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5 Big Kitchen Design Trends You Can Implement Now

5 Big Kitchen Design Trends You Can Implement Now

Interior designers share the five big design fads happening in kitchens right now.

Whether you’re getting ready to remodel your kitchen and are looking for inspiration or you’re a weekend warrior looking for a quick project to spruce it up, we found the five biggest trends in kitchen design you can implement now. From pops of color and metal accents to décor and integrating technology, you’ll find something you can easily add to  make your kitchen design feel current.

More and more, the kitchen is becoming the heart of the home and families are remodeling and redesigning their kitchens to make it feel that way—just look at home design shows, including Nate & Jeremiah by Design and Fixer Upper, for inspiration. “It’s not only the central hub for a family,” says Debra Funt, founder and president of Debra Funt Interiors in Scarsdale, “it looks like it’s integrated into your living space.” So just how do you achieve that integration in your kitchen? Here are five big trends you can incorporate now to give the new heart of the home a cozy feel, whether you’re a homeowner and can make drastic changes, or you’re a renter who can, at most, paint.

Pops of Color

While soft neutrals that create a serene space are still popular in the kitchen, Jennifer Morris, principal at Brooklyn-based JMorris Design, says more people are being adventurous with color accents including navy and cobalt blues, jewel tones, and bright yellow. And these colors are being incorporated in numerous ways. If you’re feeling daring, paint the walls (or just an accent wall) or cabinetry a bold color. “It also can just be one half of the cabinetry instead of feeling like you’re investing in the expression of a full kitchen,” Morris says. “I’ve seen it in just the lower cabinets where you’re seeing a dark, rich color and then the upper cabinets are a little bit safer.”

colorful cabinet kitchen trend
Courtesy Jennifer Morris
This kitchen in the Bronx, designed by Brooklyn-based designer Jennifer Morris, perfectly displays the color trend in cabinets.

If you decide to paint your cabinets, “for durability reasons as well as aesthetic, the high-gloss trend for cabinets is not going away anytime soon, but we are also seeing a lot more satin finishes, which is a great option if you want an overall more matte look,” says Nivara Xaykao, Benjamin Moore color and design expert. “Also be sure to consider the light in the kitchen, as this will impact how the color will look on walls and cabinets.”

Another color trend in kitchens is pale and milky colors (think matte too), according to Xaykao. And appliance brands are following suit with matte finishes, including De’Longhi’s Dedica DeLuxe Espresso Maker and Lattissima One, which come in matte white, and Café, A Matte Collection of appliances that come in matte white and matte black.

If you just want to dip your toe in adding color to your kitchen, go for colorful accessories, such as hand towels, area carpets, soap containers, curtains, and décor items.  

benjamin moore ballet white oc 9 benjamin moore gray owl oc 52 benjamin moore november rain 2142 60 benjamin moore hale navy hc 154 benjamin moore tarrytown green hc 134

Nivara Xaykao, Benjamin Moore color and design expert, says neutrals such as (from left) Ballet White OC-9, Gray Owl OC-52, and November Rain 2142-60 are go-to colors for kitchen walls, while bold, inky colors such as Hale Navy HC-154 and Tarrytown Green HC-134 are great for a pop of color on kitchen cabinets.


Metal Accents

“People are into a more modern aesthetic. Right now I’m seeing a lot of industrial happening,” Funt says. “In the city, people tend to be open to a lot of metal accents right now when I’m doing a kitchen renovation.”

If you have barstools at an island or counter, swap out your old ones for some trendy metal ones, change the knobs and pulls on cabinets for metallic options, replace the outdated lighting fixture for one that looks industrial, update your faucet for a trendier style, or upgrade some old countertop appliances to ones with metallic finishes. 

metal accents in kitchens
Courtesy Debra Funt
Debra Funt, a Scarsdale-based interior designer, incorporated metal barstools, pendant lights, and more in an all-white kitchen.

