Kitchen Remodel

Trends and tips to consider when remodeling your kitchen




If you’re planning on selling your home, then consider choosing neutral, timeless colors for your kitchen remodel. Add your personality to the room with movable items or light fixtures.

Considering a kitchen remodel? Well, before we get into the latest trends, etc., you need to ask yourself one very important question: “How long do I plan to live here?”

If the answer is less than five years, then yes, you are remodeling for your own use and pleasure, but you must also keep resale in mind. You should carefully consider return on investment, and it’s a good idea to lean toward more neutral colors and timeless finishes in tile and counters, as well as upgraded but value-priced appliances. If your personality tends toward color and eclecticism, let that shine in fabrics, movable furnishings and potentially light fixtures.

If you plan on staying in your home for more than five years, you will be around longer to appreciate the benefit of your dollars and labor. You can safely indulge in a wider range of cabinetry finishes, styles and colors, splurge on a higher-end counter surface, and cook on that dream stove you’ve always wanted. This is when you should invest in as high-quality items as possible so that your purchases last for as long as you plan to enjoy them.

To that end, I’ve rounded up the latest kitchen trends that I feel will also stand the test of time. These are pretty safe bets, whether you’re in your house for the long haul or plan to haul it out of town in the near(ish) future.  

Quartz Countertops

Everyone wants quartz these days. If you can spend the money, quartz is the way to go, both for resale and for longterm investment. Quartz is a man-made engineered stone, and is extremely durable, nonporous and stain-and-crack resistant. It does not require sealing and comes in glossy and matte finishes. Personally, I really like the leathered finish. For a classic look that will appeal to the most people, I prefer quartz that mimics the look of marble, soapstone or cement.

Banquette Seating

You know how kids love sitting in booths at restaurants? If your layout allows, banquette seating at home offers more than a fun place for the kids to slide into — it can also be a major space-saver. Build a wooden bench seat, then have a custom cushion made, and add few throw pillows to top it off. Are you in your forever house? You can work with a designer to create a furniture look with laminated upholstery in the fabric of your choice for ultimate wipeability.

Base Cabinet Drawers vs. Doors


Never lose something in the back of a bottom cabinet again. Base drawers can hold anything from heavy pots and pans to dishes, and mean less bending over to find what you need.

I steer clients toward drawers rather than doors in base cabinets. I hate all the crouching down and rifling through shelves that doors entail. If constructed well, drawers can hold the heaviest of Dutch ovens. Peg systems can even hold dishes and bowls in place.

Pantry Walls

No room for a separate pantry? A floor-to-ceiling pantry wall maximizes storage by giving you one huge place to store your dried food goods, while minimizing your need for natural light-killing upper cabinets. Most are no more than 9-12 inches deep (any deeper than that and you won’t be able to find that extra bag of sugar you bought), so they offer improved walking flow over those space-hogging, 24-inch-deep base cabinets. If you’re truly maxed out on floor space but have a free wall, you can even fit one in between the studs.

Hidden/Simple Box-Style Range Hoods

This is one supposed “trend” that is anything but trendy, in my opinion. While part of me will always love a stunning custom range hood that serves as a focal point in a kitchen, a quiet, unobtrusive one will allow other elements to shine — and it never goes out of style. If you compare a kitchen hood to jewelry, this type would be like pearl earrings — they go with anything and are tasteful and timeless, making them the best of investment pieces.
And — as always — take a cue from the architecture of your house when planning your kitchen remodel. A “remuddle” is the very worst investment of all.

About the Author

Decorator and color consultant Amy Mitchell is the owner of Home Glow Design. Each week, she writes for Home Glow’s “Saturday Blog,” focusing on fresh twists on classic style, American craftsmanship and value and quality for dollars spent. The blog also features more photos from this story. She lives in Hopkinton with her husband and two boys.

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