Dream Kitchens from a San Antonio Perspective

Kitchen remodeling is one of the most complex projects anyone can ever take on, especially if you are not a design expert. Projects like this, for one of the most used rooms in the home, require not only having a grasp on your budget, but also grappling with the size and scale of your kitchen and the look you have been dreaming to create. Your dream becomes a reality when you begin selecting cabinets and their hardware, countertops, lighting and plumbing fixtures. Having someone help you make those decisions is wonderful, and knowing where to start can be overwhelming. To help you take those first important steps in creating your dream kitchen, SAN ANTONIO WOMAN spoke with local experts in kitchen design to identify top trends making their way into some of San Antonio’s most extraordinary culinary retreats. Those experts include Roland Franco, showroom coordinator for Allen & Allen Co.; Gene Philipps, owner of Cabinetry Designs; Shari Keyes, showroom consultant for National Wholesale Supply; Lynley Serratt, director of sales and marketing for Palmer Todd; Kelly Parrish Walker, vice president of marketing for Parrish on Main and Laura Nicosia, franchise owner, ShelfGenie of San Antonio.

The Look: Sleek and Airy
“A huge trend we see happening in the kitchen is the marriage between classic and modern elements.  Transitional is a word use often,” explains Lynley Serratt, director of sales and marketing for Palmer Todd, who is also a certified kitchen and bath designer. “One of our projects showcases this marriage. We did a kitchen with a classic perimeter and modern blue island — this shows the blending of styles using a high-gloss focal piece in the center,” explains Serratt. “Another good example of a modern statement piece was used in another kitchen we recently completed.  We chose to incorporate a custom glass tile backsplash in a chevron pattern. You can have a simple cabinet door style, yet using interesting design features such as lighting and tile for texture and color helps to add the ‘jewelry’ that completes the look of the space.”

“Many homeowners today are drawn to professional-type appliances enhanced by transitional-style cabinetry,” explains Kelly Parrish Walker, vice president of marketing for Parrish On Main. “We are also designing spaces with open clean lines, such as floating shelves and cut glass doors.” With more than 40 years of experience in helping people realize their dream kitchens, Gene Philipps, owner of Cabinetry Designs, describes the new surface choices he is seeing his customers make: “Countertop trends are going to the quartz surfaces (not natural stone but rather manufactured products) and composite materials. People are also gravitating toward honed finishes rather than a shiny appearance.”

Trend-2Cabinetry: Form and Function
Roland Franco, showroom coordinator for Allen & Allen Co., talked with us about the scale of today’s kitchen. “Today’s kitchen has increased in size and the cabinetry along with it. Now cabinets are 42 inches tall and sometimes another cabinet is stacked on top, making cabinets appear taller. With this change in size and scale, the industry is now producing larger scale hardware,” he says. Parrish on Main’s Kelly Parrish Walker tells us, “A lot of what we are seeing are painted cabinets, the whites or grays. Customers want soft-close doors and drawers and are expecting to have pullout shelving for full functionality.  Many designs also incorporate cabinetry to the ceiling and stacked crown molding to really personalize the space.”

“We are beginning to do more automated kitchen features simply because our product line can achieve this,” explains Cabinetry Design’s Philipps “One feature that is now common is the drawer that opens at a touch. There is a mechanism inside that makes that work, and it is not expensive.”

Hardware with Personality
“What we inform our clients is to consider your cabinetry as you would your furniture in your home. That cabinetry should stand alone as its own furniture piece. Pick hardware that is appropriate for the scale, style and finish appropriate to the cabinetry,” recommends Allen & Allen Co.’s Franco. “Some people are doing a standard overlay cabinet and not using hardware at all to maintain a clean look and save costs.  Others go all out to match fixtures or appliances with tubular handles,” Parrish Walker goes on to say. “Hardware style runs the gamut,” says Franco. “We see sleek and modern in stainless steel or elaborate carved metal or frosted crystals embedded within. As far as finishes, previously polished chrome was popular, then oil-rubbed bronze became the trend. Now, we are seeing polished nickel and even ‘unlacquered’ brass so that it tarnishes and patinas over time. The latest finish of choice is currently satin brass. Manufacturers are brushing it for a matte lighter appearance.”

Franco continues, “There are even options to wrap leather around your cabinet hardware pulls.  One might think this option won’t wear well or last, but one ‘Made in the USA’ option uses a high-grade furniture-grade leather, which they guarantee will not wear.”

Lighting: Bold and Artistic
“We are seeing the use of bold lighting fixtures and accents,” explains Serratt. Lighting fixtures in kitchens are often pendant lights.  The glass globes can either be large or clustered, often arranged as an art piece.”

Trend-4Kitchen Appliances:
Professional Feel “GE Monogram has come out with a French door oven — a new concept for our offerings at Parrish on Main.  This has a European commercial look that really complements transitional cabinetry. Instead of doing double ovens, a lot of people are substituting one of the ovens with a microwave and convection dual-purpose oven, such as GE’s Advantium. This gives you the same look as double ovens, but saves space since it’s a microwave combo,” says Parrish on Main’s Kelly Parrish-Walker.

Faucets and Sinks
Make a Splash “When people are remodeling or doing new home construction, they want plumbing to be more functional,” says Shari Keyes, showroom consultant for National Wholesale Supply.

“People are also trending toward stainless steel farm-style sinks that are more modern and contemporary. We have sold a lot of farm-style stainless steel sinks. It gives a different look from the regular undermount sink,” says Keyes. “When making that choice, people need to keep in mind that stainless steel will require a little more maintenance. However, when we sell stainless steel or cast iron sinks, we sell bottom grids/racks to protect the surface of the sink that saves on the finish over the years.”

Keyes goes on to explain, “If people like to entertain, they will have their pot fillers by their cooktop. It is still traditional but with a modern feel to it. And they may also have an extra bar or veggie prep sink, where they can put wine or beverages with ice when entertaining.

“As an example, Moen’s MotionSense faucet allows you to run your hand across the top to turn on or off. Delta Touch faucets offer on-and-off functionality activated by touch,” explains Keyes.
Out-Of-Sight Storage
“Customization of storage spaces has become more important,” says Cabinetry Designs’ Philipps. “Traditionally, you would have a pantry with shelves. A client may want to customize that space for the products they use. Instead of a shelf, they may have something like a shelf that moves out or a spice rack on the door.”

“Many have already upgraded to granite or quartz countertops and don’t want to replace their cabinets. Custom-built sliding shelves can be installed in existing cabinets and pantries to maximize storage space and give total access to heavy appliances, pots and pans and other kitchen items.”

ShelfGenie’s Nicosia goes on to recommend, “Dividers can be installed in upper and lower cabinets to keep flat items like cookie sheets and cutting boards upright and easy to reach.  Pull-out trash/recycling centers are also popular and keep trips to the garage at a minimum. Even plastic storage containers tend to multiply, and matching the lids to the bases becomes difficult without smart storage. Also, a deep pull-out shelf can be installed with a movable divider that allows the lids to be stored upright on one side and the nested bases on the other.”

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