Houzz Australia Contributor. Kitchen designer at Kitchens by Kathie in Brisbane, Australia. I strongly believe that above all else, the most important thing when designing a kitchen is creating something that the client loves!
People spend a lot of time in the kitchen these days. Preparing meals, eating meals, and cleaning up the mess after meals is very time consuming. But more than this, the kitchen is, and always has been, a place of gathering. Family members tend to congregate in the heart of the home for more than just eating, so our kitchens should be both comfortable and beautiful to make our time spent here more enjoyable.
Kitchen colors are softening to a more muted palette. Grays, charcoals, pale blues, pale greens, and tinted whites are replacing the traditional white. When it comes to the wood of cabinets, 2016 is bringing lighter tones such as walnut, white oak, and whitewashed woods. Accent colors are also toned down with muted greens, blues, and pale yellows popping in for color.
Metal is edging its way into taking up more and more real estate in kitchens. Metal pendant lights, cabinet pulls, and faucets have been around for the past year or so and are still going strong. And metal is making even bigger statements in 2016 with many wooden hoods being replaced for metal hoods, giving kitchens a nice contrast.
Smart technology is a hot new home amenity this year and is making every aspect of our lives easier and more convenient. So why not bring that technology into the kitchen? Hidden charging stations for phones and tablets make accessing recipes much more convenient. State-of-the-art appliances with smart technology, like refrigerators with cameras or ovens you can control from your phone, are making their way into more and more kitchens.
More and more homes are being designed with open floor plans that combine the kitchen and living area into one big space. Open spaces make the area seem larger, while allowing for an easy and smooth flow. This means that living spaces and kitchen decorations need to coordinate.
Contrasts Provided Through Texture
Texture-on-texture designs provide a beautiful contrast in a kitchen. The same texture is used more than once throughout the kitchen, but in a different pattern each time. This creates a rich and interesting look as different materials are repositioned in different ways throughout the kitchen.
Backsplashes are an easy way to update a kitchen, and the perfect place to add a pop of personality. Custom backsplashes in bold patterns and colors are very popular this year. Another popular trend this year is using the same texture material, but in different patterns for a customized look.
Set the mood to match your meal. In addition to recessed can lights, cabinet lighting adds a unique and elegant touch to a kitchen. Low-voltage light tape strips under cabinets, above cabinets, and within cabinets add a sophisticated accent. You can even use these lights under countertop overhangs.
Quartz is the material of choice for countertops right now. Less expensive than granite, but often just as beautiful, quartz is making its way into more and more kitchens. Neutral colors are still king when it comes to countertops.
Mixing and Matching
More and more kitchens are combining different colors in their cabinetry for a unique look. Contrasting colors, like white cabinets above and gray/brown cabinets below create an interesting and customized look. Not only that, but the contrasting colors make some items appear like standalone custom furniture pieces.
Everything… PLUS the Kitchen Sink
We typically picture white or stainless steel when we think of sinks, but bright colors are beginning to replace the traditional kitchen sink. The convenient hands-free faucets are making their way into more and more kitchens as well. While a large beautiful new kitchen is just one of the many things buyers look forward to most when building a new home, you can never overestimate the importance of having a great kitchen. New homes incorporate many important elements into their kitchen designs, giving new homeowners the chance to have the kitchen of their dreams.
Create the bathroom or kitchen of your dreams with Ensuite Bath & Kitchen Showroom. Although many people appreciate the aesthetics of modern design trends, it is often a better idea to go for timeless looks that will not date the look of your home too soon. Here are some design tips that help you create a timeless look.
Trendy shapes and sizes
Trends in kitchens and bathrooms often appear in shapes. This is most common on tile designs for backsplashes and bathroom tub and shower enclosures. It is hard to determine what will last and what will become passé soon. However if you avoid distinct designs such as penny mosaics or extra long, rectangular tiles you will fare better. Classic tiles such as subway, brick and squares are not as risky. Size can date a backsplash just as much as shape. Mid-size items are your best bet as very small and very large sizes tend to be trend oriented.
