Let Los Angeles interior designer Felicia Bushaman navigate you through today’s kitchen renovation trends to what’s worth trying and what’s worth avoiding.
—Eat-in Islands and Built-in Banquettes
“The kitchen is always the place where people gather,” says Felicia, noting that an island is practically mandatory in today’s kitchen, as it’s where the bulk of family meals and social interactions take place.
“All appliances are energy-efficient—it’s hard to go wrong,” Felicia says. Plus, they’ll save you money on your electric bill.
Every kitchen should have designated recycling bins. “All of my kitchen designs have a pull-out drawer with trash and recycle bins set inside,” says Felicia.
Although tile is aesthetically beautiful, it can be difficult to keep clean, especially in grout lines. For maximum efficiency, and minimal staining and damage, incorporating both natural and engineered stone countertops into a design can be a winning combination. For those who do want tile, ensuring the grout lines are properly sealed can help keep them clean.
“I always said that trash compactors were out because they had some issues with cleanliness,” says Felicia. “Personally, I don’t want to leave trash in my house, so I don’t want to compact it to make room for more trash. I don’t use trash compactors in design anymore.”
What’s Here to Stay:
“People are tired of excess and want to simplify their lives,” says Felicia. “We are spending more time putting details into things so that they function better. We need clean lines, less mess, less work, more convenience.”
According to Felicia, simplicity and function go hand in hand. “Everything has its place,” she says. “If you spend some time beforehand in the design stage, then you really get everything where you want it, and it functions really well.” Cabinet organizers, refrigerator cooling drawers, under-counter beverage refrigerators and double dishwashers for bigger families all add to the function and efficiency of a kitchen.
When planning a redesign—especially in the kitchen—it’s important to think about what will stand the test of time, as well as consider the structure of the home. “It’s not like a throw pillow or an accessory,” says Felicia. “When people remodel a kitchen, they don’t want to re-do it for another 15 to 20 years. You can play with the things that are freestanding, but if something is built in, you do want to stick with the style and structure of the home, which helps keep the design timeless.”
By Rebecca J. Razo