Product Monitor – Part #1 – The Latest kitchen cabinetry styles emphasize a simpler space – excerpted from PROSALES Magazine, 2010-10-4
As open layouts remain popular and ceilings get taller, homeowners want a kitchen that complements the clean, open style of their homes.
Five years ago, consumers picked doors with heavy moldings and intricate hardware. Now, they’re “playing it safe” and picking simpler, higher-quality, and more long-lasting choices. “We keep hearing, ‘I don’t want a lot of fuss in the kitchen,'” says Angela O’Neill, director of marketing for Wellborn Cabinet. “‘I don’t want pots and pans or anything on top of the cabinets. I want them to go up with no clutter.'”
That is why the manufacturer introduced a taller, 54-inch cabinet that extends closer to high ceilings for a cleaner look. Today’s popular door styles (particularly Shaker), colors (either dark or white), and storage choices (increasingly for the elderly) also emphasize this desire for a pared-down kitchen.
Today’s “transitional” aesthetic fits a homeowner’s need for minimalism, while not being as cold as European-style modern design, dealers and manufacturers say. “Flat panel and slab doors are popular. Many are moving away from traditional raised panel oak doors. It is not a hard-core contemporary look, but simpler and less complicated.” Not only does this style result in a less cluttered feel, but it helps homeowners feel they are choosing designs that are longer-lasting and a good investment. For example, Shaker-style products were a popular “cost-conscious pick for consumers,” the National Kitchen and Bath Association found this year in a value-centered survey of 822 design professionals.
Five years ago, consumers were choosing doors with heavy moldings and intricate hardware. Now, they are “playing it safe.” – what’s emerging is better quality, and solutions that will last and be appreciated. The NKBA says cherry has been the most popular species, followed by maple, and predicts alder wood will make a resurgence. “Cherry has been replacing maple as the species of choice; alder has replaced hickory.” At Wellborn Cabinet, maple is toppling oak and cherry comes next. With the fall of oak comes the popularity of maple. Maple has a cleaner look because of its tighter grain, O’Neill says. Cherry, a premium over maple with an even closer grain, is the next most popular species for her company.