Kitchen design trends come and go … and sometimes that’s a good thing. Take, for instance, the harvest color collections that filled our kitchens in the 1970s. Do you remember all those green and gold fridges and stoves pushed against walls covered in glossy, plastic wallpaper printed with large bright yellow sunflowers?
Kitchen design has come a long way since then. But, has it really improved? I would answer that question with a cautious “kind of”. Many new homes are built now with combination kitchen-family rooms. Usually extending across the back of a house, these larger spaces allow for extra counter space, an eat-in area, and even room for a couch and coffee table. I love that idea. I need a kitchen space that allows me the opportunity to cook to my heart’s content all while enjoying the company of my friends and family.
As far as kitchen design goes, there are lots of reasons why preferences change. Sometimes we’re just tired of looking at the same-old-same-old. A decade or so of staring at harvest gold colors would make anyone crave neutrality. Voilà, the 1980s with its emphasis on off-whites, beiges, greys and a hint of pink now and then.
Stainless steel, natural stone and wood have had what seems to me to be a long run in popularity. I have to wonder how long we’ll want to deck out our kitchens with those materials. But then, if not those, what’s next? Hmm, I’m looking at composite materials, mash-ups of glass and plastic even wood and glass as the next big thing. New materials that are engineered to look as beautiful as the natural products they mimic, yet are stronger, sturdier and perhaps even greener.
In the meantime, tell me what you think of these 5 unique kitchen designs.
The all-stainless steel look. Similar to a restaurant kitchen, this idea takes our preference for stainless steel appliances to extremes. Wiping down stainless steel countertops and appliances is one thing. Imagine cleaning stainless steel walls, too!
Lacquer is the new wood. Glossy cabinets and walls, lacquered in bright colors, like orange and green is the latest hot trend.
I have a small kitchen. But, the one pictured here makes mine look massive. With space, particularly in cities, at a premium, small kitchens are becoming big again. Functioning well in these spaces forces us to negotiate how we use the room and how routines can be reimagined.
The outdoor living space is all the rage. I’ve even seen outdoor bathrooms (and I don’t mean old outhouses)! Building and using an outdoor kitchen is relatively easy if you live in a climate that supports that kind of design. But, even for those living in colder climes, where summer seems fleeting at best, an outdoor kitchen is a must-have. It offers the opportunity to get out of the house and live in the warmth of summer after being cooped up inside all winter.
The retro look isn’t going away anytime soon. The key to doing it right is to inject the right amount of modern elements alongside the retro elements. Using minimalist, streamlined seating against a retro color backdrop actually works really nicely.