The kitchen is one of the most influential indicators of a home’s design style, second only to perhaps its exterior façade. Less permanent interior design elements such as paint colors, textiles, furniture, or rugs can easily be swapped out to transform a space. A traditional living room can become modern with a new interior design scheme and accessories. The kitchen, however, requires substantial investment and renovation to achieve the same transformative result. Kitchen cabinets, countertops, and layout are a more permanent reflection of the home’s design style. For this reason, careful forethought must be considered when designing a new kitchen to ensure that it will be admired for years to come. In our decades of selling kitchens here at Horner Millwork we have seen many kitchen design trends come and go, and it’s always a fun challenge for us to try to predict what trends will endure the test of time.
Below are 8 kitchen design trends that have gained popularity in 2019 and that we predict will last into 2020 and beyond.
1. Sustainable Materials
We are all living more eco-friendly today and that sense of environmental responsibility has even transcended into the way consumers are purchasing kitchens. Today’s homeowner is demanding cabinetry that is made with sustainable materials, responsible manufacturing processes and low emissions finishes. More and more manufacturers are beginning to understand this demand, and they are increasingly changing the way that they make cabinets.
One of our favorite cabinet manufactures, StarMark Cabinetry, is a certified brand in the Kitchen Cabinet Manufacturers Association (KCMA) Environmental Stewardship Program. The program recognizes companies that demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sustainability including the use of environmentally responsible materials in cabinet products and minimized environmental impacts realized through recycling wastes and using low emission coatings. StarMark Cabinetry is also CARB II compliant.
2. Gold Hardware
A more sophisticated version of the bright brass hardware that was popular in the late twentieth century, today’s modern gold hardware is a bit more muted and often has a matte finish. Like jewelry in the fashion world, gold knobs and pulls can either be mixed and matched with other metallic finishes such as stainless steel appliances or faucets, or gold can dominate throughout. To read more about this design trend read our blog post, “Trending | Glass and Brass”
Above is a Mantra kitchen with Spectra doors in Mineral finish and brushed gold cabinet pulls. Mantra delivers on three things: quality product, short lead times, and competitive pricing. Mantra’s Spectra cabinets are full overlay, transitional styled with 3” rails, and include 5-piece drawer fronts standard.
3. Dark Blue Cabinetry
It was no surprise when Sherwin-Williams named Naval, a rich dark blue, their 2020 Color of the Year. Dark and navy blues have infiltrated the pages of interior design magazines over that past few years and top designers are utilizing this timeless hue in beautifully appointed luxury kitchens. We have seen a rise in dark blue cabinetry throughout the last couple years and predict it will grow in popularity in 2020. Dark blue cabinets can be used as an accent color on an island, or they can be incorporated throughout. Coincidentally, dark blue cabinetry pairs quite nicely with trendy gold hardware giving an upscale and regal look.
Many cabinet manufacturers are including dark blues in their standard color offering while others still consider it a custom color. In the StarMark kitchen pictured above, classic white cabinetry is perfectly accented with a dark blue island. The island cabinets are Rock Elm inset door style in Maple with beaded inset finished in Blueberry.
4. Open Shelves + Deep Drawers
The steady disappearance of upper cabinets has been a design trend that we have seen gain popularity in the last several years. Perhaps driven by the farmhouse movement, open shelving is growing more popular as younger homeowners rebel against the cramped and confined kitchens of their childhood. Open shelving provides an opportunity to add personality to a kitchen with thoughtfully displayed décor and accessories. Beautiful collections of mugs and spices are not only celebrated, but when stored on open shelving they are also more easily accessible.
To replace upper cabinet storage, homeowners are also demanding larger and deeper drawers. Plates, bowls, pots, and pans are conveniently nestled under the countertop in drawers making them easier to grab and put away. Even pantry items like boxes of pastas, crackers, and baking needs are easier to access when stored in deep drawers rather than behind cabinet doors. Appliances are also finding their way below the countertop with the popularity of drawer type refrigerators and microwaves on the rise.
5. Full Wall Backsplashes
Both beautiful and functional, full wall backsplashes not only provide a dramatic accent wall in the kitchen, they also are easier to clean and more durable than painted walls. Driven by the trend to eliminate upper cabinetry, backsplashes are now given the opportunity to extend uninterrupted from countertop to ceiling. The breathtaking natural beauty of a large slab of marble can be showcased on the wall like a work of art. Classic tile adds texture and character to the kitchen when it is allowed to be featured on the large expanse of an open wall.
Pictured above are two examples of how a full wall backsplash can be used in both modern and traditional homes. The top photo is a modern Decora kitchen with Marquis style doors in maple with seaworthy finish. The bottom photo is a more traditional Decora kitchen with Daladier style doors in mineral deposit finish.
Although painted cabinets dominate the market today, many designers are choosing dark wood cabinets as a subtle accent or to make a bold statement. Walnut has traditionally been a choice species for furniture makers, but as the lines between furniture and built-in cabinetry are blurred, we are seeing walnut make its way into the kitchen. Walnut is a great choice for kitchens and architectural millwork due to its warm beauty, wide versatility, and lasting durability.
StarMark is one of only a few national cabinet manufactures to offer American walnut doors and drawer boxes. Choose from 21 door styles and 12 stains. Natural Walnut ranges in color from creamy white to a medium purplish brown and cabinets will have a combination of both flowing and straight grain.
A further refinement of the modern design trend is the growing interest in minimalism. Minimalist kitchens are sleek and simple, without excess ornamentation or decoration. A minimalist kitchen typically has slab style door and drawer fronts and hidden hardware. However, minimalist kitchens are far from boring. By refining the form of the design to its bare essentials, the true essence of a kitchen’s form and function are revealed. In a minimalist kitchen color is allowed to fully express itself and contrasts in temperature (think cool refrigeration and hot cooking surfaces) can be appreciated like never before. Appliances are often carefully concealed and organization is key to keeping things looking tidy and neat.
The minimalist kitchen photographed above is far from boring. This Decora kitchen with Marquis style doors in maple features low profile pull rails instead of traditional knobs and pulls. The cabinets are finished in interesting aqua, a color that is certainly not humdrum.
8. Double Islands
Today’s open floor plans are changing the way kitchens are being designed. The kitchen island has become an integral element in expansive floor plans because it provides a transition from the kitchen to the dining and living spaces. Islands are often dual purpose, they provide extra countertop area for food prep and they are also a place to gather and entertain. As homes become even more open and sprawling, we are seeing a trend where designers are incorporating two islands into their design plan. One island is focused on food preparation and storage with a large sink, undercounter appliances, and large drawers, while the second island accommodates casual entertaining with a bar sink, wine storage, and extra seating.
In the modern StarMark kitchen pictured above, the designer has leveraged the double island trend by designing an island for convenient food preparation, and then a separate peninsula for casual seating. This kitchen features StarMark Monroe door style cabinets in Cherry and finished in Harvest.