With the New Year drawing near, a lot of homeowners are wondering what new kitchen trends they can expect to see developing in 2018. While there always seem to be new kitchen gadgets and appliances emerging, a comfortable and convenient kitchen is about much more than technology. We’ve talked before about some of the essentials for planning a kitchen you’ll love. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the trends we see for the coming year. That includes things that are changing and things that will likely remain the same (but perhaps with new twists).
Some Things Will Stay the Same
Not all trends are created equal. In the world of housing design, there are some things that change a lot. For instance, there are trending colors that vary from year to year. Fixture finishes go in and out of style as well (perhaps a bit more slowly). There are, however, some things that are more permanent in nature—largely because they reflect how we live rather than simply how things look. Here are a few things that won’t be changing anytime soon.
- Adequate Storage Space
Because people use their kitchens for entertaining as much as for food preparation, they want their kitchens to be uncluttered. And while the need for storage hasn’t gone away, some of the ways that homeowners are creating spaces to store kitchen items are increasingly innovative. For some, that means upper cabinets that extend to the ceiling to provide more space. We’re also seeing a lot of pullout shelving in lower cabinets (in the place of fixed cabinet shelves). That enables people to store items at the back of their bottom cabinets and still access them easily. And when you’re building a custom home, you can also customize your cabinets to accommodate hard-to-store items such as baking sheets (that fit nicely in tall, narrow cabinets). Built-in pantries are another popular trend and allow you to store food and supplies in a single place where it’s easy to see what you need and get at it. Some homeowners are also using cabinet space in an adjoining mudroom for storing cleaning supplies.
- Open Floor Plans
Open concept floor plans are hardly new. They are, however, still trending. By that, I mean that open floor plans are still very much in demand and we don’t see them going away anytime soon. However, it’s important to keep in mind that a kitchen that is open to other rooms in your house can have a significant impact on how the whole house looks. That means taking extra care early in your conversations with your builder and designer to make sure that there is a consistency in design throughout the home—and that you have elements in place that help define different rooms.
Some Things Are Shifting
Some newer trends are actually somewhat subtle shifts from what’s popular now. Here’s a look at a few things that aren’t radically new, but are taking on slightly different looks.
- Kitchen Islands
Kitchen islands aren’t really a new trend. They’ve been popular for quite some time. The National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB), however, has noticed a shift toward larger islands. Instead of simply being another work surface, kitchen islands have become a bit of a hybrid: They provide additional workspace (often including a second sink and sometimes a built-in cook-top). But they have also become a desired place for casual meals for the family. And they are a great place for guests to gather while the host or hostess is preparing something in the kitchen. In a recent post, NAHB even remarked that some homeowners, “even prefer to swap the kitchen table for a comfortable pair of chairs to sit and scroll through a tablet or phone.”
Warming drawers are nice conveniences that seem to be making inroads into current kitchens. And while we haven’t focused much on technology in this post, there also seems to be renewed interest in induction cooktops. These cooktops heat (and cool) rapidly and are easy to maintain. They are very sleek looking units that look great in most any kitchen. Just be forewarned that some of your older pots and pans won’t work on an induction surface. The bottoms have to be perfectly flat—and steel—in order for the induction process to work. But it’s nice to have new cookware in a new kitchen anyway.
- Appliance Colors
Some designers have been announcing the demise of stainless steel surfaces for years. Despite that, stainless remains an extremely popular finish for appliances. There does seem to be a growing interest in what some are calling “Black Stainless” which is a sort of transparent black (you still see the stainless steel texture). This is a nice option for people who like the look of a darker appliance but find standard black a bit too severe.
It’s always interesting to keep an eye on trends. That doesn’t mean you have to build your custom Hill Country home based on whatever the current trends are. The main thing to keep in mind is that you end up with a quality home that’s designed and built to meet your specific lifestyle. We’d love to help you do that!