So what can we expect for Philadelphia kitchen designs in the next five years or so? This is a major concern since most of us in the process of designing our kitchens expect to have them for at least the next five years. We don’t want them to be dated before we even get them installed. If my crystal ball is up to snuff this is what I will be talking about at Teknika Design Group in five years or so at www.teknikadesigngroup.com . So here are my best guesses for the coming years.
1. Technology will continue to be a huge part of the evolving kitchen. I think more and more kitchen cabinets, countertops, appliances will incorporate technology. For example, countertops will automatically be able to pull up recipes and show them on the countertop instead of using a computer, Ipad or the really old fashioned way, a cookbook. As a matter of fact, Microsoft Corporation already has a projection system that can put recipes on the countertop in their Microsoft home of the future.
2. As the economy continues to improve, we will see a return of more ornate kitchens. Currently, Philadelphia kitchen design contains clean lines and simpler moldings and doors. However, as individuals become fiscally more comfortable and the economy continues to improve (assuming it will), renovators will be more apt to spend more on their kitchens including more elaborate moldings and cabinetry. This will include more glazes, sumptuous stains and unique wood veneers.
3. Green will become a larger part of home renovators go to products. This will become the norm for two reasons. The first being that “green” products prices will come down. Currently most green products are about 10-20% higher than their non-green counterparts. This should change as technology improves and sales increase. The second reason is that there will be more green options. This includes everything in the kitchen from cabinetry to hardware and countertops. This will be because manufacturers will automatically include green options in all their lines, again because volume will increase, prices decrease. This will begin because one of the ways consumers will start spending their increased salaries will be on green options.
How confident am I that these predictions for Philadelphia kitchen designs will come true? Pretty confident. We know that technology will continue its march and start including more and more product categories. Where I am not positive is that the economy will continue to improve. However based on past history as to the cyclical nature of the economy, it is a pretty good bet. To see current green products please go to Teknika’s products web page at http://www.teknikadesigngroup.com/products.py. You can also see information on current ways to make your renovations “green” at http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/green-remodeling/green-kitchen-remodeling/.
What are the 2013 color trends for kitchen cabinets in Philadelphia? There are actually the very same as the rest of the country. In Philadelphia, we are sometimes just earlier adapters since we are a major city. Larger cities and their environs always pick up on new trends faster than their country counterparts. Below are the color trends in kitchen cabinets in Philadelphia. What is really interesting is that many of the trends in kitchens and baths are also seen in the major fashion magazines and on the runways of major clothing designers.
- Emerald. This is an emerging trend meaning we are just starting to see it in kitchen cabinets in Philadelphia. This was the pantone color of the year so we are seeing it in kitchens, bathrooms as well as in clothing.
- Tangerine. This color trend has been around for about a year and is continuing. Again this color is also big in fashion.
- Turquoise. This is another emerging color trend. This was the color of 2013 for a different color institute.
- Yellow. This is a newer trend and is just starting to be seen in kitchens and baths. Pale yellow walls have always been popular but now we are seeing a wider range of yellows on the walls and in cabinetry.
- Gray. This trend has been around for at least 2 years and is expected to continue for at least another 5 years. What is great is that gray in combination with emerald, tangerine, turquoises and yellow looks wonderful
- Tangerine and Blue. These colors are on opposite sides of the color chart and so they go great together. This is an emerging trend and not for the faint of heart.
It depends on how fond you are of these colors for your kitchen as to how much of an investment you want to make in them. Obviously the greatest investment is cabinetry followed by the backsplash, your appliances (often the range), then your paint color and finally just accents. In your Philadelphia kitchen you have the option to use any of these color trends or none of them. You can create your own color trends. To see great examples of some of these trends for kitchen cabinets in Philadelphia please see our website at http://www.teknikadesigngroup.com/ or go to http://www.houzz.com/ to see a great variety of options.
One of the problems in buying kitchen cabinets in Philadelphia or any other place is that it is tough to know what you are getting. What is the difference between kitchen cabinets? They look similar on the outside, but there is such a range of prices.
What makes up a cabinet can help guide us through the cost differences as shown by the illustration below.
Most of the cost of kitchen cabinets in Philadelphia is what the cabinet box is made of and most of the time it is engineered wood. 100% wood is not optimal since it expands and contracts with the moisture in the air which can cause warping. Now there are all different terms for engineered wood: plywood, MDF, particle board to name a few. None of them are better than the other. What does make a difference is the grade of the engineered wood. It can go anywhere from essentially paper and Elmer’s glue to furniture grade. How do you tell, often the price will tell you. The old adage, you get what you pay for often applies. The exceptions to this rule are often the very high end, imported cabinets where you are paying for the name and the cost of importing to the US.
