A long time ago, the sole purpose of kitchens was to provide a place for cooking, where food was prepared and dishes were washed. They were a relegated, forgotten space in the back of the house with bad lighting and poor design. Nowadays, kitchens have become the heart of the home. Advancements in technology and mostly in social dynamics have contributed greatly to the interior design upheaval of the contemporary kitchen trend and the new importance of the space for our everyday lives.
Clean and simple spaces are being favored by homeowners because they provide a sense of calm, order, and serenity. The naturally decluttered state of a modern kitchen acts as a salve for our hectic lives, helping to relieve the inner turmoil of our minds. This is why the minimalist style has surged tremendously in 2021 kitchen trends and it’s one of the top aesthetics for the year. It is also one of the trends with the most staying power, meaning it will not look outdated in a couple of years, much like the perennial classics. The modern minimalist kitchen often features natural materials like marble and woods to offer unique colors and textures (or sometimes even faux marble dining tables) but this year these two key materials are shaking things up a bit and finding new ways in which to accent a room.
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1. Sleek Kitchen Cabinetry
Brentwood by Barta interiors
Minimalist design by Zunica
Kitchen design by Laura U
Cabinetry is going back to the basics for kitchen trends 2021: less crown molding, sleeker shapes and a generally cleaner and timeless look that is all about modern lines. This type of cabinet makes the most of the available shelving space, thinking vertically to max out the storage on the wall and including smart storage options, thus providing more storage space than other ornate styles. In 2019, 78% of kitchen renovating homeowners included specialty storage in their new cabinetry according to a 2019 Houzz study. Designing kitchen cabinet that hides appliances and clutter is essential to keep your kitchen organized and your countertops pristine.
The key to mastering this kitchen cabinet trend is to experiment with texture and splashes of color, like the purple chairs or black light fixtures, keeping it sophisticated and refined. Statement pendants and down-lights are key in these designs and provide a dining room quality to all these kitchens, making them non-intrusive and elegant. With open-plan living rising in popularity, it is no surprise that creating a comfortable well-presented space has never been as important as it is now. Stress-free environments that are welcoming and relaxing are definitely what we all want to come home to after a long day out.
2. Kitchen Cabinet Color - Blue Shades
Bergen Street Townhouse by Elizabeth Roberts
Goop workspace by Ariel Okin
Seacliff by Katherine Kwong Designs
Calderone Townhouse by Elizabeth Roberts
Although white cabinets are a classic look that can be used in almost any kind of kitchen, it is slowly losing ground to darker colors. We expect it to start declining in popularity throughout 2021. One of the most popular shades will be the Pantone color of the year: classic blue, particularly in its dark jewel shade: navy. It is no wonder this timeless shade is a favorite for kitchens since it provides a new take on darker colored cabinets and it is easily matchable with existing elements.
The blue palette is incredibly versatile, it not only opens up an amazing range of possible combinations for the other elements of the room but it also works extremely well under different lighting. Since blue will usually change shades during the day depending on the light the room is receiving, it naturally accompanies the general atmosphere inducing a sense of comfort and acting as a neutral color. When you think about how much time you spend on the kitchen from the start of your day to its very end, a calming color is a clear winner. It also pairs up pretty well with other kitchen trends like brass hardware and natural wood accents.
A more sophisticated and dramatic color choice when it comes to blues is the midnight blue hue, particularly when paired with silver accents and light worktops. While there is a growing tendency to go darker, serene paint choices like navy continue to rule the kitchen and free-standing furniture pieces everywhere. There is no question that dark kitchen cabinets portray full-on elegance and a luxurious atmosphere that is hard to achieve with other options. However, caution is advised so as not to overpower the room and make it feel stuffy and perpetually dark.
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3. Fully Integrated Kitchen Hardware
Integrated oven by St. Charles New York
Upper and lower built-ins by St. Charles New York
Somerton Baltic Sea by Kitchen Makers
Integrated appliances are on the rise when it comes to kitchen design trends. The aim is to maintain the cohesive and luxurious look of your kitchen by avoiding clutter so it is paramount that hardware is fully integrated and that there are organized cupboards to store everything.
Designed to fit flush inside the kitchen cabinetry, any utilitarian appliances are worthy candidates to be hidden away, particularly refrigerators and dishwashers. You can achieve a flawless look by disguising it all with custom paneling for a streamlined effect. Try adding appliances garages for all the small appliances, drawer dividers for cutlery and utensils, pull-outs for spices, tray dividers, roll-out trays and caddies for pots and pans, as well as wastebaskets cabinets for garbage and recyclables and deep drawers, the list is infinite.
True minimalists know that absence can be beautiful and they value open spaces overall. The appetite for discreet storage is expected to keep growing since owners don’t want their style to be impacted by their growing tech and gadgets collection, and are thus turning towards integrating appliances into their kitchens with concealment solutions.
4. Custom Steel Kitchen Hoods
Steel hood by Barta interiors
Personalized ochre hood by Massucco Warner
Wooden and white plaster hood by Marie Flanigan
Iron hood by Marika Meyer
There are many styles to choose from, but what all custom kitchen hoods have in common is that they create a focal point in the room and are an instant source of conversation for newcomers. Hottest materials are stainless steel, white plaster and iron but they all look striking.
