Face Your Kitchen
Your Guide to Kitchen Cabinet Refacing

Cabinet design trends: sophistication in the kitchen

by Karl Fendelander
Face Your Kitchen Columnist

Beyond structural issues or peeling veneer, the biggest reason to reface cabinets is style -- or, more accurately, a lack thereof. If your kitchen looks like a throwback to a seventies sitcom, it might be time to change things up.

Today's designs are cleaner and sleeker. They fall into a design zone known as transitional, which is the perfect blend of traditional and modern. The colors are cooler and more neutral than in the past, too. Here's a breakdown of some of these growing trends:

  • Dark, rich wood: If you've got natural wood (i.e., not painted), the trend is moving towards rich, dark grains. Popular choices include cherry and maple. The dark tones aren't meant to dominate the room and should be used as more of an accent.
  • Cool and neutral colors: Grays and blues are gaining in popularity. The cool feel of these colors is relaxing and lets the eye glide around the room. When you're choosing a color scheme for your kitchen, think sky and water more than navy blue and silver.
  • Subtle lines: Cabinets with simple, subtle lines are the way to go. In keeping with transitional style, you don't want to lean too much towards modern or traditional. The idea is to let accents stand out from the rest of the room with subdued patterns rather than going strictly and starkly modern or traditional to the point of being busy and baroque. Transitional style is a subtle blend, not a crazy mish-mash.
  • Art Deco accents: Yes, the beautiful designs of the 1920s are back again. Art Deco accents work wonderfully with more traditional elements and modern design, making them perfect for transitional style. Some ideas for capturing this timeless look include frosted-glass-front cabinets, bold accent colors in horizontal or vertical lines, and chrome fixtures and hardware.
  • Occasional splashes of color: Accent colors like the bold lines mentioned above should be used, but they should be used sparingly. Try brightening the inside of your cabinets for a cheery burst every time you grab a plate or pull out the red tones in a wood grain with an eye-catching red art piece. Be creative, just err on the side of sparse, not garish.

Many trends are hailed as being timeless, but few really pull it off like transitional cabinetry. Talk to your contractor about incorporating this style into your kitchen, and start really loving your space again.

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