What does the kitchen of the (very near) future look like? Some of the most exciting trends are faucets with filtration systems that have taps for fizzy soda water and steamy hot water for tea, says kitchen expert Carisha Swanson, director of editorial special projects at House Beautiful. But the overarching trend that Swanson is seeing for 2024? “Kitchens are warming up again,” she says. That looks like warmer wood cabinetry replacing sterile all-white looks, and glossy, less-than-perfect zellige tiles edging out the more precise subway tiles.
Kitchen islands have become a focal point too, and not only are they getting bigger, they're practically taking on the role of a dinner table. Islands are primed for a less-awkward seating arrangements going into the new year, she says. So instead of a straight row of bar stools lining one side of the island and side-by-side seating, there will be more of a wraparound seating style in an L-shaped formation, allowing for easier cross-table convos.
As for kitchen colors, blue remains popular. But designers are predicting that shades of green—from deep saturated forest greens to lighter earthier shade—will gain momentum.
And the kitchen won’t be contained to just the kitchen anymore. Refrigerator drawers are popping up in other places throughout the home—playrooms, home gyms, offices, and even the bathroom. (If you’re on beauty TikTok, you’ve probably seen the trend of refrigerating face creams and jade rollers). Coming out of the pandemic, with entertaining back in full swing, home bars are staging a comeback, too.
We talked to designers and dove into the National Kitchen & Bath Association’s (NKBA) 2024 kitchen report to find out what kitchens design trends you'll see more of next year and beyond.
Kitchens Opening to the Backyard Allow for Seamless Al Fresco Dining
For a while, it felt like every new restaurant and bar had a garage door that opened up to a patio. Now, it’s a feature that’s been adopted and refined at home. Window walls in kitchens help bring the outdoors inside, and they’re trending along with larger windows and glass walls in kitchens, according to the NKBA.
Kitchens Are Taking Cues from the Great Outdoors
Kitchens' greatest muse in 2024 may just be the great outdoors. Layering warm whites, earthy greens, and wood tones are design choices that mimic nature and provide a harmonious feel in the kitchen, according to the NKBA. High-textured wood on cabinets continues the nature theme.
Green Is a Bold Choice That Pays Off
Green is having a moment, and looks great on walls, tiles, and cabinets, says Julee Ireland, a California- and Texas-based interior design architect. Ireland has recently traveled to Spain, Portugal, and Italy for design and tile shows, and she’s seeing green as a recurring theme.
“I personally love green in all shades for its ability to connect you with nature–from the deep saturated tones found in the rainforest to the soft, muted shades of green found by the sea,” she told the NKBA.
And Green Choices Are Creating More Sustainable Kitchens
Built-in recycling stations, energy-efficient appliances with a long lifespan, and donating older appliances are among the eco-friendly trends that NKBA is taking note of for 2024.
Kitchen Islands Are Getting Bigger
Kitchen islands are becoming a bigger design focus. Some people are even doubling up on islands. But Southern California-based interior designer Jeanne Chung, principal at Cozy·Stylish·Chic, prefers having one longer island as opposed to two smaller ones. She’s gone as big as 20 feet on a couple of her projects.
Refrigerators Will Have Fingerprint-Proof Stainless Steel
Blame a grubby-handed ghost: You wipe down your fridge just to see moments later that fingerprints have reappeared. Thankfully, new fridges are incorporating smudge-proof finishes to keep your appliance looking sleek and clean, says Malka Helft, founder and principal designer of Think Chic Interiors in Westchester, New York. More fridges are also coming with LED lights on the inside to provide more efficient illumination.
Homeowners Are Embracing a ‘Soft Modern’ Aesthetic
Modern designs with classic elements are trending as we head into 2024, says Bob Bakes, the co-founder and head of design at Bakes & Kropp. This might look like a high gloss finish for cabinets offset with a matte wood finish for open shelving or accent panels with minimal to no hardware for a clean, he says. The European-inspired look offers more warmth than a strictly contemporary kitchen.
In-Room Coffee and Cocktail Bars Level Up Bedrooms
The kitchen is expanding, and one of the best examples are coffee and cocktail bars in primary bedrooms, says Diana Melichar, an architect in Lake Forest, Illinois. These hotel-like amenities create an oasis away from kids for a coffee in the morning or a nightcap at night. They’re typically built in a nook away from the bed.
Beverage Stations Are in High Demand
When it comes to kitchen modifications, beverage stations are the No. 1 trending design feature that designers expect will be big with their clients in the next few years, the NKBA report shows. Dedicated spots to pour wine, make coffee, or blend up smoothies are higher on wish lists than other layout features like enlarged pantries or eat-in kitchens to replace formal dining rooms.
Quartz Countertops Are A Top Choice
Quartz countertops are low maintenance, highly durable, and easy to clean. They’re the No. 1 choice for kitchen countertops, according to the NKBA. Next up in popularity is quartzite, then granite.
Minimalism Is Major
Scandinavian, mid-century, and contemporary are all trending design styles in kitchens, according to kitchen designers and other industry experts surveyed for the NKBA report. In general, people want functioning kitchens that have a minimalist look, often with flat-panel designs, stain-resistant materials like quartz, plenty of storage space, and countertops that seamlessly extend into the backsplash.
Gold Kitchen Faucets Are Slightly More Popular Than Stainless Steel
Kitchens are going for gold. In the NKBA’s survey, 49.5 percent of respondents said gold is the top color for kitchen faucets, becoming slightly more popular than stainless steel and black finishes. Gold, bronze, and copper will be popular lighting fixture finishes, too.
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