The words “kitchen trends” are a sort of oxymoron. Unlike decorative pillows or shoes, we do not change out our kitchen design elements once a season or even annually! Kitchen trends often translate more toward behavioral trends from one year to the next, as we subtly change the way we work and socialize in the kitchen. The one exception is technological advances in our kitchen products which never cease to amaze and delight. So, how will the kitchen change in 2012?
The good news is that you can add trends to your kitchen to freshen up the look without a permanent commitment. Why not embrace the official color of 2012, according to Pantone, Tangerine Tango? Representing a more optimistic place this year, your personal version of Tangerine Tango can be expressed (in a non-permanent way) in soft furnishings such as seat covers, window treatments, small appliances, and adding color to the decorative “layer” of the kitchen. We’re more confident than ever with the use of color in our kitchens. We want warmth in our lives right about now!
CABINETRY: SIMPLE = CLASSIC
The most dominant element, kitchen cabinetry, continues its “back to basics” movement. Neutrals, whether rich wood stains or nuances of white lead the way, as they will stand the test of time aesthetically. Blush tones are current, as well. Though a trend on the periphery, if the blush tones are used on classic pieces (whether modern or traditional) the design has a good chance of standing the test of time. For those who want to express themselves a little differently than “basic brown”, I am seeing renewed interest in light wood stains which showcase the wood grain, feels modern. I’m also seeing mid-to-light warm gray tones. You may want to think about using these tones if not on all cabinetry, then just on a few carefully selected accent pieces.
KITCHEN DESIGN: AESTHETIC & FUNCTION EQUALITY
No longer are we designing our kitchens solely around maximizing storage at the cost of aesthetics. In 2012, the kitchen will be enjoyed for its design, and the design will make sense and relate well to the furnishings and architecture of the surrounding spaces. The kitchen becomes a more livable space and not strictly utilitarian. And that feels good, especially when friends and family gather in the kitchen!
Don’t you just love to dream about new appliances? Fabulous features are constantly being added to appliances! New sizes (heights, widths, depths) to accommodate every lifestyle (finally), healthy benefits (a steam oven in a professional range anyone?), better built-in options for seamless design surrounding cabinetry and ever more precise cooking controls encourage our inner chefs to break out and cook! Appliances in 2012 are about integration, visual flow and encouraging energy efficient appliance use and healthy eating habits.
As we will not be going back, design-wise, to a kitchen surrounded by four walls and a small entryway, it’s exciting to see how kitchens are being designed to flow into other living spaces in the home.
Which direction do you think kitchen design is taking?
Let me know!