The Kitchen is usually the most expensive room in the home. But, it seems that every ten years or so, there’s a new crop of kitchen trends that catch our fancy.
The trends of the day influence us; they often look “fresh” That is, at first.
But, the 64k question… is:
Will it look fresh 10, 15, 20 years from now?
In addition, most of us want our kitchens to stand “the test of time.”
A kitchen reno is a major drag, in every way.
And, a bad and/or dated/weird design can decrease our home value.
Oh, but it’s all so seductive!
But, here’s the real problem.
There is no such thing as a kitchen that has stood the test of time. Think about it or just click on this post where we went through kitchen history. And, as you can see, the styles have changed a lot of over the years.
In addition, they’re still changing.
Before I get into the kitchen trends, I’d like to discuss what’s out.
If you happen to like what’s out, that’s fine. OR, if you just redid your kitchen and put in something on my “out list,” I am not here to judge. (too much) :] It might be perfectly wonderful for you and appealing to people who live in your area.
Ersatz French Country and all that goes with it.
Frankly, I don’t think this should’ve ever been in, but here’s what’s included in the out list.
- Heavily glazed, ornate cabinetry
- brown heavily patterned granite
- tumbled marble
- thick, granite with heavy edge details
- wrought iron curly cues
What I’ve discovered over the years is that the majority of Americans are mighty confused over the term “French Country.”
They think it’s this.
For most of my career, I’ve had potential clients calling me up wanting “French Country.” This is its own separate topic. But these examples above are NOT French Country. These are some made-up amalgam of something that only exists in someone’s fantasy of what “French Country” actually is.
Below is a French Country Kitchen.
However, most Americans would freak out if a designer presented a kitchen like this to them.
I rather love it! Well, let’s move on…
Now, we are going to review 12 of the hottest kitchen trends out there and decide whether we’re going to love them or leave them.
Let’s begin with cabinets.
Unless you are purchasing a La Cornue that also doubles as a stretch limo (below) :]
The kitchen cabinets are most likely going to be the most expensive purchase and if using upper cabinets and/or floor to ceiling, the most in your face.
The other material that is out except as an accent is wood.
Yes, you can have wood. You could do a gorgeous wood butler’s pantry or a wood island. Wood counters, floor and wood shelves. Or wood if you are only doing lowers.
But stained wood uppers are passe and uppers and lowers together are also.
It IS okay if you disagree with that because you:
- might absolutely adore wood.
- may be living in a log cabin.
- prefer it for any reason.
However, as far as kitchen trends go, wood cabinets are out of fashion.
And, I believe it is going to stay that way.
Yes, painted kitchen cabinetry is one of the kitchen trends that is here to stay.
And, I don’t necessarily mean a white kitchen. Although, if I had to pick something that I think IS absolutely, definitely, positively going to be here in pretty much this form in 20 years, it’s the “classic” white kitchen.
There are other painted finishes and colors that are also kitchen trends.
It’s the question on everyone’s lips? Is gray here to stay?
Well, you may recall that gray is actually an exceedingly classic color all throughout history. However, I feel that it needs to make sense within the context of the home.
Certainly the very pale grays are a safe bet; such as the gorgeous work of Heidi Piron kitchen with brass accents. (
This is a shaker style door which doesn’t have the little inset moulding. These are what I feel are the best options most of the time. Of course, that’s very general, but let’s say 80% of the time.
Yes, you can have a raised panel door for a more formal kitchen.
Most of the time, unless it is supposed to look antique, the finishes on-trend should be smooth and in a satin or semi-gloss finish.
If one desires an antique look, the glazes should be subtle, chalky and believably antique. No heavy crackle under 15 coats of polyurethane– please.
What about other colors for kitchen cabinets?
I am also seeing lots and lots of stunning blue kitchens.
This is my feeling on painting your cabinets blue or any other color which might be deemed “too taste specific.” If you love the look of painted kitchen cabinetry and it suits your home then sure, why not? If you’re planning on selling your home in 5 years, probably not.
