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The Latest Kitchen Design Trends
Photo from a previously sold home, built by Budz Custom Homes.
As Realtors, we see a lot of kitchens. A LOT. We are in and out of every day people’s homes and builder model homes every day. Seeing so many homes helps us see what trends are catching on with homeowners in our area, and what design trends are still a little too “out there” for the average person. Here’s what we’re noticing.
Farmhouse/rustic is still one of the most popular styles right now. The farmhouse or rustic trend has become wildly popular thanks to a favorite Texas design duo in Waco, and it doesn’t appear to be fading any time soon. A key aspect to the farmhouse trend is texture. Various textures are layered to evoke a cozy, informal feeling. Kitchens feature more traditional elements like subway tile, and open shelving or other forms of visible storage, pops of exposed wood and dressed-up versions of barn style light fixtures with vintage Edison style light bulbs. This style feels very homey and informal, even when a great deal is spent to achieve the look. Farmhouse kitchens often include large islands with seating and exposed storage. Wood beams on the ceiling and wood or wood-look tile are frequently seen in this style, as well as shaker style or more traditional furniture-style cabinets, often painted white, pastel colors, or a combination of colors. Some homes are even repurposing furniture pieces to serve as islands or pantries. Stained cabinets have been seen as well but are not as common. The farmhouse style will include many decorative accent pieces. Think wooden signs, antique serving dishes, produce scales, glass jars, wire baskets, etc.
Modern style kitchens on the other are all about minimalism with a touch of glamour. This style features clean lines and few decorative accents. When accessories are visible on the counter, they’re often functional items like an appliance or utensil holder. The modern, contemporary style is much more edited than farmhouse- less is more with this one. Linear bar-like cabinet handles and drawer pulls add a pop of color and elegance, like a piece of fine jewelry. Natural stone or wood countertops are common, as are concrete and stainless steel. Counters typically have a straight edge instead of a beveled cut or may continue over the side to create a “waterfall” counter. This style tends to be more popular in homes closer to the city but has made it’s way into some suburban homes. Home owners and builders are taking bigger risks with color in modern kitchens.
Many home owners and builders are blending elements of these and other styles, like industrial or traditional for their own unique look. Some common threads are appearing in kitchens, however, regardless of the overall style.
Painted cabinets have become more popular than stained wood lately. White cabinets have been on trend for a while now, but colored cabinets are starting to pop up on design shows and the pages of design magazines. We are seeing more gray paint on cabinets in both kitchens and bathrooms and are seeing many two-tone color schemes with white cabinets on top and black, gray, or navy blue on bottom. As for the brighter colors, the magazines might be ready for bright orange or green, but it doesn’t look like that one has quite caught on in our area. Some homeowners have tested the water with color, but not many have gone bold. We have seen some pretty mint colored cabinets and pastel yellows that were visually appealing and tastefully done. The builder models have been sticking to more neutral whites and grays as well. Gray paint could quite easily overtake white as the new “it” color for kitchen cabinets.
Subway tile is still one of the more popular choices for kitchen backsplashes, but some new styles have made their way into north Texas homes. We are seeing some more luxurious versions of subway tile, made from marble, and subway tiles with beveled edges to add a new to twist. We are also seeing some new, modern shapes like hexagons and pickets, as well as tiles with patterns or texture. What we are not seeing much of in the models lately are mosaic tiles. They’re still in consumer’s homes, but may be on their way out. The small square mosaic tile tends to be used more in bathrooms as an accent lately. When we do see a backsplash with mosaic tile, most often it’s monochromatic with very little color variation, like white with some flecks of silver or gray, with white grout for a clean, crisp look; or smaller versions of the new, modern shapes.
Brass and gold are making a comeback! The beloved oil-rubbed bronze fixtures are still a staple in farmhouse style kitchens, but we’re not seeing much of it in modern style kitchens lately. Subtle brass and gold touches are making their way into every day homes more and more. Cabinet handles, drawer pulls, light fixtures, and accessories in the warm metals are adding a touch of glamour to modern kitchens. We’re even seeing some new tile options with gold, brass, and bronze colors and inserts. Rose gold is starting to evolve from the fashion world to home interiors, according to trade publications, but we haven’t seen much of it yet in DFW.
Islands remain popular in north Texas kitchens of all styles, since open floor plans are still in demand. Islands add extra storage and counter space without closing off a wall, and they often include seating space. Islands allow builders to maintain a proper “working triangle” kitchen layout by including a sink or stove top. Pendant lighting over the island and bar stools or chairs provide opportunities to make a notable design statement or tie the room’s style together.
Potted plants are frequently spotted in today’s kitchens, though the type of plant will often vary by style. Herbs, bowls of fruit, or dried plants, like cotton or lavender are staples in farmhouse kitchens, while succulents, ferns, and snake plants are favorites in modern designs. Some edgier modern designs even feature “living walls” with large sections of mixed live plants! Greenery brings nature inside, helps purify the air, and in the case of herbs, can add fresh flavor to home cooked meals. Fresh flowers have been enjoyed in home kitchens for decades, but the potted plant makes that feeling last much longer.
Shades of blue have been gaining momentum in home interiors overall, and this is true in kitchens. Many colors are out there, but we are seeing everything from teal to cobalt on walls, cabinets, appliances, and decorative accents in both the builder models and every day homes. We’re seeing a lot of blue colors popping up in the patterned tiles on the market, and even blue stained wood. Blue reads as a relaxing color to many, as it mimics the color of the ocean and they sky, so it’s no surprise that this color would be a favorite for a room that gets so much use. Adding a few blue accents is a simple way to bring this trend to any kitchen without any construction, and minimal expense.
The heart of the home is often one of the first rooms to be upgraded or remodeled, and updated kitchens have a reputation of wowing buyers more than any other room. Updated kitchens of any style will almost always help a home sell faster and for more money than a dated one. Incorporate a few of the elements listed above to give your kitchen a fresh, modern look!
We would love to know what other trends you’re seeing out there, and which ones are your favorite. Leave us a comment!
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Mark grew up in Southern California and moved to North Texas in 2006. Prior to working in real estate, Mark served in the U.S. Navy and then was in the Legal Video Industry for 17 years, where he owne....