As we come up on the end of the year, people who are interested in kitchen remodeling are starting to wonder what the new year will bring. We thought this would be a good opportunity to take an in-depth look at the trends we are seeing now, and what we expect to see trending in 2017.
It’s important to distinguish between what we mean by the trends to watch and the kind of trendy kitchen trends to avoid. Home remodeling shows are extremely popular on TV right now and can be very inspirational, but some of the high-speed, low-budget designs we’ve seen would send potential homebuyers running.
The aluminum-foil-covered headboard comes immediately to mind. It actually looked great on TV, but you know what it would look like in person—and what a nightmare it would be after a couple of weeks in a kid’s room. You can get away with some of that kind of trendy décor, and may really enjoy it for the time it remains the “in” thing; but when it comes to home remodeling, avoid cheap shortcuts like the plague. The kitchen remodeling trends we are talking about are the kind of things that make your home functional, give it a stylish and updated look, and inspire buyers to say “This is the one.”
Aging in Place Will Stay Hot in Peoria
Because we live in a popular retirement area, kitchen trends that support aging in place will continue to become more popular. Living at home instead of moving to a care facility appeals to nearly everyone, so not only does incorporating universal design into your kitchen remodeling make your kitchen serve you better, it makes your home more desirable when it comes time for you to sell it.
Universal design is essentially making rooms meet the needs of all people, regardless of size and abilities. Kitchens are one of the most-used rooms in a home, and where the most action takes place, so it’s important to design features that meet the needs of everyone in the household, and that are easy to use.
As we age, it becomes impossible to routinely lift heavy dishes overhead or crouch down and reach back into lower cabinets to retrieve pots and pans. Universal design builds in devices to maximize lower cabinet storage, and make it very accessible with sliding racks and drawers.
Upper cabinets can be designed with shelves that swing down to a level that is easy to reach, and corner cabinets either have L-shaped doors with attached shelving that swings out, or at least lazy susans to make the space usable and easy to access.
One of the biggest benefits that has come from the trend of designing for aging in place is that style does not have to be sacrificed to include universal design in your home remodeling. All the features incorporated in universal design can blend perfectly with the rest of the room, and nothing needs to stand out like an institutional safety feature. If this appeals to you, be sure to see our post on trends in bathroom remodeling because the shower layouts that designers have come up with to accommodate wheelchairs look more like something you’d find in an upscale spa than in a retirement center!
Cork Is Extending Beyond Floors
Lage bright empty room with cork floor and balcony.New luxury home interior.
Cork followed closely on the heels of bamboo in becoming a desirable sustainable material for flooring. Cork is not only a renewable resource, but it is yielding and has desirable qualities as an insulator, both for sound and warmth. These characteristics make it a beneficial wall covering as well. The neutral and natural appearance of cork are also desirable, allowing it to be used with many different decorating themes, and the décor can easily be updated without making the cork look out of place because it blends in so well.
Terracotta Creates the Feel of a Mediterranean Villa
Kitchen tiles have been largely white and gray for the past year or so, and these colors continue to be popular because they are so easy to work with, and have a clean feeling, which is always important in the kitchen. However, they can also feel stark, and the warm tones of terracotta are just the opposite. Terracotta tiles on floors and walls give a room the feeling of casual comfort, and tend to be reminiscent of the Mediterranean. Square tiles have a traditional look, but for a smoother appearance and something a little different, homeowners have taken to hexagonal terracotta tiles, which create a wonderful blend of old and new.
Not Quite as Formal as It Sounds—The Tuxedo Kitchen Is Another Growing Trend
Traditionally, cabinets are all one color, but a modern trend we expect to see sticking around is having two completely different colors for the top and bottom cabinets. This works especially well with dark on bottom and light on top, such as black lower cabinets with a bright white countertop and upper cabinets, or deep blue on bottom and a creamy white up top.
Color as Self Expression
We approach this one with caution, but for 2017, expressing the homeowner’s personality is expected to be a big part of color selection. In fact, one of the major paint companies, Behr, has presented their color themes for the new year in three palettes: comfortable, composed, and confident. This approach may be very useful for helping you take the first steps of planning your kitchen remodeling, if you strongly identify with one of those personality types.
Where we hesitate to promote the idea of choosing colors to express yourself is in the impact that the unusual can have on resale value. Taste is so individual that chances are if you find something that perfectly expresses who you are, potential buyers will likely feel like they don’t get it, and be turned off. The trick is to find colors that work for you on a personal level, but also stick closely enough to design fundamentals that they will not be off-putting to someone with entirely different tastes.
Even Stainless Steel Gets an Update
Stainless Steel Kitchen
Though there is still some interest in the stainless-steel industrial-style kitchen, especially for people who cook for crowds and want stovetops with multiple burners, one of the newcomers to the kitchen remodeling market is colored stainless steel, which gives appliances a much more streamlined look and allows them to blend in with the cabinetry in the kitchen. Don’t panic, avocado refrigerators aren’t about to invade, the colors we are talking about are black and slate. This is such a lovely trend, we expect to see even more variety coming available.
As a bit of an aside, but on the topic of stainless steel, another feature that really deserves a mention is that the new stainless colors are also smudgeproof. The one complaint common to all who own stainless steel appliances is that they are impossible to keep clean. Every fingerprint shows up. But thanks to the designers who came up with the new colors, owners can also enjoy freedom from fingerprint phobia.
Hidden Appliances Blend Right In
One trend we are expecting to really catch on is the hidden appliance look. This is easiest to achieve with small appliances, such as blenders and coffee makers. Instead of having them sitting on the kitchen counters, or having to be dragged out of storage every morning, you can design cabinets at counter height with doors that slide open or up, so that you can simply slide the appliance out a few inches out onto the countertop for ease of use or use it right where it is. Alternatively, a full-sized pantry can have shelves deep enough for these smaller appliances, and even a microwave or slow cooker. Including this kind of usage in your remodeling plans lets you make sure that electrical outlets are available wherever you will need them.
