If you’re just starting a kitchen remodel, you’ve probably got a million ideas in your head. As you consider all your options, you might be wondering what the popular trends are. Here are six trends based on the most common requests we’ve seen over the past year.

Trend 1: An Open Kitchen Dining Area
Today’s homeowners want their kitchen to be an inviting central hub for family and friends—a space for doing homework, cooking meals together, entertaining friends, and just hanging out. More and more homeowners, especially those with older homes with cramped kitchens, are choosing to combine the kitchen and dining room into one integrated, multi-purpose space. This creates an airier feel, better traffic flow, and individualized options that suit your lifestyle. With the popularity of open layouts, this type of space can also increase the value of your home.

Trend 2: More Storage
Recently there’s been an explosion of creative ways to maximize your square footage. Start by thinking about what you want close at-hand and easily accessible in each part of your kitchen. Some trending ideas include customized pantries, corner drawers, and pull-out trash and recycling bins. Other popular space-saving ideas include vertical storage for cooking sheets and pans, roll-away carts and islands for both storage and cooking prep, a pet food area, microwave drawers, and a hidden “appliance garage” to store your toaster, coffeemaker, and more.

Trend 3: A Large, Multi-Purpose Island
One of the most popular trends is the kitchen island, with a growing preference for grand islands extending six feet or more. Starting with informal, easy-to-see seating, grand islands can provide amazing utility. Use yours for valuable storage space, another prep surface, a cooktop or sink, convenient charging stations, and much, much more. Islands also create a focal point that help to ground the space and are perfect for when you want to entertain large gatherings.

Trend 4: Two-Tone or Textured Cabinets
Color shows your personality, helps set the mood, and can enhance kitchen design. Recently, we’ve seen a move toward two-toned cabinets, using either bold, contrasting colors or shades that are closer in tone. The most classic look is darker on the bottom cabinets and lighter on the top cabinets, which increases a sense of balance. Another option is using your second tone to create a focal point on one wall or island. Or, you can vary color using different materials, such as having primarily solid wood cabinets, along with one that has glass panes for displaying special items. The design options have come a long way since the 70s and we are even seeing beautiful manufactured materials with unique textures and sheens creating modern and sleek styles. Regardless of your choice, cabinets play a key role in determining the overall design feel of the space – from modern to contemporary to traditional.

Trend 5: Lighter, Brighter Space
Lighting affects functionality and sets the mood, so make sure it’s included in your plan and budget. You’ll want to make sure your lighting is easily controlled, energy efficient, comfortable, and flexible. Start with a definitive layout—including cabinets, workspaces, eating areas, appliances and island placement—to guide your lighting plan. Then apply the concept of “layers of light,” using different types of lighting, including ambient light for a base level of illumination, task light for functional spaces, and accent lighting to highlight display items, artwork or architectural details. While technology can create beautiful light, natural light is often overlooked. By enlarging or incorporating a new windows and see through doors, you can dramatically transform a space by bringing the outdoors in and take advantage of pretty outdoor landscaping.

Trend 6: 3D Design Rendering
Today, 3D design rendering software is one of the most valuable tools in a design and remodeling company’s arsenal. 3D renderings empower clients, providing them with a way to more accurately visualize their space. This software removes a great deal of guesswork in the design phase, enabling you to accurately preview how different colors, designs, materials, and shapes will look. It also helps the remodeler catch potential problems and fine-tune measurements before the work begins. Ultimately, 3D rendering vastly improves communication between you and the design-build contractor, providing a way for both parties to stay on the same page throughout the process—with results that will provide the highest satisfaction.

Make sure the job is done right.
To maximize your space and enjoy your kitchen to its fullest, it’s important to find the right remodeling team. Choose experienced professionals who will take the time to understand your lifestyle to get just the right feel and functionality. Your home is most likely your biggest asset, so take care to find a trusted remodeling company that can provide the best in quality and personal service. In the greater Boston area, an excellent resource is Woodland Contracting, providing top-level design-build services for the kitchen remodel of your dreams—on time and on budget. Call today.