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Changes in room design have found their way into the kitchen

February 14, 2014

Bryson StripWhile it's still the heart of the home, activities in kitchens have changed considerably since your grandmother's day. 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. As a result, many of the changes have led to new furnishings and building materials, including wood floors like Anderson's Bryson Strip collection - Hardwood Floor.

"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," interior design writer Ronnie Whelan told About Property.

One of the challenges of meeting the needs of a modern kitchen means coordinating cabinets and appliances in a way that won't disrupt travel patterns needed for food preparation. For instance, if the homeowners want a workspace where they can do paperwork or use a laptop, it's location is important.

Old 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 countertop.

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 colors
In recent years, kitchen hues have moved away from Tuscan shades like terracotta to bolder colors that offset light and dark wood cabinetry. According to, 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 as well as wood panels that homeowners can use over appliances to coordinate with cabinets and hardwood flooring.

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 doesn't usually 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.