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Cozy and Warm Kitchen- Part II <br>Haute designs of the new Kitchen-era

By Super Admin

After you have decided the shape of your kitchen and storage space, designing it will be the next step. People have unique tastes and outlook, which represent their personal style. According to that, you can make your kitchen homely, personal, professional or intimate. Before, delving into cabinets and worktops, let's study the latest trends creating waves in the market.

  • Standard items like ordinary tile backsplashes and safe cabinet finish choices are being traded for something more personal, from mosaic backsplashes to cork flooring.
  • If there is availability of space, island is being created. Expanding workspaces and reducing walking distance between work zones, including an island in design is bound to make space more functional and style-forward.
  • Environmentally friendly designs aren't just in vogue-they're valuable, helping to preserve the health of your family and the planet, while potentially saving you money (the more energy-efficient your appliances are, the cheaper they are to run).
  • Track lighting takes a backseat as xenon under-cabinet lighting, which is cooler is preferred.
  • The days of crammed cabinets are giving way to walk-in or built-in pantries.
  • Open kitchen is still doing the rounds with a cozy little spot adjacent to the kitchen.
  • Popular palettes are soft color tones like cashmeres, ambers of mild slatey grays, blues and greens. Two or three alternating colours (pleasant hues) are the order of the day.

Cabinet doors are the face of the kitchen. Whichever material you choose, durability and low-maintenance have to be the key. As most of the cabinet carcasses nowadays are made of chipboard, the only thing you have to worry about is the finish of the cabinet doors. Basically, you can choose from wood or laminate.

Wood: Here again you can go for solid wood or wood veneer. The latter is cheaper and is less under the influence of weather conditions. Changes in temperature and humidity due to your kitchen activities will affect solid wooden kitchen doors. Besides that, veneer will also give more uniformity, as a piece of wood is cut in thin strips to cover all the doors.

Laminate: You can get creative with Laminate cupboard doors. The possibility in colour, texture and shine seem endless. You can go for a soft look with creamy colours and a matt finish or, if you want to make a real statement, choose the Italian style with shining fronts and bold colours.

Laminate cupboards are virtually maintenance-free. It only needs the occasional wipe or two and it is clean again. In the long run, these suffer from a lot less wear and tear and will stay fresh for a good number of years.

Countertops or worktops are an integral part of kitchen design. This offers a wide variety of choices to make your kitchen look classy. Whatever the choice, hefty countertops, about 37 inches is most avidly asked for.

Granite is groovy: It is the most common stone used for worktops. It is quarried worldwide with colors and patterns that reveal the region and the geological conditions. Each slab is unique, with random and inconsistent patterns for a great character and look. It is highly durable, it doesn't scratch or burn, and it keeps its color. Unfortunately granite is a very expensive material though the finished look is often well worth the cost.

Laminate is popular: Though expensive it is a very popular choice for kitchen countertops and available in a variety of colors and textures. It isn't that hard wearing and can get scratched or burned, and gets dirty very easily. It is not built to last. If you do choose laminate you can protect your surfaces with trivets and chopping boards.

Wood is traditional: It gives a great look and adds character to your kitchen. On the countertop, however, it is highly susceptible to scratching and cutting. Hot pans will burn it or leave marks, and it can be unhygienic if meat or poultry is prepared on it. Oak, maple, cherry, red beech, walnut, teak, and mahogany are all hardwoods favored for countertop applications.

Stainless steal is classy: Often associated with professional kitchens, stainless steel is stylish and contemporary. Steel is highly durable and can be shaped in many ways to fit your kitchen. The backsplash and the sink can be made out of the same piece of steel, ensuring that there are no awkward corners or gaps. It is hygienic and is the only surface that can be safely bleached.

Quartz is cool: Granite, granite, granite may be the surface of the century, but quartz is the word of the moment. Quartz delivers a great natural look to any kitchen. It is highly durable being resistant to scratches, stains and heat. However this flexibility comes at a price. Quartz surfaces are hygienic because the material is non-porous and so bacteria have nowhere to hide. Three brands to note of are Zodiaq, Cambria and Silestone.

Glass is contemporary: Glass is losing its china doll status. The highly polished surface is available in almost limitless colors, shapes, thickness and textures. Its non-porous nature keeps it stain-proof and hygienic, and it can handle hot pots.

Story first published: Monday, May 15, 2006, 15:14 [IST]
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