January 31, 2011


Interior design is a constantly changing industry very similar to the fashion industry.  We see the new design trends of what’s hot and what’s not for the season being featured in magazines, newspapers and on television.  Trend knowledge is fun and can be helpful when designing / remodeling your home as well.  However, I don’t recommend incorporating trends just to be “trendy”.  It’s important to select the trends that will have staying power and that will work with your lifestyle, look and budget. 

Kitchen remodeling is the number one trend for 2011! 

Below is a list of the most “fashionable” kitchen trends for 2011:

  1. Kitchen Design:   green, minimalist & contemporary
  2. Flooring:  hardwood , stone & porcelain tile
  3. Cabinetry:  recycled materials, exotic woods & wood striations
  4. Countertops:  honed granite & engineered surfaces
  5. Backsplash:  glass tiles
  6. Cooking:  induction cook tops, speed ovens & steam ovens
  7. Refrigeration:  integrated refrigeration, refrigerator / freezer drawers & French Door
  8. Dishwasher:  dish drawer
  9. Wall Treatments:  wallpaper and bold paint colors
  10. Lighting:  LED


KITCHEN DESIGN:  The current outlook is definitely green.  Energy efficiency is one of the most sought after trends in the home building and design industry.  Many are requesting sleeker and more streamline kitchen designs with appliances built into the cabinetry for a seamless look.  People want a kitchen that is functional, easy to maintain with a “wow” factor added in.  Kitchens are no longer just rooms for food preparation and cooking so the design needs to become a harmonious blend of function and lifestyle.

Wide Plank FlooringKITCHEN FLOORING:  Hardwood floors are still all the rage because they are timeless and work with many styles.  For 2011 you’ll see wider planks, hand scraped or wire brushed planks and exotic woods.

Stone Tile is still strong for 2011 because of its natural beauty and longevity.  Stone is being showcased with different vein cuts which gives an old favorite like Travertine a new look.  

Porcelain tile, also known as an anti-microbial surface, is very popular for 2011.  It is waterproof, fade proof, dent proof and resistant to heavy foot traffic.  Especially popular are the porcelain tiles that look like wood.  Porcelain tiles are being sold in many sizes but the plank configurations are getting the most attention.  Porcelain tiles come in many colors and some even have metallic striations running through them.  They can be installed throughout the home and are great for backsplash applications and wall treatments. 

Both stone and porcelain floors offer many benefits uniquely to them.  They are clean, sleek and maintain their good looks for many years to come. 

For green flooring products you’ll see materials made from renewable resources such as bamboo, cork and marmoleum.

KitchenCABINETRY:   Cabinets are the most crucial component of your new kitchen or remodel.  Smooth, straight-lined, curved or eco style are the architectural forms of today’s cabinetry.  Organizational storage features within kitchen cabinets are becoming more sophisticated as people request cabinetry that is both practical and attractive.  A good kitchen design will include cabinetry with many drawers for storage, swivel or swing out shelves,  pull outs, roll outs behind cabinet doors and drawer organizers to name a few of the revolutionary storage options for cabinetry.  The trash pullout is the number one cabinet pullout; however trash compactors are starting to make a comeback…we’ll see what happens in the years to come. 

Under cabinet refrigerators, dishwasher drawers and speed ovens contribute to the new sleek look for kitchen design.  They are the newest trend because not only do they give your kitchen a minimalist look, but they are good space savers for small spaces. 

Long gone are the white washed oak cabinets.  If you like oak choose rift-cut or sawn-cut oak, which have a modern and clean vertical or horizontal striation within the wood.  The lighter hues for cabinetry are the past and have been replaced by richer tones of java, mocha and chestnut.  Cherry wood is still a very popular wood species for cabinetry but for something bold and beautiful try white cabinetry with accents of gray or mocha.  Distressed finishes have dropped significantly from last year. 

The shaker style and slab style are top on the list for contemporary design.

Recycled materials, exotic wood species and laminates are hot for 2011.  Try flip up cabinet uppers trimmed in aluminum with glass fronts to your modern kitchen design. 

Honed GraniteCOUNTERTOPS:   Granite is still the most requested material for countertops.  Honed and leathered granite tops are being requested and more patterns of granite are being fabricated with this finish.  Engineered surfaces are also popular but for those who request it because it’s trendy usually change back to granite when they find out the cost is just about the same.  Many prefer a solid surface for countertops than the once popular tiled surface.  There are many solid surfaces to choose from for kitchen countertops.

