Before and After: A White-and-Gray Kitchen Renovation

Manhattan has a reputation for small homes and even smaller kitchens. But when one Brooklyn family decided to renovate theirs, it wasn’t a lack of space that proved challenging. “The homeowners wanted to keep the walls free of upper cabinets,” says designer David Nastasi, one half of the Brooklyn-based firm Nastasi Vail. “So although, by New York City standards, the kitchen is large, we had to make the most of every square inch of cabinet space.”

To adhere to the homeowners’ wishes for a streamlined kitchen as well as the neighborhood’s Landmark Conservancy rules (the house dates from the 1860s), Nastasi consulted with local architect Camille Martin of TCM Studios to gut the room, removing an awkward vestibule and an enormous ventilation hood that dominated an entire wall. Nastasi installed brand-new appliances, vibrantly patterned cement floor tiles, and custom-made cabinetry in a cool gray hue. “The husband enjoys cooking, and he had a specific vision for the kitchen,” says Nastasi. “He wanted lots of light, lots of counter space, and to be able to have his children eat in the kitchen as he cooked.” The result is a light-filled kitchen that doubles as a family gathering space. Scroll down for more inspiring details.

“The husband worked with us at every level, choosing the color combination of the custom floor tiles, species of wood for the island and open shelves, and even trying out the cabinet pulls to make sure the depth was comfortable for his hands,” Nastasi says.

“The husband worked with us at every level, choosing the color combination of the custom floor tiles, species of wood for the island and open shelves, and even trying out the cabinet pulls to make sure the depth was comfortable for his hands,” Nastasi says.
The kitchen before.
The kitchen before. (more…)
architectural digest

Five Standout Kitchen Renovations

The winners of the annual Contractor of the Year Awards were announced this month. Here are five award-winning kitchens from this year’s awards.

By Helena Okolicsanyi who is a staff writer for Remodeling Magazine.

Presented April 8 by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry at its spring meeting, the annual Contractor of the Year (CotY) awards recognize contractors who have “demonstrated outstanding work through their remodeling projects.” With categories in local, national, and regional groupings, the CotY awards are aimed at promoting excellence within the remodeling industry. Here are the winning kitchen designs. (more…)


Kitchen of the Week: New Kitchen Fits an Old Home

A designer does some clever room rearranging rather than adding on to this historic Detroit home

Written by Beck Harris from Houzz

In Michigan, you’re often coming in the door with snowy boots on,so walking directly from the back entry into the middle of the kitchen is less than ideal. Add to that the fact that the kitchen in this lovely 1907 Detroit home had undergone a not-so-lovely renovation in the 1980’s and hadn’t changed since. To fix these problems, the young homeowners wanted to put a mudroom addition off the back door and renovate the small kitchen to fit in better with the home’s age and architecture. But when Robert Zebrowski, a certified kitchen designer, came by for his first site visit, he had other ideas. Take a look at a new kitchen that feels like it’s always belonged here.

15 Unforgettable Kitchen Ideas

Want to create a memorable space? Consider one — or all — of these design elements

Mitchell Parker with Houzz Editorial Staff

Every now and then you see a kitchen that makes your heart beat a little faster. Surprisingly, what makes these spaces so memorable is often a single calculated design element — in an otherwise well-designed space, of course. Here are 15 details pulled from our Kitchen of the Week series that make each kitchen hard to forget.



Breaking Down the Top Ten Kitchen Trends of 2016

The 2016 NKBA Kitchen and Bath Design Trends Report revealed the popularity of transitional style, wood flooring, specialized pet spaces, and increased technology, among other key design elements. Following is a breakdown of the top ten kitchen trends to share with your clients.


1. Transitional style, with contemporary emerging.
Transitional Style Contemporary Emerging Kitchen

The marriage of traditional and contemporary styles appeal to both millennials and boomers, so it’s no surprise that transitional kitchens are the most preferred option for 2016. Traditional style and clean, contemporary looks create streamlined spaces that are unique, and leave room for homeowners to make the space their own.

