Product Monitor – Part #2 – The latest cabinetry styles… continued – excerpted from PROSALES Magazine, 2010-10-4
Finishes and Colors
Maple doors hold paint well and accommodate the popularity of paint finishes. White paint finishes have been most popular.
A clean, white, open space is nice. If you go light, if you have a small kitchen, the room will look bigger. Dark glazing on top of a white paint finish can help introduce another color into the space without being too hectic and many consumers have been exploring this option. However, simple glaze finishes also remain popular. These finishes have more of a natural feel that many homeowners desire, manufacturers say. Medium- and dark-tone brown glazes are especially requested. Using bright colors in the rest of the kitchen can keep a room modern and cheery, even with darker cabinets. “The floor is light, the countertop is light, and backsplash and tile are bright,” Wellborn’s O’Neill says. “And you have a brown, dark Shaker door. It looks very clean.” “Currently, most of our customers are asking for either dark stained wood cabinets or cabinets painted with a glaze,” “In some cases, they even combine the two in the same kitchen for dramatic results!”
Having a mostly white kitchen with darker accents, such as a dark island and range hood cover, can make the most of this look, and ensure the mixing does not look overwhelming, designers say. Some homeowners have also started to mix the colors of their base cabinets and upper cabinets, though this is less common.
Just as homeowners have shied away from busier cabinet doors to more basic styles, they are also picking cleaner finishes and moving away from distressed surfaces. Additionally, open shelving, floating shelves or shelves behind glass doors have become popular in kitchens, and can help promote a cleaner look, manufacturers believe. “It opens up the room and breaks it up, so you don’t have just a room full of wood,”
On the Horizon While Universal Design and the green movement are talked about, they may result in more questions from consumers than sales, according to dealers and manufacturers.
“We regularly talk about sustainable wood products, and some clients are embracing the green revolution,” “Our suppliers are offering more green products than ever before. People are becoming aware of their personal responsibility to the planet.”
Manufacturers say consumers who are interested in green products may not end up buying them, though the customers do appreciate having a green option.
Similarly, Universal Design spurs a lot of talk in the design community, but results in more sales for multi-family projects than residential homes. However, manufacturers and dealers have been seeing some interest, due to aging homeowners, multi-generational households that include younger and older generations, and some younger customers who are thinking about the future.
“It’s not a strong percentage of our sales, but it’s enough of a demand that we needed to add our product to it. We named it Active Living,” O’Neill says. Some aspects of Universal Design are important to include in every kitchen, such as having large enough passages in the kitchen.