The Latest Kitchen Design Trends 2021

Today we’re going to be talking about kitchen design trends and how to create a timeless design for your kitchen. First, anytime you’re creating what you want to consider a timeless design, you’ve got to start with good bones. That means you will need to start with a good functional layout. Your designers play a critical role in this phase. As a homeowner, you can certainly create your own layout, and you will probably do a pretty good job because a lot of it seems like common sense. But it’s easy to make some mistakes. In that part, the designer plays a critical role to help choose a neutral style. Think of picking a neutral backdrop and then accenting that backdrop with some creative accents. Some styles just naturally lend themselves to being adaptable to change, but other styles do not. As a classic example, you’ll find that it’s pretty easy to take a mid-century modern style, add some rustic accents, and turn that into an industrial style. Then another thing to think about is consistency in different terms of avoiding the mullet design. For those of you from the South who are familiar with the mullet, it’s the short haircut up front and the long hair in the back. They call it a party in the back and business upfront. What that really means is you want your house to be consistent throughout. That’s not a good way to create a timeless design. The designers try to avoid mullet designs as much as possible. That’s why it’s important to work with a professional. We will go through it more deeply but first of all, let’s see the overall trends of 2021.

Interiors By JaymeCredit: Canyon Creek

Let’s start our journey by beginning with the cabinets which affect your major budget. We know cabinetry is one of the most important factors in a major kitchen or bath project.

  • The cabinet trends for 2021 are white and light colors, but also we can see many interesting colors too.
  • Another big trend is dark cabinetry, several of the more designed forward appliance brands display their darker cabinets. We will see a lot of black and charcoal grays in the kitchen this year.
  • We also saw blue and green. Those colors often we see might be on the island or on other parts of a kitchen. Also, sand, green, gray, and wood are always on trend for cabinets. It’s always been a popular finish, though not as popular in recent years as white.

In terms of door style, we saw a lot of shakers and also flatbread cabinetry. When it comes to countertops quartz definitely reigned supreme. We don’t see much granite as it is wide but not as much as quartz.  In terms of colors, that kind of aligns with what Aaron was saying about cabinetry color. In 2021, we will see a lot of whites and neutrals to complement all the white cabinetry and dark cabinetry as well. Also, the marble look is still kind of dominating the patterns in these engineered quartz countertops. What is interesting to see is how far the details of the patterns have come over the years. You walk up to some of these countertops, and you cannot tell that it’s an engineered quartz product as the veining looks identical to marble veining. There are variable marbles that have been produced lately that it’s developed itself. It has different and interesting colors such as a pink marble, with all sorts of colors in it and a lavender one.

Tile & Texture

When it comes to tile, what stood out is the prevalence of texture. By texture, raised texture, not just the appearance of the texture, but a shape on the tile. There are a lot of developments in the ways to produce and use tile. With different patterns, different shapes, and color options as well as marble. Companies are producing more modern and useful products and, the tile industry is affected by technology like cabinetry. If you want that neutral bathroom with a soothing feel but want to keep it interesting and not just monotone, that texture could be a good option. Also, maybe we’ll see a shift away from the subway tile that we’ve seen a lot of in the last few years.

When it comes to finishes for both kitchen and bathrooms, matte black is the new finish, and you’ll see that walking around the convention center. You will not find a kitchen and bath company that did not offer a matte black finish in their collection. That trend is definitely picking up and holding strong. Another new finish style that we will see this year includes a matte white finish, which really pops against dark backgrounds such as black sinks or black tile. It has that low luster to it as it’s still a crisp, clean-looking finish. But it’s something different from all the kinds of reflective surfaces that you usually find in kitchens and bathrooms, and also another one we will see is the hard graphite. That is a kind of smoky reflective gray-looking color that you can find compelling and standing out among the usual popular finishes of brushed nickel, polished chrome, and satin gold, which also are still remaining popular. But matte black is still hot at the moment and will be on-trend for a little while longer. Also, it will be interesting to see if not light takes off. It seems kind of utilitarian. I’ll be interesting to see if it is incorporated into the kitchen photos that we know will get uploaded to Houzz.

There are trends in the creation of the styles this year also. If you search around and talk to designers from the Kitchen and Bath industry, you start to hear key phrases and buzzwords come up again and again. These are:

  • Customization,
  • Personalization,
  • Mix and match.

The industry allows its customers to mix and match finishes and styles. You can select a faucet, but you can mix up the spout and handle style. You can also mix up the finishes across all different kinds of products. That is definitely a huge thing we see in the industry. This ability to customize the selections when you’re choosing faucets, bath fixtures, and all kinds of stuff.

