For a whole lot of reasons, people on Hilton Head Island are considering a kitchen makeover today more than ever before. Some of the reasons have to do with how we use the kitchen – other reasons stem from a new way of looking at the whole home.

Altogether, there’s never been a time more abundant with kitchen makeover ideas, fixtures and appliances, and design concepts. It’s fair to say that imagination is in charge when you take a new look at what your kitchen could do and mean, and what it can do for the feel of your home.

From Hub to Home

The most interesting reason that today’s homebuying market went through the roof is more human than simply taking advantage of historically low interest rates while they last. The reason with the most design implications is that the experience of 2020 imprinted most of us with a whole new impression of home. Spending more time there – a LOT more time for many of us – people shifted from regarding home as a hub for all our outside activities, to experiencing home rather as an embracing environment. When home became workplace, school, restaurant, amusement center, people seem to have become a lot less forgiving of any shortcomings they might find there, including in the kitchen.

One result is that more and more Hilton Head Island families are improving the homes they have, and many of them begin with a kitchen makeover.

Hitting the Accelerator

The kitchen makeover many have in mind today is a rapid continuation of a trend that is even bigger than architecture and design. Something that’s been happening all along is happening a whole lot faster with today’s kitchen makeover. It is a sociological fact that food preparation went from something that somebody else did in a separate room – if you were well off – to an activity that grew more and more central to the life and enjoyment of the whole family. Designers see its beginnings in the 1920s, when swinging server-doors between the kitchen and dining room were dismantled.  Shortly after, pass-throughs and countertops emerged, as the boundaries between kitchen and dining grew faint.

A distinguishing step forward in mid-century modern homes was to integrate cooking and living areas even further. Open-plan arrangements meant that entertaining and enjoyment – whether for a party or a family meal – were part of meal preparation, and vice-versa.

Today, that continuation of sight lines and engagement goes even further. For many, meal preparation is part of the evening’s enjoyment, and putting it in a separate place no longer makes sense.

Lessons from a Year

A friend who particularly enjoys her kitchen told us that for a while in 2020 it was difficult to find yeast in the supermarket. So many families began baking bread in their newfound time at home that certain supplies that would have been regarded in years past as specialized, or just for enthusiasts, saw sudden demand that was hard for a while to meet. The lesson we draw from this is not so much about particular menu items, but rather as signs of how much the importance of the kitchen grew, when people were closer to home.

Patience is shorter now, even on Hilton Head Island, and that contributes even further to the rapid pace of kitchen makeovers. People seem to experience time differently after a year spent close to home. The importance of every day seems greater and putting off satisfaction makes less sense to many of us now.

New Directions and Abundant Options for Kitchen Makeovers

Colors have never before been so varied and available, in cabinets and fixtures, surfaces and backsplashes. Still, even with all the variety available, a trend that is striking visually is to aim for simplicity and contrast. The drama of one dark and one light color, together with clean lines, and the beauty of materials rather than ornamentation, makes itself felt in an overall way, rather than drawing the eye from place to place.

Warmth is another impression that is well served, using the colors and styles available today. A warm orange and wood tones can humanize the stylish industrial look that the loft aesthetic brought to kitchen makeover design. Rhythm is an often-overlooked opportunity in the kitchen – the repeated shapes of stools at a countertop, or the regularity of hanging pots and pans treat the eye to a kind of visual beat or groove that is pleasing and yet not distracting.

The variety of options is so great, that sometimes defining a few categories or main thrusts to consider can help. Let’s imagine three: Bold color, two-tone, and naturalistic.

Available colors today are so innovative that it’s possible to make a statement with one unexpected hue. Cool or warm, restful or vibrant, your palette today is virtually unlimited. A two-tone makeover for your Hilton Head Island kitchen is anything but dull because of the drama that contrast can convey.

When two-tone is the direction, subtle tones such as charcoal grey can often serve. It’s a bit like picking a power suit for an important meeting. The goal is not for people to see, “What a nice suit,” but rather, “How well prepared she is.”

Naturalistic is possibly a better term than rustic for describing a kitchen that highlights a granite surface or a rich, wooden island, or a stone backsplash. The point today is not to look close to nature, but rather to show appreciation for its beauty.

The Main Idea

The main idea in today’s kitchen makeover is the realization that the kitchen is no longer a container, a box, a room where work is done. As the heart of the home, it is also a backdrop, a setting, a scene in which the people who live here play out some of the most enjoyable, memorable times of their lives. If this way of looking at the kitchen appeals to you, we should talk. Connecting your desires with the results that fine design can offer is our passion and our pursuit. We look forward to getting together.