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Kitchen Design Trends (Part 2)

Kitchen (and bathroom) design trends are important to pay attention to if you are considering a renovation or new build. This is different than what is "trendy."

In the previous post about kitchen trends, we discussed some of the reasons to pay attention to these trends. This is especially important when considering hard finishes that cannot be easily changed.

How do I know what will be more timeless and less trendy?

There are many factors that determine how timeless a design will be, one of which is materials and finishes. I will refer back to the honey oak cabinets for an example. Oak is having a resurgence in the past few years. I think it looks lovely. And yet, the 1990s honey oak cabinets are not lovely.

Some reasons for this are more obvious than others, such as the shapes of the door fronts. Typically those cabinets had an arched and raised panel which is a style that looks dated today. Also, many of those cabinets had a partial overlay rather than a full overlay door . A partial overlay door is exactly what it sounds like the doors do not meet next to each other there is a larger gap in between the doors and this just leads to a feeling of overall “cheapness” and a more unrefined look when compared to a full overlay or inset style. (which I highly recommend…).

Another factor is the type of wood used and way it is cut as well as the impact hardware has on the overall look of the design. The last difference I will note, is the finish. The old honey oak cabinets typically had a more shiny finish. The more modern oak cabinetry of today that looks nice has a nice matte finish that appears to be done by hand and not “coated."

An example of a kitchen that has staying power is from a House Beautiful issue circa 2011.

The home owner likely planned this in 2010, or even 2009. And yet, almost 15 years later, it looks pretty great! I am not certain about the specifics of this home, but I imagine this kitchen is designed to blend with the architecture and age of the house.

What about this kitchen has given it a long life?

1. Inset cabinetry that is also quartersawn oak AND has feet like furniture.

2. Traditional hardware that has an aged finish, not too bright, not too big, not too small, appropriate for the design.

3. Materials that you find in historical homes that are tried and true:




4. Herringbone floor pattern- always timeless, always classy (in the right material).

5. Even with dark wood cabinets and brick, this is not a dark kitchen due to the white ceiling, tiles, paint, marble, trim, and sunny window.

6. Great design, attention to detail, and finishes that aren't "cookie cutter" and cheap (this does not mean a kitchen need break the bank).

Now, are there some changes the homeowner would make today if they were to do it all over again?


Perhaps they would not have chosen the white subway tiles, opted for different lighting, or installed another faucet for example. However, these are minor in comparison to the major finishes.

There are also a nice range of options for "styling" this kitchen that could easily give it a different look if the owner wanted a change. A new paint color, lighting, chairs, window treatments, and item on the counters would be a quick refresh. Even if there is nothing wrong with the choices, sometimes we're just ready for something new!

But wait, why would they want to change the subway tile??? I was told subway tiles were forever and always in style? More about that here.


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Meet Christa

Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by interiors. When I was very young, I used to draw floorplans on napkins at restaurants and always wanted more Legos (Barbie? No, thank you. But I'd have gladly redesigned her Malibu Mansion). And when my friends came over to play "house," all I did was find ways to redecorate and knock out walls.


I'm not so young anymore, but I still love interiors. And I can't remember what I did yesterday, but I still remember exactly what my Aunt Susan's cabinets and wallpaper looked like in 1984.  

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