Kitchen Cabinet Trends 2011
While traditional/transitional kitchen cabinetry remains popular, kitchen designers are reporting an increased interest in contemporary kitchens with clean lines. In addition, homeowners favor perimeter cabinets in one color with an island in another color, according to Nicole Monroe of Chris’s Custom Cabinets.
“Frequently the mixed colors will take the form of painted and glazed perimeter cabinets combined with an island in a stained color—or sometimes the exact opposite,” Monroe says.
Saying that her company’s clients still prefer a furniture look in their cabinetry is Laura Gunter Nickens of Gunter Woodworking. “While many of our customers seek a traditional look with raised panel doors, there is a growing trend toward a more contemporary look with a flat panel door.”
Agreeing that most homeowners are selecting traditional cabinet styles, Amanda Sweeney of Just Design This reports she is seeing more appliances being hidden by cabinetry. “We are hiding the refrigerator and dishwasher behind cabinet doors and the staggered heights of the cabinets are more popular than ever,” she says.
Sweeney says her clients are requesting a fair amount of black combined with wood tones, and she gets a number of requests for light colored wall cabinets combined with darker base cabinets.
Saying that he has noted a real mix of preferences in design, style, finishes, and functionality of kitchens is Chris Holden of Holden Brothers Custom Cabinets & Interiors. “The traditional beaded inset style has been our most popular. Styles can range from farmhouse to Victorian to Federal with slight variations in design and finish selection,” he says.
Holden offers the opinion that homeowners are becoming bolder and thinking outside the box, and adds that lots of color is now being incorporated into kitchens that previously would have been plain white.
Leigh Skiillington of Karmal-Skillington says, “We are seeing interest in a more transitional style kitchen that incorporates contempoarry as well as traditional styles. We are seeing clean lines rather than overused machine-carved corbels, and islands are being set apart through different styling, different finishes, and varying counter finishes.”
Tara Johnson with Scarlet Designs reports the furniture look in today’s kitchen cabinetry gives continuity to the home, tying the kitchen to the other furnishings in the home. “Contemporary is gaining popularity over most of the country,” she says, “but our Southern tastes still lean toward traditional styles.”
On the other side of the conversation is Anna Aycock of Designs by Anna Aycock, who reports she is seeing a strong trend away from traditional and heavily ornate woodwork. “Lines are sleek and clean. Hardware is also simple with clean lines.”
Melinda Dupree of Choice Cabinet says, “The multi-functional, ‘less is more’, approach to design and appearance is the on-going trend in kitchen cabinetry today. As far as the cabinetry construction, clients expect nothing less than quality, furniture grade, high density plywood with wood dove-tailed drawers. Trash pull outs, recycling pull outs, wine racks, plate racks, and pull-out shelves are the most common storage accessories requested. Large drawers have been increasingly favored among home owners for the last year or so and will continue. Clients are realizing their storage potential with large drawers because you can ensure everything has a place of its own.”
Others suggest that all hardware need not all match, and different metal finishes can be incorprated in one kitchen.
Barbara French of French’s Cabinet Gallery says she continues to see combined finishes in traditionally-styled kitchens, but contemporary kitchens usually feature a single color, which is usually a dark stain.
While combined finishes remain popular, according to Kevin Barber of Barber Cabinet Company, “there has been an equal demand for earthy tones with glazes and also dark chocolate mahogany finishes with transitional door styles. Most of us prefer a different look/finish/style than what we have had for the past 10-20 years or longer.”
According to Tracy Nichols of Kitchen Solvers, “We are seeking trends of many different flavors—anything from traditional stained door styles to modern “California” solid tones. Reflecting the architecture of the home is usually a priority, then spicing things up with color contrast.”
Nichols says, “One thing is for sure—history does repeat itself. “Our custom cabinet lines include new color schemes such as khaki, buttercup, moss, slate, and oyster. Do the colors of the late 50s and early 60s ring a bell?”
Kitchen designers also report that specially designed pull-outs—whether they are for garbage, pots and pans, cutlery, or more—are very popular.
“Pullout trash cabinets seem to be one of the most popular design options with our customers, as well as lazy Susan cabinets,” says Monroe. “Other common requests are roll out drawers, cutlery and silverware drawer inserts, and spice pullouts. I see the Haefele corner system rising in favor—it is a swing out unit designed for blind corner base cabinets.”
Sweeney reports her clients “love anything that makes their lives easier and the space more functional. More and more clients are requesting pull-out drawers, and pull-out spice racks inside the cabinets, all the conveniences. Anything that makes a kitchen more functional is important.”
Listing integrated trash bins with double trash cans for recycling among his clients’ wants is Holden, who says “people want all the bells and whistles. Pull out shelving has become a standard element in our design.” He adds that spice pull-outs, cookie sheet storage, and easily accessible utensils are a must for his customers.
Johnson says the tall pantry pull-out is among her clients’ favorite conveniences. “It allows for elimination of the basic pantry closet which can then be used for new and more defined kitchen space. One of my favorite features is the base mixer shelf, which holds the mixer and flips up and down as needed.
”Reporting that new and alternative approaches to corner base cabinetry is finding favor with his customers is Kevin Barber. “Whether it is a large triple drawer corner or blind corner pull-out accessory (of which there are many options), everyone is looking for convenience and maximum storage,” he says. “Pull-out drawers, utility dividers, knife blocks, spice partitions, slow-close drawers and doors remain popular with many of our clients.”
Barbara French adds that her clients love the soft-close feature as well as full-extension, high-quality drawer glides.
Pull-out shelves are becoming more affordable, according to Nichols. “Of course the ultimate kitchen has a ‘surprise’ in every opening,” he says, “including custom utensil trays, built-in knife blocks, moon-shaped blind corner pull-outs, wine racks, counter top pull-out cutting boards, concealed bread boards, spice racks, and stemware racks, just to name a few.”
Another trend recently identified by the National Kitchen & Bath Association is a tiered approach that incorporates stacked components and overlapping heights not only in cabinetry but also in varying heights in island surfaces.
Detailed ceilings and texture are also playing a role in today’s kitchens. Texture can be actual or implied, through lines, colors, or patterns which can give a space a point of interest or offer a mellow background. “Rugs” can be added through the use of mosaics or inlays in flooring and texture can find its way into backsplashes as well.
Glass, too, is hot in kitchens, and can be incorporated into doors as well as tile. It can provide a pop or color and reflect light, as well as shimmer invitingly.
Natural elements are important, too, say the experts, and can be found in granite countertops, bronze fixtures, and carefully chosen wall tiles that emulate forms found in nature.
“Natural elements are vital, key ingredients, to the recipe of a deep-rooted, quality kitchen environment,” says Melinda Dupree of Choice Cabinets. “Home owners are re-building their kitchens based upon the comfort and spirit of the entire family in mind. Use the cabinetry to add character to the most important room in your family’s home and build around that. There needs to be something shiny, texture, wood, metallic, glass, and bursts of color to create a balanced kitchen. Furniture-style cabinets are especially customary in the development of kitchen islands.
“The bottom line is that beautiful cabinetry is nothing without the practical advice of a well trained designer,” she says. “An experienced designer will walk you through the process of planning and selecting the products that best complement your home and lifestyle needs. Pick a designer you are comfortable with and stick with them till the end.“
There are a number of sources for kitchen cabinetry in the Nashville area including:
Designs by Anna Aycock
Barber Cabinet Company
Chris’s Custom Cabinets
French’s Cabinet Gallery
Hantel Kitchens & Baths
Holden Brothers Custom
Cabinets & Interiors
Just Design This