Kitchen Trends 2023
If you are planning to update your kitchen to sell your home, or if it’s just to update your current kitchen for your own enjoyment, you’ll want to know what is trending in kitchen design and decorating. Even if you plan to stay in your home for many years, you never know what the future brings. You’ll want to have a kitchen that is not terribly out of date should you decide to sell.
Kitchens are often the most expensive room in the house when you consider appliances, cabinets, countertops, and other features. Nowadays, the technology we add to our kitchens raises the price even more. An updated kitchen is a big benefit to a home’s value.
“Kitchens sell homes!” Realtors® like to say that, because often buyers consider the condition of the kitchen one of the most important aspects of the home-buying decision. If the kitchen is too outdated or in need of repairs or upgrades, buyers start mentally deducting from the home’s value, whether they are correct or not.
Here are some of today’s kitchen remodeling and decorating items for homeowners that will be trending in 2022. I’ve got the latest information from my favorite online sources: Elle Decor, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, Houzz, National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and several of my go-to YouTube designers.
Trend 1: Hard Working Kitchens are a Must
Homeowners have spent a lot more time at home in the last few years while social distancing. Kitchens have had to meet a lot of demands, and naturally, we all require more of our kitchens than we ever have.
Zillow Research shows that closed home sales in 2019 and 2020 which had high-end kitchen features sold for more than expected. Specialty features, like pizza ovens, smart appliances and quartz were the top features that made homes sell for more. Expectations keep rising year after year, and today, people want more from the most hard-working room in the home.
Even though I’m suspect of the way that Zillow figures these increases in selling price*, I think the main take-away is that buyers will pay more for an updated kitchen. According to Zillow, other kitchen features that increase a home’s value include:
- Steam Oven
- Butcher Block
- Smart appliances
- Stoves with gas cooktop and an electric oven
- Wine fridge
- Pot filler
- Touchless faucet
According to American Institute of Architects (AIA) a butler’s pantry and a prep pantry top the list of popular kitchen features. People also want larger kitchens, more natural light, more storage and a computer work/recharge area.
If you are updating your kitchen, even just implementing one of these high-end features will make your kitchen stand out.
Trend 2: The Kitchen is Command Central in an Open Floor Plan
The open concept has been popular for decades, and the time spent at home these few years has magnified the need for every room to integrate into the rest of the home, especially the kitchen.
Open Concept is a very familiar term today. It’s difficult to find a home that doesn’t have an open plan. Modern kitchens are open to the living spaces of the home and need to blend in with the rest of the home décor. People are most often choosing kitchen colors and products to be cohesive with the surrounding living spaces in the house. For today’s kitchen trends, we need look no further than what is trending in home decorating in 2022.
Overall, “Less is More” applies to the kitchen. We’re seeing simple, clean lines in cabinetry, fixtures, and furniture. The top trends in home decorating include minimalism, which is illustrated in Contemporary style, Scandi, Japandi, Shaker, and Transitional style. Simplicity is a major trend in home decorating, and it extends to the kitchen.
For several years we’ve been seeing color coming back to the kitchen. While white cabinets and wood-tone cabinets are classics, we’re seeing various shades of green and blue in cabinets today, especially muted, earthy greens and blues. As kitchens connect to the other living spaces in today’s homes, the overall color scheme in a home is repeated in various elements in the kitchen.
The AIA reports that the size of the average kitchen is growing. In fact, the NAHB reports that the average square footage of the entire home has increased since the pandemic. People have recognized the need for more space as we do more from home.
Trend 3: Universal Design
We’re seeing many more families living in multiple generation households. Most builders have at least one floor plan that has options for two master suites, as well as two separate living spaces. As more Boomers plan to age in place, today’s kitchen design trends include Universal Design elements, fixtures and features that are ideal for aging in place.
- My favorite kitchen find on Amazon…convert any cabinet into a back-saving stand mixer station!
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- Touch-activated, and motion-activated faucets , both in the kitchen and the bathroom. It’s easy to find these faucets in the local big box home improvement store.
- We’re seeing many more under-counter mounted appliances, like microwaves.
- Classic looks are in. While many homeowners are planning to stay in their homes longer, they are thinking about selecting a style they like today, and will still like in the future.
- Open shelving became popular over the last few years, but many people have discovered how much more work they take to keep items clean, and their popularity is waning. Options for glass-front cabinets are a more popular choice. The ability to easily find what you are looking for is a plus for many who plan to age in place.
- Cabinets outfitted with pullout shelves are growing in popularity, although the price point is higher than traditional cabinets. The pullout shelves make it easy to spot wanted items and can be maneuvered by people of all abilities.
- Varied counter heights ensure people of all ages, sizes and abilities have a place to work.
- Most kitchens have widened door and hallways, multiple level cabinets and non-slip floors.
Trend 4: Outdoor Kitchen
For several years, homeowners have been transforming boring back yards into practical extensions of the home. But like many other home trends, the pandemic accelerated the desire for bigger and better outdoor living spaces. As people have been staying at home, they’ve had more time, and money, to invest in their own 0wn backyard escapes.
Several kitchen specialty companies are reporting that the majority of homeowners who are updating their outdoor living spaces are investing more than they were prior to the pandemic. According to the Freedonia Group, a company that monitors outdoor home improvement trends, kitchens are now a necessity in outdoor rooms, rather than a luxury.
To enhance the outdoor kitchen and dining, more homeowners are opting for integrated entertainment, including built-in speakers and mounted televisions. Millennials are more interested in outdoor entertainment systems than they are outdoor kitchens, according to the Fredonia Group study.
Second to outdoor kitchens in popularity, fire pits and fire features are a top option. Other outdoor features in demand are outdoor bars which include sinks, beverage fridges and kegerators. Pergolas for protection, and gardens are increasing demands as well.
One of the top decorating trends is to bring the outdoors in. Outdoor rooms are increasingly designed with the trend of blurring the line between indoor and outdoor environments. Builders and home improvement specialists have seen an increase in the use of folding or sliding glass doors and windows, or glass walls that can fold and slide.
Sharon Paxson, real estate agent and blogger in Newport Beach California, has written an informative article about creating an amazing outdoor kitchen. Outdoor dining is probably the most sought after feature of outdoor living, and in Southern California, it is a must. Sharon has great tips for choosing the right cooking and dining features, as well as adding inside comforts to your outdoor space.
Kitchen Cabinet Trends in 2023
Colored cabinets are growing in popularity, in keeping with the design scheme of the entire home. These include painted, stained and matte finishes, with muted earth tones and pastels as popular choices. When cabinets are on display from the other living spaces, color choices open up from the usual wood finishes.
Nature is a strong influence on color choices today, with greens, blues, and browns popular. Gray is still a popular neutral but many designers are forecasting bye-bye to gray kitchen cabinets. We’re seeing a lot of muted blues and greens in kitchen showrooms.
Cabinetry is following the “less-is-more” trend with clean lines and simple moldings and finishes, which are easier to maintain as well. Shaker cabinets are still very popular.
Cabinet decoration continues to be more streamlined. For example, massive corbels, once fashionable as under-counter supports, are giving way to sleeker countertop supports and cantilevered countertop edges.
Along with the integration of our kitchens into the rest of the home’s décor, people are opting for a blend of refined and rustic elements, all over the house as well as in the kitchen. It’s common to see warm, wooden ceiling beams with industrial light fixtures and sleek modern quartz or granite countertops.
Kitchen wood finishes have gotten warmer and more refined. We’re seeing medium toned wood cabinets with subtle, fine grains. Walnut especially is growing in popularity, not in the old yellowy gold tones, but ash gray tones. Dark wood cabinets are going out of style.
Combining lighter uppers and darker lower cabinets became the rage a few years ago, and seems to be sticking around. Dark lower cabinets ground the space, while light upper cabinets help lighten up the space.
We still often advise choosing neutral colors for cabinets and items that you don’t want to have to change often. It’s easy to change out accessories, furniture, rugs, and even wall paint when you get tired of last year’s HOT color trends.
