ProSource | 4/2/2016 | Expert Advice
According to Eka Sukmawati, National Design and Merchandising at ProSource, we’re seeing some exciting kitchen cabinet trends that don’t just play with a contrast in colors, but also with textures and materials, to achieve a statement that is both simple and luxurious. In fact, be on the lookout for ways to mix the following elements.
A trendy look that continues for kitchen cabinets is a mix of different colors and wood. But these combinations don’t just include different paints and stains the way we’ve seen in recent years. They take the look a step further by combining multiple finishes.
Two-toned tuxedo kitchens are moving beyond the combination of black and white. The look has welcomed all sorts of combinations. The key is to pair colors with neutrals such as white, gray, or a natural stain to achieve a pleasing balance.
A big emphasis currently with designs is creating variation of texture, which is as important as color when it comes to informing design choices. Like color, texture can be used to create a focal point and set the mood. Texture is an especially exciting element because its subtlety lends an air of luxurious sophistication—and current cabinetry is especially sophisticated.
In the past, we saw light or dark toned woods combined with painted cabinets. Now we are seeing changes in texture with an emphasis on finishes, such as distressed wood cabinets mixed with high gloss cabinet doors.
Materials And Finishes
Some manufacturers that previously only offered stained and glazed finishes are now offering textured laminate. They might be replicas of a wood product, or they might be used as solids. Either way, their greater resistance to scratches, scuffs, and staining make them ideal to use in busy work areas.
White cabinets continue to be popular, but flat doors, clean lines, and high gloss lend a fresh appeal. Black and gray stains are still trending, but often with glossier finishes. Gray or black toned stains might be added to natural woods, like light maple, to make them darker and more dramatic. Or natural finishes might be used to bring out the subtle textures found in hardwood.
Television shows have helped the public become savvier about different wood finishes, but it’s best to work with a designer who can help explain further.
Homeowners are beginning to appreciate the true beauty of wood and the fact that this natural product was once alive and responds to its environment. Wood cabinets are no different from hardwood flooring in that they will react to all types of factors including humidity levels, sunlight exposure and even cigarette smoke.
More refined cutting techniques showcase the variations in grain. Cabinets are seeing more rift-sawn woods, for example, which means the lumber is cut perpendicular to the growth rings in a starburst design rather than in one direction. The resulting wood has a fine, even, linear texture that doesn’t feature the swirls and variation of plain hewn wood.
Quarter sawing is a related technique that produces less waste but brings out a rich depth and even a unique flecking in certain hardwoods. Cabinets made with such skill and appreciation for the medium can’t help but deliver quality that endures.
Recent industry trade shows prove that the perfect complement to beautiful wood is a natural, unstained look. Highlighting the material’s innate artistry allows its texture to make a timeless statement and high gloss brings just the right touch of drama to the grain.
Keep in mind that most natural wood will become richer and more refined as it ages. Cherry will darken, for example, especially in the first six months, deepening from a cinnamon tone to a redder shade. Maple will darken slightly, and walnut will actually lighten with age.
Not to be left out, even cabinet hardware and faucets made a showing at this year’s events in a trendy mix of metals, alongside lighting and appliances. Some experts recommend choosing metal hardware that compliments each finish.
Pair nickel with wood finishes and oil-rubbed bronze to stand out against white, for example. One exciting trend even takes faucets to a whole new level with a mix of metals directly on the faucets themselves. Think of the possibilities!
Review inspiration and the online catalog of cabinets, cabinet hardware and faucets. Find the look you desire, and add the images to the myProSource Project Center to share with your friends and, of course, your trade professional.
Whatever combination you choose, ProSource has an eye on the trends and a handle on the materials you’ll need.
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