At Grothouse Lumber Company, the black and white trend is seen by homeowners requesting white cabinetry and dark wood countertops. Wenge, an African wood a shade darker than walnut, is becoming a trendy choice. Endgrain
The Grothouse End Grain Countertop in hickory and walnut checkerboard with a solid walnut border. Design by Mary S. Mitchell of MES Mitchell Interiors, LLC. Photo courtesy of Grothouse Lumber Co.
countertops come in beautiful designs and are finished with food-safe mineral oil. Being able to chop your onions right on the counter, without having to look for a cutting board, brings an extra level of functionality to your kitchen.
Incorporating Universal Design in the Kitchen As more and more Baby Boomers reach retirement age, ease of use in the kitchen becomes a prevailing consideration when doing a kitchen remodel. “You’ll want to find appliances that will be easy to use, easy to clean, and have graphics that are large enough that you can see them well,” says Martina. "A lot of times when you are designing for an older person [he or she] might switch to electric on the cooktop over the gas just because it is easier to clean. Whether it’s a remodel or new construction, homeowners are taking into consideration the idea of aging in place.”
Bending and squatting can be a challenge, especially if you are lifting a Thanksgiving turkey. Fagor’s side-opening 24-inch European Convection Wall Oven can be placed at any height and is flush with the cabinetry.
With no exposed heating element, induction ranges are a safer cooking choice. Their smooth ceramic surface makes for easy cleanup as well. Dishdrawers can be easier to load and unload, especially when installed at an elevated point in your lower cabinetry. The Fagor Dishwasher Column Storage Center is designed to sit 18 inches above the floor and eliminates the need to bend or stretch while loading or unloading most of your dishes.
Budget concerns are destined to enter your thinking as you plan for your remodel, but remember that you can add a little bit of pizzazz in the form of affordable luxuries. Select an economical sink but spend a little extra to get a sophisticated faucet. Pendant lights can become a conversation piece for a minimal investment. And remember that even high-end manufacturers often have offerings at various price levels. So, if you can’t afford the top-of-the-line model, Martina recommends that you consider something further down the price list. You’ll still get great quality at a price you can afford.