In 2023, top interior designers are predicting kitchen trends that include soothing color palettes with pops of color, natural materials, and chef-style appliances. According to top real estate agents surveyed by HomeLight, investing in kitchen upgrades can yield good returns for homeowners. Our data shows that a light kitchen remodel costs about $10,512 and results in an additional $17,865 in resale value.
We spoke with two interior designers to find out what you can expect to see in the new year and some ideas you might want to implement into your own kitchen.
Beige and greige are the new white
All-white kitchens have been around for years, largely because they’re timeless and easy. Although designers don’t always love them, there is something to be said about white cabinets; they go with everything, make a space look bigger, and are generally pleasing to buyers.
White countertops or white cabinetry makes it so much easier to sell,” says Mario Avalos, a top agent in Miami, Florida. “The developers that I work with, that’s been their cookie-cutter kitchen, and buyers love it.”
But this year, white cabinets are going to lean into warmer tones, says Shoshanna Shapiro of Maryland-based Sho + Co.
“White cabinets have been kind of traditional and safe for a long period of time, but most clients will tell me, ‘I’m afraid it’s going to look too sterile, I’m afraid of white,’” she said. “What’s happened now is people are kind of rejecting the word ‘white,’ but the reality is they’re still choosing white, but it’s more of a cream, an off-white — a greige.”
Truly gray cabinets are out, Shapiro said. Malka Helft of Think Chic Interiors in New York City agreed, stating that many clients are utilizing cool-toned greiges in their kitchens. Both Edgecombe and Nimbus by Benjamin Moore have been popular choices.
Besides the still-mostly-white cabinets, some homeowners are choosing to go for natural wood in cool tones, such as white oak, washed walnut, or light maples. Bolder homeowners can choose a moodier option like navy blue or wine red, even if it might not be the smartest choice for resale value.
Shaker-style and framed cabinets are getting big
Kitchen cabinets are often purchased in sets from big box stores, but the overproduced look is out. Profiles are leaning more toward the Shaker style and profiles with more detail, although completely clean-front cabinets are still popular as well. Helft says that these more modern, clean-front cabinets are often coming in wood tones to make them feel less modern.
“I like some of the newer profiles that are coming out, where there’s a ¼-inch frame around the cabinets that are otherwise kind of a flat panel which I think is modern but not too modern,” Malka says. “It definitely gives it some warmth.”
Cabinets can be used to create visual interest. For example, Shapiro says, you could use different cabinets or even vintage furniture in certain parts of your kitchen, like a coffee bar, to prevent things from looking too overproduced. The trends are leaning more in the direction of European kitchens, which tend to have more character, charm, and vintage elements.
Part of this trend is forgoing some upper cabinets entirely in place of floating shelves or a pot rail. Shapiro points to deVOL Kitchens as one cabinet company making cabinetry in a more detailed, vintage-looking style.
Storage to hide countertop appliances pick up steam
Nobody likes clutter, but even kitschy clutter is on its way out, Shapiro says. Many people no longer want to leave their stand mixers, coffee machines, or air fryers out on their countertops at all times unless they’re elegantly designed and meant to be seen.
In fact, storage is paramount for buyers. About 80% of first-time buyers desire a walk-in pantry, according to the National Association of Home Builders. Pantries are definitely getting fancier, and spare rooms can be turned into a butler’s or service pantry.
“Now you’re seeing a lot more pantries like service pantries, where it’s a hidden area that might have a pretty door on it and still looks beautiful. But you might have all of your appliances hidden back there with a coffee station, almost like all your dirty working stuff is back in the area but still looking beautiful, along with food and canisters and things like that. So you’re seeing a lot of people wanting to go in that direction,” Shapiro says.
Cabinets can also be used for this purpose. Appliance garages and appliance lifts are two ways to build spaces for your appliances into your kitchen. Appliance lifts allow you to stow an appliance when not in use, but can lift it up to counter height when you do want to use it.
The ever-popular quartz countertop makes room for natural stone
Quartz has become a huge choice for countertops in recent years. While it still remains popular, natural stone is having a bit of a moment. Quartz countertops aren’t completely natural; they’re a blend of quartzite and colored resin. These quartz composite countertops aren’t as foolproof as many might think. Heat can yellow them, and they can chip.
Natural stones like quartzite and marble can also stain and chip, but they add a completely natural element to a kitchen that’s hard to replicate, Shapiro says. Helft also says the shift back to natural stone has been strong.
