Decades ago, the kitchen was the room hidden away. Closed off in the back of the house, the kitchen was a place where meals were prepared — out of sight — and dirty dishes were hidden.
Fast forward to 2021 and the kitchen has a much different role. Today, the kitchen is the focal point of the home, the place that brings everyone together at the start of the day and the end of the day.
While a bright, white kitchen will probably never go out of style, it’s always fun and inspiring to introduce the latest trends and decor styles. Going into 2021, there are six trends to watch for.
To spruce up the bright white kitchen, many interior designers are now adding a splash of lux. Not just with a slab of marble, but strongly veined marble. Think white marble with black or gold veins running along the face or dark grey with pronounced white veins. For the biggest splash, choose the busiest marble slab – the busier the better for unmissable luxury and next-level style.
While wood was out of fashion for some time, it’s now making a comeback. Consider lighter tones, such as Ash or pale Oak when pairing with manmade or natural stone (to balance the warm with the cold).
For a richer look, consider walnut cabinetry. Its rich, dark color, fine grain and natural warmth add instant luxury to any kitchen.
A move towards larger, open-space kitchens means more people and more workspace needs. To accommodate, consider a double kitchen island. While adding an additional (or two) island to your kitchen creates more counter space and more storage space, it also makes a statement of lux-living and ‘space is no object.’
Given all that we’ve been through in the last year, it’s not surprising that one of the biggest kitchen trends for 2021 is the addition of touchless technology and hands-free access. Think motion-controlled cupboard doors and hands-free soap dispensers.
Another trend is to get rid of knobs and handles using push-open (and close) cabinet doors. It allows less-touch access and means it’s possible to rid your kitchen of handles in both wall and base cabinets. If you prefer not to have push-open cupboards, then recessed handles provide the same sleek look and can be lined with contrasting colors and materials to add interest.
Handleless kitchen cabinets are one of the biggest trends for 2021, as it offers a pared-back, streamlined look.
Go one step further and add some smart technology. If you’re starting from scratch, add appliances and fixtures with built-in smart tech. This includes refrigerators that can monitor your grocery supply (and add needed items to your grocery list), ovens you can control with your WiFi-enabled phone, as well as faucets that can turn on and off through voice commands.
For older kitchens, consider adding sensors and smart gadgets to achieve a smarter kitchen. Easy add-ons include motion sensor equipment, such as touchless faucets, programmable coffee makers and voice-controlled lighting.
For those finally ready to break free of the white kitchen, it turns out that 2021 is the year that color cabinets are making a comeback. Many interior designers started breaking up the white, bright kitchen last year by introducing kitchen islands in a variety of painted colors and stains. The island adds a pop of color and helps break up the contrast. For a more dramatic look, consider adding dark color cabinets.
The biggest trend is still the design element that brings the outside inside. By adding an outdoor space or patio off the kitchen, homeowners can connect to the outdoors while still congregating in the home’s busiest room. When it’s not possible to create an entryway from the outdoors to the kitchen, homeowners are increasing window sizes. By removing the typically small, existing window by the sink and installing five to six-foot wide windows, any homeowner can bring in more light and more of the outdoors (although this does require re-framing and removal of wall cabinets).
Whether you’re building a new home, renovating an old kitchen or just trying to refresh your current kitchen, use these functional and aesthetic upcoming trends to help you design, update and remodel your kitchen in 2021.