"The look of the kitchen is changing -- already granite countertops and dark wood cabinets are starting to look a little late 90s. If you're thinking of renovating or building a house (or just like looking!), here are five of the top trends for modern kitchens. And the best part? Some of these are things you can do right now, without spending much money at all.
White and Wood
It's modern, but warm -- the best of both worlds. Not something you can do overnight, but a great application for some IKEA butcherblock.
1. A butcher block countertop lends warmth to a Scandinavian kitchen. From Bonytt via From Scandinavia with Love.
2. White and wood and black is an intriguing combo. I spy IKEA cabinets. FromDesire to Inspire.
3. It's the reverse of what you usually see, but wood cabinets with a white countertop work equally well. and is that...a laminate countertop? could it be making a comeback? From Klikk via Planete Deco.
4. How about white cabinets and wood cabinets together? Contrast is good.Ashley Capp via Desire to Inspire.
5. White and wood in a rustic kitchen from Miss Design.
The popularity of subway tile (and other glazed white ceramic tile) shows no signs of flagging. It's a lovely, traditional look that works equally well in modern kitchens. If you want to try something a little off the beaten path, go for dark grout, which gives the tile an extra little bit of depth (and let's face it, is way easier to clean).
1. Subway tile in a Scandinavian kitchen from Stadshem via Design Attractor.
2. With dark grout, from The Hope Mousehole.
3. White subway tiles set off glossy dark cabinets to perfection in this kitchen from Matchbook.
4. Square white tiles with dark grout are a modern counterpoint to marble in this London kitchen from Charles Mellersh.
5. Square white tiles, with a lively little niche, from Lev & Bo.
Marble has a reputation for being a bit high-maintenance, but if you're willing to put forth the effort, it is really breathtaking paired with the white cabinets that are so popular right now. (It's also equally striking with black cabinets.) Because it's a natural material, like wood, marble is wonderful for adding a little bit of visual texture to a modern kitchen.
1. Marble and brass are perfect together in this kitchen from Style at Home.
2. Marble countertops in a dreamy Brooklyn kitchen from Elle Decor.
3. Marble countertops in a lovely kitchen from Lonny. The super-thick edge on the island is a nice detail.
4. Marble and butcherblock mingle in a traditional-meets-modern kitchen fromCanadian House & Home. The marble folding over the edge of the island is a modern details that gives the kitchen a little extra panache.
5. Marble is lovely with black countertops, too, as seen in this kitchen from At Home in Arkansas.
Painting upper cabinets and lower cabinets a different color keeps things interesting -- and it's an easy makeover you can do by yourself (potentially by painting only half your cabinets!).
1. White and green, from Better Homes and Gardens.
2. Black and white cabinets give this traditional kitchen from Canadian House & Home a little something extra.
3. Contrasting uppers in wood from Cissy and Robert's kitchen (click to see full tour).
4. Bright white upper cabinets in this kitchen from Est blend into the wall, making the kitchen seem more spacious.
5. White uppers and wood lower cabinets in a contrasting kitchen from Better Homes and Gardens.
Open shelving -- highly controversial, freakishly popular. Pros: open shelving can make a small kitchen look much larger, and it's a great way to put all your lovely things on display. Cons: all those plastic stadium cups and souvenir pint glasses are going to have to be stashed in the lower cabinets.
1. Elegant wood shelving, seen in a kitchen from The Marion House Book.
2. Open shelving makes this small kitchen from Lonny seem more spacious (the subdued color palette of the dishes definitely helps).
3. For your bohemian kitchen, crates and baskets can take the place of upper cabinets. I love the contrast of the super-sleek white lower cabinets (complete with white faucet!) and the rustic look of the crates. Katarina Grundstromer via The Brown Workshop and The Kitchn.
