7 Trending Upgrades to Improve Your Kitchen Renovation

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your home. Keeping your kitchen up-to-date is important not only for keeping it fashionable, but also for making it safe. Many kitchens retain the design aesthetics of the 2000s. It is time to give your space a much needed upgrade with a kitchen renovation. Below are seven ways you can update your kitchen into a trendy and modern space.

Universal Design

Universal design is when a room or environment is configured in a manner that can be accessed and used by everyone, regardless of ability, height, or age. For example, traditional kitchens often mount microwaves above the stove. However, this design is not accessible for people who are unable to reach an appliance that is very high off of the ground. Universally designed kitchens are trending because they have a good deal of utility. It is becoming popular for couples to age into their homes. This means that the design of home anticipates the physical challenges that older couples face. Not all families plan to age into their homes, however. These families still benefit from a universally designed kitchen because it makes the home easier to sell. If a prospective buyer has specific design needs, a universally designed kitchen will be an attractive selling point to them because they will not need to invest in a kitchen renovation.

There are many ways to make a kitchen universally designed. Traditionally designed kitchens place the oven below the countertop. This necessitates one to bend down any time they are using their oven. Since not everyone can bend or crouch in order to keep an eye on what they are cooking, universally designed kitchens mount the oven at torso height, nestled between cabinets. This makes it easier for the user to observe their food and place or remove food from the oven. Another popular trend for kitchen renovations is designing drawers that are very deep – deep enough to store pots and large serving dishes. While kitchens of the 2000s relied on high cabinets to accomplish the task of storing large cookware, modern universally designed kitchens place all equipment at waist height. A universally designed kitchen will benefit your family and guests, and it will make your home more attractive to future buyers.

Modernized Color Palettes

Brown cabinetry was a common design trend throughout the 2000s and early 2010s. However, these kitchen designs have not aged well. In order to upgrade your kitchen, you should modernize its color scheme. The most popular color palette for kitchens consists of shades of taupe, gray, pastel blue, and white. The most common color scheme is to feature white cabinets with taupe counter tops. If you do not want to replace all of your cabinets, then you can simply repaint them; however, the bulkier design of older cabinets may weigh down your kitchen’s look. Sleek and simple are the cardinal design rules for trendy kitchen renovation projects.

Replacing old faucets and door knobs will also be a priority. Oil-rubbed bronze doorknobs, faucets, and cabinet handles were very popular in the 2000s. While oil-rubbed bronze works with a brown kitchen, it does not have a place in modern kitchen design. The oil-rubbed appearance tends to look inexpensive as opposed to luxurious. Also, colors such as copper and chocolate will only make your kitchen look old-fashioned. Instead, style your faucets and handles with stainless steel, chrome, or nickel. This will give your kitchen a fresh and clean look.

Invest in Better Appliances

Kitchen appliance technology has advanced dramatically since the start of the new millennium. Investing in a new refrigerator and microwave is a great way to update your kitchen. Kitchen appliances are being designed to be more energy efficient than ever before. Be sure to invest in stainless steel appliances. Stainless steel is trending not only because it matches the gray-taupe-white color scheme, but also it is more durable and easy to clean.

Commercial grade appliances are becoming popular in home kitchens as well. Consumer grade appliances have a variety of qualities, with some being highly durable and others being difficult to maintain. There are commercial grade appliances designed for residential homes. They have safety features designed with the home in mind, but they are a much better quality than consumer grade products. While commercial grade appliances may cost more, they are also far more reliable.

A Tiled Backsplash and Featured Exhaust Hood

Most kitchen designs of the 2000s placed the sink underneath a window. While this is a very pretty look, it is also very messy due to a lack of a backsplash. A backsplash is a tiled panel mounted on the wall behind a sink. This prevents water or food from splashing the wall and making a mess. A tiled backsplash is very easy to clean and it is better for the wall’s health. Many trendy kitchens extend the backsplash along the entire wall, rather than just behind the sink, creating a textured pattern. Popular tile patterns include gray mosaic tiles and brick-like taupe tiles. Some kitchens make the backsplash a design focal point.

