It may be fair to say that part of being an adult is spending a lot of time in the kitchen. Whether cleaning, cooking, tidying up and informal get-togethers – the kitchen is really the heart of the house.
So it makes sense that kitchens are also the space that should show off your style the most.
We caught up with local kitchen aficionados to catch up on the latest trends so you can do just that. In today’s real estate market, with property prices skyrocketing, “people don’t worry too much about reselling and they want to be bold with their kitchens,” says Tracee Murphy of Trademark Interior Design.
Here’s what the pros see.
Scaling back on open shelves
They’re still popular, but designers are seeing a reduction.
“We used to put open shelves around an entire kitchen, but now it’s one around the oil or spice cooktop area,” says Murphy.
“Open shelves look good, but they are exposed to dust and oil when cooking and require more cleaning. Form versus function ”, adds David Asher from Eurotech Cabinetry.
When Brittany Cocozza from Trinity Design sees open shelves these days, it is often with metal tubes, “for a more individual look,” she says.
Bye, everything in white
Hello, inky black, elegant shades of blue and natural grains.
“We see neutral tones with matte blacks,” says Cocozza. Dark colors are earthy and add a bold accent to the kitchen. Matt black stains that allow the grain to shine through are also popular.
Natural wood surfaces are earthy and inviting; Cocozza adds that walnut surfaces with the exhibited grain are currently in vogue.
For a lighter palette, Asher says Rift White Oak shows a very straightforward grain pattern.
Dude where’s your fridge
Peek-a-boo appliances like paneled fridges give kitchens a more customized, softer finish “so it doesn’t scream ‘kitchen’ so much when those items are hidden,” said Scott Mullet, third generation owner of Mullet’s Appliances.
He’s also seeing new finishes like matt white and glossy black that stand out against bronze hardware.
Stainless steel still dominates most device surfaces, but in the last 2 years there has been a search for more colors and even a matte white finish that is often paired with bronze handles. He also sees black stainless steel appliances with a metal grain look that is shiny like stainless steel.
Mullet is busy making coffee machine installations that can be built right into the house, saving valuable countertop space. “They even grind whole beans for you and frothed milk for a cappuccino,” he says.
Extractor hoods: statement piece or hideaway?
Mullet still sees a commitment to stainless steel hoods, but sometimes customers find them too tall and difficult to clean. Then the decision for the hideaway type under an overhead locker is more efficient and modern.
On the other end of the spectrum, some homeowners are using the hood as a statement piece, like the black one pictured above, which was specially made by Trademark Interior Design to pop against white cabinets and showcase a one-of-a-kind design.
Merge backsplashes and worktops
“Nobody wants to see grout lines,” says Asher. Plus, “a seamless path from the countertop to the backsplash is easy to clean and has a polished look,” he adds.
Murphy uses a lot of quartz, marble and natural stone as material. “Quartz is trending, but we’re starting to make more marble because we now have better seals on it and people are accepting the imperfections and even the stains it can pick up over time,” she says. “People see it as an added charm.”
Pushing a misguided foot over the water bowl comes with the pet owner’s territory. But new kitchen designs integrate bowls in corners under a worktop overhang or in a low pull-out drawer. Some even add piping for an forever full bowl of water.
Double duty sinks
“Most of our customers switch from a double sink to a large single sink with attachments such as a grill in the base. Some have cutting boards or salad bowls that provide extra space for food preparation, ”says Asher.
Asher says cabinets with ducts instead of pull-type hardware are the chic option. “Now we’re going to make them where the duct matches the cabinets – or you can also create a contrast with something like oak,” he explains.
Islands are here to stay
Because of Covid, “we see kitchens as mixed-use spaces, as every inch of the house has to be used,” says Murphy. “Families homeschool and use the kitchen for homework and remote work, but it doubles as a lounge area, so people want more comfortable bar stools.”
Another design element that Covid introduced and will stay is automation, Mullet says. “Wave your Hand” faucets and devices that you can program are in – for example, a water dispenser on a refrigerator that delivers exactly 8 oz. So you don’t have to use a measuring cup.
All in all, all experts agree that new kitchen trends underline the personality of a homeowner through the bold use of bold colors and textures – and high performance and efficiency are always in.