Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2019 and Beyond

Each year, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) surveys hundreds of professional kitchen designers around the country to crowd source emerging styles, features, and materials with staying power in the kitchen. These experts travel to showrooms and trade shows, observing the latest trends front and center. The NKBA survey aims to capture trends not only for the current year, but for many more beyond it. The trends highlighted by professionals are:

Color, and Lots of It
The all-white kitchen will always have a place in ultra-modern homes, but its days as the dominant design force are over. “We’re heading into 2020 with bold, vibrant colors in the kitchen,” says Elle H-Millard, a certified kitchen designer and editor-at-large with NKBA. Deep, saturated colors evocative of nature, including emerald green and navy blue, are on the rise, maybe as an island counter color or even as an appliance finish.

Column Refrigerators
The fridge and freezer have always been housed in the same rectangular box—until now. Column refrigerators and freezers make it possible to separate the food storage units, allowing for far greater flexibility of design. Besides its aesthetic appeal, designers say this trend appeals to growing consumer focus on healthy eating, with its emphasis on fresh foods. That might result in a large, centrally located column refrigerator for produce, meats, fish and the like, plus a smaller column freezer off to the side or tucked under a countertop.

Mixed Metals
Stainless steel used to prevail over the entire kitchen, from appliances to faucets to light fixtures. The kitchen of the 2020s will instead boast an array of finishes. Call it the “new industrial,” an urban-influenced style that designers say will only get more popular in coming years. Black stainless steel, a darker, matte alternative to traditional stainless, continues to gain traction.

Emphasis on Accessibility
Nearly eight in 10 designers from the NKBA survey reported an increase in kitchen size. This isn’t necessarily new; it follows the open-kitchen concept that’s been popular for years. The twist going forward is a focus on aging-in-place and universal design—that is, creating kitchens that are accessible for people of all ages and abilities. Strategies includes installing cabinets with easy-access pullout drawers, putting down slip-resistant flooring and taking advantage of the latest technology, from touch-free faucets to voice-controlled lighting and appliances.


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