Fall is here, and the holidays are just around the corner, meaning we’ll all likely be spending even more time in one of the most important rooms in the home—the kitchen.
Whether you’re a gourmet chef or a microwave expert, the kitchen is often the home's hub. To help keep your kitchen updated with the latest trends, we checked in with Alan Jones, the division president of Lennar Homes (Lennar.com), one of the nation’s leading home builders. He shares some of the latest kitchen trends he’s seen as new homes are built across Peoria and nationwide.
The Clean Look of Stainless Steel
“In the kitchens we’ve been building lately at Lennar Homes, it’s all about stainless steel appliances,” Jones says. From refrigerators to dishwashers, stainless steel appliances remain popular because of their timeless and clean look.
Keeping the Planet in Mind
Jones says energy-saving appliances are another popular kitchen feature. At Lennar Homes, they utilize Energy Star refrigerators and dishwashers. Beyond appliances, though, there are other things you can do to be energy-aware.
“When building homes, we utilize a lot of LED lightbulbs; they save energy and reduce costs,” he explains.
He adds that Low-E or low-emissivity windows are another option for those looking to update their windows. These windows have a specialized glass coating that minimizes heat without reducing light.
Counters and Cabinets
The most popular trend Jones sees in countertops is quartz. “Quartz stands out top of mind because it’s often perceived as higher value and, like stainless steel, has a crisp, clean look.”
Quartz is also easy to maintain and doesn’t usually need to be resealed. Granite is a close second to quartz, but it occasionally needs to be re-sealed due to wear and tear. The plus side, though, is that granite countertops use all-natural materials.
Jones adds that the shaker-style kitchen cabinets are popular now and loved for their clean lines, sleek hardware, and square look. They’re modern and contemporary but timeless at the same time.
As far as colors, he recommends keeping it light. “Lighter colors often work best, in my opinion, because they’re bright and help the kitchen to feel bigger,” Jones says.
When asked about flooring, Jones acknowledges that the options can be overwhelming. From his experience, he has seen a lot of plank-style ceramic tile that looks like wood. “The planks are long, and often there’s knots and texture that give the tile an authentic wood look,” he explains.
Kitchen and Home Designs That Last
According to Jones, the most important thing to remember for kitchen style is to consider quality over quantity. If you must sacrifice kitchen size in a new home, he suggests keeping colors light and using accessories and appliances with a clean, crisp, and minimal look.
He adds, “If you’re building a home, especially as a first-time buyer, work with a quality builder and choose designs that are to your taste but will also stand the test of time.”