“Kitchens sell homes.” Realtors® like to say that…because often buyers consider the condition of the kitchen an important part of the home-buying decision.
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.
If you’re planning a renovation, whether you are staying put, or are thinking about selling your home in the near future…you’ll want to do your research on the kitchen trends of 2020.
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.
Table of Contents
- Trend #1: The Kitchen is the Focal Room
- Kitchen Cabinet Trends
- Kitchen Appliance Trends
- Popular Flooring Choices in 2020
- Kitchen Counter Choices
- Trend #2: Technology Invades the Kitchen
- Trend # 3 – Task Specialization
- 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:
Trend #1: The Kitchen is the Focal Room
In today’s floor plans, the kitchen is often the center of the design, with all rooms converging in some way in the kitchen. The traditional floor plan with formal, separated public rooms has been drastically altered over the years.
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. The colors are chosen either 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
Nature is a strong influence on color choices today, with greens, blues, and browns popular. Gray is still the hottest neutral and is showing up in kitchen cabinets. Although we’re seeing a lot of “it” colors in kitchen showrooms (like Pantone’s Classic Blue )
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Color 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.
- With quality paints, updating your cabinets by painting them is a viable option. What colors to choose? Here’s some great advice from our expert Debbie Gartner: Best Paint Choices for Kitchen Cabinets. Along with that theme, there is a lot of advice about paining kitchen and bathroom cabinets, good and bad. Here’s How to Paint Cabinets the Right Way.
Kitchen Appliance Trends
We’ve been seeing a trend towards mixed metals for the last two 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, when done well.
- 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. 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.
- French door refrigerators and bottom freezer drawers are still popular.
- Expensive professional-style appliances such as free-standing stainless steel gas ranges, the trend for years, are losing popularity. They are being replaced by sleek induction cooktops paired with double wall ovens.
- Under-counter options are a growing trend, with drawers that double as refrigerators, wine storage or a pull out microwave. The placement of these appliances works better for many people.
- 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 Flooring Choices in 2020
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)
Kitchen Counter Choices
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.
Trend #2: Technology Invades the Kitchen
The kitchen has proven to be the perfect place for today’s smart home technologies to invade. 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.
- 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 — a boon to people with limited mobility.
- Voice-activated controls are becoming more available with internet-connected appliances.
- Many are opting for LEDs recessed lights, under-cabinet task lighting, and color-changing accent lighting. We see more LED-powered pendants and chandeliers from major manufacturers as inefficient incandescent bulbs continue their march toward extinction.
- A wide selection of affordable microwave ovens with convection and even steam features gives owners of smaller kitchen spaces more high-end cooking ability.
Coming to a kitchen near you…sinks that wash the dishes for you! Sign me up!
Trend # 3 – Task Specialization
- 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.
Trend #4: Universal Design
- Aging in place has been important to boomers. We’re also seeing many more families living in multiple generation households. Design trends include 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.
- 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. Classic looks are in.
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, 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. Islands today house appliances, sinks, cooktops, and storage. They offer eating space and create a gracious extension from the kitchen into the adjoining living space.
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 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.
- Sometimes a homeowner can go too far with “improvements” when they are planning to sell their home. Anita Clark, real estate agent in Warner Robbins Georgia, has some great advice in her article, Should You Improve Your Kitchen When Selling Your Home? She’s got advice that will help you get the best return on investment in your kitchen.
- Another article with some great advice, Debbie Gartner has 10 Ways to Improve Your Kitchen without a Renovation. A kitchen renovation can disrupt your life…maybe you can complete some of these updates without breaking the bank?
For more Design Inspiration all Over the House:
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