Kitchen Ideas: Ways to Refresh the Most Used Room in Your Home

Keeping your kitchen updated and fresh not only makes cooking and chatting with family and friends enjoyable, it also adds return on investment should you ever decide to sell your home.

Adding some trends to your cooking area can provide some culinary inspiration, while refreshing common appliances can take your kitchen to a whole new level. Kitchen ideas are numerous, so there is no time like the present to start browsing, selecting, and installing and/or changing your kitchen so that it has a whole new look!

“Green” Kitchen Cabinets

Current kitchen trends are focusing on natural, Earth-friendly materials. Natural wood stains and open shelving options are quite popular as are all white kitchen cabinets. If you are very concerned about installing “green” cabinets, look for the Environmental Stewardship Program seal on the product and/or ask the manufacturer or distributor to see if they are participating in the program. The seal indicates that specific “green” standards, such as manufacturing practices and using recycled materials, are being followed. There are only 22 manufacturers in the United States who have received this certification. Environmentally friendly cabinets are just as functional and sturdy as traditional hardwood cabinets and home buyers look for the use of these products when purchasing a home in today’s market.

High Tech/Multi-Functional

High tech appliances that are multi-functional continue to make a grand appearance in kitchens. Siemen’s has a multimedia ventilation hood. There are refrigerators with high definition TV’s, cable, DVD, and FM radio along with a weather display recessed on the refrigerator doors. Dishwashers are available in super colors including blue, gray, slate green, and others. Blue Star’s gas range comes in 190 colors. Appliances are also available in matte black, rubbed bronze, and glass. Appliance fronts that match cabinets so that they “disappear” are also popular. You will also see iPad docking stations that you can easily install under a kitchen cabinet for easy and safe use. Convenience is of prime importance in this trend.

Kitchen sinks have also become multi-functional. In addition to the kitchen sink being available in copper and with fashionable faucets, sinks are also serving several functions. A tempered glass preparation board, colander, drain train, as well as a pull out spray head faucet are all components of the Mythos sink system. Installing a kitchen sink properly so that it fits in the counter top correctly as well as does not leak may require you to consult a professional contractor or someone who has done this type of work successfully to help you install your new sink correctly.

Recycled Materials

In addition to kitchen cabinets, recycled materials continue to be on-trend in other areas of the kitchen. For example, a formaldehyde-free and food-safe bamboo butcher-block surface by Teragren is being used for counter tops and tabletops. Studio offers a wide-plank floating floor that uses TeraLoc — a self-locking system requiring no adhesive. Sustainable wood flooring, recycled countertops, and recycled tile for back splashes are all ways to incorporate recycled materials into your kitchen design.

More Kitchen Ideas

Other kitchen ideas that are making their appearance this year are wine coolers, lighting installed under counter tops that have an over hang, ready-to-hang back splashes, induction cook tops, unframed cook tops, and cook tops with no burners. Counter tops are expected to be either thinner or thicker than the traditional 1 ¼ inch or 1 ½ inch size, and black counter tops made from black granite or quartz are the preferred materials of choice.

You will also continue to see glass tile back splashes, personalized task lighting and white kitchens with a pop of color on one wall with an accent color throughout. Open floor plans are still popular. Those with an open floor plan with a kitchen/eating/living area should look to making sure that the look and feel of the kitchen extends into these other areas, otherwise the kitchen will appear cut off from the rest of the open space.

How ever you decide to update your kitchen – with new flooring, new appliances, new lighting, or new cabinets – do your research. Learn about the product, its level of quality; it’s usefulness in the kitchen. Talk to professionals. Read customer reviews. Take a look at the actual product in the store. Take photos. Measure it to make sure that it will fit in your kitchen. This way, in the end, you will be happier with the choices that you made to make your kitchen look fresh and new.