Design Dilemma: Five 2012 Kitchen Design Trends
There have been some big changes in kitchen design. In fact, you can take pretty much every major trend of the last few years and turn it on its head if you want to know what’s new and hot in 2012. Here’s a quick summary:
1. Unmatched cabinetry.
The biggest design trend of them all, unmatched cabinets, have become practically de riguer in Europe. Colors and materials are freely mixed and matched, often an oak wood cabinet base is matched with glossy uppers. One of the most popular looks is darker colors and cabinetry for the base cabinets, and lighter upper cabinets which help provide a sense of openness.
2. Limed Oak
Limed oak, otherwise known as cerused oak, dates back to the 1500s, when white lead was used as an overlay on porous woods. When applied to a wood such as oak, the white pigment fills and reveals grain lines without affecting the overall color of the wood’s finish. In 2012, a non-toxic wax is used to create the limed look which has been popping up on case goods, cabinetry, flooring and doors.
3. Smaller Kitchen Islands
Huge, boat-like islands were the design trend a few years back, but these days, more people are realizing that a smaller surface can perform just as well, or better, in an average-sized kitchen.
We’re seeing more and more kitchens in which ovens, cooktops, dishwashers and refrigerators integrate seamlessly with cabinetry. The days of showing off expensive trophy appliances may be coming to an end — at least for a while. The integration trend also extends to kitchen cabinet pulls and knobs, which are now invisible in many kitchens, and even sinks, which disappear.
5. Lower-profile faucets.
For a while huge, gooseneck, professional-style faucets were all the rage in trendy kitchens. But this year, lower-profile faucets are back in vogue, making a more subtle and refined modern statement. Many of the newest faucets are sleek and low, almost of the type that we are used to seeing in bathrooms. Many feature a detachable spray nozzle which allows for easy filling of large pots.
- Granite takes a step back. Having become so widely used in kitchens in the last few years, designers are looking for fresher, unexpected countertops which can include concrete, soapstone, quartz, marble, stainless steel and bamboo.
- All-white is becoming passe. So many of us have painted our kitchens white in recent years that the tide is beginning to turn. People are embracing color and warmer wood finishes. Mixing white with either oak or bright colors like red, green or purple is also a new trend.
- Tiles are getting larger. More and more kitchens seem to feature extra-large subway tiles or big tile panels. Also seen in Europe: ceramic tiles that are a dead ringer for wood.
All in all, as kitchens have opened up and become more integrated into our homes, they have begun to feel less “kitchen-like.” The trend toward mixed cabinetry and integrated appliances, door pulls and sinks suggests we are looking for a space that flows seamlessly into the rest or our spaces. The move away from clinical all-white spaces also suggests a desire to integrate some personality and color into one of the most important spaces in our homes.