The kitchen is no longer a gathering place like it was in the 50's and 60's, when large country kitchens were the focal point of the family. Now they are designed to be efficient and time saving. Very few families eat in the kitchen any longer. Those that do will wisely chose the proper remodeling scheme when they redo the kitchen. Often, people do not think of future home owners when designing their kitchen, but instead design to meet their own preferences. That is okay, as long as the owners plan on staying in their home forever. If, however, you wish to plan ahead for a future home sale, then you need to take a few things into consideration when redesigning your kitchen. Here, we will discuss current trends and what to look for in a new kitchen design.
What Leads In Trends?
If you want to know what leads the market in remodeling, look no further than current high end homes. These expensive homes pave the way in trends, and paying attention to what is being done is critical if planning to sell at a later date. According to a Harvard University study, about 90% of the remodeling ideas are driven by homes that cost in the neighborhood of $400,000.00. These ideas trickle down to the middle market, and are then incorporated by many home builders.
Who Is Buying?
Baby Boomers are growing older, with the first retiring in 2007. They are generally set in their homes or plan for a retirement setting. Now, Gen X'ers are coming up and look at things more differently than Boomers. The Boomers are looking to downsize, and Gen X'ers are fast coming into the age where their families are growing, they are more affluent, and wish more space. When remodeling, keep this generation in mind.
What's Hot, What's Not
What works yesterday will not work today. A kitchen is dated the minute construction is finished. Building a classic and efficient kitchen takes a lot of homework. Let's look at some of the hottest trends in kitchen rebuilds:
- Be sure to match your décor. Nothing sticks out more
than an ultra modern kitchen in a shabby chic setting.
Plan the kitchen around the theme of your home.
- Countertops are the most regarded item in a kitchen.
Gone are the days when Formica would do. Upscale
homes generally have granite or marble counter tops.
They are beautiful and long lasting, but a word of
caution is in order - they have a tendency to absorb
oils and stains. Although they can be cleaned, this
is the downside of these materials. You may wish to opt
for the new composite countertops that are stain
resistant, yet simulate the more expensive (and heavier)
marble or granite countertop. Corian by Dupont is
becoming more fashionable these days.
- Let lighting be the focus of your kitchen. In a lot
of kitchens, a single overhead light serves purpose.
This is not only frustrating for the chef but makes
cooking a much less enjoyable experience. A kitchen
needs to be well lit, yet have a homey atmosphere.
A smaller kitchen can benefit from correct overhead
lighting and task specific lighting such as under
cabinets, lighting the prep area. In larger kitchens
lighting needs to be more functional, with areas such
as cupboards and drawers well lit. The trend for
fluorescents is past, and now we see recessed lighting
installed over stoves, sinks, and prep areas. Keep
in mind that it must not only be functional, but add
to the ascetic appeal of the kitchen. According to
research done for this article, pewter lighting
fixtures are the current hot trend.
- Flooring in the kitchen is essential for a well
designed room. Try to apply flooring that contrasts
with the appliances and setting instead of matching
it. Current trends are towards long plank flooring
and the more exotic darker hardwoods such as mahogany
and cherry. Trending is terracotta, porcelain and
even Spanish roofing tiles. The color goes deep
in these materials and gives any kitchen a well
Keeping up with the latest trends in kitchens can be a time consuming and expensive job. Some people may feel that making expensive upgrades to kitchens increases the resale value. Although this can be true, there is a point where spending money on remodeling is not to your advantage. Remodeling Magazine's annual Cost vs. Value survey points out that upgrading a kitchen can increase the value. Other sources say that doing such things as resurfacing kitchen cabinets, replacing countertops and replacing outdated appliances puts you in a position to do better on resale than a full modern upgrade. Whatever your choice, read up on kitchens and remodeling, and make your kitchen the focal point of your home.
Alden Smith is an award winning author and regular contributor to DoItYourself.com. He writes on a variety of subjects, and excels in research.