2. Gray/white/off-white cabinets.
Gray white or off-white cabinets

It’s no surprise that neutral colors continue to dominate in 2016.  Survey respondents note that in addition to neutral wall pallets, grays/whites/off-white hues hold the top spot when it comes to cabinet colors. NKBA members are also seeing an increased desire by clients for mixed colors within one space; a request that can easily be achieved by using different colors for the perimeter of the kitchen versus the kitchen island or other focal point.

“Clients are increasingly requesting mixed colors. Classic contemporary with touches of rustic or industrial. Floating shelves/open cabinets. And pops of color,” said Mary a kitchen and bath designer from Indiana.

3. Pull-outs, tilt-outs and tilt-ins for storage.
Pull-outs tilt-outs or tilt-ins for storage

Storage solutions make life easier for everyone, which is why this design element will never go out of style. In 2016, designers expect to see an increase in the use of space-saving pull-outs, tilt-outs, and tilt-ins, because these storage features are extremely functional and vital to conserving valuable countertop or pantry space.

“We see more drawer banks, floating shelves and horizontal uppers with lift up doors,” said Cara a mass retailer in Montana.
4. Wood flooring.
Wood Flooring

Wood and ceramic/porcelain tile are the two most popular kitchen flooring materials, specified by at least 75 percent of survey respondents. “Wood look ceramic and porcelain…especially in a herringbone pattern,” said Andrea a mass retailer in Ontario, Canada.

5. Quartz and granite countertops.
Granite and Quartz countertops

While granite is still very popular, its dominance has long been in decline, especially over the last four years. Quartz has gained considerable share in countertop preferences over the last five years. In 2010, 73 percent of responding members reported using quartz in their kitchen projects. By 2015, that number rose 16 points to 89 percent, with 67 percent expecting to do more projects involving quartz in 2016.

6. Outdoor kitchens.

Outdoor kitchens saw a slight decline in 2015 vs. 2014, down seven percentage points. About 44 percent of respondents reported doing an outdoor kitchen in 2015, with about the same fraction expecting to do more in 2016. Not surprisingly, outdoor cooking is most common in the Southeast US and among empty-nesters and homeowners with annual incomes of $100,000 or more.

“We design outdoor living entertainment areas, including outdoor kitchens as an outdoor room,” said Jessica a kitchen and bath designer from Maryland.

7. Built-in coffee stations and wet bars.
Built-in coffee stations

Built-in coffeemakers and coffee/espresso stations were specified in kitchens by about one-third of responding NKBA members in 2015, a figure that is expected to hold steady in 2016.

“We did a designated Keurig® area,” said Mandy an Indiana remodeler. Multiple members reported doing kitchens that included an integrated wine/bar area.

“Even people with small kitchens want a small wet bar area,” said Rachelle an interior designer from California. Eva a remodeler from Illinois, reported doing one job with “his and hers wine coolers (his for beer, hers for wine).”

8. Pocket doors.
Pocket Doors

Pocket doors were specified by more than 70 percent of responding members in 2015, with 35 percent of designers expecting to use more this year. French doors are equally popular, used by 65 percent of respondents in 2015, with 22 percent expecting to use them more frequently in 2016.

As with internal storage solutions, pocket doors are a great space saver in the kitchen.

9. Special pet spaces.
Special hidden pet spaces

One unique design element reported this year is the increased use of pet-friendly amenities. Pet-friendly features were included in kitchens by fully half of responding NKBA members in 2015, with 35 percent expecting to increase accommodations for man’s best friend. Only one percent of respondents expect this trend would decrease.

The most frequent pet amenities were pullout drawers for feeding stations and pet food storage, followed by built-in beds and crates.

“To make a hidden dog food and water bowl, I had the cabinet maker design it into the side of the cabinet baseboard with a spring release door panel. Very cool design,” said Tonya a kitchen and bath designer from Michigan. “We did a dog bowl shelf between two tall pantries with holes cut out of granite for bowls to rest in to elevate for easier dining,” said Amanda a kitchen and bath designer from Georgia.

