Emerging kitchen trends show homeowners thirst for clutter-free customization

Homeowners’ unabated preference for open kitchens means storage options need to be integrated and invisible
Bold colors are among the emerging trends in kitchen design. (Photo: ArchitectureVIZ, Dreamstime)

Still other homeowners are seeking clever custom organizational solutions, so building organizing tools into the cabinets solves many kitchen-specific storage problems. These types of built-in organizers are attracting the most attention:

  • Cookie sheets/trays: 54%
  • Deep drawer: 41%
  • Spice: 38%
  • Cutlery: 36%
  • Pots and pans: 31%
  • Utensils: 31%
  • Dishes: 13%

Easy-to-access and multifunctional, custom built-in storage solutions promise to remain popular, as when blended beautifully into the rest of the space, they offer the clean, clutter-free look the experts expect to explode in kitchen designs.

Shake, shake, shaker cabinets

Although shaker cabinets have been trending for a while, their versatility is key to their persistent popularity. Equally appealing in farmhouse, modern, transitional and traditional styles, more than half (57%) of kitchen remodels include shaker-style cabinetry and doors. Flat-panel cabinet popularity runs a distant second place at 19%, followed closely by raised-panel surfaces (16%). Glass-front cabinets—especially reeded glass—are a relative newcomer, and although only 5% of cabinet upgrades used this material, experts in both the United States and the United Kingdom are watching this emerging trend.

The report found 41% of Americans select custom kitchen cabinets and 33% go with semicustom options. A mere 12% opt for stock cabinetry, and 10% go the DIY route via ready-to-assemble makes.

[Related:  Homeowners over DIY remodeling]

Shaker cabinets also lend themselves to another trending look: two-tone cabinetry. Whether using two different shades of the same color or mixing it up for a bolder look, this year, cabinets are coming in colors. Whether painted in their entirety or with assiduously placed pops of deeper, bolder shades are covering cabinets across the country, including black, bright and navy blues, forest and hunter greens, and even pink.

In today’s cleaned-up and opened-up kitchens, the details make all the difference. Cabinets with metal hardware—particularly metallics in shades different from the kitchen’s other metal features—remain a popular and relatively affordable upgrade to any kitchen style. One high-impact yet low-cost option to love for modern-style kitchens is horizontal metal cabinet pulls, which really pull together all those other sleek, minimalist lines.

Landing on abstract islands

Consumers who don’t opt for built-in islands are embracing a more abstract island design. Growing larger and often limited to counter height—especially for remodelers addressing aging needs—this versatile fixture can easily be customized to meet any homeowners’ needs. A free-form island can be just the ticket when the basic rectangle model isn’t a good fit, and in addition to creating natural paths throughout the kitchen, experimenting with abstract shapes can offer clever solutions to residents’ workspace, appliance and storage needs.

Another trend popping up in islands? Waterfall worktops. Building on the trend of single-slab backsplashes, waterfall surfaces appear to pour over the edge of the worktop all the way to the floor. In addition to offering a compelling visual, waterfall surfaces are also a bit easier to keep clean.

Amy Guettler

Amy Guettler is a freelance writing, editing, marketing and communications professional. An expert in content development and management, Amy can be reached at [email protected].

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