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Keep Your Kitchen Looking Current

No kitchen worth its salt in 2017 would sport speckled granite, 36-inch cabinets, and dark woods and paint colors.

That’s the word, according to a Zillow Digs Home Trends Forecast for the upcoming year, which touts cabinetry painted or stained in contrasting colors, appliances tucked out of sight in drawers or behind doors or paneling, and sleek wood—but not dark!—paneling.

While that’s all well and good, it’s useful to note that while trends come and go, here are some elements in kitchen design that provide a great base that let homeowners put their own mark on their new digs and allow for style updates without breaking the bank whenever design prognosticators release new must-haves to be au courant.

  • White is forever. It’s a great look for a kitchen, doesn’t date, and it’s easy to add pops of color for updating.

  • Neutral colors. A neutral palette for walls, especially in taupe-y grays, allows a lot of design flexibility.

  • Go with LEDs. LED fixtures are the smartest thing you can install in a home. They last 22+ years, are extremely energy efficient, and they are now available in a wide color spectrum, ranging from warm (a more golden light, similar to that of the old incandescent bulbs, that homeowners prefer) to the white light of daylight.

  • Make it universal. Use the rules of Universal Design to create kitchens that work for people across the widest range of ability. Use wide pathways between counter and islands; D-ring or bar drawer and door hardware that is easy to grasp; pull-out cabinet shelves and drawers; side-opening oven doors, non-slick flooring; varied height working surfaces; and touch or motion sensor faucets.