With only four months left in 2021, and nearly two years of living in a pandemic behind us, we’ve become accustomed to one thing for certain—the kitchen is our gathering place or the heart of the home. Since it’s so essential and demands functionality, it’s easy to see why many are prioritizing the kitchen in 2021. For those planning to host in the upcoming holidays, centering home improvement projects around the kitchen provides big results and effort that goes noticed by your guests.
At Queen City Kitchen and Bath, we’re well immersed in the world of innovative home design and clever upgrades you can make to your kitchen this year. So what can we expect to see when it comes to fall 2021 kitchen trends?
Concealed cabinetry and subtle islands
If you’re dealing with a small living space, then you’re familiar with getting innovative to maximize efficiency in your kitchen. Concealed cabinetry embraces the open floor plan and open shelving that many have come to love over the last few years, but camouflages the cooking and storage areas. With cabinets that don’t scream ‘cabinetry,’ you can achieve this modern aesthetic with smooth and neutral magnetized doors, and saying goodbye to handles and hardware. For those with pets and children, closed cabinetry can keep hair, dust, and wandering hands from landing on clean dishes, cups, and appliances. The focus of a kitchen with concealed cabinetry is entertaining and the feeling of spaciousness.
This type of kitchen is great for a house that needs to combine the dining and cooking area into one space, or an open space plan that meshes a living room into a kitchen area effortlessly. Another way designers are accomplishing this is by blending the island into the room as a furniture piece. Rather than blocky islands closed off with storage, the trend takes a different approach by choosing islands that have legs, looking more like a table. This can open up a room more by exposing more of the flooring. It also can look more rustic and utilitarian, which can balance out a modern kitchen.
Alternatively, double islands are also growing in popularity, where people opt-in for a pair of island units. This is realistically for those whose space is not a concern. Modern kitchen islands tend to have push-open and close doors, meaning there’s no handle hardware in the way. Handless kitchen design is one of the biggest trends this year and provides a more streamlined look that really embraces simplicity and focuses on the cabinetry details.
Industrial chic in a move away from total open concept kitchens
Exposed cabinets and shelves displaying all kitchen gadgets and china might not be falling in popularity just yet, but many who made the change realize there’s some functionality and ease of organization to having solid cabinetry doors. Enter: wire mesh cabinetry. As a nice in-between to obscure clutter while also keeping things tucked away, wire mesh cabinetry brings the industrial style straight to your kitchen. The resurgence of cabinet doors, in general, is seeing a resurgence this fall and is a key trend; you’ll be seeing more cabinet doors with custom hardware and cut-out details on the door fronts. You may want to pair with brass or gold handles, and accent accordingly with touches of brass and gold lighting, candles, or cups.
Maximize storage with innovative, custom solutions
In some renovations, there simply isn’t the option to knock down a wall or use another room as a pantry. Since more people have utilized their kitchen space over the last few months, we’ve been seeing more upgrades that customize and maximize every avenue for storage in the kitchen. This can range from in-drawer knife storage, under-sink drawers, integrated cutting boards, or our favorite, vertical pantry cleaning supply drawer.
Pantry cupboards continue to be a must-have feature in modern kitchens. Pantries have been a staple for centuries, and it makes perfect sense – having all of your food in one place and not scattered around in numerous cabinets makes the flow of a kitchen more organized and efficient.
Work from home, wherever you are – even in the kitchen
As adults continue to work from home and many children still partaking in remote learning certain days of the week, we can expect our kitchens to continue to serve multiple functions, including makeshift offices. Where some have found the kitchen table to be the new desk, those with extra space in an open floor kitchen may be building modular office space in their nooks or corners. They may utilize the kitchen’s existing countertop, but add additional storage through smart shelves and tasteful lighting.
Warm wood tones and rich colors and movement create a more lived-in space
While minimalism has dominated the kitchen aesthetics for a few years now, creating a clean and sleek but cold tone in what should be the most used room in the house. While all-white kitchens probably are not going out of style anytime soon, there are a ton of new design trends in 2021 that pop colors with natural elements.
Between warm wood tones via flooring and cabinetry, rich wall colors and accents like burgundy, magenta, and deep blue, and movement with organic countertop materials like marble and quartz, the fall kitchen trends are embracing earthy tones and autumnal hues. While detailed wood cabinetry has fallen out of fashion the last few decades, smooth, light woods are enjoying a return. Cabinets using a subtle-grained ash pair well with tones from manmade stone like concrete. For those with bright white kitchens, you can achieve a modern mid-century look with dark walnut cabinetry and marble backsplashes. Walnut cabinetry has also enjoyed a recent rise in popularity – the dark, rich, and fine grain is welcomed into homes and seen as bringing natural warmth and instant luxury.
