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Bang On: Marry form, function for timeless kitchen |

Bang On: Marry form, function for timeless kitchen

Kitchens, long referred to as the heart of the home, can be designed with the latest trends but still with longevity in mind.

Sentiment is important — because it is the heart of the home and gets lots of use for family and guests and who doesn’t want their kitchen to be stylish and on trend — but as a kitchen re-do can be a significant investment, whatever you do needs to have longevity.

Here are a few trends that are timeless and align perfectly with today’s informal dining and entertaining:

  • Open layouts enhance personal connections helping to balance the online nature of many of our work lives.
  • Ceilings often are overlooked for their design potential, but with a little imagination and some moldings, they can become an important tool in defining areas in open concept combinations spaces.
  • Clean horizontal lines with smooth cabinet fronts, less moldings and extra details creates a calm backdrop for family life.
  • Fewer upper cabinets can be balanced with open shelving to lighten the look and provide visual interest with dishes or unique art pieces. Even removing upper cabinet doors can brighten the look.
  • White cabinets will never go out of style. You’re more likely to grow tired of bold hues on major surfaces, so stick with accessories you can easily change for a totally new look.
  • Invisible appliances include under the counter microwaves and top loading microwave drawers which incorporate universal accessibility design principles. Tired of seeing the refrigerator protruding? With paneling to match cabinets, refrigerators can be magically transformed for a seamless look. Tired of the maintenance of stainless steel? Although it’s popularity still outranks all other finishes, stay tuned to see what impact the new smudge-proof and black finishes are going to have.
  • Countertops are available in unlimited colours and patterns. If you want durability along with a shimmering surface, quartz should be your choice.
  • The sparkle of plumbing and hardware finishes comes and goes. Brassy looking gold was in and gone, satin gold is coming in, but shiny silver lives on forever. Incorporate polished chrome or nickel into hardware, faucets, shelf brackets and more for an upscale accent that endures.

Focus on the function of the kitchen, and you can’t go wrong.

  • LED lighting has lost its harshness with new lights being softer, even more efficient and longer lasting than halogen and fluorescents. I’m glad to see those ugly curly light bulbs gone. LEDs can illuminate a toe-kick, perk up an island, or brighten the work space beneath cabinetry.
  • Single level islands increase the intimacy of a kitchen and provide valuable prep space. Gone is the concept that two levels will allow you to hide some of the clutter and mess.
  • You can never have too many deep drawers, by the stove for fast access for pots and pans, by the dishwasher for quick unloading of dishes or add readily available organizers to keep things in place and maximize effortless storage.
  • Sinks also come in a variety of sizes, styles and materials. Over-sized single sink models accommodate large pots and pans or other items that require hand washing. But think about what you need before you decide.

When planning your kitchen, remember to incorporate functionality and durability. Hopefully these hints will help you design a stylish environment that has longevity.

Twenty years ago, kitchen cabinets were considered well equipped when there was a lazy Susan or a built-in spice rack. Today there are many storage options, from pullout shelves, multi-layer cutlery drawers, narrow spaces that otherwise have false cabinet fronts (such as in front of the sink), pull outs from the kick plate under the cabinets or customized narrow spaces for cookie sheets and large platters.

You can create whatever fits your personal style.

Peder Madsen is ­president of the London Home ­Builders’ ­Association and ­vice-­president of CCR ­Building and ­Remodeling in London. 

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