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Wed, Nov. 20

Ask the Contractor: Kitchen designs are shifting, cool trends ahead

We are building a new home and would like to know what the industry says is hot in the world of kitchen design. Thank you. — Ed and Susan, Camp Verde

Building a new home is the perfect time to create the kitchen of your dreams. “Kitchen function and technology will always be front and center in kitchen design,” said Ben Bassous of Tierra Verde Builders.

We all know that the kitchen is the heart of the home, always has been and always will be, and that is why in new home builds and remodels “there is a strong desire to make the kitchen a dream space,” said Tom Reilly of Renovations.

The kitchen is evolving into a space that makes living and cooking fun and efficient, and today’s kitchen is no longer considered just four walls and an “anti” space, but a space that is impressive, has standout finishes and no longer is just a customary layout of cabinets and countertops.

Here are some cool trends for a hot kitchen: open shelving and glass-fronted cabinets, larger pantries with various shelfing components; kitchen islands are always a favorite and decorative drawer pulls and cabinet knobs are in. Cool artistic backsplashes are in, covering a wide range of the wall, no longer just the standard width and height.

Kitchens will remain the most popular room for homeowners to renovate, thanks to the array of popular and practical countertop, cabinet and lighting styles. Several of our local kitchen designers are seeing that more and more clients are opting for quartz countertops that are designed to look like marble.

Matt Greenlee, owner of Greenlee Designer Surfaces, said “the majority of homeowners we work with, countertop materials and backsplashes are the kitchen feature more often than not that is splurged on.”

“And the open shelving is popular and giving the kitchen a more airy and open look,” said Michael Lough of MCK Woodworks.

When dealing with a smaller space, especially a kitchen, you should keep in mind all the alternatives that you have on your hands. In kitchen design trends 2020, open shelves, for instance, are a really sought-after kitchen idea. The beauty of this kitchen design 2020 lies in the practicality and creativity combination.

Technology is gaining in popularity in the kitchen; wireless speakers, smart lighting and voice-controlled TVs, more outlets and charging stations. Technology is evolving, such as voice-controlled or wireless speakers and that digital assistant: “Siri, how many teaspoons in a cup?”

Refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves and range hoods are changing daily with new improved touchscreens and smart controls.

Thinking about new appliances in stainless? Stainless is dead. Yes, it is still available, but you’ll date your house instantly with stainless. No longer are matching appliances in. Color is the name of the game. Integrated appliances are the rage, with clever paneling and built-ins. This kitchen trend opens new worlds for designs; appliances can now stand alone as a stylish statement piece or quietly recede into surrounding cabinetry.

The white kitchen will always be classic. Again, color in the kitchen! Painted cabinets in blue, green, stains in warm chestnut and fruitwood and black are all the rage — mix and match color!

Another hot trend for kitchens, one that cannot be seen, is drawer dividers that make drawer contents look more orderly. Pullout organizers for under the sink and that special hideaway for the trash can. Sliding drawers and pullout organizers are the best, and will give you a full view of and easy access to the contents of your cabinets. Extra-deep drawers make storage a breeze. They are more accessible than typical base cabinetry and so simple to integrate into a beautiful kitchen design.


We talked about what is in — let’s briefly talk about what it out and outdated. Kitchen trends come and go, and no style lasts forever.

Distressed cabinets are out. Short backsplashes are out. Over-the-stove microwaves are out. Many homeowners believe that they’re saving space by putting their microwave over their stovetop, but that trend is on its way out. Cabinet top décor is out. Gone are the days of filling the space between the tops of your cabinets and the ceiling with dusty accessories.

Before you dive into the world of designing your kitchen and/or remodeling, take your time to design and lay out the space. Allow enough space, make the kitchen isles wide enough to accommodate all that happens in the kitchen. Consider offsetting the placement of key features, such as sinks and the range, so cooks and kitchen helpers do not bump into one another.

Yes, a kitchen needs to be beautiful, but more importantly it needs to be functional. When planning the space, consider the size and direction of doors, appliances and cabinets. Fridges often need wide clearance, as do ovens. Take a walk through the space and plan door openings to ensure that you don’t create a cramped kitchen.

Don’t supersize an island, because anything longer than 10 feet is hard to walk around. And if an island is more than 4 feet deep, it’s hard to reach the middle. And don’t overwhelm a small space. Always plan for enough storage. Cabinets, shelves and more, there are hundreds of different storage options available.

And remember, do not forget the family and friends because, as we know, we congregate in the kitchen, so plan space for people. And last but not least remember to bring home samples to look at in your space. Materials look a lot different in a showroom than they do in your actual space.

Happy kitchen!

Remember to tune in to YCCA’s Hammer Time every Saturday and Sunday mornings at 7 on KQNA 1130AM/99.9FM or 95.5FM or on the web at Listen to Sandy and Mike talk about the construction industry, meet your local community partners and so much more.

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