Because we're spending more and more time in our kitchens, there is a move away from the all-or-nothing "fitted" look of continuous counters. Look for more freestanding pieces of furniture or features with furniturelike qualities, such as a cabriole leg holding up a kitchen counter. These details won't be fussy but will further the notion that the kitchen isn't just for utilitarian cooking, but is for living.
In the ongoing effort to customize our kitchens, almost anything goes. Now range hoods are works of art, literally. Already beautiful as well as functional, hoods can now be customized with panels you choose. Cupboard doors can be replaced with accent doors. Want a new backsplash? It's as simple as applying DIY stainless tiles or installing a ready-to-hang piece of tile art. You can go from dull to dramatic, tired to trendy, in just a few minutes.
This Asian Fusion kitchen designed by Troy Adams shows that minimal can be beautiful.
Eco-friendly products aren't going to go out of style anytime soon. And now there are more ways that you can go green in the kitchen too, from energy-efficient dishwashers (that use less water than when you wash by hand), to environmentally sound flooring options made of reclaimed wood and tiles. Ann Sacks even makes a rugged tile from rescued river rocks.
Move over refrigerator drawers and dishwasher drawers, and say hello to the microwave drawer. Yes, that handy appliance, popcorn button and all, now comes in a drawer. What's the big deal with drawers in the kitchen? As the kitchen has become the hub of the home, there's a move to break up the big expanses of appliances and cut the clutter.
Advances in technology continue to offer us out-of-this-world options, including an oven that can be programmed to keep your food cold until it's cooking time. You can even change the cooking directions from your office computer. Don't have enough freezer space? High tech can help you turn a fridge drawer into a freezer in no time. It can also raise the toilet seat when it sees you coming and clean the shower when you're not around.
Built-ins are convenient and sleek, two must-haves in today's kitchens. Think steamers and strainers, high-end coffeemakers, professional ice machines and wine coolers, knife racks, spice holders, ring holders, fondue pots, ice beds for shrimp and much, much more.
Glass is everywhere in today's kitchens, from recycled and Depression-era glass tiles to opaque glass on cooktops, refrigerators and cabinet doors. Glass mosaic tiles and Venetian glass light fixtures add light and drama.