Designer envisions more European, modern styles

No matter how big the house, it always seems that they crowd winds up in the kitchen. So it’s no wonder that this room gets a lot of attention when it comes to design, styling, decor and function. If you’re looking to give an existing kitchen a face lift or are designing one for a new house, take some inspiration from the Europeans.

They’re on the cutting edge of the most popular kitchen styles these days, said Becky Sue Becker, a Certified Kitchen Designer and President of the Georgia Chapter of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. “The market right no is very inspired by what the Europeans are doing,” Becker said. “They’re using clean lines, and Americans have become more accepting of that, because it suits out busy lives. We have less time to maintain the fancier elements.”

The “clean” look means less detail in the cabinetry and sleek, flat-panel door fronts. It also includes simple counter supports and trim work that’s not extremely ornate. Yet adjectives such as “clean,” “sleek” and “contemporary” don’t seem to fit with Atlanta’s penchant for traditional, detailed styling.

“It’s true, Atlanta is predominantly a traditional market, but I’d say, in the last three years, I’ve gone from a business with 10 percent modern projects to doing more than 50 percent,” Becker said. “There’s also been a strong movement toward the mission or arts and crafts designs that are much more streamlined.”

No matter how sleek they’re getting, there’s no question that kitchens are getting better, Becker said.

“Today’s kitchen is easily 30 percent bigger than it was 10 years ago,” she said. “And they’re becoming so much more than just kitchens. Desks are coming back in. We had been taking them out, but, with the kitchen being the hub of the home, a command center there is coming back. It could be a place for the main computer for the home, where the kids can do their homework – a place that can handle more tasks than just holding the phone.”

While command centers are popular, keeping rooms may be on the way out, as families shift back to great rooms.

“People have realized that the keeping room is usually too small for a large family,” Becker said. “Now it’s the space that could be turned into the command center instead.”