It’s the perfect time of year to begin those home improvement projects that have been building up all winter, and whether we like to admit it or not, our kitchens often need a bit of sprucing up.
After taking the heat for all the holiday cooking, which often takes a toll on both ourselves and our kitchens, here are my top 2016 trends for livening up one of the most important rooms in a home:
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What better way to brighten up a space than to add vibrant accent features. Not only is this method extremely trendy right now, but it’s also extremely doable for any kitchen and any budget. Adding a few brightly colored pieces, such as lampshades, chairs, window treatments, and place settings will all offer a drastically different look to any kitchen, especially if it’s on the more monochromatic side.
If you’ve been waiting for an excuse to use your favorite color on a larger scale, then a vibrant backsplash, painted cabinets, and even colorful sinks and appliances are in this year. Be creative with your kitchen, just keep in mind to balance the color out and if using multiple colors be sure to choose two that complement each other instead of two that will fight for the spotlight.
CHARCOAL & DARKER PASTELS
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If intense colors just aren’t your thing, or would just annoy you in the morning before your cup of coffee, think about opting for a moody gray or a darker pastel color. Such colors will work with a variety of design styles, from traditional to modern, and still add a wow-factor to the space.
With darker hues being softer on the eye, this trend will easily work as a kitchen’s primary color scheme - think cabinets, countertops, backsplashes, floor tiles, or walls - but preferably not all of these options at once! If darker pastels are what you want, be sure to find a color that isn’t too dark for your kitchen. If your kitchen has dim lighting and doesn't get much sunlight, try your color of choice in a paler version or use a neutral pastel color.
Image Source: Betty Wasserman Art & Interiors, LLC
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Nordic - or Scandinavian - style kitchens are becoming increasingly popular this year. This design is naturally chic with its crisp whites, natural woods, and clean surfaces. The key to this style is to keep it minimal but also lived-in, meaning a few detailed pieces here and there but overall very simple and uncluttered.
If you’re thinking a functional Nordic design is perfect for you, you’ll want to start with a white color palette and wood furniture. If you have countertops that are multicolored or are of a different shade than white or brown, that’s okay; you’ll just want to focus more on the furniture and accessories. Look for larger furniture, like tables and chairs, in light to medium brown wood, and seek out crisp white accessories, including vases, lamp shades, window treatments, and appliances. If you want to go the extra mile, a clean white backsplash will immensely help in quieting down any unwanted extra colors.
Image Source: Crespo Design Group
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Similar to Nordic designs, sleek kitchen cabinets also work to calm down the look of a space, making the area less cluttered and even more functional. Now, I know this style might not be possible for everyone, but if you’re thinking of doing more than a few touch-ups to your kitchen, you might want to consider cabinets such as these.
Although this look is mostly associated with contemporary and minimalist designs, it works great for a number of different styles. A kitchen can still look traditional with slimmed down shaker cabinets, or still look eclectic with the right cabinet color, material, or texture as well as kitchen furnishings. The reason these cabinets are trending so well is not only because that they do in fact work with all styles but also because they alter our perception of a kitchen’s size by increasing the space we have to move around.
METAL & COPPER
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One of my favorite trends this year is definitely the uprise of metal and copper in the kitchen. These polished materials never fail to add a chic glossiness, and by being a raw, natural element, it doesn’t look overwhelming or overdone. The best part of this look is that it works at all scales, being integrated into a kitchen through small, subtle detailing, or taking on a larger role in the whole design.
Displaying metal or copper pots and bowls is probably one of the fastest and easiest ways to implement this trend, however, adding in details like lampshades or a backsplash, will result in a truly stunning design. Again, if you’re thinking of making bigger changes to your kitchen this year, a large metal or copper stove hood will certainly make a beautiful statement and create a focal point to your design. Try mixing and matching copper and metal for the best effect, whether you’re looking to attain a modern, rustic, traditional, or Mediterranean style.
MIXED MEDIA COUNTERTOPS
Image Source: Joanne Jakab
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Mixed media counters are when there are two different materials of countertop on a single surface, most often used to separate an eating area from a cooking area. Another versatile trend that works with contemporary, modern, rustic, transitional, and eclectic designs, as it adds a refined look and textured layering.
Depending on the look you want you can get creative with the mixing of medias; wood, glass, granite, and marble, as well as curved or rectangular shapes. The options for this look are vast, and can be custom made by a professional or even completed by diehard DIYers. There aren't too many rules to this look, just make sure to choose materials that pair well together, aesthetically and practically.