We had the pleasure of sitting down to discuss cabinetry design and trends with Kathleen Abrams, a Kitchen Designer with Direct Cabinet Sales. Direct Cabinet Sales has locations throughout NJ and in Boca Raton, Florida. Direct is one of our Preferred Trade Partners, and Kathleen has helped a number of our clients finalize their cabinet plans with great success. DBPlanners: What are some items that have recently become popular to include in a kitchen design? Kathleen: Task specific centers: Information/Media, which include file cabinets, cork/white boards, and charging areas for cell phones and other devices. Pets, which have pull-out bins for for food, build in bowl storage, hidden areas for litter boxes, and animal crates/beds. Snacking, which is designed out of the work area for children to snack without interfering with cooking. Snack drawers, small refrigerators, and low height microwaves are popular in this area. DBPlanners: How do you feel about mixing materials and finishes in a kitchen? Kathleen: I love the mix of materials an finishes. I enjoy mixing rough, shiny, and smooth together. It dazzles the eye. This is a great place for creativity to come out. DBPlanners: What is a design mistake that always makes you cringe? Kathleen: When small open shelf or angled cabinets are used instead of larger cabinets that make more sense. The small shelves get cluttered and the small cabinets are not functional. DBPlanners: What are the hottest trends and finishes? Kathleen: One of the hottest trends in contemporary design is using exotic veneers for cabinet doors. This creates a modern but warm feel. Also, back-painted glass cabinets which are opaque, quartz counter tops, and glass back splashes. For a more traditional style, the clean-line look is back. White kitchens with a minimally detailed flat panel door are frequently requested. It's reminiscent of the past, without all the excessive detail that was popular a few years ago. Polished chrome has emerged again as a popular hardware finish, but in terms of hardware-ANYTHING GOES! DBPlanners: How has Universal Design affected your approach to kitchen layouts? Kathleen: In general, we are creating flexibility in area because the needs of a growing family change, and areas can be used in different ways. More specifically, the use of under cabinet lighting, to assist counter top vision, roll-out shelves for ease of reach, dropped down open sink areas, and proper placement of appliances are all incorporated into Universal Design. The Design Build Planners can design and develop a kitchen remodeling project that makes sense and will look great for you and your home. Contact us today and take the first step for a professional remodeling experience. You make the the first meal when it's complete and we'll bring the wine!