Last year’s limited restaurant options forced most Georgians back into their home kitchens. And a funny thing happened along the way: They discovered they like it there.
Now, local designers and appliance retailers are working at a fevered pace to help homeowners create kitchens where they can carry on with their newfound passion for cooking.
The biggest kitchen design trends of 2021 place emphasis on organization, cleanliness, convenience and pro-style appliances for cooking, says Atlanta designer Rosa Moreno of Rosa Moreno Kitchens.
2021 kitchen design trends: organization, cleanliness,
convenience and pro-style appliances.
The kitchens she’s now installing in Georgia reflect consumers’ ongoing concerns for health and safety as well as an adventurous spirit that’s expressed with new cooking styles and recipes. Key trends Moreno has seen this year:
- Storage functionality
The old kindergarten mantra “a place for everything, and everything in its place” is being applied to kitchen cabinets and pantries. Homeowners want clear, designated areas for things like spices, utensils and the trashcan.
“Having just regular cabinets is not enough. With all the chaos in the outside world we seek to have control and peace in our homes,” Moreno said. “When planning a kitchen remodel, we go over each cabinet’s use and size to maximize the functionality of the space.”
- Touchless faucets
“With all the technology out there, this one is my favorite,” the designer said. “Using a touchless faucet means we won’t spread bacteria from our hands to the surfaces.” Moreno is seeing interest in faucets that are integrated with smart home technology, meaning a task, such as filling a pot with water, can be accomplished with a voice command.
- Engineered quartz surfaces
Because it’s easy to maintain and resistant to heat and germs, engineered quartz is the number one kitchen countertop option, Moreno said. Georgia homeowners tend to favor marble-look quartz for their kitchens.
Engineered quartz is a manmade product created mostly from 90 to 94 percent ground quartz and 6 to 10 percent resins and pigments that are combined into durable and nonporous slabs.
“Traditional gas stoves are the number one option for many …”
- Natural gas appliances
Home cooks are requesting appliances like those they see professional chefs using on television. “Traditional gas stoves are the number one option for many because having a visible flame allows you to control the heat output more precisely,” she said.
Most of Moreno’s clients are choosing a natural gas cooktop or a dual-fuel gas range. A 36-inch commercial-style range with six burners is the most requested.
Georgia cooks aren’t the only ones expanding their culinary horizons with natural gas appliances. Retailers nationwide are experiencing record demand.
Dual-fuel gas ranges, which offer gas cooktops with electric ovens, are exceptionally popular, according to experts attending this year’s Kitchen & Bath Industry Show. Some of the newest models offer a souped-up combination steam and convection oven.
These ovens are extremely versatile, efficient and easy to use, says Mick De Giulio, one of the nation’s best-known kitchen designers.
“They offer greater power and performance, as well as perfect adjustability.”
Professional-style gas ranges that are residential friendly are popular among cooks who want to reproduce restaurant-quality meals at home. “They offer greater power and performance, as well as perfect adjustability,” De Giulio said.
Though supply pinches still exist for some manufacturers and models, natural gas ranges are available from the top appliance brands these days. The websites of Atlanta-area stores such as Home Depot, Lowe’s and Best Buy show numerous natural gas models available for delivery and installation in about two weeks. A limited number of models can be viewed in stores, but ordering is required.
Popular pro-style models from manufacturers like Viking and Wolf will require more patience to acquire. Independent retailer Athens Refrigeration & Appliances in Watkinsville reports that supplies are rebuilding, but expect at least eight weeks for delivery. Some high-end models won’t be available until the end of the year.
If you’re shopping for appliances, ask about rebates. Several manufacturers are currently offering rebates for kitchen appliance purchases that include natural gas cooktops and dual-fuel ranges.