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January 25, 2021 8 min read

Kitchen Trends 2021: The Latest Designs to Look Out for

As 2020 draws to a close and the new year kicks off, we want to highlight some of the upcoming kitchen trends for 2021. Looking back on this year, more and more Americans used their kitchens than ever before. Looking ahead to 2021, we know that kitchens will only continue to be used, so let’s take a look at some of the latest designs you should be looking out for. 

Color

2021 will see a larger increase in color. Whether that’s in backsplash designs or floor tiles, color will show up a lot more in kitchens across America. This includes two-tone designs. Pair soft ivory white cabinets with more modern gray ones for a unique look. 

We’re also seeing an uptick in bold color usage for 2021 kitchens. For a few years, preference had been for more muted, neutral tones in kitchens because they kept the space bright and clean. While we’re still seeing the concept of brightness and cleanliness in kitchens for 2021, we’re also seeing other pops of color coming back into the fold. Bright colors in backsplashes, barstool seating and even in glass and cookware are all ways that you can incorporate brighter shades of green, yellow and orange into your kitchen. 

kitchen green accent wall

Bold doesn’t just mean bright, though. Dark colors are also seeing a comeback in kitchens, mainly in greens, blues and black. These pair great with bright pops of color, and work perfect for kitchens that have lots of natural light. 

Hardware

Hardware for 2021 kitchens will mostly be touchless. In fact, some kitchen hardware even features voice technology, allowing you to control it from anywhere in the house, and even command it to use water of a specific temperature and pressure. These smart faucets are definitely the wave of the future for kitchens, especially as Americans stay home and use their kitchens more during the day. 

Touchless really is the name of the game for kitchens this year, including handleless cabinet doors. A seamless, modern look continues from 2020 into the new year, especially with soft close doors and larger cabinet depths – both available upgrades on all our Premier Series cabinets. You’ll love how contemporary kitchens will feel during the new year. 

Cabinets

Aah, cabinets – our favorite part of a kitchen design. Cabinets for 2021 are expected to be bold and out of the box, much like our approach to life in the coming year. Adding more cabinet options and features, such as appliances that use cabinet doors as fronts, are ideal for 2021 kitchens. Wooden finishes are also making a return for cabinets, but typically in lighter shades and not the traditional cherry wood of the early 2000s. Instead, oaks and walnuts are increasing in popularity. 

We’re also seeing a shift towards unique storage inside cabinets, such as corner larders and even blending pantries. Corner larders are great for smaller homes, too. They can double as home offices. The work from home professional can store their printer or desktop in the corner larder, or they can store some important files. Alternatively, they can use it for kitchen storage – mixers, bowls or a pasta maker. Things that don’t fit in normal-sized cabinets can actually fit better in larders. 

Cabinets for 2021 kitchen

RTA cabinets are perfect for anyone who’s working from home and wants to invest in some new cabinetry. This way, you don’t have to rearrange your schedule for contractors to come in. Instead, you can do the installation yourself on your day off or after work hours. Of course, you’ll want to do some additional studying up on installing kitchen cabinets yourself to ensure you do it correctly.

Shop New Kitchen Cabinets

Islands will remain a trend for kitchens into 2021. In fact, larger islands – and even double islands – will increase during the new year. With more and more families staying home, we’ve realized just how much space we need on our islands. The kids can sit and do schoolwork while you clean or cook dinner. You all can enjoy a nice, home-cooked meal or some hearty takeout from a local restaurant, all right there at the kitchen island. While islands have been getting larger and larger over the years, 2021 will see the largest set of kitchen islands yet. These islands will also increase the amount of cabinets available to homeowners so they can store all their newly purchased kitchen utensils.

In 2021, open shelving will definitely increase. To make the spaces we’re living in feel more open, utilizing open shelving for statement kitchenware and small decor items is perfect. These shelves will be stained in darker woods to contrast any lighter colored cabinets. Homeowners will flock to the open and airy feeling that open shelves give off in 2021. 

Lighting

Lighting for 2021 will be unique and innovative – much like Americans were in 2020. Pendant lights will be featured largely in picturesque kitchens, made of industrial metals and golden-hued light bulbs. Chandeliers will also have a comeback into 2021 kitchens, but with a modern flair. Starburst lighting is a fun, fresh and modern feature for any kitchen to have. Typically seen in hallways or dining rooms, these lights will look great in any modern kitchen. 

pendant lighting kitchen

For kitchens that are particularly large, having multiple types of lighting is absolutely necessary. Track and recessed lighting is perfect for kitchens to have, especially at nighttime. If your kitchen has a breakfast nook or other eat-in feature, consider placing the statement lighting pieces over the table and the island. Then, add a track lighting feature in other areas of the space. 

