When it comes to the perfect kitchen, we each have our own ideas of perfection – from French Country to sleek minimalistic chrome. Images of bright, airy kitchens with the latest designs of countertops, cabinets, appliances and islands fill our minds and we keep thinking of new things that will make our kitchens unique and comfortable. There are so many choices in kitchen remodeling today that everyone is spoiled for choice. Whether you’re just trying to or do a complete remodel of the entire kitchen, here are a few of the kitchen remodeling trends to consider as you move forward with your project.

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Brighter is Better

Gone are the days of dark, dank kitchens. Bright lights and lots of functional space is what is in vogue today. So when you’re designing your kitchen, keep this in mind. Even if you have a small kitchen, that does not mean your kitchen has feel dark or close. When designing for light, try to opt for large windows, transparent curtains to let the light in, soft colors to reflect light everywhere and increasing storage space by creating ceiling-high cabinets.

Universal Designs

When it comes to kitchen remodeling, a lot of people prefer universal designs which are ideal for remodeling kitchens into spaces that grow with you. Today, kitchen remodeling is quite expensive, which means you want to get it right the first time. Why not opt for Universal Design principles which feature movable countertops, base cabinet drawers and drawer microwaves? This way, your kitchen offers you flexibility whether your family grows or you want to host large dinner parties.

Efficient Storage

One of the biggest and best kitchen remodeling trends is using cabinets for efficient storage. Today, with kitchens being the heart of the home, there’s more need for storage if you like to avoid the ‘cluttered’ look. Why not opt for pull-out cabinets, overhead-to-ceiling cabinets and hidden pantry doors? This will give you more functional space to work in as well as more storage space. It’s a win-win for both design and functionality.

Countertops and Cabinets

When you’re trying to upgrade your home’s kitchen fixtures, the first things that come to mind are the cabinets and countertops. Always try to opt for durable, aesthetic and efficient fixtures for your kitchen to save you time. Marble countertops might look good and be long-lasting, but they also require more maintenance that granite. Shaker style cabinets are aesthetic and long-lasting too, which is why you might want to go in that direction. No matter what you choose, remember to look into the durability factor of your kitchen fixtures. It’s also important to look at smaller fixtures, such as your sinks and faucets.

Increase in Functional Space

The functional space of the kitchen is the amount of space you have to move around and get the cooking done. The trend today is to opt for larger living rooms and smaller kitchens, while maximizing functional space. Why go for huge kitchens and waste space that could be better occupied for another room? Today’s design experts recommend going into kitchen renovations with a mindset of maximizing the space you use to prep and serve meals.

Today is a great time to be renovating your kitchen. The options are endless. Balance the larger design principles that you’re considering with attention to the smaller details, and you’ll end up with a kitchen you love.

About the author: Ernie Cooper is a retired carpenter who now shares his expertise on remodels and interior design with clients and through newspapers and online columns.