4. A great example of open shelving mixed with traditional upper cabinets, fromStadshem via Superb.li.
5. At the far end of the spectrum is this kitchen from House to Home with hardly any upper storage at all. Some people are choosing to take this one step further and go with no upper cabinets at all -- a clean look, but one that must involve a lot of squatting down and scrounging around.
This particular trend is actually quite accessible -- if you'd like to try it out, all you have to do is remove your cabinet doors and see how it looks. Then you can choose to go 'soft' by replacing cabinet doors with glass-front doors, or replacing a single section of cabinetry with open shelves to display the pretty things -- or you can go whole hog and tear out all your cabinets and replace them with shelving. (Hanging shelving won't be particularly hard, but you may have to re-think your backsplash.)
Tired of your kitchen, but convinced that kitchen remodels are only for people with lots of money? Edie, of the Life in Grace blog, embraced a few of these trends on a tiny budget, by removing the doors from her upper cabinets and painting the lower ones. You can see the transformation -- and get inspired --here".
Mitchell, Nancy. "The New Kitchen: 5 Top Trends." Apartment Therapy. Apartment Therepy, 03 May 2013. Web. 10 July 2014. <http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/5-top-kitchen-trends-184706>.
Cabinetry is a mandatory addition to many kitchens, bathrooms and offices. A simple screw or two is all that was required to attach a cabinet to a standard wood-framed wall. However, in modern architecture, as a code requirement for many commercial buildings, steel studs are used.
As a part of the complete wall unit, these steel studs provide enormous structural strength. When it becomes necessary to tap into the individual strength of these studs, they're very flimsy. So, how do we attach cabinets to them?
Determining the Strength of Your Stud
Manal, Naima. "How to Install Cabinets on Metal Studs." EHow. Demand Media, 02 Apr. 2009. Web. 24 Apr. 2014. <http://www.ehow.com/how_4883771_install-cabinets-metal-studs.html>.
Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Hinges
Kitchen cabinet hinges are things you don't normally think about until it's time to either replace them or buy new cabinets. And even then, it may be an afterthought for most.
Despite their seemingly mundane purpose cabinet hinges have come a long way since the basic butt hinge, made up of two "wings" joined by a "knuckle" and pin. And although this kind of traditional hinge is still used, there's some very decorative, innovative and convenience-wielding cabinet hinges on the market today.
One of the main things to acknowledge when it comes to cabinet hinges is that there are basically two different categories or "types" of hinges. Among these two classes are a variety of styles, each with their own functional and decorative differences.
Your particular situation (buying new cabinets or buying new hinges for existing cabinets) will dictate which class of cabinet hinge to pursue. One final point to consider is the technology that's associated with some hinges. You may or may not be familiar with self-close or soft-close features. They offer a level of convenience for your cabinets and make using them a bit more 'satisfying' (no more slamming cabinet doors). Whether you're buying for new cabinets or simply replacing old hinges, get familiar with what kinds of hinges are at hand, the features that are available and then choose a style that's most fitting for your taste and décor.
Start With The Basics -
Hinge Types And CharacteristicsThere are many styles of kitchen cabinet hinges available today but as different as they may be, they all fall into two basic categories: exposed and concealed.
Types Of Hinges
Exposed HingesExposed hinges are the kind of cabinet hinge you see (or partially see) when the cabinet door is closed. They're a more traditional type of hinge in that they consist of 3 basic parts: two wings and a pivot point.
One wing is attached to the door and the other is attached to the cabinet's face frame (for framed cabinets) or the cabinet wall (for frameless cabinets). Semi-concealedhinges have parts that are hidden when the cabinet door is closed but there is still some portion of the hinge that's visible.
Surface mounted hinges are fully visible, with one hinge wing attached to the outside of the cabinet door and the other wing fastened to the cabinet frame.