10. Docking and charging stations.
Docking and Charging Stations

With the increased use of technology in all aspects of our lives, it makes sense that more and more designers are incorporating docking and charging stations into kitchen designs. People spend a lot of time in the kitchen, and the convenience of being able to charge a phone or tablet, and to play music while cooking or entertaining, is a trend that’s sure to continue.


The 100-Square-Foot Kitchen: No More Cramped Conditions

Available at Kitchen Expo

Removing walls and adding high-end materials turn this kitchen into a jewel box within a new open floor plan

Mitchell Parker As seen on Houzz

Our 100-Square-Foot Kitchen series profiles kitchens that measure about 100 square feet, one of the most common kitchen sizes in the U.S., according to Houzz data.

Calling the original kitchen cramped would be putting it nicely. A narrow entrance opened to the windowless room, which had walls on three sides, giving it a boxy, closed-off feel. “It was dark and depressing,” says Violetta, who worked with the homeowner to gut the kitchen, and the rest of the home, and create a more open plan.

Kitchen at a Glance
Size: 100 square feet (9.3 square meters)
Layout: U-shape
Location: New York City
Cost for cabinets, countertops and floors: About $36,000
Special features: Extra-deep island, hidden storage, high-end look

BEFORE: The dark, windowless and walled kitchen felt too separated from the rest of the home.

AFTER: Removing a wall opened the kitchen to the adjacent living room, allowing the homeowner to see her young child while standing at the sink to prepare meals or do dishes. A large peninsula offers storage on both sides, and lots of counter space for prepping and eating meals.


A waterfall effect creates the illusion that the peninsula and countertop are larger. “It offers a grander look to a small kitchen,” Violetta says.

Light colors make the space appear bigger than it is, but Violetta was careful not to go too white. Dark lower cabinets establish balance. “In an open floor plan, we wanted to have some contrast to keep the kitchen from looking like a white box sitting in the corner,” she says. “The darker cabinets help tie it in with the rest of the home.”

The homeowner chose to go with custom cabinets to get the smartest storage out of the compact layout. “It would have been very tough to have bought something and made it fit,” Violetta says.

Keeping clutter off the counter is crucial to making a small room look more spacious. An appliance garage in the corner next to the fridge stores mixers, a baby food maker and other gadgets. Though the homeowner doesn’t use a microwave, the garage has space for one. “We made use of every nook and cranny,” Violetta says.

A small corner storage cabinet to the right of the appliance garage offers more concealment. A pantry to the left of the fridge features roll out shelves.


This angle shows how the new kitchen opens to the adjacent living space. Additional cabinets and a wine fridge offer more storage.


Lady Gaga’s Kitchen!!


Photo courtesy of ElleDecor Magazine

Lady Gaga's kitchen

Kitchen of the Week: What’s Old Is New Again in Texas


A fresh update brings back a 1920s kitchen’s original cottage style

Arthor: Becky Harris on Houzz

April 1, 2016

This 1920s classic cottage had many charms, but unfortunately there weren’t many traces of them left in the kitchen. The homeowners wanted to maintain the historic style of their house but also wanted something that felt more up to date. In addition, they liked the efficiency of the modestly sized room and didn’t want to expand it. Interior designer Julie Bradshaw had her work cut out for her, but by taking advantage of every inch and using all of the room’s available assets, she created a fresh, bright space that honors the home.

Kitchen at a Glance
Who lives here: A couple and their daughter
Location: Historic district of Monte Vista in San Antonio, Texas
Size: 144 square feet (13 square meters)
Designer: Julie


BEFORE: The kitchen was dark and cramped, and the refrigerator was a hindrance in more ways than one (We’ll get to that in a minute.) The historic home had maintained many of its vintage traits, but most of the charm in the kitchen had been covered up by previous renovations.

