With advice from design experts, here are some of the most recent kitchen trends.
Decades ago, the kitchen was hidden in the back of the house. It was a place where meals were prepared and dirty dishes were washed. Fast forward to today and the kitchen has a much different role. Today, the kitchen is the focal point of the home, the place that brings everyone together at the start of the day or after a long day way. Now instead, the kitchen is paraded in all its beauty and warmth at the very center of the house.
Kitchens have changed a lot over the decades and planning for your kitchen remodel is very important. Technology advances and changing social dynamics have contributed greatly to the rise of the modern kitchen. There is a far bigger focus on open concept homes that revolve around the kitchen so everyone can be together. As with any modern design trend, clean and simple styles have become favorites for homeowners with natural light becoming an essential aspect of the overall look and function of the kitchen space.
1. Smart Kitchens
Technology has entered the kitchen in full force and not just in the form of fancy gadgets and appliances. Today, you can have a kitchen with technology integrated into every function and appliance–from the faucets to the fridge to the lighting. This is what we call a smart kitchen.
Smart kitchens are an evolving aspect of design. In fact, a lot of kitchens today are built smart from the ground up. For older kitchens, sensors, smart gadgets and other devices can be added to for convenience to the homeowner.
Ease add-ons are motion sense-equipped kitchen faucets that can sense the presence of hands underneath and will come on automatically or try a one-touch feature. Refrigerators that can alert you when your groceries items are running low or a coffee maker programmed to have your coffee ready when you wake up. There is also a gadget that monitors your eggs, telling you which ones are almost going bad. Do not forget to update your lighting system–allowing you to control all the lights from your smartphone or tablet.
Technology integrated kitchens are becoming more popular as homeowners experiment with novel technologies. This is one of the biggest kitchen trends.
2. Cabinet Colors: White Stays, Gray Gets Elegant and Dark Paint Colors are the New Thing
White is still a big favorite for kitchen cabinets. Homeowners love it for its clean look, which is especially beneficial in a space that tends to get cluttered. White cabinets are simply beautiful and timeless and can be used in almost any kind of kitchen style. We expect white to remain a popular cabinet color, probably for years to come. To break up the all-white kitchen expect to see islands in a variety of different paint colors or wood stain colors. The mixing of finishes create a needed accent piece and additional pops-of-color for the brave of heart.
As popular as white cabinets are, grey is the second choice for many. Grey cabinets are like a chameleon of sorts. Versatile for any look or project. Grey cabinets work great when paired with natural elements, glamour accents, or none at all.
White and grey still seem to be the two big cabinet colors. Their modern clean look will keep them as favorites for years. But there is another color palette slowly making its way into the kitchen–dark jewel tones: black, navy, emerald green and even plum. It will surprise you at how well dark kitchen cabinets can work in and/or enhance a kitchen space with its dramatic and luxurious feel.
Dark kitchen cabinets portray full-on elegance and a deep rich luxurious atmosphere that the other options just don’t. They cast the kitchen in a subtle dramatic essence. However, you have to be careful that it does not overpower the room, making it feel perpetually dark. But more and more homeowners are getting bolder and opting for a kitchen with dark cabinet colors. While a darker color palate may not be the new white anytime soon, it certainly will get more popular with time.
3. Streamlined Designs, Materials and Textures
While styles like farmhouse and mid-century modern are still popular, homeowners are getting more streamlined in their overall aesthetic, designs and alternative materials for kitchens. Stress-free environments are what you would like to come home too, and drown out the day to day stresses of life. Which usually means, simplicity.
Removing upper wall cabinets has become a growing trend in the last few years since it opens up the visual space making the kitchen appear much larger and brighter. It allows you to utilize the countertop space more productively. Not to mention, most people can’t reach what is on the top shelves of the cabinetry anyway. Although open shelves would be a great alternative if the added storage space is needed or a focal point element was desired.
When we say streamlined, we don’t want to equate that with boring. So, consider materials with texture. If you are using open shelving, rough cut wood to bring in natural elements or metal tubing for a more industrial attitude. Floor tiles in a natural stone or backsplash tiles that are sculpted, beveled, or stacked make for the perfect focal point. These interesting textures are very different than the usual polished or glossy finishes we see everywhere. You may even want to consider a ceiling treatment to bring in that added punch. Coffered, tray, and wood beams are the perfect choices to consider.
4. Quartz is Still King
For high-end kitchen countertops, quartz still reigns supreme. The material is extremely hardy, can last virtually forever, is a breeze to maintain and is anti-microbial. Granite, the main competitor in the high-end bracket, requires slightly more maintenance.
When quartz countertops first came into the market, the main worry was lack of variety in terms of colors and finishes. But with time, thanks to technology, manufacturers have provided a wide range of colors to choose from as well as realistic stone patterns. You can even get quartz finished with elaborate swirls and large veining to imitate other materials like natural stone. These unique styles have become immensely popular.
