Retail Observer

March 2019

The Retail Observer is an industry leading magazine for INDEPENDENT RETAILERS in Major Appliances, Consumer Electronics and Home Furnishings

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RETAILOBSERVER.COM MARCH 2019 30 I s a new kitchen on your to-do list this year? If so, you're probably asking yourself many questions. What appliances and features do you need to cook the way you want? What finishes will give your kitchen the appearance and feel you are seeking? What sort of design will allow you to move freely between tasks, cooking and entertaining? Chances are, you're looking to strike a balance between function and style. Kitchens tend to be the hub of the household, where people tend to gather to eat and socialize. Due to the costs and work involved, remodeling isn't an every-year project. It's important to think hard about your habits, needs and lifestyle, as well as how well the kitchen will look in the years ahead. So, what are the current kitchen remodeling trends and must-haves? We spoke with three designers – Amy Ahearn, Decorating Den Interiors of Williamsburg, VA.; Gloria Graham Sollecito, Artful Kitchens, West Palm Beach, FL.; and Susan Serra, Susan Serra Associates, Huntington, NY; – to find out what their clients are looking for and what trends may lie ahead. Here's what they had to say: What's cooking? Multi-function and healthy options: Remodelers want options when it comes to cooking. "More than one oven is practically de rigeur in the higher-end home," Ahearn says. "You must have two ovens, if only for two holidays a year." Dual-wall ovens are popular. "Multi-purpose appliances are in demand," Sollecito says. "For example, a double oven that also has steam or microwave cooking." Homeowners are also looking for ranges that offer built-in sous vide capability. For some of Ahearn's clients, it is a must-have. "The introduction of sous vide or steam into ovens is a signal that healthy methods of cooking have become a strong trend," Serra says. For cooktops, most are going larger, and induction cooking remains popular. "People are definitely asking about induction," Ahearn says. The homeowner's choice in major cooking appliances depends on their cooking habits, Serra says. "Those who do light cooking want value and reliability first and foremost. Those who cook regularly may be more concerned with pure function or both aesthetics and function. –Amy Ahearn, Decorating Den Interiors of Williamsburg, VA Stainless still leads, but black stainless shows life: "Stainless steel, like white kitchen cabinetry, has been a key player in kitchen design since the late eighties," Serra says. "That's staying power, compared to many trends in kitchen design that have come and gone." But traditional stainless isn't the only finish catching the eye of remodelers. Ahearn says black stainless is popular with younger clients, and Serra reports that dark gray, black and charcoal stainless finishes have come on strong in the last few years. AHAM research shows that 67% of three-door bottom mount refrigerators shipped in 2018 were traditional stainless, and 19% had black stainless finishes. For side-by-side refrigerator models, 57% were traditional stainless and 7% were black stainless. Among dishwashers shipped last year, 51% were stainless and 9% black stainless. So what's to come? "I think stainless steel will morph," Sollecito says. "It may get lighter, darker or warmer, but it's here to stay. My clients prefer it, with their only concern being fingerprints and cleanability. Manufacturers seem to be addressing that issue with smudge- and fingerprint-resistant finishes." Paneling: While appliance finishes are an important contributor to a kitchen's look, many homeowners opt to conceal their appliances with paneling. "The larger trend in kitchen design is a less utilitarian look and a more connected look to surrounding rooms," Serra says. "Appliance panels allow small kitchens to have a visual flow, which helps to make the kitchen look a little more spacious and less usually REMODELING? THESE SEVEN DESIGN TRENDS ARE HEATING UP KITCHENS Chris Doscher Design Trends Amy Ahearn, Decorating Den Interiors of Williamsburg, VA

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