As summer has come to an end and kids are back in school, fall is the busiest time of year for kitchen and bath remodels. In fact, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) deems October “National Kitchen & Bath Month”. If a kitchen project is on your horizon, take note of the following design considerations, trends and new products for your upcoming project.
KITCHEN DESIGN TODAY
Amy Kreutz, senior designer for the award-winning design firm Conceptual Kitchens & Millwork, is a certified NKBA designer who specializes in kitchen and bath design. In an interview, Amy noted how cultural changes influence design decisions and how we operate in the kitchen.
“Families are cooking more together, rather than relying on one person to prep meals, which means we need to design several prep and cooking zones that allow for others to pitch in without bumping into each other,” said Kreutz.
This consideration translates to careful placement of appliances throughout the kitchen and multiple prep and clean-up stations that are both efficient and ergonomic. “The ‘cooking triangle’ is really a thing of the past,” said Kreutz.
The farm-to-table movement has more homeowners sourcing fresh, locally-grown ingredients and relying less on freezer storage in the kitchen. “Sophisticated and well-placed refrigeration helps to preserve fresh ingredients and aid in cooking efficiency. We strategically place drawer refrigeration near the cooking and prep areas of the kitchen,” said Kreutz. Sub-Zero refrigeration is among Kreutz’s favorites and she attests that what may seem like small design details make a huge difference in the function and flow of a kitchen.
The prevalence of technology also has a strong impact on kitchen design. “Each kitchen we create has a place for a tablet to reference online recipes and a hidden charging station to support the family’s devices, rather than an office station and desk that attracts clutter,” said Kreutz.
When it comes older homes, Kreutz said, “The style of the home often sets the tone that drives the design focus.” Some of the most popular colors and finishes are timeless white cabinets and the re-introduction of brass hardware in a brushed or satin finish. White and brass pair beautifully with a deep navy kitchen island.
Subway tile remains classic but new, yet clean, tile shapes are also making waves. Arabesque, hexagon and varying scales of tile create a fresh look. Kreutz also urges her clients to mix countertop materials.
“Marble is beautiful, but may not be best suited for your heavy duty prep areas. Soapstone is a great alternative—it’s durable, non-porous and gets better with age,” said Kreutz.
The Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery at the Indiana Design Center (IDC) is a great showroom to see and source the latest products for your kitchen and bath. On the tech front, the Jenn-Air Connected Wall Oven is essentially a “smart oven” that allows you to operate it from an app on your phone. Touch technology like that offered by Indiana-based Delta Faucet Company is also a popular choice among homeowners.
“Modern light fixtures are increasing in popularity. The more we show it on the floor, the more customers go for it,” said Laura Rolka, showroom manager for Ferguson Bath, Kitchen & Lighting Gallery.
This is especially true for mid-century modern styles. Crystal light fixtures remain supreme, but with clean, simplified lines that create a modern twist. And just as Kreutz mentioned brass tones in cabinet hardware, metallic hues ranging from rose gold to black stainless steel are finding a place in kitchen design as well.
If you’re ready to embark on your journey to a new kitchen or bath, here are a few ways to get started:
First, attend a complimentary kitchen design panelist discussion hosted by NKBA at the IDC on Saturday, October 29 at 10 am (call 317-569-5975 to register). Conceptual Kitchens & Millwork’s studio in suite 116 at the IDC where you can meet designer, Amy Kreutz.
Second, download a free Kitchen & Bath Planner Guide at NKBA.org that provides step-by-step planning tools and tips to help you manage your project.
The Indiana Design Center is located at 200 S. Rangeline Road in Carmel, Indiana and Open to the Public. Visit indianadesigncenter.com. Learn more about Conceptual Kitchens & Millwork at conceptualkitchens.com.
This article was originally submitted by the Indiana Design Center and published in Meridian-Butler magazine, October 2016.