Jeb Breithaupt, B.Arch, MBA
I’ve read about more national kitchen “trends” lately than I can shake a stick at, and if you’re thinking about remodeling your kitchen, you probably have, too.
I’m going to narrow the list down for you just a bit and talk about what’s “trending” in our neck of the woods. After all, what New Yorkers like isn’t necessarily what “goes” with Louisiana’s culture and style.
First let me say that the notion of “trendy” doesn’t do diddly squat for me. But some trends have stuck around for so long, they have become part of what a Louisiana kitchen looks like. Those are the ones I’ll tell you about here.
- Stained cabinets and two-toned cabinets. Painted white and cabinets have ruled the roost for the past decade, but we’ve been seeing people steering away from this trend for a few years now. Instead, light and medium-stained woods are re-emerging, especially in matte, non-reflective stains that show off the beauty of good quality wood.
Another trend that has long-term potential is two-toned cabinets, especially when you have a kitchen island. Homeowners are opting for a pop of color on their island cabinets, usually blue, grey, or the old faithful, white. You could even go a step further and choose different countertop selections for your cabinets and your island to help break the kitchen up visually.
- Shaker style cabinets. One long-term trend that isn’t going away is Shaker style cabinets. They’re elegant and simple, and don’t have a lot of fussy millwork for dust to get stuck in. They can be styled with pulls to look either very modern or more classic. Because of their minimalist design, they look great with almost any home décor. This minimal styling also lends itself to more cost-effectiveness because there isn’t a lot of routing and beveling.
- Smaller appliances. As homeowners get older and the kids move out, there’s less of a need for a floor-to-ceiling refrigerator and a dishwasher that holds enough dirty dishes for a big family. Lots of older couples I meet ask for dish “drawers,” which don’t take long to fill up so you can have clean glasses all the time, and narrower refrigerators—they also come in drawer size—that hold the basics but don’t take up as much room.
One national trend I’m not seeing in Shreveport: a return to white appliances. The preference around here is still for stainless steel refrigerators, dishwashers and microwaves, and I don’t see white or black models bumping them out of the way any time soon.
- Quartz countertops. Quartz is the new granite, I guess. A lot of people are choosing quartz instead of granite because you can get any color you want, the pattern is consistent instead of random, and it’s tough as nails.
Still, granite is pretty tough, and it’s a more natural beauty than quartz. Both products are in style and both will be in style 10 years from now. But it’s nice to have a choice.
- Less bending. I know my back hurts more than it used to, and bending over to load the dishwasher or retrieve the Crock-Pot from the back of a floor-level cabinet isn’t on my list of fun stuff to do. I’m a big fan of raising the dishwasher a few inches off the floor and of installing cabinets at eye level and making them plenty deep. The easier it is to get to what you need, the more you’ll enjoy your beautiful, newly remodeled kitchen.
Don’t worry about keeping up with trends; choose what you know you’ll love to look at and live with for the next decade. Design is about more than picking colors and materials that are pretty and coordinating, but about a space that works for the way you live.
Jeb Breithaupt, B. Arch., MBA, is the president of Re-Bath in Shreveport. You can contact him at 318-216-4525 or by visiting www.rebath.com/location/shreveport.