Today's kitchen design is about space, convenience, and understated style. What's more, the hottest trends in kitchen design appear likely to stick around.
By Sarah Clark
December 31, 1969
Your grandmother's kitchen was probably an enclosed room off the dining area that contained a simple kitchen sink
under a window with counter space that could easily be cluttered by a couple of glasses and jars of jam. In those days, a kitchen island was probably unheard of, as was having more than one sink.
Kitchen Design for the 21st Century
Modern kitchens couldn't be more different. They are now the place where family and friends gather to cook, chat, do homework, and talk on the phone. In response to this trend, homeowners are investing more in their kitchens to make it a place that's comfortable, functional, and stylish.
Integrating the Kitchen into Common Areas
Space is the first theme in kitchen design. Being able to look out from the kitchen onto other areas of the house, typically the dining room and TV
room, brings the kitchen into areas that are traditionally more populated with people. High countertops are used to provide some separation between the kitchen and other rooms, and serve to hide clutter common on lower countertops.
Countertops are also more spacious. The amount of surface area in kitchens has risen dramatically. Today, you're likely to find counter space not only on either side of the kitchen sink and stovetop, but also on an elongated kitchen island. Earlier islands, defined by a square, butcher-block style are being replaced by longer islands with a trough sink and dual facets.
Cooking in a Natural Environment
Nature is a big influence on kitchen design today. Go for warm, earthy colors and natural materials like granite, marble, birch, maple, cherry, and porcelain. Juxtaposing textures, such as smooth granite countertops with a rough tile backsplash, is common.
Kitchen accessories that make food preparation and clean up easier are also popular. Food prep areas for quick weekday dinners that place a chopping block, microwave, and counter space together are practical. Islands with plenty of storage
underneath are not far from a dishwasher that can clean delicate stemware and heavy dirty pans simultaneously.
The themes upon which these trends are based--space and functionality--are likely not to change in the near future, so don't be afraid to invest in a few upgrades to what is quite possibly the most popular room in your home.
About the Author
Sarah Clark is a freelance writer based in Arlington, Virginia.
*Before you apply any of the advice described on the Hip-home.com website, you should consider if the advice is safe and suitable for your individual home situation and consult experts as necessary to evaluate the suitability for your circumstances.