Lasting Kitchen Trends:  Kitchen design that will endure longer than the decade

Whether you are a gourmet cook or all about the microwave, everyone seems to gather in the kitchen. It’s the center for snacking, eating, gathering and socializing.  As we start a new year and a new decade, there are some trends in kitchen renovations that will add value, function, and timeless beauty to the heart and soul of your home.

The most frequent requests we get from clients renovating their kitchen is that they would like to maximize storage and design their space for entertaining, while incorporating convenience and style. Trends we’ve seen that cater to these requirements and that will carry through the decade include more amenities such as larger or double islands, workstation sinks, fancy lighting, larger refrigerators and other beautiful integrated appliances. With the heightened warmth and comfort associated with these conveniences, your kitchen will become a pseudo second family room.

When designing your kitchen, start with the end in mind.  Thinking about what is most important to you and your expectations of the space will help you know where to focus your budget.  As a designer, we ask about a client’s expectations of the space and look at the overall layout in terms of location of appliances and storage requirements.  We look at function and take into account useable heights for countertops and sinks. We also pay special attention to finding the best finish materials and anything else that we can add that showcase your personality and enrich your living experiences.

Because a kitchen is such a high traffic, highly used room in your home, putting your money into quality appliances and plumbing really pays off.  Performance countertops are also a wise investment as they add lasting beauty and function. With your remaining budget, it is fun to add more luxury to your kitchen with beautiful contemporary products like custom designed vent hoods, galley workstation sinks, induction cooktops and integrated appliances in which the appliances appear to be part of the cabinetry.  Some other favorite new kitchen conveniences are pop up outlets installed in your countertops or drawers for electronics, lighting installed in the cabinetry, instant hot and cold taps and refrigerated drawers.

Whatever your lifestyle, there are so many new products and materials available that add function and beauty to a well-designed kitchen area that will last the test of time.

Originally published in the Houston Chronicle on Feb. 16