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Addition of wood floors is one of the innovations in today's kitchens

October 08, 2013

Hardwood FloorsOver the years, activities that take place in the kitchen have expanded. Setting up different areas to meet modern needs may require coordinating cabinets and appliances around them in a way that won't disrupt travel patterns needed for food preparation. Kitchen flooring has changed too, and now includes beautiful hardwood floors like those in Anderson's Sugar House collection.

Still the heart of the home, kitchens are now places where people can watch cooking in progress while homeowners entertain and kids can use the family computer at a desk nook in the corner.

"With a trend for more open-plan living, the kitchen is the hub of the home where all the family can congregate, so it can cater for many different other activities and makes it worth spending the money on, as well as adding value to your property," said Ronnie Whelan, editor of Essential Kitchen Bathroom Bedroom magazine.

Different Arrangements
A work space set aside in the kitchen as a place to use a laptop or catch up on paperwork can be part of a room design that's a boon to all members of the family.

OldHouse.com reported that homeowners can get a lot of use from a desk extension at the end of a long countertop. Children can use it to get their homework done, while adults can set it up as their bill-paying and home planning center. When more room is needed for kitchen duties, office supplies can be whisked into a drawer installed under the counter top.

While storage is always important in a kitchen, don't install more than what's needed or there will be a temptation to fill it up with lots of unused items.

New Color Patterns
In recent years, colors used in kitchens have moved away from Tuscan shades like terracotta to bolder hues that offset light and dark wood cabinetry. According to HGTV.com, colors like vibrant blue tones and stone gray aren't restricted to accent walls any longer. They are strong choices to offset stainless steel appliances and wood floors.

Designer Jamie Drake, author of New American Glamour, told the design channel that many kitchens don't have much open wall space so if a brighter color is used, it isn't as likely to overpower the room.

For those who prefer neutral shades on their walls, there are still many ways in which accent colors can be introduced. Whelan said homeowners are increasingly choosing to mix and match different colors to put their own stamp on their home design.