Recently, the Jenn-Air brand tapped members of its Design Advisory Council (DAC) to gain insights into current design trends in their kitchen designs. Several members of this accomplished group of design professionals from across the country shared thoughts on what ideas their clients are responding favorably to, requesting, and in some cases demanding, for this essential space.
What kitchen design trends were noticeably prevalent this year?
“Glass cabinets are back with a vengeance. They allow you to display your beautiful items all while adding beautiful storage.” – Alexandre Blazys & Benoit Gérard/Blazys Gérard
“A growing interest and demand for connected technology in the kitchen.” – Campion Platt
“A major trend has been the increased focus on the functional details of the kitchen and an increased inclination of clients to invest in great interior storage accessories and the best appliances they can afford. The use of online design communities like Pinterest and Houzz, along with an increasing use of shared boards between clients and their designers, has led to this more well-thought-out and heavily researched kitchen.” Julia Johnston
In general, was there anything new in kitchen design that really caught on this year?
“We’ve noticed that kitchen islands are being elevated from the floor, giving this very popular and functional kitchen item a more elegant look so it’s more like a furniture piece. Our clients are also requesting more open shelving in the kitchen to use for displaying their treasures and items like stoneware.” Alexandre Blazys & Benoit Gérard/Blazys Gérard
“More black, more white, more lacquer, less finished wood. More dynamic placement of appliances to break the efficient “triangle” mantra.” Campion Platt
What are you seeing in terms of cabinet and countertop selections? Are materials changing in these categories?
“The very thin ceramics that look like precious marbles are quite the trend. There are also many new quartzites available and clients are selecting statement pieces with very graphic and colorful patterns.” Alexandre Blazys & Benoit Gérard/Blazys Gérard
“The new kitchen will have less stainless steel and the new designs will incorporate more interior elements to make more of family room/ kitchen design concept. The traditional appliances will be more separated, and more hidden as the design function of this room morphs over time.” Campion Platt
“A few years ago we started seeing blues in cabinetry colors here in the Midwest but they were brighter hues of blue. Today, we are trending more toward navy blues. I call these the “Sock Drawer Blues” because the shade is very deep and it can be mistaken for black. Why are we seeing this dark blue hue? We see a lot of white cabinetry when the economy is weaker, because it is a safe color; timeless. Even after the economy strengthened recently, the desire for the timelessness of white continues to be strong. Two major paint companies even independently chose hues of whites as their “Color of the Year” in 2016. I’m seeing a continued desire for the timelessness, but a want to do something just a bit different; hence the navy blue. When you first see kitchen cabinetry in this color in some lighting, it can look black. White, black and navy – all timeless colors and in a decade or two from now, it is a safe bet they will still be on trend in styling from a color perspective.” Karla Krengel, Greenfield Cabinetry
What about appliances in high end projects? Are you noticing any demand for specific technologies?
“The most prominent trend in kitchens is the increasing personalization of the appliances. My clients are still torn between gas and induction cooktops, and those with large kitchens and budgets often put in both. Double-ovens are giving way to two separate ovens, with at least one of these ovens being a combi-steam or a speed cook oven. Smaller appliances are being bought—whether for a second appliance, smaller spaces, or outside kitchen uses.” Julia Johnston
“People want great design and efficiency. Given that open plan houses are a strong trend, appliances that operate quietly are a must. Technologies like the LCD screens and connectivity used in other areas of the home are being applied at large.” Alexandre Blazys & Benoit Gérard/Blazys Gérard
“Connected technology is extremely important to consumers and becoming more expected.” Campion Platt
What about finishes in appliances? Is stainless steel still in high demand with your clientele? Is open plan living still very popular?
“Stainless steel is still popular but many clients prefer to integrate it into the environment with custom cabinetry to hide the appliances and black seems to be coming back.” Alexandre Blazys & Benoit Gérard/Blazys Gérard
“Stainless steel is still king in the finish department. It is the Little Black Dress of finishes, and while many people covet some of the newer mirrored finishes, or brightly colored appliances, they usually fall back on this safe and attractive alternative.” Julia Johnston
What are the top three things clients insist on when remodeling a kitchen?
“Storage, storage, storage; full integration of appliances; and abundant linear work surfaces.” Alexandre Blazys & Benoit Gérard/Blazys Gérard
“Durability, better lighting, ease of use and utility – the assumption of good design is a given.” Campion Platt