Colors change almost annually so it can be tricky to tell which colors will last and which won’t. Even neutrals of today are different than neutrals of past decades. If you do want to add a trendier color to your kitchen or bathroom do so with paint and only on a small accent wall. This way you won’t be faced with the daunting task of tearing out an entire back splash or painting the entire room. Then you can use accents in accessories and soft finishes such as rugs, shower curtains, towels, drapes and even small appliances in the kitchen to add a punch of trendy colour here and there. These are not permanent and can easily be switched up without too much trouble.
Appliances are very expensive and it is important to be cautious when you are choosing them. Avoid specialty colours and finishes and opt for clean simple lines that will not go out of style as quickly as more stylized designs. If you want to add a trendy touch, do so with small appliances such as microwaves, kettles, coffee machines and toaster ovens.
Cabinet and vanity trends
This is another design feature that is hard to call when it comes to trends. However there are some easier trends to spot such as high gloss finishes, overly detailed grains or design details. Opt for wood cabinets or vanities that will be easier to refinish or reface. You can then add a more on trend look with modern pulls.
Trend spotting isn’t always easy, but with a good designer you can create timeless kitchen and bathroom designs less likely to be too rich in fleeting styles that will date your home.
Ensuite Bath and Kitchen Showroom at 65 Dawson Road in Guelph offers stunning bathroom and kitchen design solutions ideal for your home. Email email@example.com or call 519-837-3387 to set up your appointment or visit their showroom Monday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for inspiration.
No — some of the hot design trends for kitchens in 2015.
Softer colors such as gray hues and white and Shaker-style cabinets have been bubbling up for the past couple of years and are among the top wants in new kitchen designs. Backsplashes are playing a big role, as are more informal seating and charging stations in the kitchen. And try looking up: Ceilings are increasingly standing out in the design mix.
French country-style kitchens? Adieu.
Microwaves? Better if you can’t see them.
Granite countertops? Been there.
“The buzzword is ‘transitional’ — a combination of traditional and contemporary,” says Peter Salerno of Peter Salerno Inc., based in Wyckoff, a high-end kitchen and bath designer.
Maria Stapperfenne, president of the Hackettstown-based National Kitchen & Bath Association, agrees. Customers “want clean simple lines, they want easy to maintain, they want universal design features in the kitchen.”
The trends are driven by a mix of customer wants, innovations by manufacturers and their engagement with the design community.
“All you need is one manufacturer to produce something in a unique color and before you know it, it starts to develop and carries across the country,” says Peter Albanese, owner of Creative Kitchen and Bath in Wayne.
And consumers are well-versed on what’s in the marketplace through online research and social media, websites like Pinterest and the home remodeling and design site Houzz, and television shows like those on HGTV.
“Everyone does so much research before they come in,” Albanese says.
When Kristina Phillips moved into her Ridgewood home about a decade ago, she inherited a kitchen with traditional basic cabinets and in need of an update.
After making cosmetic changes, the family embarked on a complete kitchen renovation project, enlisting Carr to design it, and completed the project last summer, she says.
“We did our research extensively and knew exactly what we wanted when we finally pulled the trigger,” Phillips says.
The new kitchen has several of the elements trending this year, such as an island that offers seating, multiples of appliances — in this case, three dishwashers — and white-painted cabinetry against gray walls.
Although the home has a formal dining room, Phillips says the island is a gathering spot.
This time around, Phillips also wanted to avoid having a lot of hanging cabinets, preferring to have storage lower to give the kitchen a more open feel. The Shaker-style cabinets have flat, clean lines and the microwave has been bumped to below the counter.
“I just didn’t want to see it,” she says.
Among the top trends reported by National Kitchen & Bath Association members in their 2015 Kitchen & Bath Design Trends report:
Clean with a contemporary feel.
Multiples of appliances.
Fewer standard kitchen tables.
TVs and docking stations.
Focus on user experience, from easy maintenance to accessible design.
“Gray is king of the colors this year,” says Stapperfenne, who is also the manager of Tewksbury Kitchens & Baths. Following are blues, she adds, which are coming back into the kitchen mainstream.
Soft white also is extremely popular, says Albanese, with people also starting to go back to adding a splash of bold, bringing in bright primary colors of red or blue as an accent.
Many designers consider cabinets the foundation of the kitchen, but both form and function are getting updates.
Detailed cabinetry of previous years has evolved into sleeker, more contemporary designs. Raised panel cabinet doors are giving way to flat-door or Shaker-style cabinets.
