Wood Vibe  

Though hardwood floors have a timeless appeal, they aren’t well-suited for use in kitchens. Hardwood flooring is susceptible to scratches, dents, and stains, and it may even warp due to the excess moisture in a kitchen environment. Lepper sees a lot of demand for flooring that has the look of wood but is designed to withstand the rigors of the kitchen environment. “Luxury vinyl plank (LVP) is a great product for this area because it is waterproof and can easily withstand high humidity,” Lepper enthuses. “You could potentially have a flood, remove it, and then put it right back down.” LVP is engineered to be highly durable, so it is resistant to scratches, dents and stains. This low-maintenance wood floor alternative is also more budget-friendly than traditional hardwood.

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Granite for Good 

For the past two decades, quartz has been one of the most preferred materials for kitchen countertops. Though quartz can mimic the luxurious look of a high-end marble, this engineered stone is both more affordable and more durable. With these qualities, it’s safe to say that quartz countertops are here to stay. However, Lepper has noticed that an increasing number of homeowners are opting for granite countertops instead. “Granite is a natural stone and it is very unique,” Lepper says. “To walk through granite yards and see this beautiful stone that has been mined from the earth is incredible. There’s nothing like it. This means that with a granite countertop, you’re getting a one-of-a-kind look.”

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Island Style

When designing a kitchen, it’s important to find the right balance between timelessness and trends. The kitchen that’s trendy today may feel very dated in a year or or two. Lepper’s suggestion is to keep trends localized. “Doing something unique with your kitchen island is a great way to add that splash of individuality or the wow factor to the space,” she says. “Then play it safe and do something simpler on the perimeter of the kitchen.”