Visiting a few kitchen showrooms will reveal several trends such as simpler styling, which will enable consumers to more easily sell their home as the economy improves. Eat-in kitchens are still popular, but the bar-style counter has been extended to look more like a table; the extension is designed to allow diners to sit around the edge and face one another, rather than sit in a line. More consumers want products with sustainable materials, safety features such as lockouts that prevent stove burners from being turned on accidentally, and energy-saving features such as LED lights; the top choice for countertops remains granite, but quartz is coming on strong. Lighting gives homeowners an opportunity to express their personality, as hand-blown glass shades on pendant lights, contemporary drum shades and elegant chandeliers are options; there is also a big preference for natural lighting via windows, skylights or reflective light tubes. Manufacturers are offering shallower refrigerators and drawer models for smaller kitchens. Bars are making their way into the kitchens for convenience, and often the kitchen desk is being taken out to free the space; bar cabinets that look like pantries are popular, according to Barbara Dillick of Kitchen Design Group in Bath Township, Ohio. Also, homeowners are playing it safe with neutral colors for permanent items such as cupboards, countertops and flooring, but they are choosing bold hues such as persimmon or pomegranate for walls, accessories and appliances. | Read More