If you're looking to remodel your kitchen, we've got good news and bad news. First, the good stuff. According to trend experts Lita Dirks and Dominick Tringali, you don't have to shell out major cash to add space. Instead, look to expand what you already have. Vault your ceiling, add windows, squeeze in clever storage ideas. Make the space work harder, not bigger. Plus, relax. Casual kitchens are trending, with doo-dads and gee-gaws (think elaborate trim and vent hoods that look like medieval castles) going away, and simpler, sleeker designs coming on strong.
Speaking on kitchen trends at the 2013 International Builder's Show in Las Vegas, interior designer Dirks and architect Tringali teamed up to describe the new American kitchen as one piece of a larger, open floor plan. It's all part of a new kitchen gestalt that Dirks describes as the "prep-eat-play" triangle, with flexibility and casual living as key ingredients. The notion tosses the kitchen into a design blender along with living, dining, and family rooms, and frappes everything into communal happiness. Example: You can eat at a comfy banquette, or in front of the TV (don't tell your child-development counselor), or in the breakfast nook, or you can belly up to the island. No rules!
Kitchen Remodeling Trends That Will Make Your Home Fabulous
Aspiring chefs, gourmets and gourmands -- feast your eyes on these delectable kitchens, plucked from some of the finest homes on the market today. If the kitchen truly is the heart of the home, get ready to fall in love with some of the best-kept, cutting-edge and well-equipped tickers this side of Lyon. Bon appétit!
This home is outfitted for large-scale entertaining and has the amenities to show for it: There's a paneled library, butler's pantry, office, pool, guest suite, massage room, spa, home theater -- phew! -- golf room, gymnasium, gift-wrapping room and living room.
And what would a grown-up party house be without an over-the-top kitchen? Crammed with state-of-the-art appliances, this expansive culinary laboratory has two kitchen islands and encompasses a breakfast area with a fireplace.
Location: Beverly Hills, Calif.
Price: $40 million
Sq. Ft.: 13,885
They don't get much more expensive than this giant (though, believe it or not, there do happen to be quite a few houses that dwarf it). This gated mansion offers a swimming pool, tennis courts and, clearly -- at this price -- a whole lot more.
Location: Los Angeles, Calif.
Price: $34.95 million
Sq. Ft.: 15,000 Sq Ft
You can’t buy happiness, but this stunning architectural home is about as close to a Zen investment as you’re likely to find this side of Nirvana. With six bedrooms and 10 baths, you could start your own religious commune in this sprawling contemporary home. And speaking of food for the soul …
Oh, would that we were real Disney princesses! Well, there’s also the princely sum this property costs, but we can dream, can’t we? This palatial estate -- in the Lone Star State, no less -- has everything an aspiring royal could ever want, including a grandiose gourmet kitchen.
This Tuscan-style palace is just what fairy tales are made of -- rustic stone walls, golden chandeliers, and a kitchen island to die for. We may be highlighting killer kitchens this week, but the rest of this modern palace has to be seen to be believed. Swoon!
Location: Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.
Sq Ft: 4,141 Sq Ft
Sitting on a small fortune but aren’t much into mowing the lawn? Then try this tropical fantasy condo on for size. With cerulean blue around every corner of this luxurious beachside home, sit back and enjoy a Mai Tai in your spacious and airy dining room.
The bad news (OK, it's not that bad) is that we've heard some of this before. Open floor plans have been around since the moon landing, and, yes, we like them. A lot. What we really have here is affirmation -- and freedom to create kitchens that are less ornate and yet have more personality. Just like you. Of course, Dirks and Trengali definitely have the pulse of today's home owner and offer some great takeaways. We've combined their goodies with our own kitchen trendspotting for 2013. If you're planning a kitchen redo, here's what you need to know:
Contemporary kitchens are in. Specifically, they're getting simpler and more modern, with less elaborate detail and trim. In fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association reports that in its annual survey of kitchen designers, "transitional" design -- meaning a simple, more modern aesthetic -- has surpassed "traditional" as the preferred design for the first time in the association's history.
Kitchen cabinets are dark, or white. Darker, furniture-like finishes are popular, but so is pure white. The middle ground -- think natural oak -- is going away. Dark finishes help the kitchen integrate into the overall scheme; pure white is the ultimate accent color that readily complements the rest of the living area.
Islands rule. Kitchen islands are becoming more multi-dimensional, serving as food-prep areas, snack stations, wine storage, and display cabinets for objets d'art. Also, they're essential for directing traffic flow within an open floor plan, channeling guests toward comfy seating areas, for example. Small kitchen? Go with a rolling cart that's there when you need it.
Countertop revolution. Say hi to porcelain and ceramic slabs that look like stone, wood, and fabric, says Jamie Gold, a California designer. The product is made from clay, quartz, and feldspar that's subjected to high heat -- just like regular tile. Unlike other engineered countertops, this product doesn't use cements or resin binders. It's not readily available in the U.S. yet.
Appliances are disappearing. In the past, we loved our commercial-style kitchen appliances that made us look like we really knew how to cook. Now, appliances are hiding behind wood panels and faux veneers so they integrate better with the overall living space. New finishes, such as GE's slate and Whirlpool's Ice White, are bucking the stainless steel trend, but don't bet on stainless going away anytime soon -- it's still hot.
Glass finishes. Glistening glass is popping up everywhere in the kitchen, especially glass tiles installed as backsplashes. Applying clear glass panels over walls painted soft colors gives a deep sheen that harmonizes with today's contemporary looks. Bonus: It's easy to clean.
Grab some fresh air.Outdoor kitchens and entertaining areas are hot. Your indoor kitchen should have an outdoor doppelganger close by, available through wide glass doors.
This article was originally published on HouseLogic.