Compromising in Kitchen Design

In a new survey of industry pros conducted by the NKBA, clean-lined styling was named the top 2016 kitchen trend. What’s in: Flat-front cabinetry, counters with mitered rather than rounded edges, high-contrast palettes and large, simple pulls. What’s (relatively) out: the crown molding, corbels, soft hues, ornate hardware and tiling of Tuscan, French provincial and other traditional styles. (

Guys, it’s time to take back the kitchen.

Making a Man Cave in the Kitchen

While women tend to prefer more aesthetically pleasing additions to the kitchen…items like crown molding and custom-designed tiling…men tend to prefer more functionality and ease-of-use. Women want the kitchen for entertaining, men want the kitchen for quickly making a masterpiece meal in the most efficient manner.

Another emerging form of the manly kitchen borrows the aesthetic of high-performance sports cars. Upscale German kitchen manufacturer Poggenpohl has collaborated with Porsche Design Studio (yes, that Porsche) to engineer a modular kitchen with finishes such as black lacquer and gray walnut set in stainless steel frames. Touch-assisted drawer and cabinet closures obviate hardware.

When you sit down with our kitchen designers, we will take every preference into account and develop a kitchen that will appease everyone in the house.

Perhaps he wants taller countertops to account for his taller statue, and she wants a beautiful backsplash to match the color and theme of the home…this can be accomplished!

Perhaps he wants all the tech that is fit for the kitchen, and she wants appliances that will feed a dinner party…not a problem!

Let’s take a look at some of the kitchen differences that men and women have, according to the Wall Street Journal:

Potent color. Predictably enough, a lot of men like dark and bold hues, offset with blackor white. Designer Lisa Steinbach Schecter of Kitchens on Montana in Santa Monica, Calif., recently used a “very crisp and clean” palette of charcoal gray, dark woods, and white to revamp a Los Angeles bachelor’s condo kitchen. (He doesn’t really cook much, she noted, but wanted a set-up that might inspire him to.)

Beefed-up hardware. Big paws need big pulls, so male cooks should do hands-on testing. New York designer Young Huh likes warmer metals for a masculine look: “Brass and bronze are very popular—a little different from the typical chrome.”

Gadget pride. Men, designers find, have no interest in concealing equipment. Colorful appliances are trending, too; HGTV’s John Colaneri, co-host of “Kitchen Cousins” and “America’s Most Desperate Kitchens,” chose a bright-red Bertazzoni range for his own kitchen (“sprayed in the same factory that does Ferraris!”).

A second sink. Including suitably straightforward hardware. In his client’s Upper West Side kitchen, New York architect James Ramsey installed the industrial Dornbracht Tara Classic Single-Lever Mixer, with a spray-faucet attachment worthy of the local firehouse.

Elevated counters. Or at least one of them. Elijah and Kelty White, a Wellesley, Mass., couple who recently remodeled their kitchen, opted to raise their central island to 38 inches, 2 inches over standard. (Thicker countertops are one way to manage this.) Perimeter counters remained the standard 36 inches high.

Ample entertainment. A wireless sound system and smart TV can be controlled with a smartphone. New York designer Bob Schwartz prizes the Sonos system for its compactness and crystalline sound. “I tuck it on a high shelf in the pantry,” he said.

Super-tough surfaces. For counters, Ms. Huh recommended low-maintenance quartz and other engineered stone products, which are resistant to stains and scratches, ”in uniform colors—not a lot of speckled stone.” Caesarstone and Silestone are the big names in this category.

Power to spare. Ranges, exhaust systems and dishwashers should be heavy-duty. With a powerful stove, choose a hood designed for high BTUs, advised Ms. Huh. (It will also do a better job Hoovering all the smoke you create as you learn to train your dragon.)

Vent hood clearance. To avoid headbanging when tasting the pistou, hang the hood high, but not so high it’s ineffective; follow manufacturers’ guidelines.

Scope for performance. Outfit the island with seats and space for socializing. Avid home cook Howard Kurtzman, from L.A., who worked with Kitchens on Montana, made sure his 6-by-5½-foot center island was wide enough that “guests can share the space with me but not get in the way.”

No matter who’s in charge of the kitchen design, we’ll make it work for everyone!!

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