Even if you’ve designed your kitchen to a T, there are exciting ways you can dip your toes into introducing some color into your kitchen. Kitchens are rife with color opportunities. This could range from painting your kitchen fan a deep blue, or bringing in some colorful appliances, like a vintage toaster oven, a colored fridge, or some painted open shelving. Windows, flooring, kitchen tile, and backsplashes are all also opportunities for adding color.
You may want to start by deciding how permanent of a commitment you’re willing to make. One of the least expensive, least disruptive, and easiest to change down the road style updates to make to your kitchen styling is to paint a wall. Wall colors can be easily updated if you tire of it or a new, exciting color comes along. But typically, you’ll want to choose a color you’re happy with for about five years.
Choosing two shades on opposite sides of the color wheel can offer a bold contrast to your kitchen color.
Introduce natural elements into your kitchen
Sustainable and eco-friendly items will only continue to grow in the coming years, especially as people seek out more green solutions for their homes. Terracotta tiling is rising in popularity for both backsplashes as well as flooring. Cement offers gray neutrality while bringing in texture and depth to the kitchen.
Quartz is also quickly becoming a more affordable and chic alternative to marble. Metal finishes like brass, nickel, and matte black are great for hardware or accessorizing in the kitchen.
The return of luxury marble
Marble is making a comeback for 2021 and beyond! Nothing can provide an instant upscale to your kitchen than strongly veined marble. Marble with strong veining can make a subtle statement and contrast nicely with other polished surfaces, metals, and woodwork.
Synonymous with high-end luxury, marble is the choice for kitchens and bathrooms. Not only is marble durable and sustainable, but it is an absolute classic. Opting for marble is an investment you can make that will withstand any passing trends in the years to follow.
Dramatic black, calming gray, and neutral navy
While dependent on the kitchen and the lighting situation, the color black can be a bold but lively color for your kitchen. It seems to be overlooked as an accent color, reserved for one wall, but using all black for the walls and cabinetry can create a lux and inviting environment. Black also pairs really well with textured woods and white countertops, adding a rustic charm.
If black is too stark, blue kitchens are gaining popularity, especially the darker, dramatic shades of navy on the cabinetry. Strike a balance of color in your kitchen with light or white countertops, white cabinetry on top, or and light wood flooring.
When it comes to gray in the kitchen, you might be surprised to hear the recommendation! We’ve seen light gray be a very popular choice for living rooms and bathrooms, but less so in the kitchen. A dark gray can actually be a very classic, timeless, and safe color to use in your kitchen. It’s elegant, subtle, and works very well with other white walls in the home. Dark gray can be warmed up with natural tones and grains, such as terracotta and wood accents. Neutral color palettes will never fall out of popularity and serve as great ways to contrast light color surfaces and flooring.
With any of these dark, brooding colors, they work best when used dramatically and unapologetically. Dark walls absorb imperfections and even out textures, so don’t be afraid to go all the way with dark black, gray, or navy.
Many people have found an easy but meaningful upgrade in the past few years by upgrading their faucets. Faucets now come in a wide choice of colors and finishes, and can really tie together an overall kitchen aesthetic. Sinks are following in suit now too, being offered in unique colors, shapes, sizes, and materials. Sinks can now be as stylish as they are functional – so don’t settle for a standard sink!
Remodeling and design advice from your experts at Queen City Kitchen and Bath
Trends that come, also go.
Simply put, people will always want kitchens that are built to last. High end, custom cabinetry, made-to-last marble, and quartz countertops, and quality craftsmanship are where customers should focus their attention when it comes to remodeling their kitchens.
In turn, color is such a powerful design tool and one of the most accessible points to update and restyle your kitchen. Depending on how much or little color you add, you can influence how people are drawn to that part of the house. We advise restricting strong, bold color choices to parts of your kitchen that are the easiest to update, such as an accent wall, a backsplash, or hardware choices. Remember that contrasting colors are interpreted as energizing to your space, while complimentary colors create a calm space.
Regardless of what colors or trends you’re choosing, keep in mind the longevity of your design choices. White is going to continue to be enduringly popular, simply because it’s the easiest to redecorate around. Future buyers are going to see a blank slate and have a better outlook on a white kitchen, than a highly personalized, colorful kitchen. If white isn’t your favorite, gray is a popular neutral alternative.
With so many exciting trends on the horizon, we know you’re ready to get started. Contact us today to begin your kitchen consultation! Our team at Queen City Kitchen and Bath can help you plan every step of your kitchen remodel or project from planning to installation.