Trends

The appeal of micro-units is increasing, especially in urban centers where young professionals are willing to sacrifice square footage in exchange for a highly walkable, amenitized lifestyle. With the building as their living room and city as their backyard, residents spend very little time in the unit itself, reducing the amount of space they require.  Micro-units range in size from 200 to 400 square feet and are being programmed into more luxury rental towers and high-end condo buildings. For developers, these small floor plans present a jigsaw puzzle-like challenge as they look to maximize efficiency while maintaining a sophisticated design aesthetic. As cabinetry experts, we employ four strategies to incorporate appliances, workspaces and storage into an economic, cohesive design: Select smaller appliances European-sized appliances create an illusion of space. Typically, European appliances are 24 inches wide compared to the standard 30- to 36-inch width commonly found in the U.S. While a difference of 6 to 12 inches might not seem like a lot, this “found” square footage allows us to add additional cabinetry and workspace, which not only makes a kitchen more functional, but also makes the apartment appear roomier because it creates space between appliances. Fortunately, these smaller-sized appliances have become more...

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Successful bathroom design incorporates more than just the basics. And while these spaces can be an ideal canvas to experiment with different color palettes and materials, they must also be practical for everyday use. This Kitchen and Bathroom Design article addresses the need for functional storage – so each personal item has a “home” that’s tucked away, eliminating unnecessary clutter. When we work with multifamily developers to choose bathroom cabinetry, we gain an understanding of how we expect the space will be used and then model our designs accordingly by varying the depth of drawers and adding customized features like built-in storage dividers. For more on the importance of bathroom storage, read the full Kitchen and Bath Design article here....

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At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m going to compare kitchen cabinet design trends to fashion – again. It’s funny how there’s such a strong correlation, or maybe it’s just my passion for fashion rising to the surface. In any case, as with fashion, trends are cyclical, and when they return, there’s frequently a timely update to the style.  Cabinet color is no different. And, black as a cabinet color is back – in a chic, simple way. But before we talk about how it’s being used now, let’s look at the evolution. In the early 2000s, black was popular but not on its own; often, it was used over another color to achieve a distressed appearance with the underlying color peeking through. It was a very specific look and more popular in single-family homes than in multifamily, which at the time favored maple shaker-style cabinetry. Black has also commonly been associated with the classic bachelor pad and other designs considered to be more “masculine.” Today, black has replaced white as the preferred neutral color in kitchens. In apartments, we’re installing cabinetry that features a soft- to super-matte black finish that absorbs the light. This is sometimes carried over...

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