A few weeks ago, I had the honor of sitting on a kitchen design panel at Maison Birmingham, a local custom cabinetry, kitchen and bath design studio. The topic of the evening? “The Kitchen of the Future,” and our goal was to offer the night’s attendees, a small group of the Detroit area’s top high-end realtors, a glimpse at the biggest kitchen design trends emerging for the next few years; insights they could then pass on to sellers wishing to give their homes the greatest amount of appeal and value to potential buyers.
While there were five of us doing the talking–my co-panelists for the night were Megan Swoyer, editor of Detroit Home, Hind Patros of Ciot, and John Rattray of Serba Interiors, while Lauren Tolles, the owner of Maison Birmingham, moderated–we were all able to agree on a few key trends that are quickly taking over kitchen design. Whether you’re giving your home an update before you put it on the market, or simply contemplating a renovation for your dated space, here are some key design shifts to watch out for.
Deeper, Richer Tones.
The all-white color palette has dominated kitchen design for the last decade, but this year, single-toned, neutral spaces are on their way out. Taking white’s place are dark, moody hues, vibrant colors, and warm, earthy tones. Specifically, colors like deep blue, forest green, and terracotta have come into fashion in a big way (and will likely stick around for a while).
White hasn’t fallen completely out of favor, though, since high-contrast color palettes are also in style at the moment. Think: White upper cabinets paired with lower cabinets in wood tones or darker shades of gray, blue, or green; or even cabinet boxes and cabinet doors done in contrasting shades or finishes. Open shelving, another persistent trend, is also a way to create contrast with cabinetry. Rustic or rough-hewn woods paired with white cabinetry, or white floating shelves paired with colorful lower cabinetry are much-loved options.
Mixing and Adding Textures.
Color isn’t the only way to get the mix-and-match look: interior designers and homeowners are turning toward using a range of different materials, textures, and design styles within a kitchen to give the space added visual interest. One of the biggest shifts can again be seen in cabinetry, as designers pair high-gloss cabinets with matte or rustic versions in the same space.
Other popular approaches? Creating a contrast between countertops and cabinets, for instance, by pairing a dramatic marble countertop with a warm oak cabinet, or adding accents, light fixtures and furniture in varying styles.
Hardware is no longer just a finishing touch — it’s a statement-making detail that can transform a design, thanks to the abundance of options on the market. Instead of simple brushed nickel hardware, options like matte black (one of the year’s most-popular picks), antique or polished brass, oil-rubbed bronze, or copper are now the sought-after choices.
Incorporating New Materials.
Like white cabinets, marble and marble-look countertops have seemed like almost the default choice for homeowners for the last few years. But moving forward, expect preferences and options to expand. Some of the more popular materials for both countertops and cabinets: wood, poured concrete, glass, stone, and metal. And if you still love marble, there’s a new way to do that, too. The current shift is once again toward darker tones like gray and black (which is actually good news, since dark versions are less likely to show staining and wear!).
An Emphasis on Customization
As consumers become more and more design-savvy thanks to the popularity of platforms like Houzz, Pinterest, Instagram, and design blogs, they’re also aware of the trends that are overdone or becoming too common. Because of this, more homeowners are looking to create original designs that fit their personal style, which is leading to a trend of kitchens becoming more bespoke and unique (similar to other areas of the home).
Homeowners want spaces that are balanced, yet cohesive, with the design elements in their space meticulously hand-picked and reflective of their tastes and lifestyle. Custom wine racks, built-in espresso machines, and built-to-fit drawer organization will continue to be popular options. There’s also been an emphasis over the last few years on creating kitchen cabinetry and layouts that feel more furniture-inspired, so the kitchen no longer looks like a large mass of cabinets.
The good news: retailers, showrooms, and manufacturers are picking up on this shift, and there are more options than ever for the various elements that go into a kitchen design.
What do you think about these new trends? Are you sad to see the white kitchen go?