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9. White cabinets. Whites and off whites are the top choice for color schemes, at 73 percent, an increase of 6 percent over the previous year. The popularity of white cabinetry jumped from 59 percent in 2012 to 67 percent this year.

“They (clients) say, ‘I want my kitchen to be light and bright,’” Close said.

10. Gray color schemes. Grays are coming on strong, according to the survey and local designers. “In kitchens, shades of gray have noticeably jumped in use over the past three years,” the association said in its summary, noting an increase from 9 percent in 2010 to “a remarkable” 55 percent in the last three months of 2012.

“If you put in a classic white kitchen, very few people don’t like that,” said Nassetta, who designed the Christys’ kitchen. But, she confirmed, “Gray is really hot. It has been for the past couple of years and it’s still trending that way.”

The takeaway from all this?

“People really want easy, clean, unfussy kitchens,” Schmitz said.

And remember, don’t get carried away.

“Always try to keep in mind you’re doing the work for yourself, but at some point, somebody else will be in the house,” Close said. “Don’t do something so radical, so edgy, that in five years you’ll look at each other and say, ‘What were we thinking?’”

©2013 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Distributed by MCT Information Services

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