What’s Cooking in Today’s Kitchens

March 8, 2019
Two island trend in kitchens
Kitchens with enough space often have a second island to accommodate extra chefs and for entertaining and casual dining.

10 Kitchen Trends for 2019

While white mixed with grey or black, or even more white, remains popular in kitchens, designers and remodeling professionals predict you’ll see these trends popping up in kitchens nationwide in the coming years.

  1. Transitional and contemporary styles outpace farmhouse style. The farmhouse-style grew exponentially through inspiration from HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, but after their show ended last year, the farmhouse style dropped a bit in popularity. This year, transitional and contemporary styles are expected to reach high demand. All three styles, though, share an aesthetic of clean lines and plentiful natural light.
  2. Quartz counters still in – but alternatives gaining attention. Engineered quartz is, by far, the most popular countertop material, thanks to its durability. In the coming years, designers expect to see more matte finishes and some new countertop materials, such as large-format porcelain slabs. Perhaps surprisingly, some designers also expect a resurgence of laminate, soapstone and Corian.
  3. Engineered floors increasingly popular. Hardwood floors are slipping slightly in popularity for the kitchen in favor of engineered wood, vinyl and laminate flooring that resembles wood but resists water and scratching.
  4. Colorful painted cabinets and appliances brightening spaces. Color, particularly blues and greens, is popping up in the form of painted cabinets, painted center islands and appliances. Several manufacturers displayed blue and green appliances along with black stainless-steel appliances with different metal accents such as bronze.
  5. Second kitchens and fully-equipped wet bars expand prep space outside the kitchen. Butler’s pantries, wet bars and catering kitchens have been around for decades, but their newest incarnation includes as much functional space as possible to relieve the kitchen of messy prep work or specialized equipment.
  6. Flexible appliances for personalization. Drawers have become the “in” place to keep your food, wine, ice cubes, dirty dishes and microwave. Dishwashers, microwaves, refrigerators and freezers are no longer one-size-fits-all appliances. Homeowners can choose their own configuration and location for all these functions in columns of varying sizes or drawers.
  7. Open lighting fixtures with geometric shapes. Open, almost sculptural, lighting fixtures with hexagonal and octagonal shapes add interest in the kitchen that goes beyond a more traditional pendant light.
  8. Voice and smart-phone tech for safety. Designers anticipate more homeowners will adopt smart-phone technology to remotely operate appliances. Voice-enabled tech will increasingly be used in the kitchen, along with safety tech such as text alerts if smoke or exceptional heat are detected in the kitchen.
  9. Hidden pantries and appliances. The desire for a clean and uncluttered kitchen means that more designers are putting small appliances out of sight in cabinets, sometimes with a built-in lift for easier access. Paneled doors that match the kitchen cabinets hide appliances and even a pantry. Refrigerators and freezers can be completely hidden inside cabinets in a dining room or family room for extra storage.
  10. Islands expand and multiply. Kitchen islands continue to get bigger, with 44 percent as large as 24 to 35 square feet. Most islands now include as much storage as possible and kitchens with enough space often have a second island to accommodate extra chefs and for entertaining and casual dining.

While some of these new kitchen trends are costly and will be seen only in high-end kitchens at first, those that catch on are likely to come down in price and become more common in all kitchens as they’re remodeled or built.

These trends are based on updates from the annual Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, at which manufacturers of cabinets, countertops, appliances, lighting and flooring showcased their newest wares. Findings in the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s latest survey of industry insiders and homeowners and the 2019 Houzz Kitchen Trends survey on kitchen remodeling projects also were used to compile the list.