If you're refurbishing your existing cabinets and ordering new hinges the key point to keep in mind is that your cabinet construction will determine which configuration of exposed hinge you can use. In other words, before you choose a type of exposed hinge, you'll need to know whether you have framed or frameless cabinets, full or partial inset doors and the type of door overlay that exists. The reason for this is because the variations in cabinet construction dictate how the cabinet hinge itself is constructed. If you're not familiar with terminology like 'framed' and 'frameless' cabinets, you can learn more about what these terms mean and how how they're constructed by viewing this page.
Characteristics Of Exposed/Traditional Hinges
"European" or "Cup" Concealed Hinge
There are several varieties of concealed hinges. One predominant style is known as the "European" or "Euro" hinge. It's also known as a "cup hinge" because of the cup-like fitting on one end of the hinge. Other types of concealed hinges include "barrel" or "cylinder" hinges and Soss hinges. Barrel hinges have two cylinders connected by small metal links hinged at the center. Soss hinges have two metal wings that also are joined by metal links. The benefit of these hinges (barrel and Soss) over the European cup hinge is that they're usually smaller and less noticeable than Euro hinges when the cabinet door is open. Concealed hinges, regardless of type, require some drilling and/or a mortise be cut into the cabinetry. For Soss and barrel hinges, both the door and the cabinet box/frame must be cut to accept the hinge. Euro style hinges require a cutout only on the door to accept the hinge cup.
Characteristics Of Concealed Hinges
The cost of kitchen cabinet hinges is obviously variable, dependent on the type of hinge and its features such as opening angle and finish. Concealed (Euro/cup) hinges will generally be more expensive than exposed hinges but the difference may not be as much as you might expect. The typical cost of exposed hinges ranges from approximately $2.00 per pair for a simple wrap-around hinge to $8.00 for a wide-opening, non-mortise hinge. Comparatively, concealed hinges may range from $6.00 per pair for 2-way (adjustable in 2 directions) face-frame hinges to $18.00 for more complex bi-fold hinges. Keep in mind however that the more expensive concealed hinges are for specialized functions such as wide-angle, blind-corner and bi-fold applications. Not all of your cabinet doors require these kinds of hinges.
Choosing Hinges - Sorting Out What You Want/NeedChoosing the right kitchen cabinet hinges comes down to answering some questions about your wants and needs regarding the look and function of your cabinets.
Standard hinges have been around for a long time and you could say that they're at a "mature" level of technology.
Concealed or European-style hinges however continue to evolve and while it may seem hard to get excited about a hinge, there is reason to pay them some attention. The is mainly because of innovations in their ease of use and convenience.
Innovation And ConvenienceIf you haven't considered concealed cup-style hinges or just aren't aware of what's available, take a closer look at these convenient features:
"Choosing Kitchen Cabinet Hinges." HomeStyleChoices.com. Homestylechoices.com, n.d. Web. 22 Apr. 2014. <http://www.home-style-choices.com/kitchen-cabinet-hinges.html>.
"Surfaces in the kitchen are often coated with grease, even when foods are seldom fried. When foods are fried, countless miniscule particles of grease become airborne, and they settle on everything from blinds to kitchen cabinets. When the kitchen cabinets are coated with grease they feel sticky and gummy, and dust particles further compound the problem. The kitchen cabinets end up looking dull and dirty, but it is possible to remove grease build-up without having to sand or refinish the surface. Try the following safe and easy ways to remove grease build-up on kitchen cabinets, and stop the build-up from continuing to accumulate while collecting dust and grime.Precautionary Statement
Never use multi-surface sprays, vinegar, citrus juice, chemical products containing ammonia, bleach, erasing sponges, or any other questionable cleaners or products on wood cabinets or any other wood surfaces. They can remove and permanently damage the finish. Play it safe and read all product label instructions before attempting to remove grease build-up on cabinets. Take the time to remove grease build-up properly and kitchen cabinets will turn out clean and look as good as new.
