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Designing your Kitchen 

To look back at the trends of the past reveals some interesting cycles that parallel our national mood. The 1970's featured the exotic Euro-features such as highly inlaid wood and grooved handles, mixed with the colors of nature. The 80's and 90's brought in sleek laminates trimmed in chrome and a beginning tradition of gadgetry. Now here we are experiencing the balanced 2000's, where luxurious exotic woods in cabinets must be ecologically correct and functionally elegant. 

Designing your KitchenToday's value conscious home buyer may shun the excess of the past, but it seems as though they do not want to cut corners in their kitchen. This has brought about a new demand for both value and style which has led cabinetmakers to enhance their techniques. We spoke with Roger Van Nostrand of Van Nostrand cabinets to share with us the trends he feels kitchens are heading towards. 

One of the main features people are requiring in their home are larger kitchens with ample storage and utility built in. Things that are aimed at increasing efficiency in kitchens include, pull out pantry racks, lazy Susan's, wine racks, cutting boards, recipe book shelves-even ironing boards and TV's. Work islands or peninsulas are great if the kitchen is large enough, as well as multilevel work heights with bar stools. Planning for a desk is another popular addition to any kitchen. Everyone wants clean lines and open counter space, so the best way to succeed is to build it all in. 

Built-in, or the look of it, is also popular in appliances, and there are more of them than ever. These appliances are typically white, black or neutral so that homeowners can decorate around them easily. A current trend is to add a panel to the front to match the adjacent cabinets. 

Over the past few years, white cabinets have been popular in kitchens, However a distinct move back to wood cabinets, often in somewhat rare species, such as hickory, maple and cherry, has moved towards the forefront. With this change, stains are getting darker such as cinnamon and nutmeg, as well as burgundy. 

Earthy colors, such as burlap or wheat, are great for countertops when trimmed and accented with bolder, richer colors. The look of stone, such as granite, has also been popular in countertops. With the development of new colors and textures in plastic laminate, the look of stone is much more appealing. 

With all of these items to consider, designing your kitchen is a very individual process. But by being aware of the options and working with a seasoned designer, you can best create the ideal kitchen for your home. 

UDA Idea Workshop Journal

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