Remember avocado-green countertops? Harvest gold appliances? Pepto Bismol-pink bathroom walls? Fuzzy toilet seat covers?
Like clothing, kitchen and bath designs routinely – and often, quickly – fall in and out of fashion.
Rather than jump on the latest trend – and wind up stuck with mustard-yellow laminate floors – think outside the box to create spaces that are as timeless as they are non-traditional and as efficient as they are unique.
Innovative ideas start with throwing out the old standards, says Markraft designer Kevin Briggs. No longer are kitchens confined to bright whites or muted pastels. Cabinets can come in an array of custom colors and finishes.
“You’re no longer limited to what the manufacturer has to offer. If you want to match a particular color, you can,” Kevin said.
An old trend that has resurfaced – in a much more elegant way – is melamine. But we’re not talking chintzy disco-era tableware here. Textured melamine cabinets look a lot like wood… with the added benefit of being much more durable and easier to clean. It even comes in a driftwood style.
“It is produced with a very high level of quality,” Kevin noted.
That’s if you want cabinets at all. Kevin said many people are now using floating or open shelves, a great solution for opening up rooms and making them feel larger and airier. Bathrooms can now have “floating” vanities that don’t reach the floor, clearing up some room for additional storage, décor or just a nice open spot that isn’t a chore to maneuver around when cleaning.
When designing or redesigning kitchens and bathrooms, Kevin said many people are more focused these days on creative ways to optimize space, like eliminating corners in kitchens.
“Corners are really the most inefficient space in a kitchen,” he said.
For existing kitchens with corners, swiveling cabinet shelves are a great solution. As opposed to a Lazy Susan, which rotates but remains fixed within the cabinets, these shelves come out of the cabinet, making it easy to access pots, pans, and those pesky storage containers whose lids always seem to wind up just out of reach.
The oversized rectangular island, while not exactly avant garde, is another place people are making more thoughtful decisions on how to best maximize the room. The kitchen is, after all, the heart of the home, so why not have an island that doubles up as a breakfast nook, homework desk or family game night spot?
No matter what you do, it’s always good to put your “stamp” on your living spaces with fun hints of bold colors. Fans of contemporary design can add a little pop of matte black in a stove hood or a shiny ebony vanity, for example.
How about an open kitchen shelf with a coastal teal back panel? Perhaps some geometric wallpaper in gray and lavender on the inside of glass-door bathroom cabinets? You can make your space uniquely yours… which means you aren’t likely to be tossing the décor out with the hot pink toilet seat cover anytime soon!
Need some inspiration or direction for your out-of-the-box kitchen or bath design? Contact the team of talented designers at Markraft, (910) 793-0202. Professional kitchen and bath designers consult by appointment, but drop-in visitors are welcome to browse the showroom. The Design Center is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 2705 Castle Creek Lane, just off Castle Hayne Road.