Her personal favorite to use in kitchens are porcelain slabs, which are stain and heat-resistant. Companies like Consentino offer porcelain slabs with design and movement within.
“They’re actually coming out with some really incredible plaster-looking surfaces, so I’m so excited to try using a plaster-looking porcelain as a countertop just to have that feel on the countertop,” Helft says. “Or on the backsplash, which would be incredible, too.”
Chef-style appliances are all the rage
Appliances have come a long way since the days of the magnetic white fridge, but they weren’t done advancing at stainless steel, either. Chef-style appliances are becoming increasingly popular, with mainstream appliance lines like GE offering more products in this professional-looking style. For example, Wolf and Thor make ovens that look fit for a restaurant
“Everyone wants to pretend they’re a chef even if they’re not,” Shapiro says. “The style is just more interesting.”
On the other end of the design spectrum, you can blend your appliances in with the rest of the kitchen with cabinet panels. Paneled appliances, also called integrated appliances, blend in with the surrounding cabinetry to create a clean, seamless look. You can purchase custom panel-ready appliances to match from leading brands like Bosch.
Make a statement with a large pendant light
Pendant lights in the kitchen have been popular for years, and it doesn’t look like they’re going anywhere. Lately, pendants have been leaning more to the globe shape and farther away from lanterns, Helft says.
Shapiro loves the Elliot pendant from Circa Lighting, which features a concrete dome and a gold chain. Mixing materials is another popular choice when it comes to kitchens. Hanging a pendant over an island or table can also create a great focal point for the kitchen.
“They want a mix of unique materials that really give the design some depth and some dimension and interest,” Shapiro says. “And it’s very elegant, even though cement can sometimes feel industrial, it’s a very elegant look.”
Brass and bronze are key
In terms of metal fixtures in the kitchen, brass still reigns supreme. The warm-toned metal is great for cabinet handles, faucets, and lighting alike. But this year, brass is trending more in the satin and antique direction rather than the brushed look that has been popular as of late.
Bronze is also starting to make a comeback as another warmer metal.
“I’m predicting that bronze is going to be coming back in, just because it has that nice combination [of colors],” Helft says. “So I think that will add to the drama of the kitchen.”
Chrome is definitely out, both designers say, and all-black fixtures are also decreasing in popularity.
Kitchens are mixing more colors and metals
However, you don’t have to stick to just one metal in your kitchen or just one color. Mixing metals and colors within the kitchen is still a common choice. This can mean simply using different finishes of the same metal throughout or using completely different metals on different fixtures.
Two-toned kitchens are still on the rise as well. This can mean painting your upper and lower cabinets different colors, or painting your island a different color than the main cabinets. Or both!
“We’ve been seeing mixed materials, but we’re seeing a little bit more of them now, and more color, more saturation,” Shapiro says. “It used to be that for a while we were breaking from all one-tone cabinets, maybe going into two-tone, but now you’re even seeing three-tone.”
You can even mix up your countertops by using a different material for the island countertop. Using a butcher block countertop can add a neutral wood tone and make it stand out from the stone of the main kitchen.
Bring the outdoors in with plants and natural wood
Biophilia — the love of everything green — has been a huge trend for all home design in recent years, so of course, it’ll make its way to the kitchen, too. Bring the outdoors in by adding plants to the kitchen, whether they’re hanging pots of trailing pothos or a large fiddle leaf fig in a standing pot. Because of the popularity of biophilia, homeowners are also trending toward using bigger windows to let in as much light as possible, Helft says.
Another way to conjure up ideas of nature is to utilize natural wood in the kitchen. Whether you add wood to your kitchen through decor or cabinetry, it’s a great way to warm up the space. However, dark and red woods aren’t making much a comeback, Shapiro says.
“You’re not going to see cherry come back or any reddish tones of wood, but your white oaks and your washed walnuts, and things like that you’re going to see,” she explains.
Header Image Source: Source: (Sonyachny / Unsplash)
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- "What is a Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinet? Should you get Shaker Kitchen Cabinets?," Best Online Cabinets (March 2022)
- "NAHB Identifies Top Features and Design Trends Across Generations for 2022," National Association of Home Builders (February 2022)
- "14 Appliance Garage Ideas to Declutter Your Countertops," Better Homes & Gardens (June 2022)
- "Using Pendant Lights in Your Home," The Spruce (May 2022)