2010-2011 change2010-2011 change2010-2011 change2010-2011 changeAs 2011 arrives, a few design trends have emerged into the forefront of kitchen design. Particularly as the economy continues to improve, consumers are expected to invest more money in their homes through remodeling, rather than buying completely new houses. Here are my 5 top predicted trends for kitchen design in 2011:

1. Going Green

As consumers become more aware of the impact their lives have on the environment, they look to more eco-friendly product options. This holds true in kitchens as well. Natural design options, like cork, bamboo, and reclaimed wood are experiencing a surge in consumer interest, as well as decorating essentials like low-voc paint and varnishes. Eco-friendly appliances (generally those with an Energy Star rating) are continuing to be popular as well.

2. Hidden Surprises

Even while appliances may be increasing in size, new building trends and design technologies can allow them to be essentially hidden within a kitchen behind custom cabinetry. This provides kitchens with all of the regular functionality, but also with a truly seamless appearance that we are just beginning to be see in kitchen design.

3. Sleek vs Mod

Although some consumers may desire to hide their kitchen appliances, another trend for 2011 kitchens is the continuance of the sleek and modern look. Most consumers will do this with stainless steel appliances, and pair them with a darker wood cabinetry for a sophisticated appearance. A new trend in cabinetry that we’re seeing for 2011, particularly in kitchens with stainless steel appliances, is glossy white cabinets and countertops. This combination creates open and airy kitchens while still retaining full functionality.

4. Multipurpose Room

Speaking of open and airy, kitchens have long been a gathering point for family and friends, especially during the holidays. The increasing number of multipurpose islands being created and installed in kitchens shows that more consumers are both cooking and gathering in their kitchens. Consumers are also gravitating towards open floorplans, which allows the kitchen to be connected to a living or dining room, and provides even more space to cook and entertain.

5. Pops of Color

While it might feel a bit like a return to the colorful kitchen days of the 1950’s and 1960’s, one of the biggest trends designers are predicting for this season is for kitchens to include whimsical and often unexpected pops of color. Usually, these will come from appliances, like the traditional KitchenAid stand mixer in a bold cherry red hue. If clients express their wishes to include such bright bits of color, consider your material choices in the rest of the kitchen design and you can provide the ideal kitchen experience!