Making your home accessible
It is expected that by 2016, Inclusive Design features including zero-step entries and showers, widened door and hallways, multi-level cabinets and non-slip flooring will be commonplace in the average home. These features will be very important for people who choose to “age in place,” preferring to remain at home rather than move to a nursing or retirement community, as well as for families that blend multiple generations under one roof.
What's hot in today's kitchen?
Many new kitchens feature a streamlined look, with large window expanses with fewer wall cabinets.
- Open shelving is popular for those who want items within reach and can keep it neat
- Professional-style appliances such as free-standing stainless steel gas ranges, the trend for years, are being challenged by sleek induction cook tops paired with double wall ovens
- Under-the-counter options are increasingly prominent, with drawers that double as refrigerators, wine storage and even a pullout microwave
- For faucets, the convenience of a pullout model is a desired feature, as are pot fillers
- Brushed nickel is the leading finish option, followed by pewter, polished chrome and oil-rubbed bronze colorations
- French door and bottom freezer drawer refrigerator models continue to dominate the market
- With healthy living being a strong trend, more kitchens are featuring steam ovens, induction cooking and warming drawers to keep nutritious dinners ready for active family members
Using colors to tie the kitchen to the rest of your home
Color trends are soft, moving away from stark whites in favor of creamy neutral palettes with just a hint of color such as gold, lavender, blue and green. Painted, stained and matte finishes are being used usually in earth tones including muted greens, chiffon yellows and deep blues, as well as browns, reds, blacks and grays. When selecting a color palette, look to the world around you - Mother Nature has a great eye. Be sure to integrate some of the same color tones throughout your home to have a flow from room to room, especially in open floor plan designs.