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ON THE LEVEL: 12 Popular Kitchen Trends for 2011


Here are some popular kitchen trends for new or remodeled kitchens this year, from our friends at Hibbard Construction.

Popular Trends to Consider

Maximize food prep and dining space. Dual islands, tiered islands and island/peninsula combinations provide space for preparing meals, dining and storage. Pull-out cutting boards and tables can also help to extend food prep space.

Plan functional storage space. Kitchen storage details are important. Add pull-outs to ease organization of your dishes, pots, pans and bake wear. Pull-out pantry units organize cans and dry goods. Drawer storage is the key for keeping utensils in their place.

Use cabinets to create interest in the kitchen. A trend that we’re seeing more in homes is the use of two tone cabinetry in the kitchen. For example, white cabinetry may be installed around the perimeter of a kitchen and dark wood-stain cabinets are used for an island or peninsula. Add glass door cabinets to quickly spot items stored and for display. Open-shelving can be added to your cabinet configuration for both display and storage.

Add under-counter appliances for convenience. Microwave ovens, wine coolers, small refrigerators for beverages and additional cold storage and drawer dishwashers add function to a kitchen. Think about “universal design” when installing appliances for convenience, and place appliances where they can be accessed by all users.

Think “Green”. A simple way of helping the environment is to purchase Energy Star appliances. If you’re interested in a “green kitchen” consider using sustainable products like bamboo flooring, concrete counters, recycled glass back splash areas and recycled wood.

Add a backsplash. Glass tiles, especially those made from recycled glass, are being used more in kitchens for an easy to clean aesthetic backsplash behind sink and stove areas. Backsplashes are also made of solid surface materials, porcelain tiles, laminate and metal. Plan your backsplash to accentuate your style – modern, traditional, cottage, country, Tuscan, or eclectic.

Consider crown molding. Adding crown molding to a kitchen provides a “finished” look to cabinetry. Also, it adds architectural interest to the space.

Combine your kitchen and dining room areas. A dining room is often one of the least used rooms in a home. If your floor plan permits, tear down a wall that separates a kitchen from a dining room. This will open up the space and add function to your home. The expanded space may allow you to add more storage to the kitchen or even an office area.

Trends in Decorating Your Kitchen

Kitchen Lighting. The latest lighting trends this year will include statement lighting and hidden lighting fixtures. Your new kitchen should receive enough natural light during the daytime. You might want to consider the installation of additional windows or perhaps a skylight to make this part of your home sunnier and inviting. Artificial lighting will continue to be hot this year as recessed lights and track lighting fixtures over sinks and cabinets create that soothing glow. Statement lighting fixtures will also make it big this year. Pendant lighting items or chandeliers in wrought bronze, iron and other deco styles will make for a brighter kitchen and, at the same time, add a touch of elegance and glamour. Lampshades are also getting into the kitchen scene this year. Select lampshades with bold colors or graphic prints to make this lighting centerpiece stand out from the rest. This works best for white or neutral colored kitchens.

Kitchen Décor Gets More Natural This Year.

The use of natural materials such as granite, bamboo, or hardwood, is the materials of choice this year. More and more homeowners are shifting away from synthetic materials and stainless steel. From their lighting fixtures, cabinets, kitchen counters, and other accessories, natural materials are the preference. These natural materials not only create a warmer and more inviting space, but they are also more sustainable and durable.

Glass is also slowly making its way into many kitchens this 2011. Glass tiled backsplashes and glass cook tops are expected to dominate this year’s market. Glass tiles are easier to clean, replace and come in a wide variety of styles and colors. Moreover, glass containers, glass spice jars and glass water containers, will also remain in the trend as they more durable and airtight.

Color Trends Will Turn Up the Heat.

This year’s color trends will be bold and spicy. Think faded copper, burnt oranges, mottled reds, rich coffee, buttery yellows, warm cinnamon, punchy apricots, and other rich tones. These fiery yet subtle hues will add comfort and depth into your kitchen area. Warm colors also help stimulate appetites. If you are not that into red hues, then try to go for plumy purples, soft greens and even soft pinks.

Contrast is also a big thing for kitchen colors this year.