When I grew up our kitchen was in the back of the house and it was small and insignificant and the living room and dining room were the rooms to be in.  Kitchens were the place where work was done and dirty dishes were kept.  Today, kitchens are the focal point of the house.  Living room and dining rooms are combined into open spaces to include the kitchen.  Some  house are built or remodel to remove the living room and dining room and stick them in another part of the house, altogether. The kitchen is now the heart of the home.

Smart Kitchens

Don’t you just love technology – especially in the kitchen? Technology is here to stay and “tech” has crashed the kitchen like a Wisconsin blizzard. Smart kitchens are the big trend you will see from this day forward and it isn’t just with appliances. But, is a pricey kitchen faucet with touch technology something you really need? Is a refrigerator with a TV in the door obnoxious or is it actually something trying too hard to be smart? I tend to think so as technology and smart can sometimes collide with each other in an unpleasant way. Smart kitchens are one thing but who’s definition of smart are we using? I’m a tech person in a big way but I’m not a fan of all technology. For example, a $1,200 Breville coffee maker isn’t going to make coffee taste any better than my $60.00 Cuisinart. (Although the Breville coffee and espresso maker would look pretty amazing sitting on our counter.)

Smart kitchens are an evolving aspect of design. There’s no denying it. In fact, many kitchens today are built using smart technology from the ground up but if your kitchen is an older kitchen and your project is a remodel then some of the “smart” ideas may not always work. Don’t feel like your missing out, you should feel relief as a great deal of kitchen technology is still in its infancy and can be more problematic than its really worth.

The first question you must always ask yourself is – “how do I live?” What do I need in the kitchen that will make me happy and let me do what I want to do? If you’re honest with yourself then all the crazy gadgets of “smart” kitchens may not even enter your mind, even if you know what they are. Most people have simple thoughts about their new kitchen like adding additional outlets or more counter space. How about a big window, or better lighting or even a double sink instead of one big sink. Do you need double wall ovens for the one day a year that it’s useful? I think a one horsepower InSinkErator garbage disposer is the best thing ever but it’s hardly smart. Do you really need a talking refrigerator with a huge video screen in the door that hooks up to the Internet where you can surf Facebook as well as tell you the temperature of your eggs? Probably not.

Just remember, knowing how you live every day can give you a better idea as to what smart devices you really want in your kitchen.

White cabinets

What’s going on with white cabinets these days? White is everywhere and it is definitely the color trend of kitchen cabinets. The beauty of white is that it goes with EVERYTHING. I mean that literally. White is clean and crisp and stainless appliances look amazing next to white cabinets. You can spend a year looking at thousands of backsplash colors and design ideas because anything you choose will go with white. Not only that when you add a simple and subtle quartz countertop your kitchen becomes a thing of beauty, even when it’s a mess after your Thanksgiving feast.

Some designers believe that white doesn’t always work with your home and they will pursue other options like grey or some other soft pastel colors. I’ve seen these colors in action and they’re stunning. Subtle shade differences are dramatic and still provide many options for backsplash colors and design.

Quartz vs Granite

Granite had a long run for kitchen countertops but quartz has taken over and has become the preferred choice for countertops. I’m glad. Granite is beautiful but it tends to be “heavy in look” and almost too colorful. Bold colors and sparkles and swirls have given way to the streamlined and simple solid colors of Quartz. Quartz isn’t any cheaper than granite and it has some downsides to it like you cannot put a hot pan on it as it will leave a mark. You always have to have a cutting board or some other material handy to place your hot pan. Quartz has come a long way with its design and color choices as many people are going for the natural stone colors and multiple shades of grey. So, if you want a cool look in your kitchen then Quartz is an easy choice.

Islands

Islands are necessarily a new kitchen design feature but they’re one of the best things you can add to create a useful kitchen island that seats four or even five people for breakfast, snacks, and storage. Adding a sink to the island is a great idea for a working kitchen and is used as a workstation. There are many things you can add to the island such as under cabinet beverage centers and drawer style microwaves. These are part of a useful and efficient kitchen.
What’s also a nice design feature is you can mix and match cabinet colors. The wall cabinets are one color and the island cabinets are another. I love this look and you can do the same with the countertop, too.

These are just a few trends for 2018 that will carry over into 2019 as paint colors seem to change every year.

Stay tuned for ideas in Wallpaper, flooring, and interior design ideas.