Kitchen Trends: The Next Big Thing

Posted by Rick Clarke on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 at 10:25am.

Many real estate experts steadfastly believe the kitchen can make or break the sale of a property.  Old appliances, outdated colors and poor workflow design can dramatically alter buying behavior.  We spend much of our lives in the kitchen, considered the heart of the home; most buyers want to have a kitchen that attracts them, comforts and functions for them and is a space they want to spend time in.  For those who entertain, the kitchen becomes critical to the success of the dinner party, soiree, or special event.

Kitchen experts predict some significant changes in kitchen trends for next year; multi-functional is the watchword for kitchen trends.  The kitchen needs to do more, be more and function in many different ways.  Finding equipment, layouts and design elements that allow for multiple functions, or can be versatile in both form and function will be important in the coming year. 

One of the targets in new trends is the elimination of the traditional hanging cabinets in favor of open shelving and freestanding furniture.  This allows for more flexibility in the arrangement of the kitchen, the workflow can be modified and the look and feel of the kitchen can be easily adjusted.  For the small kitchen, the open look and feel can add to the use of the square footage.  The open shelving allows for the use of dishes, glasses and pots as decoration as well as their functional use.

Green is big in the coming year in kitchens as well.  Not just in terms of eco-friendly materials but in terms of vibrant colors for the kitchen as well.  Bamboo, recycled glass and sustainable materials have been increasing in interest for kitchen materials for some time, but there has never been as large a selection of options in sustainable materials.  Prices and availability have increased the interest in environmental materials. 

Vibrant, rich and deep colors have become popular in kitchens from walls and accessories to the actual cabinets.  Apple green, deep jewel tone purple and Caribbean blues are now emerging in countertops, cabinets and kitchen design elements. 

Lighting is important in the kitchen for both aesthetics and function, task and directional lighting has become increasingly more important.  The new styles, colors and eco-levels of the lighting are increasingly important.   LED lighting, chandeliers and torchieres are becoming more popular choices and are likely to increase in interest in the coming year. 

For sellers, the kitchen appliances need to be clean, modern and fully functional.  Updating new appliances can be a cost effective improvement, returning much of the investment in the improved value of the property.  Cleaning and de-cluttering is always important in the kitchen, get rid of fridge magnets and personal effects as it makes it challenging for the potential buyer to envision themselves in your kitchen. 

Kitchens are powerful drivers in the decision to buy a house.  Make certain that yours look like the current decade instead of two or three past. 

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