#10 - Top Ten Kitchen Trends of 2017

#10 - Top Ten Kitchen Trends of 2017

#10 - Top Ten Kitchen Trends of 2017 - Kitchen Tune-up


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Accessible and/or universal design features continue to trend up for kitchens.
What is Universal Design?

Universal design, also called barrier-free design, focuses on making the house safe and
accessible for everyone, regardless of age, physical ability, or stature. Most of us think
immediately of ramps and grab bars when we think of accessible housing, but universal
design goes far beyond that while remaining largely invisible to the casual observer.

In the Kitchen

  • Use pulls instead of knobs on cabinets and drawers. These are much easier on arthritic hands. Large cabinet and drawer pulls are easier to grip than small knobs, making storage areas more accessible. Glass doors allow users to see where everything is stored.
  • Install a contrasting edge-band on countertops. This makes it easier for someone with failing eyesight to see the edge of the countertop. Anyone navigating a dimly lit kitchen for a middle-of- the-night snack will also appreciate this touch.
  • Install varied-height cabinets and countertops. This is particularly appreciated in multi-cook families where, say, a very tall parent and a child may be working together to prepare a meal. Countertop heights can also be varied to accommodate particular tasks. For example, bakers value lower countertops for rolling out pastry and kneading dough.
  • Consider flexible appliances. Items such as under-the- counter refrigerator drawers make a kitchen more accessible for someone in a wheelchair. They are still pretty expensive, but the price is certain to drop over time. Elevating the dishwasher accommodates people in wheelchairs as well as people who may not be able to bend easily. You can even get a sink that raises or lowers at the touch of a button.
  • To accommodate a cook who uses a wheelchair, leave open space under the sink, cooktop, and prep counter, opt for higher toekicks on the base cabinets, install pull-down shelves in the upper cabinets, and choose a range with controls at the front or to the side of the cooktop (choose a model with a safety lock-out option if there are also young children in the house).
  • It has the functional triangle layout, right-height countertops, cabinet pulls and open space under the sink and cooktop: See how a universal kitchen design can be designed to suit people of all ages.
  • Space Beneath Sink and Stove
  • Open space beneath the sink and stove provides knee clearance for wheelchair users in this kitchen. The room also features a microwave built into the base drawers and a raised dishwasher to reduce having to bend down.
  • Accessible Kitchen With Modern Flair
  • Universal design features are seamlessly integrated in this stylish kitchen. Oversized hardware makes the appliances and cabinets easy to open, while the lowered countertop at the island is the perfect height for a wheelchair user. Below the counters, two freezer drawers and a microwave drawer are easily accessible. 
  • Two-Tiered Kitchen Island
  • Countertops positioned at various heights make this kitchen easily usable for any chef, young or old. A pot filler positioned over the stove eliminates the hassle of carrying heavy, water-filled pots across the kitchen. 
  • Open Shelving
  • Open shelving and metal hooks provide easy access to utensils and dishes in this kitchen. The cabinetry beneath the countertop is also easily accessible, and the kitchen table can be moved to create more space if needed. 
  • Reachable Kitchen Storage
  • This open kitchen features base drawers rather than cabinets, which are easier to access and can be used to organize dishes, pots, pans, utensils and more. A microwave built into the lower cabinets is easy for any user to reach.
  • Cushioned Kitchen Floor
  • This spacious kitchen offers plenty of clearance for a wheelchair. The room also features cork flooring, which cushions tired feet and muffles sound. 
  • Dishwasher Drawer
  • Drawer-style dishwashers are easier to load and can be installed at various heights based on your needs. Plus, they can handle smaller loads, making them more efficient. 
  • Accessible Storage
  • Special storage features, such as pullout shelves and lazy Susans, make cabinet contents easier to reach in the kitchen. 
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TECH TIPS with ERIC
“Clean lines with no fussy moldings or trims,” underscored one survey respondent. “White
kitchens are never going away, but I’ve recommended mixed countertop materials, mixed cabinet
colors and frequently use lots of light/dark materials for contrast.”
From a materials standpoint, wood cabinets continue to dominate kitchen designs while metal,
currently a small segment of the cabinet market, appears to be emerging. Younger and male
designers most frequently specify metal cabinets. The emergence of metal cabinetry and the use
of reclaimed woods falls is consistent with aforementioned reports of kitchen designers using
different combinations of materials and metals, across surfaces and as accents.
According to Bill Darcy, NKBA CEO, designers are “specifying mixed color palettes and mixing
materials, especially for countertops.”
Survey respondents also reported that technology in the kitchen is increasing, a trend which was
highly anticipated by Darcy, who noted that about one third of NKBA professionals included wiring
and pathways for future technical integration. NKBA members also reported recommending
kitchens designs that offered Internet connected appliances and docking stations.
“Homeowners want power strips under cabinets to eliminate outlets in the backsplash,” explained
one NKBA professional about the increased demand for tech amenities in kitchens.