Trend #1: Remodeling scales back
A new focus on moderation and value has entered the remodeling mind-set. Trends that are likely to show up in your kitchen next year include:
You?ll repair your existing appliances instead of replacing them, extending their life with good maintenance and care. If you?re replacing cabinets, you?re likely to build around your current appliances rather than choosing new models.
You?re scaling back your cabinetry purchases, with an increased emphasis on kitchen storage and functionality over elaborate decoration. For example, rather than stacked crown moldings throughout the kitchen, you?ll put your money into practical roll-out trays and drawer organizers.
Small-scale kitchen projects are big news. Changing out cabinet hardware, replacing a faucet, and refacing your cabinets upgrades your kitchen without major expense.
Trend #2: Simpler, warmer styles dominate
Fussiness and excess have faded away in favor of pared-back looks that present a more timeless, value-conscious style.
Cabinet decoration continues to streamline. For example, massive corbels, once fashionable as undercounter supports, will give way to sleeker countertop supports and cantelivered countertop edges. Stacked moldings will pare back or disappear entirely. Elaborately glazed finishes will yield to simpler paints and stains.
Kitchen finishes will continue to get warmer and darker, and feature natural and stained woods. Walnut especially is growing in popularity.
Laminate countertops will continue to surge in popularity, especially in contemporary design. The latest European-inspired laminates offer more textured and naturalistic finishes than ever before. While exotic wood kitchen cabinets are out of reach for most home owners, glossy, look-alike laminate versions can be had for about one-third the price.
Trend #3: Technology expands its kitchen presence
Many of the techno products and trends that relate to your smartphones and tablets have just started making their way into your local showrooms and home centers.
Appliances will be equipped with USB ports and digital screens so you can display your family photographs and kids? artwork.
Smart, induction built-in cooktops ($500-$3,000) remember your temperature settings as you move your pans across their entire surface.
One light finger touch is all it takes to open the electronically controlled sliding doors of your kitchen cabinets ? a boon to people with limited mobilities. You?ll pay 40% to 70% more for cabinets with electronically controlled doors than standard models.
You?ll be able to use your smart phones and tablets to control lights and appliance settings from anywhere you have a wi-fi connection, as well as to shop for appliances from major manufacturers.
You?ll be opting for LEDs for your recessed lights, under-cabinet task lighting and color-changing accent lighting. You?ll see more LED-powered pendants and chandeliers from major manufacturers as inefficient incandescent bulbs continue their march toward extinction.
A wide selection of affordable microwave ovens with convection and even steam features gives owners of smaller kitchen spaces more high-end cooking power.
What improvements ? big or small ? are you planning for your kitchen this year?
A National Kitchen & Bath Association-certified designer, a Certified Aging in Place Specialist, & a contributor to Kitchens.com and Fine Homebuilding, Jamie Goldberg?s first kitchen design book is out in Nov. 2012.
"Visit HouseLogic.com for more articles like this. Reprinted from HouseLogic.com with permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS."