Table of Contents
- Kitchen Trends 2021
- Trend #1: The Kitchen is Integral To an Open Concept
- Kitchen Cabinet Trends
- Kitchen Appliance Trends
- Popular Kitchen Counter Choices in 2021
- Popular Flooring Choices in 2021
- Trend # 2 – Task Specialization in the Kitchen
- Trend #3: Kitchen Technology Trends
- Trend #4: Universal Design
- Kitchen Classics that Last
- Why Care About Kitchen Trends?
- Plan Your Kitchen Design or Redesign Carefully
- Recommended Reading:
- For more Design Inspiration all Over the House:
Kitchen Trends 2021
What is trending in today’s kitchen design? If you are looking for trends to update your kitchen to sell your home, or if it’s just to make your kitchen more enjoyable, you’ll want to know what is most popular today. Even if you plan to stay for years, you never know what thte future brings. You’ll want to have a kitchen that is not out of date.
“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 If the kitchen is too outdated, buyers start mentally deducting from the home value, whether they are correct or not.
Bathrooms and Kitchens are typically 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.
I’ve got the info from area model homes and from all the online gurus…Elle Decor, Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV, Houzz and Apartment Therapy…etc.
Here are some of today’s kitchen remodeling and decorating trends for homeowners that emphasize options and high-tech features at affordable prices.
Trend #1: The Kitchen is Integral To an Open Concept
In today’s open floor plans, the kitchen is often the center of the design, with all rooms converging to the kitchen. The traditional floor plan with formal, separated public rooms has been drastically altered over previous decade. Open Concept is what we hear so much these days. Especially now that we are home so much of the time and probably will continue into 2020, we are “living large” in every space of our homes.
Modern kitchens are open to the living spaces of the home and have a need to blend in with the rest of the decor. Kitchen colors are moving away from stark whites and more toward creamy neutrals, with pops of color. People are most often choosing kitchen colors and products to blend in with or to match the rest of the rooms in the house.
Overall, we’re seeing simple, clean lines in cabinetry, fixtures, and furniture. Shaker style, and appliances that are integrated into the cabinets. I’ve seen a lot of kitchen cabinets with no handles.
Kitchen Cabinet Trends
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 and is showing up in kitchen cabinets. We’re seeing a lot of blues in kitchen showrooms (like Benjamen Moore’s Aegean Teal)
We still 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 this year’s HOT color trends.
- Streamlined Looks. Minimalist and uncluttered. Cabinetry is following the “less-is-more” trend with clean lines and simple moldings and finishes, which are easier to maintain as well.
- Cabinet decoration continues to streamline. For example, massive corbels, once fashionable as under-counter supports, are giving way to sleeker countertop supports and cantilevered countertop edges. Stacked moldings have pared back or disappeared entirely. Elaborately glazed finishes have yielded to simpler paints and stains.
- Along with the integration of our kitchens into the rest of the decor, people are opting for a blend of refined and rustic elements, all over the house as well as in the kitchen. The relaxed appeal of “Farmhouse” design is updated and modernized in today’s kitchens.
- It’s common to see warm, wooden ceiling beams with industrial light fixtures and sleek modern quartz or granite countertops. Farmhouse style doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
- The kitchen island is having a moment. The kitchen island has become a hard working addition to the kitchen. Islands are larger than ever to create more storage. 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. and often have room for 4 or more bar stools for extra eating space.
- The trend toward dark painted islands also seems to be sticking around for a while. Combining lighter uppers and darker lower cabinets became the rage a few years ago.
- Kitchen wood finishes have gotten warmer and more refined. We’re seeing wood cabinets with subtle, fine grains. Walnut especially is growing in popularity, not in the old yellowy gold tones, but ash gray tones.
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. Along with that good advice, there is a lot of advice about paining kitchen and bathroom cabinets, good and bad. Here’s How to Improve the Kitchen without remodeling.
Kitchen Appliance Trends
We’ve been seeing a trend towards mixed metals for several years, although the finishes trend more towards matte tones, instead of shiny tones. Mixed finishes 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.
- Stainless-steel appliances are still very popular, although colors are making a come-back.
- 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 more mulitple ovens with different placement than what has been traditional. Under-counter options are available for microwaves, ovens, wine storage, and refrigerators. Wine refrigertors. 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. 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.
Popular Kitchen Counter Choices in 2021
Like flooring, 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 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 last year. 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 2021
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. So many choices:
- 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.
- 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. (my next project – replacing our vinyl kitchen floor with luxury vinyl…stay tuned for a blog post!)
- Engineered Bamboo
- Wood-Look Laminate
- Engineered Stone
- Engineered Tile (although not as sturdy as solid surfaces, it’s better for areas of low traffic)
Trend # 2 – Task Specialization in the Kitchen
- Task specialization is a growing consideration in kitchen design, with thought to smarter, if smaller spaces. 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, although a luxury for most of us, 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.
Trend #3: 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. Shop for appliances from major manufacturers right from your device.
- 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 ($500-$3,000) 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.
Trend #4: Universal Design
- Aging in place has become more important to Baby Boomers. We’re also seeing many more families living in multiple generation households. Today’s Kitchen design trends include Universal Design elements, fixtures and features that are ideal for aging in place, like touch-activated, and motion-activated faucets.
- Most kitchens have widened door and hallways, multi-level cabinets and non-slip flooring.
- 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 has become very popular in today’s kitchens. 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. 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.
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 decor, walls, and furniture.
- Subway tiles never seem to go out of style. First spotted in the early 1900s (1904?) in the New York subway, they seem to be eternal.
- 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, yet fits in well with the rest of your home’s decor.
- Kitchen islands add real “livable” functionality to a kitchen, which is the center of the home.
Why Care About Kitchen Trends?
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 research kitchen trends. There are several reasons kitchen decorating and remodeling trends are important for homeowners.
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.
- Kitchens and baths are important rooms in a home, often requiring the most money to update. Subsequently, when a buyer sees an outdated kitchen, if they aren’t deterred, they start to subtract from the offering price.
Plan Your Kitchen Design or Redesign Carefully
If you are buying a new 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 need to be considered.
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!
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:
- Today’s home buyers want multi-functional islands
- Multiple seating and wrap-around seating is popular
- The island is the focal point
- 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.
- When considering kitchen decorating and remodeling trends, lighting is one of the most important issues to consider. From task lighting, to overhead and natural light, it’s difficult to manage in a kitchen without it. Eric at The Lighting Tudor has super advice and everything you should consider about how to light a kitchen effectively.
- If you are concerned about the return on investment for you kitchen renovations (and hopefully you are!) John Cunningham has some tips on how to renovate your kitchen profitably. I couldn’t agree with him more when he advises against overimprovements.
- When renovating a kitchen on a budget, there are many ways to get great results without spending a fortune. Brian Davis has an article over at Spark Rental with seven hacks to cheaply redo your kitchen. You may be surprised how much you can accomplish for just a little cash…and it might be as simple as using some paint.
- Alex Capozzolo, increase the size of your kitchenof Brotherly Love Real Estate, has 4 steps that you can take to and enjoy your space even more…without a huge or costly renovation!
- Lynn Pineda, real estate agent in southeast Florida, points out that the kitchen is usually the first room that a prospective buyer wants to see. Lynn has excellent tips on how to get your kitchen ready for a home sale.
For more Design Inspiration all Over the House:
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