Once upon a time condos were known for their uniform layouts and standard issue kitchens and bathrooms. Today people are demanding more of their condo kitchens, particularly since they have become the entertaining hub in many people’s homes. Kitchens are where we gather, whether it’s to create meals to nourish us, or where we celebrate and make memories.
Celebrated actor Geoffrey Rush once said, "I always had a fantasy of being a chef, because I like kitchen life." Since we spend so much of our time in our kitchens, it’s no wonder we want it to become a focal point of our home, in both function and style.
Kitchen at 468 Wellington Street West
Renovations and changes to your kitchen can range from costly and lengthy endeavors to small tweaks to add some warmth to the space. Before you begin any project connect with your condo board to make sure that your changes comply with their regulations. It may also serve as an opportunity to speak with other people in your building to find some inspiration on how to transform your space, and get recommendations on specific contractors who are familiar with your condominium.
Here’s a look at what’s trending in condo kitchen design in 2018 to help get you away from the Pinterest Board planning stage towards enjoying your brand new and improved kitchen.
The Kitchen Isn’t an Island, or is it?
Kitchen islands in a condo make sense in the way that they can provide seating space for those who’d rather use their dining room for something else, or the way that they can allow a host to chat with their guests while they prepare food and drink. Because of this, show-stopping, multipurpose kitchen islands have become a key part of almost any condo kitchen renovation.
One of the best things about modern kitchen islands is the way designers have been able to play with shapes to create the perfect fit for a space – meaning it doesn’t have to be a traditional galley kitchen island unless you want one. An L-shaped island is a perfect measure to provide more storage and prep space for an avid cook, whereas those who live to cook may want to consider a U-shaped island. While most condos don’t have the space to spare for a circular island, someone in a large loft space can create an intriguing visual aspect with a lot of room for cooking.
Depending on space and how you like to entertain, high bar stools (with or without backs) can be a great way to entertain your guests while you cook, or eat at the breakfast bar on a day to day basis.
Quartz is trending as a coveted choice for countertops because as a material it is long lasting, is anti-microbial (an agent that kills micro-organisms/ prevents their growth), and is very simple to maintain. Technology has allowed for a wide range of colours in quartz so people can choose from a palate that matches their taste and home. Those who think granite, which is still popular, may want to reconsider, as it will require more maintenance that quartz.
Storage space is key to maintaining a neat and functional kitchen. Utilizing your island for hidden space for the less tidy chefs was once the best use of this space in kitchens. Today we’re seeing people utilizing more and more open shelves with their islands, or on their walls, to display some of their most commonly used or stylistically pleasing appliances and dishware. While this is a great trend for a tidy person, it might not always work for people who need a lot of storage. This is why many are opting for a mixture of open and ‘closed’ storage, using display shelves on walls or on open shelving in their islands in functional yet neat ways, with cabinet corners used to displaying decorative items like wine bottles, recipe books, or funky coffee mugs.
Make Your Kitchen Smarter
Technology integrated ‘smart kitchens’ are popular because they’re convenient and allow you to add some wow-factor on small to big budgets. Not only do smart kitchens include motion sensed faucets to add to the convenience of cooking, they also add value to your home. Programmable coffee makers will allow you to wake up to freshly brewed coffee, or sit back and relax with guests after dinner while your kitchen makes coffee for you. Those who want to spend more and invest in a smart fridge can purchase ones that will let you know when specific grocery items are running low, so you can plan your shopping, as well as gadgets that will notify you when your eggs are beginning to turn. Smart lighting options will allow you to turn on your lights from your phone, even when you aren’t home.
Trending Kitchen Colours
White remains a popular choice for kitchen cabinets because of its classically clean look. People are increasingly looking for different textures and colours to break up an all-white look, whereas those who want a bolder kitchen can add in pops of bright colour to really make their space shine with their own personality. Second choices for cabinets are trending towards grey as a neutral choice that will pair well with almost any décor. Blogger and TV host Emily Henderson says:
We highlighted this same trend in bathrooms (design) and the trend also works for the kitchen. As we mentioned before, black is classic in the fact that it will always work with just about every style and color palette that you have going on.
Rebekah Zaveloff from KitchenLab Design says:
Black and navy have become the new ‘white kitchen’ for us, which is very refreshing. That said, we still do lots of white kitchens, but people are more interested in mixing materials and going for luxe finishes to distinguish themselves from their neighbors.
Fans of the hit 1990’s sitcom Friends may want to make their kitchen space a little brighter, as the Pantone colour of the year is Ultra Violet, a bold choice that may seem familiar to anyone who has spent time watching Rachel and Monica’s apartment.
Functional Storage to Meet Your Sense of Style
Stella Salvador, Interior Design Manager at Tridel says:
Kitchens today are looking less kitchen-like yet are more personal-functional. Your design can set the tone of your space. You decide whether you require the storage provided by cabinetry or trendy open shelving to showcase your things. As condo square footage decreases, so proportionately may the kitchen space. In keeping the primary function of the cooking space in mind, designers may fully integrate European-sized appliances so that the cabinet completely conceals their existence, or they are panelled to continue the cabinetry elevation uninterrupted. Even hardware is either designed out or can be kept to a minimum.
Since so many people are opting for open space living arrangements, it’s important for the kitchen to work with the flow of the living room and other adjoining spaces. Many designers suggest planning out your space in groupings by function (i.e. dining area, living room, and kitchen prep) and creating coordinating focal points in each area to help tie the space together (think fantastic matching lighting, or throw rugs) that will help meld the space together as one. Keeping a consistent colour scheme or accessory throughout the space, such as chair fabrics and throw cushions, along with brightly coloured appliances, can be used to tie the room together nicely.
Designers are always playing with fun and unique ways to store kitchen necessities. Check your shops for innovative storage solutions that will help clear more counter space for both preparatory work and entertaining. There are constant changes to drawer dividers, pull-outs and caddies to organize your spices, pots and pans, or pantry items. Not only will these help with storage, they will make it easier to find what you’re looking for when you’re hard at work on a new recipe or coordinating a grocery list.
Statement Appliances and Rugs
What you select as the central design feature of your kitchen is up to you. There’s an increased trend in purchasing a statement appliance (usually a stove) in funky colours to draw the eye to what’s cooking in your space. Popular splurge worthy brands include Aga and Lacanche.
For those who want to warm up their kitchen consider adding a rug in a colour of your choosing to help soften the texture of an industrial looking kitchen space. The pattern and colour, as in any change you make to your condo, is up to you and your vision.