Everyone interested in seeing what is on trend for kitchens this year should mark their calendar for the Junior League of Evanston-North Shore Magical Year 8: Designer Kitchens of The North Shore on May 4.
This year’s self-guided tour of five exceptional homes in Glencoe, Glenview, Northfield, Wilmette and Winnetka showcases a range of styles from French Provincial to modern.
“It is a fantastic opportunity just to get out in the community, see beautiful homes and meet people,” Beth Harrell Weissmueller, event co-chair, told DailyNorthShore. In past years, up to 500 people have attended this popular fundraiser.
This year minimalist style is on trend, with lots of clean lines and few decorations. But minimalism doesn’t mean small. “Bigger is better. Every kitchen has a giant island. It is the heart of the home,” Weissmueller said. Many of the kitchens boast appliances in duplicate, from double ovens, to two dishwashers and refrigerators.
Butler pantries are also on trend, according to Patty Lea, co-chair of the event. The pantries replace the traditional role of china cabinets in the dining room, storing glassware, dishes, and bar service, in addition to housing a sink and wine fridge. Many home owners use the pantry as a prep kitchen, where food is served at a formal dinner party, Lea said.
While white cabinets are still proving popular, these kitchens also boast pops of color with the islands in contrasting colors and fixtures in a variety of metals, according to Lea.
All those trends and more can be found in this year’s showcase house designed and constructed by Wilmette-based firm A. Perry Homes. In the French-Provincial style, the home features an expansive open floor plan.
“A. Perry does everyday opulence — live in luxury everyday. It is a very beautiful but useable home,” Weissmueller said.
The large kitchen boasts two islands in grey, with white cabinets, a copper ceiling and windows that shed plenty of natural light. The sheer size of the house is show-stopping.
“The foot print is so impressive,” Weissmueller said. “When you pull up you say wow. It has curb appeal,” Lea added.
The tour is also an opportunity to see some distinctive ideas up close. For example, in one home antique mirrors that coordinate with the dining room conceal the kitchen’s refrigerator. “You are really going to see unique features on the tour,” Weissmueller said. That same kitchen has waterfall marble on the island’s counter, which runs along the side of the island to the floor.
The tour features local architects, designers and builders, and are all new construction. Not only does the tour serve as a great opportunity to see the newest kitchen fashions and the latest and greatest appliances, it also allows people an opportunity to speak directly to local architects and builders. The designers will be stationed in their designed home to educate tour attendees on everything from the best use of space to material selection.
“If you are in the market for a new home, moving to the North Shore, or looking to do a new kitchen, you get to meet the designer and the architect. You get ideas about different styles of homes without any commitment,” Lea said.
The Junior League of Evanston-North Shore also partners with local florists and table scape companies to perfectly stage the homes for a fancy dinner party. Each year, the event raises between $40,000 and $50,000 which supports the Junior League’s efforts in the community. The Junior League of Evanston-North Shore focuses on supporting families and women, with events like Purses With Purpose, which collected 400 purses filled with toiletry items, and distributed them to homeless shelters.
Visit www.jle-ns.org for more information about Magical Year 8: Designer Kitchens of The North Shore.