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Kitchen Design Trends Point to Traditional Styles, Green Themes in 2010 and Beyond

January 13, 2010

Believe it or not, the challenging economy is sending design trends in the direction of smart. Prior to the economic change, many people purchased new homes equipped with snazzy new kitchens. Today, consumers who have decided to stay in their current homes and remodel them and those who really want to sell their homes and win over the buyers who are still out there comprise most of the “new kitchen market.” As no room yields a better return on your investment like the kitchen, these two consumer groups are truly driving the design trends.

“In this challenging economy, it’s important to identify the smart design trends for 2010 and beyond, which will add aesthetic enjoyment as well as lasting value and functional efficiency to your new kitchen,” says John Troxell, design director for Wood-Mode, one of the country’s leading manufacturers of fine custom cabinetry for the home and office.

“The principle guideline today’s homeowners use when re-evaluating what they want in a major redesigned living space, like the kitchen, is to balance their dreams and desires with what is practical and realistic,” Troxell said. “The dollar has tightened, so even those with generous resources have had a reality check when it comes to reinventing important areas of the home.”

The bottom line, he said, is “you have to be informed about the options when it’s time to create a new kitchen. And that means giving serious thought to the styles and design approaches which will give you the best bang for your buck, whether you plan to remain in your home indefinitely or are looking for increased resale value in the short- or long-term.”

Traditional is timeless

Perhaps your safest bet is to select a traditional kitchen design — one which incorporates classic, timeless elements such as clean lines, simple trim that is neither plain nor overly ornate, and carefully selected cabinetry which is proportionally scaled to the room size,

“A traditional design is one that never goes out of style,” said Troxell. “White cabinets, for example, are always in vogue because they project a clean, neutral and stable look. The grain pattern and richness of cherry wood lends itself well to a classic-styled kitchen. And for those on a tighter budget, a mid-toned finish on maple is a nice alternative.”

The newest Wood-Mode kitchen graphically exemplifying the traditional trend is Southampton, which sports classic white cabinetry. Its sophisticated appearance tends to be more formal, with a heavier and more ornate molding. While the elaborate trim complements the room’s high ceiling and reinforces the scale and proportions, a less detailed approach could be equally effective.

“Psychologically speaking, implementing a black-and-white color scheme in the kitchen today can be a sound choice, because these colors convey stability and longevity,” he noted. “You can easily insert secondary accent colors to give the room more visual panache.”

Contemporary can be classy too

Conservative and conventional is not the right approach for everyone, however. Troxell also recommends considering a more modern kitchen design, particularly for younger homeowners who desire something more visually interesting — without going overboard, of course.

“Contemporary doesn’t have to mean sterile, futuristic, or eccentric. You can create a clean, simple look which incorporates colors more often associated with traditional styling.”

Bright white cabinets with clean lines, paired with intense or subtle colors, are frequently seen in contemporary styling. Furthermore, using colors that are currently in vogue establishes the room’s freshness and up-to-the-minute charm. The one downside, according to Troxell, is this look may be more difficult to keep “in style” over a long period since popular colors change every few years. The introduction of a wood grain finish will add to the room’s longevity.

“To future-proof a contemporary kitchen from becoming too quickly outdated, it may be best to opt for soft, natural colors like taupe, khaki or light green,” he said.

One winning approach to using opaque finishes on the cabinetry is evidenced in Wood-Mode’s Malibu-themed kitchen. It blends the transitional cabinetry elements with a more contemporary architectural setting.

Greening up your kitchen

A third popular trend Troxell noted is the migration toward earth-friendly kitchen components which express environmental consciousness and a sensitivity to nature — without sacrificing quality or sophistication.

“When you’re thinking about a ‘green’ kitchen, it doesn’t mean having to settle for a room that looks dated or shouts ‘recycled.’ Instead, adopt a philosophy which draws on the best of the outside world and integrate inspiration into your interior space,” Troxell said.

“That can mean incorporating natural wood beams into the ceiling. Choosing natural or engineered materials produced from readily renewable resources like bamboo or cork for flooring should also be considered. Installing extra-large energy efficient windows to bring in more sunlight and provide pleasant views of Mother Nature helps to merge the natural and built environments.” said Troxell.

Case in point: Wood-Mode’s Mountain Retreat kitchen, which “uses a soothing shade of green to reflect a rustic outdoor atmosphere, essentially making you feel like you’re on a vacation in the country.”

“Wood-Mode,” Troxell notes, “has historically practiced friendly environmental stewardship in its materials and manufacturing processes and has always taken great pride in producing the industry’s finest cabinetry in a manner that demonstrates a genuine concern and care for the environment.”

To accommodate an increased demand for environmentally friendly kitchens, Wood-Mode recently introduced reconstituted wood veneers — made from real wood that has been re-engineered to mimic expensive rare wood species. “This process makes it more affordable and more sustainable. Rather than harvesting rare natural woods, the veneers come from rapidly growing trees in well managed forests,” said Troxell.

For more ideas on popular kitchen trends and designs which will stand the test of time, visit www.Wood-Mode.com and locate a Wood-Mode dealer near you.

About The Author

Read All Stories By Walsh Communications

Lynn Walsh is the President at Walsh Communications, LLC. Walsh Communications is a full-service public relations, marketing and advertising agency for home builders and real estate-related industries.

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