Ask Nicely: Can you make a few recommendations of design trends to add a more future forward feel to my classic kitchen?

Dear Evelyn:

As I usher in the New Year, I feel inspired to re-energize and make upgrades to my home, starting in the room where I spend most of my time: the kitchen! I’m contemplating making bold changes to my kitchen–not a major overhaul, more like a refresh. I am wondering what new kitchen design trends I can expect to see developing in 2018. There always seems to be new styles, innovations, gadgets and appliances emerging. With that in mind, I would love to explore some of the trends we see for the coming year. I’m not ready for a complete renovation project, but perhaps you can make a few recommendations of design trends to add a more future forward feel to my classic kitchen.

Dear Trendsetter:

The start of a new year is a great time to breathe new life into your space by incorporating some of the newest kitchen design trends that will carry you into 2018. Thanks to new technology, innovations… and imagination – there are many possibilities for upgrading your kitchen. As you are not looking to do a complete overhaul, I will recommend a few top trends that are not radical, but subtle shifts; which will allow you to incorporate innovative trends while maintaining the essence and integrity of your existing space.

1. Open Concept

In the world of kitchen design there are some things that change drastically (for instance, trending colors or fixture styles that vary from year to year) however, there are design trends that are more permanent in nature—largely because they reflect our lifestyles more than our aesthetic taste. A primary example is open floor plans. Although an open concept kitchen is not new, it is still “trending” and very much in high demand.

Incorporating an open kitchen concept may be as simple as widening an opening or knocking down an adjoining wall and removing upper cabinets. Opening up the space will not dramatically change the appearance of your existing kitchen, but it will add a spaciousness, light and a unencumbered view to the rest of your home. Working with a designer will ensure that you will maintain the essence of your current kitchen, while merging the space to the rest of your home with consistency in design.

2. Kitchen islands

Kitchen islands have been popular for quite some time, however designers are seeing a demand for significantly larger islands that act as a centerpiece to the kitchen and a hub to the home. Instead of solely being considered a workspace, kitchen islands have evolved to satisfy multiple needs. In today’s kitchen island you will find a second sink, built-in cooktops and appliances, and additional seating for casual family meals. More homeowners are opting to swap the kitchen table for an oversized island that functions more as a gathering space for family and friends. If you’re tired of your boxy kitchen island, designing one with larger form, added functionality and flair will enhance your kitchen in many ways.

3. Glass Doors

Believe it or not, there is a shift to see-through doors (and I’m not referring to your grandmothers old china cabinet). What I am referring to is refrigerators, pantry doors and cabinetry that offer homeowners the convenience of seeing what is inside. With cabinets, glass doors are a great alternative to the fuss and dust of open shelves and also make the space look more airy and open. Upper cabinets and butler’s pantries with a wide variety of options for glass doors are definitely on trend for 2018.

Regarding refrigerators, see-through doors add a future forward appeal and allow you choose what’s for dinner or the items you need on your grocery list– without ever having to open the doors. How convenient is that?

4. Dark tones of color

Move over white painted cabinets… the newest color choices are darker and bolder. White kitchen cabinets have reigned supreme for quite some time (and aren’t likely to disappear in the foreseeable future) however, more commonly, gray is becoming the new white, as it bolder than white but still acts as a neutral palette for accents.

In addition, deep blues, moody charcoal, rich shades of green (like petrol or sage) even black– are lined up to become the newest kitchen color classics. You may think that transitioning to a darker hue may be limiting, but each color, in its own way, can be quite sophisticated, modern and will work well with a multitude of décor options, metal accoutrements, and accents. Don’t feel that you have to go full-on with an intense color change. Even a subtle color change, like a darker floor stain, will make your kitchen feel more alive and vibrant when the accurate color selection is applied.

5. Industrialism

Industrial style kitchens are an emerging trend. When I say industrial, don’t think of a drab factory with flickering, buzzing fluorescent lights. Instead, imagine beautiful concrete waterfall countertops, brick backsplashes or exposed brick walls, reclaimed wood, piping, or repurposed industrial light fixtures. Blending sophisticated, high-quality industrial materials– like adding copper sheeting with straps and rivets to your range hood  – will dress up the space, while adding warmth and fresh appeal.

6. Technology and Appliances

Let’s face it, we’re living in an age where refrigerators connect to the internet, cutlery is bluetooth-enabled and stoves are “smart”. Ovens, microwaves and other wall-mounted appliances are becoming sleeker, more modular and increasingly high-tech. If you are considering upgrading your kitchen, appliances such as warming ovens, chilling drawers, and induction stoves may serve you well and increase functionality.

Making significant inroads in design trends are smart refrigerators and stoves. Smart stoves with touchscreen interfaces provide greater functionality than standard presets, such as cooking time and mode. They completely change the way we find recipes, prepare and cook our meals. Smart refrigerators have touchscreens that display your calendar, play music, and, of course, enable you to order groceries when you’re running low. Appliances can be state-of-the-art without completely overwhelming your space and offers a future forward approach to any classic space.

It’s always interesting to keep an eye on trends. That doesn’t mean you have to build a totally custom kitchen based on whatever the current trends are. The main thing to keep in mind is that you end up with a beautiful, quality kitchen design that’s built to meet your specific lifestyle. We’d love to help you do that!