Kitchens "Thoughts" for 2013

It’s been almost 7 months since I left the kitchen industry.. so to speak.
I still get all the trade e-mails and industry magazines, and one of these days I’ll make it to an NKBA meeting.  {I swear, I will!}

I don’t consider myself an “expert” on kitchens, per se, but I think I generally know what I’m talking about.  I’ve helped tons of people remodel their kitchens and I love doing it.  I can’t claim to predict the future or what will be popular in kitchens this year.  I can, however offer my $.02 on what you should think about if you’re planning a kitchen remodel.  Here are my top 5 kitchen tips for 2013:

1.) White cabinets aren’t going anywhere. They’re still showing up in pictures and ideabooks all over as THE color to use on cabinets.  

Granted, white is not for everyone {smokers, for example}… but they sure are beautiful and versatile!  You can pair them with wood accents like the island shown below, or you can set it off with a bold backsplash or wall color.  I like the clean, fresh look of a white kitchen.  Plus, it goes with everything.
2.) Don’t forget the ceiling.  In my opinion, ignoring the ceiling of the room is like dressing up but forgetting to brush your hair.  There is a lot of potential in a styled ceiling, and it can transform the entire room.

Updating our cabinets was one of the first projects we completed after getting married.  It took a while to decide what to do for the ceiling, but the existing ceiling tiles just weren’t working for us.  I finally decided that I wanted to paint and install beadboard.  The semi-gloss off-white really reflects the light in the room, and it’s just what was needed to set off our plain cabinetry!
Our kitchen ceiling

This is one of my favorite examples of using the ceiling to its potential.  I love everything about this kitchen.  I first saw it on Houzz about a year ago, and it’s been stuck in my mind ever since.  Those metal ceiling tiles could easily be overpowering, but in their proportion in this kitchen, they look just right.
Source: (Evanston On the Lake award winning kitchen)

3.) Explore counter options that are suitable to your needs. Don’t buy based on what’s trendy.  Choose something that will last, and are appropriate for the way you use {or don’t use} your kitchen.

Butcherblock countertops are durable, easy to clean, and withstand heat and cutting.  They require a little more maintenance than some countertops with periodic sanding and sealing.  
Quartz has been on my list of favorites for several years now, and I still love the durability and beauty of the product.  It’s not for every budget, but it’s a great investment in the kitchen.  I wouldn’t recommend putting in quartz to sell your home unless the market demands a high-end surface.  {Locally, very few places fall into that category!}
Source: (Zodiaq quartz)
4.) If you don’t have a great kitchen layout, don’t just resurface; REPLACE.  Putting a bandaid on a boo boo doesn’t fix it.. it just hides the injury until it heals.  Re-painting your kitchen can’t fix its deeper issues.
Sadly, some people buy into the idea that their kitchen is all about the aesthetics.  Anyone who has ever cooked in a tiny kitchen knows that it’s just as much about function as it is beauty.  If you’re investing time and money into a kitchen remodel, you should make sure it’s done right.  Saving money right now isn’t worth it if you’ll be spending again in the future because the layout of the kitchen is terrible.

5.) Make sure your kitchen is equipped with good lighting.

Lighting is essential to completing most tasks, and cooking is no exception!  Under cabinet lights are still as popular as ever, but don’t forget about adequate lighting for all of the other tasks you do in your kitchen as well – washing dishes, preparing meals, eating, etc.  The days of a single fluorescent ceiling light are OVER.


Kitchen planning can be daunting, but the final product is well worth it if it’s done right!  If you’re planning a kitchen remodel this year, contact me and I can help make sure you’re not making any costly mistakes!

Happy Designing! -Cherie

Published by CDH Designs

I am a Mom and self-employed Interior Designer. I own a small design studio & home decor shop in downtown Emporium, PA. It’s a small town in the PA Wilds of north-central Pennsylvania. We have some of the most beautiful scenery, and Fall (my favorite season) is breathtaking. I blog for fun to keep my friends and clients informed of what's going on in the design and decorating world, to share my designs, and to show what we're working on in our own home.

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