Monday, January 24, 2011

Kitchen Trends for 2011

As we start 2011 we can look to some the trends in kitchen design that will lead us through the new year.  Starting from the bottom up, recycled flooring leads the way in 2011. Most people that are remodeling are now consciously making decisions that lead to more eco-friendly homes. A great way to do this is to use reclaimed flooring in your kitchen. This is a great way to add character and a sense of history to a home.

Stone and tile continue to be a top choice for kitchens. They are durable, long lasting, beautiful, versatile, and easy to clean. In addition, there are hundreds of varieties and can be personalized with choices in color, layout, texture, and even the addition the of items like listellos and mosaics.

(source unknown)

Kitchens are becoming more personalized.  People don't want what their neighbor down the street has, they want rooms that speak to their personal style.  Color is a great way to do this and kitchen are becoming much more colorful.  Although wood will always be a top choice for cabinets, painted finishes are on the rise. More cabinets are moving towards saturated jewel tones or light airy hues. Custom colors are also popular for high-end, very modern kitchens.

Cabinet manufacturers all seem to offering more and more wood options these days. The biggest addition to most lines is a rustic wood choice. From entry-level to high-end, they all seem to be incorporating a “knotty” or “character” style wood. One nice advantage of this is that pieces that would normally have been discarded for flaws are now being used, thus utilizing more of the tree in the manufacturing process.

The best way to incorporate personality into a kitchen is to mix materials. No longer does a kitchen have to be all one wood tone, and one finish. By mixing it up you can create a custom kitchen that reflects your own personal style and taste.

A final thought on growing cabinet trends is the increase in popularity of inset doors (door that are flush with the frame, instead of sitting over the frame). These have always been around, but have previously been reserved for higher-end custom cabinets. More companies are now offering this option at an affordable price point, making this design more universal for all.

Nowak Cabinets - Traverse City, MI Designed by Joe Nowak

Options for countertops are always changing and ever evolving. Natural stone is still an ever important part of kitchen surfaces, but engineered stone is still on the rise. As people experience the drawbacks to natural stone, such as maintenance and staining, materials like quartz, recycled materials, and solid surface will continue to rise.

One clear advantage to these materials gaining in popularity is that the options for finishes will continue to improve and diversify. A few of these changes includes making countertops with built-in antimicrobial protection by Silestone.

Companies are also increasing texture options like crocodile skin, lace, leather or honed (non-glossy), and a bumpy texture called volcano.

                                            Crocodile                                               Lace

                       Leather/Honed                                                                             Volcano

Several companies are now offering a metallic sheen to their products.


A final thought on countertop trends is the every growing call for recycled material content.  More and more companies are adding a higher recycled content to their products.  One of the best companies is Vetrazzo, which makes countertops made from recycled glass. (Seen below)

Plumbing and appliances have come leaps and bounds the last few years.  Pullout faucets continue to be the most popular and useful option going.  Most plumbing companies make several different models. (The following three faucets are all from Kohler)

* In this model the top curved section removes for a separate spray*

*In this model the small rounded part on the end removes for a separate spray*

* In this model the taper section at the end removes for a separate spray*

Companies like Delta are also continually improving their faucet technology.  The Delta faucet company alone has 6 different options for highly functional faucets.  This includes everything from easy to clean rubber nubbins, touch control, different flow options to fill large containers quicker, and different technology to keep the faucet from leaking.  Several companies are also including a water-saver feature to decrease the wasting of water. 

The final trend is related to appliances.  Stainless steel continues to lead the way as the most desirable finish for kitchen appliances.  More efficient appliances are becoming more popular as the technology allows.  Dishwasher drawers and microwave drawers are, I think, about the best option for both appliances.

It always seems to me that looking at trends are a good way to see what way the market is heading and what people may expect to see in their homes.  But, I do feel the best rooms are the ones infused with the homeowner's personal sense of style.  This is how I'd create your Timeless Interior.

Thanks for reading!

For help creating your own spaces, feel free to contact me at (989) 205-1585

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Hello Everyone

After the design and launch of my new interior design business, Timeless Interiors, I thought I might branch out and create this blog to showcase some of the great products, webpages, and blogs out there that inspire me, and maybe you as well.  I'll do my best to publish where all pictures and products are from, and keep things interesting for all of us to see and read.  I hope you will enjoy to read this as much as I'm going to enjoy writing it.