What’s Making News in Kitchens This Year?
Ahh, the kitchen!
Will we ever get tired of reimagining, furnishing, and decorating this space? Here we are – into a new year and a new decade – and the kitchen still holds our interest and attention, and certainly that of designers and avid renovators.
While it’s six months into 2020, we can still ask about the hot trends in kitchens this year. Is the all-white subway-tiled kitchen still the go-to design? What about granite and quartz countertops; cabinets and appliances? Maybe, wallpaper? And, will you be ready to return to the stand-alone kitchen – separated clearly from the living room and dining area?
Yes, you may already have created the ideal kitchen and organized its layout, accents, and appliances; however, keep an open mind. Remember that you can still get on board with a number of trendy looks and accessories without messing up your overall design – and spending a lot of money.
So whether you’re in the mood for a makeover or not, here are some stylish and innovative kitchen trends that interior designers believe will be popular in 2020 – and will definitely perk up the heart of the home.
Let’s start with a few ideas that are easily implemented and will not mess up your kitchen’s vibes.
1. Splashes of Color
Break up the white kitchen with pops of color on the walls, light fixtures, and furnishing. Painting the walls, cabinets, appliances and, even vent hoods with a vibrant or soft pastel shade will add personality to the kitchen. Should you change your mind - or get tired of that color palette, it’s easy enough to paint over. In addition to the use of paint, designers call for decorative dishware and countertop accents to jazz up your kitchen.
Top: An attractive kitchen in a Contemporary home becomes more eye-catching with the pops of red in the hanging light fixtures, bar stools, stovetop knobs, and planter atop the island. The splashes of color break up the warm wood finishes in the cabinets and the white backsplash. The one-story, 3,264-square-foot home includes three bedrooms, 3.5 baths, and a very spacious outdoor living area. Bottom: Here’s a better view of the stove top and its colorful knobs (Plan #202-1013).
2. Shades of Blue
Blue is the trendy colors in the kitchen this year. You’ll find cabinets, kitchen islands, appliances, and even vent hoods in various blue tones popping up to give white kitchens personality and vibrancy. The popular shades range from navy to robin’s egg blue to aqua.
Two-color pops spice up this modern kitchen: white upper cabinets match the backsplash while the blue lower cabinets and drawers provide an attractive contrast to the predominantly white tones (photo credit: Sidekix Media on Unsplash).
This kitchen island with a soft shade of blue perks up the kitchen in a Transitional Ranch style home with four bedrooms and two baths. In addition to the large island, the open-plan kitchen has a walk-in pantry (Plan #142-1237).
3. Artful Mix of Lighting
Chandeliers, pendants or sconces? Why not combine all three in the kitchen design? A smart use and understanding of the different types of lighting - natural, ambient, and task lighting - makes for a versatile and dramatic kitchen. In addition to the natural light that filters into the kitchen from the sun’s rays, these various types of lighting add to the kitchen’s atmosphere.
• Ambient or general lighting fills an entire room by an overhead fixture or group of fixtures.
• Task Lighting is functional lighting for specific jobs: at the cooktop, over the sink, at the desk, above the laundry, above the snack bar and table.
• Accent Lighting highlights a particular element or decorative object such as a range hood, unique stemware, a basket or pottery collection, or wall art.
• Decorative Lighting brings out the best features of the kitchen by accent features like sconces, pendants, chandeliers, candles, or strips of miniature lights.
Let’s start with the lighting elements that set the tone and atmosphere in the gorgeous, state-of-the-art kitchen of a one-story, three-bedroom Contemporary style home. There’s the natural light filtering through the large windows. Then, there are the recessed ceiling lights and the industrial-vibe pendants hanging over the kitchen island. To complete the dramatic effect, take a look at the lights under the cabinets. All in all, a clever use of lighting to make this kitchen THE spot for cooking, dining, and entertaining at any time (Plan #202-1014).
4. Open Shelves for Storage
When we think and talk of storage space in the kitchen, closed cabinets and drawers come to mind. However, in 2020, open shelves - usually reserved for displaying antique cookware, decorative pieces like vintage and copper pots - are now being utilized as storage spaces. Designers say that more and more homeowners prefer to see their kitchen items, and have easy access to them - when they’re preparing meals. Instead of opening cabinets and drawers, why not just reach for these pieces on the floating shelves?
And don’t worry – you can still find space on the shelves for decorative pieces.
The amazing kitchen in a 1-story, 4-bedroom, 2.5-bath Country style home features decorative items on the open shelves, that can be replaced by other small appliances for everyday cooking needs (Plan #142-1169).
Here are open shelves with small appliances and dinnerware in full view - and ready to be “grabbed” for meal preparation (photo credit: Dane Deaner on Unsplash).
5. Tops in Countertops
From marble to composite quartz to dark wood and porcelain, countertops in 2020 are getting a makeover. While granite dominated for years, it’s being pushed to the sidelines by new materials that are more durable and easier to clean. With the kitchen now a space not only for meals but also for homework, entertaining, and other activities, new materials that are easier to clean and maintain are considered necessary.
Designers are touting the return of marble – particularly calacatta marble, which is predicted to surpass carrara marble this year. Calacatta marble has thick, unstructured, “stronger, more pronounced veining that lends a bold, graphic appeal.” Other choices are walnut, composite quartz, and porcelain. While porcelain has been around in Europe for some time, its appearance on the American scene is quite recent. This year, more people are choosing porcelain, which can “look like granite, marble, wood, or a variety of other natural materials” and is purportedly stain-, heat-, and bacteria-resistant.
Breaking away from granite, quartz, and marble, this homey and inviting kitchen in a delightful one-story, two-bedroom, 2.5-bath Country style home features a kitchen island with a light wood countertop. As in the kitchen above, the tones are welcoming, relaxing and soothing (Plan #161-1072).
