Kitchen Design Today Offers The Latest Innovations And Is Also Personalized To The Homeowners’ Tastes & Lifestyle

Posted on | July 25, 2017 | No Comments

The kitchen is an all-important, ever-evolving space, and designers are continually challenged to find creative, innovative solutions that cater to the needs and desires of today’s homeowners. Charlotte kitchen designer, Kendra White, owner of the award winning design firm Pheasant Hill Designs, has crafted many a five-star kitchen. She is known for creating elegant and sophisticated kitchen spaces that make the best use of the latest ideas and innovations. She was kind enough to share her take on what’s new in kitchens with North Carolina Design.

Images Courtesy of Pheasant Hill Designs ©

“The role of the kitchen hasn’t changed – it has been the heart of home for at least 30 years,” Kendra observes. “But, the nature of the space has changed. It has become less formal. People want their kitchen to be comfortable for guests, and comfortable to maneuver and work in.”

Kendra notes that large islands have played a big role in adding comfort and function to today’s kitchens. “Family and guests can sit around and keep you company while you’re chopping and cooking,” she says. “You have a lot more workable space to use, and a lot more storage, which can act as an alternative to upper cabinets. That freed-up wall space gives you an opportunity to do things you couldn’t do in the past, like add artwork, open shelving, or windows for additional natural light.”

Smarter, more efficient storage is very important to today’s homeowners. “My clients are really looking for ‘cabinet intelligence,’ explains Kendra. “They’re thinking about what’s most practical for them, and what is ergonomically better – especially as they age. For example, they’re migrating to using deep, long drawers for storage, with pegs to keep things stable and organized. This way, they don’t have to reach up high to put away heavy plates, or crawl on their hands and knees to find their Tupperware lids.”

“They’re also adding pull out cabinet shelving of all kinds, including full extension blind pull outs in corners. These end cabinets are today’s answer to the lazy susan, which people hated because they practically had to climb inside the cabinet to retrieve things. Today’s kitchens are uncluttered and clean, so we install a lot of appliance garages, where people can store their ‘uglies’ behind closed doors and out of sight.”

Kendra excels at making efficient use of every space, in a way that’s personal to each client. “Everything has to be tailored to the client’s unique lifestyle, wants, and needs,” she notes. “There are a lot of creative ways to do this, especially with the products available today. For example,  we’re just now seeing modular cooking units, where you can pick and choose what you want – a convection oven, a griddle, a range, etc. – and how you want to configure it in your space.

“In one case, my clients were a couple, and the wife was a wine lover, and the husband was a beer drinker. I installed a wine cooler for her, and I and had exactly 15 inches space left over in the cabinet. I realized this was just enough space to add in a double tap kegerator for him! It was an efficient solution that made them both very happy.”

Some wonderful aesthetic kitchen elements are also on the horizon. “We are seeing a lot of glass,” Kendra says. “Some cabinets even have glass doors and glass shelves. When lit, the light cascades downward throughout the entire cabinet, creating a gorgeous ambient effect. We’re also seeing a lot of barn doors on pantries. People love that homey, farmhouse touch. Aesthetics matter so much – at home, you spend more time in your kitchen than anywhere else besides your bed. It just makes sense to do something that’s both functional and beautiful.”

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