Open shelving by DeWils.

Since mid-March we’ve been home, cooking and baking maybe more than many of us can remember. So we turned to three Sarasota kitchen design pros to find out ways in which we can make our kitchens more attractive and efficient.

As Martha Hafner, a cabinet designer and space planner who recently joined Metro Cabinet Company told us, “As people go out less and are either cooking at home or having takeout food, the kitchen is becoming more the center of the family life. Our customers are looking at the design of their kitchens differently and are perhaps focusing more on the practical.”

Here are some trends Hafner and two other longtime local kitchen designers have spotted:

Carmen Christensen, Time2Design

Floating shelves, open shelving and fewer upper cabinets.  “They create visual interest and put function at your fingertips with easy access to your dishware.”  

Modern design. “Simple flat panel doors, minimal or hidden hardware, solid colors with contrasting finishes. Less is definitely more right now.”

Automation/technology is becoming the norm. “From touchless faucets to automated cabinet doors and even an oven you can turn on from your phone, we are becoming more accustomed to kitchen automation. We can now talk to our kitchen; we ask Google or Siri to add items to our grocery list, change the room temperature or even turn on the oven.”

Thin-edged flat-front cabinets are hot right now. 

David Asher, Eurotech Cabinetry

Contemporary cabinetry with a thin detail around the doors and drawer fronts. “Contemporary design is clean and simple, but people are getting tired of just the ‘slab’ door and drawer fronts. A thin detail around the outer perimeter of the doors and drawer fronts still looks clean and contemporary, but not plain slab. This door style has really taken off for us; clients love it.” 

A recent project by Martha Hafner and interior designer Cristi Martel of Chic on the Cheap.   

Martha Hafner, Metro Cabinet Company

Gone are the days of purchasing a suite of matching appliances. “The function of each specific appliance is becoming more important. Microwaves with many different configurations are very important to families as they are reheating pre-made meals, and perhaps cooking for more than one dietary concern with the return of college students to home base.  Expanded refrigeration space is important as people are trying to venture out less often and store more between trips. We are seeing a lot of thought put into storage of smaller cooking appliances such as blenders, air fryers and instant pots, too.” 

Larger islands. “As the kitchen becomes more of a hub for family life, islands are becoming larger with storage and seating alongside that second sink. Clients are paying attention to outlets for use of technology and device charging at the seating areas.” 

Wood tones as well as color—green, red, blue and gray. “While white will always be timeless, we are seeing customers move toward other hues or using white in combination with wood tones for a color blocked effect.” 

LED lighting. “As it continues to improve in its color range and quality, we are seeing it being used widely to enhance design as well as provide on-target task lighting to work areas.” 

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