The kitchen is often referred to as the heart of the home—a place where people gather. Understandably, a kitchen should be a very personal space that defines who the homeowners are, fitting seamlessly into their lifestyle. As a result, trends in kitchen design are shifting toward convenience, comfort and simplicity.

David Havens, Global Granite & Marble

>  Granite in a kitchen is a great way to personalize it, because there are so many different colors and movements. When you select a color of granite, it’s a very personal thing—you just don’t order green.

>  Granite is the most durable material you can use, and once it’s sealed, it’s almost bullet proof. Sealers can last up to 15 years.

>  For backsplashes, glass and mosaics are very popular as decorative accents.

>  Five years ago, people would have never put marble in their kitchens, but Vermont Danby has changed that. It’s one of the best, densest marbles in the world. It comes from a 100-year-old quarry in Vermont, and is even more dense than some granites.

>  There is a trend toward black and white kitchens, with a white marble island and a black granite perimeter.

Tricia Sinn, Sinn Design Build

>  In the last two or three years, things have become simpler in kitchens, with simpler lines, door styles and trim. With people actually using their kitchens again, they want well-thought-out spaces, like big drawers for pots right under the cooktop, spice drawers, and coffee and baking centers.

>  Microwave drawers are the latest big thing. The drawer pulls out, and the controls are right on top. Then when you remove your food item, you set it on the counter.

>  We are removing planning desks and installing butler’s pantries. You can serve from it, and it provides more storage.

We also are putting in banquettes, which provide storage and can even have bookcases. But it’s using the same cabinetry from the kitchen, flowing into the breakfast room.     

>  Another trend is spa-like colors. People are getting away from the bright yellows, greens and reds and are going with blue-grays and green-grays.

>  Heated floors under porcelain or stone tile are gaining in popularity. There are two different types: electric and radiant—and when you come into the kitchen in the morning, it’s incredible!

More Special Features articles.