Since the advent of the kitchen, it has not only been the heart of the home but has continuously evolved with humankind and technology. As such, it is no surprise that the kitchen is the most popular room for renovation. Updating a kitchen makes it more attractive, usable, and enjoyable and increases the home’s value.
While advances in artificial materials made linoleum and plastic laminates popular in the last century, today, people are returning to more natural materials. Granite and quartz countertops are not only beautiful, durable and easy to care for, but they come in a vast array of colors and patterns.
Solid wood cabinets continue to be a favorite and are no longer required to be the same color throughout the kitchen; upper, lower, and island cabinets may be a charming mix of different colors or finishes. Glass cabinet doors, some that swing upward instead of sideways. Open shelves lend a more exposed look, so well-liked in more contemporary homes.
As technology advances, so does the multitude of kitchen appliances. While useful, they can be an eyesore, which has driven ideas for clever appliance storage. In answer, pantries have evolved. Whether a built-in pantry or a butler’s pantry hidden from view, storage has gotten smarter. Appliance “garages” allow easy access without needing to unplug that blender or mixer, and pull-out shelves make hard-to-reach storage places user-friendly. Many cabinets are operable with a brush of the hand, as are water-conscious faucets.
Major appliances bring new magic to the kitchen as well. Some ovens can flex to serve as two small ovens or one large one. Refrigerators offer an endless array of smart features, from ordering groceries to doling out pre-measured amounts of hot water.
Unobtrusive but entirely adjustable lighting is another technological gift to kitchens, from dimmable task lighting to ambient, undercabinet glow lights. Perhaps the most ubiquitous need in the kitchen these days is a charging station for the ever-present cell phone or tablet. Multi-plug charging stations can now be easily incorporated, often on a dedicated shelf or hidden in a charging drawer.
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