Once upon a time, kitchens were designed solely for cooking. Today, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Meals are prepared and shared, family and friends connect, and life is lived. Art meets style and technology to create essential living spaces that are both beautiful and functional. As our cooking, eating, social and cultural habits continue to change, so do our kitchens.
Here’s what we are seeing now:
1. Classic, nature-inspired finishes
A return to neutral colors including shades of grey, taupe and cream mirror the outdoors. We see this in wood flooring, painted cabinets, and countertops. Hickory and walnut add natural wood grain and contrast in 5” to 7” wide planks for more dynamic wood surfaces. Home buyers are selecting contrasting colors for wall cabinetry and islands. White wall cabinets with dark, fog gray bases for the bold of heart. Quartz fabricators have mastered the white Carrara marble look for countertops with an abundance of variety in veining and dimension. Colors and textures of concrete are also popular for subtle, soft color options.
2. Oversized, multi-use, single-height islands
In today’s kitchens, the island not only provides additional storage and countertop space for food preparation; it has become a dining table, a desktop, and the social hub of the home. New home buyers are anticipating these activities and expect a stylish focal point. We see waterfall island ends, decorative island legs and contrasting stone or wood island tops to create this kitchen dynamic. Suede and honed finishes on natural stone and quartz create texture and interest.
3. Rejuvenation of classic motifs
New home buyers can’t seem to get enough of classic design elements such as wrought iron balusters and penny tile. They are also opting for retro elements such as tile backsplashes with Chevron, herringbone or basket weave patterns. Simple, classic elements like this add nostalgia without dating the house.
4. Ergonomics and organization
Customized accessibility is all the rage. New home buyers are asking for separate spaces to display the things they want their friends and family to see, and to hide the things they don’t. They want floating and open shelving to showcase their fun plates and gorgeous glasses, and places to hang their pots. They want wet bars and butler pantries to make hosting parties easier and more fun. They want built-in trash cans, walk-in pantries, pull-open base cabinets and drawers with deep pockets. They want secondary units to store their grandmother’s china sets. Today’s new home buyers truly want to make their kitchen their own.
5. Integrated appliances
Ergonomic innovation and creative configuration has extended to kitchen appliances, resulting in new advances such as counter-height and side-opening ovens. Also, as technology has improved, appliances have become less bulky and cumbersome. Through the use of additional paneling and creative design, kitchen appliances are being seamlessly integrated or quietly retreating into the cabinetry. When appliances look like cabinets, the kitchen looks more sleek and cohesive. New home owners love hearing their friends ask where the dishwasher, refrigerator or trash can is.
6. Oversized sinks with commercial-style faucets
Oversized sinks help contain splashes and spills, and allow homeowners to easily soak and wash large pans and other items. Blanco brand single-bowl quartz sinks in rich colors such as cafe brown and cinder are particularly popular. Adding a pull-down spring faucet is a simple way to integrate commercial and residential looks and add charisma to the kitchen.
7. Design-forward hardware
Brushed stainless steel remains the staple finish for appliances, cabinet hardware and faucets. However, soft and subtle finishes of honey bronze, ash gray, rose gold and matte black are creating a fresh take on the finishing touches. Adding a small pop of contrast creates an aspect of the unexpected without an enormous investment. Commercial-style handles and architectural faucets create energy of creativity and excitement in the kitchen.
8. Contemporary, energy-efficient lighting
New home buyers are loving can lights, dimmers, and fixtures in honey bronze and polished nickel. Instead of one finish for the entire house, they’re choosing a combination of finishes for a friendlier, more welcoming atmosphere. Energy efficiency is also in high demand. Halogen and fluorescent bulbs are yesterday’s news—home buyers are opting for LED lighting, which is more versatile, efficient and longer lasting. Buyers are also asking for switch-activated, Wi-Fi based lighting, which allows them to turn lights on and off with their smartphones.
At Fischer & Frichtel, we build homes with beautiful, comfortable and functional kitchen environments. Each of our customers is paired with their own personal Home Center design consultant, who collaborates with them to choose the features and finishes for their new home. Our design consultants are highly respected industry professionals whose talent and passion for design have helped Fischer & Frichtel win countless awards for excellence.
To see examples of the looks featured in this article, please visit our community display homes, open daily, from 11 am – 5 pm. We also have a number of Move-In Ready homes for sale, and if you have your own land, we can Build Where You Want. For more information, email Kim Kelly or call 314-283-6510.