If you are considering a kitchen renovation, you might be wondering what styles are most popular. Or what appliances most people are using in their kitchens. From several different sources, as well as trends I saw at the Kitchen and Bath Show, here are my favorites:
Transitional style, neither contemporary no traditional, but a blend of both is the most popular style. The shaker style door is very popular as it can work in either direction – contemporary or traditional. Gray is the new beige and we are seeing more gray finish cabinets as well as other gray surfaces, including walls and floors. Gray is not for every house, however. You need to look at the overall undertones in the materials that will be staying in place. For example, is your trim stained? If it is the warm oak or pine of years past, gray may not be the best choice. If your trim is painted white and gray blends with other materials such as brick work or flooring, it may work well.
We are seeing less detail and straighter lines overall in kitchen door styles and details such as corbels, all with less clutter and ornamentation. And in general a less distressed or rustic style although I am seeing areas of reclaimed wood accents to pick up on a vintage look. The key is using a rustic accent for interest, not having each cabinet distressed. Rustic accent walls with heavy texture can work well with a more contemporary setting to add interest and contrast.
Accessible and/or universal design elements as well as easy maintenance features will become the standard as baby boomers move past middle age. Energy saving as well as water saving appliances and fixtures are expected to continue to grow in popularity. Induction cooktops, steam ovens, French-door refrigerators, bottom freezer refrigerators, touch or motion-activated faucets and LED lighting are all in demand. And some desk or office area, although not the larger desks of the 80’s, but an area for mail is still very much needed with docking or charging stations for all the portable electronics that are so much a part of our lives.
Textures, whether visual or actually tactile are gaining popularity again. Subway tile and other horizontal patterns are the go-to for backsplashes. Large graphic wallpaper patterns, particularly for accent walls or the powder bath, along with grasscloth have also become popular. I find this interesting as a generational commentary. My generation of baby boomers resist wallpaper and large florals because we’ve “been there done that.” But to my younger clients it is fresh and lovely! Truly, what goes around, comes around!
Free standing furniture pieces, whether as an island or storage cabinet, can add to the the kitchen’s focus on a gathering place for friends and family. These accent pieces can reduce the formality and symmetry of a kitchen cabinet perimeter run. Stacked upper cabinets with a variety of cabinet heights as well as depth all add to a well designed traditional kitchen. In a more contemporary setting, symmetry of the upper cabinets or even eliminating the upper cabinets works well.
In countertops, I am seeing more quartz than granite. The strength of quartz which can allow a larger unsupported span and the bonus of never having to seal a quartz countertop has made it very popular. As well as the newer, more irregular patterns which look more like a natural stone product make them a winner all around. The price of granite has really come down, however, in the past few years as it has become more standard to use a stone countertop as opposed to laminate or acrylic. So, if budget is a concern, you may find an entry level granite more to your liking.
Each area of the country and regions within each area will move more strongly in one direction or another regarding these trends. Of course, it is most important to choose what you like, not what happens to be trending at a particular time. I have never recommended to my clients that they follow the trends too closely. Your kitchen should reflect your own tastes and preferences so, at the end, you will “love your home.”