Spring is the time of year which speaks of new life and fresh starts.  What time of year could be more ideal to give your home a bit of a face lift?  It’s easy to get comfortable with the status quo.  Home is where the heart is.  But if you spend a lot of time there, maybe Spring is your moment to freshen things up.

We tend to apply the word fashion to clothing.  But the home front has its own fashion world and this year, that world is talking fresh and light, just like Spring itself.  From flooring to draperies to wallpapers to paint, the order of the day is a lighter, more playful mood.  Last year’s mahogany is this year’s maple, if you’re talking about hardwood or laminate, just for starters.  We’re not whitewashing the floors yet, but the direction is clear.

If you’re not a fan of the taupe onslaught of recent years, then rejoice.  Yesterday’s somewhat insipid neutral is making way for a richer shade.  Grey is the new taupe and the possibilities are endless, with paint and wall coverings offering tonalities of the much-neglected neutral from a whisper to a bolder, statement hue.

For years, home fashion trends have trended toward a muted, almost bland effect.  That’s over.  Even the kitchen is freshening up with cabinetry taking on a lighter side.  If it’s white, it’s happening.  But there’s also a home for darker colors in the kitchen, so long as they’re not dominant, as they have been recently.

Part of the contemporary kitchen’s transformation is the combination of dark kitchen cabinetry with lighter colours.  Up top, dark colors hold sway, balanced by the new lightness, below.  In fact, two-toned cabinets in the kitchen are this year’s most sought after look for those seeking a change to their culinary space.  I love this look.  You can also reverse it, going light on top and pairing that freshness with a deeper, bolder color, below.

Either way, adding such a striking design element to your kitchen can give your kitchen a new lease on life with paint alone.  Bright white with bold color is my favorite incarnation of this trend.  The effect is that you’ve had someone professional in to produce your new culinary look.

Another important kitchen trend for 2016 is granite giving way to Quartz.  Along with the theme of light, fresh finishes, comes a trend toward a less heavy color for your kitchen counter, sometimes even in white.  Popular at the moment is a bright white tinted slightly blue.  Lighter counters provide the illusion of more space.  Combined with two-toned cabinets (lighter up, darker down on cabinetry over the counters and darker up, lighter down on under the counter cabinets), this kitchen trend delights the eye.

But don’t panic if you’re not planning on replacing your granite counters any time soon.  Your two-toned cabinetry will balance it and provide contrast, when done right.  The look will still be contemporary, fresh and in the moment.  Add a colorful glass tile backsplash and you’ve arrived at Spring 2016 kitchen nirvana.