i+D - November/December 2021 - 51

Expansive opportunities
await in everyone's favorite
gathering place
By
Jessica Goldbogen Harlan
The kitchen long has been the command center of any home,
and as more homeowners seek to update and upgrade,
there are more options than ever before for everything from
high-tech appliances to jewelry-like finishing touches.
According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, high-end
kitchens are the fastest-growing kitchen renovation category,
growing by 22 percent over last year's projects. The impact
of the COVID-19 pandemic on how we view our kitchens is
undeniable. The kitchen has been pressed into service as an
ad hoc office or classroom, and it has likely been used far more
than ever before as we sheltered (and cooked up a storm) at
home. Whether someone discovered a nascent love of cooking
or simply learned that better equipment and a better layout
would make everyday kitchen tasks easier, a renovated kitchen
can make the heart of the home even more functional and
appealing than ever before.
Ariana Lovato, owner/principal designer of Honeycomb Home
Design, reports that she's seeing people wanting to remodel their
kitchens roughly every 15 years-or sooner if they're moving
into a home that has a builder basic kitchen. Appliance life spans,
too, can speed up the frequency of renovations, since in decades
past appliances would last for a long time, but today, with the
advances in technology, there are more features that can fail.
What's more, newer, more technologically advanced appliances
can often trigger a desire to upgrade to the latest and greatest
products. " It's that mentality of wanting that fridge that can now
count how many eggs I have when I'm at the store, " says Lovato.
" There's a new importance placed on the kitchen as a gathering
space, with everyone being home so much, " says Katherine
Mulford, chief creative officer of Modern Matter, which makes
drawer pulls and knobs. " I'm seeing people really wanting
to personalize this space, and they're getting a little tired of the
kitchen being a sterile-looking place. Instead of just wanting to
close the door when the kitchen is messy, they want it to be a
true extension of the rest of the home. "
Lovato reports that her kitchen-renovation clients are asking for a
space that's timeless enough to not get out of date quickly but
that still suits the occupants, their lifestyle, and the house itself.
They also seek an open concept that has room for kids to do
their homework, and a command center for storing and charging
devices. And in a time when cleaning and disinfecting is more
top of mind than ever, spaces that are easy to clean are also a
common request. For instance, flooring preferences are shifting
from hardwood to luxury vinyl or tile, and quartz countertops are
edging out more porous materials.
Another trend: the dirty kitchen. For those who have these
secondary kitchens, they're where the actual food prep and
cooking take place for entertaining. " And then you can serve the
food and hang out in the main kitchen, " says Lovato. If a home
doesn't have the space for a dirty kitchen, some homeowners
are installing second islands so that one can be used for cooking
while the other serves as a gathering place for family or guests.
i+D - November/December 2021
51

i+D - November/December 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of i+D - November/December 2021

i+D - November/December 2021 - Cover1
i+D - November/December 2021 - Cover2
i+D - November/December 2021 - 3
i+D - November/December 2021 - 4
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