Designer Julie replaced the refrigerator with a 30-inch Sub-Zero model with panels that match the rest of the cabinetry. “In a small kitchen, every inch counts,” she says. “This family didn’t need the standard 36-inch refrigerator because they buy fresh and don’t need a lot of storage space.” (Having trouble finding the refrigerator in this photo? I did. It’s in the foreground on the left.)

With the bulky appliance out of the way, Julie got clever with the layout. She changed the typical galley space into a T-shaped layout, ending the counters so she could extend a row of cabinets across the back of the room. This gave the tight kitchen some breathing space and a more expansive feeling. The cabinets along the back are used for pantry storage and the one on the left includes a coffee bar.

One of the original charms survived the renovation — the sweet hex floor tiles with gold accent florets were in excellent condition. After a good cleaning of the grout and tiles, the porcelain floor is back to its former glory.

Julie selected antiqued brass for the finishes not only because it works well with the gold in the floor, but also because it appears in hardware throughout the house. Brass woven-wire grilles on some of the cabinet fronts extend the accent under the sink and to some of the upper cabinets.

Antiqued brass pops up on the light fixtures and vent hood as well.

Before the remodel, the sink was awkwardly low. To solve this, Bradshaw moved the window up a bit and added an apron-front farmhouse sink.


BEFORE: The original refrigerator was not only blocking the flow, it was blocking a window.

On the first walk-through, Julie had no idea the window on the right existed. She went back to the office and drew up her preliminary designs. When she returned to the site, she noticed the window from the outside and said, “Wait a minute … ” As fate would have it, the existing window worked into the design perfectly. The extra natural light and view are a big bonus at the end of the room.

The walnut counters in this portion of the kitchen add another period touch and contrast with the Calacatta marble on the other counters. Choosing a handmade subway tile added subtle texture. “Extending the subway tile all the way up to the ceiling looks more modern than the typical 18-inch backsplash,” the designer says. “At the same time, it hearkens back to an old scullery kitchen.”

Another clever detail swiped from elsewhere in the house shows up on the cabinet panels. The detailing mimics the style of the panels on doors seen throughout the home. Feet on the bottom of the cabinets also nod to the era. On this side of the room, the panel fronts conceal a pullout trash bin and the dishwasher.

Freshened up, the home works for the family’s modern lifestyle but also looks like it’s always been here. “Now this kitchen really feels like it’s a part of the home,” Julie says.




January 20, 2016

Blending function, fashion and innovation, MasterBrand Cabinets, the nation’s leading cabinet manufacturer, showcases a multi-brand product offering of new cabinet styles, finishes and organizational solutions at the Kitchen and Bath Industry show (KBIS), today through Jan. 21.

Visitors to booth N2713 will find a comprehensive lineup of products from the MasterBrand portfolio of cabinet brands, arranged in vignettes reflecting the latest color and style trends for 2016. Featured products include gorgeous finishes that mirror the shift toward warmer grays, neutral browns and deeper whites, hand-painted brushed finishes and mixed textures for creating customized looks; transitional door styles for multifunctional spaces; beautiful and durable laminate and textured melamine cabinets; plus an expanded lighting program that meets the ever-growing demand for kitchen technology integration.

“Beauty is definitely more than skin deep for today’s homeowners, who want stylish cabinets that are as functional as they are beautiful. Our brands have interpreted this trend with an array of cabinet products that offer exceptional style, function, flexibility, durability and so much more,” said Stephanie Pierce, senior manager of the design studio, MasterBrand Cabinets. (more…)


Transitional Style Kitchens Most Popular in North America According to Research Conducted by NKBA

The National Kitchen & Bath Association found outdoor kitchens, built-in coffee stations and pet-friendly amenities among most popular trends of 2016

HACKETTSTOWN, N.J. (JAN. 25, 2016) —Transitional style remains the top trend when it comes to kitchen design, according to the 2016 Design Trends Survey from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA). Here are the top 10 overall kitchen design trends NKBA expects for 2016:

