a kitchen for your future

design trends for the year ahead

Many design elements coalesce to form a fabulous kitchen, but perhaps two of the most important for helping a new kitchen or a remodel maintain a fresh look for years to come are cabinets and countertops. Three area experts chime in on what is trending in kitchen design now—and likely to stay in fashion well into the future.
Sergio Villarreal Jr., of A-1 Kitchens by Sierra in El Paso, recommends starting with oak. Surprised? “Oak is making a comeback—no one expected that!” says Villarreal. Denser than most woods, and therefore highly durable, oak has been a longtime—as in thousands of years—favorite for homebuilders. “Oak, because of its thick vein and rough feel, used to be thought of as a traditional, even rustic look, but now it’s back in modern and earthy, yet sleek, looks,” says Villarreal.

As for picking a finish to give those oak cabinets a contemporary feel, Juanita Garcia, vice president of ICON Custom Home Builder in El Paso, says using lighter shades of cabinetry in two colors, if not three, is becoming more popular—specifically white paired with gray. “Most of the homes we are building now are transitional—clean lines with some rustic accents,” says Garcia. “The lighter cabinets make the room look bigger.” Stainless steel appliances, which seem to be here to stay for the foreseeable future, also pair well with light-colored cabinets. For those who prefer a deeper palette, hues of gray and dark brown also create a visually interesting combination. For example, a kitchen island in chocolatey brown offsets wall cabinets in a lighter tone, creating a focal point while also breaking up the space with some contrast.

According to designer Ross Landers of Ross Landers Interiors, “The island is the hub of the wheel in the kitchen,” which is one reason why he recommends investing in a stunning quartz countertop for this particular kitchen feature. But that is by no means the only reason to opt for quartz. Although not new to kitchen designs, quartz is still growing in popularity—Landers predicts it’s on the scene to stay because of its functional advantages. “It’s very durable as far as wear is concerned,” he says. Additionally, it’s impervious to bacteria and, unlike granite, requires no sealing.

Ultimately, the best investment in a new or remodeled kitchen is choosing materials and finishes you love. Carlos Garcia, president of ICON Custom Home Builder, recommends a lot of browsing and research while planning your dream kitchen. From there, he says, “Go with your instinct. If you absolutely love a certain color or countertop, you’re going to love your kitchen for years to come.”



A-1 Kitchens by Sierra

Granite & Marble by COMAF

ICON Custom Home Builder

Ross Landers Interiors