If you’re like most Long Islanders, you’re in need of a kitchen renovation. Why? Because most homes on Long Island were built back in the 1950s-1970s. And A LOT has changed since then. Most kitchens on Long Island are approximately 12×12 and completely closed in with a small window. Does that sound similar? Well in today’s age that just does not cut it anymore.
The kitchen has become the hub of the home. The central command center if you will. It needs to be the main gathering place for the family, the place to prepare and make large meals, the entertaining space, the place where kids can do their homework while you’re cooking, or that comfy place to have a cup of coffee over a great conversation. It needs to do it all. And nowadays, with everyone being stuck at home it’s even more important to have a space that checks all these boxes. The good news, with the right design and plan you can have it all and say goodbye to your outdated, impractical kitchen.
So, to help get you started we outlined what’s trending and how to make your kitchen deliver on form and function. No need to be overwhelmed, we’re here to help!
Let there be light!
Today’s kitchen has to have a lot of natural light! So ditch that 30×36 window and get at least a double window or even a picture window with side flankers. If your kitchen doesn’t have an exterior wall, start by taking down walls that open up to rooms that have windows. The more light, the more open your space will feel.
The more open the better – combining the kitchen and dining room
Open floor plans are here to stay and the lines are now blurred between rooms. Taking down walls to combine your dining room, family room, and kitchen will transform your space and open yourself up to many ideas for a new kitchen. Like large rectangular islands or a double-sided square island. Now we are even doing L-shaped islands with built-in bench seating and a large kitchen table. Defining the kitchen and cabinet layout is the first and most important step on your kitchen makeover journey. Once that’s set you are ready to focus on materials for cabinets.
Appliances, Size Matters!
In order to finalize your kitchen layout picking your appliances is extremely important. Every appliance has a different size. And it’s impossible to design a kitchen without appliances picked out. Your cabinets are designed around your appliances. The range is a focal point in any kitchen and needs to be treated as such. Refrigerators can be cabinet depth with fake door panels or you can have a normal 36” which sticks out past the cabinets. When known in advance, a normal refrigerator can be built-in with larger side panels. You can also add a beverage center or draw freezer, maybe even double wall ovens. Lately, though clients don’t want to lose counter space so they opt for under counter ovens or go with larger double ranges like 48” Thermadors with 2 ovens. The list of options can be endless. But always think about your needs and talk to a kitchen designer. They can help you design the layout that meets your needs. We also have a trusted partner, Appliance World, who will help you pick out the best appliances for you.
Type of cabinets, custom or box line?
When it comes to custom or box line cabinets here is the difference. In a box line, the door and color cannot be changed. Options are limited on style and color. But they are a great budget-friendly option. When you go semi-custom you can select a door style then select a finish (paint or stain) which gives you more options but still won’t break the bank. As for fully custom, you’re not in budget territory anymore. The options are almost limitless. You select the door style, sizes, and pick almost any color you want from Benjamin Moore or Sherman Williams. What’s popular now would be a painted door full overlay or if your budget allows it (and you’re not too close to water) a nice inset door that looks custom.
Tip: If you have children or humidity is an issue, I would stick with full overlay cabinets.
What color should my kitchen be?
Right now we are still seeing a lot of white kitchens. But there is still hope. We are starting to pair white kitchens with natural wood colors. And two-toned kitchens with blue or grey painted doors on the island are becoming more popular and add a nice pop of color. So you can still have your white but have those beautiful accent colors too. Natural wood shiplap is going to be big I think moving forward. People are looking for living finishes. Something you don’t need to worry about all the time and can hold up the test of time. So more and more we have been pairing white oak or alder in a grey stain or natural finish which pairs really well with white, light blue, or even midnight blue. We also have been doing all white oak cabinet wire brushes to pull out that deep grain and give a real lived-in look. When it’s done right it’s just magnificent.
Counters, real or “man-made”?
Lately, we have been doing almost all Cambria quartz tops. This is a man-made product, made with compressed real stone composite. What people like about this is it’s very uniform, unlike granite which can change color and have veins and grain lines through it. Quartz comes in a number of colors and styles. It can even be a replica of Carrara marble but without the maintenance. If you’re going full custom, you may want to look into Quartzite stones. This is real stone and almost transparent. You can under the light it and make it glow at night. And it gives you a very high-end look. But it’s not antibacterial like Cambria quartz. Some people still love the look of granite. With granite, you have to travel to different yards to view slabs and select the right one for you since there are so many variations. You must think about your layout when selecting granite so you don’t have horrible unmatching seams.
Lighting and handle selection, don’t count them out!
Cabinet handles are a large part of a kitchen. These fine details can make or break your kitchen. You want something not so overpowering but still says “Hey I’m here, look at me!” Lately, we have been using a lot of living finishes like antique brass or gold. These colors change over time and give your kitchen a timeless look. Satin nickel works well too. When selecting knobs or handles make sure it’s something you love. Take your time. Bring a few options home and put them next to cabinets and tops to see what you like. Once knobs are installed and holes have been drilled you would need to replace every door and drawer to go with something different. Unless you can find the exact same size in the style you want. So don’t rush!
On lighting, we leave that to the pros at Elements Lighting. But I can tell you what’s trending now. People are moving away from traditional 3-4 pendants to more of a large chandelier in a cage style or a draping crystal look. Or you can go with 2 oversized pendants. It helps to view all the styles and figure out what you like.
Backsplash tile ties it all together!
This is another area where it all comes to taste and personal preference. You need to figure what you want to live with every day. Most commonly we have the brick-style subway tile, which is simple and elegant. Another option is herringbone style with a smaller thinner tile which works well with white cabinets. Lately, we have been using Cambria quartz solid stone backsplash for clients who don’t want grout lines. Or on a less expensive end, you can use a large format tile to cut down grout lines and not break the budget. Not to overwhelm you with options but lately, we have been doing real stained wood shiplap backsplashes. It really makes a statement. You can use it on the bar area to make a really distinct look. If you’re looking to go trendy…penny, glass, or metal tile is a fascinating idea. And could really bring your kitchen to life.
At the end of the day, other than your bedroom you are going to spend the most time in your kitchen. So, take the time to think everything through. And hopefully, this gave you some ideas and things to think through. The good news is we are here to hold your hand through the entire process. And our kitchen designer can help transform your space into your dream kitchen!