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This expert’s kitchen design ideas are incredible (and don’t require a full remodel)

The kitchen is a space where you spend a lot of your time. Even if you don’t consider yourself the next great home chef, you still prepare food, entertain, and work. It’s a room that gets a fair amount of traffic, so you want it to be welcoming and easy to maneuver around in, whatever you are doing.

The kitchen is also a space that can make or break your home’s resale price, adding a ton of value to potential buyers, so it should be up to date and not feel dated or old. Whether you’re planning a kitchen renovation or just looking for some simple kitchen design ideas to incorporate, there are a few trends expert Jean-Jacques Lhenaff, the interior design expert at GROHE, believes will transform the room into a relaxing oasis for you and your family.

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Dedicated prep areas

If you’ve got the space (or the budget to make space), one big trend Lhenaff is seeing is having a dedicated prep area. “A trend we’re seeing is the kitchen sink area becoming a dedicated space for prep and cleaning,” he said. “This can be found in homes that have two full-size kitchen faucets at a long workstation sink that allows two people to use the sink at once and allows for a full reach of water for cleaning the entire sink.”

If you don’t have room for two sinks in your kitchen, consider a pot-filler faucet over the stove where you can easily access water for cooking. It’s an easy way to add more functionality without needing a ton of extra space.

Having a dedicated prep area yields more functional space in the kitchen and room for the whole family to get involved in meal prep and cooking. If there’s not room in your kitchen, perhaps a butler’s pantry or buffet area adjacent to your kitchen is in the plans to store appliances that are used infrequently and to dedicate a prep space in. It’s also great for entertaining to have multiple places for people to clear up when the night is over.

Black kitchen faucet with water running

Sustainability rules the day

Lhenaff said sustainability will continue to play a larger role in the home, and this includes the ever-important kitchen space. “Many clients are adding performance products that deliver high-quality water for eating, drinking, and cooking, from the kitchen faucet,” he explained. “Therefore, clients are seeking products that perform water filtration, chilling, and carbonation. Water security/leak detection is also now more important as more appliances have water lines in the kitchen.”

GROHE offers tons of products in this area, including an under-sink filtration system that provides still, semi-sparkling, and fully carbonated water right from your faucet — no additional appliances or bottles needed. This is perfect if you have a family with different preferences or party guests who like a little variety.

Don’t skimp on faucets

Kitchen faucets have gone from an afterthought to a stunning kitchen essential, bringing character and life into the room. Lhenaff said finishes and mixed finishes are providing homeowners another way to infuse their personality into the kitchen.

“Some of the most popular kitchen finishes and materials for sinks and faucets include matte black, mixed, and warm finishes,” he said, adding that these “seem to be the most popular amongst sinks and faucets.”

In addition, he said, “Clients are increasingly requesting matching finishes for sinks, cabinet pulls, lighting, and even soap dispensers.”

As for materials, stainless steel continues to be universal and timeless. But for those who want to land firmly in the farmhouse camp, “fine fire clay is also preferred for apron sinks.”

In addition to faucets, you can also mix metals with hardware and light fixtures; just make sure you stick with two or three max so it doesn’t look like there’s too much going on and detract from your overall design.

The kitchen is the foundation of a home. It’s where you welcome friends and family, have late-night conversations, get inspired for work, play games, prep food, help your kids with their homework, pack lunches, and make meals. It’s a place for gathering people together to share food, ideas, and holidays. You should put careful consideration into every aspect of your kitchen. It should be functional, comfortable, and cozy, and have plenty of room to grow and expand with your life. Experts like Lhenaff can help us stop and think about how we really use the kitchen space we have and, if there’s a remodel in the future, how we can make it even more functional to incorporate all the ways we use this important space.

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