Large windows are another lighting aspect that will be featured heavily in 2021 kitchens. For most of 2020, many Americans only went outdoors for work, grocery trips and doctor’s appointments, so they’ll want ways to bring the outdoors in. This includes windows. Any back doors that are located in kitchens will most likely be changed to have a large portion of glass to bring in more natural light – and let you see outdoors. Over the kitchen windows will also get larger, much closer to faucets and sinks to let you see more outside and bring in light. 

Appliances

2021 will see more appliances in kitchens. From smaller ones like stand mixers to larger ones like refrigerators, kitchens all across America will have more appliances and gadgets in them for homeowners to fiddle around with. Smart appliances will continue to dominate the scene, with fridges that can tell you the weather as well as what’s inside your shelves and pizza ovens being installed in corners of larger spaces. Many Americans are moving away from the microwave and towards their ovens. 

migrating to cooktops

More and more kitchens will see the flat tops migrating back to cooktops. While built-in wall ovens look seamless and modern, having your flat top cooktop on your kitchen island is a hazard for your kids or guests. How can you expect a kid who’s frantically searching for their most recent homework assignment to avoid touching your hot flat top? If you still really want to keep your wall oven for a seamless look, make sure you put your flat top on the counter behind your island. That way, you’ll avoid any potential burn risks for your kids and guests who might sit at your island. 

Countertops

Marble is back on trend for 2021! In 2020, we saw a bit of a shift away from marble because of its fragility. They are porous and can hold onto stains, plus some other features consumers didn’t anticipate. However, they look absolutely beautiful, so many homeowners are finding ways to incorporate marble back into their countertops. Many are choosing to include them in smaller areas of their kitchen, but they’re using marble with larger, more dramatic veins to make up for the smaller amount of marble being featured. 

Another trend for countertops we’re seeing is butcher block, which is another way to incorporate outdoor features inside this year. Butcher block is relatively inexpensive – much more budget-friendly than quartz or concrete – but it’s durable and looks great set against colored cabinets. They add a unique design feature to kitchens because not many kitchens have them. If you want your kitchen to look on trend, definitely consider using butcher block countertops.

Floors

bright kitchen wood flooring

Floors for kitchens will stay relatively easy to clean, which means tile won’t be featured very much. If we do see any tile, we’ll see larger tiles with smaller grout lines, making them much easier to clean and less likely to get grime and buildup on them. However, laminate is making a comeback, especially for smaller homes and homeowners on a budget. It’s relatively easy to clean, but it does hold onto moisture, so it’s important to get a rug to place at the kitchen sink to use whenever you’re washing dishes or filling pots.

Hardwood is also still a staple in kitchen design. Many homes, especially older ones, feature unique hardwood flooring all throughout the home. A majority of homeowners have also wanted to ensure this feature extends into the kitchen. In homes that are creating new flooring patterns, we’re seeing the introduction of patterned hardwood, especially in herringbone and checkered patterns. These are unique ways for homeowners to bring some design elements into their kitchens. 

Backsplashes

White subway tile is still featured heavily in kitchens, but homeowners are getting creative with how they’re designing their backsplash this year. Some are bringing the material from their countertops up to their backsplash, creating a seamless look that other homeowners only dream of. This is ideal for homeowners with marble countertops, but even quartz countertops can achieve this design effect. 

Other popular trends for a backsplash include painted square tiles – think Spanish tiles in bright, out-of-the-box colors – large penny copper squares and even herringbone wood. Homeowners are using their backsplash as a way to show their unique design styles in 2021 more than ever before. Dark grout is also featured heavily in modern kitchens, especially because they don’t show grime and buildup as much as light grout does. In an era where more and more people are home to use their kitchens, dark grout seems like the ideal design choice. 

Remodeling Your Kitchen

How to Remodel Your Kitchen in 2021

If you decide to remodel your kitchen in 2021, first off, congrats! Remodeling your kitchen will turn it into a beautiful space you’ll never want to leave. Kitchens are where we spend time with family, learn new skills and make new memories. Remodeling your kitchen is a big step to creating your forever home. Here’s a couple of tips for remodeling your kitchen in 2021:

  • Have a professional guide you: Using professionals to help you plan out your remodel will really help you in the long run. We provide a free kitchen design for all our customers. Just provide us with some basic information and measurements, and we’ll do the rest! It’s always best to work with professionals to establish a plan instead of just diving headfirst into a project. That way, you’ll know where to go.  
  • Establish your budget early on: Most kitchen remodels can cost over $20,000, especially if you incorporate all luxury, trendy features. Establishing your budget early on will help you through the remodeling process. Of course, once you start tearing down walls or transferring electrical outlets, you might uncover some other issues that need attention, so don’t forget to budget for some unexpected costs. 
  • Create a theme and style: You don’t want to have a mismatched kitchen. Settle on a design theme and style to use for your kitchen. It will help you tremendously when choosing tile, cabinet colors and range hood design. 
  • Have fun: Remodeling your kitchen is how you can turn the space into something you’re going to enjoy for years to come. It’s your space. Make it how you want it and have fun doing it.

Get a Free Kitchen Design!

Image Credits

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