The kitchen has always been the heart of the home. But in 2020, it became the head, too, as families gathered there to study, work and socialize in addition to cooking and eating.

“Families, especially those with small children, still want the open concept kitchen, breakfast nook and family room combination,” says Jade Timmerman, the owner of Jade N. Timmerman Interiors. She says some clients are getting rid of their formal dining room completely because they know the space will simply go unused. Instead, they would rather co-opt it to make more room for an oversized kitchen that can be used for many different purposes.

Here are four more trends Tampa Bay homeowners are requesting to maximize space, add personality and make the kitchen their own.

Oversized and double appliances, seen here in this kitchen designed by JNT Interiors, are in high demand as more people are spending time cooking at home. PHOTO > BOS IMAGES KITCHEN DESIGN > JNT INTERIORS

SEEING DOUBLE

More space means more room to fill it with appliances you want and need for all those days and nights of home cooking.

Mandy Drew, owner of Mandy Drew Designs, says many of her clients are doubling up on appliances and adding an extra island. “We’ve always had clients who wanted two stoves, but now many are asking for two refrigerators, two dishwashers and two islands — one for entertaining and another for food preparation,” she explains.

Drew adds that it is not just families who are interested in doubling up. “I had a bachelor who asked for two refrigerators because he was entertaining friends at home more and needed additional space for beverages.”

CUSTOM COMFORT

“As people have been staying home and cooking [for themselves] more, they’ve begun asking for more high-end appliances,” says Timmerman. Those include fun additions like cappuccino makers and wine refrigerators. “They want more creature comforts in the kitchen, and they need a place to put them. Kitchen islands can be a great place to store appliances, or you can add a beverage drawer, which can free up space in your refrigerator. Ice makers can be built into cabinets.”

“You can customize drawers and cabinets for anything — like a spice rack or cutting board,” adds Drew, “You can even have a drawer with a hidden area to store items you don’t use often.”

Both designers add that many clients are requesting a designated electronics command center where all phones, laptops and electronics can be stored away and plugged in to charge at the end of a long day of working from home.

Some homeowners are skipping a formal dining room and putting a statement chandelier in the kitchen. PHOTO > BOS IMAGES KITCHEN DESIGN > JNT INTERIORS

CUE THE DRAMA

White or light, neutral-colored kitchens are still the most requested, but designers can use lighting, shelving and pops of color to add dramatic flair.. “Two- and three-toned kitchens are very popular,” says Timmerman. “The perimeter is white or a basic neutral, and then the island is colored or stained. Open shelving within a wall of cabinets can also give a breathing moment and is an opportunity to add personality and style.”

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Lighting is another way people are adding character to their kitchens. Drew says that many of her clients want show-stopping lighting to highlight focal points in the kitchen. They are using a combination of recessed lighting, sconces and pendant lights to spotlight favorite areas. Timmerman is seeing an inclination toward larger lights. “The trend has become using more oversized lighting,” she notes. “Kitchen bars and islands used to have three to four small pendants, but now we’re using oversized ones that make a statement. If you are using an island as your main seating and dining area, or if you’ve gotten rid of your formal dining room, you [might not] have the statement chandelier, but you can use a large pendant instead to add drama.”