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Trendy vs. Timeless Kitchen Renovations

If I write about kitchens today, can you stand it?  Or have you spent so much time in that particular room this week that you just want to turn off your computer and have another cup of eggnog?  If I promise not to make you cook or clean, can you hang in there with me?  Because, I do want to talk about our kitchens, but only the pretty parts… not the practical parts.  I want to talk about what happens when we renovate or remodel our kitchens in the age of Fixer Upper and ship lap and barn doors and modern farmhouse everything. And, I want to talk about how we make sure that after all the “fixing-upping,” our kitchens –- those oh, so important rooms when it comes time to sell our homes – are pleasing and pretty, but also classic and universally appealing.

In last week’s post, I talked about some general trends that are super chic right now, but might not age quite as well as we’d like.  For example… the aforementioned shiplap and barn doors. Moderation, people, please…  In our kitchen remodels, it’s even more important that we find that balance and moderation.  Kitchens (and bathrooms) really are the make or break rooms.  A great kitchen can sell a home in no time, but a tired one can tank a sale.  So, if you’re preparing your home for sale or renovating for your own enjoyment, remember the following things…

Gray is in… and it’s gorgeous and crisp and looks especially great in a kitchen.  But, it’s started creeping onto countertops and cabinetry and that trend looks pretty, well, trendy.  Use gray on the walls if you’d like, but stick with white cabinets.  They’re timeless and beautiful and will look great with a wide variety of countertops.  Lots of people like that gray-veined Carrara marble, but consider functionality when you select a luxury stone.  Carrara is very, very porous and harder to care for than quartz or granite.  One spill of red wine on a Carrara marble countertop might live there for a very, very, very long time. Instead of this trendy stone that doesn’t hold up well to wear and tear, think about black pearl granite or pure white quartz.  And if you just have to have those dark gray cabinets, consider using that color on a large island in the center of the kitchen.  It’ll look great with the granite countertops and white upper cabinetry and will be easy to repaint if the new buyer is a bit more traditional.

Speaking of cabinetry.  Open shelving in our newly branded farmhouse kitchens are all the rage.  But, blink and those uber-cool reclaimed barn wood shelves are going to look very dated, like specifically dated to a few months in 2016.  The idea of those shelves is to keep kitchens looking uncluttered, open and airy, but there are other ways to accomplish those goals that will be timeless.  Instead of open shelving, opt for glass fronted cabinetry.  Seeded glass is one of my very favorite things.  It gives sparkle to our kitchens while showcasing treasured dishware and china. Also, open shelving allows dust to build up quickly on those vintage glasses, but a glass fronted cabinetry helps keeps your treasures nice and clean.

So between cabinets and countertops, what else is there to talk about?  Oh, yes! The backsplash… that once ignored element that is now as important and agonized over as say the name of your firstborn.  The right backsplash can finish off a pretty kitchen and unite dark counters with light cabinets (or vice versa) with flair.  So before we launch into a big search for the perfect backsplash, let’s all just agree on one thing.  No more subway tile.  Say it with me…NO. MORE. SUBWAY. TILE.  I know, I know… but it’s going to be okay.  We can do this together.  Here’s the thing… subway tile, while crisp and white is really overused. And there are lots of ways to get the look of that pretty white tile without settling for rectangular boredom.  One of my favorite spins on using subway tile is actually using glossy white square tile instead.  It can be installed on the diagonal for a cool diamond pattern or used with traditional subway tile for a classic twist on this trendy design fad.  Grout comes in a myriad of colors and can turn a ho-hum white wall into a really cool canvas.  A soft gray or silver grout really shows off gorgeous tilework and turns your kitchen into your own private gallery.  Additionally, darker grout can hide the greasy grime that seems to accumulate in even the cleanest of kitchens.
So there you have it, loyal readers and friends… my two cents on how to remodel your kitchen in ways that will make it fresh, but also timelessly beautiful.  I guarantee that a new-to-you kitchen will have you clamoring to plan and prepare another fantastic holiday meal!

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