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Favorite Kitchens

Our Favorite Kitchens

What's new in kitchen design and finishes, and how does it fit into overall design trends that new today's new home buyers are looking for?

Cool grays and weathered naturals continue to be a trend, with lots of light and dark contrasts and texture details.  Painted cabinet finishes and washed colors are popular, and granite remains the most popular countertop choice with new home buyers.  Kitchens are better than ever in terms of design functionality and use of space, especially for busy families. Lighting has emerged as one of the most fun and relatively economical ways to express personality in a kitchen, with on-trend styles and finishes that reflect personal taste and complement other furnishings. 

A chimney-style exhaust hood, gas cooktop, double wall ovens, and island in the Hudson plan shown above invite cooks to channel their inner gourmet.

This Atkinson model in Sanders Garden showcases variable height and variable depth wall cabinets for added dimension, contrasting island and wall cabinets, granite tops, a lots of counter seating.

The Arlington II model home in Glasford

This Glenstone plan pictured above features a multi-tasking island with sink space, work area, dining counter, and storage.  The beadboard finish adds both charm and some practical protection for the wall in a high-use area.  Pendant lights add flair, and some handy task lighting, over an island or bar.

Busy families, especially those who sometimes can't sit down meals together at the same time, enjoy the convenience and closeness of countertop dining.  Island style can be traditional rectangles, or feature barrel-style curves that seat more people at the bar while taking up less floor space.  Island cabinets may match or contrast the wall cabinets.

Notice the variable height and variable depth wall cabinets and glass doors shown above.  Opting for the 42" height wall cabinets, either throughout the kitchen or intermingled with 30" wall cabinets gives this kitchen extra storage space and visual appeal.  It also makes good use of the nine-foot ceilings that are so popular in today's designs, especially with buyers looking to add volume without loss of energy efficiency.  Glass doors in key locations let you showcase some favorite dishes, without revealing too much. 

Both formal dining rooms and informal breakfast areas can carry out the themes and colors schemes of the kitchen, with lighting continuing to be a key.

Organization continues to be a top priority for busy families who are multi-tasking, and the roles of technology and the home office continue to evolve. 
For those who need 'just a little' office to keep home paperwork handy and neat, the pocket office is a great option. 

Located adjacent to the kitchen, often within a little nook for privacy, it blends seamlessly by using the same cabinet, tile, and countertop materials as the rest of the kitchen.  Pocket offices are typically optional features, so if your lifestyle calls for a bigger pantry instead, that's probably possible, too.  Floor plans with pocket office options include the Inglewood, Glenstone, Waverly, and Rutherford.

If you like the idea of a pocket office, you'll love the built-in drop zone options offered by many plans, often in that busy and important traffic corridor from the garage to the kitchen or living areas. 

The Wakefield Model

This Hudson model in Laurel Ridge, above and below, offers a large drop zone option with shelf space and cubby-style hook storage for all those coats, backpacks, bags, and leashes that come with busy families and lifestyles.

Drop zones come in several configurations and sizes, based on the floor plan. 

Decorative pillows are a fun and easy way to accessorize the boot bench area of a drop zone, and can be changed seasonally for interest, or to introduce a new color.

The Cavanaugh II plan pictured above demonstrates how baskets can be used to further organize and style a drop zone, and keep the more out-of-reach areas functional.

Another favorite built-in feature in new home kitchens is the butler's pantry. 
Nothing adds an upscale touch to a kitchen like a butler's pantry, which can be furnished as a china cabinet, with solid cabinet doors for storage, or with as a wine center, complete with wine rack and wine fridge.  The extra space it provides when entertaining or feeding a crowd makes it a winner. 

Butlers Pantry in the Cavanaugh II plan

In many floor plans, like the Hartford II and the Waverly, the butler's pantry functions as a transition from kitchen to formal dining room, making it even more useful as a serving station.  Again, the kitchen's color scheme, countertops, and backsplash pattern are repeated in the butler's pantry.  Notice the role that under cabinet lighting plays in adding interest in both kitchens and butler's pantries.

The Canterbury model in Sanders Garden pictured below has a butler's pantry that is both a transition to the formal dining room and a companion to the walk-in storage pantry located opposite.

When considering storage and organization, the pantry is an important part of keeping our spaces neat.  A large pantry with lots of shelving is a feature of the Cavanaugh II and the Atkinson plan, among others.

Built-in storage and organization goes hand-in-hand with another mainstay of new home design, the open layout floor plan.

Kitchens and living areas that are open to one another make it doubly important to have handy places to keep our stuff organized and our occasional messes out of view.

See these and other homes in person by visiting our model homes during open house, or any time by appointment.