Designing your dream kitchen can be hard enough without trying to predict how well your sense of style will hold up in years to come. But having a little knowledge of what’s hot right now (and which trends are on their way out) can help you get a little more mileage out of your next remodel. Plus, having a good sense of some of the most desirable features can help you figure out where to splurge and where to hold back to get the biggest possible update for your budget, whether that means a major renovation or a quick facelift.
Transitional Kitchen Design
All areas of the home have been trending more modern, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should opt for a hyper modern kitchen. Traditional design still holds a powerful sway over designers and home buyers alike, which means that transitional kitchens have soared in popularity as a sort of middle ground between the two. These have the same clean lines, simplicity, and efficiency of a more modern design, but still have a softer, more classic appeal. French country and farmhouse styles and shaker style cabinets are especially popular because they offer a very down to earth, simple traditional style that’s casual enough for a contemporary kitchen, but still has that touch of old world class.
White kitchens are an American staple, and this kitchen trend isn’t going anywhere. All white cabinets are a great way to make your kitchen look bright, open, and clean. To dress up the look, pair white cabinets with dark accessories – like the counter top, hardware, lights, and fixtures; the contrast will add a touch of sophistication and drama to this classic look. For a more modern style, opt for a white-on-white look, preferably with a glossier finish, and make it pop with bold, colorful accessories. Finally, for a casual, earthy look, pair white cabinets with wood counter tops and floors and other natural materials, like burlap, hemp, canvas, or even leaf green tile.
Granite Counter Tops (Or Solid Surface)
People have been saying for years that granite counter tops are on their way out, but even designers who wish this kitchen trend would die have to admit that it isn’t going anywhere. Granite is still at the tip top of most homeowners’ must-have list for a major kitchen remodel, to the point that many are upgrading their counter tops even if they aren’t in it for a more extensive renovation. That said, if you’re one of the people bemoaning the persistent popularity of granite, consider opting for a solid surface counter top instead. These are made of a composite stone material – typically quartz – that’s resistant to heat, stains, and moisture, and is available in a wide variety of colors and patterns, from ones that look like stone to bright, bold solid colors.
Probably the simplest and most straightforward kitchen trend right now is that chrome finishes have gone way out of vogue. Except in the most modern of kitchens, bright, shiny, reflective surfaces are out, while all variety of matte finishes are in. From brushed nickel to oil rubbed bronze and even satin-finished stainless steel, a subtler, less reflective surface is preferred on all types of hardware, especially the kitchen faucet.
Oversized Statement Lights
Kitchen lighting is no longer purely about utility. Of course, you want to make sure your kitchen has adequate lighting – the more types and layers the better – but these days a kitchen light really isn’t worth buying if it doesn’t look great, too. The area over a kitchen island is prime real estate for a bold statement light, and homeowners are ditching the petite pendant lights of yore in favor of bigger, more assertive lighting fixtures. Hefty industrial style lighting fixtures – like antique pulley lights or big barn lights – are especially popular, as they fit well with that transitional, classic-yet-practical kitchen style that’s so popular right now.
Hand Scraped Hardwood Floors
Hardwood floors are back in a big way, and are fast becoming a must-have item for a luxury kitchen remodel. Hand scraped or other textured or weathered hardwoods are especially popular right now, as again they work really well with that reclaimed industrial/farmhouse vibe. Look especially for wood tones that are either very light or very dark, and avoid pretty much any medium tone in the middle. Very dark woods, like mahogany, cherry, or anything with an ebony stain are great for a slightly more traditional, sophisticated look (or for adding contrast to your white cabinets), while lighter wood like bamboo or a natural maple or oak create a brighter, earthier, more natural looking space. If you know your family is too rough on floors for hardwood (say if you have lots of kids or pets), consider opting for wood print porcelain tile. These are printed with high definition images of weathered wood planks to look just like the real thing, but offer much greater durability.
What are some of your favorite kitchen trends? Do you like the look of these transitional white kitchens, or do your tastes skew more modern, or more traditional? Let me know what you think in the comments!