A kitchen renovation is no small undertaking and there’s a lot to consider, so you want to be thoughtful in your decisions and choose selections you will love for years! I’m sharing the ultimate kitchen trends in 2021, plus a look into what’s to come in 2022!
We will be covering:
- Kitchen appliances
- Kitchen flooring
- Kitchen countertops
- Kitchen cabinet colors
- Kitchen tile
- Kitchen metals
When working as a designer with clients on new builds and remodels, clients were always surprised by just how many decisions there are to make. Lots of tiny things you wouldn’t think about, but they are important and when you’re spending the money, you want to leave no stone unturned.
This ultimate trend report will give you the lowdown on all things kitchen and hopefully inspire you for your very own project!
Kitchen Trends 2021
We can’t discuss kitchen remodels without talking about the elephant in the room: budget.
There are many factors that play into the overall budget of a kitchen. How high-end of finishes you choose and labor will drastically drive up the costs. If you do any of the work yourself, you will save thousands of dollars. That’s how we are able to keep our budget down when we completed our own kitchen remodel.
According to Houzz when they released their 2021 Kitchen Trends Study, the median spend on major kitchen remodels in 2020 was $45,000 for large kitchens and $35,000 for small kitchens. The most common upgrades in the project included countertops, backsplash, sinks, faucets, light fixtures, and flooring.
I can tell you from my experience managing many kitchen remodels when I worked as a designer, if you are looking to change the layout of your kitchen, knock down walls, or get new cabinets, you will be looking at a lot more.
That probably comes as a surprise to most people. It’s not cheap!
Kitchens are definitely an investment, but it’s where you will get your money back when selling the home as long as you make smart design decisions.
Kitchen Flooring Trends
There are a couple different ways to approach kitchen flooring depending on your kitchen layout. If you have a kitchen that’s open concept to the rest of the living area, it’s most common to continue the flooring from your living area into your kitchen. This creates good flow since there are no hard “stops” to transition floors without walls.
If your kitchen is it’s own room, you can get away with having a different floor than the rest of your main floor if you’d like and really do something fun. You can mix it up a bit and have a tile floor in the kitchen but wood floor in your living room. I love the black and white checkered tile flooring in the image above. The classic colors make it feel approachable and the pattern is definitely making a comeback.
For open concept kitchens, the most popular types of flooring are engineered hardwood floors or LVP flooring that looks like wood, but it’s actually vinyl.
Engineered wood floors are still word floors but they have a thinner veneer layer on top with a plywood core rather than traditional wood floors that are solid wood all the way through. The benefits of engineered wood flooring is it’s often cheaper than doing solid wood and it’s created to reduce the moisture issues that solid wood has. This is why they are common for kitchens, but know that they aren’t 100% waterproof.
We purchased our white oak engineered wood flooring that we installed in our first home from builddirect.com. They held up to scratches and dog paws amazingly well and we loved it.
Unfortunately, that exact flooring is discontinued, but below I listed a few other great flooring products that I recommend:
- Dark brown birch wood flooring
- Oak engineered wood flooring
- Shaw oak engineered wood flooring
- Kahrs engineered wood flooring (from the same manufacturer that made the floors we chose in our first home)
Now we have solid wood floors in our kitchen and I can tell you they have many scratches from our dog and even from dining chairs scooting in and out. 🙁
LVP, or luxury vinyl plank flooring is made to look like wood (some more so than others) but it’s made to be 100% waterproof, making it an excellent choice for kitchens. It’s often a little cheaper than engineered wood flooring as well, depending on brand. However, it’s not real wood and cannot be refinished or stained down the road.
Lifeproof Oak LVP flooring looks like real wood and has thousands of rave reviews!
I love the light oak finish on this LVP flooring.
Both are excellent choices for kitchens and what we’re seeing most homeowners use in their homes today.
Kitchen Countertop Trends
The most popular kitchen countertop trend in 2021 is quartz. Quartz is extremely durable and comes in a huge range of colors and patterns. There are tons of quartz countertops that resemble marble with the grey veining, but without the maintenance and price tag of real marble. A great option if you love the look of marble, but don’t want to constantly worry about water marks and red wine stains.
