5 Sizzling Hot Kitchen Trends

Think you know what’s hot and what’s not in a Tahoe kitchen?  Although you’ve probably spent hours looking at kitchens on Houzz, styles change so quickly that it’s easy to miss out on the latest trends.  

As we spend day-in and day-out designing rustic modern kitchens, we know the design and appliance choices trending in Tahoe kitchens … as well as those that have gone, shall we say, down the compost.   

Here are five hot trends in the modern rustic kitchen:     

1. Lots of Natural Lighting

Nothing brings woodsy Tahoe into your home quite like windows.  As even the most beautiful lighting can’t compete with natural light, more and more remodeling homeowners are opting for oversized kitchen windows. 

For a gorgeous, light-flooded Tahoe kitchen, we like  counter-to-ceiling windows at the kitchen sink, looking out onto  evergreens. Skylights alongside reclaimed wooden beams in the ceiling are just as beautiful. 

2. Sleek Integrated Refrigerators 

Achieving the sleekest look of all the refrigerator styles, the integrated refrigerator is always flush to the cabinets surrounding it–nothing protrudes.  The paneling on these refrigerators matches the cabinetry in the kitchen, so the refrigerator blends entirely into the surrounding woodwork.   

Integrated refrigerators are manufactured principally by Viking, Thermador, Bosche, Gaggenau, and Sub-Zero. These brands all offer sophisticated features on the interior, like evaporators for keeping food fresh, humidity-controlled crisper drawers, and air-cleaning systems to preserve food.  Some even include LED theater lighting and spill-proof shelves.

 

3. Islands with Dining and Buffet Areas

Once you’ve designed the kitchen of your dreams, you’ll want to make sure you get time to enjoy it.  Perhaps for that reason, more and more kitchen designs have an open floor plan, where the space opens up on to the dining room or great room.  This gives homeowners a place where friends and family can conveniently gather, while food is being prepared.  

A large kitchen island with plenty of seating and a buffet area facilitates this vision.

Additionally, a large island with 4-6 seats makes the perfect spot for your family to gather at breakfast, for a casual weekday dinner, or for the kids to do homework after school. 

4. Steam Ovens

Steam ovens are replacing microwaves in many Tahoe homes as a delicious way to cook and reheat food.  A steam oven works by boiling water and capturing the steam to heat the oven. The heat, then, moistens as well as heats food, unlike a conventional oven that dries food out.  Because steam ovens are small, food can be heated quickly–almost as fast as with a microwave.  

That said, steam ovens only heat to 212 degrees (the boiling point of water), so they’re limited in what they can cook.  And they don’t entirely replace the microwave: things like microwave popcorn or s’mores are no-go’s in a steam oven.

 

5. European Flat-Panel Cabinets

No doubt about it, European flat panel cabinets (also known as frameless and slab cabinets) are all the rage. Much like their name suggests, the face on these cabinets is completely flat. 

As a result, they have a streamlined, modern appearance. When combined with an integrated refrigerator, flat panel cabinets are a great way to create a seamless, contemporary look in your kitchen.   

And not only do homeowners love European flat panel cabinets for their chic, modern appearance, but they also appreciate the additional storage space that comes with frameless cabinetry. 

Designs That Have Fizzled

In the same way a side ponytail takes you back to the 80s, certain kitchen features instinctively feel retro: wood paneling, a pot rack over the island, and checkered floors, to name a few.  

Here are three others we’ve seen go by the wayside.  

1. Dining Rooms Separated From Kitchens

You’re familiar with this–a kitchen with a breakfast nook, and a doorway leading into a separate dining room.  

The problem with this layout is that people want to mingle while dinner is being prepared.  Kids want to do their homework at the counter while their parents cook dinner, and friends want to visit over glasses of wine.  Oftentimes the dining room, then, is used only on rare occasions, and people gather primarily in the kitchen.

A layout where the kitchen opens up into a dining room and great room creates much more usable space.  Make it well-lit and add the right amount of seating, and your open kitchen will be perfectly designed for small meals, as well as large festive gatherings.

2. Galley Kitchens and Peninsulas

A kitchen peninsula is an island that’s actually connected, turning an L-shaped countertop into a U-shaped one .  This layout creates a lot of counter space.  

However, the corner section of the countertop often ends up as dead space.  It’s out of reach and an easy target for clutter.  

Plus, the corner area of peninsula kitchens can also create congestion in homes with multiple cooks. Unfortunately, people get “counter-locked” inside the peninsula kitchen, unable to easily move between the kitchen and dining area.  

A galley kitchen layout is one where the kitchen is divided by a narrow walkway, for example, with a sink on one wall and an oven on the wall directly across from it.  As with a kitchen peninsula, a galley kitchen allows for limited movement.  

Both of these layouts have declined in popularity, as homeowners began to favor kitchen islands. An island allows for ease of movement within the kitchen, as well as the dining area.  

3. Microwave Above the Range

In the past, microwaves were almost always located above or near the cooktop or range.  In modern kitchens, however, the microwave is nowhere in sight. Oftentimes, this is because homeowners simply don’t own a microwave, and have opted to use a steam oven instead.  

Additionally, a microwave can interrupt the streamlined look of a kitchen with European flat panel cabinets and an integrated refrigerator, so homeowners are increasingly choosing to place their microwaves inside cupboards or the pantry. 

The Choice Is Yours

And there you have it, our assessment of what’s hot and what’s not in a modern mountain Tahoe kitchen.  

At the end of the day, though, this is your kitchen that you’ll be using, and you get to be the judge of what looks good and what doesn’t.  

We Love Your Comments

Did we miss something? Let us know in the comments what you think is hot right now in Tahoe kitchen design!  

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