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What's hot in kitchen design? Here's what some local pros have to say about the latest trends:

Sue Jantz, interior designer, Home Depot, Transit Road, Williamsville: "People are wanting kitchens that are more timeless, with materials that last. Around here, people are getting more interested in natural stones such as granite -- if only for an island to create a focal point and then using Corian or another material on the counter tops along the wall or perimeter. Granite is the most impervious to stains but, today, there are great penetrating sealers so that limestone and marble can be used successfully as well."

Don Cotler, kitchen designer, Kitchen World, Lockport: "Stone is the hot button today -- and painted finishes on cabinets rather than wood stains. Cabinets look like pieces of furniture, sometimes antique. We're using multiple textures -- painted finishes with natural wood trim, Corian with granite, wood counter tops in the food prep area. With appliances, it's still stainless steel, and people with large families are considering more than one dishwasher. Floors are tile or hardwood. In our region, heated floors have become more popular."

Wayne Watson, Auburn Watson, Tonawanda: "What we're seeing are clients with a genuine interest in learning to cook at a higher level -- at a different level than they were before. Couples are cooking together; on the weekend, it's recreational, even therapeutic.

"The kitchen is becoming a much more utilized tool. If there is a trend, it is more toward the home -- toward being with friends and family. So the kitchen -- in terms of its design, function and feeling -- is also moving in that direction. It's more comfortable, but it's also functional."
-- Susan Martin

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