Holiday prep time begins now. YIKES! For some reason, the holiday season really snuck up on me this year. I feel like I am still in Summer mode and yet, I am seeing ads featuring turkeys, pie, snowflakes and GIFTS!! Oh my! The signals are all out there that I need to snap to and get in the spirit.

That is how I find myself in my kitchen and thinking about all the time I will be spending here over the next couple of weeks. There should be some kind of ratio that every hour spent preparing a holiday feast yields about 10 minutes at the table actually consuming it. This could be depressing math, however, I find that thinking about, planning and creating holiday meals is an equally enjoyable part of the festivities (notice how I have left out cleaning up – not so fun).

As a prepare myself to begin preparing, I was waylaid (thankfully) by a Houzz article “10 Ideas from Popular New Kitchens”. The piece inspired me to start making a list. No, not a grocery list or a Christmas list or a New Year’s resolutions list – but a list of what I think are the Top 5 Kitchen Design Trends. Ready? Here they are:

1. White is Always Just Right

You can never go wrong with white. I have walked into white kitchens that were designed 10, 20, 30 years ago and they still look relevant. White is classic, timeless and always looks crisp and clean. “White Done Right” is one of the top kitchen trends according to Better Homes & Garden’s recent “16 Kitchen Trends That Are Here to Stay”. I also love the revealing “Secrets of the Perfect White Kitchen” in House Beautiful. Not that we need more convincing – but how gorgeous is Gwyneth Paltrow’s white Tribeca kitchen featured in Domino magazine’s “22 Celebrity Kitchens That are #SOdomino”.

Gwyneth Paltrow's Tribeca Kitchen - Kitchen Design

Domino | Photography by

White Kitchen Designs

Valerie Grant Interiors | Photography by Peter Rymwid

2. Finding Your Niche with Banquette Seating

Creating kitchen banquettes is a great way to add efficient seating space. Given that most banquettes are upholstered, these pieces of customized furniture soften up the kitchen space and allow you to add accents of color and pattern into the room. Traditional Home showcased 30 kitchen banquettes in “Smart, Beautiful Kitchen Banquettes” stating these areas “act as a space for casual dining, homework, playing games, or reading the morning paper with a hot cup of coffee.” And, who doesn’t need that??

Kitchen Banquette

Valerie Grant Interiors | Photography by Peter Rymwid

Kitchen Banquettes - Kitchen Design

Valerie Grant Interiors

3. All in the Family – Merging the Kitchen and Family Room

“Open Concept” is probably – or actually just is – the most over-used term in home design. But, if there are any blurred lines between the kitchen and the family room, these barriers will continue to be broken down even further.  I have been designing homes in which the kitchen and living areas occupy one continuous space. You no longer have to feel disconnected from your family while you prepare dinner or do the dishes. Forbes cites “Integrated kitchen-living spaces” in it’s recent post – “9 Kitchen Trends to Watch for in 2016.”

Merging Kitchens and Family Rooms in Home Decor

Valerie Grant Interiors | Photography by Peter Rymwid

4. The Color of Truth is Gray – André Gide

I am loving gray in the kitchen as an alternative to classic white. Looking into the phenomenon of “gray” I came across this great quote:

Quote about Gray

I could probably leave it at that. But, I will share with you a great and truly elegant Pinterest page about all things gray, an inspiring post in Kitchn – “Easy on the Eyes”  and a few photos of gray kitchens that I have recently done to fully support my assertion in favor of the gray trend. And, here’s a little factoid to clear up any grey/gray area you may be feeling about this issue: “Gray or grey? One spelling is British and one is American. Have you ever wondered why you see gray spelled two different ways? Grey is the preferred spelling in British English, but gray is more common in American English.”

Gray Kitchen Decor

Valerie Grant Interiors | Photography by Peter Rymwid

Gray Kitchens - Kitchen Design

Valerie Grant Interiors | Photography by Peter Rymwid

5. Hone in on the Range

My designs are all about creating visual impact in every room. In the kitchen, I have been in love with the gorgeous and incredibly functional Lacanche Ranges. Not only do these stove/oven units rate at the top of the list for function and reliability, but the beauty in the craftsmanship creates a design anchor in any kitchen. The deeply rich history of Lacanche and it’s mission of bringing “the family table back to prominence” is inspirational. “Designers are incorporating ranges with wow-factor to create an eye-catching focal point” is the reason Elle Decor considers “Show-stopping Ranges” as one of the “10 Kitchen Renovation Trends with Incredible Chic Factor.”  Metal and wood hoods are another trend identified in recent Forbes and Houzz articles on kitchen trends. Both of which I have been incorporating in my kitchen designs with Lacanche appliances.

Lacanche Ranges - Kitchen Design

Lacanche Ranges

Kitchen Ranges - Lacanche

Valerie Grant Interiors | Photography by Peter Rymwid

Kitchen Design - Lacanche Range

Valerie Grant Interiors

I encourage you to visit Lacanche’s well curated Pinterest boards and Instagram feed. You will find amazing design ideas and a treasure trove of holiday decorating and cooking inspirations.

As we begin to dial back to planning our Thanksgiving meal, I leave you with two recipes I found on Lacanche’s Pinterest page which I will be incorporating into my menu – one pumpkin cheesecake (instead of pie) and one festive cocktail!!!

Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe

Kitchn | Pumpkin Cheesecake

Clementine Whiskey Smash Cocktail Recipe

notey | Clementine Whiskey Smash

Happy Thanksgiving! And, enjoy your time in the kitchen.