For those homeowners ready to just say “No” to their outdated, non-functional and disorganized kitchens, it’s a great time to remodel. They may love their homes, their locations and neighborhoods, but hate their kitchens. Most families have been spending more together time over the past year, and flaws in their kitchen design may have become more apparent.
Top Kitchen Designs Over Time
Designing efficient, functional, and – yes – beautiful kitchens sounds like a dream job to many. With the popularity of HGTV’s myriad of television shows making it seem like a quick and easy weekend project, many homeowners begin dreaming of remodeling their own kitchens. And while they may find it’s not quite as easy as it looks, it needn’t be feared.
The popularity of specific cabinet styles, kitchen layouts and countertops have varied widely throughout the twenty-first century. And while some kitchen remodeling ideas and trends come back in style, some definitely do not. No one would dream of installing Formica countertops in their newly remodeled kitchen.
Age Is Just a Number
Just as dark oak paneling in a family room can really date a house, so can the look of the kitchen. In the fifties, pastel colors were all the rage. Next, the sixties and seventies ushered in the unforgettable age of avocado green appliances. Many people in the eighties thought that “wall to wall” carpet was perfect for kitchen floors. And the familiar honey-toned stained oak cabinets can be found in nearly every home built in the nineties. (p.s. Please take down that wallpaper border.)
Industry expert Bob Villa says that one of the tell-tale signs of an old-fashioned kitchen is a short backsplash. Thirty years ago, they used to install four-inch tall matching laminate backsplashes, mainly to serve as a minimal transition from countertop to wall. Now many designers are recommending extending a tile backsplash clear to the ceiling (around a stove, for example) for a dramatic effect.
Another example Villa provides is the tile countertops popular in the seventies. As he explains, “This type of countertop isn’t just visually unappealing, it’s also incredibly tough to clean properly — yet another reason to swap your old countertops and pick an easier-to-maintain surface.”
Cabinetry Choices Abound
A good rule of the thumb is that kitchen cabinets should make up about thirty percent of a kitchen remodeling budget. There is no other single component that will draw the eye and set the overall ambiance of the room. It is also a critical design element that will last the longest and therefore must stand the test of time.
Experts recommend choosing the style of cabinet doors first. There are many styles, including flat, Shaker, and inset. The Shaker style embodies clean, simple lines. It’s made up a single panel bordered by four narrower panels around the frame. This style remains very popular and complements many types of décor.
Flat cabinets lie flush, with no recessed panels. They can be used with or without hardware. The inset style utilizes a frame with an inset to add dimension and style. Another type of cabinet is Thermofoil, made by wrapping a plastic-type coating over a base of MDF, then baked to create an impervious surface.
Some of the top-rated cabinetmakers such as KraftMaid, offer a dizzying array of options to customize their products, including lighting, glass doors, molding, and other accents. Adding a decorative leg or foot gives lower cabinetry the look of fine furniture, while onlays, ornaments and corbels add a touch of elegance. Corbels may be used as countertop support or be added as part of a column detail.
Glass door inserts may be plain, etched, frosted, or enhanced with a mullion or even a stained glass design. They are especially popular for upper cabinets with integrated lighting to act as a display case for fine china or other collectibles. One homeowner even showed off his autographed baseball collection along the top row of lighted cabinets in his newly remodeled kitchen, with his favorite team’s logo made into a stained glass insert for one of his cabinets.
Just when they thought they’d made the toughest decision when choosing their cabinetry style, homeowners are then faced with thousands of choices for hardware.
Basically, there are three choices to make: pulls, knobs and hinges. Hinges can be hidden or visible, and the style of cabinet may dictate which is required. Designers recommend choosing a hardware finish and style to complement the design of the cabinet. For example, an ultra-modern chrome upper cabinet pull may look out of place on a traditional inset cabinet.
One trend that is definitely here to stay is mixing cabinet colors. It started with painting the kitchen island a different color, gravitated to separate upper and lower cabinet colors, and now some homeowners are even choosing to mix colors within all those areas. It’s recommended that bold colors (such as navy blue) be limited to combining with only one other, more traditional color. Some popular combinations are navy blue and gray, or white and navy blue.
It’s common now for cabinetmakers to offer cabinets in several different finishes, such as antiqued, glazed, or flat. And while it increases the complexity of the decision, it also provides homeowners with many more ways to customize their dream kitchens. They will end up with a look that no one in their neighborhood can duplicate.
Kitchen Design Helps Homeowners Achieve the Look They Want
When buying a starter home, many couples purchase an older home, or a new model or “spec” house, and don’t have the opportunity to start from scratch to make their dream kitchen a reality. By finally getting the chance to remodel, they have the best of all worlds — they know what works for them and they know what they like. With careful research, a reputable kitchen remodeling company in Utica and an experienced designer with great ideas, they can make their dreams come true.