For most of 2020, nearly all of us spent copious amounts of time in our home. It looks like 2021 may be more of the same, and “staying in” has become the new “going out.” Because of the pandemic, the way we work, relax, cook, and entertain has been significantly altered.
Some of us are looking around our kitchens and seeing what isn’t working. Then we start visualizing what we would like to change. Because we are spending so much time at home, it’s not surprising that there has been a significant increase in kitchen renovations, remodeling projects, and makeovers.
2021 Kitchen Design Trends reflect the new ways we are using our homes. If you and your family have decided it’s time to make some upgrades in your kitchen – whether a significant renovation or a minor update – keep the following ideas in mind as you begin to plan.
Kitchens continue to be the Hardest Working Room
Kitchens have always been the hardest working room in the house, and COVID-19 made this even more evident. Besides cooking more meals, many of us are also using our kitchens as work-from-home offices, school rooms, homework stations, and craft areas. We’re using up cabinet space for grocery shopping and food storage.
These life changes came about because of the pandemic. But many of them will likely continue even when the pandemic is over. Employees enjoy the option of working from home; home cooking is leading to healthier eating; the pace of everyday living is slowing, etc.
Therefore, here are some kitchen design trends for 2021 and beyond to consider.
2021 Kitchen Design Trends Include More Open Concept Living
Walls creating divisions between rooms are coming down. The rarely-used formal dining room is being opened up to add more kitchen space; the demolished wall between the kitchen and living room now opens up sightlines for parents to keep an eye on the kids while making dinner.
Connecting the kitchen to an outdoor area (deck, garden, patio, etc.) is also becoming more popular.
The kitchen is quickly becoming the main space where everyone gathers, so families want it to be cozy, comfy, welcoming, and convenient. What was once considered an “open concept” is now becoming even more open.
Kitchen Storage Is Key
In 2020, residents made fewer trips to the supermarket but brought home more items each time. Therefore, having enough storage space becomes essential. One of the kitchen design trends for 2021 includes extra cabinetry, upgraded pantries, or large walk-in closets to handle the bulk buying.
Another priority for 2021 is to keep countertops clean and clear. Stress is reduced with less clutter, and counter space is at a premium. Kitchen design trends for 2021 include appliance garages and special storage for less often used kitchen gadgets. The pandemic not only changed what and when we cook, but we also purchased lots of small appliances like bread makers, pasta makers, air fryers, InstaPots. Now we need a place to put it all!
Additionally, many homeowners want freezers or extra-large refrigerators for long term food storage. If you don’t have extra room to store fresh food, another kitchen design trend for 2021 is to use rolling carts and freestanding furniture (armoires, enclosed bookshelves) near the kitchen as storage solutions for paper goods, canned goods, and more.
Larger Kitchen Islands
A trend for 2021 is that kitchens’ overall size, and especially kitchen islands, is growing. We use islands for prep space, of course, and for Zoom meetings, at-home schooling, and sharing the news of the day. It also means more cabinetry underneath to store all those cool kitchen gadgets we recently bought!
According to a recent Home & Garden trend report, the average size island is now at least 24 square feet and is a staple in a well-designed kitchen. There is a surge in popularity for two islands as well. An island must accommodate the family’s needs and have plenty of outlets to manage laptops, charge cell phones, and use electric kitchen tools.
Another kitchen design trend for 2021 is incorporating a large island for dining and seating. One solution is to add a separate table to the island to create a versatile gathering place with space for eating, working, and playing.
Also, when everyone eats multiple meals at home every day, an area in the kitchen for dining makes it more special. Consider adding a banquette or dining table incorporated into the island or the room’s corner. Adding this option offers you seating and gives you an area where your family will spend time together.
L-Shaped Kitchens are In!
According to NARI (National Association of the Remodeling Industry), the most popular shape for kitchens in 2021 is the L-shape. This classic shape is designed for efficiency and to flow easily into the next room. Perfect for homes without much square footage, this shape makes it easier to organize everything into a smaller footprint. However, it can offer a large island in front of the L by taking a wall down.
More Natural Light and Outdoor Connections
Adding more and oversized windows to your kitchen brings the outdoors in. Larger windows add sunlight, making the room inviting and feeling larger. Natural sunlight is an instant mood lifter, so time in the kitchen will be more positive and upbeat for everyone.
One of the popular kitchen design trends for 2021 is to bring in more natural light and add a physical and visual connection to the outdoors through large windows, sliding doors, or French doors. This offers an open view and enables fresh air to flow throughout the house – a positive effect of the pandemic.
Another way to bring more sunlight into your entire home is to take down any heavy drapery and window treatments. Trade them out for simple, soft woven shades or lightweight linens. If more natural light is not an option, talk with your professional kitchen designer about a new lighting plan for your kitchen.
Special Kitchen Design Features
Are you a wine lover? A coffee aficionado? Do you bake? The best kitchen design trends for 2021 merge special features to match your needs and wants. Talk to your professional kitchen designer about what your dream kitchen entails, and be sure to add it to the design.
For example, if you’d love to have an area for a coffee bar, ask for it! Flavored coffees, special creamers, a French press, or the perfect coffee maker can occupy a space in the kitchen just for you. Or maybe add a beverage refrigerator to hold your wine, craft beer, and other beverages at the perfect temperature.
