What’s Trending: Kitchen Tour Recap

Friday was a great day spent at the Designer Kitchens of the North Shore event. Seven beautiful homes with even more beautiful kitchens, each one very different.  Tons of info here so bear with me!  Here were a few of our favorites…

Both of us picked the sleek, yet incredibly warm stunner of designer Sarah Dippold and her husband Matt as our overall favorite.

Sarah Dippold Design via Sun-Times Media

A grand, eclectic European style family kitchen by Susan Fredman Design Group’s Terri Crittenden (interestingly enough, the home owners are Terri’s brother and sister-in-law…talk about pressure!)

From Susan Fredman Design Group

A perfect example of how traditional materials become more contemporary by mixing them together–different woods, countertops, backsplash come together in a New England inspired kitchen from Morgante Wilson Architects.

Morgante Wilson Architects via Sheridan Road Magazine

A simple, yet creative space from Vince Weber at Normandy Remodeling–we particularly liked the open shelving in the corner (in lieu of a corner cabinet that is generally unusable!) and the quaint breakfast nook that is both practical and adds visual interest.

From Normandy Remodeling

At each house, the designer was on hand to answer questions about his/her design and each one was super friendly and generous with the tips!  One thing we heard overwhelmingly was that there are of course specific trends regarding materials (and we’ve outlined some below), but the biggest overall trend in kitchen design is the desire for a unique space that reflects the owners and their taste/lifestyle.   So, when considering a renovation, look at incorporating interesting hardware, or mixing cabinet colors, wood tones or surfaces…don’t be afraid to make the space your own.
One of the most interesting pieces of advice we got was from Designer Sarah Dippold who advised that when designing your kitchen, create balance, not symmetry.  For example, in the photo below, Sarah inserted a large sliding mirror into a prep nook to balance the reflective nature of the large refrigerator on the opposite side of the room; the window above the range, is balanced across the room with a fireplace. Items in the room don’t have to match, but to make the space feel cohesive they should be balanced in general size and weight.   In fact, this applies to all design, not just your kitchen.

Sarah Dippold Design via Sun-Times Media

From Sarah Dippold Design

Sarah Dippold Design via Sun-Times Media

We also had the chance to have lunch with Karl Sponholz, Finalist Season Six Design Star, and Jann Parr, Editor of Chicago Home + Garden.   Some of the key points we pulled away from the discussion:

  • Don’t rush the process–take your time and find the right solutions for your budget.
  • Looking for a quick spruce up, reface your cabinet doors and freshen up your backsplash (but we all knew that already!)
  • Mix it up!  Whether it’s traditional and modern finishes or different materials, having variety in your kitchen will help break up a large space–definitely evident in the spaces highlighted on the tour.
  • Don’t design your kitchen for the one day a year when you entertain 30 people–it should fit everyday living.
  • The line between the kitchen and the living space is continues to become increasingly blurred.

Karl pinpointed a few of the trends he’s seeing:

  • Glass/porcelain is taking over natural stone for backsplashes.
  • While granite is still a great option for durability and resale, quartzite is gaining speed for its uniformity in color and appearance.
  • In cabinetry, after a good long run espresso brown is starting to move aside  for more walnut and caramel wood tones. Also, gray is the new neutral.
  • North Americans haven’t really jumped on the glossy euro cabinet trend quite yet, but we’re seeing it more (particularly in urban areas.)
  • Stainless steel appliances are still the top choice; big hoods still are an in-demand feature.
  • On the way out: recessed canned lighting…unfortunately it’s not quite clear what exactly will replace these lights so we recommend holding off on ripping into your ceilings.
  • And, don’t forget to make room for a walk-in pantry.

And btw, after the post about my kitchen last week, I was super happy to hear that white kitchens are still having a good run (phew!)

Drop us a note if you have any additional thoughts on kitchens trends.


5 Responses to “What’s Trending: Kitchen Tour Recap”

  1. Kristina from Normandy Remodeling
    May 18, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    Great advice to homeowners, glad you enjoyed the tour!

  2. Sarah Dippold
    May 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm #

    Thank you Tessa & Amy! I appreciate your kind words. It was so nice to meet you both at the Jr League Kitchen Tour! I’ll be following, and I wish you two continued success!

  3. Sarah Dippold
    May 12, 2012 at 2:16 pm #

    Thank you Amy & Tessa! It was a pleasure meeting you both at the Jr League Kitchen Tour! I love the Blog!

  4. Carrie
    May 7, 2012 at 1:49 pm #

    Tess: when you’re here, remind me to show you our architect’s original design for the kitchen which included a walk-in pantry, as you recommend. In fact, our builder came up with a much more space-efficient design by lining an entire wall with cabinets instead of eating into our already limited floor space with a walk-in pantry. Walk-ins are great if you have lots of space, but consider that most of the space inside a walk-in pantry is space for your body to move around–not storage! I’d rather have the body space on the outside of my pantry, thereby making my kitchen larger. Makes a world of difference.

  5. Barbara
    May 7, 2012 at 8:04 am #

    Lots of good advice, sounds like a positive tour!

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