Green in fashion for new kitchens


During the last six to nine months the hottest color for kitchens has been green. So said David Schonert at Alexandria Kitchen and Bath Studio, when asked about the latest kitchen design trends

Not, of course, those avocado green appliances that flourished in the 1970s and unerringly date the kitchen to that very time. No, in the current decade that green stands for earth-friendly, Schonert means.

That means both more natural materials in the finished products, and more efficient operations of the factories that create them. Whats more, the manufacturers are getting the message and starting to respond.

They know that their customers are going to their Web sites to ask them, How is your factory run? and even What kind of trucks are you driving? he said. As a result, they are all looking for fuel-friendly alternatives.

As for the products themselves, he said, the buyers are asking for fewer chemicals and more natural ingredients.

Even when the material itself might be earth-friendly, its component parts might not be. For example, he said, manufacturers are replacing the toxic glue that was sometimes used for Marine grade plywood cabinets. When it comes to varnishes, the buyers are looking for water-based products.

Not that natural is always better, he pointed out. Oak composites are competing with solid oak, because of their recycling feature.

As for the popular luxury features of granite counters and stainless steel appliances, they are still the stars, he said. Granite is an igneous rock, and you cant get more natural than that. But the times they are a-changing for these materials, too.

People are tired of looking at a lot of stainless steel, he said. They want panels on the dishwasher and refrigerator, and these are often wood. We are also seeing a lot of hardwood floors, he said.

In the same spirit, he said, They do not just want the black granite counters, he said. Therefore they are looking harder at shades of blue, gold and … once more … green.

Granite is what everybody does, agreed Bill Rymiszewki at Southern Kitchens in Alexandria. It used to be considered an upgrade, but now all our clients want it. And stainless steel is still so strong, right now I think it will be with us forever.

So, apparently, will traditional kitchen styling,   including cabinets with raised panel doors.

I am getting more calls for more detail work, he said. We also do a lot of painted kitchens: not just white but creams and colors.

This comes after several years of more contemporary kitchens, featuring simpler, cleaner lines and less decoration. The switch back is hardly surprising, though. As he put it, This area is so traditional, with Colonial and Federal houses still dominating the scene.