top kitchen design trends
Does your kitchen need a face lift?

Kitchens featuring black counter tops, open shelves or glass-front cabinets and darker paint tones will be popular with homeowners next year. Additionally, kitchens top the list of spaces homeowners plan to remodel this coming year!

So, if you are thinking about putting your home on the market for sale this Spring, you may want to consider throwing out the proverbial "kitchen sink".

The top kitchen trends for 2014 are:

Black Counters: Black kitchen counters will be all the rage next year, with homeowners looking to add sophistication to their kitchen. Popular materials to achieve this look will include black granite and quartz. Zillow Digs Board of Designers Member, Adam Hunter of Adam Hunter, Inc. in West Hollywood, Calif., likes "black granite that is honed or has a leather finish" to provide a tasteful, yet dramatic look. Expect to see black countered-kitchens paired with a lighter counter such as marble or light gray for contrast.

Open Shelves and Glass-front Cabinets: Displaying kitchen wares is a growing trend among all kitchen types, not just contemporary and traditional farmhouse kitchens.  As the kitchen has become a central meeting place for family and friends, presentation has become a priority for many homeowners. It is now fashionable to display almost everything in the kitchen — from dishes to pots and pans to gourmet oils and vinegars.

Darker Paint Tones: Homeowners identified black, deep brown and dark red and copper tones as some of the most popular paint colors. Since dark colors may make a space feel smaller, designers recommend painting just one wall a deep shade, or consider painting the ceiling or floor.

Now that you know the coolest, hippest look, how do you start?  

There are several websites that have either kitchen specific or overall room designing tools that you can use to create your own Rembrandt Refrigerator.  IKEA has a nifty tool at this site, but it's relegated to IKEA branded products.  Consumer Kitchens has a Virtual Kitchen and Bath planner that also lets you choose specific types of granite to make your kitchen pop.  There are countless others out there, so find the one that fits what you are doing or even specific to where you are shopping.

Finally, here are a few things you DO NOT want to add to your new design:

Don’t obstruct access to the kitchen triangle.

Specialists refer to the sink, stove and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity which requires careful planning and unobstructed access. Of the three, the sink will see the most action and should have easy access to the stove and refrigerator, as well as your counter top workstations.

Don’t waste storage space.

Kitchens typically contain lots of stuff. Not only that, but items often concealed behind built-in kitchen cabinet doors can be oddly shaped and require a lot of space, such as food processors or stand mixers. Finding a home for your kitchen stuff while keeping it easily accessible can be a tricky proposition. Because built-ins are expensive and the overall size of the area you’re working with may be limited, one big design mistake is not including enough storage.

Don’t ignore counter-top work space.

One of the biggest complaints about kitchen design is the lack of counter-tops. Consider all the kitchen activities that require a counter-top, as well as appliances that are permanently located there, you might want to fit as much open horizontal surface areas in a kitchen as possible.

Poor lighting.

The kitchen is one room where you can’t afford to have poor lighting. It’s not only a matter of design and atmosphere, but also a safety matter when it comes to handling sharp kitchenware.

Going too trendy.

Although it’s not necessarily a mistake, choosing the latest kitchen designs and high-end equipment may not be the best of choices. The most stylish color of the season and trendy designs have a short half-life, and you may never get your return on large investments in the latest kitchenware.

Happy Designing!
Clark Ransom | Keller Williams Realty