julieste

Contemporary cabinetry is really not very popular overall--T or F?

julieste
last month

"Flipping a home with contemporary cabinetry would only make any sense in an Urban setting and usually in a highrise building. Contemporary cabinetry is really only popular in cities despite what many people want to believe." This quote is from the excellent MainLine Kitchen blog.


Do you agree or disagree?


We're not intending to do a flip but want our townhouse kitchen remodeling to bring value rather than being a deduct if we need to sell in a couple years. I have been planning to use stream-lined, wood-look, slab doors in a contemporary mode. Is this too far out of the mainstream? Potential buyers for our place would be fairly well-to-do, well-educated retirees (and it's on the fringes of a semi-urban area).

Comments (26)

  • PRO
    JudyG Designs
    last month

    Why only an urban setting?

  • PRO
    BeverlyFLADeziner
    last month

    If your selection fits the style of the home I don't see a problem.






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  • jmm1837
    last month

    I suspect this is a very location-specific issue. I live in Australia, and contemporary style cabinetry seems popular/common way beyond inner city apartment settings here. It's quite common in new houses, and not just in big cities. Mind you, I get the impression that a higher proportion of new housing here leans toward the contemporary than is the case in the US so modern styling may be a better fit.

  • Design Girl
    last month

    If this townhouse is on the Main Line (PA), then I would say NO to the sleek cabinetry, especially if you think a buyer may be a retired couple.

  • latifolia
    last month

    Contemporary homes are probably popular in parts of the US - maybe Miami or the West Coast. Others will chime in on that.


    However, transitional is probably a safer investment for retirees. Maybe slab doors in real wood, rather than fake. Something stylish, but not avant-garde. Avoid trends. Invest in quality.

  • morz8
    last month

    I don't think one can lump retirees into a category - today that could mean anything between 50 and 75 and they have varying tastes the same as any other age group.

    I like contemporary now more than I did when younger. Often easier to clean, minimal dusting, leaving more time for interests and hobbies.

    I've seen contemporary, mcm on mountain tops, lakes, as well as in urban areas. My brother just bought an mcm home above a major oregon river - for the view, and the light. He is almost 63, his wife 2 weeks from 66 yrs. They are making no changes to the kitchen other than swapping out double wall ovens for a wall oven and a steam oven, have found a craftsman to fit them into the cabinetry with some adjustments. Changing an older Bosch dishwasher for Miele.

  • Robbin Capers
    last month

    Do what you want. I see slab cabinets as fairly neutral and unobtrusive and something that could be worked into a transitional style later if someone else wanted to.

    We're at the end of the road (literally) in rural Alaska and are doing a modern design with strong horizontal lines, purposeful asymmetry, and slab cabinets and I'm not really bothered with what someone else wants. It's going to look good, is in a great location, and fits the site and climate, all of which are much more important than the cabinet style.

  • julieste
    last month

    This is FLA in a rather affluent but not at all pretentious setting, and modern seems to fit the architectural style of our place. (We're not Philadelphia. It's just that I find that blog interesting because it gives lots of info about different cabinet lines. And, perhaps the blog is written according to the tastes of the clients served in that location.)

  • calidesign
    last month

    It depends on the style of the townhouses, both inside and out. If the townhouses are a contemporary style, it would be fine, but I wouldn't use them in a traditional building.

  • remodeling1840
    last month

    Location, location, location

  • PRO
    Helenscolour
    last month

    In my opinion you should go with what you like. If you do sell down the track cupboard doors are not a big change for a potential buyer. It is the cupboard carcasses that cost the money.

  • mabeldingeldine
    last month

    I'd say it depends on the overall style of the home, and who the future buyers will be. Millenials? I'd go for modern. I put IKEA cabs with slab doors in a very basic large ranch which we lived in while looking for our retirement home. I made the look/feel pretty modern, but using Askersund doors, kept it a bit warmer. I had more rental applicants than I could believe, despite the place being at the very top of the range for the area. Mostly millenials but the people who ended up there are mid career professionals who don't want the hassle of owning.

  • artemis_ma
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Depends on the style of the home.

    Depends on the buyer's own personal taste.

    Beverly's third example is so pug ugly and sterile I'd run out of the home before seeing another room there. Her second is rather interesting. So it actually matters on how you are going to go about describing "contemporary".

