When the recession hit several years ago, homeowners began to spend less time eating out and more time in their home kitchens. As a result, the space has become more central to the hub of activity that goes on in a household instead of just the place for meal prep. Open concept living means the cook is more integrated into what’s happening in the living areas. The kitchen may be a place for kids to do homework and there may also be more than one cook in the kitchen at a time. Here are just a few of the trends CQC Home is following as we redesign, renovate and refurbish kitchens for our clients. Workstations The most streamlined, efficient restaurant kitchens are built around workstations designed specifically for the various prep and cooking tasks assigned to each crewmember. This is very different than traditional design of domestic kitchens, which are most often arranged around a “work triangle.” The National Kitchen and Bath Association describes this approach as the ability to draw an figurative line from the center of the sink, to the center of the cook-top to the center of the refrigerator and then back to the sink to complete the triangle. When the recession hit several years ago, homeowners began to spend less time eating out and more time in their home kitchens. As a result, the space has become more central to the hub of activity that goes on in a household instead of just the place for meal prep. Open concept living means the cook is more integrated into what’s happening in the living areas. The kitchen may be a place for kids to do homework and there may also be more than one cook in the kitchen. So, the traditional work triangle has given way to a set-up more often seen in professional kitchens. Workstations with specific appliances and tools for the natural flow of cooking a meal are becoming a central element in our kitchen design concepts. Cabinetry Shaker style cabinets are hot commodities in many of our kitchen remodels these days. We’re also integrating specific drawer styles and cabinets into our designs based on the appliances our clients use most and their personal cooking style. Deep drawers can be perfect storage areas for plates, bowls, pots and make it easy to find just what you’re looking for without having to crouch and peer all the way to the back of a dark cabinet. Color Gray continues its run as a go-to neutral color. In kitchens, we prefer to pair it with blues and greens for a sleek, clean appearance. Beige and white combinations are leading requests from those clients who prefer a warmer feel. We’re also seeing a trend toward keeping the walls in solid colors as opposed to integrating wallpaper and patterns. Tiles & Backsplashes Subway tiles are making an appearance in kitchens everywhere. This sleek versatile tile creates a perfect backsplash when paired with smaller glass tiles and colored grout. Combining bolder colored glass tiles and simple subway tiles allow you to create focal points and areas of interest within a kitchen. Countertops Quartz is the new rock star in this category, outpacing granite – the more traditional favorite. Quartz is an engineered stone made by combining stone chips, resins and pigments. This highly durable, low-maintenance, natural stone-look material is available in a variety of patterns, which can resemble granite and marble and in a surplus of colors. Appliances The trend in major kitchen appliances is that each should be tailored to the specific needs of our clients. Whether you’re considering a four-door refrigerator for a household full of kids or a wine cooler for entertaining, the appliances should meet your individual requirements and preferences. At CQC Home, we spend a good deal of time during your design consultation learning about you, your household and the way your kitchen is utilized. Together we’ll work through the options for each major appliance and find the ones that include the features that suit your needs best. To set up an appointment to discuss your kitchen remodel needs, please call CQC Home at 919.971.5119.