Here’s our take on what’s shaping up to be the hottest kitchen trends for 2014.
Frameless & Inset Cabinets
We’ve noticed an increase in inquiries these days about frameless cabinets. This type of cabinetry consists of a simple wood box with no frame on front. The appeal is twofold:
1) It’s a sleek, European look that fits right in with kitchens featuring a modern style.
2) The lack of a face frame creates more storage space compared with traditional framed cabinets.
With inset cabinets, the door sets in with the face frame rather than overlaying the face frame. In the past, inset cabinets were carried only as custom lines. But more and more, we’re seeing manufacturers (such as ShilohCabinetry) offer semi-custom and stock lines with inset options. That’s reducing the price point and feeding the popularity of this style.
LED & Xenon Lighting
The manufacturing and importing of incandescent light bulbs in the United States was banned as of Jan. 1, which has created an opening for LED and xenon bulbs. (Be sure to check out our Kitchen & Bath Design Center to see the new LED lights we’ve installed.) LED, or “light-emitting diode,” bulbs have been gaining traction for awhile now. A few years ago, LEDs were known for lasting a long time but being very expensive and producing a harsh light. Today’s LEDs still last a long time (estimates range upward of 15,000 hours, compared with about 1,000 hours for incandescent bulbs). Better yet, prices have started to come down while the quality of the light generated has gone up. A nice option for accents in cabinetry.
Xenon bulbs are starting to overtake halogen bulbs, as they run cooler and produce a higher-quality light. They also last about three times longer than halogens, though not as long as LEDs. Consider these for under-cabinet lighting.
In most homes, the kitchen is now the hub of daily activities. So it’s only natural to have it open up to and connect with one or more adjoining rooms. In most of our kitchen projects, we’re taking down walls to create bigger living spaces that make it easier for families to hang out together.
Right in line with the open design trend is the emergence of larger kitchen islands. We’re commonly incorporating islands measuring 5’ x 8’ or 6’ x 9’. That’s a lot of space, which homeowners are using to create more storage or house more appliances (e.g. under-counter microwaves and beverage refrigerators).
A few trends here:
• Those under-counter appliances mentioned above, along with under-counter warming drawers, are increasingly popular in islands and in cabinets.
• Larger ranges are creating the need for larger range hoods. (That, in turn, is forcing homeowners to place microwaves elsewhere in the kitchen.)
• Three-door, or French door, refrigerators are winning converts for their energy efficiency (opening only one half of the fridge means less cold air escapes) and stylish design.