Image from Studio McGee
There’s a reason that the kitchen is the heart of the home for many, as we often spend the most time here. It’s the space where we create new recipes, explore different methods, or indulge in our favorite flavors. It’s also the place where we solve difficult math homework, share a glass of wine with friends, and blow out the candles each birthday. The kitchen is the heart of the home because it’s where memories are created year after year..
Because we spend so much time in this space, it’s important to make wise decisions when thinking through the elements you want to incorporate that will create the perfect gathering space. Whether you’re looking to make a few updates to your kitchen, or interested in doing a full renovation, you can feel good about incorporating any of these five trends for many years to come:
1. Layer in Warmth
Don’t get me wrong - white kitchens can be amazing. But what makes them amazing and different is incorporating tones and textures to create a welcoming and warm feeling. All white kitchens can tend to be stark, with no balance of color. We live in a world full of color, so why not incorporate color into the space we spend the most time in? I’m not saying that you should paint all your cabinets purple - while that sounds fabulous! But simply adding warmth into your kitchen with wood tones, creamy colors, or sumptuous textures creates a soulful space. This kitchen designed by Studio McGee incorporates warmth through the gold lighting and hardware, wood accents on the drawers and doors, and accessories such as the barstools and collection of cutting boards.
Images from Studio McGee
2. Counter Depth Appliances
Counter-depth appliances allow you to achieve a more custom design without having to sacrifice function. The appliances are more streamlined, allowing for more uniformity and less intrusion into the space. How many times have you had to wait for someone to close the fridge before you could reach the pantry? Often with counter-depth appliances such as a refrigerator, you’ll have a smaller depth and greater width. This means less bending over to clean the back of the shelf and a wider space to store your baking sheets or big casserole dishes easier. See the photo by LG and Samsung below. Note the difference between a standard depth and a counter-depth fridge, which will likely save you at least 4-6 inches of space. And for a smaller kitchen, that’s a lot of real estate!
Source: LG Electronics
"We’ve found that shallower, counter-depth fridges with less capacity (and that tend to use a bit less energy) are big enough for most households." – NYTimes Article The Best Refrigerators
In a recent kitchen remodel we intentionally selected a counter depth refrigerator to maximize the space in this kitchen with a small footprint. For more images of the space see Kensington Kitchen.
3. Go for the Hardwood Flooring
For hundreds of years, hardwood floors were used in kitchens. The bring in a classic and timeless look. They achieve warmth using different wood tones, and they feel softer on the foot. Many think hardwood floors in the kitchen would make for a poor choice due to durability. But using a quality hardwood species, a proper installation, and sealing it allows for easy maintenance and great flooring that will stand the test of time. If you already have hardwood flooring in other rooms, carrying it through the kitchen creates a cohesive and open feel to the floorplan. The photo below by Alison Giese Interiors showcases how hardwood flooring can warm up your space.
Source: Alison Giese Interiors
4. Mix the Metals
Using mixed metals in your kitchen is an easy and creative way to do a simple update. Change out the hardware and update your lighting for a well-designed and layered look. Start small by using two different metals. For example, if your color palette leans towards more warmer hues, consider using warm metals with different undertones such as brass and nickel. Brass is a gold tone and nickel is a silver tone, but they both add contrast. Contrast in a space is a great design decision, as it creates visual interest. If you’re feeling more confident, consider adding a neutral third metal, such as iron. It adds texture, but it doesn’t compete with the other metals in the space. It’s also a timeless metal choice, making it a no brainer for any space!
Source: Marie Flanigan
Source: Jean Stoeffer Design
5. Add Artwork to Personalize the Space
Adding artwork is like adding personality and style to any space. It’s an invitation for a story. Depending on your interests, it can be a conversation starter or a collection of photos from travels. It’s an easy way to be creative without having to make a huge design commitment. One of my favorite recent discoveries is displaying family recipes as art. It’s an inexpensive way to display the memory and feel the nostalgia of being in the kitchen making your grandma’s cookies or mom’s casserole.
Incorporating these trends will give you a stunning kitchen layered with great functionality and style.