Whether you're planning an entire kitchen remodel this year or mulling over a few DIY kitchen updates to refresh your space, you are probably curious what trends are in and which are on their way out. Today, kitchen designs are shifting away from the standard white or neutral space, and homeowners are embracing bolder, brighter colors instead.
From the layout to the finishes, this year is a turning point for kitchen design. Here, we've rounded up the biggest trends designers expect to see in kitchen styles for 2021. If you're hunting for inspiration for that big kitchen project, read on.
01 of 11
Try Going Dark in the Kitchen
The past decade has been all about white, bright kitchens. Homeowners shifted away from natural wood cabinets and dark granite, and instead painted everything white. Designer Anne Sage says this is the year that white kitchens finally take a backseat.
"After years of bright, white kitchens being the norm, cabinets and countertops are going dark," she says. "I'm seeing tons of beautiful black marble, earthy walnut, and midnight greens."Continue to 2 of 11 below.
02 of 11
Add a Dutch Door
As many homeowners decide to buckle down and stay put in their current house, they are also looking for ways to make it even more functional. Will Brown of Will Brown Interiors predicts a return of the Dutch door.
"I recently helped a client renovate his kitchen from a sad and dated state to something that was completely transformative and functional, yet affordable," he says. "The key was to keep the charm, such as the Dutch door that we gave a fresh coat of paint."
Instead of getting rid of your charming vintage features, find a way to update them and keep them in your space.Continue to 3 of 11 below.
03 of 11
Realign Your Backsplash
When it comes to backsplashes, Brown also expects to see a stylistic shift this year. If you're sick of the horizontal subway tile look, consider realigning your backsplash to create a more vertical appearance. "We’re seeing entire slabs going up across the back walls in kitchens for a more sleek and modern look. That same premise is applying to tile, too," he says.Continue to 4 of 11 below.
04 of 11
Experiment with Open Shelving
Though open shelving is not an incredibly new concept, expect to see it become even more popular this year, says Designer Sarah Fultz.
"There has been a major decluttering/excess-purging movement for homeowners in the last year," she says. "People were once afraid of the loss of storage that open shelving seemed to bring, but they've now come to see how this design element actually marries beauty and function."
Open shelving is a great way to force yourself to declutter and keep only the necessities in your kitchen.Continue to 5 of 11 below.
05 of 11
Swap Out the Hardware
If you decide to create a bold, eye-catching kitchen with paint this year, take the look to the next level and swap out your hardware, too. Fultz predicts homeowners will embrace unique, dramatic hardware, like these black knobs that blend in with the crisp black cabinetry.Continue to 6 of 11 below.
06 of 11
Keep it Natural
Another big cabinetry trend to expect this year, says Will Brown, is a reemergence of natural wood. While homeowners used to despise brown wood cabinets, he's seeing more of them going back to the basics and embracing the natural look.
If you're not ready to commit to an entirely brown or wood kitchen, consider a natural wood island, or focus just on the lower cabinets to create a two-tone look instead.Continue to 7 of 11 below.
07 of 11
Add Art to Your Kitchen
If you've never considered adding artwork to your kitchen, this is the year to try it out. Expect to see more framed portraits and pieces of art pop up in the kitchen. This is a fun way to add more personality to your kitchen and give it a simple makeover without a renovation.
If you have exposed shelving, we love propping art up and leaning it against the wall for a more casual, laid-back vibe.Continue to 8 of 11 below.
08 of 11
Consider Streamlined Cabinetry
As much as we love a good shaker cabinet, many homeowners are embracing a more streamlined, modern look these days. Expect to see many kitchens with fewer embellishments and simple lines, especially in open-concept kitchens.Continue to 9 of 11 below.
09 of 11
Move Away From Open Concept
Though there was once a day when realtors thought the only kitchen that could sell a home was an open-concept one, that is no longer the case. This year, more homeowners are embracing the work-from-home culture, and that means the desire to add a greater sense of privacy throughout the home.
We predict to see a return of the formal dining room this year. Though open-concept homes work for many families, those who find themselves spending more and more time at home may want more dedicated spaces instead.Continue to 10 of 11 below.
10 of 11
Try Two-Toned Cabinets
Another cabinetry trend Will Brown expects to see is more two-toned kitchens. Not only does this look create dimension and a bit of visual interest for your kitchen, but it also "adds a jolt of bright optimism and colorful personality into kitchens that get daily use," he says.Continue to 11 of 11 below.
11 of 11
Ditch the Stainless Steel
If you're in need of new appliances this year, consider straying from the typical stainless steel look. We've seen more and more homeowners opt for appliances in various colors. Here, the white refrigerator almost blends into the cabinets to make the kitchen appear larger and more open.
If you're into the vintage look, you can find modern appliances designed to appear retro. This is a fun way to add personality to your space without giving up the modern luxuries that smart appliances offer.