Last week, I was invited to have dinner in New Orleans with Kelly Edwards, host of HGTV’s Design on a Dime and Style Network's Tacky House — thank you to the fine folks at Rust-Oleum. Cute-as-can-be Kelly has been on my radar for a few years, but I’ve never known much about her.
I was excited to hear that she moved out to LA from Chicago on a whim and basically took a job sweeping the floors of a production set, just so she could be around cool, creative people in showbiz. Soon enough, she’d moved from assistant positions behind the scenes to a full-time gig in front of the cameras. The rest, as they say, is history.
Getting back to this gist of this post . . . when she wasn’t being grilled about her celebrity lifestyle over crawfish bisque, Kelly was kind enough to share her observations about growing kitchen trends. The girl’s had tons of experience renovating homes and is chummy with scores of contractors, designers, retailers, and more, so let’s just say my ears perked up when she first mouthed the word “trend.”
Here are the top five kitchen trends Kelly’s been spotting lately:
- Function over form. With paychecks getting smaller, kitchens are following suit, and home renovators are focusing on efficiency, practicality, and the placement of appliances, rather than building expansive kitchens with miles of marble countertops, quadruple stoves, and rarely used gadgets that take up too much space. Goodbye built-in panini maker, hello microwave installed smartly under the countertop!
- Bel Air goes Ikea. Though she said he might be ashamed to admit it, one of Kelly’s good Bel Air-based designer friends (whose clients’ homes cost millions) sees that designers, himself included, are sourcing more and more furnishings at low-budget shops like Ikea and thrift stores and flea markets. With Ikea kitchen cabinetry that has a high-design look to street-find furniture that can be reupholstered or painted, designers aren’t going straight to the showrooms anymore.
- Eco — still. Though Kelly admits the design savvy have been on to the “trend” for years, she says eco design really still is big in the decorating world — and getting bigger. The reason? Though cork tiles and Energy Star refrigerators have been sought after for the better part of the last decade, now that the demand is there, the prices are finally going down. So now, eco design is a trend we really all can afford.
- Getting high. While kitchens tend to be getting narrower, Kelly says they’re also getting taller. Designers and architects are bringing a feeling of openness to galley kitchens by increasing the height of the room. It can be less costly to add a few more feet of drywall than to add more surface area to the floor, requiring expensive floor tiles, hardwood panels, marble, or what have you.
- Tiling away. While a tiled backsplash is practically a given in most kitchens, Kelly says the new trend is to tile not just the sliver but the entire wall of a kitchen, either an accent wall or all of the walls in the room. With what? Kelly says large, 21-inch x 36-inch tiles are becoming more and more common in new kitchens.