“Our search for comfort and reassurance leads directly to the kitchen,” she told the NAHB Construction Forecast Conference in Washington on April 24. “This is the place where we strut out stuff and show off our cooking prowess, good taste in design and sophistication about fine wines.”
Focusing on what the upper end of the market is doing because this will “eventually trickle down to the rest of us at lower price points,” McCloskey made several observations about what’s cooking today in the kitchen:
- For the second consecutive year, shiny surfaces are out and soft looks are in, especially for countertops, where honed granite is popular, and for flooring, which is hardwood or porcelain tile with a “stone look.” Appliances are stainless, cabinets are cherry or maple, and some home owners are even returing to white kitchens.
- If countertops aren’t granite, they’re probably soapstone, “another soft-looking material that, so far, has met with high approval by the person that does the cooking and cleaning.”
- Cabinetry continues to be elegant and simple, showing Shaker or Asian influences. The addition of moldings at the top and bottom is a new embellishment. New woods are creeping into high-end designs, many of them with a noticeable grain. “Glass,” she added, “is still popular for a few upper cabinets but it isn’t clear; it’s etched or beaded so you don’t have to tidy up the interior dishes all the time.”
- Cork flooring is gaining popularity, along with bamboo on floors and cabinets. Some designers are using linoleum because they can cut it into patterns using a multitude of colors.
- The ideal kitchen looks “warm and inviting and frequently includes art work, collections and rich color.” Today’s kitchen colors include celadon, eggplant, burgundy, mustard yellow and green.
- The center island continues to gain ground and “may soon become a whole continent if it doesn’t stop consuming floor space.”
- “A distinctive farmhouse sink is the star of the cleanup center,” she said.
- All appliances are built in “for a sleek appearance,” and although cabinetry is simple, its hardware is unique.
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