It can be dangerous to blindly follow a trend. And that’s a tough pill to swallow when it comes to interior design; gotta-have-it features that once burned brightly can turn so yesterday fast.
But in the kitchen—arguably the definitive focal point and gathering place of your home—experts agree it can pay to take a chance on a white-hot trend.
“The kitchen is the room in every house now,” says Chicago interior designer Rae Duncan. As a result, “our clients are lavishing details on their spaces. Elaborate moldings, spectacular lighting, and high-quality art now have as much a right to be in the kitchen as the refrigerator and stove.”
1. Bold colors
Photo by Loop Design
“Neutrals still have strong appeal with our clients, but we’re beginning to see more emphasis on color,” says Elissa Morgante, co-principal of Evanston, IL–based Morgante Wilson Architects. (She predicts blue will be hot this year, especially on kitchen islands.)
Embrace the trend by using different colors for your island and countertops, or choose complementary shades to highlight the lower cabinets from the upper ones.
“This concept really helps the kitchen feel more integrated with the rest of the home by connecting the color palette of the kitchen with the colors used throughout the home,” notes Leigh Meadows-McAlpin, a designer in Charleston, SC.
2. New twists on white-on-white
People still love a white kitchen (guilty!), but the all-white schemes that have reigned supreme in recent years have some obvious limitations: They’re hard to keep clean and can appear a bit, well, sterile.
To mix up the monochromatic vibe, designers are introducing vibrant lacquers and bold countertops. Or, for a more nuanced fresh take, pair painted gray cabinets with large expanses of white countertops and walls.
“This will evoke the same clean, fresh aesthetic of a white kitchen—without actually using white cabinets,” Morgante says.
3. Anything but stainless-steel appliances
Photo by Terracotta Design Build
Speaking of sterile, the stainless steel that’s long dominated our kitchens is also expected to see some competition in 2018. As today’s homeowners lust after color and flair in their kitchen, they’re trading in their metallic appliances for ones in vibrant colors or unique designs.
In particular, vintage-inspired, European-style ranges—complete with metal-wrapped accents—will be big this year, Meadows-McAlpin predicts.
“They’re typically available in a variety of colors and are somewhat reminiscent of an early-1900s steamer trunk, although much more beautiful,” she says.
4. Durable materials
Balancing form with function is tough, especially in the high-traffic, well-used spaces like the kitchen. That’s why the No. 1 request designers get these days is for durable surfaces that require zero maintenance, says interior designer and architect Daniel Germani.
My clients “hate the idea of investing in something that will inevitably stain or requires constant sealing,” Germani says. “People are busy—they want their kitchens to keep up with everyday wear and tear without the hassle of maintenance.”
Germani likes quartz surfacing such as Silestone (he recommends the “truly stunning” Eternal Calacatta Gold, which resembles the look of Calacatta marble) and Dekton, a stain- and heat-resistant surface he bills as “the most durable option on the market.”
And he’s in good company. According to the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s 2018 design trends report, a whopping 94% of respondents named quartz as the top surface trend for kitchens in the coming year.
5. Geometric tiles
“We’re seeing a shift toward simplistic, yet bold patterns that stand the test of time,” designer Stacy Garcia says. “These patterns help improve the perception of kitchen spaces—they create a layer of contemporary sophistication.”
6. Workhorse islands
Photo by j witzel interior design
A customized island that incorporates everything (including the kitchen sink)? Sign us up! This new darling of kitchen design promises to offer the ultimate blend of style and function.
“Everything from bar seating and open shelving to dishwashers and wine refrigerators can be found tucked into a well-designed kitchen island,” Meadows-McAlpin notes.
But resist the urge to order online and call it a day. Instead, study your space carefully before committing to a does-it-all solution.
7. Farmhouse looks (yes, still)
Photo by Caesarstone
Love it or hate it, farmhouse chic is here to stay—at least according to the 800 U.S. and Canadian pros surveyed by the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual trends report. Designers and homeowners alike have yet to tire of the back-to-basics look, which uses natural materials, like reclaimed wood, and rich, polished metals for kitchen plumbing fixtures, lighting, and hardware.
“Farmhouse style has an inviting ‘sit down and stay a while’ quality that resonates with people from all walks of life,” Meadows-McAlpin says. “Its friendly, unpretentious nature makes it well-suited for those who want their homes to be both a retreat to unwind and a gathering place for friends and family.”
“Farmhouse is always in,” adds Tina Anastasia, a partner at Mark P. Finlay Architects. But she predicts the look will shift in the coming year to incorporate more clean and contemporary lines.
“The totally-reclaimed look has been overdone, and we’ll see a more simple cabinet face with less hardware,” she says.
To keep your farmhouse look fresh, pair your wood-topped islands with quartz or stone counters and modern metallic hardware.
Whichever design trend you decide to go with, it’s a good idea to have a fresh look at your kitchen before listing the house. It can make all the difference. Whether you’re selling soon or just looking for advice, Erik Newton and the RE/MAX Prestige Realty team are here to help. Give Erik a ring at (561) 444-9606 and he’d be happy to chat.