Even as businesses slowly begin to reopen, it’s clear that restaurant dining won’t be as prevalent or easy as it was in pre-pandemic times. This means more time in the kitchen, so it’s a perfect time to make your kitchen a happy, comfortable space where you and your family can cook and gather. Joe Thorne, a kitchen and bath designer at Bloedorn Lumber, says he’s seen a marked increase in home improvement projects since the pandemic began. “People are spending the vacation money they didn’t get to spend or doing a project that they finally have the time for,” he says.
If you haven’t already noticed while browsing on Pinterest or Houzz: clean, sleak design is the most popular theme these days. Modern home owners want functionality and bright, uncomplicated features in the kitchen. “A simple look with clean design and square edges are what most people want when remodeling their kitchen,” says Thorne. If you’re looking for a pandemic home improvement project, here are some ways to achieve that tasteful modern kitchen look.
It might seem obvious, but white paint is a quick way to brighten a space and lend a classic vibe. “White paint is so popular it’s not even funny,” says Thorne.
White paint is far from basic — there are plenty of different types of white paint to choose from. Bloedorn Lumber alone carries four different shades of white paint. Furthermore, the use of a white paint in a kitchen space allows the homeowner more color options and variety in other elements of the kitchen: you can accent your newly-white walls with a retro, cherry red toaster or a turquoise Kitchenaid mixer.
If white isn’t your style, gray is the next best thing. “From a color stand point, gray is the new brown,” says Thorne. “People are going away from brown tones and into gray tones.”
In keeping with the simple, clean theme, shaker-style cabinet doors are making a comeback. “Traditional door styles are going by the way side,” says Thorne. “For the last 50 years, we’d been seeing a door with a raised center panel and some detail, but now the center panel is flat and the outside edges of the door are square and clean, with very little if any detail.”
If you don’t want to paint your cabinets, popular wood choices these days include hickory and, for the very brave, alder. “Alder is soft, so it gets dented, stained, and scratched, where hickory is hard as iron but its also a beautiful wood,” says Thorne.
Ever had to battle through a pile of pots to get the one you needed from the back of a deep cabinet? Those days are over. “Today, pot and pan drawer bases are put in every kitchen design because they’re so efficient for the person in the kitchen,” says Thorne. Drawers for storing pots, pans, flatware and dishes have become the staple of a modern kitchen design. Homeowners can even get useful accessories like a peg system that helps you keep the items separated into categories and well-organized.
Another simple and functional kitchen feature is the double trash pull-out. “Instead of the trash at the end of the counter, it’s behind a cabinet door and you have your trash and recycling right there,” says Thorne.
Whether you already have your dream kitchen in mind, or you’re just ready for a change after being home-bound for months, now is the perfect time to start a kitchen remodel. Remember that it doesn’t take much to make a space feel new: a simple coat of white paint or a fancy new trash bin might just do the trick.
By Emma Castleberry, At Home Northern Colorado