Update your home with hip kitchen cabinets
Kitchens are the new family rooms.Having replaced the family room as the main living area, the kitchen is where friends and family gather to cook and share meals, all the while watching TV, surfing the net, doing homework or telecommuting. The kitchen today is the life of the house; perhaps more than any other room, it should be inviting, updated and welcoming.
Cabinets are the Dominant Visual Element in Your Kitchen
Even if you have a smaller kitchen, people will be comfortable gathering there if the design is pleasing and stylish. When someone first enters your kitchen, the first thing they'll notice is your cabinetry. Along with drawer fronts, cabinet doors are the dominant visual elements in any kitchen. Although appliances are important too, having hip kitchen cabinets gives your home an upgraded, more expensive feel.
Important Reasons to Have an Updated Kitchen
If you're building, remodeling or just doing a little updating of your existing cabinets, you'll benefit from having hip kitchen cabinets that are uniquely customized to your needs. As real estate experts will tell you, an updated kitchen also helps you secure a faster sale if your house is on the market, as well as gain a bigger return on your investment.
- Hip cabinets are now customized to pull double-duty as wine coolers, appliance garages, recycling centers, food warmers and even home offices. One popular trend that can be used in any kitchen style is to incorporate cabinetry that looks like freestanding furniture, such as an armoire that's really a pantry.
- The condition and style of your cabinets can make or break a sale for you.
- Most prospective buyers will make a beeline for the kitchen area and if yours is outdated, it can distract them from focusing on the benefits your house has to offer.
Determine what you need, then what you want, based on your budget. Can you reface with wood veneers or refinish/repaint your existing cabinets successfully?
Your Personal Style
Right now, customization and an eclectic mix of styles is in, which is great because you can express your personality using different materials. However, don't overdo it. Your gargantuan, shiny steel refrigerator isn't going to blend very well next to your traditional arched cabinetry with the calligraphy scroll handles. Designers today use a mix of wood species, colors and materials to give individuality to a kitchen while melding its style elements together in comfortable harmony.
Pantone, considered experts in predicting color trends for over 50 years, has published their 2008 color trends that mix popular old colors with fresh new hues in eight palettes. Bright and bold, warm and spicy and nature-inspired colors add life in palettes such as ethnic chic, agrestic and savories.
Hip Kitchen Cabinets Today
The most popular style, traditional cabinets, have raised panels and are often made from darker solid woods such as cherry, walnut and maple, giving your kitchen elegance and warmth. New trends show homeowners forgoing the use of cherry and dark oak in favor of rarer wood species such as zebrawood, mahogany and birch, with knots and grains showing the natural wood design.
Traditional is also becoming less ornate with cleaner lines and small touches of contemporary elements added to the mix. This means that Old World and terracotta styles are less popular than before.
This style is where you go to mix it up with materials and styles such as slab, concrete, metal, glass, and wood. The lighter hues of contemporary styles allow you to use a diverse mix of materials and contrasting colors. This style can incorporate shaker, mission, Asian, Italian and Industrial style cabinets. Doors and drawer fronts are usually flat and frameless, meaning the bordering edges of the cabinet aren't visible, giving your kitchen a seamless look.
Having contemporary cabinets used to mean having white laminate. Using laminated particle (sawdust and glue) and MDF compressed board is still a cheaper alternative to wood, especially green species; however, particle board and MDF sag and crumble over time, as well as emit harmful gases into your home. These materials become costlier in the long run, both to your pocketbook and your health.
When we think contemporary, we usually conjure images of the restaurant-inspired Industrial Loft style, with a stainless steel, minimalist approach marked by clean, hard lines. Taking cues from European designs, softer contemporary styles are on the rise. Brushed nickel, burnished copper and light woods are all incorporated with clean but curving lines. These kitchens are softened with natural textures, materials and colors, all inspired by the green movement.
Today's country cabinets are rustic but oak is on the way out. Alternative wood species becoming trendier are those that show the wood's characteristics like knotty alder, pecan and hickory. Another trend is to use lighter wood for the wall cabinets and a darker version for the island or counter cabinets.
It's Hip to be Green
The hippest kitchen cabinets today are 'green.' They're manufactured from renewable wood species, such as bamboo, which can grow as much as one foot in a day, or Jarrah, a sustainable harvested Australian wood. Green woods can also be familiar wood species such as maple or walnut that are manufactured with eco-friendly processes. They can sometimes be recycled or salvaged and don't contain harmful chemicals.
A Couple of Beautiful Trends to Use Sparingly
Used a lot in model homes, these shelves are cool, contemporary and make your kitchen seem open and airy. They look great in design ads and model homes where no one lives. If you want the look in a kitchen you'll actually use, it's best to designate just a few open display shelves in your kitchen since it will be difficult to keep your dishes free of dust and grease.
Glass is a popular style trend that lends elegance and beauty to your kitchen. But this is another style to not go overboard on. You want to install just a few that are frosted or have some sort of design etched into them. Unless your dishes are window shopper's eye candy, you'll find yourself constantly straightening them behind the glass, as well as wiping off fingerprints all day long.
Cabinetry Hardware is Your Kitchen's Jewelry
Don't overlook your cabinetry hardware: if you're on a budget, simply replacing your pulls will instantly update your cabinets and drawers. Higher quality hardware breathes fresh air into your kitchen, giving it a hipper and more expensive feel. Fair warning though, you can spend days in your hardware store or showroom browsing the millions of hardware designs out there. For each kitchen style, there are thousands of options from vintage, sleek modern, classic or whimsical.
Doing Your Design Homework Makes All the Difference
Since you will most likely be living with your choice for many years to come, it's important to decide how you need your cabinets to function, as well as the longevity and impact of your choices. Thoroughly researching will educate you so that you'll have quality-looking, hip kitchen cabinets and remain happy with your choices. You will also be less likely to get ripped off.