If you find yourself dreaming of a white kitchen this summer, you’re not alone. White continues to be the hottest choice for kitchen cabinetry, says Tracy Thurston, lead design consultant at Granite Transformations in Oakville, Ont.
“A white cabinet is like the little black dress of your closet. It’s classic; it will always be in style,” says Thurston.
White goes with any décor and exudes a light, bright airy aura, a key selling point since today’s kitchens are primary living spaces tightly integrated with other main floor rooms. In an open concept floor plan, finishes and accessories need to flow, says Thurston.
“If you’ve got a brown leather couch and a wooden coffee table, you want the kitchen that’s right beside those things to feel like it’s part of the same room,” she says.
Granite Transformations is a remodeling franchise known for its engineered surfaces and “over-the-top” installations which place new countertops directly on top of existing ones. In addition to granite, quartz and glass countertops, the company provides one-of-a-kind glass mosaic tiles and cabinet refacing services. North American brand ambassadors Tarek and Christina El Moussa, from HGTV’s Flip or Flop, often feature the company’s products for their durability and easy installation.
This past spring was a particularly business one, says Thurston, as homeowners aim to get their kitchen looking just right ahead of summer entertaining. Here are some of the newest trends to emerge this season:
- Horizontal performance – Countertops and flooring are two areas where “cheap and cheerful” isn’t cutting it. Homeowners are gravitating towards engineered products that are more durable, stain resistant and easier to maintain. They are looking for non-porous surfaces that require no polishing, are less prone to scratches and heat marks, and won’t allow bacteria to thrive. You may pay a little more, but you won’t have to contend with issues down the road, says Thurston.
- Environmental conscience – Laminate counters won’t break down in the landfill, so consumers are becoming hesitant to send them there in the first place. Countertops by Granite Transformations are only ¼-inch thick and easily fit over existing counters, eliminating the need for demolition, and easing the stress and mess of a larger home reno. The same is true for cabinet refacing since only the doors are replaced.
- Organization – Everything in its place and a place for everything. That’s the motto as consumers put greater emphasis on features like built-in spice racks, garbage and recycling centres, pantry pullouts and essentially “anything that will help to keep the interior of their cabinet organized so they won’t have to root around,” says Thurston.
- Make a statement – Modern wall tiles and glass mosaics are gaining prevalence as consumers look for unique ways to incorporate bright accent colours and fun patterns into their kitchen renos. Hand-cut Italian glass backsplashes are particularly popular, she says.
- The recycled effect – More consumers are opting for countertops containing recycled material, ranging from glass, quartzite and mirror chips to porcelain or oyster shells. “Some of our countertops are actually made from 72 per cent post-consumer recycled material which means 72 per cent of the material in that countertop came out of somebody’s blue box,” says Thurston.
In addition to white, other popular kitchen finishes include natural wood in both light and dark brown, and soft gray tones of natural stone. Engineered Italian marble, such as Carrara or Calacatta, is also trending. “It’s one of our top sellers right now,” says Thurston. “You can achieve that old Italian heritage look without the maintenance that goes along with pure marble.”
About the author: Tracy Thurston, lead design consultant at Granite Transformations in Oakville, Ont