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Get a Handle on New Styles

Kitchens go light, sleek, natural

October 3, 2012
By HEATHER ZIEGLER - Associate City Editor , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Sleek, clean lines. Lighter, natural wood finishes. Self-closing doors and drawers. These are just some of the items people tend to look for when designing or remodeling their kitchens today.

Just ask Scott Chapman, owner of Herco Inc. located on National Road in Triadelphia. His shop offers the latest styles in cabinetry, a wide assortment of hardware, countertops and much more that makeup each customer's vision of an ideal kitchen. He can custom design and build to suit all tastes.

"These soft-close drawers have been around for a while but now everyone wants them," Chapman commented. "Even the doors can close softly. It's a big part of a kitchen these days."

Article Photos

Hardware choices are wide and varied with the brushed nickel finish leading in popularity

Photos by Heather Ziegler

Trends for kitchens change nearly as often as the season; however, Chapman contends that people still want beauty and convenience in the kitchen setting. Cabinets are moving away from the dark stains in lieu of more natural woods and stains, he added.

Many people want cherry cabinets but think they are only available in dark shades. Chapman said there is a greater demand for lighter, natural cherry wood.

As for cabinet hardware, many customers are choosing a brushed nickel finish to coordinate with the still-popular stainless steel appliances. Faucets also are going the way of brushed nickel for many kitchen designs.

Some designers are excited about new, streamlined appliances that include white and glass fronts, very popular in Europe and now gracing displays at Ikea stores in the United States. Built-in wall oven units, a common sight in kitchens of the 1950s and 1960s are making a strong comeback but with conventional/convection cooking a priority for many buyers seeking faster cooking time in their busy lives.

Wall color has gotten bolder in 2012 as lemon yellow, bright orange and lime green have moved in. For the more conservative customers, white cabinets or walls are brightened with colorful accessories and small appliances.

Islands and peninsulas remain a popular design in today's kitchens, but Chapman suggests that customers are moving away from having a desk or computer center in the kitchen.

That could be attributed to the fact that some appliances such as refrigerators can be equipped with digital screens and tablets and outfitted with USB ports to accommodate the modern technology. Flat screen tvs mounted in the wall also are part of today's modern kitchens.

Countertop materials are far-ranging with the marble, quartz and Corian remaining among the most popular surfaces for the kitchen. Prices vary, too, with quartz proving to be the most expensive. Chapman said a popular item is the Corian countertops with integrated sinks. This design presents a smooth, clean line with the non-porous, easy-to-maintain Corian countertops.

Flooring also has taken a turn away from ceramic tile to hardwood and laminate styles. The latter are easier to maintain and provide warmth not found in tile floors.

Chapman also said build-in wall units for TVs and other electronics are increasing in demand from customers today.

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