Smart Home Technology and Smart Kitchens

Another part of the trends includes visual trends in kitchens and bathrooms. There is another world for smart homes. Let’s dive into innovations or updates relating to smart home technology. Smart homes have become more popular lately. Manufacturers are continuing to make improvements. The way they’re making improvements is really taking into account the way that people live. It felt like for a while smart homes were a technology made simply to have the tech. But now it’s really getting more practical, and there are some cool ways to use it. For example, some big brands that have been in the industry for a long time produced something called the Connect app. You can use that home Connect app to do a bunch of different things, including look for recipes. But you can also control all your devices for that brand and also connect them to other brands. So the result of this might be something like you’re ready to cook, you walk into your kitchen, you speak to your Google Home or your Amazon Alexa, and you ask it to start the cooking time routine. Then your blinds go down, the music comes on, and the oven lights go to a pleasantly dimmed setting as your kitchen lights, and your overhead lights change. We are seeing a lot of integration. That’s just kind of like a spa-like experience whatever room you’re in, whether that’s the kitchen or the bathroom. Besides these fancy apps, a lot of these companies are invested heavily in research and design, integrating technology before the product even comes to market. That’s a great point that we’re moving away from only having apps and having more voice-activated things.

Interiors by Jayme Credit: Canyon Creek

How long does kitchen remodeling take?

The theme of custom solutions for renovation projects is an important point of your remodeling journey. This point has some enhancements and updates. When homeowners decide to renovate and they’re hiring a designer or a big construction project, they’re going to rework this space. They want the transformation to be tailored to them and their lifestyle. At this point, customization for your project is so important. This year, updates and trends show that you can customize everything even a little bit, from handles that you can choose the shape of, inserts that you can swap out depending on your preferred style for faucet handles, and apron front sinks with swap out styles. Even the decor has a color match system, and that’s been around for a while. But you can get your appliances in any color that you desire. It’s a really interesting trend given what’s going on with the personalization of the media, and you know with other trends in our culture it’s kind of a fascinating thing to see that people want to be individuals and have very distinct choices. That’s something that the luxury consumer appreciates as well. We don’t want just a cookie-cutter solution. Across products, the ability to customize is there in individual products, and then just in the array of finishes that you can select from, you can come up with a very unique look. So much stuff could be customized down to choosing a bathroom faucet. Lately, a lot of companies allow you to choose the spout, shape, and style with the vast array of finishes and styles, then the selection becomes so incredible. It’s interesting, but also a little overwhelming at times because there are so many more options. That’s probably where a designer will come in and bring some calmness to all the noise and help homeowners really figure out what selections and finishes coordinate within a particular space. Whether it’s that purple bathtub, the orange grab bar for aging in place, or that kitchen that’s fit for entertaining designers and other renovation pros. They have so many options for products that they can inspect for their clients they can deliver a really bespoke solution. These are some great examples of this overall trend of 2021. The trend will be customization.

Kitchen Cabinet Accessories

There are a couple of new and trend cabinet accessories that you might want to be aware of for your projects. One of them is bi-fold lift-up doors. This type of door has a remote control where you can open and close it. There’s also another lift-up door that’s called tilt-up. What’s nice with these lift-up doors is the idea when you’re working in your kitchen that you can open them and leave them open the entire time you’re cooking, cleaning, or whatever else because the door is up and out of the way. Then when you’re done, you put everything away and just close everything. We like the workflow of that. It’s always good to incorporate any accessories you can into a kitchen, such as the staples cutlery divider waist and pull-out tray dividers. Those are always going to be in every single kitchen. Organizers will always help you with the function feature and style as well. When you organize things, you lose a little bit of space to the organization, but everything is more organized even with a little bit of a compromise. You can store more stuff if you pack it in, but it’s harder to get to because it’s not as well laid out and organized. It’s a little bit of a game there.

Also, for our clients, we want to inform them that, due to COVID-19 precautions, we are offering Zoom meetings. We can meet with you, and we will walk you right through the entire space versus in our showroom. We’re going through slide presentations and selections. We can almost virtually walk through everything.

How do you work with new clients to help them determine a design style that really shows who they are?

We do it with our design meetings with you, depending on the scope of your project. It is a process of getting to know each other at each meeting. But we also use a couple of surveys. When you first agree to work with us, we’re going to ask you some main questions, such as how do you use your kitchen? Is there one cook or two cooks in the kitchen? Do you entertain a lot? Do you have kids? That’s the kind of stuff we’re going to figure out when deciding how you use your kitchen. We’re going to also try to learn about your style by asking some questions. We show you some style examples and try to understand what your style is. That helps inform a little bit, but then it boils down to every meeting getting to know each other a little better, and tweaking and updating the design. 

How would you suggest modifying this presentation for clients that are completely changing the space?

It’s just different. The world’s your oyster. Once you’re doing what we call a custom remodel, you’ll need a full change in layouts and things. We present in that way because there are so many possibilities. It depends a little bit on your budget and your needs. You might want to remodel the full house, or you just want to make a little bit of change in your kitchen.