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2010-03-23 22:08:27

Trends: Kitchen Center Stage for 2010

 

When the economy is in retreat, kitchen and bath trends turn more conservative.
For 2010, excess and daring are out. After paying the price for the extravagances of the economy, chastened homeowners and home buyers want less showiness and more functionality from their kitchens, according to interior designers interviewed by Jenny Sullivan for Builder Magazine  at the International Builder Show in January. 
While houses are scaling down in size after a decade of “McMansions,” kitchens are the only room which is expected to get larger.
The reason? Kitchens have to serve today’s working families with multifunctional spaces. According to one designer, multiple cooks and activities are driving demand for larger kitchens.
The kitchen is not only a place to prepare food, it’s also a place to dine, entertain, do office or school work, do laundry and more. As home sizes shrink, the kitchen becomes more important as a living space as well as a utility area.
Other trends identified by the magazine besides multi-functional design include more attention given to ergonomics to make tasks easier to perform, including better lighting to combine ambient, task and accent lighting. Appliances will streamline - a move away from chunky industrial-grade appliances, complemented by green-friendly glass and reclaimed materials. Space planning will be more important, with focal points instead lavish luxury across the board, and clever use of nooks and crannies for storage.  With less opulence to dazzle the eye, finishes become more important, with greater regard for clean lines and detail, such as camouflaging or integrating electrical outlets.
White, the most neutral of basics, is making a huge comeback. White cabinets with carrera marble is quickly replacing  granite and dark wood veneers. Also returning to the stage is wallpaper, used either as tone on tone or as a bright accent on one wall.
Interior designers also announced their top kitchen trends for 2010, as released by the National Kitchen and Bath Association:
 
1. Traditional is the New Contemporary

Traditional will continue as the most popular kitchen design style in 2010, with contemporary following closely behind, while the Shaker style is seeing a surprisingly strong resurgence. Shades of whites and off-whites will be the most common kitchen colors in 2010, while brown, beige, and bone hues will also be popular.
 
2. Cherry on Top

Cherry will remain the most popular wood for kitchen cabinetry, followed closely by maple, while alder increases in use. As for the finishes placed on those cabinets, medium natural, dark natural, glazed, and white painted will all be common. Other colors of painted cabinetry and light natural finishes are in decline, however, as are distressed finishes.
 
3. Floored by Tile

Ceramic and porcelain tile, as well as natural stone tile, remain popular kitchen flooring options, but hardwood will dominate the kitchen landscape more than ever in 2010. For countertops, granite continues to be the most popular option, but quartz will nearly catch up in popularity. For backsplashes, ceramic or porcelain tile and glass will serve as the primary materials.
 
4. Flexible Faucets

Standard kitchen faucets will become less standard in 2010 in favor of more convenient models. Pull-out faucets continue to increase their market dominance, while pot filler faucets will also become more prevalent. Kitchen faucets will most often be finished in brushed nickel, followed by stainless steel, satin nickel, and—surprisingly—polished chrome.
 
5. Undercounter Refrigeration

French door and freezer-bottom are the two most popular styles of refrigerators, and side-by-side refrigerators remain a popular option. A surprising trend is the extent to which undercounter refrigerator drawers are being used in the latest kitchen designs. Perhaps even more surprising is that undercounter wine refrigerators have been recently specified by half of kitchen designers.
 
6. A Range of Cooking Options

The tried-and-true range continues to serve as the workhorse for cooking, although the combination of a cooktop and wall oven is beginning to overtake it. Gas will maintain its position as the most popular type of cooktop over electric, although induction cooking continues to gain in popularity due to its energy efficiency.
 
7. Dishwasher-in-a-Drawer

Standard dishwashers, with the traditional door that pulls from the top down, will once again be easily the most common type in 2010. However, an increasing number of dishwasher drawers will be installed in kitchens this year for their convenience and their ability to wash small loads of dishes in each drawer, thereby saving water and electricity.
 
For more information, see www.nkba.org.
 
 
Blanche Evans is CEO of Evans Emedia, Inc. and publisher of The Evans Ezine. As an award-winning journalist, Blanche has been named one of the "25 Most Influential People In Real Estate" by REALTOR Magazine, and twice recognized as one of the industry's most "Notables."   

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