A focal point, the place that brings everyone together and a room that expands and opens to the home – it’s easy to see why the kitchen is a dominant area of your home, especially during the holidays. Understandably, you want your kitchen to be up-to-date and easily functional, while also staying true to classic, stylish design. Below are a few of the current trends in kitchens that we’re seeing our clients add in their home. And in honor of the holidays and the fact that so many holiday and family traditions and memories begin in the kitchen, be sure to scroll to the bottom of the blog to view a collection of our teams’ favorite recipes!
Bold and Sophisticated, Black is Back
Black is being used more and more in kitchens. Whether it’s black countertops or black stainless steel appliances, many buyers are looking for a dark alternative over the traditional white and silver. This isn’t the first time that the bold color has made its appearance this year. A modernized black is the most daring color trend of 2018, backed by paint companies like PPG paints, which named “Black Flame” as their 2018 Color of the Year, and Glidden Paints tapping “Deep Onyx.” And, while white cabinetry is still very popular, we’re not seeing “all-white” kitchens, but rather white being paired with soft grays and semi-opaque cream finishes, especially as contrast-colored islands or different upper and lower cabinet colors.
Extra Storage, Oversized Islands
Perfect for playing host to everything from homework to happy hour, many of our clients select oversized islands with seating options and additional storage space. Islands used to play an important role in allowing homeowners to gain more countertop for cooking, but it’s really taken on a whole new life in today’s kitchen. They’re now the focal point of the room for social and family interaction, connecting the kitchen with the larger living areas.
Creative Displays, Tile Backsplash
An area of the kitchen sometimes overlooked, but still important, is the backsplash. It needs to blend seamlessly between the countertops and cabinets yet protect the wall from splatters during food preparation and cooking. The tile patterns range from chevron and herringbone to Moroccan fish scale and laser cut. Aside from the look, the standard size, 3” x 6” is also changing. The standard large format size is 4″x 8″ or even a 4″x 12″ for a bolder look. A large format subway tile backsplash can be especially helpful for a small kitchen where the large tiles create the perception of space.
Transition Space, Butler’s Pantry
The most traditional use for butler’s pantries was for storage. While a butler’s pantry can be great for storing extra kitchen supplies, linens, barware or holiday serving dishes, they can also serve a much larger purpose. Depending on your lifestyle needs, a butler’s pantry can double as a bar, serving station or prep space. If located adjacent to the dining room or other entertaining space, a butler’s pantry allows the host to prep for meals without having to go into the kitchen. Many larger butler’s pantries have sinks, dishwashers and wine coolers, all of which help to prep, serve and clean much easier.
We’re also seeing the combination of the traditional pantry and the butler’s pantry to create on spacious, walk-in workspace. These custom pantries include plenty of storage space for food, dishes and other items, while also featuring counter space for small appliances that are unsightly or just take up too much room in the kitchen.
If you’re looking for more news on kitchen trends or inspiration for your new custom home in Birmingham, visit us online at www.jwrightbuildingcompany.com.
Granny’s Peanut Butter Fudge by Beth Bryan
“Every year at Thanksgiving, my Granny would bring out The Fudge Plate (yes, it deserves to be capitalized – it is THAT sacred) and make a double batch of peanut butter fudge. She has been gone for 20 years now, but her fudge recipe still makes an appearance at our family gatherings.”
- 1 stick butter
- 2 cups sugar
- 2/3 cup evaporated milk
- 8 oz. jar marshmallow fluff
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Grease a glass plate of baking dish with butter.
- Put peanut butter and marshmallow fluff in a large bowl and set aside.
- Melt butter over medium heat in large saucepan.
- Add sugar and milk and bring to a roiling boil over medium-high heat for 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla.
- Pour mixture over peanut butter and marshmallow fluff and stir well.
- Pour onto greased dish and let set for an hour. Refrigerate if needed.
- Cut into squares once cooled.
- Eat with a spoon if it’s raining outside.
Oreo Chocolate Cream Cheesecake by Lindsey Wright
“I am known as the “Dessert Queen” because I love to make desserts for the holidays! I especially am known for making cheesecakes. Here is one of my favorites, which is always a hit, the Chocolate Oreo Cream Cheesecake from KraftFoods.com.”
- 32 Oreo chocolate creme cookies, divided
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 packages (4 oz. each) Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate, broken into pieces, melted and cooled
- 4 packages (8 oz. each) Philadelphia cream cheese, softened
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 4 eggs
- Heat oven to 325°.
- Quarter 20 cookies, set aside.
- Finely crush remaining cookies, then press onto bottom of 9″ springform pan sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake 10 minutes.
- Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with mixer until well blended.
- Add chocolate; mix well.
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended.
- Gently stir in 1 1/2 cups of the quartered cookies.
- Pour over crust and sprinkle with remaining quartered cookies.
- Bake 50 minutes to 1 hour until center is almost set.
- Run knife around rim of pan to loosen cake; cool before removing rim.
- Refrigerate 4 hours.
Sweet Potato Souffle by Jeremy Wright
“Family is hugely important to me, and I love to honor past generations by making old family recipes on the holidays. Here is one for Sweet Potato Souffle that my Granny always made for our family, and that we still make today!”
- 3 cups mashed sweet potatoes (or 29 oz. can drained)
- 3/4 stick of margarine
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 small can crushed pineapple, drained
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup flour
- 1/2 stock melted butter (not margarine!)
- 2 cup chopped pecans
- Mix all souffle ingredients and put in 9″ x 13″ dish.
- Mix all toppings together.
- Crumble over top of mixture.
- Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
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