by Cameron House
At Home Magazine
They say that cabinets are the sexiest part of a kitchen. They set the tone and make a huge impact on the ambiance of that space. We visited with Teresa Galliher of Kent Moore Cabinets to find out what were some of the hottest trends in cabinetry, as well as those options that never go out of style.
Some of the newest things that customers are asking for are the integration of their appliances into their cabinetry. This entails giving the specifications of the appliance, such as a refrigerator, to the cabinet maker. They then design and build pieces that make the appliance disappear, looking as if it is just another beautiful cabinet.
Also, another trend is having cabinets that “bump out” or “bump up.” This is when the height and width of a select number of cabinets in a room is different than some of the others next to it. We can see several examples of these in the decorative hoods going over the range, giving it a professional and grand feel. This trend helps give an interesting topography to the kitchen scene, rather than the flat, straight lines of traditional kitchen cabinets. Ms. Galliher also said that they are getting a lot of requests for glass-front cabinet doors, allowing customers to display attractive china and dinnerware. Another neat trend that she mentioned was using an offset color for the island piece, different than the color or stain of the main cabinets. It gives the feeling of being unintentionally fabulous. As we know, when something is “matchy-matchy,” it can look very stiff and impersonal. This look is inviting and homey.
There are even some trends on the more technical side of things that, although not a design feature, make life so much nicer. First, Teresa showed me how the drawer guides are available mounted beneath the drawer instead of the sides. This makes the drawer look cleaner when open, but it also cuts down on noise. In addition, many new high-end cabinets are equipped with a “soft closing” mechanism that allows you to shut the drawer just as you used to, but automatically slows and quietly closes the drawer. No more slamming cabinets and drawers!
When cabinet shopping, you can’t miss the latest in painted and color-stained cabinets. These have been very popular lately, especially in muted and white based hues. They can be used in an entire kitchen cabinet suite or as an accent piece against a more traditional wood grain. Also, many people are opting for the look of furniture in their kitchen cabinet pieces, such as the center island. These, again, give the feeling of grandness and rich comfort. From the many designs one can choose, you can have fine furniture in your kitchen and yet it will be more functional than any traditional cabinetry. One detail that I saw consistently in all the model kitchens was unchilled wine storage space. Whether it is just a small space to hold a dozen bottles or a whole wall of cabinetry devoted to an appreciation of a fine glass — it can be done.
There are some styles and trends that stick around and become classics. These are preferences that have become standards in most kitchen remodels, such as the eat-in bar. Many new homes have a kitchen counter surface that doubles as a bar, where a family can enjoy a casual meal on a week night.
Another timeless, big hit is building a kitchen with an island that serves as a room separator allowing flow into another room in the house. Gone are the days where the kitchen is a hidden, closed off room. We all know that, when entertaining, people linger and visit in the kitchen anyway, so why not make that space work for that purpose? Hiding trash cans in attractive sliding cabinets is another standard that many have adopted. There is never a good place for the trash can in traditional kitchens, so cabinet makers have made this change convenient and attractive.
As far as finishes go, the aged and distressed look has held on as one the more popular choices for several years now. Again, coming away from stuffy and formal and giving the space a warm, lived-in look that is still charming and beautiful. However, still the most popular and longest lasting trend in materials and finishes is using maple in a dark and rustic style.
In perusing the cabinetry landscape, I found that the happiest medium between modern and traditional, sleek and homey, was the shaker style. Its clean lines coupled with traditional details seemed to capture both the new and the old. Whatever your style, whatever you want to say with your kitchen, it starts with quality cabinets.