Another thing to look for which affects kitchen cabinet cost is the ability to customize sizing and type of cabinet. The more you can customize the more expensive the cabinet. Customization often means optimizing storage space and this is often one of the most important criteria for kitchen cabinets in Philadelphia. Unfortunately our city kitchens are often small.
The rest of what makes up the expense of cabinetry are the door style, which cabinet manufacturers often charge extra for. Do not forget the extras in the cabinet such as pullout drawers. The hardware on the cabinet can also be an extra cost. Excellent hardware such as those drawer glides and hinges made by Blum and Hafele have longer guarantees (often for life) and include automatic closing and full extension drawer glides. Finally the finish of the cabinet, is it a stain, paint, special veneer. This also affects the cost.
The easiest way to maneuver your way through this maze of kitchen cabinets in Philadelphia is to find an experienced designer. They can better explain the differences between any kitchen cabinets you are interested in. For questions to ask a potential designer, please refer to the list of questions on our website, http://www.teknikadesigngroup.com/questionstoaskdesigners.py . If this article leads to more questions, please email me or post your question(s) on Teknika Design Group’s Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/teknikadesigngroup. To learn more about Teknika Design Group’s products please go to our website, www.teknikadesigngroup.com .
So how do you find reliable and cost efficient kitchen remodelers in Philadelphia? There are a number of ways. One obvious way is through referrals. Who have your friends used and liked? The pros of this method are that you will know that the kitchen remodelers in Philadelphia are at the very least courteous, timely and clean. The con is that unless your referral has contracting knowledge you cannot be sure if the remodeler they hired knew what they were doing. I have had friends who raved about their contractor but when I looked at their job the contractor had mangled their cabinets and did not know how to handle basic plumbing. They ended up getting a subpar job and even though they were happy they might encounter problems sooner rather than later or the job took longer than it should have.
Another option is to go online and use a service such as Angie’s list www.angieslist.com. They have many kitchen remodelers in Philadelphia. Here again, if the contractor got rave reviews at least you know that their service was timely, there were no obvious issues and they were courteous. Again what makes me nervous is that the contractor could be great but who knows if they are hiring sub-contractors for jobs and if they are not rigorous in their hiring, who can say from job to job the experience will be the same.
My suggestion is when you are looking to hire kitchen remodelers in Philadelphia, I would ask if they use the same group of contractors or do they bid their jobs. If the Architect/Designer uses the same group of contractors then they will have a lot more pull than you do to insure that each job is perfect to the trained and untrained eye. Architects and designers are more experienced in their field inspections and can recognize if a job is taking too long or the work done is not up to par. If this happens, they can usually rectify the situation without even bothering the homeowner. Picking a contractor from a pool of contractors we use on a regular basis is what my company, Teknika Design Group www.teknikadesigngroup.com does. We have had to discontinue use of contractors if their standards slip, but overall since we give our contractors multiple jobs, they work hard to make us and our clients happy.
Having said that, I would still get recommendations and check the contractor’s record on line to make sure there are no consistently awful reports. So while finding kitchen remodelers in Philadelphia is not easy, it pays to do your due diligence upfront. Please go to http://www.teknikadesigngroup.com/questionstoaskcontractors.py for questions to ask a contractor.
How do you as a homeowner best prepare your kitchen remodeling design? There are 2 ways: you can do the design yourself or you can have a professional kitchen designer do the design for you.
To do your kitchen remodeling design yourself, there are numerous kitchen drawing programs on the web. Some are free and others require an investment. The free versions include Google Sketchup http://www.soft32.com/windows/photo-design/image-editors/google-sketchup/free-download?gclid=CKSf0MCD27ICFQqk4AodeFAAbw . This program is relatively easy to learn but does not have the specialized tools needed to adequately design a functional kitchen. Another free option is offered by retailers such as Ikea, http://kitchenplanner.ikea.com/US/UI/Pages/VPUI.htm. While this planner is better at designing a functional kitchen it is difficult to use. The other drawback is that as a consumer you are limited to that retailer for purchasing your cabinets. Among the pay for kitchen remodeling design software, SmartDraw http://www.smartdraw.com/specials/kitchendesign.asp is popular and easier to use, with three options from $147 to $497. It also provides its own “Dummies” book.
The second option is to have a professional kitchen designer execute your kitchen remodeling design. The disadvantages to this option are that you can pay quite a bit more than you would on any software program and you will probably be obligated to buy the cabinets or at least the design from the designer. The advantages are that if you go to an experienced designer (ask many questions before you commit), you will get a tailored kitchen remodeling design specifically for your taste. For examples see http://www.teknikadesigngroup.com/ . A qualified, experienced designer will also take into account the cost of installation when doing the design and the guidelines set forth by the NKBA (National Kitchen and Bath Association) for a more user friendly kitchen. It will also take a lot less time. To see more about our design process go to http://www.teknikadesigngroup.com/design.py .
