Modern Never Looked So Classic ... Two Trends Stay the Course in 2014
Updated: Feb 11
(Originally published in the Napa Valley Register)
In the realm of home improvement, two trends remain strong: Homeowners are focused on their kitchens and bathrooms. And, they are increasingly opting for a modern style - or some version of it.
Whether remodeling or cosmetically upgrading, there are good reasons for these two enduring trends. The rewards of well-designed, functional and aesthetically-pleasing kitchens and bathrooms are not only enjoyed on a daily basis but are ultimately realized in financial returns. In a climate of stock market and economic uncertainty, these improvements can be sure investments.
As for style, even traditionalists are becoming more attracted to modern design. Lean, clean and stream-lined. Lifestyles are on the fast track and even the most tidy among us can’t escape the irascible accumulation of “stuff” – the latest gadgets, electronics, paperwork, sports equipment et al inevitably pile up on every available surface. With an emotional yearning for simplicity and organization, an uncluttered modern style is a natural step in the right direction.
“Modern” does not have to mean cold, sterile or futuristic ala George Jetson cartoons. Country kitchens, Mediterranean farmhouses and Craftsman bungalows can follow modern principals while maintaining their inherent character. By simplifying each component in the space, the overall design consequently becomes more clean and modern.
To back up, “Modern”, with a capital M, defines an architectural movement that started at the turn of the 20th century. It’s characterized by a simplification of form, an absence of unnecessary decoration, and driven by the technological and engineering developments of the Industrial Revolution. The Modern style was also a rebellion against the highly decorative excesses of the preceding Victorian and Edwardian ages. In fact, each design style dating back to 4000 B.C. Egypt is essentially a result of the social, economic and political climate of the day, the natural resources available, and a reactionary comment on the preceding design style.
Today, the growing popularity of the modern style is in reaction to the desire for a quieted mind while, at the same time, incorporating technological advancements. Modern is particularly achievable in kitchen design with the constant stream of ingenuity and improvement in cabinetry and appliances. Just as Apple strives for efficiency, perfection, and “coolness” with each new product, so do savvy kitchen designers and manufacturers.
Stainless steel continues to be popular but more appliances are being hidden with panels matching the cabinetry. Glass-door refrigerators are a modern choice for those dedicated to keeping the contents displayed as artfully as an epicurean boutique!
Simple countertops, void of notable pattern, are favored with quartz topping the list. Although the most appealing counter surfaces have, at most, a potted orchid on top, it’s unrealistic to keep such surfaces spotlessly bare. How could we make it through the day without our morning coffee? (De’Longhi, Krups and Keurig do design chic coffeemakers by the way). Thoughtfully-plotted pantries and cabinetry with flexible interior space dividers provide essential storage that help to keep countertops clutter free.
Modern cabinetry entails “slab” door and drawer fronts. That is, flat fronts without recessed or raised panels. Beading and beveling are absent or kept to a minimum. Sleek white or grey cabinetry is coming on strong in 2014 but if this seems as chilly as the inside of your freezer, dark espresso or natural wood stains are excellent alternatives. Tight grains like maple are good options as are exotic species. I recently used bamboo which presented alluring texture and visual serenity.
Backsplashes are also simplified by using just one style of tile or mosaic. Rectangular or “subway” tile installed vertically adds another layer of modernity.
The epitome of high quality modern kitchen design and manufacturing is internationally renowned SieMatic. Established in 1929, this company has maintained their success by building exemplary kitchens, perfecting their quality, and expanding their repertoire of possibilities. Among other features, SieMatic is known for presenting the first handle-free kitchen to the world in 1960. Since then, they have constantly reinvented the design – just one testament to their dedication to perfection and precision.
This 85 year-old company has also adhered to environmentally-preserving practices long before it came into fashion and their standards have always exceeded those of the industry.
SieMatic continually revolutionizes kitchens with their numerous innovations. For example, using cutting-edge laser technology, they created “ZeroMatic” front and side panels rendering them 100% joint free with the look and feel of real veneer and lacquer. The edges are seamlessly fused, flawless in appearance and durable.
They also created a mirrored toe-kick that gives the illusion of floating cabinets. And with their 1,950-color SieMatic Individual ColorSystem creative and harmonious combinations are virtually endless.
Designing a kitchen is one of the most challenging, complicated and expensive projects to undertake. Choices and decisions turn into long-term commitments. These warranted concerns combined with the overwhelming introduction of new items on the market are the reason I turn to SieMatic. I cannot only place my confidence in their product but their staff could not be more helpful, enthusiastic and devoted to their clientele.
SieMatic’s excellence and philosophy of complementing one’s lifestyle (not just offering a product) has made them an industry leader in 62 countries on five continents. More information on this truly unique and long-standing company can be found on www.siematic.com
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