Painted cabinets are the No. 1 cabinet choice, and white paint is the most popular finish, Stapperfenne says. Dark wood stains also are a trending choice for cabinets.
Cabinet styles are marrying modern with traditional, says Rose Marie Carr, owner of Kitchens by Rose in Ramsey. In designing their kitchens, customers are looking for a cabinet layout that is more family-friendly, with more emphasis on making better use of existing cabinet space to organize storage, with pullouts and rollouts for cabinets, and customized interiors.
“Storage solutions are big,” Albanese says. “People are recognizing the functionality of the cabinets and maximizing storage.”
With kitchens very much a gathering place for families and for entertaining, designers say customers are opting for things like banquette seating, pub-height tables and island seating instead of a traditional table and chairs.
“People are cooking and entertaining in their kitchen,” Salerno says. “If you have a place for them to sit, it ends up becoming part of the experience.”
And the backsplash, often recognized solely for its role in protecting the wall from stains, is stepping out. Dated are 4-by-4 tile backsplashes. Designers are mixing it up with colors, tile sizes and textures.
Backsplashes can be the accent piece of a kitchen design, Albanese says.
Shapes and materials are evolving, says Salerno, who has incorporated items such as leather, coconut shells, antique mirrors or reclaimed tin ceilings into the backsplash. In this way, the backsplash “becomes a piece of art,” he says.
Solid is in fashion
As for kitchen countertops, quartz is now the material of choice. With a marble-like appearance, designers cite its color consistency and say it’s more durable than granite and competitive in price.
“With a sleeker-looking kitchen design, people are very minimalistic. They don’t want a lot of movement to their counters anymore,” opting for a solid countertop, Albanese says.
Ceilings also are getting in on the act.
Salerno says he uses ceiling details over islands to accentuate and magnify the room, noting one design that incorporated a lighting fixture featuring 36 Mason jars over an island.
“I believe in using five walls: four walls and the ceiling,” Salerno says. “Ceilings have been ignored for so long.”
Appeal of steam ovens
Carr says the increase in ceiling designs has included beams, coffered ceilings, certain lighting or tin, with an emphasis on adding more embellishment to the ceiling and less on the cabinets.
“It brings your eye up,” Carr says.
And move over, ovens and microwaves: Steam ovens are on the rise, spurred by the healthy benefits of cooking with steam, according to the survey. Another on the must-do list: built-in warming drawers.
As for the microwave, customers are opting for microwave drawers or placing them lower and under counters.
The cost of a complete kitchen design and renovation can average between $50,000 to $60,000, designers say. For high-end kitchens such as those designed by Salerno, the cost can be from $80,000 to $150,000.
While the majority of customers opt for a total renovation, some decide to make spot changes to refresh their kitchens: changing the countertops and backsplash, replacing hardware or painting cabinets.
“That’s a nice way to keep costs down,” Stapperfenne says.
Despite the costs, designers say they see an upswing in renovations.
“For 2015, people are starting to remodel again, Albanese says.
Until this point, people have been looking to update, such as painting cabinets or updating hardware, he says. But “confidence is up in the economy again and we will see more and more people deciding to remodel.”
“People are a little bit more confident and they’re making the plunge,” Carr says.
Many of today’s buyers desire an open kitchen-family room and smart home appliances.
Considering any home improvement projects this spring, like renovating your kitchen or bath? It’s worth looking at some data first. In today’s marketplace, you may not fully recoup your remodeling costs at resale time.
For a bathroom remodel, a homeowner can expect to recoup about 70 percent of the cost upon resale, while a major kitchen remodel could return 67.8 percent of the cost, according to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report, which compares the average cost of 36 types of remodeling projects with the value retained at resale in 102 U.S. markets.
The survey found that a midrange bathroom remodel costing $16,724 would only add $11,707 to the resale value of a home in today’s market. Meanwhile, a midrange major kitchen remodel could total $56,768 and add $38,485 to the resale value of the home. The cost to value recouped on both remodeling jobs declined this year, with the bathroom job down 2.5 percent and the kitchen remodel down 6.4 percent, according to the report.
This begs the question for homeowners: Should you remodel at all?
