Kitchens That Pop

Homeowners gravitate toward statement-making cabinet choices

by Shelley Basinger | Dec 8, 2021

Anyone who follows home décor trends on social media and beyond will already know: bolder, more saturated colors are edging their way into a world of all-white kitchens. Sometimes it’s subtle—a hint of an interesting hue on the kitchen island. Other times, more in-your-face with a bright paint choice all over.

Tracy Kearney, a certified kitchen designer at Cornerstone Cabinets and Design in Forest, says while white is still the cabinet color of choice for clients in Central Virginia, they are starting to hear more requests for color—a movement she believes may have stemmed from the pandemic.

“I believe it’s because people are trying to flip their moods, increase their energy levels, and add a little more fun in the home,” Tracy says. “Because the home has now become the safe haven.”

The cabinet colors people choose are largely dependent on their individual personalities, she says—but in general, blues and greens have been their top “pop” color request. “I have been doing a lot of designing for wellness and living healthy,” she says. “We are trying to bring the outdoors in.”

For those who are less adventurous and can’t quite commit to a bold cabinet option anywhere, Tracy says they will suggest using a contrasting neutral color, such as Cityscape by Sherwin Williams, somewhere less pronounced, like the kitchen island. Or, choosing a color for just the lower cabinets has also been a popular way to add contrast to the room without overdoing it.

Alongside the introduction of color, Tracy has seen unique cabinet textures become popular as well, tying into a natural, outdoor-inspired aesthetic. “The textured melamine finishes have the look and feel of real wood, but they offer a more modern style. Plus they are water resistant, as well as a cleanable and stain-proof surface. Something that can be more desirable in today’s world,” she explains.

They are also getting ready to introduce some weathered wood looks to clients. “Getting back to those earthy tones and going after the wood grain texture more so than the color,” Tracy says. “I think this is also going to be a popular option for kitchen islands.”

Accenting these unique cabinet colors and finishes is the hardware, which Tracy calls the “jewelry” of the finished product. Right now, satin brass and black are their most popular hardware finishes. She says when it comes to choosing a more saturated cabinet color: “The contrast is really important with the hardware. We don’t want to lose the hardware in the cabinet color.”

Regardless of where you end up on the rainbow of options during your next new build or renovation project, Tracy’s consistent piece of advice to clients is this: remember to make it your own—“I always advise people to do what brings them the most joy. Nowadays, it really is all about joy.”

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