Kitchen & Bath - Trends

Looking to renovate your kitchen? Experts give us the scoop on the biggest kitchen design trends of 2012.

Looking for ways to update your kitchen for 2012? We polled some of Canada's leading style meisters to get the 411 on the coming year's hottest kitchen design trends. Unlike fashion, home decor trends have lasting power, so use these design tips to plan a kitchen makeover that'll improve form, function and style for years to come. Not renovating this year? No worries: just punch up your current space with a few new and trend-driven updates that won't break the bank. Here's what's on the 2012 kitchen horizon.

TREND: Updating with colour

DESIGNER INTERPRETATION: "I've just come back from a trip to the UK to see what's going on there, and in the kitchen, we're really seeing more colour. I think because of the economy, people are still updating their kitchens with accessories and paint, rather than with full renovations," says Debbie Travis (,  the Montreal-based design expert known for her books and TV series including Debbie Travis' From the Ground Up and Debbie Travis' Facelift. "Paint can really hold you for a few more years!"

And don't restrict paint to walls, says Debbie: "I've been seeing a lot of painted kitchen cabinets. It's something you can do on your own."

"I'm also seeing a lot of really bright colours, too: red, orange, a lot of juicy citrus shades like orange, lemon and lime, being used in small appliances. It's become mainstream now, to have a lime green mixer, for instance, whereas in the past, people were frightened to buy them in bold colours.  But the trend for years has been families gathering together in the kitchen, so the spaces have become more fun and friendly," explains Debbie.

TREND: The streamlined kitchen

DESIGNER INTERPRETATION: "Design trends are reflecting our more casual and collaborative method of living, preparing, cooking, eating and entertaining. Integrated appliances like drawer-style fridges, and fridges, ovens, microwaves and dishwashers fronted to match the cabinetry, all give a much cleaner look to the kitchen. We can now hide most of the ‘operations,' and our kitchens look a lot neater and simpler. Although this has been around for a while in Europe, and in higher-end kitchens, most manufacturers are now catching-on," says says Céline Pitre, principal at Vancouver-based Céline Pitre Interiors.

Consider an island or peninsula de rigueur to today's kitchen: "It's where the ‘real work' happens in the home's new gathering place," adds Céline.

Mixing and matching with stained-wood and painted-wood cabinetry

"It's no longer just a stained-wood kitchen or a painted kitchen. We are starting to use stained wood and paint in the same kitchen. But not just any regular stain and paint: We're using grey-wash stain on walnut cabinetry, mixed with white shelves," says Alicia Sass, partner and senior designer at Carey Mudford Interior Design, in Toronto.

"High-gloss paint is also going to be big. High gloss can be overwhelming if used too much, so a good way to bring it in, is through high-gloss paint on a 2" frame around the cabinetry, as well as on gables and any open shelving, with the remaining cabinetry being stained," says Alicia.

"Stainless-steel appliances, a mosaic backsplash, thick stone countertop, and great lighting over the island, will tie it all together and be a perfect blend of materials to ensure for an exciting kitchen," she says.
This article is featured on A guide to design and decor trends

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