What’s Cooking in Current Real Estate Trends

Everyone knows the three things that matter in buying the right house are location, location, location. But what are the three things that matter once that house becomes your home? The answer is easy: it’s kitchen, kitchen, kitchen!  

Gone are the days in which the kitchen was merely a cramped compartment for cooking. Today the kitchen has become the focal point for informal entertaining, for making gourmet meals with foodie friends around an aesthetic island all your own.  

We asked Paula Hinegardner of Keller Williams to share with us what buyers are looking for in the latest home kitchen trends. She knows her stuff. An 8-year veteran of Nashville real estate, Paula has been the top Keller Williams agent in Brentwood-Franklin for five years running. 

“Open concept continues to reign supreme,” she points out. “The kitchen has become the single most important design element in a home. They are getting larger, more elegant, and, without question, have become the centerpiece of today’s homes.”

As for the dramatic and high-end luxury finishes, Paula has some thoughts on those.

“Granite is gone,” she says. “Marble is still a popular choice, but more and more buyers are moving to quartz, the No. 1 countertop product on the market now. It’s durable, fresh and has incredible finish options.”  

But any countertop is only as good as the island it goes on.

“Kitchen islands are no longer an afterthought or something small to squeeze into the space,” Paula says. “They have become the hub of the kitchen. The kitchen island is meant to create an impact, and its design must make a statement. The larger kitchen islands will have storage solution cabinets and be fitted with various undercounter appliances like the Gaggeneau built-in coffee bar and Dacor’s new wine station while also serving as a casual dining counter and/or drinking bar.”

But how to get these larger kitchen islands into the kitchen? The answer is, you don’t.

“We are seeing the kitchen island extend into living room spaces in homes with open plan designs,” Paula says. “This ensures the kitchen island can be multi-functional without cluttering up space in the kitchen.”

As for materials and colors, Paula says that chrome and satin are still very popular, but one material in particular is back in a big way: brass.

“Sometimes called “Champagne gold” or “satin gold,” today’s brass is subtle and refined and is seen in everything from faucets and cabinets to drawer pulls and spectacular lighting fixtures,” Paula says. “White and gray continue to be the two big cabinet colors for 2018, but there is another color palette slowly making its way into the kitchen–dark jewel tones: black, navy, emerald green and even plum.”

As for flooring, hardwood remains very popular, but Paula suggests buyers consider ceramic.

“Thanks to technology,” she says, “ceramic flooring now comes in a wide variety of designs, styles and sizes. For example, you can get ceramic tiles that look exactly like hardwood flooring. So, if you want to retain the hardwood look but want a material that is easier to maintain, consider using ceramic.”

Finally, there is advanced technology to bring it all together.

“Buyers are looking for ‘smart’ solutions: Internet-connected appliances and cooking gadgets that include refrigerators embedded with touch screens, smart dishwashers and connected countertop screens with artificially intelligent assistants that react to spoken commands,” she says.

The kitchen of the future is present in an ever-growing number of Brentwood homes now!