Our Favorite Kitchen Trends For That Long-Overdue Renovation

Photo: Courtesy of Design Milk.
Our fantastic friend Susan Serra, CKD, CAPS, shares a few exciting new innovations and trends in modern kitchen design. 

Observing kitchen-design trends from year to year is all about tuning into nuanced changes, and kitchen trend-spotting for the seasons ahead is no different. This is one room that's a big expense and a longterm investment in function and style for most homeowners, so the trends tend to be slower to change than those in general interior design. 

It is that subtle shift from year to year that makes me turn into a so-called Trend Detective, digging deep and analyzing social behaviors, world events, product launches, trade-show exhibits, even Hollywood sets, all with the goal of connecting the design dots.​ Ahead, the cool kitchen trends I'm most excited about!

Related: The Kitchen Steals The Show In This House
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Photo: Courtesy of Design Milk.
Clean Cabinetry
Leading lines in kitchen cabinetry continue to be simple, straight, and clean. I've been seeing an even more modern aesthetic, and a chunkier look than last year, but at the same time, I see the mixed message of strong texture and warmth, which serves to hold the aesthetic back from an uber-sleek look. Less is more — especially in small kitchens. ​
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Photo: Courtesy of Design Milk.
Perfect Imperfection
Looking at the entire kitchen this year, we're likely to see a lot of cabinetry with sleek surfaces and design — but it'll be juxtaposed with rich texture elsewhere, creating a really intriguing aesthetic.

That texture (with its perceived imperfection) may show up anywhere in the kitchen: in flooring, a backsplash, via hardware, or in the lighting, all of which reflect the popularity of personal expression. Few rules are followed here.
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Photo: Courtesy of Design Milk.
Oversized Yet Invisible
As the kitchen becomes kissing cousins with surrounding rooms, large-scale design elements are moving in. Oversized lighting fixtures continue as a trend. A single wall is featured here with a strong, dark color, creating a real sense of place while bringing natural dimension to the space.

Extended tables are everywhere, as are different-sized printed murals of a photograph. This type of personal design element adds emotion to a space that is often considered utilitarian. Windows and kitchen islands continue to be large, reflecting the ongoing desire for open floor plans.

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Photo: Courtesy of Design Milk.
High-Impact Wall Designs
Statement walls work as an architectural feature, whether they are bright and colorful or more subdued and neutral.

Likewise, large, built-in hoods function as a cool architectural element — some are big enough to be considered backdrops themselves!
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Countertop colors, particularly in engineered stone (today’s countertop material of choice), are darker and more understated than in our favorite kitchens of the past.

Related: We're Obsessing Over These Modern Kitchen Updates
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Photo: Courtesy of Design Milk.
Intuitive High-Tech
Appliance technology is becoming more popular than ever. The familiarity of the tablet has been fully integrated into the new Dacor 30″ oven, with Wi-Fi connectivity that allows apps and new recipes to be downloaded and programmed into the oven.
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High-End Appliances
European appliance makers, highly technologically advanced and famous for their confusing but chic icons, have recently incorporated intuitive controls into their ovens, sometimes with retro dials — a mixed aesthetic message that works. Several brands offer smartphone operation (some via SMS), with a single app controlling multiple appliances (of the same brand).

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Photo: Courtesy of Design Milk.
Neutral colors continue to be popular for countertops, appliances, and flooring. Whites, off whites, cool grays, warm grays — all are still trending.

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Photo: Courtesy of Design Milk.
Kitchen Architecture
In the kitchens we're most stoked about, the “idea” of architecture is expressed in sink and faucet designs such as BLANCO’s One sink, but also in appliances, tile design, and decorative visual “blocks” or simply designed sections of cabinetry.
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Photo: Courtesy of Design Milk.
Shelving By Design
Artfully constructed shelving is quickly gaining popularity. For the design lover who enjoys her kitchen time, this is a fantastic trend that we hope to see more of. Practical items can be placed strategically — or, totally nonfunctional pieces can hold court.

Next: Luxe Kitchen Details Are Quickly Becoming A Favorite Of Ours