The latest colors and trends are tempting, but a kitchen should be timeless, says Barbara Miller, design director for the Neil Kelly design and remodeling company.
It’s expensive to remodel a kitchen, and cabinets can make up 30% of the costs, so make sure you or an owner five to 10 years in the future won’t think the look has gone out of style, she says.
A sure-fire solution: White cabinets.
Since Neil Kelly started remodeling homes in Portland in 1947, “we have never stopped selling white cabinets,” says Miller, referencing a statement made by owner Tom Kelly, whose father founded the company.
She says styles and hardware have changed, but white remains popular in the Pacific Northwest, as does wood-grain cabinets.
The easiest way to ensure a kitchen has a timeless feel is to match key elements with the architecture and era of the house: A Colonial Revival house works best with traditional cabinets, while a midcentury design shines with sleek, flat panel cabinet doors and a Northwest ranch benefits from a transitional style in wood tones.
Selecting neutral materials and colors for cabinetry and large surfaces may seem unexciting, but there are ways to make a statement with wall color, knobs and pulls, and fixtures that can be changed in a day without having to undergo a full remodel.
A new pendant light over the island can help make a kitchen look up-to-date, Miller says.
People considering a kitchen remodel typically ask Miller if they can keep existing cabinets. She says cosmetic upgrades are possible if the design and layout still look and function well.
She explains what needs to be considered when deciding to renew or replace cabinets:
- Quality of existing cabinets. If the cabinets have a peeling finish, new paint will peel too, says Miller. Large