Destin Florida real estate pro Danny Margagliano has some excellent tips for choosing glass kitchen cabinets that will enhance your property value. Using glass-front cabinets in your kitchen adds not only versatility and durability, they add the potential for lots of style. Glass adds another dimension to wood and stone and metals.
With quality paints, updating your cabinets by painting them is a viable option. What colors to choose? Here’s some great advice from our friend Debbie Gartner (The Flooring Girl) : Best Paint Choices for Kitchen Cabinets.
Hard Working Kitchen Islands
Although the pandemic did not inspire any radical shifts in kitchen design, it magnified the importance of many trends and improvements introduced in the last several decades.
The kitchen island is the main character in the pandemic story! It met the need for a place to do homework, a makeshift desk to catch up with work, and a gathering place for family activities.
The kitchen island is having a moment. The kitchen island has become a common hard working addition to the kitchen. Islands are getting larger and more versatile to fulfill more functions.
Kitchen Islands today house appliances, sinks, cooktops, and more. They offer eating space and create a gracious extension from the kitchen into the adjoining living space. Waterfall sides are more common.
Popular Kitchen Counter Choices in 2023
The choices in countertops seem endless. While many people still have a love affair with granite, there are many more natural stone and faux stone products available today and growing in popularity. Countertop choices for today’s homeowners include manufactured quartz, glass and recycled glass, stainless steel, classic ceramic tile, and growing use of versatile concrete.
We’re seeing a lot more model homes display a kitchen counter with matching single-surface backsplash. The kitchen island typically has a “waterfall” hard surface going down one side. This creates a simple, streamlined look that many people are opting for.
Again, kitchens are increasingly “on display”, so more thought is put into the design of each aspect. Geometric designs became very popular over the last few years. Here are some great tips on creating a backsplash that will make your kitchen a show stopper: 20 Neutral Backsplash Tiles for Kitchens, by Debbie Gartner.
Popular Flooring Choices in 2023
Like every room in the home, the kitchen has opened up to all kinds of flooring options in the last decade. Many model homes we’ve seen lately are outfitted with manufactured flooring that has the look of wood but the added durability of today’s manufacturing processes.
Engineered flooring is a floor that incorporates the natural material it mimics, but does so in an engineered fashion. While engineered wood flooring is the most well known, you can also get engineered tile and stone flooring. Some of the many choices:
- Luxury Vinyl planking is very popular here in Maryland. It is a lifetime product. NV homes in Urbana is no longer using wood floors, but luxury vinyl.
- Ceramic and porcelain products with a wood-like finish
- Engineered hardwoods with special backing that increases durability. You can get virtually any wood type finish, including engineered Bamboo.
- Engineered Stone
- Engineered Tile (although not as sturdy as solid surfaces, it’s better for areas of low traffic)
Trend 5 – Task Specialization in the Kitchen
Task specialization is a growing consideration in kitchen design. Technology has allowed us to add more functional items into kitchen design. Built-in cutting boards, coffee and drink stations, appliance “garage” storage spaces, deep pull-out drawers instead of traditional cabinet doors, warming drawers, wine coolers, and specialized home management spaces are examples.
Many kitchens today have more than one sink, with an extra sink for specialized tasks, like cleaning vegetables or fruit.
Another popular specialized task is a pot filler at the stove. If you are a pasta lover, there’s nothing more convenient than filling the pot right on the stove. It cuts down significantly on the heavy lifting from the sink to the burner.
A Butler’s Pantry is a growing kitchen must have. Even if it is a small space retrieved from a hallway, or a closet, it is a coveted addition to a modern kitchen. Since our kitchen’s are integrated with the rest of the house, everything is on display. Even a small butler’s pantry helps with additional storage and acts as a great hiding place for anything you don’t want on display.
Kitchen Appliance Trends
Although stainless steel is still the most popular choice in appliances, the finishes trend more towards matte tones, instead of shiny tones. Most often we’re seeing mixed finishes, which make it easier to pick out fixtures and lighting when they don’t have to match exactly. It also creates a more relaxed, eclectic design. The trick is doing it right! I recommend visiting a design center and getting good advice.
