15 Kitchen Design Trends For 2021
After an unforgettable year like the last, it's no surprise that we've likely learned to appreciate our less-than-perfect kitchens for the safe and cozy haven they represent.
Emerging kitchen design trends for 2021 prove that wherever we live, we crave a warm and cheerful kitchen in which to work, learn, play, and maybe bake a little bread.
Whether you're upgrading to an entirely new kitchen or sprucing up the old, you'll find the following trends to be inspiring.
Increase In Marble Surfaces
The classic look of marble never went away, but it's making a significant comeback for countertops and slab backsplashes. Marble symbolizes old-world elegance, durability, and longevity. It's also simply pretty.
Though loved throughout the ages, it can be pricey and drink in stains if it isn't properly maintained. But its many benefits include the fact that a marble kitchen countertop may be less expensive than more costly stones.
Plus, you can opt for tile and quartz that mimic the look of marble at a lower cost.
Dramatic Black Cabinetry
Black is certainly not new in the kitchen, but it takes on more of an elegant, cozy feel in 2021. Black kitchen cabinets were once considered ultra-trendy and moody rather than the more nurturing ambiance it provides now.
There's a trick to having a black kitchen, though. You need lots of white or other pops of color to keep it from feeling like a cave.
Islands In Custom Shapes And Sizes
There was a time when an oversized island was a status symbol in the kitchen. Now they are a necessity to help us stay productive. But not everyone has the room for an island the size of a football field.
Instead, you will see more customized kitchen islands in shapes that fit the space with better proportions, multiple heights, and connecting islands arranged to break up the space instead of dominating it.
More Storage And Pantry Space
There's a need for increased storage in the 2021 kitchen for multiple reasons. You may have purchased more small appliances while hunkering at home. You may also have more baking ingredients than you ever had before in your home.
All of those items need to be stored. A pantry, or a larder — an oversized cabinet or freestanding hutch — is a must-have for element in this year's kitchen.
The kitchen here embraces dark cabinetry, touches of marble, and extra storage, all iconic kitchen design trends for 2021.
Brighter And Oversized Lighting
We came to realize that working, studying, and otherwise living in the kitchen requires more light to see what we're doing. Mini-pendants over the sink and island may sparkle like beautiful jewels, but they left us in the dark when we needed to be productive.
If you have a smaller island, one large pendant or chandelier will look perfect. If you love the look of smaller pendants, they are not going out of style.
If you need more light, simply layer them over an island. Instead of one row of pendants, space out two rows to shine more light on the work surface.
A common concern around pendant lighting is whether or not it is in or out of fashion. The truth is, pendant lighting...
Sinks In Classic Colors
Matte black makes another appearance in the kitchen, this time as a farmhouse sink. You'll see other touches of matte black in the kitchen, such as single or two-toned faucets.
Though white ceramic and stainless steel are traditional sink materials, the matte black sink, like this one from Kohler, has become an instant classic.
Closer To Nature
If you haven't heard the term "biophilic design," it's on-trend for 2021. It means bringing the outdoors in and to be closer to nature.
It's exactly what many of us recently learned to appreciate even more. Incorporating plants and flowers into the kitchen certainly helps, but having extra-large wrap-around picture windows makes our bubble seem more bearable.
Biophilic design also embraces natural materials, earthy colors, natural daylight, and plenty of effective ventilation.
The Tile Envelope
The term "tile envelope," coined by Waterworks founder Barbara Sallick, is a favorite kitchen design trend for 2021.
Where once a tile backsplash sat isolated above the cooktop, now tile covers the entire wall surface. That makes an easier clean up which fits in nicely with the hygienic kitchen design trend of 2021.
Though the subway tile goes in and out of favor, it's still a classic and loved for its welcoming vintage feel.
Earthy Brushed Brass And Gold
Brushed brass--a more modern take on brass--has snuck up on us as one of the biggest kitchen design trends of 2021.
The finish is showing up from range hoods to faucets, and even in golden-toned sinks. Though brushed brass has appeared in previous years, it's more popular today because it is classic, rich, and warm.
It pairs especially well with deep grays, charcoals, and blacks for an elegant, dramatic setting. It also looks warm with white and off-whites.
The Hygenic Kitchen
Touchless faucets and sanitary quartz countertops are increasingly popular in the 2021 kitchen. The desire and need for a clean kitchen accelerated last year, giving way to this major overall and long-term kitchen design trend.
Our kitchen can't just look clean, it must be clean-clean. Newer touchless faucets activate faster than the blink of an eye so you don't have to spread germs.
Because quartz countertops are non-porous, they are considered an antimicrobial surface. That means bacteria won’t cling to the surface so once it's been wiped down and cleaned, it's quite sanitary.
The Curated Kitchen
We're no longer afraid of putting artwork — precious or everyday pieces — in our kitchens as a way to make it brighter with personality and warmth.
Here, we see coordinated canvas artwork (See the matching towel!) on the countertop and near the cooktop.
You'll see the addition of artwork, vases, and curated collections not only on countertops but also settling on open shelving and lighted open cabinetry in the kitchen.
The Richer Gray Kitchen
Besides black, other darker colors such as blue, green, and especially richer shades of gray are becoming a kitchen trend in 2021.
The once huge trend of “greige” (gray and beige) kitchens may be fading out a bit and giving way to warmer, darker, richer grays. Darker grays are clean and elegant, and blend beautifully with colors ranging from white and black to reds, blues, and even yellows.
A Touch Of Soft And Pretty Ombre
On the opposite side of the kitchen color trends is the rising popularity of soft shades of pink, blues, and yellows representing the more optimistic side of life.
Pantone even chose a yellow, called Illuminating, as one of its 2021 colors. The kitchen above also brings in another color trend for 2021 called ombre, shown here on the cabinetry painted an ombre shade of blue and white. Ombre also shows up on metal faucet finishes that combine copper and chrome.
Wall-To-Wall Seamless Cabinetry
In addition to pantry space, kitchens walls with top-to-bottom cabinetry is more popular for the streamlined look and extra storage.
Wall-to-wall cabinetry looks sleek and sophisticated when it uses a touch-and-release feature instead of chunky hardware.
This kitchen incorporates another trend of the custom multi-level kitchen island shaped to fit the curves of the space.
Open Upper Cabinets And Shelving
On the opposite side of seamless cabinetry is the open shelving trend that has continued from previous years. It's likely a strong 2021 kitchen design trend because of the homey, vintage look.
This small kitchen, which also incorporates the tiled backsplash wall trend, would look bland and tiny if the upper shelves were all closed.
The open cabinets work well, without being overly busy, because of the predominantly white dishes and clear glassware that creates depth, giving the perception of a larger space.