KBB - June/July 2009 - (Page 22)

T rends Simply Put As life gets complicated, kitchen cabinetry pares down With troubling economic times and instability in the workplace driving many of us to seek comfort in our homes, the proverbial “heart of the home” is paring down to a cleaner, less complicated aesthetic. So too is its cabinetry. “Simpler is better,” said Connie Edwards, CKD, CBD, director of design at Timberlake Cabinetry. “The days of a cathedral wall cabinet being an upgrade are long over. Cleaner, simpler lines—however you interpret that—are ‘in.’” SLAB HAPPY One take is a trending toward contemporary styling, i.e., slab doors. In fact, according to designer Laurie Haefele, ASSOCIATE AIA, of Haefele Design, slab doors and a streamlined sensibility seemed a common thread among the winning projects in this year’s NKBA Design Awards. Furthermore, going handleless, once popular in the 1980s, “is coming back,” said Kevin Henry, executive VP at cabinet manufacturer Bazzèo. And this time around, in addition to channels, grooves and integral finger pulls, self-opening and closing mechanisms are enhancing accessibility while keeping doors and drawer fronts uncluttered and uninterrupted. Of course, traditional-style cabinetry still dominates the market, but even here, industry experts are seeing a shift toward a less fussy attitude. Heavy ornamentation, French and English country, as well as rustic Tuscan, are on the wane, while transitional designs are gaining ground. Some companies known primarily for their classic, Old-World cabinetry have introduced five-piece doors with wider stiles and rails for a more updated look that could go either way. Custom cabinet manufacturer Plain & Fancy, for example, has re-imagined one of its most popular door styles “with 3-, 31/2- and 4-in. framing, which drastically changes the look of the design,” said company sales manager Brian Yahn. Shaker doors have also been similarly made over for greater versatility and, noted Henry, are “going to be the true definition of traditional for a while.” But altered proportions and sleeker profiles alone do not a popular cabinet door make. A wealth of materials and finishes, including laminates, lacquers, glass and even stone, are helping to give today’s pared-down kitchens a softer, more enduring appeal—key for homeowners who are remodeling for the long term. Wood remains a favorite, but as designer Joan DesCombes, CKD, of Architectural Artworks Inc., noted, “We’re taking woods that you wouldn’t think would be done in a contemporary look.” Exotics such as anigre, walnut, teak, macassar ebony, caramelized bamboo and sapele are being offered in natural or reconstituted wood veneers with a high gloss, “which is what makes them so beautiful,” she added. Natural finishes and calming neutrals, like gray and taupe, offer staying power and are also popular, as is horizontal graining, which lends the doors a more uniform appearance. MIX IT UP However, what truly defines current cabinet trends is not so much a specific door design or even a wood species, but an adventurous yet understated eclecticism that allows designers and their clients to express themselves. All-white kitchens still have their fans, but many are mixing white or off-white with other colors and materials. “The trend is moving toward juxtaposing, for example, a high-gloss look with a wenge wood,” said Haefele. “I like combining high-tech stainless with a really rustic wood table or some other element to bring in warmth, but it needs to be done in a subtle way.” DesCombes agrees. “People’s tastes are more sophisticated,” she noted, and in this day and age, “Certainly less is more.” s —Alice Liao 22 + K BB June/July July 2004 2009 / www.kbbonline.com / The Official Sponsor of K/BIS www.kbis.com http://www.kbbonline.com http://www.kbis.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of KBB - June/July 2009

KBB - June/July 2009
Contents
Online Contents
Online News
Editorial
Focus
Trends
Products
Profile
Options
Design
Diplomatic Function
Grand Master
Green
Access
Practice
Education
Opinion
Editorial Index
Ad Index
Favorites

KBB - June/July 2009

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