As a design writer, I find trends to be a funny thing. I'm either on the hunt for "new" trends to report on, talking about what trends are "tired" and "over," or, personally, hoping a trend hurries up and passes so I can go back to loving it and using it in my home without feeling "basic." It's a complicated relationship, if you couldn't tell.
In all my years of doing this, I've learned that there's one room in the house where ideas tend to stick around a bit longer — and that's the kitchen. Good thing, considering ripping out cabinetry/appliances/fixtures on a whim every time a new trend pops up is neither budget-savvy nor sustainable in any way.
In fact, kitchen trends have a way of staying around for at least seven to 10 years. And while we seem to be nearing the apex of another shift (bye, all-white-everything), certain trends and design ideas we've all known and (maybe) loved in recently years don't seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. Let's discuss.
1. Banquette seating
If there was any trend in 2018 that takes the crown as "Pinterest Queen," it's the banquette (whether built-in or freestanding). You can't scroll too far without seeing a shot of a breakfast room or eat-in kitchen; heck, you probably have some saved yourself (I know I do). Formal dining rooms have been a hard sell for a while now, as how we live in our homes seems to get more and more casual, and the banquette is a direct response to that. Family-friendly, approachable, and, frankly, just a whole lot of fun design-wise, banquette seating is holding firm.
2. Natural wood cabinetry
Say it with me: Bye-bye, white kitchens! Last year was the first time in several years we saw a break in the "white out" design storm. And warmer all-wood cabinetry started coming back, with a modern, fresh twist. These aren't the cherry or honey oak cabinets that pervaded the '90s and early aughts. What we've seen pop up recently is natural, rustic, and unstained — and this "trend" is just starting.
3. Colored cabinetry
When we weren't all busy ogling images of natural wood cabinetry, we were likely bookmarking/Pinning/saving kitchens with colored cabinets — specifically, in a dark blue or green. You couldn't thumb through your Instagram feed without running into an insanely dreamy space finished in a deep, almost old-world hue. It will be interesting to see how long this one sticks around, but I'm betting on some longevity here.
4. Brass hardware and fixtures
Whether you're personally over this one or not, brass hardware and faucets are here to stay for the foreseeable future. Yes, more designers and style influencers have been leaning into finishes like polished nickel and matte black (more on that next), but it took such a long time to cross over from brushed nickel that flip flopping right back isn't very likely.
5. Matte black finishes
Speaking of finishes ... matte black entered the scene as a force to be reckoned with about two years ago. It was a great option for anyone who just couldn't bring themselves to go the brass route, but was so over the hardware store staples that are brushed nickel and oil-rubbed bronze. It broke through the "glam" vibe and injected some much-needed modernity, even in more traditional spaces. Matte black, please don't go anywhere.
6. Two-toned cabinetry
Okay, this is not a new concept by any means, but it does seem to have come back out of the woodwork (see what I did there?) aggressively in recent years. A pretty traditional move stylistically, I do think it's a sign of our collective breakup with white kitchens as a whole ... baby steps. Some fresh takes include doing an all-wood island with surrounding white cabinets, white uppers with colored (or wood) bottom cabinetry, or even a statement color or dramatic black on an island with natural wood everywhere else.
7. Statement hoods
Whether plaster framed, sculptural, or uniquely clad, the vent hood seems to be the new frontier of kitchen design and that train is full speed ahead. Once a staple of a very modern kitchen, I've seen more and more transitional and traditional spaces embracing the "statement" hood in a way that feels fresh and stylish instead of hokey.
8. Open shelving
Look, we've heard all the arguments against open shelving these past few years — dust! Disorder! — but let me tell you right now confidently that there is no shaking this. Not imminently, at least. Open shelving is the not-so-new darling of kitchen design that just feels like part of the package deal now, and I think I'm okay with it (are you?).
9. Dramatic backsplashes
Subway tiles are great for so many reasons (like budget, how easy they are to install, and their timelessness), but they aren't for everyone. Sometimes you just want something a little different, with some more personality. Enter: the "drama" backsplash. As cement tiles became all the rage in about 2015/2016, a bold use of colored and patterned tile trickled into not just kitchen floors, but also backsplashes.
10. Living room-worthy rugs
Gone are the cheesy little mats our moms used to stand on while they did the dishes. More and more, we're seeing giant rugs in the kitchen. We're talking gorgeous ones that could easily work in a living room. I love that this trend, more than any of the others, is one that doesn't really require much work to pull off. It'll update a space and hide ugly tile if you're a renter.
Have you been noticing anything else? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.