Articles about trends in kitchen design and products for the kitchen are fairly easy to find, so we’re not going to go into a lot of detail in this article. But it is interesting to see what kitchen design professionals from across the country predict will become popular or increase in popularity.
Houzz.com is an authority on trends, and they issue a trends report every year. The 2020 Houzz Kitchen Trends Study surveyed 2,600 U.S. homeowners who are in the midst of, are planning or recently completed a kitchen remodel project.
We, of course, referred to their findings for this article. Another resource was RICKI, the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence. And Kitchen and Bath Design News is always on top of trends.
What RICKI Found
RICKI surveyed 245 professional kitchen designers about continuing and emerging trends in kitchen design and preferences for kitchen products.
The top three most mentioned trends when kitchen designers were asked about one kitchen trend they feel will go from the luxury market to mainstream:
1. More apps for smart products / more connected appliances / more technology in the kitchen
2. Professional grade appliances with more features that make life easier, such as induction and steam cooking
3. Modern styling with Euro-style, contemporary cabinet doors that are easy to clean
Taking into consideration the data from other sources, the list can be expanded:
4. Custom colors and finishes, especially high-gloss finishes
5. Integrated/modular refrigeration
6. Bolder / greater variety of colors
Floor Layout Trends
Designers and homeowners must decide on the kitchen’s overall layout, before any cabinets or appliances are ever selected. Experts agree that open floor plans will continue in popularity, but with different levels of openness.
Designers report a move toward semi-open spaces, where decorative architectural elements like archways define 'zones' without closing off the room completely. These zones help hide kitchen messes, while still allowing interaction with friends and family while preparing meals. Space to entertain and converse inside the kitchen has been driving layout trends and continues to do so.
It seems people want more natural light in their kitchens; thus, designers see requests for larger islands, fewer wall cabinets, more and larger windows – even walls of windows.
- Drawers with interiors customized for the specific storage needs of the homeowner
- Floating shelves in combination with glass-front cabinets to showcase collections
- islands with hidden charging stations
- pet stations in toe kick areas
- Lights in cabinet interiors and drawers
- Soft close hardware for doors and drawers at all levels of cabinets, no longer reserved for semi-custom and custom
Countertop and Flooring Trends
- Quartz – i.e., engineered stone – countertops continue as the most popular countertop material
Sinks and Faucets
- Faucets that deliver a pre-programmed amount of water (to fill a pot, dog bowl, etc.)
- Faucets that offer touch or wave on/off functionality
- Smart faucets with sensors that prevent accidental flooding and provide temperature control
- Pro-style chef sinks continue to trend
- Black and brushed gold finishes are popular
Technology: Efficiency and Convenience
Technology in the kitchen is not just about having it for the sake of having it. It’s about simplifying life. Kitchen design is also about efficiency, convenience and making life easier. RICKI predicts that smart home products will move from the high end to more mainstream design starting in 2020, as consumers become more comfortable with the technology that controls smart appliances.
The kitchen and bath market is being flooded with technology, some of which helps people work easier in their homes, and some that complicates life. People remodeling their kitchens want clean lines and clutter-free environments, and they also want to minimize “mental clutter. Tech needs to be intuitive and purposeful to appeal to a broad base of homeowners.
Efficiency drives many homeowners’ choices. Efficiency in layout and design, in energy usage, in materials choice, maintenance, etc. This trend will only increase over time.
Wellness is a significant trend for the kitchen industry. Homes with wellness features are sought after by fitness-minded Millennials, health-conscious Boomers and the sustainability-oriented Generation Z.
Wellness is all a part of sustainability, especially in emphasizing non-toxic materials and energy-friendly LED lighting tied to smart home technology.
You can use this information to guide your customers’ choices during the material selection phase of their kitchen remodel project. When they ask you what’s popular now? You can answer with authority. And beyond that, it’s just interesting to see what your fellow designers report from their own work across the country.