Kitchen Cabinets Now Viewed As Furniture

WHEELING — When today’s consumers buy new kitchen cabinets, more and more they want those cabinets to look like living room furniture, according to one local kitchen designer.

And perhaps coordinating furniture in the kitchen is necessary, as homeowners also now want their cooking and dining areas  to flow directly into their family gathering areas.

Tom Smith, owner of Berry Supply Corp. in downtown Wheeling, said his customers are requesting “more open” style kitchens, which often means removing walls in the Ohio Valley’s older homes.

“People are wanting more of a living area than just a kitchen,” he said. “They’re combining their kitchens and dining rooms, because usually they’re close together.”

Cabinets are continuing up to the ceiling, and homeowners are eliminating bulkheads. Smith sees the open kitchen concept continuing for years to come.

Meanwhile, the current trend in color choice for cabinets is gray.

“They want their kitchens to look more finished, and for the cabinets to look more like furniture,” he said. “And while people are skill asking for white and lighter color cabinets, we are getting more requests for grey cabinets. But colors are cyclical, and that will change.”

As eating and dining areas become lighter and more open, consumers also want their kitchens neater, according to Smith.

“People are more organized, and they want certain things in certain places,” he said.

This has resulted in a number of new add-on options for cabinetry.

One type of cabinet has been designed to specifically fit a Kitchen Aid mixer. The mixer plugs in within the cabinet, and the appliance is on a shelf that can be lifted up and out to cabinet level. Built-in wastebaskets and garbage cans also are becoming popular with homeowners.

Smith, though, doesn’t see the concept of open shelving or cabinetry for homeowners becoming desirable in the long term.

“People tell me, ‘I don’t want to see clutter,'” he said. “If a glass-front cabinet is for a decorative purpose, that’s one thing. But in reality, people want to hide their stuff.”


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