Unusual materials, double islands, and more—here are a few of designers’ favorite things.
The kitchen has always been a place of comfort and connection, and now more than ever, it is essential. With the ever-changing landscape of appliances, layout ideas, and finishes, it can be hard to know which trends to invest in. To help make the decision easier, here are nine key kitchen trends that professional designers suggest you buy into today.
1. The Return of Wood
We noticed an increased demand for natural ash wood cabinets and finishes. She notes that people are using this rustic yet contemporary material in a modern way, allowing for luxurious layers in the kitchen. Furthermore, many individuals are choosing to forgo white, opting for richer colors and textures for a more personal kitchen aesthetic. Design duo Cayley Lambur and Lucia Bartholomew of Electric Bowery echo this notion, stressing the importance of texture and warmth.
2. Little Details
We emphasize the importance of making kitchens as detailed and personalized as possible. Our clients are no longer limited to the classic triangle layout between the stove, sink, and refrigerator, but rather free to create an arrangement that works best for them. The art of details is allowing for more customizable options for designers and clients, such as different finishes for appliances, and customizable façades, and covers. Additionally, features like coffee and juice bars are becoming more commonplace.
3. Make it a Double
Designers are taking kitchens to the next level by incorporating two of everything—whether it's islands, refrigerators, ovens, or dishwashers. According to Houston-based interior designer Nina Magon of Contour Interior Design, double islands offer more storage and an ideal spot to entertain.
Judy Dunne of New York City-based design firm Butter and Eggs adds that post-pandemic, having dual appliances is essential to increase entertaining capacity and provide convenience for cleanup. Double islands, multiple refrigerators, and double ovens are now the must-have kitchen features.
4. Smarter Kitchens
Romanek states that appliances are becoming smarter due to numerous technological advancements. Lau adds that integrated smart-technology systems, as well as options tailored to the user, have been revolutionary and continue to become more advanced. Magon mentions that luxury kitchen design is heading towards the creation of smart kitchens, as many people are now spending more time in the home and desire appliances that make their tasks easier. He further points out that technology is leading to more eco-friendly kitchens with air purifiers for clean air.
5. Mix it All Up
Los Angeles-based firm, notes that there is a shift from the fitted kitchen look - where everything looks the same. In designing kitchens, they like to mix up the different elevations and design each area differently. Dream Home Design and Build is known for using a range of finishes and materials, rather than the traditional built-in approach. As an example, he points to a LA townhouse that utilizes a mix of materials to make it feel more personal than just built-ins.
It is evident that having a variety of materials and colors is the new standard when it comes to creating a unique and creative kitchen design. “Lower and upper cabinetry is designed to stand out while also complementing each other,” shares Boyd. “Dark and light, shiny and matte, painted and wood tone—all of these combinations are in vogue.” Designers are introducing metal trim, mixed bespoke hardware, and hinge to create a handcrafted look. Dunne further adds that metal finishes are increasingly being incorporated into kitchen designs in many different applications and finishes. The kitchen trends now go beyond stainless steel, allowing designers to create elevated designs. Indeed, the variety seems to be the spice of life.
6. Out of Sight, Out of Mind
One of our Clients of Christine Gachot of New York-based Gachot Studios is increasingly requesting a back-of-house, annexed kitchen. This gives them the ability to entertain guests while keeping the mess of cooking hidden away. To make this possible, designers are introducing scullery kitchens which provide space for cooking and preparation without being connected to the public areas of the home. In addition, a “show” kitchen is also becoming popular as it allows for entertaining with a clean and organized space. Taking into account the importance of entertaining, designing a kitchen with a butler pantry and other ancillary prep areas has become a staple for clients.
7. Is That a Kitchen?
Joseph strives to create something luxurious that doesn't necessarily look like a kitchen. He takes into account the purpose of the space and the atmosphere it needs to evoke. To make his designs truly unique, Joseph collaborates with independent designers, artists, and makers.
Recently, Joseph collaborated with a ceramic company to craft a tiled mural that extends across the countertop, sink, and backsplash in one of their client's homes. Additionally, Vogel Studio was brought in to create sand-blasted bronze handles for the kitchen doors and drawers. According to Boyd, "With all of the clever concealments now on the market, the kitchen has turned into a place of exploration, rather than the traditional concept of a kitchen. Refrigerators and appliances are virtually invisible, making the kitchen feel more like another well-designed living space.
8. Down to Earth
Gachot comments that environmental concerns have become a priority in everyone's thoughts, and suggests going beyond the traditional methods of recycling and composting to utilizing kitchen appliances that conserve waste, energy, and water. She mentions Miele and SMEG as brands offering new energy-efficient products with attractive designs and highlights the presence of appliances like SodaStream in kitchens as a way of reducing plastic use. Boyd encourages clients to be ambitious with their kitchen design, and make mindful decisions when selecting materials - as the kitchen "gives back to them every day", these sustainable products ultimately prove to be a worthwhile investment.
9. Fashion-Forward Appliances
Boyd creates eye-catching designs with their colored appliances. "Our customers want the most luxurious stoves with fashionable colors and creative hoods that become the center of attention in the kitchen," she states. Dunne agrees and adds, "The kitchens will have simple lines, with integrated panels to cover the more functional appliances like fridges and dishwashers. But there has been a resurgence of interest in more unique ovens from brands like La Cornue, AGA and Officine Gullo."