Robin Wilson really is a kitchen designer extraordinaire. That's why when she stops by with some new information and photos for our slide show, we roll out the red carpet. Here is her latest info:
The Hottest Kitchen Design Trends by Robin Wilson
There was a time when very little attention was placed on the kitchen, and it was hidden away and only used for storing and preparing food. But today, times have changed, and the kitchen is now considered the focal point of the home – so much so that a high end kitchen can add tremendous value to a home and often make or break a sale.
From classic to modern design, the kitchen is like a good outfit. The core pieces are the cabinetry and counter tops, and the accessories include tile, paint colors and lighting selections that will ensure you achieve the look you want for all who will gather in your space for many special moments for years to come.
" ...the kitchen is like a good outfit."
Today’s kitchen spaces are larger, usually open to the living room or great room and most include an island where the family can gather, perfect for large parties and entertaining. The hottest trends in kitchen design focus on creating an aesthetically pleasing space with special attention to healthy living, eco-friendliness and sustainability.
Granite was hailed as the king of the counter tops after the turn of the century. While no doubt a beautiful natural stone material that is still very popular, the newest trend in kitchen counter tops is now composite materials with bacteriostatic protection. When a homeowner is handling raw poultry, for example, a composite counter top will not harbor bacteria. There are no cracks or fissures that allow bacteria to proliferate. Composite materials are often better for this purpose than natural stone as they are less likely to have a porous surface. My recommendation is Silestone by Cosentino http://www.silestoneusa.com/
Cabinets still remain one of the most important elements in the kitchen design process. It’s usually the first thing to grab the eye and sets the tone for the rest of the space. Full-access (also called European or Frameless style) cabinetry is one of the hottest trends today. These cabinets are designed without an inner lip, allowing ease of access for cleaning and using 10% less wood in the manufacturing process. Visit a local kitchen dealer who has received a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) credential to ensure quality cabinetry and an expert who can install them properly. My recommendation is Holiday Kitchens which is sold at over 500 independent dealers around the country and is made in the USA. www.holidaykitchens.com
Energy Efficiency and Lower Utility Bills
Saving money is important to all consumers. Most homeowners are familiar with Energy Star appliances which have become the norm, but few know about Water Sense certification for plumbing fixtures which uses less water but requires the same pressure, but more filtering which can improve the quality of your water. Most homeowners can expect about a 15% savings annually on water bills. Undermount sinks are still the most in demand because of their clean look and ability to prevent mold buildup. My recommendations is Kohler http://www.us.kohler.com/us/
Kitchen lighting is getting a lot of attention these days. I prefer LED lighting which generates less heat, uses less power and lasts longer (an average of 10 years) than halogen or incandescent bulbs. LED lighting has a warm hue and won’t make the homeowner or guests look like they are in an aquarium. A dimmer will also conserve energy and lower utility bills by as much as 25%.
The Small but Important Details
The final pieces to the kitchen design puzzle are the little touches that can go a long way, and are usually overlooked. The hottest trend in kitchen backsplashes these days is glass tile. It can add a touch of color to any space or be bold and vibrant. Either way, it looks great and is easy to clean. Don’t forget about under cabinet lighting which will show off those beautiful tiles.
Another reason to work with a Certified Kitchen Designer (CKD) is because they can recommend features that most homeowners may not be familiar with. Our firm designs a lot of kitchens with slide-out pot drawers. It’s the perfect solution for the multigenerational home, someone with back problems or anyone who doesn’t want to always bend down to access heavy pots and pans.
Clutter is out and neatness is in
Large bulky appliances like coffee makers and can openers take up precious space and takeaway from the ‘wow’ factor of a beautifully designed kitchen. An appliance garage is a great solution because it‘s seamless and built to match the cabinets.
Homeowners love to put surround sound systems in the living room, but when guests for your Super Bowl party are gathered in the kitchen and watching that 60 inch flat screen in the living room, you want to ensure they are able to hear the game over all the conversation. Don’t forget about ceiling mounted speakers in the kitchen.
The kitchen is the place where many tastes are created, senses are stimulated and memories are made that turn a house into a home. A few changes to your kitchen will not only provide more comfort and enjoyment, it will also save you money and increase the value of your home.
Robin Wilson is an eco-friendly interior designer and a lifestyle brand with products sold at Bed Bath & Beyond and is the first woman with a branded line of custom kitchen & bath cabinetry sold at over 500 Holiday Kitchens dealers nationwide. She is an ambassador to the Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America and author of Kennedy Green House (Greenleaf, 2010). She regularly appears on the speaker’s circuit, on television and offers commentary in print on wellness, sustainability and allergy & asthma issues. Learn more at www.robinwilsonhome.com