    I think based on the description where you are building, contemporary (of the right sort) would work fine. In some cases, new owners can easily modify. Others are trickier, and thus more expensive.


  • Super Lumen
    last month
    last modified: last month

    So as someone who has moved around the entire country, and renovated homes in all locations, I'd say this: taste tends to be more conservative when you ask someone what they would want from scratch, but most kitchens that you see in your typical builder grade home are HORRIBLY designed, and a newly well done kitchen of any style usually wows people if they walk in and see it in person.

    So what I'm saying is, good ol' auntie M may say " oh I want some of those nice honey oak cabinets" but when she actually walks in and sees a $50K kitchen remodel with teal lowers and white uppers and a stunning modern lighting and tile job on the floor and walls, she will still be impressed because it is far outside what she was capable of imagining. She wanted honey oak cabinets because that is the same drab builder grade stuff she saw in all her friends' boring kitchens and on the wall at XYZ boring big box store near her.

  • PRO
    Glo European Windows & Doors
    last month
    last modified: last month

    It really depends on the style of the home!

    For example, I just purchased a 1940's bungalow with hardwood floors, tudor arches and built-in nooks. The previous owner "updated" the bathroom in grey toned farmhouse style and it clashes terribly with the rest of the home.

    If contemporary makes sense with the home, then do it. If it doesn't, select a timeless cabinet that flows well with the overall aesthetic.

    **whatever you do, do it with intention.

  • acm
    last month

    If you're in a townhouse, then you're probably in a fairly urban area anyway, so why the conflict?

  • cpartist
    last month

    This is FLA in a rather affluent but not at all pretentious setting, and modern seems to fit the architectural style of our place. (We're not Philadelphia. It's just that I find that blog interesting because it gives lots of info about different cabinet lines. And, perhaps the blog is written according to the tastes of the clients served in that location.)

    I'm in SW FL in an area that is very affluent but not pretentious at all and yes, contemporary/modern is very big here. If I were in Philly, I absolutely would not do contemporary/modern as it doesn't fit the aesthetic there.

    It also has to fit the style of the house or condo. I wouldn't put traditional cabinets in a contemporary condo, nor would I put contemporary cabinets in an old house with lots of traditional details.

    The majority of new homes and condos in my area are putting in slab doors if the house or condo/townhouse is contemporary and are still putting in shaker style for more transitional homes.

    The authors at Mainline Kitchen Design have a bias against frameless construction which they say is due to the relative structural limitations that this style imposes over framed cabinetry.

    Poppycock!

    This stance has its merits but also overly influences many of the ideas and reviews they propose in opposition to frameless design, a format which is usually accompanied by modern door styles.

    No not always. I did frameless construction with full overlay shaker style doors and made it fit the look of my craftsman style house. I love the look of inset, but wanted the extra storage of a frameless cabinet.

    Full overlay, frameless construction is gradually overtaking the previous standard of partial overlay framed styling. Inset cabinetry is still popular but more expensive than either of the other two styles.

    Are these people also selling cabinets? If so, your answer is in the last sentence above.

  • PRO
    Tricia Hauser Tidemann
    last month

    I agree that you should consider the style of the homes exterior and interior. Continuity is nice to have weather your in the house for good or selling soon.


    Anything goes right now but a transitional styled kitchens has the widest appeal because it can speak to those that prefer contemporary design and to those that like traditional styles because it incorporates both styles.


    A slab wood look door that is stained in a warm tone can lean towards transitional because it has warmth and character. You can dress it more contemporary if you choose with your selection of stools, wall color, hardware, backsplash and light fixtures. These things are much easier to switch out when you decide to sell but can change the overall look of the space significantly.


  • PRO
    The Kitchen Abode Ltd.
    last month
    last modified: last month

    Regardless of a homes original style, how well a departure in the homes original style will work is directly related to the skill and talent of the responsible Designer. Respecting a home does not mean one is limited to just copying the original style as would be done in a restoration. Contemporary/modern styling can be incorporated within many other styles with stunning result when done properly without disrespecting the original style.

