Every home, every trend, every room needs an update at some point. It is always fascinating to hear the reasons that motivate my clients to update their kitchen. Sometimes it is purely for aesthetics. Other times, they are looking for more function and performance from the appliances, storage and layout. Other times the trends and materials have just run their course. Let’s face it; what was in 20 years ago is not the same style we are seeing today.

We always start our process with listening to the client. I want to know what they like about their kitchen and what is not working for them. I usually get a very long wish-list, but my experience allows me to read between the lines. It is important to find the balance, between the client’s priorities, and the areas that make the most sense to focus on in terms of budget.

In this blog, I want to focus on the kitchen island. Remember when I said, what was “in” 20 years ago, is not necessarily the best for your home today. This also refers to the space layout of the kitchen. Today, we are designing new construction homes, with open floor plans. The kitchen is usually the center of the home, open and connected with a hearth room. Gone are the days of enclosed kitchens and stuffy dining rooms. Today’s approach is a more casual combination of entertainment and real living.

In this project the angled kitchen island, was cutting the kitchen in half. This type of shape is actually very inefficient. There was a great opportunity to focus on the island, and give this kitchen a fresh facelift. A picture is worth a thousand words, so what do you think?

Kitchen island design trends. In the past, it was popular to raise the bar higher than counter by 6” inches. The purpose many times was to create a visual barrier, between the bar and the prep space. Today, we are keeping the island top at the regular counter height, to create a unified experience.

Another modern kitchen trend is to combine several cabinet colors or woods in the kitchen. Typically we specify a different color cabinet on the island, than the rest of the kitchen. This keeps the space visually interesting and helps to create focal points. In this project a faux stain was applied to refinish the kitchen cabinets, did you notice the built-in refrigerator with panel doors?

Design Tip

Many clients come to me requesting gigantic islands. While I like large islands, anything past 7-8 feet is probably too much. We guide our clients in getting the maximum use out of their storage, without overdoing the proportions and aesthetics.

Arlene is a multi-award winning, certified interior designer with more than 30 years of experience as an interior designer, providing innovative, residential design services to satisfied clients in the Kansas City area. If you are interested in discussing your kitchen remodel project with her, contact us at 913-210-0511 for a free in-office consultation.