Pssst – Check Out The 2015 Top Trends In Kitchen Design!

Posted on | January 23, 2015 | No Comments

It’s a new year, full of new design possibilities. This is a great time to look forward to what 2015 has to offer for one of our very favorite spaces – the kitchen. To get the full scoop on what we can expect to see in the heart of the home this year, North Carolina Design turned to Mary Liebhold, owner and founder of The Kitchen Specialist in Durham. Mary has over 30 years of experience designing beautiful, livable kitchens. Having attended the most recent Milan Furniture Fair – the largest furniture fair of its kind – Mary definitely has her finger on the pulse of what’s new, both here and across the pond.

Images Courtesy of The Kitchen Specialist ©

“The Milan show was so exciting,” Mary tells us. “There were two huge buildings dedicated just to kitchens. It took two days to walk through the displays.”

Mary notes that there were some refreshing and intriguing elements to this year’s Milan fair. “The color palettes I saw were soft and cool,” she recounts. “There were pops of bright color, like hot mustard yellow and chartreuse, paired with whites and grays. The wood tones were either very light or very dark – I saw very few medium tone wood colors.

“In the two days I was there, I saw maybe three pieces of granite. However, I did see glass, stainless steel, porcelain, lots of quartz, and wood. The wood countertops tended to be either ultra-thin or very thick, and had a living edge rather than a straight, smooth edge. I also saw a prevalence of laminate. There’s no stigma attached to laminate in Europe. It’s used widely; the countertops are high quality, and they come in interesting patterns and textures.”

Mary expects some of the European trends to eventually show up Stateside. “We tend to follow Europe’s lead, usually within a year or two,” she notes. “That said, Europeans design tends to be much more contemporary and minimalist than American design. I think it’s harder to be minimalist here in the United States, because we have much larger spaces, and we own a lot more things.”

Today’s North Carolina kitchens may not be as sleek and Spartan as their European counterparts, but they do have cleaner lines and fewer frills than they used to. “Life is pretty hectic, and kitchens are already busy and crowded places,” Mary reflects. “Heavily patterned tile and heavily figured wood grain can just be too much. It’s about a simpler, cleaner look with more natural elements.

“As in Europe, we have seen a trend away from granite among our clients,” she says. “Homeowners are increasingly choosing sleeker materials like quartz, stainless steel, or even glass for their countertops. Those that do choose granite are choosing leathered or honed varieties that have a softer, more muted patina. Homeowners are also forgoing tile and grout backsplashes for solid glass, which can be painted for added color.”

Mary notes that the eclectic, mix-and-match look that has been popular in other spaces has finally made it to the kitchen. “It’s not unusual to have multiple colors and materials in the kitchen space,” she explains. “Cabinets might have a leather or porcelain panel or a metal edge, or they might be painted in different colors.”

2015 kitchens aren’t just about form; they will have to step up their function to meet homeowners’ ever more complex and specific needs. “Homeowners are more aware that they have choices, and they want to exercise those choices,” Mary offers. “They are educated, and savvy, and eager to be a part of the process. That makes this an exciting time to be a designer.”

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