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A California-based kitchen designer shares the latest trends for the heart of the home.

In luxury homes, cooking mechanics, thoughtful organization, and aesthetics are clients' top priorities for kitchens that are both functional and artful, according to Caren Rideau, founder of the Kitchen Design Group in Pacific Palisades, Calif., Rideau, who has designed and renovated hundreds of luxury estates, knows a thing or two about what constitutes an efficient cooking space. Here, she shares the top trends she's seen in 2018 so far.

Statement Ranges and Range Hoods With a renewed interest in cooking, there is increased demand for cooking performance and more powerful appliances. At the same time, many clients have become intrigued with adding pops of color in brilliant hues—including blues, greens, reds—in the kitchen, where white remains the dominant shade. As a result, European ranges are being paired with customized range hoods that have become a statement design element.

Expanding Kitchens to the Outdoors In temperate regions such as Southern California, homeowners enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors. Nearly all of Rideau’s recent kitchen renovation projects have included installing large, 12-foot or larger sliding doors, and replacing small windows with oversized glass panels. The intent is to create a visually expansive area that spills out to the outdoors, often connecting to an outdoor kitchen in the backyard, or a deck.

Specialized Kitchen Space Rideau often breaks kitchens into customized sections that meet clients’ specific needs and interests. For home sommeliers, tucked-away wine bars allow for serving, display, and proper storage of special bottles. For clients who love to bake, she has incorporated baker’s corners with commercial-grade ovens as well as custom baking racks and shelves. Small greenhouse attachments grow organic herbs for those who enjoy cooking with homegrown ingredients, and wood-fired ovens create a pizzeria-feel with marble-top or stainless steel counters for rolling out fresh dough.

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