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Living Space: Check out kitchen design trends for 2014

By By Kathryn Weber
Jan. 23, 2014 at midnight
Updated Jan. 22, 2014 at 7:23 p.m.

Wild colors are taking a back seat to neutral shades and high-contrast black-and-white kitchens with a neat, timeless look.

It's the one room in the house where everyone gathers every day. As the most popular spot in every home, why not make your kitchen the most attractive and inviting room, too? Here are some hot trends in kitchen decor:

The showcase kitchen

Without a doubt, today's kitchen is much more than a place to prepare food. With the continued emphasis on lifestyle and food, the kitchen is more of a draw than ever. Contemporary design capitalizes on this trend with lots of exciting elements to make the kitchen more of a living space.

Take lighting. Out are those little glass pendants suspended over an island. In are sizeable lighting fixtures that make a splash in the middle of the room. A good example is the drum pendant light fixture now taking center stage in kitchen design centers and magazines.

Simply changing your main fixture to one that is brighter and more prominent may be all it takes to give your kitchen a welcome makeover.

Specialty-focused

Kitchens continue to be focused on features like sustainability, cooking options and ease of use. Trends that favor energy savings are a key development. Touchless faucets save on water, and energy-stingy appliances can trim electric bills.

Integrated appliances are another important development. Topping the lists are appliances integrated into the cabinetry, making your kitchen more livable with their furniture-like appearance. Drawer appliances are part of the same trend.

Warming drawers have risen in popularity in the past few years, and refrigerated drawers to hold produce or drinks are finding their way into more kitchens.

We could even see microwave and dish-washing drawers soon. Such appliances will become more popular because of their ease of use and accessibility.

Countertop shift

While granite and marble remain the standard-bearers, we'll see more engineered countertops take hold, such as quartz and glass. These surfaces sport an attractive natural look, emphasize sustainability and are easy to care for.

Despite granite's reign as the ultimate countertop material, it's not easy to keep looking good. The high polishes on granite mean stains, smears and cleaning marks from sponges show up easily. Matte and less-polished finishes will become more popular as homeowners weary of all that rubbing.

Shift to neutral

Wild colors are taking a back seat to the high-contrast black-and-white kitchens rising in popularity. The clean backdrop of black and white makes food and accent colors pop, and the look is timeless.

Kitchens will also shift into quiet mode as the trend toward neutral colors continues in other parts of the house. Countertops and cabinets in similar color tones are also trending for their ability to look unified, neat and relaxing.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.

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