Above are the encaustic cement floors that we discussed earlier. The ones above are pretty jazzy and I’m not sure if they are going to hold up (kitchen trend-wise)
However, in the kitchen below, I adore everything about it, including the classic design of the encaustic cement floor tiles.
And below the same kitchen
Shelves instead of upper cabinets keep things looking lighter.
We discussed that in our unkitchen post.
Yes, it’s true. They are more decorative than functional which is why I did the follow-up storage for the new unkitchen post.
Green has become a very popular cabinet color recently in kitchen trends.
However, the green kitchen trend I do not think has legs. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, but just know that it may very well be dated in a few years.
This is the kitchen which some of you may recognize belonging to Bailey McCarthy of the wonderful Peppermint Bliss blog. I love her work. However, I have to be honest. I’m struggling with this intensely saturated green kitchen– The top half of it. That range is to die for, n’est-pas?
I saw a larger image of this kitchen and I also think it might be a bit too much, but like the vignette here.
This brings us to the wildly popular two-tone cabinets kitchen trend.
Okay. It’s usually fine and oftentimes desirable. I think I would prefer Bailey’s kitchen more if there were more white above the saturated green.
More like this one below.
Please check out her blog from some very colorful kitchens!
Can’t see the entire room. But right here, it feels like too many cabinets. I don’t feel that a kitchen needs counters lining the entire perimeter if it’s a good-sized kitchen and there’s an island.
This one either looks like a kitchen store showroom or a mistake. (The right gray half against the white left half) I do love the island in a contrast color. But, the piece on the right seems like it should be white to me.
Nancy Keyes gray and white kitchen is absolutely perfect in every way. And she and her husband made the light fixture. So talented!
Charcoal gray and white. I love the panel moulding detailing here.
Yes, I think we all realize by now that there has been a quickly growing trend for black cabinets.
But… it can quickly go horribly wrong if one isn’t careful.
Is that really the only place the range can go butted up against the window?
The black here is divine in one of my favorite butler’s pantries
Black is also cool in this small urban kitchen, punctuated with a white porcelain farmhouse sink.
Laurel, what about all of that BRASS and GOLD and can we mix metals?
That’s two questions. ;]
I adore the “new” unlacquered brass. It adds so much warmth to gray cabinets especially.
And yes, not only can you mix metals– you should mix them.
But, I wouldn’t get too crazy and mix more than two colors. So, stainless and chrome and nickel with gold, brass or copper. Copper would be better with nickel or bronze, I think. There are lots of examples in most of these photos.
You can never go wrong with white subway tile. I think I’ll devote another post to that.
But while I can’t stand the crazy brick pattern mosaic, I do love this classic geometric tile from Walker Zanger.
I think that stainless steel is here to stay…but… regular stainless, that is.
We’re going to beam up to the year 2036. There’s a little impromptu game of Jeopardy going on. Hosted by the ageless 93-yr-old *Alex Trebek!
Contestant Bob: “Alex, I’ll take bad kitchen trends 2016 for $6000.”
Alex: This popular appliance color became a massive dud by the year 2022.
Contestant Bob: “What is the black stainless steel appliance?”
Alex: Yes, that is correct, Bob. Those abominations remind me of the color of my slightly lumpy suit jacket.
Black Stainless Steel.
DON’T DO IT!
The ubiquitous Shiplap Trend
I actually do like shiplap, but it should be used judiciously! And, I think it’s such a wonderful, sophisticated look for a country or beach home.
But yes, some have overdone it. A little shiplap goes a long way!
Phew! That was pretty long. And, I’m sure I left out a few things too. Is there anything you guys would like me to discuss further? I know that there have been some requests for a nice juicy back splash post. That would tie in nicely with kitchen counters.
Hope you’re having a beautiful weekend!
* Note March 2019: I’m a HUGE fan of Alex Trebek. Class act through and through. My children were “breast fed” on “Padee” as my son, Cale called the show circa 1992. In light of the recent news about Mr. Trebek’s serious cancer, I wish him every hope and prayer for a remission. And, that he gets at least another 20 years to grace this earth with his inimitable taste and style.