Remove Build-Up with Oil Soap and Elbow Grease
Oil soap is a fantastic cleaner, and it will safely remove grease build-up on kitchen cabinets. According to the Murphy's Oil Soap label, it will safely clean wood and laminate surfaces. However, it should not be used on unfinished or unsealed wood. The instructions say to dilute one-quarter cup in one gallon of warm water. After cleaning, a dry rag should be used to soak up any excess moisture, but rinsing is not required. It leaves behind nothing more than a clean fresh scent, and it will remove all traces of grease build-up. I would not use any other cleaner to remove grease build-up on wood surfaces in my kitchen. Best of all it is a reasonably priced cleaner that goes a long way. One pint was $1.50 at Dollar General, and at one-quarter cup per gallon of water, it will go a long way to remove grease build-up on kitchen cabinets and other wood furnishings.
Follow up with Citrus Oil and a Microfiber Cloth
After cleaning away the grease build-up on kitchen cabinets, it is a good idea to go over wood surfaces with natural citrus oil and a microfiber cloth. Natural orange is my citrus oil of choice. The smell is fresh and clean, and it does a fantastic job of protecting wood surfaces, especially in the kitchen. Simply apply a small amount of orange oil to a clean dry microfiber cloth, and rub it over wood kitchen cabinets that have been properly cleaned and dried. The natural oil will protect the sealed wood surfaces, and they will smell great for weeks on end".
Ray, Crystal. "How to Remove Grease Build-Up on Kitchen Cabinets." Yahoo Contributor Network. Voices.yahoo.com, 9 Oct. 2009. Web. 05 Apr. 2014. <http://voices.yahoo.com/how-remove-grease-build-kitchen-cabinets-4603149.html?cat=6>.
"Choosing kitchen cabinets can easily be the most involved portion of redecorating any kitchen space. The good news is that selecting the right kind of wood to make them out of doesn't have to be a difficult process. The bad news is that you will have to do a bit of research before settling on the right wood type. You'll need to consider the style of the kitchen and how much you can afford to spend.
No matter what kind of wood kitchen cabinets you are looking at, make sure that they are 100% solid wood. Many manufacturers use particle board, a wood composite, in order to cut costs. The problem with particle board is that it won't last as long, or look as good, as solid wood. If you are redoing your whole kitchen, then it's usually worth the investment to purchase solid wood cabinets.
Oak is by far the most popular wood choice for kitchen cabinets. The trees can be found all over the globe, so the materials are easy to find. Oak takes well to stain, it is durable, and it is aesthetically appealing. Most homeowners who choose oak cabinets prefer a natural or honey stained look to any kind or darker stain, though darker colors are available.
Ponderosa, white, and yellow are all types of pine wood that are frequently fashioned into cabinets. White and yellow pine are the most versatile, since both can be easily stained without any added fuss. On the other hand, ponderosa pine can be difficult to work with if you plan to stain your own cabinets. If you prefer the look of ponderosa pine, cabinets made from this type of wood can be purchased pre-stained.
Maple is a type of wood that many contractors prize for its sheer adaptability. It can be stained in any shade and will still maintain its natural wood grain. You'll also find that maple tends to be more cost-effective than pine or oak, since maple trees can be found in Asia, and many maple wood kitchen cabinets are manufactured in that part of the world.
Unlike maple, cherry wood is expensive, though it is quite stunning to look at. It is unique in that it turns from a light wood color to a deep red color with time, and once the wood has been stained, exposure to sunlight over many years will bring out its natural red hue. This is precisely why many people pay a higher price for it.
Mahogany wood kitchen cabinets are rare, but they have a rich and luxurious look that many homeowners love. If style and class is what you're after, then mahogany may be the type of wood that you are seeking".
Geek, Wise. "How Do I Choose the Best Wood Kitchen Cabinets?" WiseGEEK. Wisegeek.com, n.d. Web. 02 Apr. 2014. <http://www.wisegeek.org/how-do-i-choose-the-best-wood-kitchen-cabinets.htm>.