    Posters seeking this type of guidance should not really rely on this forum as the majority or respondents either lack the necessary skill or are heavily bias towards a specific design approach or their exposure to design is overly regional. It's a big world out there and it's well worth taking a step or two outside of ones little microcosm when seeking design inspiration.

  • Helen
    last month

    I think it foolish to stereotype people's tastes based solely on where they live. There are people who love contemporary design everywhere and certainly I would suspect that those looking in an affluent section of Florida would have those who like contemporary and modern design.


    I live in an urban area of Los Angeles in a high rise. The building was built in 1965 and represents no particular design aesthetic from the exterior. It is just a high rise much like the ubiquitous white high rises that sprang up in NYC and other urban centers in the 1960's and 1970's. If one were forced to say the building had a specific architectural style it would be modern - perhaps Bauhaus :-).


    All of the kitchens and baths have been renovated and they represent all styles. All one could say is that those which were renovated in order to flip (e.g. sell as soon as the renovation was completed), were done in what one would expect - on the low end, they have white or gray Shaker cabinets. Those which were designed with more costly finishes are done with very contemporary door styles and finishes. Those which were remodeled by owners intending to actually live there run the gamut from modern to traditional.


    I would imagine your potential buyer pool represents the same cross section of tastes so install what you like.

  • julieste
    last month

    There are some great insights here. Thanks for all the input.


    One of the reasons I am looking to do a contemporary kitchen is that I want to respect the character and design of our place. it has elements that very definitely come across as modern/contemporary. I am a firm believer in furnishing and remodeling that respects the style of the home. IMO, that is one of the prime reasons many people go wrong in remodeling; they don't take into account the unique character of their house and then work with that.


    maybeldingeldine--I am looking at those Askersund IKEA cabinets and like their appearance. I am wondering about the quality and longevity though.

  • jmm1837
    last month

    I think you've go the right approach in wanting to maintain the character of the home. I don't think for one minute that putting good frameless slab cabinets in a home that leans MCM will devalue it, nor do I think it will deter older buyers. (Disclaimer: I'm 70 and grew up in an MCM world. Slab cabinets all the way for me!)

  • Paul NY 5b-6a
    last month
    last modified: last month

    I don't think for one minute that putting good frameless slab
    cabinets in a home that leans MCM will devalue it, nor do I think it
    will deter older buyers. (Disclaimer: I'm 70 and grew up in an MCM
    world.

    jmm, my 1951 MCM house has its original slab-door kitchen cabinets. I may replace the cabinets in due course, not because of that but because of wanting a different configuration. There is no chance that I would put in raised panels or whatever. I'm 68.

  • Missi (4b IA)
    last month

    Put in what you like and can afford-I don't give two quarters what house I live in, nor the fact that I live in BFE. I don't decide anything based on how long I'm "planning" to live here b/c I have no clue what's going to happen tomorrow or next week or next year, neither do I decide anything based on who "may" purchase my house in however long down the road it may be. I'll do my house for me, and assume others do their houses for themselves, therefore if I'm in the market for a house-I will redo it for *me*, not some mythical potential buyers who may or may not be wanting to purchase my home in some unknown time period. If I'm always decorating/redoing things for someone else...what's the point?

  • mabeldingeldine
    last month

    julieste There are many threads on IKEA cabs here, although some of the older links are not working :-( I put the boxes together myself, using glue on all the dowels and making sure each cabinet was square. (I also used the hanging rail, which is a feature I love especially in older homes with wonky floors.)

    What really sold me was the hight quality Blum hinges and drawers, (full extension, soft close) and the ability to later on replace doors readily either with IKEA, or an aftermarket pre-drilled for IKEA door. For a kitchen which would become a rental, that was a key factor for me. I've added a photo here, and linked to my reveal post. Feel free to ask questions.



    julieste thanked mabeldingeldine
  • remodeling1840
    last month

    I attended a Remodelers Show kitchen seminar years ago. One of the cabinet retailers said she lived in an area of the country that trailed the popular designs for kitchens by five years. She said she always attended the shows so she would know what her customers would want five years later. I remember it so well because she laughed as she told us she couldn’t give away a white kitchen! I also had looked at houses in St Louis 25 years ago and knew that those kitchens were ten years behind the trends in Florida. Taste in decor is regional.

    julieste thanked remodeling1840

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