Kitchens are no different than other trends when it comes to their generational style and function changing over time. There are also influences from different counties and cultures that contribute to the evolution of these trends in North America. American’s have typically been drawn to traditional craftsman style cabinetry with the emphasis on wood and the use of local resources to produce an American made product. In Europe, many countries and regions are known for their minimalist style frameless cabinetry that moves with families like furniture when they sell their home. This requires a more modular emphasis that is easy to install and uninstall, meaning more metal and synthetic products that are less impacted by moisture and changing environments. With Canada’s multicultural society and influx of immigrants from all parts of the world, we see an interesting mix of styles, trends and layouts in homes from market to market. We have seen the functional influences of the United States in the growing number of additional areas in the home that families are installing cabinetry, like butler’s pantries, wet bars, fireplace surrounds, basement bars, built-in dining cabinetry and custom closet cabinetry. From Europe, we have seen a changing landscape in terms of how cabinets are being made. We now see more traditional style kitchens being made with frameless cabinetry and more modern, contemporary style kitchens being constructed with synthetic and laminated woodgrain and matte finish cabinetry material. We have also seen a more integrated type of design in terms of how the cabinetry functions with the overall style and design of the home. Homeowners are choosing to put less cabinetry in more locations and increase the functionality of each cabinet to suit the specific needs. There’s been amazing strides made in the production of accessories for cornet cabinetry, slide out trays, appliance specific accessories and accessories to manage different types of food storage like spices, oils and dry goods. One of the major innovations we have seen that applies to the entire category is the introduction of garbage and recycling centers designed to hold different materials like plastic and paper and containers that range from small to very large to adapt to the different rules and regulations around recycling from city to city, province to province.
One of the more exciting innovations in the kitchen industry of late is the introduction of nanotechnology to the finish of panels used for doors, drawer fronts and countertops. Phoenixä is a material that was originally used in Europe for countertops. It uses nanotechnology in its formulation in such a way that scratches can be eliminated from its surface by applying heat and light pressure. With more cabinetry being used in homes as described above, the ability to keep this cabinetry looking new and fresh is an innovation that will only grow in popularity as it becomes more available through different kitchen cabinet manufacturers. With an increased influence coming to Canada from Europe, we can expect to see more of this type of innovation by introducing different materials and applications of materials to the overall design and layout of kitchens and cabinetry into the home. Cabinetry companies that used to focus on kitchens are now able to provide full millwork packages to new build custom homes and the large-scale renovation market. In the Burlington, Ancaster, Dundas and Hamilton market, we see a growing number of infill projects and custom homes being built on older more mature lots. Families are choosing to invest in older communities rather than moving further away from city centres. This trend in the local market will require creative thinking and custom kitchen and millwork design to give familes the style, form and functionality that they are looking for when building their new home or renovating an existing property to suit their needs.