The 2015 NKBA winner in the medium kitchen category. Designed by Leslie Kalish and Jennifer Hobson. (John Hayes/Courtesy of the NKBA)

If you’re curious about the newest trends and latest innovations for kitchens this year, the annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in Las Vegas showcased everything new and interesting.

But what about trends that have staying power? Open kitchens seem to be in that category. Richard Anuszkiewicz, a kitchen designer with Alt Breeding Schwarz Architects in Annapolis (and a frequent KBIS show attendee), thinks so, too. Anuszkiewicz answered questions about kitchen trends and design during a recent Home Front chat; here is what he had to say about open kitchens:

“Due to the lifestyle of a family today, I think open floor plans are certainly here to stay. Generalizing a bit, new footprints of homes are getting a bit smaller, so we need to use space in a multipurpose sense. The kitchen is a room where most gravitate towards naturally, so it makes sense for the open plan.”

Anuszkiewicz also believes we’ll see more walk-in pantries, butler’s pantries and small, secondary kitchens being incorporated into homes. “This will solve a lot of storage and clutter concerns.”

Open kitchen or no, here are three tips from Anuszkiewicz for designing a new kitchen.

1. Start with the right flooring.

“Pick the floor first, because it will affect the height of appliances, and you will want to make sure the new floor runs under all the appliances, such as the dishwasher, range, etc.”

After that, Anuszkiewicz said, choose items in this order: appliances, cabinets, countertops.

2. Layout should focus on function.

“The key to space planning is good function and keeping things in relation to one another,” Anuszkiewicz said. Is the fridge going to open into a major walkway? Can you reach the dishwasher from the sink?

3. Frozen with indecision? Get a designer.

“Check out to see if you can find a great designer near you. They will totally guide you through this process. It can be a bit scary, but interview a few and find out who is the right fit for you to work with. Develop a budget and what you are willing to invest in your space. Express your dreams and concerns, the highs and lows. They will make this process seamless for you!”

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