What’s cooking in today’s kitchens? Far more than food! From homework, paying bills and scheduling activities, to listening to music, watching TV, shopping online and even entertaining, we spend a lot of time in the kitchen. That’s why kitchen designs are now about far more than where to store and prep ingredients and cook meals. They’re also about personal style. And that means no more plain vanilla! So what kind of kitchen are you imagining?

Commercial / Efficient

Perfect for home chefs who love everything about food, tools, and the joy of cooking and sharing extraordinary meals. This style borrows elements from commercial kitchens: stainless steel counters, backsplashes and appliances, and a stove (typically gas) with six or more burners, warming drawers and other features. Efficiency is key, so open shelves, a butcher block with knife storage, pullout faucets and pot-filler faucets mounted on a tiled wall over the range are nice additions. A glass-front fridge showcases fresh foods. A practical rack keeps high-quality pots and pans handy, and bar stools are a must so family and guests can gather as dinner is being prepared.

Kitchen Design and Remodeling - Photo: Jenn-Air

Commercial style kitchen photo courtesy Jenn-Air.

Retro / Bright

Retro kitchens combine open and practical family-friendly spaces with clean lines, stylish fixtures and colors like electric lime, turquoise, orange and red. Bamboo cabinets with minimal hardware are popular with this style. Mid-century modern touches are perfect, too – glass tiles, touches of teak, geometric patterns, diner-style stools, and space for large art canvases or big, bright posters. Light fixtures tend to be simple, but dramatic: pristine white globes or spiky “starbursts.”

Retro style kitchen

Retro style kitchen photo courtesy Kohler Co.

Contemporary / Sophisticated

Like retro kitchens, contemporary kitchens feature clean lines and glossy surfaces. While still family-friendly, this style turns up the dial on minimalist design. There is typically no molding, but strong horizontal lines, sleek cabinets and elements such as cement floors enhance the pared-down elegance. Natural light streaming through large windows is a hallmark of this style, with lighting fixtures that do double duty as sculptural design elements. Smart kitchen storage solutions keep countertops bare, giving the room a calm, Zen-like quality.

Farmhouse / Cozy

Imagine a kitchen smelling of herbs and apple pie! This is a cozy, richly textured kitchen style that’s all about comfort and visual interest. It can feature elements like wood counters, wooden beams, stained or painted bead board for the walls, with glass-door cabinets finished in different colors. Cabinets may feature a hutch element and the island may include furniture-type legs. A large farmhouse sink with an apron front is perfect, as are vintage light fixtures. Instead of bright colors, muted colors and natural textures create a cozy, comfortable feel for the space.

Farmhouse style kitchen

Farmhouse style kitchen photo courtesy Merillat Cabinetry.

Universal Design / Accessible

Universal design helps a kitchen work for everyone – at every age. These kitchens are clean and open. By designing at least 42 inches of space between cabinets and the island, the kitchen becomes wheelchair friendly. Multi-height counters and waist-level appliances make surfaces accessible even for young children. Safety features include plenty of natural and task lighting, plus hard-surface floors that are slip-resistant. D-shaped handles and touchless (or single-lever) faucets, pot-filler faucets over the stove, pullout storage drawers and Lazy Susans all make the kitchen easier to use. Wall ovens, side-by-side refrigerators and putting the microwave in an island rather than over a counter eliminate bending and reaching. It’s a truly ageless kitchen design!

These styles are just starting points. Trading up from a “plain vanilla” kitchen means combining the style elements you love most with spaces and functionality perfectly designed for all the ways you use your kitchen. We’d love to help you do that. Give us a call today and let’s start exploring the possibilities.