Kitchen Trends 2010

The kitchen continues to be the most important room in the home, serving as the hub of family activity. Investing in this space not only adds to your enjoyment and quality of life, but also offers valuable returns when you sell your home.

At a panel during the International Builders Show in Las Vegas, Darcy Garneau of EDI Architecture, Jillian Pritchard Cooke of DES-SYN and John Thatch of Dahlin Group Architecture Planning shared their insight into the kitchen trends that are exciting buyers and inspiring homebuilders for 2010.

White, Espresso and Natural Colors

White continues to be the most popular color for the kitchen, while espresso and natural colors are timeless. Whatever color you choose, make sure it works with the room's natural light.

These colors work with almost any architectural style while allowing other aspects of the kitchen to shine, such as a great granite or butcher block countertop, recessed LED lighting and Energy Star stainless steel appliances.

Recycled Materials

Recycled products come in many forms, including stainless steel, wood, glass and solid surface materials. Incorporating them in the kitchen can make a powerful eco-friendly design statement.

Go green chic by combining different materials -- such as recycled wood floors and cabinetry, mosaic glass backsplashes and stainless steel countertops.

Luxury Energy Efficient Appliances

Luxury appliances, like stainless steel professional grade stoves and ovens, set the tone for a high-end kitchen with sleek lines, a polished look and ultimate convenience. Plus, many of these appliances are energy efficient and are great for your kitchen and the environment. Thermador ovens and GE "Smart Grid" appliances are just a few products homeowners want.

Sustainable Kitchens

Kitchens that use materials like bamboo and sustainably harvested woods not only help conserve resources, but also add style and visual interest to the kitchen space itself. These materials are often manufactured with low- or no-formaldehyde glues, which protect the home's indoor air quality as well.

Add energy efficient appliances that help lower your power bills, and you've got a sustainable kitchen you can be proud of.

Mix and Match Different Materials

Mixing different materials throughout the kitchen, like the butcher block countertops and marble backsplashes as seen here, creates visual interest and lets you customize a look that works with your taste and architectural style.

Open, Seamless Design

Gone are the days when the kitchen was separated from the rest of the house. Homeowners want a seamless flow from the kitchen to its adjoining rooms, whether it's a formal dining room or the living room.

Kitchens are the new family room, so opening up the space to allow for socializing and entertaining turns a kitchen into a multi-functional space.

(Source: HGTV Pro)

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