Kitchen Wood Cabinetry and Flooring
White cabinets will always be popular, but natural wood tones for kitchen cabinets is a growing trend for 2021. Not the deep cherry color or the orangey finish from the ’90s, but both dark and light stains on maple, walnut, ash, oak, and others. The natural colors of wood add warmth to the kitchen and pairs well with every paint and counter color. Also, there is more of a focus on high-quality, solid wood cabinetry. It can withstand constant traffic and is built to last.
Wood-look tile and luxury vinyl flooring work well in kitchens because they can handle heavy traffic and spilled liquids. However, talk to your designer about wood floors if that’s your dream. There are certain kinds of wood that work better than others in kitchens.
No More Open Shelves
A huge fad in the past, the kitchen design trends for 2021 no longer include open shelving. Because homeowners have done more cooking at home, they’ve realized open shelves allow dishes to get covered in dust, cooking oils, grime, and more. It also means less storage space. Therefore, upper cabinets are returning! The few remaining open shelves will become display ledges or decorative shelves.
Glass Cabinet Doors for Kitchens
To help keep the upper cabinets feeling light – now that you’ve removed all the open shelves – glass front doors are making a comeback. Glass cabinet doors protect the dishes from dust but still allows homeowners to display their pretty décor pieces. Consider adding dimpled or fluted glass on a few upper cabinets.
Kitchen Countertops Are Now Dark and Solid Surfaces
We’ve seen white countertops and white kitchen cabinetry since the early 90s. But in 2021 and beyond, you’ll see more dark stone counter options to contrast the light-stained wood cabinets. And when using butcher block, those will use darker wood species, too, instead of the previously pale woods. Best of all, dark countertops are more forgiving and don’t show crumbs and scratches as easily.
Former trends have also included lots of marble and granite countertops and backsplashes. In 2021, however, tougher stone surfaces like engineered quartz are becoming more popular. Solid surface counters are not porous; thus, they won’t absorb spills and splashes. Homeowners are more concerned with viruses, bacteria, dirt, and mold on surfaces, and quartz is easier to clean and sanitize.
2021 Kitchen Design Trends include Adding Artwork
You usually don’t think of kitchens as the room to display art, but this has become more popular in the last few years. If you decide to follow this trend, be sure to hang your art away from the sink and stove to keep it from splatters, spills, and heat.
Matte and Brushed Finishes
Say goodbye to shiny metals on faucets and door handles. Brushed and matte finishes are catching on because they’re easier to keep clean, show fewer fingerprints, and won’t take attention away from the cabinets. If you’re using warm colors in your new kitchen design, consider a matte black faucet for a more decadent feel.
Kitchen Touchless Faucets
An easy update is changing your kitchen faucet to a touchless one. A heightened awareness of hygiene and demand for better function creates growing popularity for these specialty items.
According to NARI industry leaders, hands-free, touch-tap, voice-activated, and motion-control faucets are quickly becoming more popular than traditional faucets with a lever, These new types can help you be more productive and are more hygienic.
You can turn the water on and dispense exactly what you need just through a command. Adding a touchless faucet is seen as a convenience and a germ inhibitor for busy parents and their little one’s hands.
Color In The Kitchen
All hues of green will be in demand for 2021 and beyond. Some homeowners will opt for muted shades such as olive and sage, but hunter and deep emerald greens will also be on-trend. It can be bold and dramatic or soft and pastel, but most greens pair easily with other warm-toned colors.
Although white will continue in kitchen design, the cool grays and blues make way for warmer shades. For 2021, try accents of orange and peach, with a touch of aqua. Warm tones such as yellow, red, and orange feel happy and optimistic when added to natural wood, fresh greenery, woven textures, and gold accents.
On the other hand, many homeowners are getting creative and want to personalize their kitchens. They make bold color choices, adding distinctive finishes and eclectic materials in the tile, lighting, appliances. These creative homeowners aren’t interested in following trends.
Woven or Smaller Metal Light Fixtures
Industrial pendant lights and large fixtures are moving in favor of minimal brushed metal pieces or natural basket-weave shades. These two types balance the upper cabinets, open the top half of the kitchen, and feel lighter and airier. Being energy-efficient is at the top of homeowner’s lists, too.
Kitchen Trends for Tile Shapes and Colors
Kitchen design trends for 2021 means leaving white subway tiles behind. It’s now all about hexagons, diamonds, squares, and other shapes. Exciting and versatile, these tiles are larger, in more neutral colors, and with a matte finish. But look for the green trend in tiles and even cabinetry, too.
Decorative Vent Hoods
Especially in open floor plans, a decorative vent hood can make a statement and become the kitchen’s focal point. However, that doesn’t mean it needs to be ornate or have bold details. Something as simple as painting it an accent color or using a marble slab, plaster, tile, or wood can create something eye-catching.
One of the best things that have come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is families’ opportunities to become pet owners. Working and schooling from home gave them more time to spend with their furry family members.
Now, as homeowners are remodeling their spaces, they look for pet-friendly features, too. They want things like pet washing stations in kitchens that include deep sinks and high arc faucets, a special drawer in the lower cabinet with pull-out food and water bowls, and storage for pet food and other animal products.
Design Tech Remodeling
Are you planning on making significant changes in your kitchen this year? Do you want a more substantial dining area, better storage, and some upgrades? Then talk to the professionals at Design Tech Remodeling. Today’s kitchen must meet many needs. Design Tech Remodeling can help you achieve your goal of having a dream kitchen. Add an island, a walk-in pantry, new appliances, beautiful finishes, and more. They can make your kitchen the comfortable and functional space you’ll love. Contact Design Tech Remodeling today and experience unmatched customer service and outstanding quality!