What is the best way? It comes down to budget. If you can afford a professional kitchen remodeling design, then that is the way to go, both in terms or time management and mistake prevention. However, if your remodeling project is on a very tight budget (less than $10,000 for the entire kitchen), I would start learning kitchen remodeling design software.
Actually there is a lot new in Philadelphia kitchen design. First let me say that it is hard to lump all of Philadelphia together, even though many outside of Philadelphia try. Philadelphia has two main contingents, the Moderns and the Traditionalists. However even the Traditionalists are now more Transitionalists. Which brings me to my first trend.
- Traditional design is out. And by that I mean no more ornate corbels, elaborate cornices or even layered crown moldings. It is all about clean lines and simplified design.
So where is a Traditionalist to go? They have all become part of the Transitionalist party. This party is a little more gussied up than the flat panel door of the Moderns. You are a Transitionalist if you love the Shaker door style. This style goes particularly well with my next Philadelphia kitchen design trend.
- Two toned, even three toned kitchens are in. This could mean two painted colors usually white or cream with another color, both very subdued so as not to be too manic. It could also mean and most often does that it is a painted color and a wood stain. You can see many examples at houzz.com. Here is one of my favorites http://www.houzz.com/photos/contemporary/kitchen/p/8. Once in a while in a more Modern kitchen it is white and a bright color. The favorite colors in this case are red, some form of bright green or even orange.
Speaking of orange, I have now moved on to my third trend.
- What is the color in Philadelphia kitchen designs this year? It is orange or more specifically Tangerine. And this makes Philadelphia right in vogue with what colorists predicted in the beginning of 2012. I even have proof with this Pantone color chart. If you squint and look very closely you can see that the color of this year is Tangerine Tango.
Now I am not saying this is the color anyone I know is ordering for their kitchen cabinets, but I do know a few folks painting their walls this color. It looks spectacular against stark white cabinets and gray countertops. This brings me to the last trend for Philadelphia kitchen design.
- The Moderns LOVE (as do I) white cabinets with gray countertops or even gray cabinets with a white countertop. These can be a solid gray or a countertop with gray and white. This countertop material is almost always quartz. You can see examples of this at www.teknikadesigngroup.com. One of our displays utilizes gray and white cabinets (we like to cover our bases) with a white/touch of gray quartz countertop.
I know these are the Philadelphia kitchen design trends, but these are my top four. If you agree, let me know. I would love to hear from you. Even if you don’t agree I would still like to hear your opinion. This is an equal opportunity blog. If you want to learn more on how to get your own Philadelphia kitchen design, please visit our website at www.teknikadesigngroup.com or call us at 215.922.4414.
The typical Philadelphia kitchen is small, on average less than 10 square feet. So how do you make the most of this space?
The most obvious solution is to use every inch. The most efficient way is to redo your kitchen to have a professional kitchen designer lay it out with special attention to storage. However, if you are not planning on spending $10,000+, what are your options? You can still retrofit your old cabinets with great new storage options. Here are some ideas:
1. Pull out shelves. While technically these might use up more space than plain shelves, the ability to see what is in the back of the shelf overrides this negative. You can’t use what you can’t remember you had.
2. Trash bins in the cabinet. Many of us can’t take a cabinet and make it a combination recycling and trash cabinet, however, we may not be utilizing our under sink storage. You can put a rollout bin to the side of the pipes and make it easier to hide the trash.
3. Many kitchens have dead spaces in the corners. If you are lucky enough to have a cabinet that extends into that area, many manufactures offer up the option of putting in pullout shelves to better use that space. Again if you can see it and get at it, the more likely you will be to use it.
4. There are about 10-20 different ways you can divide up a drawer. Look at each of your drawers and decide what you want in it and there is a special insert to better store those objects, from cutlery, knife blocks, plates to pots and pans.
5. Spices are hard to keep organized. This can be done with a drawer insert or attachment to the door of a cabinet. If you have an entire cabinet devoted to spices, try a pullout (I love pullouts in case you have not realized).
6. Another underutilized space in your kitchen is the backsplash. Instead of putting your cooking utensils in a jar on the counter or in a valuable drawer, consider investing in a backsplash system that hangs them up. Many systems also have places for knives, spices etc.
Now I have just touched on a number of possible ways to perk up your storage space in our “cozy” Philadelphia kitchens. To get more ideas please go to these manufacturers’ websites. These are the ones we use and know they are cost effective and reliable. Hafele is an upper price point with metal and wood finishes, http://www.hafele.com/us/products/kitchen-cabinet-hardware-closet-hardware-accessories-range-hoods.asp . Rev-a shelf has a lower price and finishes more likely in heavy duty plastic, http://www.rev-a-shelf.com/. One final option is Richelieu that is another moderately priced option, http://www.richelieu.com/en/.
If you have any questions, please let us (Teknika) know…call us, email, facebook, or comment here. We like to be reachable.