6. Butler’s Pantries
After many years of growing popularity, the butlers pantry is now a “must-have” feature in kitchens of larger homes – and one of the top items on the wish lists of potential buyers who love a neat, structured space. While cabinets and drawers on a kitchen island are great areas for storage, a sizable pantry with organized compartments and pull-out shelves is a better answer for storing essentials away from the main kitchen. So, if you have the square footage, go for a butler’s pantry.
You can even connect the pantry to the main kitchen and equip it with small appliances - even a dishwasher. And if you add a door, you can hide the mess while entertaining your guests.
A very attractive butler’s pantry in the kitchen of a three-bedroom Craftsman style home doubles as a “wine cellar.” It is smartly outfitted with a sink, ample counter space and cabinets for storage, including wine and beverage glasses (Plan #108-1789).
7. Larder Cupboards
Sometimes called pantry cupboards, larder cupboards have been kitchen staples for a long time, but it’s only in the last few years that they have become the focus of attention and the “ultimate status symbol.” With these functional larders, everyday food essentials are organized in one place, “and not scattered around in numerous wall cupboards.” This makes it easier to track what items are needed when the family goes grocery shopping.
And because the larder serves as a centralized storage space, it means there are fewer wall cabinets and less clutter in the kitchen, resulting in a neat and orderly spot.
The well-organized larder in the kitchen of a two-story, five-bedroom European style home features neat shelving cupboards filled with dry and non-perishable food items as well as small appliances and kitchen utensils (Plan #193-1125).
8. Double Islands
As homes increase in square footage, so does the demand for larger kitchens and kitchen islands. In 2020, double islands are a must for expanded kitchens. With a pair of islands, you can have a dedicated area for meal prep and serving; and the other one as a dining/gathering space.
An impressive contemporary home with Mid-Century Modern influences has an equally impressive kitchen with attractive and well-appointed double islands. One island - with the sinks - is ideal for prepping and serving; the other one with the chairs is the perfect spot for casual meals and family gatherings. This one-story floor plan with 4,046 square feet of living space includes three bedrooms, 3.5 baths and a spectacular outdoor living area (Plan #202-1001).
9. Bold Backsplashes
Backsplashes that make bold statements are bound to make an impact this year. Taking a respite from the tried-and-true subway tiles and chevron designs, the 2020 versions will be quite elaborate and decorative and will serve as artistic focal points. Add unique lighting fixtures, and you can create a truly dramatic accent piece or focal point in your kitchen.
A very eye-catching backsplash stops you in your tracks as you walk into the awesome kitchen in a two-story Cottage style house with European Country influences. The beige and brown hues blend perfectly with the darker brown finishes of the cabinetry. The kitchen is also equipped with an island, breakfast nook, and tons of cabinet space (Plan #198-1149).
10. Sleek Cabinetry
Less is more as cabinet designs tend toward clean and unadorned lines. In 2020, there will be less crown molding and accents on the top of upper cabinets as more home owners and potential buyers opt for a sleek finish.
The stunning minimalist look of this white-gray-and black kitchen is enhanced by the sleek white cabinets devoid of any decorative touches – like crown molding – on top (photo credit: Naomi Hébert on Unsplash).
11. Steel Hoods
Like bold and artsy backsplashes, steel hoods will also be conversation pieces in 2020. As more homeowners become more adventurous and embrace the new trends, vent hoods made of stainless steel and painted wood may be a thing of the past.
Take a break from painted wood and stainless-steel vent hoods – and go for industrial steel as shown in this attractive modern kitchen (photo credit: Christian Mackie on Unsplash)
12. Standalone Kitchen
Not to put a damper on the open plan concept, but there’s now a phenomenon referred to as “broken plan,” in which screens, freestanding furniture, cabinetry, and large house plants are used to create distinct zones for cooking and entertaining.
A number of designers say they are ready for a kitchen that is separate from the living room, and believe that the all-in-one Great Room “will be making a graceful exit in this next decade.”
An elegant European style home with five bedrooms and 5.1 baths features this Great Room in the “broken plan concept” – with pocket doors and folding doors sectioning off the living room and bar area from the big kitchen and its gorgeous fixtures (Plan #161-1077).
13. Vacuum Sealer
No year is complete without new products coming to the forefront. While vacuum sealers have been around for a few years, in 2020 more people who are into the wellness trend are excited about the idea of being to preserve and portion food. With a vacuum sealer, air is removed from the pouch “to prevent foods from oxidizing and spoiling, extending the time you can store food.” In addition to food, a vacuum sealer can also reseal opened wine bottles. Its making a resurgence!
You can use this vacuum sealer machine for meal preparation, leftovers or storing food (photo source: Amazon.com).
14. Smart Technology
Welcome Googles Alexa to the 2020 kitchen as new technology makes its way to ovens and fridges. Today, a number of smart ovens can be connected to a smart speaker that can set and preheat it – and get it prepped while the cook is busy with other chores.
A “smart” countertop oven can recognize whats in it and automatically adjust temperatures and cooking times to the type of food and weight. The new-tech oven also sends push notifications to your smartphone when cooking is finished.
While this smart kitchen technology is not appealing to master chefs and avid cooks, tech-savvy and busy homeowners can appreciate the fact that they can execute a few cooking chores remotely.
While there are many hot trends in 2020 kitchen designs, designers across the board agree that sunny and soft hues can add personality and vibrancy to the heart of the home. So, don’t abandon the all-white kitchen yet. Just give it some pops of color and unique decorative accents!
Footnote: The lead image in this article is a fabulous kitchen in an amazing 1.5 story Country home with four bedrooms and 3.5 baths. For more details on this 3,254-square foot home and its luxurious features, go to Plan #204-1017.