What an informative article!! Please take the time to read this wonderfully written article if you think that you might remodel your kitchen in the next few years.

By: John Riha  from Houselogic.com
Afraid your kitchen remodeling choices will look so 2013-ish in a few years?  Relax, we know how to make your kitchen timelessly gorgeous and functional.

Fiesta ware displayed on open shelves in kitchenA white kitchen is the perfect backdrop for showcasing Fiesta ware on open  shelves. Image: Kim Woodward/NewlyWoodwards.com

We see lots of kitchen trends at HouseLogic, so we know it’s easy to get  swept along with what’s in vogue, only to get bummed out by your faddish design  choices a few years later. Thank you — and damn you — Pinterest.

But chances are you’re only going to remodel your current kitchen once. After  all, the annual Cost vs.  Value Report from Remodeling magazine pegs the average price of a  major kitchen remodel at about $54,000. With that much on the line, you want to  make all the right moves. If you do, you could recoup nearly 70% of your  investment if you sell.
So we’re here to future-proof you from angst by  naming the seven definitive kitchen features that will retain  their beauty, marketability, and value — all while giving you lasting enjoyment.
#1: White is the Dominant Color
Bottom line:  White is the most marketable color. You’ll always find it atop the National  Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual survey of most popular kitchen colors. It  simply doesn’t go out of style.
White’s mojo:

  • Throughout history, it’s been associated with happiness, purity (think Snow  White), and new beginnings.
  • It’s a bright color that reflects light and makes even small  kitchens feel larger.
  • It’s a neatnik’s dream — dirt has no place to hide.

Even better, it’s uber-tolerant of both your budget and taste: A standard  color for any manufacturer, you’ll find white cabinets, tile, counters, faucets,  sinks, and appliances at any price point.

Vintage stove

Credit: Ken Clark, Realtor

Related:

  • White:  The Savvy and Chic Kitchen Color Choice
  • Before  and After Pictures of White Kitchens

And with a white backdrop, you can be as conservative or expressive as you  want. After all, it’s about your enjoyment, not just dollars and cents. For  example:

  • Add your personal touch with colored glass knobs and pulls.

Glass knobs

 Credit: Allessia of Little Lessy

  • Show off antique Fiesta ware on open shelves or in upper cabinets with glass  fronts.
  • Paint walls the color du jour — even off-white!

Paint walls

Credit: Lisa Damrosch

Heck, with a white palette, you can change your mind about paint color on a  whim. Those all-white basics will make any hue you choose look fresh and  contemporary.

Related: Using  Color to Personalize Your Kitchen and Home
#2: Hardwood for  Flooring

Wood floor

 Credit: RJK Construction, Inc.

It’s been our foot fetish for years. That’s especially true ever since  hardwood flooring was mass-produced during the Industrial Revolution, making  beautiful flooring readily available at a reasonable cost.
Today, more  than half of home buyers who purchased a home without hardwood floors say they  would have paid an extra $2,080 for them, according to the 2013 Home Features  Survey from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. And among buyers of any age,  upwards of 80% say hardwood floors are “somewhat” or “very  important.”
“It’s the one feature men and women agree on,” says Debe  Robinson, NKBA treasurer and owner of Kitchen Expressions Inc. in Sheffield,  Ala., who’s also worked in the flooring industry.
Why? The love of wood  is in our genes. Our nesting instincts know that hardwood has warmth,  personality, and makes our homes cozy and inviting. That’s why this clever  chameleon pairs well with any kitchen style — from casual cottage and sleek  contemporary to the most chi-chi Park Avenue traditional.
More reasons  why wood flooring is the goof-proof option:

  • Perfect for open floor plans. It flows beautifully from the  kitchen into adjoining rooms.
  • It’s tough. Hardwoods such as oak, ash, and maple will  shrug off your kitchen’s high-traffic punishment for years. Solid hardwood  flooring can be refinished 10 to 12 times during it’s typical 100-year  lifespan.
  • It’s eco-friendly. Hardwood is considered a green building  material when it’s certified  by the Forest Stewardship Council and comes from sustainably managed  forests.

Related: The  Best Choices for Kitchen Flooring

#3: Shaker Style for Cabinets

Shaker cabinets

Credit: Stacey Collins Design

Thank heaven for the Shakers. While they were busy reducing life to its  essentials, they made cabinets with clean, simple lines that will  forever be in style.
Shaker cabinets are an enduring legacy of American  style and, like wood flooring, have the knack for looking good in any setting.  Their simple frame-and-panel design helps reduce the amount of busyness in a  kitchen, making it a soothing, friendly place to be.
“In a kitchen with a  timeless look, you want the cabinets to be part of the backdrop,” says Alan  Zielinski, a former president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. “You  don’t want to be overpowered. You’re looking for plain, simple, clean  lines.”
Those plain, simple, clean lines are a perfect fit for  transitional style — a beautiful combo of traditional and contemporary styles.  In fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association says that after creeping up  on traditional for years, transitional is now the most popular kitchen  style.

As our families grow more diverse, transitional style will only get more  popular. It lets us personalize and blend cultural influences — Latin, Asian,  Mideastern — into our homes; it’s the perfect balance of old and new, just like  Shaker-style cabinets.

