How to design a kitchen now that will be long- lasting
By Randi Satnick
Spring is typically the season when new homeowners and others plan the renovation of their kitchen spaces. So, now would be the time to consider what has worked in the past, what remains current and what new ideas and materials won’t become the avocado lesson of tomorrow. Some of us lived through the avocado era and saw the error of our ways. Others were told of the ghastly visual and yet, others unearthed it when peeling away layers of an older kitchen in need of resurrection. The avocado design trend began in the 60’s and lasted into the 70’s. While not a bad run for a trend, it is the type of mistake kitchen designers of today vow to avoid.
In fact, a well-seasoned designer of any space deciphers between trends that will make a long-lasting mark and those that will be fleeting. When designing a kitchen of today, one should already be thinking of tomorrow. The investment in a new kitchen is too high and the stakes too great to be pigeon-holed into an era or to make an error in judgment. With kitchen renovations ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 and more it is smart to think long term.
Technology for smart kitchens of the future will seemingly evolve faster than boiling water in an instant hot pot. Appliance World notes, “From your dishwasher texting you when a cycle is complete to your phone being programmed to preheat your oven before you get home, smart appliances are here and only becoming more prevalent.” The trend toward ease and accessibility also speaks to the increase in cabinet drawers (not just doors), larger islands and lower placement of functional items such as dishes and microwaves. However, what will remain much the same are kitchen staples such as cabinets, countertops and backsplashes. It is the finishes of these utilitarian items that will determine style and longevity.
“Even with the popularity of the white kitchen, “veteran interior designer Patricia Salcedo of III View Design, explains, “I like to mix it up for my clients. I avoid the pitfall of the cookie-cutter kitchen or the kitchen that will look dated in a few years because materials are specific to a trending color, shape or style.” Salcedo knows for instance that there are many whites from which to choose a painted cabinet. Perhaps you don’t choose the whitest or brightest. Salcedo mixes metals in her finish choices, again, so a space doesn’t become dated when a selection is no longer the finish of the day. Cambria, a large manufacturer of quartz products often used for countertops and backsplashes, continually introduces new style options. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of Cambria, new introductions bridge the gap between trending designs and timeless options. One such quartz surface brings warm veining as an answer to the cool grays of Carrera marble that are still popular. Carrera marble also gets an overhaul in another selection that breaks up the long, sleek veining into a mosaic design.
While trends are fun and make designing with the fresh and new difficult to resist, like avocado, trends get stale and can spoil a space that should look great for years to come. Patricia Salcedo of III View Design, suggests incorporating trends that can easily be changed. Salcedo recommends upholstery, accessories or paint as a vehicle for trendy design concepts. Trends like avocado turn into avocado toast; they will eventually disappear. So, while the personalization of a kitchen for both function and design are key to customer satisfaction, Salcedo cautions to keep timelessness in mind when selecting finishes. The lesson learned should be about creating something to sizzle on the stove or around the table, not something that’s bound to fizzle out.