A great tip for styling, as we can admire in these pictures, is pairing a single glass vase or a tall potted plant to add height and visual interest towards the area of the hood and naturally draw the eye to it. You can also choose sculptural bowls to add interesting shapes to the space, like a fruit bowl or a ceramic vase. Combining your hood with your flooring is great for wooden options since it also adds warmth to the space.
5. Matching Kitchen Countertops and Backsplash
Hillcrest House by Bailey Austin Design
Little Hombly by Barta interiors
Kitchen monotone by Marie Flanigan
Marbled backsplash by Marie Flanigan
Subway tile is finally on its way out and we couldn’t be any happier. Everyone is moving onto larger slabs with textures and patterns. The color choices are endless, but basically anything goes! Decorative wall covers are making a huge comeback in backboards and backsplashes and they are growing to the roof, appearing taller than they have ever been before.
Going blue, keeping it monochrome or in the same palette are all perfectly good options, but so is a splash of contrasting color. These slabs are mostly quartz countertop - even marble or granite - but any other textured surface will also work great. The key to this trend is using the same marble design on your backsplash and countertop to streamline the design of your dream kitchen. It adds texture and drama instantly, especially when contrasting colors are used for the cabinetry surrounding the backsplash slab.
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6. Dark Kitchen Countertops
Greenwald-Largent Townhouse by Elizabeth Roberts
Orient Farmhouse by Elizabeth Roberts
When we talk about streamlined minimalist kitchens, we don’t mean to say boring or flat design. So, designers recommend adding shelving materials with texture, like rough wood that brings in natural elements or metal tubing if you are into a more industrial approach.
These interesting textures are very different than the usually polished finishes we can find anywhere and are perfect for dark countertops that can provide a focal point in all kitchens, be they white or dark, small or huge. Natural woods like walnut and oak are particularly good because they also have a very definite grain that is particular to each type of tree and it adds texture and depth to your cooking space. They look great as part of a kitchen island or as a standalone kitchen table that doubles as an island and sitting spot.
7. Innovative Kitchen Islands
Gravity-defying countertops by St. Charles New York
Geometrical innovative countertop by A01 Architects
Countertop and barstool by Massucco Warner
Rounded corner kitchen island by Optiplan
Combining elements and colors is the future in design ideas. The same applies to kitchen design trends for 2021 when it comes to innovative kitchen islands. New shapes emerge and play around with the concept of space in different ways.
By adding an interesting twist to the general aesthetic these kitchen islands manage to change the whole feel of the room. Both the geometrical countertop and the gravity-defying island create clean open spaces while the other two, with their subdued approach to innovation, add a gentler feel to the rooms. Functional elements recede in some of these cases to reveal a more architectural space.
8. Kitchen Cabinet Style - Accent Color Cabinets
Green and apple cabinetry by Arent & Pyke
Yellow backsplash and cabinets by Zoom
A white kitchen will always have a place in our hearts however, we can’t help but be excited about this novel use of a pop of color. There’s been quite a spike in the use of bold colors as focal points of interest both in cabinets or in ranges.
The trend extends beyond just contrasting color on the painted cabinets, it can literally be translated into any element of the kitchen decor including the walls and worktops. We will be seeing this on islands, hutches and even full walls as pops of color. Many cabinet manufacturers have also come out with pale pinks to add to the myriad of colors available. It provides great freedom to play around with finishes too, like matte finishes, laminates, and juxtaposing them to create interesting ensembles.
9. Kitchen Design - Warm Wood
Santa Monica Contemporary by Barta interiors
Contrasting dining table by Zitturi
Hawaii by Katherine Kwong Designs
Not so long ago, combining different tones of wood in the same room was considered tacky. For 2021, rooms entirely made of wood will abolish this concept and become one of the strongest trends. Wooden surfaces lend their natural warmth to any space, this is why the material has taken a leading role when it comes to the interior design of kitchens, especially when combining red-tinted woods like mahogany or walnut with whiter grains like timber, and dark tones like oak. Wood is, after all, one of the noblest materials and it works tremendously well in most climates and styles.
Creating an amalgam of different grains and shades makes your kitchen texture-rich while adding depth and visual interest is the latest and hottest kitchen design trend. If you are not sure about taking wood all the way, adding features like minimalist dining tables , wood cabinets or wood floors tend to make a room feel cozy and comfortable, even surrounded by a sea of whiteness. The warm wood tones balance the crispness of the white but they can also enhance teal and blue tones. In kitchen design, using raw materials in rich tones and textures will certainly grow into the future and continue to rise in popularity.
10. Kitchen Style - Brass Accents
Union Street Townhouse by Elizabeth Roberts
Green kitchen by Magnet
Understated kitchens work amazingly well in homes with an open layout and natural lighting, they create a very neutral backdrop for its statement features. Statement kitchen faucet, with an interesting unusual handle, is a sure way to take your kitchen to the next level and they look outstanding surrounded by neutral colors.
The right way to keep your kitchen streamlined is to add similar finishes for cupboards and draw grips to keep the style consistent. In this case, the lighting fixtures, the towel holders and the cabinetry pulls all match in a beautiful golden color. Brass tones are growing on modern kitchens since it is the ideal shade for enhancing on-trend blues and green cabinetry alike while adding a sophisticated touch. Although often overlooked, taps, hinges, knobs and handles can utterly transform a kitchen design, even more so a minimalist kitchen that relies on the little details. It’s the finishing touches that will really make or breach the room and adding mixed metal details really adds to a kitchen’s personality.