired or cliché in four or five years. Here are seven of the best new kitchen trends to come out of industry shows and design showrooms this year; all of them guaranteed to stand the test of time.
French Door/Side Swing Ovens at Counter Height
Ovens with side opening doors have been around for years. However, they’re just now starting to gain traction with homeowners, and for good reason. Not having to maneuver around an open oven door means that you don’t have to struggle with that turkey or roast. As an added value, side opening doors are also ADA compliant. Another variation of side opening ovens is the French door oven. These ovens have two doors, instead of one, much like the popular French door refrigerator.
A new popular trend is to mount these types of ovens at counter height instead of on the floor. Putting the oven at this height means that you don’t have to bend over to move things in and out of the oven. This accessibility is a huge draw and a design feature that many designers are embracing.
Gone are the days of under-counter cabinet storage that is just an empty cabinet. Now, most designers recommend installing drawers instead. These drawers are usually 24-inches deep, giving you plenty of room to store anything you need to. Add in a bevy of storage organizers, and you can put anything you need in there, from stackable trays to vertical slots for plates to even knife storage.
Of course, that’s not all you can store in an under-counter drawer. Some designers have started to install microwaves in drawer space underneath the kitchen counter. This is because there is a huge move toward uncluttered workspaces and countertops.
Environmentally conscious and money-saving, LED lighting is definitely in. And with modern innovations in LED technology, they just aren’t for accent lighting anymore. You can use LEDs now in recessed ceiling lights, taking the place of conventional halogen or incandescent bulbs. As an added bonus, LEDs have a lifespan that can be as long as 20 years. That’s a long time to not have to drag out the ladder and change those bulbs.
Under-cabinet lighting is another place where LED lighting shines brightly (pun intended). Traditional lighting produces a lot of heat, meaning that hands and produce that’s left countertop gets a lot of exposure. LEDs, on the other hand, produce very little heat, making them safe and cool to work with. New track lights that take advantage of LED versatility are also on the market, providing a variety of options, in cases where traditional kitchen recessed lighting isn’t feasible.
White or Neutral Gray Cabinets
Dark cabinets as a primary color are on their way out. While dark cabinetry can lend a touch of austerity and class, in most kitchens, the dark colors make a kitchen look small and uninviting. That’s never a good thing, especially when you’re going to be spending so much time in there.
Instead, white cabinets with contrasting hardware have captured people’s fancy this year. Alternately, others are opting for a neutral gray. The gray conceals better and is more forgiving of imperfections than the white. Whichever way you choose, brass or oil-rubbed bronze are the top contenders for pulls and hardware.
Many homeowners are moving to smaller houses. And with smaller houses, comes the need for smaller kitchens. That doesn’t mean that homeowners in these smaller houses want to sacrifice storage or looks, however. Instead, the move has been to downsizing appliances. Two-burner stoves and storage that utilizes the maximum available vertical space are two ways of accommodating “tiny houses.”
Exciting color combinations are also all the rage, with two tone cabinets as one of the biggest trends. Light colored upper cabinets are paired with darker lower cabinets, giving an illusion of space. Pair these off with some rubbed bronze pulls, and you’ve got a look that everyone is aiming for this year.
Granite used to be the must-have countertop material, but nowadays, the crown has shifted to quartz. There are two main reasons for this. First, quartz is engineered, so the color palette available is much wider than you find with marble or granite. Its finish also looks better than a comparable engineered product like Corian, with a luster and shine comparable to finished granite.
Quartz is also non-porous, unlike granite. Granite countertops require sealing to protect it from moisture damage, while quartz does not. For the environmentally conscious, quartz countertops are also made using post-consumer recycled products, with most getting the GREENGUARD seal.
Touch-activated faucets have become an almost must-have in the kitchen now. As can be inferred from the name, the faucet is activated by touch. This makes things much more sanitary, as you can wash your hands-free of raw chicken residue without touching a handle to turn on the water.
It’s not just touch activated faucets that are becoming a huge trend in kitchens; it’s everything technology-related. One popular move is to install power strips underneath cabinets. This eliminates electrical sockets on the backsplash, leading to a smooth and uncluttered look. Built in docking stations and even USB charging ports are also big trends this year.
Contributor Bio: This is a guest post by Michael Elecho from ThinkCrucial.com, a home improvement brand that helps people save money on replacement parts.
Photo credit: Cindy Lin Photography