2018 Trends in Kitchen Design, Part 3: Custom Cabinetry

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Nothing defines the design of a kitchen more than the layout of its cabinets. For this reason, the design considerations that go into custom-built cabinets are substantial. Here are some common trends to look for in 2018.

Smart Technology

A trend that we are currently seeing throughout kitchen remodeling everywhere is the incorporation of smart technology. For cabinets, this often means installing a touchscreen computer on them in an accessible area. Use this computer to play music, find recipes, plan grocery lists, create schedules, etc. In many ways, the touch screen is beginning to replace common kitchen features of yesteryear such as writing boards and cork boards.

Turn your cabinet-mounted touch screen into a window by having it display scenic vistas when you are not using it.

Natural Wood

In a trend of nostalgia, many designers and homeowners are opting for the natural wood look in their custom cabinetry. This design incorporates just plain wood, no paint or stains, and celebrates the beauty of the natural grain with its gentle and dark flows and ripples. The natural wood look generally gives the kitchen a warm and inviting look. As it tends to be lighter in color, darkly colored knobs and handles can provide a pleasing contrast.

Rustic Modern Aesthetics

It may sound like a contradiction, but rustic modern is definitely a thing, and this thing definitely applies to custom cabinetry. A rustic modern kitchen cabinet layout will often involve dark stains that highlight the natural grains of the wood. This trend often mixes the darkened wood with metallic highlights. In this way, it mixes the timeless country look with a sort of clean modernity.

Copper Accents

As mentioned above, metallic highlights and accents have become a staple of the rustic modern aesthetic. This is particularly true in the case of copper. Not very popular in past eras of interior design, copper has a distinct color that really stands out and makes people take notice. With its reddish sheen, it really attracts the eye and demands attention. Unlike other types of metal, which may seem cold and sterile, copper actually tends to contribute to a general feeling of warmth and welcome.

Designers now are using many copper handles and knobs on their custom cabinetry, as well as other kinds of copper trim and accents.

Pet Features

More and more, the pet dog or cat is becoming an important member of the modern family. As such, the pet has certain needs that many homeowners would like to consider when designing their kitchens.

One common example of involvement of the family pet in custom cabinetry design is the built-in feeding station. This may consist of a bottom drawer that you can pull out to reveal a pair of stainless steel bowls. It also may include a pull-out storage compartment above that where you can keep kibble for easy access.

When your pet is done feeding, just push the drawer back into the cabinet, and you are done.

Another common pet feature is a built-in pet cabin. Give your dog or cat a little cubby in the kitchen, possibly with a decorative curtain draped over the opening. This will give your pet a designated place to go rest. If you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, it also helps your pet to stay near to you.

Inventive Space-Saving Features

One thing that current trends in custom cabinet design are really prioritizing is space efficiency. Designers are looking for every possible way to maximize the utility of the space they have and save people trouble when they go into the kitchen.

One example of this is a pull-out cutting board with a hole in it that leads to a trash can that you can also pull out on a track.

Another example is the corner drawer, which provides a good, solid solution to the problem of awkward corners. Corner drawers look like two drawer faces awkwardly touching each other at a 90-degree angle. In reality, though, those two drawer faces are for a single drawer that comes out of the corner at a 45-degree angle.

Another example is a “pull-out cabinet”. This is kind of like a drawer, but it is tall and narrow, having open sides that give you access to multiple levels of shelves.

Another idea is to save floor space by replacing normal bar stools with stool platforms mounted on swivel arms. These can swivel out when you want to use them and then back in when you are done.

Rolling Work Islands

This ingenious invention is basically a cabinet on wheels. It has a specific storage area where you can push it in so that it looks like just another cabinet. However, when you need to bring a working surface to a particular part of the kitchen, all you have to do is pull out the rolling work island and wheel it over.

The top of the cabinet should probably be made of natural wood or stone, as it will probably be used as a cutting surface.

You can even place cabinets on both sides of your rolling work island in order to make everything inside it easily accessible.

Quartz Counters

While granite and marble are still very popular counter top choices for custom cabinetry jobs, quartz has become king. This trend does not seem to be ending soon, either. Not only do many people agree that quartz is more aesthetically pleasing than granite and marble, but it is actually antimicrobial by nature. It is generally more expensive than marble or granite, but there is a reason for that.

Subtle Appliance Garages

Any halfway modern kitchen has appliances. However, in a truly modern kitchen, those appliances have their own little garages so that they do not become eyesores.

One of the most common examples of an appliance garage is that of the humble blender. Homeowners will essentially build a pair of cabinet doors that rest directly on the counter top. If you open these doors, you will see the blender inside. You can then pull the blender out, use it, and return it to its home later. Similar garages can be created for toasters and any other sizable kitchen appliances you might have, especially the ones that usually live on the counter.