Louisville Builder August 2012

Page 19

Pros-in-the-Know Serve Up the Latest News in Kitchens By Nancy Miller

Kitchens are heating up the worlds of visual design and technology. Several of Louisville’s big names in kitchens dished out the news about emerging trends and the latest products to Louisville Builder. Ashley Galante-Dickman Southern Kitchens Modern kitchen design is noted for the use of different wood species, colors and finishes and countertops, not only on the perimeter and island, but also on stations, such as a baking area. Kitchens are moving from the “box on the wall” look and incorporating fluidity and movement within the design. I’m getting more requests for Shaker/Mission style cabinets with a portrait frame. Cabinet doors that are flush with the frame of the cabinet can resemble a piece of furniture, and may be highlighted by glass in the doors. Open shelves are many times combined with the cabinets. Straight and simple seem to define the preferred kitchen designs, but that isn’t saying that traditional cabinets are never used. We still get people who want a raised panel with a lot of beading and decorative elements such as legs and fluted fillers. Espresso stains and black painted finishes with a distressed or antique look are eclipsing lighter finishes but bright white can be very pretty with light oak or lighter stains. Natural woods---rustic alder, birch and cherry are very popular, as are painted finishes (taupes, grays and antique white). Brushing, highlights and glazing look great on painted finishes and give the cabinets a lovely antique look. People love distressing, sand through and gauging for a European feel. These finishes are often used for islands and hutch areas. If the same finish of cabinetry is used throughout the kitchen, the hardware doesn’t have to be all the same. Mix and match knobs or pulls, but keep them in the same finish. Bringing in a second finish would create a much too busy look, especially if the cabinetry is two-toned. Hardwood remains the leading type of flooring for kitchens. When

pairing the cabinetry with flooring hardwood or ceramic or porcelain tile, there needs to be a contrast between the cabinetry and the flooring. Vinyl and laminate are used with less frequency in kitchens than are the other flooring materials. Kitchen lighting should be a combination of task and ambient. Lighting can easily add some drama and can break up a continual line of cabinets, which is especially important when working with dark stained cabinets. Frosted or antique glass can be highlighted by the right choice of lighting. Don’t skimp on storage. To minimize clutter on the countertops, make sure there are various types of storage, from tray dividers to spice pull-outs to pot and pan organizers. Even think about a nifty under cabinet unit specifically made for heavy items like mixers. Linda Dumstorf The Trend All manufacturers are improving Energy Star ratings on their products, which is very important to the end user. Steam to enhance the cleaning ability of dishwashers has become more of an issue since the EPA no longer allows detergent manufacturers to use an enzyme they have used for years to get dishes clean. Steam is also the big news in cooling. It’s gentler and is a healthier way to maintain vitamins in food. One of the best things about steam cooking is that three different types of food can be cooked in the oven at the same time with no crossing of flavors. There is a slight learning curve for steam ovens, but owners’ manuals provide easy to follow information. Induction cooking is increasingly driving the business. The United august 2012 19