This post covers everything you need to know before choosing white quartz countertops and has a ton of detail about why quartz is so great.
Granite is still a popular option for kitchens, but it doesn’t have the antimicrobial feature like quartz.
Corian was once a popular choice for countertops, but is now considered a bit outdated. They haven’t come as far with the designs like they have with quartz in making the material look like real stone. It’s not as durable as quartz and more prone to scratches.
Kitchen Tile Trends
There are hundreds of backsplash tile options out there, it can feel very daunting to choose. One trend we’re seeing is glazed tiles. These are tiles that have a shiny finish and reflect light around the room.
We are seeing a shift away from matte tile towards tile with a glossy, glaze look. A bold color is always a fun look if you’re into color, otherwise white or a neutral is always a winning look that will never go out of style.
Handmade tiles are another beautiful trend as we move into 2022 soon. These tiles have irregularities in shape and size, making them interesting and adding a touch of charm. They really make a kitchen feel cozy and collected rather than stark and modern.
While you can’t go wrong with a traditional subway tile, look for tiles that have a unique twist that make it different or more interesting to kick it up a notch. It could be a different color, a handmade look, shiny glaze, or a unique shape that sets it apart from the regular rectangle tile.
Appliances are big ticket items in kitchens and there’s a huge range of selection and price. Stainless steel appliances have been a top choice for many years now, and it’s definitely not going anywhere. They have made improvements to it, even claiming to be fingerprint-less!
One trend that emerged and continues to grow in 2022 is black stainless steel. This has a darker, more charcoal finish than traditional stainless steel and is growing in popularity. It’s a beautiful option if you have black accents in your kitchen and home.
Moving into 2022, I think we will see a shift in appliances and see white emerge as a popular appliance color. But don’t worry, it’s nothing like what you probably remember from the nineties.
These appliances have sleek designs with beautiful handles, the white body simply blends in with the cabinets the way stainless steel just can’t.
Of course, we can’t talk about appliances without mentioning all the cool smart features. Technology has come a long way and there are lots of cool gadgets and things on refrigerators and ovens now.
Maybe one of the most popular smart features is the touchless faucet. It’s definitely growing in popularity and becoming more common in homes. I’m curious if you have one in your home if you love it?
Kitchen Cabinet Color Trends
You might be wondering, are white kitchens going out of style?
I don’t think white kitchens will ever go completely out of style, but we are seeing new trends that add a bit more color and personality.
Two-tone kitchens are quite popular where the upper cabinets are painted or stained a different color than the lower cabinets. This is a fun way to mix in color without it feeling overbearing.
Another trend is painting the island an accent color that contrasts from the perimeter cabinetry. Personally, I love this look because it breaks it up so your kitchen doesn’t feel like it has too much of the same thing.
We are seeing a lot of white oak cabinets and natural looking wood stained cabinets in 2021 and it continues as we look at 2022 trends. There’s definitely a movement towards more earthy, cozy, natural in the kitchen and not the super modern stark white kitchens, but it’s far from the golden oak cabinet era that feels out of style.
There is a shift in general towards warmer color palettes with more creamy beiges and terracotta shades, not just in kitchens. I wouldn’t say grey kitchens are going out of style, as there is certainly a place for them and they can be beautiful. But homeowners are leaning towards the warmer, more cozy inviting colors lately.
Gone are the days where all cabinet hardware, sink faucet, and lighting are all the same matching stainless steel! Now it’s all about mixing metals for a collected, unique look.
Go with black for cabinet hardware pulls, and a pretty gold on your kitchen faucet and island pendants. We are seeing combinations of metals like we’ve never seen before. Don’t be afraid to mix and match.
Gold continues to be trendy and we see it in many different shades and finishes. Copper is also a metal that’s growing in popularity and continues as we look at 2022.
I have to say, I’m on board with all of these kitchen trends in 2021 and love the departure from the all white kitchen we’ve seen time and time again! Just by adding a couple of the trends into your kitchen design will instantly make it feel more interesting and collected. Don’t feel like you have to go overboard – choose a few that you’re drawn to most. Afterall, at the end of the day what’s most important is that YOU love your kitchen since you are the one using it!
If you need help finding your decorating style and the thought of making all of these design decisions overwhelms you, this course will help!