Kitchens remain a top remodeling project in 2014, according to the Member Profile Study done by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), in time for National Home Improvement Month this May. Eighty-two percent of NARI members identify kitchens as their No. 1 service.
This year, the association’s 2014 CotY Awards program, which recognizes top projects in 25 categories, totaled nearly $73 million worth of remodeling projects and identified national trends emerging, especially in the areas of kitchen updates.
“Consumers want practical, comfortable kitchens that are efficient to use and easy to live in,” says Tom O’Grady, CR, CKBR, chairman of NARI’s Strategic Planning. “Bigger isn’t better, but homeowners still want a feeling of space, and open concept and islands are still part of kitchen trends in 2014.”
Improving the overall look and feel of the kitchen was most often cited as the main motivating factor by homeowners for remodeling, followed by improving function on the CotY entries.
The continuing trend of fewer upper cabinets in the kitchen creates more space for decorative task lighting, often on adjustable arms that gives the option to have the light directed where it is needed most. Decorative task fixtures in black, iron and aged brass finishes make a statement. Other trends include:
• Pendant lights over kitchen islands continue to be a great opportunity to bring style into the mix
• Chandeliers in kitchens add a pretty and an unexpected sparkle and can soften up the hard lines and smooth surfaces of appliances and countertops below
• An oversized lighting fixture becomes a focal point in an otherwise plain room
• Under cabinet lights, controlled by a dimmer, provide ambiance
Built-in cabinetry that looks like furniture
Mixing and layering finishes and woods to create a custom look is another key trend, as is built-in accent cabinets that act as framework for the rest of the cabinetry. These cabinets, often designed tall and narrow with glass fronts, provide the look of a built-in china cabinet to showcase collectables. In general, upper cabinets are less popular because they stop the line of sight, especially to backyard garden views.
- Appliances are subtly hidden behind the cabinetry for a clean, streamlined appearance.
- Colorful kitchen cabinetry has made a big comeback. Palettes using and mixing blues,
orange, browns or greens countering neutral white, wood or dark finishes are
providing kitchen flair. Dramatic contrasts of light cabinets and dark countertops
provide visual impact.
With the explosion in the wine market over the past few decades, wine is becoming more of a lifestyle choice and factoring into kitchen designs.
• Dedicated “butler” areas for entertaining, sampling and sharing wine with guests are very popular, allowing the cook the opportunity to socialize while doing food prep.
• Integrated wine coolers, an answer to tight kitchen spaces, are nestled into cabinetry along with wine racks to showcase a homeowners’ collection.
If you're planning a home renovation project this year, consider incorporating some of these trends to update your kitchen. Before construction gets under way, consult with a professional remodeler about the renovation projects you have planned.