By LAURI GROSS
How’s your kitchen? Whether you answer, “Great,” “It’s ok” or “Ugh,” your feelings about your kitchen can be complicated. Most likely there are some things you really like about the space and at least a few you could do without. Here you’ll find insights on popular kitchen-design trends as well as some that are falling out of favor. If you’ve been thinking about giving your kitchen a simple refresh, or you already have a sledge hammer in your hand, you might want to read first.
Since you already live with your kitchen, you already know how you use it. You know where you need more of something (a bigger fridge? a deeper sink?) or less of something (fewer cabinets so you can fit more drawers?) You know if your bar-height peninsula might be better as a table-height island. And you know if you’re ready for maintenance-free countertops or a floor that is better at concealing muddy paw prints. With all that in mind, here’s what the experts say:
Flat-front cabinets in beautiful stained wood – or painted – are part of the movement toward simple, clean lines in a kitchen. Often, these incorporate open shelving. Concealing appliances behind cabinet fronts completes the sleek look. Cabinets without handles are still popular but beautiful, ornate handles are also gaining in popularity and they make quite a statement against modern cabinets. New color choices including bright copper and rose gold offer a rich design alternative to stainless. Black fixtures can also provide the desired look. Try a black kitchen faucet paired with a few other black pieces, such as black counter seats, to tie it in.
As for overall kitchen color schemes, a spa-like combination of gray and white remains a popular choice, and classic white subway tiles make a timeless backsplash in any kitchen featuring this kind of neutral palate. Then, add pops of color in anything from art on the walls, to window treatments, seat cushions or even switch-plate covers. Pastels in every shade are also making a move into trendy kitchens as are all shades of blue, from cobalt to powder blue and teal.
Islands continue to be popular, and while granite is still in demand for islands and countertops, it is actually yielding some ground to engineered quartz, which continues to grow in popularity. Marble is also having a resurgence with those who love the look and even appreciate the patina it will achieve.
Instead of a table surrounded by traditional seating, try a bench along one or several sides for the feel of a cozy built-in alcove. Pair the bench with chairs in the uber-popular mid-century modern style. For flooring, hardwoods are seeing competition from hardwood lookalikes crafted from laminate or luxury vinyl tiles. Ceramic and porcelain tiles can also mimic the look of wood, and they also offer endless other pattern and color choices.
As for technology in the kitchen, TVs are not as popular as wi-fi-ready smart appliances, and integrated music and lighting, often with the use of a smart speaker.
Other possibilities for updating a kitchen are truly endless and can include a single upgrade, like adding a wall-mounted pot-filler faucet, industrial-look lights, or adding sliding barn doors to a butler’s pantry or adjoining laundry room. In the you-probably-never-thought-of-this category, try a living wall of moss, or a multi-purpose integrated trough sink. Fill it with ice to chill oysters or champagne, or fill it with soil for growing herbs! No sledgehammer required.