Hidden appliances don’t have to literally be hidden, however. Large appliances are being designed to blend seamlessly into the surrounding cabinets. Sleek handles help a black built-in oven with a tinted window melt into the flat-front cabinets surrounding it. Likewise, a built-in cooktop (especially one with a smooth ceramic or glass top) won’t interfere with the clean line of the row of cabinets it sets in.
Refrigerators don’t disappear quite as much, but built-ins that harmonize with the surrounding cabinets do become part of the design. Again, it’s important to plan for appliances as part of the kitchen design so that your remodeling contractor can build the perfect surround for them.
The Movement Towards the Connected Home Marches On
We started hearing about the “connected” home several years ago, and though it’s not fully realized, the trend towards connecting our electronic devices to our homes continues to grow in popularity as the technology develops, and we expect this trend to continue for many years.
In a connected kitchen, the shopping list on your fridge can be relayed directly to your smartphone when you are at the grocery store, and the roast in the oven can let you know when it has reached the desired internal temperature, without your having to open the oven—or even be in the kitchen!
Automated Features Are Picking Up Steam
A lot of the innovation in automating things in the home has come from the universal design approach, but that doesn’t mean they are only for those with disabilities or interested in aging in place. While a faucet that comes on automatically, triggered by a motion sensor, certainly makes life easier for someone who has difficulty using their hands, it’s also very handy for any cook.
How many times have you had something all over your hands and had to turn on the faucet so you could wash up? Remember the discouraging feeling when you realized that cleaning the faucet handles now had to be added to your list of things to do before you were through in the kitchen? An automatic faucet eliminates that need.
Robots that do standard kitchen functions like cooking and washing dishes are in the prototype stage, but in the meantime, programmable lights that come on when you walk in are a simple automation that make the kitchen safer, so they are definitely something to consider. Ask your remodeling contractor for more ideas if automation is something you are interested in.
Patterned or Finger Tiles Are Replacing Subway Tiles
If you love subway tiles, don’t fret—they will always be an acceptable backsplash and wall covering option. Their simple, clean lines and bright finish have made them popular for many decades, and they still have their appeal.
On the other hand, finger tiles, are making big waves in kitchen remodeling designs. As you would probably guess, finger tiles are long, thin tiles, rather than the usual square or rectangular shapes. They can be used horizontally or vertically, and are particularly striking as a colorful backsplash. They can be ceramic, but one of the most popular trends is glass finger tiles in multiple similar colors, either arranged in a pattern or randomly laid out. Stone finger tiles, cut in extra-long lengths create an elegant, natural look that can be one color, or include many different stone colors.
Patterned tiles are also making a comeback, and there are even tile makers who are exclusively reproducing tiles from the Arts and Crafts Movement in the 1800s, if you want to go for an authentic, traditional look. Patterned tiles can be used for entire walls, backsplashes, or insets in a background of plain tiles. One new trend with patterned tiles is using mismatched tiles of a similar style and creating what looks like a patchwork crazy quilt.
Dark Green Is Leading the Jewel Tone Movement
A dark green backsplash will really stand out against white cabinets, or you could go with a neutral background and feature emerald green dining room chairs to liven up the house while sticking to neutrals for the actual home remodeling. We expect to see a lot of emerald in painted elements and décor this year. If green doesn’t appeal to you, another of the rich jewel tones may be just what you are looking for.
Mix-and-Match Metals Are the New Thing
Though it would once have been considered a major fashion faux paus, mixed metals is a trend expected to hold out through 2017. Gold and brass go well together, but this year, the silver metals, including pewter, stainless steel and chrome are being thrown in the mix. One way to do this is to include hardware of both colors for your door and drawer handles. It will be a relief for many homeowners to be able to choose a light fixture without worrying about matching the metals to what’s already I the kitchen.
Mixed Everything Is Catching On
It isn’t just metals that get to break the rules about having to match. Another trend in kitchen remodeling that supports homeowner creativity without getting too personal is mixing materials. You can have sleek, modern black and white cabinetry and art-deco windows, and your grandmother’s wood table and chairs if that suits your style. Using patterned Craftsman style tiles as a focal point on the backsplash doesn’t mean you have to go rustic with the cabinetry. TWD has designers on staff who can help you create an eclectic look and incorporate all the elements you love without going off the deep end design-wise and ending up looking like you desperately need a remodel.
Maximized Storage for an Optimized Appearance
Between the plethora of new must-have small appliances, pots, pans and silicone baking sheets, and heretofore unheard-of ingredients that we are all stocked up on, it’s no wonder that increased storage is one of the unwavering kitchen trends. Designers are always looking for ways to use every inch of space.
Where a five-inch gap between cabinet sections may have once been just covered over, it can now house a narrow pull-out pantry cabinet. Kitchen Islands are being designed to house dishwashers, wine chillers, trash compactors, regular cabinets, and shelves to keep your cookbooks handy. The best way to avoid clutter is to have a place for everything, so look to add storage when making choices for your new kitchen.
Kitchen remodeling in 2017 will make major enhancements, even with small changes. Homeowners have more options than ever.
TWD has been doing kitchen remodeling in Peoria, and the Phoenix area for 20 years. If you would like to find out more about the latest trends in home remodeling, give us a call at 623-544-1211. Our certified design professionals are available to discuss your needs and give you a tour of our showroom where you can see examples of many of the latest trends discussed in this article. You can see pictures online, but there’s nothing like the real thing, so we encourage you to come see for yourself!