AS PRODUCT MANUFACTURERS FUSE FUNCTION WITH STYLE, KITCHEN design has become a peek into the future with appliances and hardware that not only accommodate multiple chefs, but also create a state-of-the-art room for the whole family to enjoy.
When you think of your kitchen, you probably see it as the hub of your home, the epicenter for your family. This notion is not ignored by product designers either, as more and more companies are fusing the technology of futuristic components with furniture-quality hardware to create a stunning combination through-out the kitchen.
Where the kitchen was once just a room for cooking and eating meals, it now acts as a home to computers, flat-screened televisions, commercial-grade appliances and temperature-controlled wine coolers. Because families are spending more time in the kitchen, they want a room that lives as elegantly as other formal rooms.
Designing any room can be a daunting task. The first rule in kitchen design is determining your style and preferences. As a prospective homebuilder you should sit down with family members and consult their opinion. This is a room that the entire family will use and ultimately want to be a part of. Because it’s not just a room for cooking, but rather a place for homework and entertaining, families are finding that they hang around more in the kitchen than any other room.
When determining your style, first consider your personality. How are you going to use the kitchen? Do you fancy a room that is open and big enough for several people? Are you someone who needs two sinks and ample counter-space for food preparation? These initial questions will better help you when picking out appliances and determining a look that accurately reflects you.
One popular design technique is to embrace your geographic region’s flair. The warm colors of the Southwest frequently find their way into the kitchen, while coastal dwellers implement tropical colors to reflect their locale. Nature also influences color schemes to include aquatic blues, yellows and greens. Don’t be afraid to use color. Implementing color into your tile and walls, as well as rich coloring in countertops and flooring, livens up the kitchen in an entirely different way. By combining stunning appliances with furniture-grade cabinetry, theme backsplashes and tiles, the kitchen now becomes the first room you want to show off.
Just as bringing color to the kitchen is a popular trend, so are commercial-looking kitchens. Consumers want their kitchens to look and feel like professional kitchens, but still function like the ones in which they grew up. The sleek appearance not only implies durable materials, but also conveys a modern style that was previously unattainable in the home. While popular for some time, stainless-steel appliances were expensive and difficult to coordinate with other furniture and accessories. Today, however, stainless steel is the biggest thing to hit kitchens since the bread maker.
As more and more consumers embrace the futuristic look, companies are responding by designing large ranges, refrigerators, countertops and even cabinetry. Complementing a stainless-steel appliance is no longer a hassle, but rather an exciting design process.
Undercounter sinks and pullout faucets are two big products in kitchen design. As countertops become smooth, solid surfaces, the undercounter sink allows you to wipe off crumbs and debris right from the counter to the sink. Not only functional, the undercounter sink continues the lustrous look implied by a stainless-steel or smooth-top countertop, and gives the kitchen a modern impression.
For a really futuristic appearance, consider an undercounter trough sink. Long and narrow, these sinks serve well in a kitchen island and can often feature two faucets, one at each end. Being able to prepare food from any side of the kitchen is not only convenient, but also a completely contemporary design.
The Forte® Pullout Faucet by Kohler takes washing dishes to a fun place, previously unknown in our parents’ days of dishwashing. The pullout faucet aids when cleaning vegetables or other food preparation by featuring a detachable spray head. Blending function with an attractive design, this faucet adds sophistication to any kitchen. Designed with a high arch spout for generous clearance and a unique swivel joint at the end of the spray head, the Forte® easily directs the water stream with a simple turn of the wrist. Mirroring the look of commercial kitchens, this faucet allows you to have the convenience and look of a professional kitchen but on a smaller, more glamorous scale.
As kitchen appliances blend convenience in a stylish outer shell, kitchen accessories and furniture are also becoming more detailed. Special touches like fireplaces, built-in cabinetry, art niches and computer hubs are fervently entering home plans. As architects and designers strive to include popular trends in their home plans, furniture companies are also responding by designing innovative products for the kitchen.
Imagine having the same architectural detail of your great room’s molding and shelves in the kitchen as well. Whether you favor the look of blonde-colored cabinetry to complement stainless-steel appliances, or honey-brown hardwood floors and cherry cabinets, furniture-grade custom cabinetry is wildly popular in today’s kitchens. Offering a variety of collections from art-deco to an Old- World British Classic, Wood-Mode Cabinetry custom designs any look you desire for kitchen cabinetry.
A Wood-Mode designer will take your ideas and transform them into a functional reality that is a direct reflection of your personal style. Available in four wood species and 130 different cabinet door styles, achieving your dream kitchen is easy, thanks to their wide selection of wood materials and patterns. Featuring a hand-rubbed finish technique that creates a furniture-quality finish, their cabinets are rich in depth and durability with exceptional scratch-and-scuff resistance. They also offer RoomScaping®, a way of continuing the look of the kitchen by using similar cabinetry throughout other rooms in the house.
If you plan to make the kitchen the center of your home, you’ll want a striking focal point that commands attention at first glance. Remember, design your kitchen with as much thought and attention to detail as other rooms in your home. While stainless-steel emits a modern feel and creates quick eye- candy, a copper range hood stimulates an elevated visual appreciation and instantly transforms the kitchen into a regal living area. Like a fireplace in the great room, a copper hood makes an instant statement. Mountains Edge Copperart, Inc., manufactures copper hoods that blend with natural materials including wood, stone and marble, and add warmth and energy to the kitchen. Just as great kitchens are designed with comfort and functionality, Mountains Edge allows you to choose a copper patina to complement your kitchen’s interior or illuminate your kitchen hood from its surroundings.
Choosing a color scheme is now easier thanks to appliances that gracefully match and complement one another. While white appliances are rarely seen, stainless steel has taken over as the new “got-to-have-black” and true black components are slowly fading away.
Kitchen appliances are also now more energy efficient than ever. Riding the wave of the future, Energy Star® is conveniently making saving money as easy as locating a logo. The Energy Star® seal implies products exceed the government’s energy standards and ultimately cut energy costs for the consumer. New appliances are better insulated and tightly sealed, so they use less energy than older models. And when designing your dream kitchen, saving money is always a valuable technique!
When choosing appliances, think carefully, as it is often expensive to replace a refrigerator or dishwasher because they don’t coincide with your color scheme. Also consider taking samples to any retailer or showroom. Just because you like one countertop in the store, doesn’t mean it will be attractive when combined with your hardwood floors. From a resale factor, complementing appliances and hardware are major selling points for the kitchen.
Combining samples is especially important when choosing a tile for your kitchen. Whether in the floor, back splash, mosaic or mural, ceramic tile is an integral part of any kitchen design. Dal-tile®, a leading ceramic tile manufacturer, offers a comprehensive line of fashionable, high-quality tile products in a range of colors, textures and finishes. Their custom-color matching adheres to your palette to create an attractive look for your kitchen. Featuring glass mosaics and custom murals, Dal-tile® can assist you in achieving a stunning kitchen.
Designing your dream kitchen is an exhilarating process that will not only create a custom-made room in your house, but also set the tone for the entire home. Because you want your kitchen to reflect your personality and set the standard for all other rooms, it can be a bit overwhelming to design something that is both aesthetically pleasing and functional at the same time. But because the kitchen is a reflection of you, you have the final say-so in what goes where, and the end result is all yours for the enjoying.