Whether your kitchen is your safe haven from the hustle and bustle of the day or the gathering spot for friends and family, you want it to feel like an expression of your own personal style. Just like your wardrobe, from total overhaul to adding a few new pieces, maintaining an up-to-date appearance is a way to reflect your unique sense of self. Check out 2012's kitchen design trends for a quick face-lift or a complete 180 in your home kitchen.
Slapping on a couple coats of paint is a fantastic way to achieve a kitchen makeover on a budget. Though 2011 and previous years saw deep, super saturated colours celebrated within the kitchen, the design atmosphere for 2012 feels lighter, brighter and much softer. Steer clear of super dark hues and aim for an all-over soft colour palette or pops of bright colour. Imagine light paint on your walls, such as beige, cream or pale green. Amp up other decor like dinnerware and accent pieces by choosing bold hues -- think cobalt blue, tangerine tango orange, cherry red or amethyst -- it's up to you!
Mixed Media: Add Wood to Warm Up Your Space
If you've started to feel like the all-glossy-white-from-floor-to-ceiling plus stainless steel appliances has left you feeling a bit cold rather than enthused, feel free to mix your media. While playing matchy-matchy was your original goal, marrying several aesthetics into one space is a major design trend for 2012. The quickest way to add warmth and a touch of rustic or classic charm is by bringing in wood, according to Derek Dasher, guest blogger on interior design blog AlexandraCampbell.ca
. Whether you add honey-hued wooden jars and bowls to your counter-tops or a deep brown harvest table to your dining space, the addition of this natural material will update your kitchen in a flash.
Sleek and Functional
Nobody ever said two opposing trends couldn't exist within the same year! If warm wooden pieces and mixed aesthetics aren't really your thing, stick to your sleek, minimalistic style. Updating your space for 2012 is easy. Start by replacing appliances with built-in pieces -- visualize a refrigerator that looks as though it's simply part of your cabinetry -- that create a seamless appearance in your kitchen. It's that easy.
Add Your Personal Visual Stamp
Nothing personalizes a kitchen like unique prints. This year's take on kitchen visuals brings a bit of nostalgia with old-timey prints. If you're a fan of a softer appeal, shabby chic or country vibes, check out vintage florals and checkered patterns. If your taste leans toward a more clean-line, modern sensibility, seek out graphic retro prints. Where do you use these prints? Think curtains, wallpaper and linens.
Add an Island for Extra Prep Room or as Your Gathering Spot
Designers are adding more counter-space for 2012. Why the sudden move toward more prep space? As people spend more and more time working and plugging away on their laptops, the kitchen is truly becoming the center of the home where family and friends can perform double duty, catching up and visiting while preparing meals. The best way to keep your space cozy: bring in a furniture-inspired island for a warm, approachable center to your kitchen.
Remember that your kitchen serves as your respite from the craziness of your morning commute, a time to gather before bath time or your middle-of-the-day-moment resting place where you re-charge with a cup of coffee and a good book. Spend time picking and choosing from one or more 2012 design trends for a unique, personalized kitchen that truly speaks to your life and you'll find yourself in a space that inspires conversation, culinary creativity and a smile.
By Tarah Damask