Appliances that have a satin or matte finish, whether in steel or other metals, are appearing in showrooms and model homes. Matte is a finish that lacks shine, so it looks more dull and flat. The appeal is two-fold, they are easier to keep clean, and they blend in well with other finishes.
Kitchen appliances have a lot more choices when it comes to sizes and design.
- We’re seeing multiple ovens with different placement than what has been traditional.
- Under-counter options are available for microwaves, ovens, wine storage, and refrigerators. The placement works better for many people, especially those aging in place.
- A wide selection of affordable microwave ovens with convection and even steam features gives owners of smaller kitchen spaces more high-end cooking ability.
- French door refrigerators and bottom freezer drawers are very popular.
- Multiple refrigerators that have specialized tasks are popular, like a separate drink fridge.
- We’re also seeing more specialized refrigerator drawers in the kitchen.
- The Statement Sink. Big, practical farmhouse-style sinks are everywhere, both in model homes and in online home-style magazines. They are often stainless steel, but we’re seeing other metals that make for a huge design statement, like brass, copper or Carrera and carved marble.
Trend 6: A Healthy Kitchen
AIA reports an increasing demand for more health conscious kitchen features in 2019 and 2020. Orders for drinking water filtration systems, hands-free faucets and anti-microbial surfaces and coatings have increased.
The pandemic has alerted us to the need for healthy air, as well as work surfaces, in our homes. Historically, homes have relied on natural ventilation through windows and gaps in the building envelope. As energy codes have become stricter over the last few decades, air circulation is now a big concern, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).
“Whenever your bathroom or kitchen fan is running, air is being pulled in from somewhere, and we don’t know where. So we have this really terrible ventilation in our homes, and it’s just not healthy,” says Scott Shell, an architect and contributor to NAHB.
In addition to cooking odors and off-gassing from products, indoor air can be contaminated by nitrogen dioxide, a byproduct of cooking with gas stoves that is often produced at unhealthy levels, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Enter the humble ceiling fan. According to the latest survey from NAHB, ceiling fans are hot right now. They not only help circulate air, getting rid of stagnant elements in the air, they can be equipped with technology that disinfects the air.
Lexington, Kentucky-based manufacturer Big Ass Fans has figured out how to equip its ceiling fans with UV-C lighting. UV-C technology has been endorsed by the CDC for killing COVID viruses.
Trend 7: Kitchen Technology Trends
The kitchen has proven to be the perfect place for today’s smart home technologies. The showrooms are full of the latest trends.
Internet Technology in the kitchen is increasing, with Wi-Fi enabled appliances and app-controlled items. Look for even more home-centered technologies in the next few years, as the “internet of things” increases, and more and more new tech products receive crowd-funding before they make it to the general public.
- Use your smartphones and tablets to control lights and appliance settings from anywhere you have a wi-fi connection.
- Voice-activated controls are becoming more available with internet-connected appliances.
- Appliances are equipped with USB ports and digital screens so you can display your family photographs and kids’ artwork.
- You can search the internet, and you can order groceries from your fridge. In fact, your fridge can order automatically when it senses your milk is low!
- Smart, induction built-in cooktops can remember your temperature settings as you move your pans across their entire surface.
- One light finger touch is all it takes to open the electronically controlled sliding doors of your kitchen cabinets — great for people with limited mobility.
- LEDs recessed lights, under-cabinet task lighting, and color-changing accent lighting are readily available. We see more LED-powered pendants and chandeliers from major manufacturers that are replacing inefficient incandescent bulbs.
Coming to a kitchen near you…sinks that wash the dishes for you! Sign me up! Check out these high tech smart home favorites on Amazon.
A New Aspect of Kitchen Design: Clutter Management
Something to consider if you are designing or redesigning a kitchen is management of all the stuff that is now part of open concept living. Using the kitchen as the center of the home means there is naturally more potential clutter. Thoughtful storage solutions as simple as garbage pullouts and as helpful as charging drawers are common.
