Ten hot trends in contemporary kitchen design

  • By Marilyn Kalfus The Orange County Register
  • Tuesday, November 19, 2013 2:27pm
  • Life

SANTA ANA, Calif. — When Michelle and Jon Christy bought their 1980s-era home in North Tustin, Calif., much of the residence already was remodeled.

Except for the kitchen. It was dated. And it was olive green.

“I wanted to lighten up the kitchen, because the kitchen had been dark,” Michelle Christy said. “I thought white cabinets would give it a nice, clean, crisp look.”

They didn’t stop there. Today, with a demolition behind them, and new Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances along with a spacious island, the couple’s kitchen is not just brighter; it also reflects several current trends in culinary design.

So what’s trendy, but at the same time, has some staying power?

A survey by Houzz, a popular home design and remodeling website based in Palo Alto, Calif., gathered responses from 7,812 homeowners either planning renovations or in the midst of them.

The National Kitchen &Bath Association also came out with survey results from 300 of its member-designers.

Here’s what’s hot:

1. Chef’s stoves. A professional-grade range — a stove with options such as a flat griddle or a cooktop to accommodate a searing pan or a wok — topped kitchen wish lists.

2. Eco-friendly features. Nearly half of those surveyed said using eco-friendly appliances and materials in their kitchens is important.

3. Granite and quartz countertops. Granite still rocks, and quartz is a rising star.

Quartz countertops are resistant to stains and scratches and are easy to take care of, kitchen designers say.

4. Tile backsplashes. Tile was the top choice for backsplash accents. “A lot of people are using the backsplash as sort of the jewelry of the kitchen,” said Sheila Schmitz, Houzz.com editor. “That’s where they’ll put that splash of color, because it won’t be overwhelming.”

5. Floors. Hardwood floors led the list of choices, but here’s another area where tiles made a strong showing, coming in second.

6. Stainless steel. A majority of respondents favored stainless steel appliances. Some homeowners are combining appliance finishes or integrating stainless steel into cabinetry.

7. Islands. They’re popular but not a must. Some homeowners felt it would be the wrong choice because the room is too small or the configuration wouldn’t work.

8. Transitional style. This look — a blend of traditional and contemporary — has grown in popularity.

9. White cabinets. Whites and off-whites are the top choice for color schemes,

10. Gray color schemes. Grays are coming on strong, according to the survey and local designers.

The takeaway from all this?

“People really want easy, clean, unfussy kitchens,” Schmitz said.

And remember, don’t get carried away.

“Always try to keep in mind you’re doing the work for yourself, but at some point, somebody else will be in the house,” Close said. “Don’t do something so radical, so edgy, that in five years you’ll look at each other and say, ‘What were we thinking?’”

More in Life

Beer and cupcakes: Snohomish brewer, baker form unlikely duo

Pacific Northwest Cupcakes uses SnoTown’s brews to make beer-infused sweet treats.

The art and science of weathervanes

They told the direction of the wind and aided in forecasting the, well, weather.

Hundreds of ways to pamper your home and yourself

Find fancy fridges to sparkling jewelry under one roof at home and gift shows in Everett.

This is exactly how a cleaning expert organizes her space in 20 minutes

Try these realistic and attainable tricks to land yourself a cleaner home.

Snohomish brewer flavors beer with chilies from mom’s back yard

Beer of the Week: Smoked rye forms sturdy foundation for SnoTown’s well-balanced Loose Rooster.

Fall is just another blooming season

October can be a time of spectacular colors in your garden.

Woodward Canyon Winery continues to weave masterpieces

Owner Rick Small uses grapes from vines he used when he made wine in his back yard in the 1970s.

Great Plant Pick: Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Diabolo,’ purple-leaf ninebark

Grow it with shrub roses and perennials, and it combines with with ornamental grasses.

Beer, wine, spirits: Snohomish County booze calendar

Dash to Diamond Knot: Flying Unicorn Racing is teaming up with Mukilteo’s… Continue reading

Most Read