It’s all about the kitchen

Castles in the Sand

You may not want to do a kitchen renovation in August, but August is the perfect time to start planning one. Sitting on the patio with your iPad or on the beach with a home decorating magazine is an easy way to start planning that new kitchen. Add a cool coconut drink and you’ll soon forget that it’s 95 degrees.

Kitchen trends change almost as fast as fashion trends. What’s in now will undoubtedly be out in three years. It’s impossible to keep up and most of us don’t even try, but if you’re one of those who must have the latest, here’s where you should be looking:

In spite of the fact that we’re told white kitchen cabinets are out, according to Houzz, it’s still the most popular color at 43% of remodels. Second place is wood cabinets at 25%, followed by gray at 11%.

The trendy colors are now bold – deep blue, red and, ready for this, black. Now over 30 years ago when my sister-in-law was choosing kitchen cabinets for their new home, she picked black. She was always a trendy gal, but at the time I had never seen black kitchen cabinets before and was definitely taken aback. Little did I know she was decades ahead of her time. Today’s black is designed to provide a quiet soulful balance in the kitchen, combining cabinets, matte black appliances and black backsplashes.

Completely the opposite of black, a color that is also new and trending is mint green. Certainly, in my opinion, mint green is a better choice for beach living if you must give up white. Finally, two-tone cabinets, different color uppers and lowers are so in. I expect they’ll be out soon. Nevertheless it is a nice look. If you can’t bear to give up your white cabinets, you can make them trendy with dark lower cabinets.

As far as countertops, stone is and probably always will be the choice of most homeowners. Granite lost its first-place position a long time ago, replaced by quartz, but the trend now is to use concrete counters and natural stone. Backsplashes are also being invaded by natural stone with edges. I wonder how you keep that clean, with it installed right up to the ceiling?

The most popular cabinet style, according to Houzz, is holding with the ubiquitous shaker cabinets chosen by 57% of homeowners. Open shelving instead of all upper cabinets are also trending. They create a more uncluttered feeling, especially with an interesting backsplash. But if you do have upper cabinets, they must go to the ceiling.

And high tech is all over new kitchens – appliances that talk to you and your iPhone and charging stations are a must just as are hoodless ventilation systems. Thankfully rose color hardware and appliances are gone after their 15 minutes of fame.

So is doing an expensive kitchen renovation worth it in dollars? Maybe or maybe not, depending on what you do. Eighty percent of buyers place a nice kitchen in their list of the top three most important spaces in a home. Nationally, the average cost of a kitchen renovation is $35,000 but you could spend three times that.

Most kitchen renovations do add value to a home but most will also not be fully reimbursed in actual dollars. The benefit of a nice kitchen, however, will be in reduced selling time, which is generally reflected in actual dollar savings. Don’t forget, if you’re renovating before putting your home on the market, minor renovations can make a huge difference in appearance and get you the bigger bang for your buck.

It’s easy to dream about your dream kitchen during a hazy summer afternoon, just don’t let the heat and coconut drink give you delusions of grandeur, especially if you’re thinking black cabinets.

More Castles in the Sand:

Calming waters

The condo dance

The suburbs and the millennials