If at all possible, a pantry is a feature that does a lot to hold kitchen clutter. If there is no room for a pantry, consider a mini-pantry, or a wall of cabinets that close. It doesn’t have to be a walk-in to add value.
Corner cabinets can be awkward and inefficient. Replacing a circular corner cabinet with a small walk-in pantry is a popular option in today’s kitchens, as we have seen in some model homes near us.
Big drawers are in today, often replacing lower cabinets. They allow for deep storage, ideal for smaller or larger items. Roll-out trays are also a good idea.
Kitchen Classics that Last
In spite of the changing trends year after year, there are some kitchen features that remain classic. And for good reason.
White kitchen cabinets are timeless and stay popular every year. The great thing about white is the ability to create style and color combinations in the less expensive items in the kitchen, like surrounding décor, wall color or even wallpaper, and furniture.
Subway tiles never seem to go out of style. While the size, colors and materials change, the classic subway tile endures. Here’s an interesting history of the classic subway tile.
Natural stone floors and counters, whether granite, quartz, stone or marble, continue to be a top choice for homeowners.
Wood floors or engineered wood floors are especially beloved in today’s open floor plans. It is very easy to find something that is tough and durable enough for the kitchen, yet fits in well with the rest of your home’s décor.
As mentioned before, kitchen islands are hugely popular. They add real “livable” functionality to a kitchen, which is the center of the home.
Why Care About Kitchen Trends?
There are several reasons kitchen decorating and remodeling trends are important for homeowners. If you are thinking about selling your home in the near future or making updates, whether small touches or big renovations, you will want to know what is trending in kitchen design and décor.
Along the journey of homeownership, there are several reasons why updating your kitchen is worth the effort:
- A home that is outdated will be less appealing to today’s buyers. There are sure to be other homes on the market in competition with yours. Presenting your home in the best possible condition will give you a competitive edge.
- A home that is outdated is judged more harshly by buyers. Buyers tend to draw the conclusion that other items in the home have not been kept up either, like maintenance and general care.
- Even small updates and decorating choices can send a subliminal message to buyers…that the home is up-to-date and well-kept.
- Staging a home for sale can help the home’s presentation, allowing buyers to “see” themselves living in the spaces in the home. Staging a kitchen is worth the effort, as it is the most scrutinized room.
Plan Your Kitchen Design or Redesign Carefully
If you are buying a new construction home or renovating your existing kitchen, remember the basics in kitchen design. While kitchen decorating and remodeling trends come and go, some things will always remain…a kitchen needs to be functional.
Design specialists refer to the sink, stove, and refrigerator as the kitchen triangle, the area of greatest activity which requires careful planning and lots of access.
When in doubt, it may be worth it to consult a professional designer. Many of the large home improvement stores have design services and software that could prove to be very helpful. Botching a kitchen design or renovation can be a very costly mistake, and many times unfixable!
Are you Designing a Kitchen for a New Home? Lucky you! Here are some helpful tips on kitchen design from the National Home Builders Association:
- The island is the focal point. Today’s home buyers want multi-functional islands
- Multiple seating and wrap-around seating is popular
- Pantries are in demand
- People want decorative light fixtures in the kitchen that are also functional
- Recessed lighting is still popular
- Layered lighting is desired to achieve the previous two ↑
- Consumers are not stuck on stainless-steel appliances anymore
- Color is back in the kitchen, but it’s a good idea to keep the color in the non-permanent aspects of the kitchen.
- Mixed Metals is a big trend
- Read more at: So much cooking in the latest kitchen designs.
Pin for Later Reading: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/4292562137378499/
Notes * Zillow’s method of calculating how much a single feature adds to the value of a home is suspect. I see nothing in the statistics that takes into account other high-end features of the house, or if there are any at all. We “typically” find that when a home has one high-end feature, it usually has others as well. Suffice it to say, homes with high-end features are going to sell for a higher price… which features bring more increase than others? That’s hard to say.
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