Café, A Matte Collection is on-trend in this aspect, too. After choosing matte black or matte white, you can “update and personalize with these accessories in the form of hardware and knobs,” says Maggie Bellinger, CMF, senior designer with Café, A Matte Collection. That hardware is offered in four finishes in line with the metallic trend: brushed copper, bronze, black, or stainless.

Want to add metallic accents but not sure what finish to choose? “Warmer gold tones are looking particularly fresh at the moment,” Xaykao says.

Fun Backsplashes

If you want to add color but adding accessories isn’t enough color for you (and painting is too much), Morris suggests updating the backsplash because it’s “very low risk.” It’s also a fun way to incorporate metal accents in the kitchen, with metallic inlays or tiles as part of the design. “It is something that can be removed or replaced in a relatively inexpensive way for the labor and materials. …It’s usually in the smallest area, but it’s something you see so much,” she says.

If you want the wow-factor without a lot of color, try one large piece of frosted glass or sandblasted mirror (bonus: They’re both easy to clean with Windex!). And if monochromatic is more your style, install single-color tiles in an unexpected pattern (think herringbone).

kitchen trend bright colors and fun backsplashes
Courtesy Debra Funt

Brooklyn-based designer Jennifer Morris added a pop of color in this Fort Greene kitchen with a yellow sink and a fun backsplash.


Living Room Décor in the Kitchen

“A lot of times we think of it as a sterile environment, but we’re starting to see framed artwork and paintings and photography…in the kitchen. I find that pretty fascinating where it’s almost a second living space,” Bellinger agrees. “So people want their pieces in the kitchen to actually look like the rest of their home.” Incorporate items in your kitchen that you would typically put in a living room, such as vases, candlesticks, artwork, and sofas or loveseats at the breakfast table, to give your kitchen a lived-in feel.

Tech-y Touches

As with other facets of our lives, technology is slowly creeping into kitchen design and trends. “I think generally a lot of people are looking at their home system as something they can maintain the control of from an environmental point of view, such as power saving, and in the kitchen there’s room for all of those things,” Morris says.

The easiest thing you can do to incorporate the energy-saving tech trend is to replace your old light bulbs with LED ones. They use 20-25 percent of the energy and last 15-25 times longer than traditional incandescent light bulbs, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

In terms of kitchen appliances, they’ve been “making huge leaps and bounds,” Morris says. Samsung’s Family Hub refrigerator, for example, is Energy Star-certified and has a touchscreen, which allows you to take photos of the inside of your fridge to see what you have and what you need when you’re not home, create grocery lists you can share instantly to any connected smartphone, write memos and sync family calendars, and even keep you entertained in the kitchen with streaming music and TV mirroring. And brands such as LG, GE, and Bosch offer smart ovens, dishwashers, microwaves, and more that can all be controlled and monitored from brand-specific apps on a smartphone.

If you’re ready to tackle some of bigger design changes mentioned above, start “paying attention to other friends’ homes,” Morris advises. Ask questions about how certain materials have worked out for them, how they like their smart appliances, and whether they have any recommendations for contractors or handymen. And do your research: how are smart appliances rated and do they come with warranties, what is the best value for you, is one material easier to care for and more durable than another?  Once you figure out your needs, “the trends should be the icing on your cake,” Morris says.

Main image: Café, A Matte Collection features matte white and matte black appliances with interchangeable handles and knobs in metallic finishes.
Courtesy Café, A Matte Collection


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Katelin Walling

Author: Katelin Walling is the former editorial director for NYMetroParents. She has been writing about parenting, health, finance, education, fun things to do in NYC and the surrounding area, and more for nearly 10 years. She also has 20+ years of child care experience and was a babysitter in NYC for 8 years. Katelin graduated from the University of Maine in 2011 and attended the NYU Summer Publishing Institute during the summer of 2011. To unplug in her free time, she can often be found reading, knitting (or general crafting), or whipping up a vegan treat—all with a cup of coffee nearby. See More

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