Kitchens are the heart of a home, and improving your kitchen is one of the best investments you can make for your home’s resale value. Even if you’re already in your dream home and don’t plan to move, sprucing up your kitchen for summer can make it just a little dreamier.
Redoing your kitchen isn’t like redecorating a living room or bedroom; changes go deeper than a fresh coat of paint and some new throw pillows. Surfaces must be durable and easy to clean, and good lighting is a must. Kitchen redesigns present a unique set of challenges, but the latest wave of improvement ideas can help you build a kitchen you’ll love for the long term while staying current with 2013′s biggest trends.
Have you ever been to a restaurant with an open kitchen? It’s exciting to watch chefs work their culinary magic, and the same principle applies to your home. Open up your kitchen by replacing walls with islands or bars. A more welcoming floor plan invites guests and family to be a part of meal preparation or creates a new, informal social space. The cook will also appreciate an open plan that keeps the kitchen connected to the rest of the house.
The latest kitchen designs feature everything from pristine white counters to rich hardwood flooring, but what makes them fresh is combining the two. Contrasts are big in kitchen design right now, which is great news if you want to remodel that monochromatic kitchen that was in style a few years ago. Add crisp white ceramic accents to a dark kitchen and bring depth to pastels with matte black trim. If you’re embarking on a major remodeling, look at fresh ways to combine light and dark. Pair dark granite counters with blonde wood cabinets or snowy marble against rich cherry.
Neutrals with Natural Accents
Color happens naturally in a kitchen. A row of tomatoes ripening on the counter, a basket of oranges or a windowsill herb garden can add as much appeal to your kitchen decor as they will to your plate. Neutral hues set off fresh kitchen colors beautifully, so keep your kitchen color scheme simple and understated. Let fresh fruits and vegetables steal the spotlight by displaying them in countertop baskets and trays. Remember, neutral doesn’t just mean white. One of the freshest colors for kitchens in 2013 is a warm French gray.
Professional Kitchen Style
This is the era of the celebrity chef, and home cooks are borrowing some of the pros’ cachet for their own culinary efforts. Sleek stainless steel shelving, no-nonsense tile floors and minimalist hardware give a kitchen a professional look. Real chefs use basic white hand towels, so skip the fancy floral fabrics and stick to clean whites. If you have a heavy-duty pasta maker or stand mixer, make it part of your kitchen decor; it will look right at home with your other restaurant-kitchen details.
One of the biggest trends for 2013 is greater attention to sustainability. Composite stone counters, reclaimed wood cabinets and bamboo flooring are green alternatives that don’t sacrifice style. Glass backsplashes made with recycled materials look gorgeous and fit an eco-friendly lifestyle. If you’re replacing your sink’s hardware, look for low-flow faucets that still provide enough force to blast dishes clean.
Author: Jennifer Parker has a passion for all things home living. She manages her own blog dedicated to interior design, hardwood flooring, and home improvement. She enjoys sharing her knowledge with anyone who is interested. Visit her home living blog.