Must-have kitchen trends for 2013

Need a recipe to spice up your boring kitchen? Design experts dish up the seven most popular kitchen remodeling trends for 2013.

Yahoo Homes

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Is your kitchen begging for an update? Does that green and purple tile make you cringe on every trip to the fridge? If so, now might be the time to explore the latest trends in kitchen remodeling.

According to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry's website, planning out exactly what you want out of your kitchen remodel will help you set realistic budgets.

And if you're still not sure what you want or even where to begin, don't panic. Here are some ideas from our country-wide panel of design and contracting experts who agree these are the six hot kitchen remodel trends for 2013.

Trend #1: Refacing Kitchen Cabinets

Do you want a fresh look for your kitchen cabinets, but don't want to go through the hassle of actually replacing them?

Good news: Kathleen Donohue, an award-winning designer with Neil Kelly Designs, says that refacing cabinets - not replacing - is in. Donohue says this trend is in because people are watching how they spend their money. And since refacing is the process of just changing cabinet doors while maintaining the original cabinet structure, it's a much less expensive option.

[Get help with your cabinet refacing project. Click to find the right contractor.]

And when it comes to cabinet refacing, think simple and sleek, says Donohue.

"When refacing cabinets, a clean, simple contemporary look is winning out, both from an updating standpoint, and a trend to eliminate unnecessary clutter and fussy details that equate to high maintenance and complicated living - both unpopular trends," says Donohue.

Trend #2: Stone and Solid Countertops

Are you dreaming about a gleaming new countertop to spruce up your kitchen? Consider quartz countertops, which experts say will be the material of choice in 2013 due to its durability.

"Stone countertops are losing ground to quartz composite countertops that are no-maintenance and the closest thing to bullet-proof countertop materials available today," says Donohue.

[Want help installing those new counter tops? Click to find contractors now.]

Florida-based kitchen and bath designer, Patricia Davis Brown, says another reason for quartz's popularity is that it has less fussy patterning than granite.

But quartz isn't the only trendy material for counters in 2013, according to Mark Fies, board of directors member for the Metro D.C. chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry.

Fies says more homeowners are asking for concrete countertops to create a custom and eye catching look. "With concrete you have endless colors to choose from, the ability to shape the surface as you see fit, and you can even embed materials and/or designs right into the surface," he says.

Trend #3: Hardwood Floors

Are you thinking about replacing your worn and ripped kitchen linoleum with gleaming hardwood floors?

Good, because our kitchen experts agree that hardwood floors remain a hot kitchen remodeling trend for 2013, with a few new developments.

For example, "I am starting to see lighter shades of wood floors again - something that hasn't been seen in a while," says Chappaqua New York interior designer, Cami Weinstein.

And Brown sees the same trend in Florida. "The washed wood floors are back but, with a twist - wider planks and hand scraping, giving a beachy feel," she says.

[Need help installing those new floors? Click to find the right contractor now.]

But hardwood floors can be a lot of work in terms of both installation and maintenance. Luckily, there are some options to give you that classic wood floor look - without the hassle.

For example, Goldberg and Donohue are seeing a trend in hardwood-looking floors made from durable and easier-to-install materials, such as engineered wood flooring, which is made from a plywood base with a real hardwood veneer.

"Engineered wood continues to be popular, but so is porcelain tile that looks like wood, with less maintenance and better water tolerance," says Goldberg.

Trend #4: Stylish Sink

Adding a stylish sink can drastically change the look of your kitchen. So what will be trending in 2013? Fies says the answer is deep bowl sinks.

"Deep bowls are still the rage," he says. "Although there are endless possibilities with today's sinks, our homeowners want large, deep sinks to accommodate their larger pots and pans. The debate between single or double bowl is still in full effect, but we tend to see homeowners choosing the one bowl option."

[Planning to remodel your kitchen? Click to find the right contractor now.]

After you've decided on the style, the next thing to consider is the material of the sink. And in terms of what will be trending for 2013, Weinstein believes stainless steel sinks will be hot due to their durability and flexibility.

"They just look great for a very long time and work with both modern and traditional cabinetry," he says.

Trend #5: Appliances

If you've been thinking about investing in new appliances, this could be the year to justify buying that commercial stove. According to Weinstein, incorporating commercial-style stoves and other useful built-in appliances in kitchen remodeling projects is a hot trend for 2013.

"Commercial stoves and stainless steel appliances continue to be used and enjoyed," she says. In addition, features that save homeowners time and space are becoming increasingly popular. "One of her favorites is a hot water dispenser. "They are great for a quick cup of tea, hot cocoa, or mixing with boullion cube for a stock," she says.

Adding to that concept, Goldberg says kitchen features that do double-duty and save valuable kitchen space are also must-haves for 2013.

This includes microwaves that double as second ovens and warming drawers, and refrigerators with convertible drawers that can act as the fridge, freezer, or wine fridge.

"Multi-taskers that serve more than one need are hot," says Goldberg.

Trend #6: Mixing Cabinet Colors

Is dark brown too bland, but red too vibrant? Will white cabinets turn a dull shade of gray after the kids put their hands on them? If you can't decide on a color for your kitchen cabinets, never fear - our experts say it isn't just one color that will be trending in 2013, but rather a combination of colors.

"Homeowners no longer need to choose between white, medium, or dark tone cabinetry," says Fies. He adds that a variety of colors will provide visual interest, and can immediately give your kitchen an updated, modern look.

So what are some ways you could incorporate a combination of colors into your own kitchen?

"I am starting to see kitchen cabinetry painted in shades of cream, taupe and gray, often mixing in a darker wood for an island or the lower cabinets," says Fies.

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