Be wary of some do-it-yourself backsplash tiles, however. There is a growing trend of peel-and-stick backsplash tiles. While doing a project yourself is tempting, the peel-and-stick tiles are not long lasting. They will inevitably fall off since their adhesive will wear with time. Additionally, if there are even minor imperfections on the wall, then they will not lie flat. Avoid this trend by working on your kitchen renovation with a contractor who can install proper tiles for you.

The exhaust hood is also becoming a design feature in trendy kitchens. Older kitchen designs often placed a microwave over the stovetop to hide the exhaust hood be with the appliance. Trendy kitchens, however, feature the exhaust hood as part of the kitchen’s design. Stovetops are being moved to the middle of a kitchen counter, with the exhaust dividing the cabinetry. This creates a pleasant, symmetrical look. Be sure to avoid placing a refrigerator directly next to an oven or a stovetop, however. While that particular trend may look nice, the refrigerator would waste energy combating the heat of the oven with its own attempt to maintain a cool internal temperature.

Replace the Kitchen Island Counter

Kitchen islands became wildly popular in the 2000s and they remain a kitchen design mainstay. However, granite counter tops look very dated. Trendy kitchen renovation design replaces granite countertops with quartz. Quartz countertops are man-made. They are made from a mixture of a polyester resin and quartz crystals. This creates a countertop that is non-porous. Porous countertops, including granite, require special cleaning products in order to maintain them properly. You can clean quartz countertops normally with no additional cleaning supplies required, due to their non-porous state. Quartz does not stain as easily as granite, either.

Quartz is harder than granite so it is far more durable. Additionally, quartz is lighter than granite, so a quartz countertop on a kitchen island does not require as much structural support as granite. Because quartz often comes in shades of gray, it matches the modern, trendy kitchen aesthetic very well. Quartz is great for families with young children, because it will not be damaged as easily, it will not stain, and it will be far easier to clean.

Replace the Outlets

Electrical outlet caps of the 2000s often use of a material that yellows with age. Replacing your outlets with modern pieces will update your kitchen’s appearance. Many outlets are now designed specifically for kitchens, featuring buttons that can turn off the outlet’s power output when not in use. Additionally, be sure to install an outlet in your kitchen island if it does not have one already. You can also purchase outlet covers that come with a USB port. This will make it far easier to charge handheld devices such as tablets and smartphones. Updating your outlets is more than an appearance upgrade – you are improving your home’s safety during your kitchen renovation.

Redo the Floors

Many kitchen floors are still lined with linoleum, a trend dating back to the 90s and early 2000s. Linoleum cheapens the appearance of your kitchen. Trendy kitchen floors are made of hardwood or faux hardwood. The trendiest hardwood kitchen floors come in a warm, dark brown color, such as walnut. While it is true that too much brown in a kitchen will make it look dated, a darker floor will bring some warmth to your kitchen. While hardwood is ideal, a faux hardwood floor is easier to install and maintain and a great option for your kitchen renovation.

Some do-it-yourself blogs recommend installing a ceramic tiled floor or a stone floor, but these are both neither trendy nor great for a kitchen. While aesthetically these materials will look nice, both of them do not perform well in a kitchen environment. Ceramic is a very hard substance. Almost anything dropped on it would likely break. The same problem arises from using a stone floor: it is a very hard material that is not friendly to spills or accidents. Both are also very difficult to keep clean. Hardwood floors are classic in their appearance and they are not high maintenance.

Modernizing your kitchen’s design is more than a simple face-lift: you are investing in your family’s safety. While many trendy kitchen renovation projects and upgrades are touted as easy do-it-yourself projects, the reality is that there are many complications to a kitchen upgrade. Be sure to work with a contractor who can help you navigate electrical systems, plumbing, and local residential construction rules and regulations. If you want a modern and refreshing kitchen, then these tips will elevate your kitchen into a trendy space.

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