Kitchen Trends You'll Love in 2018 (And Beyond)

White shiplap accents a kitchen island in this kitchen with a stainless steel range hoods that contracts with all-white wood cabinets. By Edward Andrews Homes.

Contrasting the hood in a different finish from the rest of the cabinetry, such as this kitchen, for a bold look. Photo courtesy of Edward Andrews Homes.

As the heart of the home, kitchens tend to become the gathering point of your abode. And with today's designs, this focal point can quickly turn into a space everyone loves.

That’s because this year kitchen trends are shifting away from sterile and moving toward a warm, cozy and eclectic lived-in vibe, explains Drew Henry, principal designer at Design Dudes in San Antonio, Texas, and New Orleans. “People want to have a more authentic kitchen that is a better representation of themselves. 2018 is becoming the year of personalization.”

Whether you’re in the process of purchasing a new home and are considering kitchen designs to look for or are getting ready to put the finishing touches on a place you recently bought, keep these top trends in mind.

1. Color Everywhere

“We saw a ton of ultra-modern, all-white kitchens in 2016 and 2017, but 2018 is taking a much darker turn,” says Henry.

Taking the place of white cabinets, white subway tiles and white quartz are darker colors, like blue and gray, as well as taupe, ivory and sage green. Mixing and matching is another option: for instance, you might choose dark blue lower cabinets and gray upper cabinets.

When adding color, do it correctly — and in a way that fits your personality. Consider neutral-toned perimeter cabinets, suggests Lindsey Wright, interior designer at Edward Andrews Homes, an Atlanta-based builder. Then add in splashes of color, such as a navy island or sage green bar stool cushions.

Bring in bright colors like wine red or purple with decorative pieces, such as a vase, cake stand, cookie jar or mixer.

2. Islands: The Bigger, The Better

An oversized island makes a great focal point for the kitchen and can serve multiple functions. “For smaller spaces, it acts as a dining room table,” notes Wright. Some islands are large enough to accommodate four stools.

You’ll also gain storage with an oversized island. It might have cabinets on one side and a bookshelf with glass doors on another side. It could also include spots for storing specialty items, such as a decorative pan, holiday ware or wine bottles.

3. A Move Away from Granite

“Granite, a former ‘House Hunters’ buzzword, is being subbed for dark quartz, in gray or black, and statement marble,” explains Henry.

If you want to incorporate marble with a bold design, look for spots where it can be used sparingly so that the look doesn’t become too overpowering. You might add it to the top of an island or put it as a backsplash on the stove. Keep other tones in the room subtle to strike the right balance.

4. Open Designs for the Win

An open kitchen includes a more open flow into other living and dining areas, explains Greg Greene of Greene Construction in Newburyport, Mass.

Another way to brighten up the space: open shelving. “We’re seeing more people wanting base cabinetry with open shelving up top,” notes Greene. “This really opens up a kitchen and lets more light through and keeps the kitchen from feeling too dark and heavy with cabinets everywhere.”

5. Heavy Metal

“A wide range of metallic finishes are very popular,” says Henry. “Feel free to go really bold with a copper hood or brushed gold drawer pulls that will pop on your blue cabinets.”

You can even use a variety of metals in the space. When mixing finishes, stay in the same range, advises Henry. If you have copper pendants, consider bronze knobs and hinges or brass drawer pulls. If you have a stainless steel faucet, opt for nickel or chrome fixtures to maintain a cooler look.

6. Accent Hoods

“This can be as simple as contrasting the hood in a different finish from the rest of the cabinetry,” notes Sara Chiarilli, owner of Artful Conceptions, an interior design firm based in Tampa, Fla. It can also consist of a bold look, such as a wood design or two-toned piece, that draws in guests’ eyes immediately.

For a down-to-earth look, select a rustic or stone style for the hood in your kitchen.

7. Black Appliances

“Stainless steel is taking a backseat to black appliances,” explains Henry.

If you choose dark appliances, consider rose gold and matte black as accent colors. They might appear in kitchen faucets, cabinet knobs or pendant lighting.

An extra perk if you go with black: it is very forgiving when it comes to stains and smudges.
Rachel Hartman is a freelance writer who frequently covers home and lifestyle topics.

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