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USA Real Estate Blog

What’s hot in kitchen design

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Open shelving, subtle lighting and high window treatments, creates a light and airy kitchen in this downtown Vancouver condo.


Courtesy of Erin Sousa

The latest trends in kitchen design reflect changes in the way people are living. More and more people are living in smaller spaces and needing to maximize every square foot, and dining rituals are becoming increasingly casual.

Brand marketer Erin Sousa and her husband recently bought a 1,000-square-foot apartment in downtown Vancouver and renovating the kitchen was a top priority, she says.

“We removed some shelving in the corner to do open shelves, and that makes the space look super airy and bright,” she says.

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Cabinetry hardware is a great way to update the look of your kitchen.

Courtesy of Erin Sousa

They did lose some storage in opting for open shelving, says Sousa, having to move some of their smaller appliances to a closet, but, she says, it’s worked out fine because they only really use them a couple of times a year.

“It’s a good tip, to remove those things from your immediate kitchen if you can and do something a bit different with open shelving or glass doors,” she says.

Sousa found that opting for a large area rug really made the space feel bigger, and decided not to go for a kitchen island.

“I would rather have that open feel than crowd it with an island that isn’t big enough to do much on, and to me it would look a little bit messy,” she says.

A lot of meals are now being eaten in the kitchen, says Kathryn Lees, marketing director for Vancouver’s CF Interiors (previously Country Furniture).

“We get a lot of people with built-in islands who want seating so they can utilize it as a kitchen table. So we sell a lot of stools for kitchens,” she says.

Choosing the right stools is really important, she says.

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Kitchen faucet in metal tones works as a feature piece in this Vancouver condo kitchen.

Courtesy of Erin Sousa

“We ask our customers: how much are you really going to be sitting at this space? Everyday having breakfast with your family? Are your kids going to do homework there? Are you going to have a glass of wine with your friends when they come over? There’s nothing worse than going to someone’s house and sitting on a bar stool that’s wildly uncomfortable,” she says.

They’ve also noticed an increasing demand for C Trays, says Lee, which are essentially an updated, stylish reimagining of the old-school TV tray tables.

“We find a lot of people who live in condos they end up eating on their sofas, so we’ve brought in a bunch of tables that work perfectly for that. They’re really beautiful, and they’re the type of tables you want to keep out all the time,” she says.

These days many kitchens have simple, clean cabinetry, says Lee, so people are increasingly looking for standout pendant lighting to add some personality to the space.

“We’ve found that pendant lighting pieces truly do pull the whole space together,” she says.

For those interested in updating their kitchens but can’t commit to a full renovation, updating cabinetry hardware can make a huge difference, says Simone Greenwood, of Vancouver’s Bradford Hardware.

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Open shelving creates a light and airy feeling in this Vancouver condo kitchen.

Courtesy of Erin Sousa

Brass tones, like stain, antique and unlacquered brass, along with black and white powder-coat finishes are currently proving very popular in kitchen cabinetry hardware, says Greenwood.

For those who are renovating, says Greenwood, it’s a wise idea to order your hardware early, because lead time can take anywhere from two to six weeks. Unlike cabinet knobs and pulls, if your project requires appliance pulls these need to be onsite when the installer arrives.

Making sure your kitchen is designed for form and function is key, says Greenwood.

“When refacing cabinets, filling the cabinet hardware holes is a must, which will open you up to your choice in hardware. There is no standard size for cabinet hardware so you may find you have limited options when it comes to finding the exact size to match to your drilled holes,” she says.

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