  1. Transitional style, with contemporary emerging.
  2. Gray/white/off-white cabinets.
  3. Pull-outs, tilt-outs and tilt-ins for storage.
  4. Wood flooring.
  5. Quartz and granite countertops.
  6. Outdoor kitchens.
  7. Built-in coffee stations and wet bars.
  8. Pocket doors.
  9. Special pet spaces.
  10. Docking and charging stations. (more…)

Trends Shaping the Industry

February 08, 2016

Published on K+BB

For the 2016 NKBA Design Trends Survey, more than 450 NKBA members from across the country reported the materials, product types and design styles they specified during the past year in response to changing consumer preferences. Ideal for identifying trends in kitchens in the $20,000 to $49,000 price range and up, as well as bathrooms in the $10,000 to $30,000 range and up, these findings help spotlight dominant preferences in several different types of households.

View a gallery of a NKBA insider’s insights here.

Top 10 Kitchen Trends for 2016

1.    Transitional style, clean lines and less ornamentation

2.    Two or more cabinet colors/finishes in the same kitchen, often in a light/dark combo

3.    Pullouts, tilt-outs and tilt-ins for ease of storage, trash and recycling

4.    The look of wood flooring dominates, be it actual wood or wood-look ceramic tile.

5.    Different countertops for islands and the perimeter, varying in both color and material

6.    Outdoor kitchens, most popular in the Southeast

7.    Built-in coffee stations and wet bars, as well as built0in wine refrigerators

8.    Pocket doors

9.    Pet spaces, including built-in feeding stations, food storage and crates

10.    Docking and charging stations

Top Bathroom Trends for 2016

1.    Greater acceptance of aging-in-place amenities: no threshold shower, grab bars, higher vanity heights, chair-height toilets

2.    Transitional is pulling away from contemporary. Transitional is the most popular style

3.    Neutral colors rule in the bath, with white as the most popular fixture color.

4.    More open shelving and floating vanities

5.    More built-in storage functionality: more rollout shelves in bath cabinetry, more hidden electrical outlets for blow dryers, etc.

6.    Undermount sinks are the most popular sink style, with a trough sink emerging.

7.    When tubs are installed in master bathrooms, they are most likely to be freestanding.

8.    Increasing use of shower amenities

9.    Polished chrome is the most popular faucet finish.

10.    Other popular amenities include easy maintenance features, electric radiant floor heating and a TV in the mirror.

trends shaping

Houzz Survey Reveals Emergence of the Super Kitchen

Homeowners are renovating their kitchens to create a “super kitchen” that not only serves multiple purposes but also incorporates features, functions and decor traditionally associated with other rooms, dramatically blurring the lines between the kitchen and other living spaces, according to the 2016 U.S. Houzz Kitchen Trends Survey. 

The survey of more than 2,400 U.S. homeowners using Houzz who are in the midst of, are planning or recently completed a kitchen renovation project found that these kitchens go far beyond cooking and baking, with 69 percent using the space for eating and dining, and nearly half for entertaining (49 percent) and socializing (43 percent). In addition, more than a quarter of renovating homeowners use their kitchen as a homework space (25 percent), one in five watch TV (19 percent) and 14 percent read. As the hub of such activity, nearly two-thirds of homeowners spend more than three hours a day in their kitchens (60 percent).

Further blurring the lines between the functional and living areas of their homes, nearly half of renovating homeowners are making their kitchens more open to other living spaces (48 percent), with 46 percent of kitchens completely open to other interior spaces post-renovation. One in five updated kitchens is also more open to the outdoors following their upgrades (18 percent).

Many homeowners are adding features traditionally associated with living and dining rooms to their updated kitchens, including dining tables (25 percent), chandeliers (23 percent), TVs (14 percent) and desks/workspaces (7 percent). Customized features that support entertaining are also popular, including wine refrigerators (11 percent) and built-in stations for coffee/tea (10 percent). 

Additionally, homeowners are updating the design of the kitchen to integrate with the rest of the home, which 45 percent of renovating homeowners rate as a top design aspect for their updated kitchen. This includes installing custom-made cabinetry (44 percent of homeowners updating cabinets) and hardwood flooring (34 percent of homeowners upgrading floors).

