photos © Jonna Reilly Photography

Kitchen Trends in Chicago New Construction Homes

Kitchen Trends in Chicago New Construction Homes

When you think of focal points in a home, all eyes are on the kitchen as one of your property’s most visible and defining rooms.

Let’s take a peek at new construction kitchens in Chicago to see what trends are in for spring 2014.

Color – White kitchen cabinetry with a chocolate island and dark hardwood floors is one of the most requested color combinations in custom homes right now. Builders are creating this look in spec homes as well. The white lacquer on the cabinets has to be exactly the right shade, though. On a color wheel, there are actually dozens of whites. If the cabinet white is too bright, it might appear stark and of a lower quality. If the white is too creamy, it might look outdated. A soft off-white hue is perfection. The off-white combined with the browns creates the perfect neutral backdrop for pops of color elsewhere in the kitchen interior design.

Cabinetry Style – Gone are the kitchen cabinets that collect dust on top because they’re situated a few feet below the ceiling. Now builders are installing cabinetry that rises to the ceiling and is fully integrated with the crown molding. The result is both visually impressive and practical, not only for minimizing dust but also for maximizing storage. There are two options for cabinet doors: flush inset or full overlay. Flush inset doors are set inside the cabinet boxes. You can see the cabinet box frames. With full overlay doors, you don’t see the box frames. The doors are positioned over the box. Currently most people are choosing flush inset doors as a more contemporary, cleaner look. Flush inset can still incorporate a traditional element with a raised panel door style. 

Hardware and Light Fixtures – Chrome, oil rubbed bronze and even brushed nickel are out, even though they were mainstays in home hardware and lighting five to 10 years ago. Now polished nickel knobs, pulls and light fixtures are everywhere. Polished nickel gleams with a richer color than chrome. It sparkles like jewelry in a kitchen, making brushed nickel look dull in comparison.

Countertops — Glossy granite is a thing of the past in new construction single family homes, thanks to its ubiquitous presence in condos in the last several years. Chicago kitchens now feature eco-friendly, low-maintenance quartz surfaces with brand names such as Cambria and Caesarstone. Alternatively, a major trend is the return to classic honed marble. Carrera marble, although it requires sealing, is a favorite in kitchens with its graceful grey veining. Carrera complements the white and dark brown cabinet and floor colors. Also builders are showing square edges on kitchen counters. In the past countertops were cut with ogee, or rounded, more decorative edges.  

Appliances – Often space and budget dictate how elaborate the kitchen appliance package will be. With those concerns aside, some homebuyers are requesting two dishwashers, refrigerator drawers and warming drawers among other conveniences. Several years ago you would likely find a stacked double oven in one kitchen location and a cooktop range in another. Now most homes will feature a 48 to 60-inch dual fuel double oven range. This means two convection ovens are positioned underneath the cooktop range, which often includes six surface burners and either a griddle or a grill. For refrigerators and dishwashers, many home buyers prefer wood appliance panels that match the cabinetry. Others select stainless steel fronts. The wood paneling is more expensive and considered a more valuable finish because it gives the appliances a furniture-like appearance.

If you’d like to check out some new construction home trends in person, contact Jim Miller and JM Partners at 773.617.6638 or