Redoing your kitchen can be a scary proposition. If you don't like the new throw pillows in your living room, it's easy enough to change them out. Not so with a backsplash! So it's especially important to make sure you're confident in your choices for this room. That doesn't mean you need to play it safe, though. Following is a primer on how to create a space that will thrill you now, and be appealing for a long time to come. I wrote this article for a recent issue of Oakland Magazine, and I've excerpted the text for you below. Enjoy!
Fashion is fickle. Something that’s the height of popularity one year can be dead in the water the next. So it goes with kitchen trends, too. Who can forget the era of granite, the louder the better? Or when splashy travertine was the flooring of choice? And it wasn’t so long ago that every cabinet sported an ogee for flair.
That’s all changed now. These days the looks are sleeker, the shapes cleaner. That’s not to say that today’s kitchens are boring. Far from it. If anything they’re more luxurious than ever. It’s just that now the glamor whispers instead of shouts. Here’s how to make your kitchen do the same.
One option: embrace color. It was big last year, and that hasn’t changed. You’ll still see lots of deep, rich hues, especially on cabinetry. The only difference is that now the color is localized rather than spread throughout the room. If you want to get in on this trend, try painting your lower cabinets a sporty navy or sooty black, but leave your upper cabinets white. The dark color will anchor the space and give the room some welcome heft. And the white will ensure the space still feels bright. That’s important in any kitchen, but especially one on the smaller side.
If you’re wary of so much color, try painting your kitchen island only. Setting the island apart stylistically is another big trend, and paint isn’t the only way to do this. If your cabinetry countertops are marble, try topping your island with butcher block instead, or maybe a pretty metal, like copper.
Speaking of copper, warm metals are still on trend. After decades in the design dustbin, brass made a big comeback a few years ago, and it’s still very much on point. And it now has a welcome companion in copper. That metal isn’t used quite as often as brass, but it’s just as versatile. Its glow can run from mellow to glossy, depending on the level of shine, and it lends a welcome note of glamour to any space.
One place you won’t see a ton of metal is on cabinetry. A few years back it was all about bling, and the bigger hardware, the better. But on the newest cabinets, handles and knobs are nowhere to be found. This look is all about minimalism, and results in a space that’s extremely sleek.
In fact, streamlining is the new game in town. Integrated appliances, covered in panels made to match the rest of the cabinetry, continue to gain ground. And it’s also become common to see backsplashes run all the way up the wall, like wallpaper. That results in a look that’s very clean, and when done in a costly material like marble, luxe too.
All of these options are trendy, yes, but they’re also tasteful. So don’t be afraid to jump on board. They’ll make your kitchen both the height of fashion now, and appealing for a long time to come.