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  • Whitmore Homes



Gone are the days where a doorway leads into a cramped room designed only for cooking. Kitchens are competing as the centerpiece for our home interactions. And why shouldn’t they be? As one of the most used rooms in the house, your kitchen should uphold a design that meets the functional needs of your everyday living, but also embodies your family’s style and personality. Fridge, sink, stove and oven are not forgotten, but what hardware is going to make your kitchen pop? What color cabinets will make or break its essence? What backsplash is going to blend it all together?


Here’s some helpful kitchen tips and trends to consider when designing your Grand Rapids custom home.


Color: While shooting for the moon with a dazzling bright red would definitely make your kitchen pop, today’s modern trends aren’t as much about color, as they are about contrast. In fact, many of our  homeowners and designers find white cabinets most desirable. In which case the contrast can be obtained in the details. Matte black hardware paired with matching light fixtures brilliantly transforms the otherwise plain cabinets into a bold, clean look. Also, offset the cabinets with a different hue along the island and you have yourself a wow factor.

If you are looking for a home-run on the modern scale, however, then colored cabinets are what you want to swing for. Any color that fits your style can be brought to life in your kitchen (although we have yet to see too many bright pink cabinets). The key lies, again, in contrast.  Black cabinetry and gold hardware offer an exciting pop. Any soft hue can be matched by a bold floor or countertop. Dark lower cabinets can be offset with light upper cabinets. Since there are so many pieces to a kitchen, so much of your style can be incorporated, and in today’s design world, nothing is off limits.

Layout: It’s time for an inventory check. Everyone has that one item in their kitchen that is less than ideal to store. Well, not in your custom home. Cabinet designs have evolved as much as kitchens themselves. Drawers are no longer just for silverware and other utensils. Think big. Two drawer units with soft close hardware; hefty enough to pull all the way out and deep enough to store any bulky cookware. Dust bunnies above upper cabinets have gone extinct in favor of cabinets extending to the ceiling. Floating shelves can be installed next to windows or walkways to allow more natural light and compliment the openness of your home. Custom cabinets are an important piece of your custom home and ensuring you have the right storage for your kitchenware is crucial. Which leads to the next exciting design feature you are not going to want to leave out!


Functionality is key here, as it has always been, but it’s time to take your custom pantry to the next level. Custom built shelves for microwaves, or a tucked away countertop for a coffee pot are a few ideas to enhance the value of your pantry and gain space in your kitchen. Efficiently laid out shelving that allows room for food storage and other seldom used appliances or seasonal dishware is a must. Adding a prep sink or second refrigerator can be convenient as well, and is a great way to lessen the mess in the kitchen. With all this in mind, it is important to consider your lighting options. Adding a window if possible or another light will make a substantial difference in the room’s functionality. Lastly, a proper custom pantry compliments the style of the kitchen. Replicating details such as cabinets, hardware, or trim allows for the pantry to become an extension of your kitchen. A spacious, well-organized pantry is essential for every custom home. 


If you want to make a statement, this is the space to do it. This is the moment to really showcase your personality. First you must think color—single color or decorative design? Anything goes here. If you went bold with the cabinets, a natural stone or a glossy finish is likely the way to go.

If you played it safe in the cabinet arena, then you can go the more decorative route. Next comes pattern. Will your backsplash be brick-layered, aligned straight, or laid in a herringbone pattern? This is a matter of preference as all styles can look flawless. A brilliant design idea, for both stunning and functional purposes, is to have a decorative niche above a stove, behind a sink, or behind a coffee station. A single-color backsplash paired with a decoratively tiled niche makes for a Pinterest worthy, jaw dropping kitchen. 


Can’t decide what to make for dinner? Refrigerators are now equipped with the technology to offer recipe suggestions based off the items in your fridge, using a camera installed on the inside. Ovens can connect to the wifi so you can preheat and shut them off from your smartphone. Bosch even introduced a make-to-order wifi enabled coffee machine . You cannot get much more custom than your very own microwave sized barista. 


At Whitmore Custom Homes not only do we love to educate ourselves and our customers on the newest trends and technology but we get a thrill out of working with so many talented interior designers and trade professionals that are able to put a different spin on the kitchen space.  The little details are what make the custom home experience different. If you are looking for a partner to help guide you through the ever changing design trends of today’s kitchen we would love to hear from you!    

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