Charlotte Custom Cabinet Company & Kitchen Design Firm Details What Sizzles In Today’s Busy Kitchen

Posted on | October 13, 2015 | No Comments

The times, they are a-changing. The kitchen is still the central hub of the home, but the lifestyles and desires of homeowners have changed. Today’s homeowners need something that will look beautiful and keep pace with their families’ busy schedules. Fortunately, design experts like those at Charlotte custom cabinetry company Walker Woodworking are available to provide solutions. Walker Woodworking is known for crafting exceptional quality custom cabinetry, with the personal touch of a family business decades in the making. North Carolina Design talked to designer and cabinet engineer Brandon Fitzmorris to find out more about what people currently want and need in this all important space.

Images Courtesy of Walker Woodworking ©

Brandon tells us that homeowners increasingly prefer open floor plans for their kitchens, but not just for the additional space. “The open floor concept creates a more inclusive family atmosphere,” he asserts. “Even in the hustle and bustle, when parents are coming home from work and kids are coming home from soccer practice, and there’s a blitz to get homework done and dinner on the table, the family can still all be together, sharing the same space.”

Busy lifestyles have changed both the purpose and the configuration of the kitchen space. “It’s no longer just Mom in the kitchen,” Brandon explains. “Cooking has returned to more of a communal process. Dad cooks too, and the kids pitch in. So instead of the classic work triangle, where multiple people would crash into each other, you might have two or more small triangles with multiple prep areas. Or, you might break all the rules, blow the triangle out completely and go with a fluid workspace.”

Appliance cabinetry offers another way of breaking away from the standard work triangle, while adding great style. “We’re seeing more and more paneled appliances,” Brandon notes. “People want their appliances to disappear into the cabinetry as much as possible. ‘Plug-and-play’ integrated options – where differently sized appliances are configured together other than in a single built-in cabinet – are increasingly popular. So you might have a refrigerator, a separate freezer and a wine cooler in a single built-in, arranged in a way that works specifically for your needs.”

Kitchen style preferences have changed along with function. “Today’s homeowners like clean lines and simplicity, but they don’t necessarily want to make a full leap into contemporary design,” says Brandon. “They also want something that will last, and transitional style tends to stand the test of time a bit better than traditional or contemporary design.

“In cabinetry, that translates to more inset and frameless cabinets, less heavy moulding, and lighter glazes with a softer application that provides contrast and texture. Oak cabinets are coming back, but now people are choosing quarter-sawn white oak with a gray or brown glaze. In general, homeowners now favor grays and browns over reds and golds. They’re also moving away from stark, bold colors in favor of softer, less powerful shades.”

Homeowners are also incorporating a number of interesting transitional details to finish off their kitchen designs. “People are using more stone and brick, just in a cleaner way – like natural stone tile in a herringbone or subway pattern,” Brandon tells us. “On ceilings, we’re seeing a lot more painted trim in a coffer pattern, and more transitional colors used instead of white. And people are forgoing a series of smaller lights in favor of a couple of large, well designed pendant lights.”

Brandon loves the communal, family-oriented direction today’s kitchens are going. “Family is so important to us,” he confides. “With us it’s never just a job. We get to know our clients very well, and we build a relationship with them that lasts well beyond the project. There’s more emotion tied into designing kitchens than any other part of the house. It’s the heart of the home, and it means everything to us to get it right.”

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