Linear Glass TileBACKSPLASH:  Let your backsplash become a work of art by creating a pattern using glass tiles, natural stone or tiles with a unique veining pattern.  A cool look for a backsplash is to use beach glass tile in an asymmetrical pattern in one color or for more pop try mini mosaic tiles in an array of colors.  The “linear” shaped tile is very popular for 2011.

Cook TopCOOKING:  Induction cook tops are very popular for 2011 and closing the gap on the gas cook top mainly because 80% of the heat is transferred to your pans compared to 40% from gas, making them very efficient. 

It’s all about the speed ovens this year because the speed ovens can work as a microwave, convection and grill all in one oven!  They are also more energy efficient because there is no pre-heating required (love that). 

 Steam Ovens are perfect for people who want to cook healthy.  Cooking with steam is a healthy way of cooking because it allows your food to retain the vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy eating.  The flavors and moisture are also preserved which allows you to cook a delicious healthy meal.   Some brands offer a steam / convection combination. 

REFRIGERATION:  Integrated refrigeration is big for 2011 because it merges seamlessly into any décor with no visible hinges or grills.  It’s refrigeration where you want it!  The French door design is now beating out the ever so popular side-by-side or freezer bottom. Refrigerator and freezer drawers continue to be popular for 2011.  Stainless steel is still being requested.  For a seamless look use appliance panels that match the cabinetry.  For more information on integrated refrigeration click http://www.subzero.com/IntegratedRefrigeration


Dishwasher DrawerDISHWASHERS:   I’m very excited about Fisher & Paykels dish drawers!  They have a new energy efficient 36” single dish drawer that is wider than their previous styles.  It is spacious enough for nine place settings and can accommodate larger pots too.  It integrates nicely with today’s seamless contemporary kitchen designs.  Finally a dish drawer designed to perfection.  For more information click www.fisherpaykel.com   

Paintable WallpaperWALL TREATMENTS:  Wallpaper can be fresh and fun.  It can add color, glamour and warmth to any room.  Wallpaper got some attention in 2010 but look out its strong for 2011.  People are not just using it to accent a wall; they are covering entire rooms like they did in the past. 

What’s new is paintable wallpaper that is also washable, making it great for kitchens.  Metallic and tone-on-tone papers are being offered in an array of colors and patterns.  Look for hand painted textured papers and fabric that matches the wallpaper so you can cover your walls and your windows with the same pattern. 

For wall paint, boring colors are a thing of the past.  What’s new are bold colors, colors that make you feel alive.  Gone are the days of eggshell walls, look for brick red, burnt orange, grape, raspberry, navy, forest and olive green, mocha and dark grey.  Grey is huge for 2011, especially in kitchens.  If you’re not into deep colors and you want your walls to be painted neutral then I would suggest a creamy white, one that is soft not stark.  Watch out… hot pink is back!



LightingLIGHTING:  It seems everyone is opting for the more energy efficient LED lighting.  LED’s not only last longer but they use less energy.  What’s new is a warmer white light than the years past. 

Hand blown glass from Murano, Italy is still popular and the new color for 2011 is smoke.

For contemporary and green design, materials being used are linen, tweed, wool and thatch.  Many patterns have a global inspiration. 

Clusters of pendants are making a strong statement and if you really want drama select a fixture in a bright color or colored crystals. 

Cont Kitchen

Let us help you incorporate these awesome new trends into your new kitchen design.  For top notch craftsmanship and creative design, contact Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors for a FREE consultation.  Call or click today… 480.836.1543  www.sandella.net

Contact Sandella Custom Homes & Interiors for a FREE consultation

Call or Click:  480.816.4233 or http://sandella.net/contactus/contactus.html


Article by Cheryl Sandella, ASID Interior Designer, Fountain Hills, Arizona

©2011 Cheryl Sandella,  Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors, LLC. 

Cheryl SandellaAbout Cheryl:

Cheryl Sandella, Interior Designer ASID Allied Member, works with her husband and partner of 30 years, Al Sandella, General Contractor. They own Sandella Custom Homes and Interiors in Fountain Hills Arizona and design, remodel and build homes in the valley. To read more about her go to www.sandella.net/aboutus/aboutus.html  

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