Related: How  to Choose Kitchen Cabinets for the Best Value
#4: Carrara  Marble for Countertops

Carrara marble

Credit: Jennifer Thompson

Carrara marble is a timeless classic that’s been used in homes for thousands  of years. (Michelangelo’s “David” was carved from Carrara.) It’ll look as good  in the next millennium as it does now.
Here’s why:

  • Carrara’s lacy graining and subtle white colors look terrific in a white  kitchen (or any kitchen, for that matter).
  • It has a whiteness you won’t find in other natural stones.
  • It’s readily available, making it less expensive than other high-end  choices, such as quartz.
  • It’ll last for generations.

If you Google it, you’ll find a lot of debate about it (and marble in  general) because it stains easily. But if you want something truly timeless,  Carrara is the answer. And with today’s sealants, the problem of staining is  almost moot if you reseal once or twice a year.

Related: How  to Get the Look of Marble Without the Cost
Still not sold? Or don’t  have the budget? Laminate  countertops are relatively inexpensive and can be upgraded to stone when you  do have the budget.
#5: Subway Tile for the  Backsplash

Subway tile

Credit: A Lo and Behold Life

Subway tile goes back to the early 1900s, when it was used to line New York’s  first subway tunnels. Classic subway tiles are white, 3-by-6-inch rectangles — a  look that became popular in American kitchens and baths, and has stuck around  ever since. Now it’s an iconic part of the American design vernacular, destined  never to go out of style.
In the kitchen, ceramic tile excels as a  backsplash, where it guards against moisture, is a snap to clean, lasts forever,  and always looks classy.
Sure, a backsplash can be an opportunity for a  blast of color and pattern, but neutrals will always be current and blend with  any look. Plus, a subway tile backsplash and a marble countertop make a dashing  couple that will stand the test of time.
To make it even more enduring,  keep it achromatic and camouflage dirt with gray or beige grout.

Related: Classic  Backsplashes for Any Budget
#6: Ergonomic  Design
Adaptability and universal  design features mean easy living at any age. A recent survey on kitchens  from the American Institute of Architects points to the growing popularity of  smart ergonomic design, a sign that kitchen adaptability will stay in vogue.
Smart ergonomics simply mean convenience — for young or old, party  people or homebodies — a key factor when remodeling  a kitchen that will function well, retain its value, and always feel  right.
No matter you or your buyer’s current or future needs, everyone  wins with these approaches:

  • Create different countertop heights. Standard height is 36  inches, but you can raise or lower sections of cabinets by altering the height  of the base. Add color-match shim strips to the bases of countertops that don’t  include sinks or appliances. You (or a new owner) can easily remove them or add  to them to adjust the height.
  • Swap a standard range for a wall oven and a cooktop. Ranges  have fixed heights. There’s no getting around the fact you have to bend to  access the oven. But a wall  oven conveniently installs about waist-high.
  • Add pull-out shelves to base cabinets. Lower cabinets with  doors mean having to twist like a pretzel to see what’s inside. Pull-out shelves  put everything at your fingertips.

Smart storage

Credit: Autumn Clemons of MyDesignDump.blogspot.com

  • Keep wide clearances. Kitchens attract people, and with  open floor plans, you’re apt to have folks hunting for snacks, helping you cook,  or just hanging out while you prep meals. Keep traffic flowing with a minimum of  42 inches between counters and islands.

Related: Find  Out How Stylish Ergonomic Design Can Be

#7: Smart Storage
Today’s families store about 47% of  their kitchen stuff outside the kitchen — in laundry  rooms, basements, even sheds — according to data released at the 2013  Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.
We blame it on the fact that kitchens  have evolved from a tucked-away place at the back of the house into a  multiple-chef, multi-tasking space that’s the hub of family life. Plus, our love  of open kitchens and stocking up at warehouse stores means less wall space and  more stuff, kitchen design expert Robinson says.
The solution: smart  storage. Cabinet manufacturers have you covered with nearly unlimited storage  options — shelves and compartments that unfold, turn, extend, and  slide.
But it’s not just about having storage, it’s about designing it  smartly. Follow these guidelines to make your storage  timeless:
Create a primary storage zone. This is an area  30 to 60 inches high and within two feet on either side of your body. Store your  most-used items here — your favorite work knives, measuring cups, salt and  pepper for cooking, your trusty pots and pans. With one easy motion, you can  grab what you use all the time.
Plan for the unknown. A  truly timeless kitchen anticipates and adapts to future needs, such as:

  • A space that can easily convert to an office, wine  storage, or a closet.
  • Lower cabinet spaces that can accommodate a wine cooler, under-counter  refrigerator, a second  dishwasher, or new must-have kitchen appliances on the horizon. (Remember  when microwaves didn’t exist?)
  • An open space that fits a freestanding desk or favorite antique that can  personalize the kitchen — no matter who owns the home.

See Storage Options  that Pack More Space in Your Kitchen

Related: Smart  Kitchen Remodeling Strategies to Get You Started
We feel strongly  about these kitchen features, but we love your strong opinions, too. So tell us  what you think! 

John_Riha   John Rihahas written seven books on home improvement and hundreds of articles on  home-related topics. He’s been a residential builder, the editorial director of  the Black & Decker Home Improvement Library, and the executive editor of  Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

Advertisements