Metal cabinets, barn doors and other kitchen trends seen on the Street of Dreams home tour, which ends Sunday … –

Large or small, a kitchen is the busiest room in the house. How do you make the most of a space that needs to store, prepare and serve food while creating memories of shared meals?

Make it your own.

A recent study by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) found that the average size of a kitchen in newly built single-family houses is 161 square feet, or just under 13 feet by 13 feet.

With limited space, you can’t squeeze in every new gadget and the high cost to remodel has most homeowners staying with timeless finishes that won’t go out of style.

Still, everybody dreams of making at least one change to their kitchen. For that reason, we’re listing the top 10 kitchen trends this year, according to the 2017 NKBA Design Trends Survey.

  1. Clean lines, built-ins and simple door styles dominate kitchen designs. Contemporary-styled kitchens overtake traditional as the second most popular design after transitional. Looks with emerging appeal are industrial and midcentury modern.
  2. White- and gray-painted cabinets dominate kitchen color schemes and show no signs of slowing down, especially gray. Blue painted and high-gloss cabinets are moving up. For overall color schemes, blue and black are coming back.
  3. Two-toned kitchens are gaining in popularity. Also mixing it up: Materials and metals, across surfaces and as accents.
  4. While wood cabinets dominate kitchen designs, metal — currently a small segment of the cabinet market — is getting attention. Metal cabinets are most frequently specified by younger and male designers.
  5. Furniture-look pieces, roll-outs, pullouts and under cabinet lighting (LED) are among the most popular kitchen cabinet features. Use of crown molding is declining. Rustic and reclaimed woods were frequently mentioned by designers in the survey.
  6. Quartz is the most popular kitchen counter material, and trending up. Granite, the second most popular, is trending down.
  7. Induction cooktops and convection ovens are trending higher, and microwave drawers are outpacing freestanding or built-in microwaves. Steam ovens still represent a small segment of the market, but are also liked.
  8. Use of technology in the kitchen is increasing. About one third of NKBA professionals included wiring and pathways for future tech integration. Also incorporated in kitchen design are more Internet-connected appliances and docking stations.
  9. Interior barn and pocket doors are being installed in more kitchens.
  10. Accessible and universal design features continue to be requested for kitchens.

Many of the most desired kitchen features — along with high-end perks — are displayed in the NW Natural Street of Dreams tour of five new luxury homes, organized by the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland. The tour is open is 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, from Saturday, July 29 through Sunday, Aug. 27 ($20, 503-684-1880,

— Janet Eastman


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