Interior designers share 6 kitchen trends that’ll be huge this year, and 4 that will be out

Insider
Insider
Jan 19 · 5 min read

From green cabinetry to open shelving, interior designers share the decor you’ll see everywhere in 2021, and the styles that are fading in popularity.

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By Sophia Mitrokostas

Modern kitchens are a hub for cooking, eating, socializing, and working, so a good design strikes the balance between function and beauty.

Insider asked professional interior designers for their thoughts on the kitchen trends that are set to take 2021 by storm, and the ones that should be left behind in 2020.

Green cabinetry is gaining popularity.

Some green cabinets can be both neutral and versatile.
Some green cabinets can be both neutral and versatile.
Some green cabinets can be both neutral and versatile. Shutterstock

Interior designer Michelle Harrison-McAllister told Insider that forest-green cabinets are already trending for 2021.

“This color is not only a neutral, but plays well with warm and light tones,” Harrison-McAllister said. “People are moving away from ‘safe’ white or dark-wood cabinets.”

Gold hardware or brass fixtures are a simple, yet luxe way to complement deep-green cabinetry.

High-end appliances will likely outshine budget models.

It may be good to splurge on your most-used kitchen appliances first.
It may be good to splurge on your most-used kitchen appliances first.
It may be good to splurge on your most-used kitchen appliances first. James Ransom

Harrison-McAllister said more people are starting to dump their budgets into high-end appliances instead of opting for cheaper alternatives.

“With all the home cooking and baking people are now doing, many have realized that replacing their basic appliances with restaurant-style or high-end versions is a good investment,” she said.

If you’re looking to spend a bit more money on quality appliances, it may be best to upgrade frequently used kitchen items like stoves and refrigerators first.

Quartzite countertops are expected to become more common.

Quartzite is well-loved for its durability.
Quartzite is well-loved for its durability.
Quartzite is well-loved for its durability. StudioDin/Shuttershock

Interior designer Francis Nicdao, design director at Pembroke and Ives, told Insider that natural quartzite may be a popular kitchen material in 2021.

Quartz countertops are usually made by combining loose material with resin and coloring, but quartzite is a natural stone.

“Quartzite is a more sophisticated alternative to quartz and offers more character, depth, and pattern,” Nicdao said. “We also love this material because of its durability.”

Installing extra outlets may be a popular kitchen upgrade.

Extra outlets are useful for juggling several kitchen appliances.
Extra outlets are useful for juggling several kitchen appliances.
Extra outlets are useful for juggling several kitchen appliances. Ana Anderson/Shuttershock

Specialized appliances like air fryers and juicers are trending, so people are opting to upgrade their kitchens with additional power sources.

“Kitchens these days seem to have a ton of appliances, so we’re seeing people install extra outlets to accommodate them,” Nicdao said.

Nicdao also mentioned that adding extra hidden storage for larger appliances has also been a priority for recent kitchen remodels.

Borrowing kitchen storage from other rooms may become more common.

There are creative ways to upgrade your storage space without remodeling.
There are creative ways to upgrade your storage space without remodeling.
There are creative ways to upgrade your storage space without remodeling. Pipas Imagery/Shuttershock

Interior and kitchen designer Susan Serra told Insider that storing food outside of the regular pantry may be a growing fad throughout 2021.

“Due to the pandemic, people are stocking up on extra goods and foods,” Serra said. “Second freezers, larger pantries, and using existing furniture in other rooms as kitchen storage are all trending.”

Installing a chest freezer in the basement or garage and transforming closets into food pantries are ways to expand kitchen storage without remodeling.

Larger sinks are trending.

Roomy sinks are more versatile.
Roomy sinks are more versatile.
Roomy sinks are more versatile. John Keeble/Getty Images

Noted for their versatility, larger sinks are increasingly taking the place of traditionally sized ones.

“Unlike standard-size sinks, larger sinks allow you to more easily prepare fresh foods and can handle multiple functions at once,” Serra said.

Along with boasting more space to wash pans and appliances, larger and deeper sinks make it easier to handwash fabrics and better contain splashing.

Monochrome kitchens seem to be falling out of fashion.

Pops of color are becoming more popular.
Pops of color are becoming more popular.
Pops of color are becoming more popular. Hero Images/Getty Images

The kitchens of tomorrow may swap safe palettes of beige, white, and black for vibrant colors and patterns.

“We’re moving away from monochrome countertops and backsplashes in favor of color,” Harrison-McAllister said.

You can inject your kitchen with a burst of color by retiling your backsplash in a bold hue or adding a durable, low-pile rug.

The trend of adding fancy cabinet hardware may be waning.

Many people are removing handles and knobs from their cabinets.
Many people are removing handles and knobs from their cabinets.
Many people are removing handles and knobs from their cabinets. Evgeny Pyatkov/Shuttershock

Elaborate statement hardware has been a kitchen trend for several years, but the days of crystal knobs may be behind us.

“People seem to be seeking a more modern, streamlined look for their kitchens and are actually removing handles, knobs, and other hardware from cabinets,” Harrison-McAllister said.

If forgoing cabinet hardware altogether doesn’t work for you, consider using alternatives that blend in rather than stand out.

Open shelving may become a dated concept.

Open shelving requires constant cleaning.
Open shelving requires constant cleaning.
Open shelving requires constant cleaning. Shutterstock

Open shelving allows you to easily show off your spice collection, but this storage style requires constant tidying and dusting.

“We’re seeing a move away from open shelves and having everything exposed in the kitchen,” Nicdao said.

Instead, kitchen designs are shifting toward hidden storage and maximizing space inside traditional cabinets.

Visual clutter may be losing its charm.

Decluttering will likely be popular this year.
Decluttering will likely be popular this year.
Decluttering will likely be popular this year. united photo studio/Shuttershock

In 2021, complex tiling and counters crammed with knickknacks may be replaced with clean lines and clear surfaces.

“We’re ditching trends that result in visual clutter like subway tile with many grout lines, unconcealed small appliances, and detailed cabinet-door styles,” Serra said.

Investing in or reorganizing storage spaces can make decluttering an easy fix.

For more great stories, visit Insider’s homepage.

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