The ideal kitchen design naturally blends with your home's overall style, your cooking habits, and your daily lifestyle
Your kitchen is probably the most-used room in your home. It’s where your family gathers to cook familiar recipes, share stories over bites of pasta, and wind down with cups of tea. So, it only makes sense that you’d want your kitchen to look beautiful and reflect your style.
It probably won’t surprise you then that kitchen remodels are some of the most popular home projects today. Our State of Home Spending Report found that nearly 24% of households completed a kitchen renovation project in 2021, an increase of 5% from 2020.
Home cooking is still rapidly on the rise as well, pushing the kitchen even further into the home design spotlight. As home chefs get better at baking bread, whipping up omelets, and even tackling a coq au vin, the layout, look, and functionality of the kitchen is key to the ease of daily life. You'll find endless lists of ideas and inspiration to upgrade your space, but a few recent trends will both elevate your kitchen's use and withstand the tests of time.
1. The L-Shaped Layout
According to a National Kitchen and Bath Association report, the ever-popular L-shaped kitchen design takes the lead again this year. As the name implies, the layout places all counters, appliances, and plumbing on two adjoining walls—as opposed to the U-shaped kitchen layout that uses three or four. The shape opens up the room for a kitchen island, breakfast nook, or simply more space to chat with guests as you put dinner together.
This arrangement serves small kitchens well, leaving plenty of traffic space for the stove, sink, and fridge—the three most utilized spots in the room.
2. Natural Hues
Warm, natural colors tie in the beauty just outside your kitchen, even if you don't have a ton of natural light in your space. Warm tan, slate blue, and sage green are popular paint and cabinet colors, and each one pairs well with metallics and natural stone countertops. Most importantly, the color palette is simple enough to add a pop of color or decorate for the different seasons.
You'll also spot these colors—as well as natural exposed wood—on islands and kitchen carts.
3. Modern Fixtures
Faucets, water filtration systems, and even pot fillers have continued to adapt with technology. No-touch sink faucets are ideal for keeping your kitchen clean, especially if you've been filleting some fish or prepping a Thanksgiving turkey. A modern faucet is an easy and relatively low-cost way to add a special touch to your sink.
4. Upgraded Appliances
More time spent at the fridge and stove means homeowners are noticing when their appliances are in desperate need of a boost. When starting a kitchen remodel, always begin by choosing your ideal appliances first, specifically those that will fit around new counters and cabinetry.
If you splurge for the six-burner chef range, you'll need to know these measurements before your contractor finishes their design.
5. Easy-to-Clean Workspaces
Cleanliness has always played a role in the kitchen, but now it’s more important than ever to ensure your cooking space is free of unwelcome microbes. Opt for natural stone countertops with antibacterial properties that are easy to clean. These include marble, quartz, porcelain, and granite. They also make the list of things worth splurging on in your kitchen design.
6. Custom Backsplashes
A backsplash is an excellent way to add a burst of color to the room without altering something as major as the cabinets or counters. Choose a complementary color that pulls in the hue of your kitchen, pairs well with your tiles, and reflects surrounding light fixtures. Consider taking your cue from nature, especially if your backsplash sits next to or under a window.
7. Multipurpose Islands
The island is the envy of the home chef, but this versatile piece adds more to your kitchen than counter space. Choose an island with extended counters for bar stools or chairs to act as an additional hosting area. Islands and even large kitchen carts provide accessible storage for items you need in a pinch, like herbs, spices, and cooking tools.
8. Space for Conversation
Both the kitchen island and the L-shaped layout trend point to the importance of having space in your kitchen for more than one person. Depending on the extent of your renovation, this could mean opening up your kitchen to your dining area, adding additional counter space to lean with a glass of wine, or even bringing in creative seating like a long bench.
9. Natural Accents
In line with the trend of natural hues comes an even greater focus on minimalist yet natural touches. For example, the top kitchen cabinet door styles welcome in glass windows to showcase your favorite dishes or louvered wood slat cabinets for a unique textured look.
Exposed wood also balances out the hardness of the stone and steel of your counters, appliances, and fixtures.
10. Creative Storage and Shelving
Now that we know how much clutter can affect our daily lives, ample storage options serve both form and function. Modern kitchens incorporate an out-of-sight place for garbage and recycling as well as easier ways to access unruly items like pot and pan lids or your vast collection of Tupperware.
Organized storage also helps the efficiency of your cooking process, placing the most important tools and ingredients at arm's length from the stove.
11. Versatile Lighting
Well-placed lights can change the whole vibe of a room, especially a kitchen that goes from food-prep central to hosting space in no time. LED lights in your kitchen are remarkably versatile, especially when placed over workspaces, above the kitchen island, or even inside storage.
As you gather all your favorite images and ideas, transforming these concepts into reality begins with finding the best kitchen contractor. With a pro by your side, you can navigate your budget, explore new material options, and elevate your space before your next dinner party.