“The modern ‘super kitchen’ supports family, friends and work and does it in style,” said Nino Sitchinava, principal economist at Houzz. “Our findings show that homeowners expect kitchen renovations to go far beyond improving flow, storage or aesthetics. The ‘super kitchen’ has literally become a living room, family room and office, with finishes, layouts and decor that challenge us to define where the kitchen ends and the rest of the home begins.


4 Kitchen Trends and How to Use Them

Design trends we like from Better Homes & Gardens
Better Homes and Gardens teamed with designers Jen Ziemer and Andrea Dixon of Minneapolis-based Fiddlehead Design Group to create the BHG Innovation Kitchen for the May 2014 issue. Here’s a peek at the kitchen and their take on kitchen trends.

“As interior designers, we are constantly asked about current trends” Ziemer and Dixon said. “While we love incorporating these ideas where we can, when it comes to kitchen design, function comes first. At Fiddlehead, however, we think it’s always trendy to be functional! Here are some ways you can include current kitchen trends in your space.”

Consistent Island Height
“We chose to keep the island in the BHG kitchen a consistent 36″ standard countertop height” said Ziemer and Dixon. “Gone are the days of the multi-level island with raised bar seating for the kids. Not only are those bar stools hard to maneuver, but the higher countertop section breaks up what could be a larger prep space, buffet top and/or homework station. Height consistency at the island allows for a more practical and multi-functional centerpiece for what is typically the hub of the home.”

Open Shelving
“A kitchen-full of cabinetry can become overwhelming. We decided to use open shelving in lieu of upper cabinets in the BHG kitchen in order to create a lighter, more decorative look. Our clients are really embracing this trend as it can be both functional and attractive. A bonus is that it’s also less expensive than using traditional upper cabinets,” Ziemer added. “So go ahead, buy those new dishes you’ve been eyeing! Open shelves are also a great place to show off your personality and add some pops of color to what can be a very utilitarian space.”

Cabinet Drawer Bases
“Like most kitchens we are designing, we decided to incorporate base drawers instead of doors. Not only do we love how the drawers line up with one another, but they serve a functional purpose as well. Instead of opening a cabinet door and bending down to look inside or pulling out a roll-out shelf, you can gain access to the cabinet in one, simple motion. You are also able to utilize more of the cabinet interior without having roll out hardware that takes up valuable space. There are so many wonderful, after-market products that allow you to customize the drawers to hold dinner plates, bowls, etc.” said Ziemer and Dixon.

Multi-Purpose Pantry Space
Ziemer and Dixon also recommend a multi-purpose pantry space. “For the BHG kitchen we were fortunate to have enough square footage to create a large, multi-functional pantry area. A lot is happening in this back room; laundry, folding, gardening, storage, list-making, etc. We designed it to be directly adjacent to the kitchen and incorporated an interior window that unifies the two spaces and allows natural light to flow. We included another popular trend, the sliding barn door, for those times when you need to close off the mess. Not only is this functional, but also allows you to pop a fun color!”



The New Shades of Grey

The new shades of grey used in this kitchen are very popular and available at Kitchen Expo! Rustic Kitchen by Joan Behnke & Associates Inc., as seen in Architectural Digest Magazine.

In Gisele Bündchen and Tom Brady’s Los Angeles home, antique Tunisian tile from Exquisite Surfaces makes a lively backsplash in the kitchen, which is appointed with Formations pendant lights, marble countertops from Compas Architectural Stone, custom-made alder cabinetry, an oak island, and a Wolf range.


Dekton by Cosentino introduces new colors and patterns

Dekton, a special collection offered by Cosentino’s Silestone brand, has expanded its countertop options with the introduction of ten exciting new colors. This stunning new collection represents the latest color and pattern trends. From solid natural hues to complex patterns, these new Dekton products are on the leading edge of kitchen style.


dekton 1b