lithic” kitchen islands, he says. Organic, nature-inspired design carries over into dramatic marble or quartzite options that turn a backsplash or kitchen island into “a bit of an art form,” Nettesheim adds. Stone fronts on lower cabinets also help bring the elements of the outdoors to an interior design, he notes. For the last 27 years operating his upscale custom home business, Nettesheim says some things have remained the same: Open-concept kitchens continue to be the “dominant choice.” This trend has evolved even more lately, into “hidden” kitchens— where functional items like knobs, electrical outlets, or handles that may interrupt the visual flow from the living room are designed to disappear. “You look into the kitchen and it’s more clean lines and simplicity. We’re trying to get the kitchen to feel less like a kitchen,” he points out. Custom home clients request integrated appliances, where pocket doors or cabinet-like panels disguise ovens and refrigerators. Some even get Rover in on the remodel, with built-in “pet centers” that make necessities like pet food dishes and water bowls look chic and intentional. In some cases, tall cabinets reveal a hidden kennel tucked inside. “(Pet centers) are a fun development I’ve been seeing. They’re part of your family, they deserve some design,” Shaoul says. Some clients take the hidden kitchen idea even further, whether for practicality or polish, Shaoul adds. Doors that open with a gentle touch provide a contemporary finish—and also a helping hand for clients with arthritis pain. “It’s been a godsend for people who need it, and beyond that it’s a really nice, clean look,” she adds. Of course, technological advances in the kitchen make everything from turning on the oven (by using an app while driving home) to crafting a grocery list (you can download it from the refrigerator to the app) easier than ever. Smart switches can be programmed to a “making dinner” mood, brightening up the space to help with cooking, Nettesheim notes. As kitchen trends start to shift, these industry veterans advise homeowners to consider the feelings they wish to evoke in their kitchen—one of the most communal and hightraffic spaces of any home. “Do something timeless that works for your space,” Nettesheim says. “Timeless is not a trend.” Tom Meaney, AIA, Mark Nettesheim, CKD Classic Kitchens & Designs, Inc Charissa Shaoul 16 The Best of Monterey Bay ® Haven 2023-2024 Charissa Shaoul Tom Meaney, AIA, Mark Nettesheim, CKD Classic Kitchens & Designs, Inc kitchens_23.indd 2 8/1/23 4:11 PM