During the #KBTribeChat Twitter chat on kitchen design trends last week, the trend of integrated cabinetry panels on appliances came up among designers. A trend that became popular years ago is still in demand:
Medallion Cabinetry tweeted, “integrated panels are still [a] big request.”
Eric Schimelpfenig, SketchThis.net, tweeted: “I like them when they’re totally hidden like a [Sub-Zero], not like slapping panels on a fridge with ice dispenser.”
Jeremy Parcels, AKBD with RJM Contractors added that he is seeing an increase with clients looking for options to stainless steel.
To investigate this trend further, I spoke with a kitchen designer and cabinetry manufacturer: Garcia Cabinetmakers and Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry.
“Most of our clients either want stainless steel appliances or have us provide custom panels to match their cabinetry,” says Stacy Garcia, kitchen designer and owner, Garcia Cabinetmakers in Huntington Beach, Calif. “The popularity of custom panels to match the cabinetry for refrigerators and dishwashers has been going on for several decades and continues today. Custom panels make the appliances look like the cabinetry, hiding them instead of highlighting them. This trend is not going away.”
Brian Yahn, sales manager, Plain & Fancy Custom Cabinetry, echoes Garcia’s sentiments: “Stainless steel appliances and paneled appliances are equally popular. There are definitely more flush appliance brands on the market today which allow for panels and clean looks.”
The trend is bigger in Europe and leads to challenges with United States codes, adds Rick Yohn, purchasing manager, also for Plain & Fancy. “Cabinetry in many ways is at the mercy of appliance designers. Plain & Fancy does a great number of panels for appliances,” he says. “Ever since the late 90s when stainless became more available in appliances, there has been an interest in both stainless and paneled appliances,”
The trend of integrated cabinet panels makes the appliance more visually appealing and provides more design options, Garcia says. “This trend will continue. There will always be color choices but many want the custom looks that are made possible with custom appliance panels.”
What are the cabinetry and appliance trends in your region? Are you seeing clients ask for ways to integrate appliances into their kitchen design?