5 Kitchen remodel trends

May 30, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. ET

Undertaking a kitchen remodel is a big investment of time, energy and money, so you want to make sure you get it right. Following one (or more!) of these five kitchen remodel trends will ensure that you maximize your investment now and in the future.

Wide open kitchen

1A green theme

One of the hottest trends in kitchen remodels is "going green," and you can be sure that this is one trend that won't be fading anytime soon. The nice thing is that as technology improves, environmentally-conscious options just keep getting better. Consider some of the following ways to green-up your kitchen:

  • Purchasing high-efficiency appliances
  • Using wood products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council to ensure that sustainable forest management practices were used when harvesting the wood
  • Installing countertops made from recycled or sustainable materials like concrete, recycled glass, bamboo or even recycled paper
  • Incorporating energy-efficient lighting
  • Planning a kitchen recycling and compost center

Don't miss these eco-friendly kitchen appliances >>

    2Wide open spaces

    If your kitchen is currently closed in and cramped, you'll want to open that baby up! Knock out a few walls and create a kitchen that flows smoothly from the food preparation zone to the living areas of the house. While you're at it, you'll probably want to incorporate living space into your kitchen as well, making it easy to interact with your family and friends while you're cooking. The more seamless you make your living and kitchen spaces, the more on-trend you'll be.

    3Clean lines

    Traditionally, kitchens have used knotty woods and intricate moldings as design features, but for the first time ever, modern cabinetry and clean lines are becoming the norm in kitchen redesigns. Cabinets are simple and sleek, colors are stark whites and blacks with a pop of bright color and cabinet hardware is understated or non-existent. Even if "modern" isn't your style, choosing smooth, monochromatic woods or black cabinetry can clean up your kitchen without making it look stark.

    What's your kitchen style? Take our quiz to find out! >>

    4Hidden appliances

    When shopping for kitchen appliances, make sure you really take a look at what's available. In an effort to create uncluttered kitchens, appliance manufacturers have gotten creative, coming up with new ways to incorporate appliances into the space. You can purchase drawer appliances like microwaves, refrigerators, warming trays and dishwashers that are built right into your cabinetry. You can also "hide away" small appliances on your countertop by using countertop appliance garages.

    5Layered lighting

    Kitchens used to depend on a single, oversized fluorescent light to illuminate the workspace, but well-placed, layered lighting systems are the current kitchen lighting trend. Recessed overhead lights, under-cabinet lights, interior cabinet lights and pendant lights are just a few of the options regularly incorporated into a full kitchen lighting scheme.

    More kitchen design tips

    10 Tips for your redesign project
    Energy-efficient appliances
    Choosing kitchen countertops