But there is a notable trend toward softer and more neutral colors. More and more homeowners are opting for colors like: grey, taupe, creamy or white finishes. The pattern preferences have changed to veining from particulates that we’ve seen in past years. This definitely follows the trend towards cleaner styles seen in most home spaces.
While we are still on the topic of countertops, it is important to mention the rising popularity of composite sinks. These are sinks made from the same material as the countertop. This creates a cleaner uniform look and makes cleaning and maintenance much easier. However, it is going to be a tough battle against the still very popular stainless steel and farmhouse sinks.
5. Effective Storage Solution Cabinetry
One of the biggest annoyances with kitchen cabinetry is the unnecessary waste of space. The way the basic shelves and drawers are structured leaves a lot of wasted space. Worst of all, available space is often too small for some of your larger things or the opposite: it’s too wide and does not give you a way to properly and efficiently organize the space.
One of the foundations to a functional kitchen is kitchen storage. If it is inadequate or ineffective, you will be faced with endless frustrations and challenges. To counter these storage challenges, homeowners are starting to look for better storage solutions within the cabinetry. These can include: appliances garages for small appliance, drawer dividers for cutlery & utensils, pull-outs for spices, tray dividers and caddies for pots & pans; as well as wastebasket cabinets for garbage and recyclables and/or deep drawers. These will make it easier to store foods, drinks and small appliances.
We will also see a range of new kitchen storage options throughout the whole kitchen–focused on making daily lives more effortless and making cooking fun.
6. Appliances: New Styles and Preferences
If the kitchen is going to face a revolution, the appliances will not be left behind. One of the hottest trends we are seeing is gray-toned appliances in a dark brushed metal finish. Stainless steel appliances have dominated the market for quite some time, so seeing a different finish come into play is not surprising. Traditionally appliances are sold in suites, but occasionally you will find a refrigerator in red or the vintage style range in a blue and so on. This is definitely a departure from the once traditional all-white appliances. However, homeowners seem willing to experiment with a wider range of tones around the kitchen these days.
Even the interest in “must-have” commercial ranges seems to be fading a little. More and more kitchens want to include induction cook-tops with separate single wall ovens. This trend can be more expensive than commercial ranges and often take up more space. But as in many of these trends, aesthetics is a major issue. More homeowners are wanting a changeover from the more common commercial range look.
Changes are also happening in the oven world. Steam ovens are fast becoming the new “must-have” appliance. They cook food much faster, retain food nutrients and flavor better than conventional ovens. Leaving your meals juicy and delicious just like if you were dining out. Are you limited on aisle space, then consider getting a French Door wall oven. Not only are they stylish looking they can come equipped with Bluetooth so that you can control oven functions remotely from your smartphone. Stuck in traffic, worry no more.
7. Hardwood Flooring is Still the Shining Star but Ceramic Tile is on its Heels
Hardwood flooring is still very popular when it comes to kitchen flooring. But the second most popular option, ceramic flooring, is about to get more attention. Thanks to technology, ceramic flooring now comes in a wide variety of designs and styles and sizes.
For example, you can get ceramic tiles that look exactly like hardwood flooring. So if you want to retain the hardwood look but wanted a material that is easier to maintain, consider using ceramic. In addition to wood, ceramic tiles can be designed to resemble a range of other materials including natural stone. Even the surface texture is changed to mimic these materials.
In terms of size, you do not have to go for traditional sizing any longer. It seems like the sky is the limit with variety and larger format tiles. You can get single plank tiles that resemble actual wide planks of hardwood once laid down on the floor. Or you can get custom cut tiles to create a uniquely patterned kitchen.
8. Single Level Multipurpose Kitchen Islands
Kitchen islands are no longer an afterthought or something small to squeeze into the space. They have become focal points and the hub of the kitchen. One of the changes emerging is the single level larger sizing, serving multiple uses; especially since we are seeing less wall cabinet space in kitchen design. The kitchen island is meant to create an impact, and its design must make a statement.
The larger kitchen islands will become the jack-of-all-trades. They will have storage solution cabinets and be fitted with various under-counter appliances while also providing seating–serving as a casual dining and/or drinking bar. To accommodate the increased size, we are seeing a tendency for the kitchen island to extend into living room spaces in homes with open plan designs. This ensures the kitchen island can be multi-functional without cluttering up space in the kitchen.
9. Pet-Friendly Spaces in the Kitchen
The kitchen can be a hazardous place for babies and pets if you are not careful. While we try really hard to babyproof the cooking area; we do not think much about pet-friendly spaces in the kitchen. But there are some new ideas for a pet-friendly kitchen.
One great idea is a feeding station. This is usually a the end of a cabinet run or in the corner where you can set up your pet food storage cabinet, feeding station, toys and anything else pet-related. You can even design a kitchen island with a built-in doggy bed underneath the countertop. If you have cats and a little extra money to spend, consider a slide at one corner of the room where they can play until they are exhausted.