It depends. Housing markets vary, but in general, unless someone is looking for a fixer-upper, homebuyers are seeking updated kitchens and baths.
“In my market, the buyer generally will pay more for someone else to do the work. They don’t want to disturb their family by living through construction,” says Dawn McKenna, real estate broker at Hinsdale, Illinois-based Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.
When considering a potential remodeling job, McKenna advises homeowners to evaluate their property. “Does it have high ceilings? Does it have good bones? Is it in a good location? If the floor plans are worthy, you should update your kitchen and bath because you will reap the rewards at resale time. If your house is priced and marketed properly and it looks like a ’10,’ it will sell significantly faster,” McKenna says.
For homeowners willing to dive into a remodeling project, it pays to think long term. “You’ve got to pick things that are timeless and good enough quality that will stand the test of time,” says Ilyce Glink, author of numerous real estate books, including “100 Questions Every First-Time Home Buyer Should Ask.” “When I remodeled my kitchen 16 years ago, I chose natural birch, nickel hardware, granite and neutral tile. People think we just redid our kitchen,” Glink says.
As you begin to pick appliances, colors, countertops and cabinets, think about resale. “I always tell my clients: You want to enjoy it, but don’t pick some crazy color. You want to appeal to the masses,” McKenna says.
Kitchens: What’s in. Great rooms, which are often large, separate family rooms with vaulted ceilings, are out. Buyers today are seeking an open kitchen-family room, where a large kitchen opens up into a family room and has no walls separating the two, McKenna says. If you have space, an island with a breakfast bar is ideal.
“Everybody wants an open kitchen-family room. They will do without a living room, and some people will even forego a dining room,” McKenna says. Stylistically, light, bright and open space appeal to homebuyers. Keep it clean-lined and sleek, McKenna advises.
Among countertop materials, McKenna favors Quartzite and Caesarstone because they are low maintenance. For appliances, “we are still seeing Wolf and Sub-Zero in the upper bracket, but Miele is being introduced in more transitional and contemporary applications. I also think Jenn-Air is making a comeback, due to the price point and uber-current features,” McKenna says.
Built-in kitchen desks were all the rage about 10 years ago, but they’ve fallen out of favor, Glink says. Homeowners are replacing kitchen desks with “more usable” countertop space and shelving, she says. “How people use technology in their kitchen has evolved for designers over time. People are using laptops now, and you don’t need a whole desk for that,” Glink explains. Consider building a technology station with lots of outlets in your kitchen, and create a space for everyone to recharge their electronic gadgets and cellphones.
Smart home technology is also an attractive feature for homebuyers. Homes that boast programmable thermostats and the ability to lock your front door remotely “make your house sell faster for a little more money,” Glink says. Such technology extends to the kitchen as well. “Today we see refrigerators that will monitor and know when you are out of milk. In the next few years, you will be able to place your order with your food delivery service that will automatically deliver milk once you are out,” Glink says.
Speaking of refrigerators, homebuyers are looking for a special place to store and chill their favorite chardonnay. “We are seeing more demand for wine refrigerators that have several temperature areas,” Glink says.
Trends in baths. Homeowners today are choosing larger shower spaces with all the trimmings, such as aromatherapy steam showers and more. “We are seeing a trend toward incredible shower experiences, with big, round rainwater showerheads. We are seeing places to sit in the shower and more elaborate shelving. Lots of glass tile and multispray heads,” Glink says. These shower spaces can include built-in containers that allow you to preload your shampoo and conditioner.
When it comes to the number of bathrooms in your house, more is almost always better, real estate experts say. Still, the cost-to-value numbers aren’t encouraging in this year’s market. A midrange bathroom addition costs $39,578 but will only recoup 57.8 percent of the job cost at resale time, according to the Remodeling 2015 Cost vs. Value Report.
Although you may not fully recoup your kitchen or bath remodel, there are other factors to consider. After all, you’ll get to enjoy that new kitchen or aromatherapy shower, and experts say updated homes move faster at resale time.
“Buyers don’t want to do big work in their house, especially if they’re paying top dollar for a property. No one is going to pay top dollar for a house with old kitchens and baths. … If you spend $60,000 on a new kitchen or $30,000 on a refresh and can sell your home for nearly top dollar immediately, what’s that worth?” Glink says.