Include a pantry right off the kitchen. Plenty of shelves and lower cabinets with doors or drawers will allow you to store items close at hand. Put things you use frequently on the shelves, where they will be visible and items used less often should go in the cabinets and drawers.

It’s becoming popular to have shelves installed on the walls where in the past upper cabinets would go. Or, glass-fronted upper cabinets add style and allow you to see what you have at a glance.

Selecting the right tile for the backsplash can create a dramatic focal point, or conversely, select a tile that can cover the wall behind the sink/countertop, all the way to the ceiling, that is, wherever there are no cabinets. Easy to clean, and it can add interest.

Islands are still very popular to expand counter space and storage in the kitchen, and often they double as informal eating spaces.

It seems that everyone is removing walls to open the kitchen up to the dining area and/or the living room, allowing the kitchen to be a social hub.

High-end kitchens are going with concrete (yes, it does make a beautiful countertop), quartz and granite. The laminate makers are getting better and better at mimicking the patterns and colors of the more expensive materials, so if you are on a budget, don’t despair, you have lots of choices. Engineered stone has an almost endless variety of colors and patterns as well.

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