Designing Your Dream Kitchen

If you’re about to embark on a kitchen remodel, you may want to hear what these local experts have to say first. Read on for inspiration, designer trends, and tips on planning!



Jackie Howard Scarlett’s Cabinetry

Jackie Howard
Scarlett’s Cabinetry

Sleeker, minimalist kitchens are trending today, meaning fewer wall-to-wall cabinets and a less-fitted look. Clients are asking for floating shelves, custom glass mullion door styles, and even open cabinetry (without doors on them). To maintain a less-busy look, “hidden” appliances are popular; rather than a stainless-steel style, refrigerators are outfitted with matching cabinetry panels to blend in with the design. But just because there are fewer cabinets, that doesn’t mean less storage room – larger pantries are popular now, as well as hidden pantries. Pantry doors are disguised as cabinetry, so you are surprised when you think it’s a pantry cabinet, but it is actually a walk-in pantry. They have become a more serious part of the kitchen work space. We are now including countertops in pantries to allow for small appliances to be stored and used. Prep sinks are being added as well – pantries are no longer just for food storage! 


open shelves in kitchen with bottles, glasses, and dishware design trends


Carol MacKinnon Certified Kitchen Designer, Ana Woodworks

Carol MacKinnon
Certified Kitchen Designer,
Ana Woodworks

Make your kitchen dreams come true! During the initial consultation phase, make sure to share your entire wish list for your dream kitchen. This wish list is personal and represents who you are, the way you live, and your personal style. Depending on your lifestyle, your wish could be to have the perfect appliances and cooking tools; it could be to have an island with seating for your children or grandchildren; or, it could be flow between the kitchen and adjoining living space for entertaining. After the initial list is created, you can then prioritize desires and essentials to achieve the function, practicalities, and aesthetic of your dream kitchen.



Shaun Hayworth Appliances Consultant, Ferguson

Shaun Hayworth
Appliances Consultant,

It’s an exciting time to be ordering new appliances, as new, fashionable trends are offered from more of the major manufacturers. The appliance industry has recognized a need in both form and function and is starting to answer in striking ways. With different, new paint colors available and metals like copper, brass, and gold tones starting to be offered as knobs and handles, you can add a personal touch to your designer kitchen all while creating a dramatic statement. We are also seeing a lot of Wi-Fi-enabled appliances being unveiled. This is a fantastic enhancement – not only can you control many functions from your phone, but they can also be set up to remind you to order things such as filters for your refrigerator. Smart appliances can also detect if there’s a potential problem and automatically dispatch service should it be needed, to get you back in business quickly. For your dream kitchen, you can have both form and function in your appliances.



Jimmy Cross Dakota Concepts

Jimmy Cross
Dakota Concepts

For the most part, today’s kitchens have a distinctly modern look. Painted shaker style is the most popular and the majority of the market. Organized pullout storage plays a huge role in almost every kitchen now, and all door hinges and drawer hardware have the soft-close feature for convenience. Also new in today’s world is the software you can use to plan your designer kitchen. With this software, you can see not only floorplans and elevations of your kitchen but also see a high-quality picture of what it will look like finished. If you want to make adjustments or move things around, you can easily make those changes and see revised drawings and pictures. This software makes designing your dream kitchen much easier!



modern kitchen with marble slab countertops and backsplash in chattanooga design trends


Anna Baker Stone Source, Inc.

Anna Baker
Stone Source, Inc.

The latest high-end design trend is to run the countertop slab material from the counter up the wall to the cabinets and even place it behind the stove. It is a dramatic look to see a marble or granite slab on the wall. At the same time, it is a simpler look because you are not introducing another material into the space. White marble from Walker Zanger with a dramatic vein works great for this application. Consider combining your countertop material and backsplash material for a new, sleek look in your dream kitchen.



Nancy Hetem Cross Cabinets

Nancy Hetem
Cross Cabinets

What we are seeing right now in upscale kitchen design is mixing finishes, such as painted perimeter cabinets with wood finishes on range hoods, floating shelves, and islands. Kitchen islands continue to be a very important piece in large open concept styles, playing the part of furniture-style seating on one side and functional cabinets on the other. Open or floating shelving is replacing upper cabinetry, so the ease of accessing lower cabinets is becoming more important. So drawers are being used in lower cabinetry, and pullout shelves are being installed in them for easy access and organization. Simplicity in lines and door styles, such as shaker doors, continue to be preferred, and natural, light wood stains and finishes are gaining popularity. 



Juliet Braly Kitchen and Bath Designer, Juliet Braly Interior Design

Juliet Braly
Kitchen and Bath
Designer, Juliet Braly
Interior Design

While white kitchens continue to be popular, we are seeing muted hues creeping in, such as soft gray blues, gray greens, and taupe. Wood tones in the gray/brown category are popular, as well as the driftwood look. Even textured grains like oak, hickory, and walnut are coming in strong. Range hoods are also becoming more of a statement piece. Lighting and decorative hardware always adds character, and they don’t have to match. I try to encourage clients to have a healthy budget in these categories, as these items easily set the tone. When it comes to planning, think about both form and function. Don’t sacrifice storage and convenience for decorative features, unless it’s worth it to you. For example, keep cleaning in mind when placing things like glass doors and open shelves, which attract dust and food splatter. Always start with a budget – and then follow that plan when selecting fixtures, finishes, and equipment. Budgets can be fluid, taking from one category and moving it to another, but there are some fixed costs that must be considered.



modern kitchen from above with herringbone tile floor chattanooga kitchen design trends


Elaine Sanders The Tile Store

Elaine Sanders
The Tile Store

Flooring will set the tone for your dream designer kitchen. Trending right now in floors is plank-style tiling. Popular plank styles include concrete looks or even fun patterns. The planks are getting as big as 8 inches by 48 inches and some even larger. Placing them in straight herringbone or diagonal herringbone patterns creates visual interest for your floor as well. If you have a smaller, cottage-style kitchen, try a decorative tile for your floor to add color. When choosing what style of flooring you want, consider maintenance. Porcelain tile is easy – you do not have to seal it and cleaning it is a breeze (simply mop with white vinegar and water).



Kris Keith Classic Cabinetry

Kris Keith
Classic Cabinetry

Kitchen design in 2019 brings a shift in some trends, while others remain constant. Adding pops of color through cabinetry painted in blues, greens, and grays is replacing pure ‘white on white’ kitchens. There is gravitation toward pewter, brass, and bronze hardware in lieu of chrome or nickel. Integrated appliances remain popular, along with more concealed storage options, to create sleek, organized spaces. But, even as kitchen trends come and go, a good design always starts with an understanding of how a family functions. During your planning phase, make sure to communicate your family’s needs in order to create a space that reflects both your style and your requirements.



Eric Johnson Pig House Cabinets

Eric Johnson
Pig House Cabinets

Straight-lined, clean, sleek, and functional styles are trending in designer kitchens. Shaker-style cabinetry doors, among other types of recessed panel doors, are leading the line-up. Crisp whites along with some contrasting grays are definitely the color of choice currently. Anyone who is designing their dream kitchen should pay close attention to the materials and finishes when making their selections to ensure durability and longevity of their kitchen. Plenty of thought should be given to how and how much the kitchen will be used, so it is designed according to your needs and remains functional for your family. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so design it as your crown jewel.

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