An interesting article from Kitchen and Bath Design News:
“Technology and performance continue to be driving forces in cooking appliances, as technological innovations allow today’s consumers to cook faster and better – all while saving energy. But while technology is hot, waste is not, with the most popular technological features ones that can provide true value and ease of use for users of all ages and abilities. Design wise, color is coming back, but the look is still clean and classic with simple lines or soft curves. Induction cooking remains a hot trend, along with flexible designs that give the designer the ability to create a beautiful and efficient kitchen in any size space.
Below are a few of the hottest trends in kitchen appliances right now.
–While technology and performance continue to drive the appliance industry, a more value-conscious consumer is looking for useful technology that improves the cooking experience and easy-to-use digital controls rather than trophy-style bells and whistles.
–Flexibility is important as smaller kitchens and a greater variety of family and space configurations require appliances that can be placed at the point of use, rather than in some outdated work triangle which may no longer be practical with fewer walls, more islands and Great Room layouts changing the kitchen landscape.
–Time-saving features — from faster pre-heat to speed cooking — are popular right now, along with cooking appliances that include technology to help the user cook better.
–Drawer appliances remain hot, both for their flexible design and accessibility to children, seniors, those with mobility concerns, etc.
–While stainless steel remains a timeless favorite, consumers seem less afraid to use color right now, and colored appliances – including white, black and midnight blue – are gaining ground. Still, design continues to favor simple clean lines, or soft, organic shapes that blend seamlessly into the design.
–Energy efficiency remains important to many consumers”
If you own an outdated kitchen, but don’t have the budget to do a gut remodel, don’t despair. There are lots of quick fixes and medium size rehabs that will freshen up your space and not drive you into bankruptcy.
You can begin by doing a little dreaming. Clip pictures of what your ideal kitchen would look like. You probably won’t be able to replicate that exact image, but you can certainly get the same feel.
Next, take a hard look at your wallet. Set a realistic budget, with a 10 – 15% safety pad in it. Have a basic understanding of what things cost and what kind of quality you want.
Now do a thorough inspection of your present kitchen. This is where it really pays to bring in a professional, even if just for a consultation. Very often, this set of new eyes will see things you don’t and can come up with innovative ideas that can save you money in the long run.
The following are some of my favorite ways to freshen a space without breaking the bank:
• Color. Nothing updates a space more than a fresh new color. How you use color depends on your personality and can be very tricky. I like to either use a muted background and bring in bright splashes of color with accessories or use a bright color on the walls or cabinets and accessorize with whites or neutrals. Visit the Paint Quality Institute at www.paintquality.com for great advice.
• Cabinets. If your cabinets are of a decent quality and in good shape, you can update them in several ways. They may just need a really good cleaning or they can be painted (not an easy task to do correctly) or they can be refaced, sometimes just the doors. Roll out trays and drawer organizers can be installed to make them more functional and trim pieces, perhaps not matching but contrasting, can be added to update the look. An example would be to add a black (or red or ?) crown molding, light rail (to hide your new under cabinet lighting) and toe kick to existing wood cabinets and then pick up that color in other spots, perhaps in the hardware, faucet or countertop.
• Countertop. Nothing dates (or updates) a kitchen quite as much as the countertop. For most people, granite is king, with quartz being queen, but there is a whole new world of laminate out there. Check it out.
• Appliances. I think the best thing invented in the last decade is the counter depth refrigerator. It is awesome how this one change gives any space a custom look.
• Backsplash, faucet and hardware. Tons of beautiful choices, at all price points. These three items will really set the tone of your new kitchen. If you can’t do anything else, update these and paint the walls a warm, neutral tone.
So, now that spring has arrived, let’s perk up our spirits and kitchens a bit!