Joe Ferrantegennaro, the owner of Tampa’s Bath & Kitchen Gallery, says the move toward simplicity in kitchen design began last decade, and it is going strong in 2020. The transitional style — a happy medium between the colorful and ornate traditional style and the more stark, minimalist modern style — dominates, with white being the overwhelming color of choice.
“People say they want clean looks and not a lot of molding. Whereas 20 years ago, that’s what we were doing — a lot of embellishments and molding,” he says. “Now, the keywords seem to be clean looks and clean design, nothing over the top or fancy.”
Here’s what’s trending in kitchens across Tampa Bay.
While traditional stainless steel is still the most popular choice for appliances, Ferrantegennaro says some customers are starting to take an interest in black stainless steel. To fit a more modern, all-white color scheme, other customers have taken to matte white options, says Jacob Crawford, the founder of Jacob Morgan Contracting. The Café line of appliances from GE is becoming a particular favorite, as are any appliances with smart technology that can be programmed via smartphone, he adds.
“Shaker is still the No. 1 selling style,” Ferrantegennaro says. Shaker cabinets are a defining piece of the transitional-style kitchen and are characterized by their recessed center panel. Modern kitchens tend to feature flat panel doors with no hardware. Painted white cabinets are in demand for both styles, though Ferrantegennaro’s clients are increasingly requesting blue cabinets as an accent. Crawford adds that cabinets in a darker tone like navy, black or emerald green can provide a pop of color and visual interest in the space.
To keep a more cohesive look between the cabinets and the appliances, try installing the microwave within an island drawer instead of over the range. In our hectic world, Crawford says, kitchen design is moving toward a more harmonious, peaceful place. “We’ve strayed away from cluttered counters and have been opting for discreet storage and clean lines,” he notes.
FIXTURES & FINISHES
Knobs, handles and faucets are where you can let your creativity shine through. “We tell people it’s like your jewelry, and it’s very personal,” Ferrantegennaro says. He notes that a recent study by a knob manufacturer asked 50,000 men and women what they noticed first in a kitchen. Men noticed a variety of elements, from colors to countertops, with no feature clearly standing out to all men. “But the overwhelming No. 1 thing that females noticed were the knobs and the pulls,” Ferrantegennaro says. “It’s like the bling of the kitchen.” As such, his team has been going a bit bigger with cabinet pulls, choosing 6, 10 or even 12-inch options over a traditional 3-inch.
TOPS & SPLASHES
Quartz is still the countertop of choice for most homeowners. It has a classic look, is nonporous and is resistant to germs, which will become an increasingly important factor in home renovations. For backsplashes, the pairing of a white subway tile with a farmhouse sink that has taken over Instagram is high in demand. “A twist on the subway would be a larger tile, like a 4×12 [instead of a typical 3×6],” Ferrantegennaro says. Crawford says some of his clients have been loving slab backsplashes. As the name suggests, this style is one piece of continuous material (like marble) across the entire wall, connected to a countertop of the same material. “It’s so clean, and it adds the right amount of drama to any kitchen,” he says.
“Anything that looks like plank is probably the most popular,” Ferrantegennaro says. Porcelain plank and waterproof vinyl plank are the most popular, as they snap together to look like wood but are softer on feet. “Older customers like it as well because it has a little more cushion to it,” he adds. Extending flooring from adjoining rooms, rather than switching to a traditional tile floor in the kitchen, helps create an open floor plan in your home, Crawford notes.