Interview by Mari Morales
We asked four talented designers in Colorado to give us their expert opinion on these trending topics in cabinetry. Here is what they had to say.
1. Between painted or natural wood cabinets, which do you believe can create a more timeless look?
Elizabeth: I think a painted white cabinet can be extremely versatile, and, timeless and provide longevity in any aesthetic. With that said, I think it also comes down to the character of a house, and being consistent and respectful of the current aesthetic.
Kimberly: White cabinets will never go out of style, but I love the natural beauty of wood cabinets. Unpainted natural wood cabinets are a classic and timeless look that has endured many trends and styles, and has lasted for centuries. They instantly add warmth to a room, are very versatile, and can go with your changing interior styles and décor.
Barb & Catherine: We think stained wood is a more timeless look but with a simpler finish. Glazes tend to go in and out of style. Paint colors tend to be trendier as well, depending if you go with a color beyond a neutral one.
Kim G: A white kitchen will always stand the test of time. You will see it in new homes as well as historic homes. Wood can also be timeless, but again I would nod to colors and finishes from the past. Quarter-sawn white oak is very popular now but was used regularly in older homes, particularly in Craftsman style.
2. Are there any smart technology features you predict we will see trending with cabinetry in 2024?
Elizabeth: I think we will see more integration with smart technology in cabinetry in regards to cabinet lighting linked to Smart Home devices. Setting scenes and schedules for these lights to work together to create an ambiance in a room. I'm also getting a lot of requests to incorporate charging stations in the kitchens I design.
Kimberly: I feel we will see more hidden charging stations in cabinetry. We have technology in our fridge that allows us to see items inside - why not your pantry or cabinets?
Barb & Catherine: We are hoping to install more In-cabinet automated lighting for cabinets such as a sink base where it can be very dark, drawer bases, etc., not just cabinets that have glass. Also, touch lift-up doors seem to be popular with our clients.
Kim G: Countertops with a charger built in that you set your phone on. Whole house controls expanding to all items including appliances and plumbing. There are options for motorized cabinetry doors, which aid in lifting higher doors and heavier base cabinets such as a trash pull-out.
3. What are some pros and cons to consider when deciding between open or closed shelving?
Elizabeth: When I'm discussing functional storage with a client, we walk through their current space and decide what the storage needs are for their new kitchen. I like a mix of closed and open shelving, to give my clients flexibility and versatility. Making sure a space has adequate functional storage for cereal boxes and mix-matched coffee mugs, doesn't mean you can't have some open shelving for plants, pottery, and personalized items.
Kimberly: The main items to consider for open shelving are your storage needs and if you can maintain the shelfs- so they are not crammed with misc. items. Open shelves are great in small spaces - they can make a kitchen feel larger, but if the shelves are not maintained and they turn into a catchall shelf - the kitchen can instantly look smaller and cramped.
Barb & Catherine: Open shelving is great for displaying cookbooks, photos, etc. In our mountain community we are always fighting dust. Not a deal breaker, but a consideration.
Kim G: This is a very personal decision. I always advise my clients to look at how they live when deciding on open shelving. I generally recommend a balance, having plenty of wall cabinets, yet open shelving is great in special areas, such as coffee bars or entertainment areas.