Top Kitchen Trends From Martha Stewart

Martha Stewart dishes on kitchen trends during her recent visit to Vancouver

Get inspired by these kitchen looks from Martha Stewart

Kitchen queen Martha Stewart made it very clear: she doesn’t follow trends.

“If anything, we create trends,” she says. “It’s about innovation.”

The media maven was in town briefly this week for TED and to apprise B.C.’s Home Depot designers on what’s what in kitchens this season.

“I think people want storage, they want practicality, they want usability. They want things that don’t wear out, they want well-made – they want pretty. And they want it to be reasonably priced so they can afford it.” 

Here’s a list of what’s trending in kitchen design as per Martha Stewart.

High-tech Cabinetry

“We try to use the finest materials and the most innovative techniques,” said Stewart. 

PureStyle, a patented finish available only on Martha Stewart Living cabinets, is just such an innovation. What looks like a painted wooden door is actually a paper-wrapped finish. This process is superior to paint because it doesn’t chip, it doesn’t dent and it’s easy to clean.

In this photo: Wellston PureStyle in Silhouette

Contrast in the Kitchen

Another trend emanating from Martha Stewart kitchens is dark and light in the same room. The base cabinets could be a dark wood and then the kitchen island could be balanced with a subtle light colour. The contrast could also happen on the island itself (between the cabinets and the counter) or with stand-alone cabinetry.

Contemporary Colours

“Our most popular finishes are colours,” Stewart said. And the lighter palettes are the ones she herself is most drawn to. Think Sharkey Gray, Ocean Floor, Picket Fence and Heavy Cream (all in PureStyle). 

Also very popular is the Martha Stewart Living Weston wood-grain laminate in Persian Gray – “very modern, very contemporary.”

In this photo: Seal Harbor PureStyle in Sharkey Gray

Small Kitchen Problems

“You don’t have to have a big space, but you have to have a well-planned space,” said Stewart. “Enough counter space so that you can actually roll out a pie crust or prepare a dinner.”

Do this by installing features that utilize every square centimetre. Cabinets fitted to maximize the use of space, corners that aren’t lost, turntables and drawers adapted to fill narrow spaces between the refrigerator and wall, for example.

Another tip is to include open shelving above your pre-existing cabinets. “You can put a shelf up there to maximize that space between the top of the cabinet and the ceiling,” she said.

Savvy storage: Hanging under-shelf baskets to add to steel rods and hidden message centre cupboards are smart ways to make the most of limited space. 

Functional Beauty

Detailed corbels are a mainstay in Stewart’s kitchens because they’re both decorative and structural. They do a job and look good doing it. Stewart also recommends ornate embellishments on mouldings and trim, even on the oft-forgotten legs of kitchen islands.

For the Vancouverites

Brand new to stores is the high-gloss, white finish look, Lacombe Avenue. Uncompromisingly minimalist with clean, crisp lines, these smooth surfaces (decorated with polished nickel hardware) wipe and clean easily.

“Downtown Vancouver is all skyscrapers, glass and steel buildings… this kitchen would look great inside those spaces,” said Stewart.

Modern Kitchen on a Budget

If you can’t afford a kitchen overhaul, “add something that you don’t have that you need,” said Stewart.

Add an island, add open shelving using corbels, tile behind your stove or sink, or change the hardware, she suggested.

“If you can’t afford to get a whole brand new kitchen, do one wall of your kitchen (with cabinets) and contemporize the rest of it with new hardware or a fresh coat of paint.”

Credit: Pinterest

Where is the best place to start your reno?

“Go to the Home Depot,” said Stewart. “Go and take a catalogue. The catalogues are available at all Home Depot stores and sit down with a kitchen designer. The Home Depot has kitchen designers in house and they will work with you. Take a drawing of your floor plan – ultimately they’ll have to come and measure at your house – but just to start planning, start talking to a kitchen designer.”

“And don’t let them tell you to buy some other kitchen, they have to [show you] the Martha Stewart kitchen,” she said with a chuckle.