According to Southeast’s founder and owner, Anthony Palladino, white Shaker-style cabinets remain a favorite among his clientele. What’s new now are to-the-ceiling glass-front cabinets that allow you to easily find what you need. Lights installed inside help showcase dishware and collectibles, and add a warm glow at night when the overhead lights are off.
Floating wood shelves are another trend that works well for several reasons: They provide a visual break on a wall of upper cabinets; they add a warm, decorative element that breaks up all the white and ties in the island and the range hood; and, of course, open shelving offers a prime spot to showcase photos and other favorite items.
A backspash that extends from counter to ceiling is a look that’s very modern right now. Although the homeowners chose classic Carrera marble subway tiles that echo the kitchen’s gray and white theme, backsplashes can also be a great way to introduce another color (or more) to a design scheme and an opportunity to add a pop of personality.
Along the lines of cladding refrigerators and dishwashers in panels that match cabinetry for a seamless look, homeowners are requesting that their stainless range hoods be reimagined as a decorative element. In this kitchen, the hood is paneled in the same gray wood as the island and trimmed in white to match the rest of the cabinetry.
According to Palladino, homeowners are requesting “coffee bars” in new kitchens — in this case, a dedicated corner serves as a drinks station with coffee machines on the counter below a cabinet of glassware and mugs and above a built-in 24-inch beverage refrigerator.
Even though this kitchen has plenty of counterspace, it’s more elegant when you can keep it clutter-free. The homeowners installed a microwave drawer in the island instead of purchasing a countertop model. The microwave opens and closes like a drawer with the press of a button so there’s no need to bend down to use it. The dark gray island offers a nice contrast to the white cabinets and hardwood floors, and switches things up with polished nickel pulls versus the oil-rubbed bronze pulls on the perimeter cabinets.
For a traditional marble look without the potential staining problems, the homeowners chose easy-care quartz for their countertops. The engineered stone surface is a popular choice, says Palladino, particularly for families with children. The only downside: The material is not heat resistant.