Kitchen updates can cost as little as $2500 and go upwards of $50,000 for a total remodel. So you want to make sure you’re investing in things that won’t just last, but will give you a great ROI (return on investment). When it comes to trends it’s important to know how to incorporate the latest and greatest without getting stuck with something that will become dated in just a couple of years.
Here’s how I applied “safe” kitchen trends in Andrew’s basement.
Andrew’s basement is similar to a lot of new and new-ish homes because it has an open kitchen/living area. This open concept style has become the most desired type of layout, and as a result kitchen design has become about a lot more than just functionality. Kitchens now need to blend in with living areas, and a clean, streamlined look has become more important than ever. Spaces (no matter what the styles) need to connect, sightlines need to be clear, and visual clutter needs to be kept to a minimum.
- Two tone cabinets may or may not be here to stay, but as long as you stick with neutral colors and a simple design you should be safe – particularly if those colors connect to the attached living space. In this kitchen we opted for a light grey on the wall cabinet, and a darker slate grey walnut for the island. The darker grey was also used in the living room in order to connect the two spaces and create a grounding effect.
- Upper cabinets will never disappear completely, but we’re certainly seeing less of them. These days more and more people are opting for the light and airy look of open shelving. This can be good for a couple of reasons – one is that open shelves are significantly cheaper than cabinets, and it also forces you to stay organized and keep things clean. According to Aya Kitchens, a lot of people are offsetting the open display areas with large pantry storage. “Pantries with drawers and pull outs mean there’s a spot for everything and it makes kitchens more user friendly.” Fewer upper cabinets can also help a small kitchen look bigger.
- Deep drawers have been creeping into kitchens for quite a while now. They’re practical because you can fit a wider variety of items in them, and they’re easier to access than cabinets. Whereas with a traditional lower cabinet you often have to remove items to access those at the back, with a deep drawer you can pull it out and have instant access to everything.
- Quartz is a huge trend in countertops and looks like it’s going to stick around for a very long time. Quartz requires less maintenance than any other type of counter material and it’s almost indestructible. What’s more, people like it so much that they’re continuing it up the wall to create a solid surface backsplash rather than using traditional tile. Quartz is also a safe choice as it’s nonporous and non-absorbant, so it won’t draw in moisture from raw or leftover food, which can harbour harmful bacteria.
- Waterfall counters used to be relegated to strictly modern spaces, but once again, with the emergence of integrated living/eating areas, more and more people are looking for the streamlined look of a continuous surface.
- Most people don’t give a lot of thought to their counter’s edge profile, but it’s a very important element, affecting not just the aesthetics, but even safety and cleanliness. The current trend is to go for simplicity – a straight edge creates a streamlined look and is easy to live with.
- Built-in appliances, or appliances that simply look built-in, have become very popular due to the fact that they connect seamlessly to the counters and cabinets, leaving no awkward gaps. We used Frigidaire’s Professional series to create this clean, continuous look.
- Stainless steel appliances are a great example of a trend that’s becoming a classic. They’re neutral, they can be integrated into any style or color of kitchen, and now thanks to Frigidaire’s new Smudge-Proof stainless steel, they’re easy to keep clean.
- Appliance garages are great for keeping small appliances accessible but out of sight. Because they fit seamlessly with your kitchen’s cabinetry they’re unlikely to ever go out of fashion. Be sure to have an outlet installed inside that has an automatic power shutoff when the doors are closed.
Remember, following the wrong trends can decrease the value of your home over time, but if you use common sense and plan with the needs of your household in mind, you can incorporate trends that will stand the test of time and offer you a great return on investment.
Don’t forget about decorating. Just because the contractor’s done it doesn’t mean your job is over. You still need to buy furniture, window treatments and accessories. Make sure you’ve included these in the budget.