Decades ago, the kitchen was hidden in the back of the house. It was a place where meals were prepared and dirty dishes were washed. Fast forward to 2016 and the kitchen has a much different role. Today, the kitchen is the focal point of the home, the place that brings everyone together after a long day or at the start of one. Now instead, the kitchen is paraded in all its beauty and warmth at the very center of the house.
Kitchens have changed a lot over the decades and planning for your kitchen remodel is very important. Technology advances and changing social dynamics have contributed greatly to the rise of the modern kitchen. There is a far bigger focus on open concept homes that revolve around the kitchen so everyone can be together. As with any modern design trend, clean and simple styles have become favorites for homeowners with natural light becoming an essential aspect of the overall look and function of the kitchen space.
With advice from design experts, here are the top 10 trends in kitchen design we expect to see in 2017.
1. Smart Kitchens
Technology has entered the kitchen in full force and not just in the form of fancy gadgets and appliances. Today, you can have a kitchen with technology integrated into every function and appliance–from the faucets to the fridge to the lighting. This is what we call a smart kitchen.
Smart kitchens are a very modern aspect of design. In fact, a lot of kitchens today are built smart from the ground up. For older kitchens, sensors, smart gadgets and other devices can be added to make them smarter.
You can have sensor-equipped kitchen faucets that can sense the presence of hands underneath and will come on automatically. You could have a fridge that alerts you when your groceries items are running low or a coffee maker that has your coffee ready when you wake up. There is also a device that monitors your eggs, telling you which ones are almost going bad. Do not forget to smarten up your lighting system–allowing you to control different lights from your smartphone or tablet.
Technology integrated kitchens are becoming more popular as homeowners experiment with novel technologies. This is one of the biggest trends going into 2017.
2. Cabinet Colors: White Stays, Gray Gets Elegant and Black is the New Thing
White is still a big favorite for kitchen cabinets. Homeowners love it for its clean look, which is especially beneficial in a space that tends to get cluttered. White cabinets are simply beautiful and timeless and can be used in almost any kind of kitchen style. We expect white to remain a popular cabinet color in 2017 and probably for years to come. The only change we are seeing is a mixing in of wood finishes for accent pieces and additions of pops-of-color for the brave of heart.
As popular as white cabinets are, grey is starting to pick up as the color of choice. Grey cabinets project a certain chic elegance. If you want your kitchen to feel a bit more luxurious, grey is the color to choose. Grey cabinets work great when paired with plenty of natural light.
White and grey seem to be the two big cabinet colors going into 2017. Their modern clean look will keep them as favorites for years. But there is another color slowly making its way into the kitchen–black. It will surprise you at how well black kitchen cabinets can work in and/or enhance every kitchen.
Black kitchen cabinets portray full-on elegance and a deep rich luxurious atmosphere that the other options just don’t. They cast the kitchen in a subtle dramatic essence. However, using black in the kitchen is a tricky thing. You have to be careful that it does not overpower the room, making it feel perpetually dark. But more and more homeowners are getting bolder and opting for a kitchen with black cabinets in 2017. While black will not be the new white anytime soon, black cabinets will get more popular.
Related: The Psychology of Why Gray Kitchen Cabinets Are So Popular.
3. Contemporary Designs, Materials and Textures
While styles like vintage and mid-century modern are still popular, homeowners are getting more contemporary with edgier designs and alternative materials for kitchens. Instead of the usual ceramic, we are seeing an increased use of concrete and stone. Take a look at our home remodeling portfolio for design ideas.
Folding and sliding doors are being set up to be operated with a button or from your smartphone or tablet. These innovative new door designs are even being transferred to the cabinetry. You can actually have folding or sliding cabinet doors too.
Countertops and kitchen islands are also experiencing their own contemporary reinvention. Some homeowners are going for curved kitchen islands for a unique focal point. This lends itself to softening the lines within the space. In some homes, the kitchen island also serves as the bar and includes wine storage for the adults. Even as most people get nostalgic for past styles (Art Deco, Vintage and so on), there is still a lot of love for the beautiful, stylish and functional contemporary kitchen.
4. Quartz is Still King
For high end kitchen countertops, quartz still reigns supreme. The material is extremely hardy, can last virtually forever, is a breeze to maintain and is anti-microbial. Granite, the main competitor in the high-end bracket, requires slightly more maintenance.
When quartz countertops first came into the market, the main worry was lack of variety in terms of colors and finishes. But with time, thanks to technology, manufacturers have provided a wide range of colors to choose from as well as realistic stone patterns. You can even get quartz finished with elaborate swirls and large veining to imitate other materials like natural stone. These unique styles have become immensely popular.
But there is a notable trend toward softer and more neutral colors. More and more homeowners are opting for colors like: grey, taupe, creamy or white finishes. The pattern preferences have changed to veining from particulates that we’ve seen for past years. This definitely follows the trend towards cleaner styles seen in most home spaces.
While we are still on the topic of countertops, it is important to mention the rising popularity of composite sinks. These are sinks made from the same material as the countertop. This creates a cleaner uniform look and makes cleaning and maintenance much easier. However, it is going to be a tough battle against the still very popular stainless steel and farmhouse sinks.
5. A Focus on Storage-Effective Cabinetry
One of the biggest annoyances with kitchen cabinetry is the unnecessarily waste of space. The way the shelves and drawers are structured leaves a lot of wasted space. Worst of all, available space is often too small for some of your larger things or the opposite: it’s too wide and does not give you a way to properly and efficiently organize the space.
One of the foundations to a functional kitchen is kitchen storage. If it is inadequate or ineffective, you will be faced with endless frustrations and challenges. To counter these storage challenges, homeowners are starting to look for better storage solutions within the cabinetry. These can include: drawer dividers for cutlery & utensils, pull-outs for spices, tray dividers, roll-out trays and caddies for pot & pans; as well as wastebasket cabinets and/or decorative wicker baskets for show. These will make it easier to store foods, drinks and small appliances.
2017 will also see a range of new kitchen storage options throughout the whole kitchen–focused on making daily lives more effortless and making cooking fun.