By Paul McAlary
I often see blogs and magazine articles predicting bold kitchen design trends. In reality-
-white shaker style cabinetry has remained the most purchased style cabinet for the past 10 years
-the most frequently chosen countertops are engineered quartz, granite or quartzite in light colors resembling marble
-the most popular flooring choices are darker wood and porcelain tile that look like wood, and luxury vinyl in similar colors
We do see exceptions but they are generally in rural areas that lag behind suburban design trends, and cities where contemporary and ultra-modern cabinetry is often used in high rises and condos.
While predicting bold kitchen style changes is a frequent topic in magazines and DIY programs, the “authorities” making these predictions generally have minimal experience and are less knowledgeable than anyone a home owner should consider working with on a kitchen remodel. It’s also nearly a sure bet that their predictions are completely wrong year after year.
Here are my more realistic predictions for where kitchen design is headed in the coming years:
Color & Style
There will be more variation in color and style going forward but only subtly. Countertops may get darker and darker island colors will continue to become more popular, but recessed panel door styles will rule for another 10 years and white and off-white colors will still dominate.
Finding a qualified designer
The pandemic has changed how people research and shop for kitchens.
Browsing the web, and watching HGTV, unfortunately, is more popular and
will remain so (see We Rate Kitchen Remodeling TV shows for their realism
and advice). Too often, the little information consumers gather empowers
them to feel that they know far more than they do. This will create a widening gap between the better designs done by more talented professional kitchen designers and the work done by non-professionals.
Over the next ten years, this gap will become so extreme that home owners
will begin paying a steep price unless they use designers who ONLY
design kitchens, full-time. Well-designed homes do and will continue to
sell for far more than real estate formulas predict. This reality will be one of
the factors that drives better design being recognized going forward.
New Home Builders will also be forced to finally begin valuing good design.
This trend is already occurring. For example, several of our customers purchasing newly constructed homes from Toll Brothers and other builders, have immediately after closing, ripped out their poorly designed kitchens to install better ones. What a waste, and how much more would those homes have sold for were they better designed.
Unfortunately, I don’t see this trend abating as quickly as it needs to. Too
many homeowners insist on compromising good design to squeeze features
in that don’t work in a room. My wife giggles every time I try to convince
customers that smaller chairs don’t make an island work – people are still the same size!
The most important predictor for every home owner to consider is finding an experienced kitchen designer to work with. Once you select a good designer you can easily forecast that you will have a kitchen that you love and one that adds substantial value to your home.