Design/Build Expert: Kitchen Talk
by Brendan Charters
Annual Kitchen Design Trends Review
Early each year, we fall upon home show season when design industry leaders lay out the newest ideas to help make everyone just a little self-conscious about the state of their kitchens at home. Regardless of what type of kitchen you may think you need to survive, we can all generally agree that it’s impractical for us all to buy a food truck and park it in our driveway, even if it’s a Kimchi Taco truck. It’s widely known that the kitchen is the hub of the home—but some do that job much better and more stylishly than others. As time goes by, skilled designers invent modifications to let us all know what we now simply cannot live without in our kitchens, and by way of default, push those older trends deeper into obscurity.
Given that not one homeowner is the same, we do not rely on only one designer’s ideas to create the solutions we offer them. At Eurodale we work with an entire team on our design-build projects, so I regularly confer with our group when we are designing and building for a client.
Jim Cunningham from Eurodale Developments (Architectural Designer), Laura Thornton of Thornton Design (Interior Designer) and Jimmy Zoras from Distinctive by Design Fine Cabinetry (Kitchen Designer) all have an equal level of input into all our kitchen projects. This ensures the space planning and flow works, the intricate details and esthetics fit together and the ultimate execution matches the design intention. This year I adjusted the three questions I pose to them every year. We felt it prudent you know their thoughts on what’s new, what works best (and what is likely here to stay!) and what is headed for the waste bin when it comes to kitchen design trends. Hopefully you can use their valuable input, tabled here, when planning your own kitchen project.
|1. WHAT IS THE SINGLE MOST CRITICAL THING YOU TRY TO DESIGN, FIT OR CONVINCE CLIENTS TO PUT INTO EVERY KITCHEN?
JIM@EURODALE: A pot filler is a must, especially when the sink is far away from the range. It avoids those nasty spills. It can also be used to put out any fires on the stove in a flash. In the event of an emergency, you don’t have to hunt around for your trusty fire extinguishers. (Author’s note—this is not how to extinguish a grease fire Jim!)
LAURA@THORNTON: Quality! Investing in durable finishes will make your new kitchen last and look new longer. The elements of your home that you touch regularly should be where money is spent. Quality in the cabinetry, hardware, and countertops is key.
JIMMY@DISTINCTIVE: Some of the most critical elements that I incorporate in my designs is a garbage/recycling and compost area, pullout drawers in pantries and lots of drawers for easy convenience.
|2. WHAT TREND FROM THE PRIOR YEARS ARE YOU SICK OF SEEING AND THINK WILL DIE OFF IN FUTURE KITCHEN DESIGNS?
JIM@EURODALE: White on white on white. I don’t know how many times I have heard white is classic. Clients gravitate to white out of safety and to avoid having to do the next big reno sooner. I get it, my kitchen is 80 per cent white too. The challenge is, door panel designs change, whites fade and kitchens wear out from use. Why not enjoy your kitchen and add some colour into your life?
LAURA@THORNTON: White kitchens still reign supreme (sorry Jim!) but the classic oversized hood-range combination will have to make way for a more contemporary tile-fronted or natural stone slab range-hood fan cover and matching backsplash.
JIMMY@DISTINCTIVE: Some of the trends that are dying off are dark cabinetry, natural-stone slab counters (granite especially) and halogen lighting—LEDs have come a long way.
|3. WHAT IS THE NEXT HOT THING THAT WILL FIND ITS WAY INTO NEW KITCHEN DESIGNS FOR 2017 AND BEYOND?
JIM@EURODALE: Kitchens will be built around technology vs. being added on later. Smart appliances controlling the kitchen so your meal can be ready for you when you arrive, or grocery auto-management. Here we come Jetsons.
LAURA@THORNTON: Canadians are embracing colour. Get ready to start seeing amazing kitchen cabinetry in fabulous yellows, red, navy and glamorous black (sorry Jimmy!)
JIMMY@DISTINCTIVE: Some new things we are building into kitchens this year include brass accents (hardware), grey and blue is a very popular colour combination, and wood grains are making a big comeback. No longer just a sterile food prep area, the kitchen is more of a gathering place for entertaining and these features add warmth and complement this lifestyle change.
At the end of the day, whether building new or remodelling an existing kitchen, my personal advice is to work with a professional for great advice and achieving the best results.
Bottom line, the kitchen needs to be durable, look great and function for our many demands in the space. When planning your own kitchen renovation, think of how you plan to live in the space, and then look to the styling after. Door styles, colours and finishes change like fashion, but a space that is carefully planned and built with quality materials will serve you and your guests well (or longest), regardless of the next hot trend.
|Brendan Charters is co-owner of Toronto Design-Build Firm Eurodale Developments – 2016 BILD Renovator of the Year.
Visit eurodale.ca or follow Brendan on Twitter @EurodaleHomes