Are you looking to update your kitchen but are short on ideas? Investing in kitchen renovation trends is a complex process. As you can imagine, kitchen remodel ideas can be perplexing as you may not know where to begin, or how to chart the best course of action.
So before you set about planning the initial stages of a complete kitchen renovation, it’s essential to know exactly where to start, and how much of a budget you have to work with as a kitchen remodel is a costly investment that can pay off when reselling – if done well. To start, ask yourself what your goals are, what’s missing from your current kitchen design, and what you’d like to see go?
For avid cooks, seasoned hosts, and busy families, your kitchen is probably the center of your daily life—and a place where both form and function are of the utmost importance. For wisdom on how to master a kitchen remodel, we’ve compiled everything you need to know about renovating your kitchen for the ultimate of life-enhancing upgrades, from sourcing the right contractor to choosing backsplash tiles and hardware.
We tapped our interior design and renovation experts for their takes on the best practices and discovered the best kitchen remodel ideas, and gathered our favorite decor ideas from innovative appliances to budget-friendly islands and charming breakfast nooks. Our renovation guide has you covered, whether you’re planning a complete kitchen remodel, or are simply on the lookout for new updated appliances, or are in need of inspiration for your dream kitchen remodel.
To get you started on bringing your kitchen remodel ideas to life, we’re looking at the top kitchen decor and renovation trends culled from a survey of our decorator’s wisdom. From the best in updated kitchen furniture, to what to skip out on, here’s everything you need to know to recreate the heart of your home with confidence and ease.
Though we’ve seen our fair share of various countertop materials come and go, the popularity of brilliant quartz finishes continues to have no end in sight as it remains one of our client’s most frequently requested materials, and for good reason.
And besides a great timeless look, quartz is virtually indestructible as it produces a harder surface – just be sure to avoid excessive heat as hot pots can damage the material easily.
NO MORE GRANITE?
A mainstay of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, we’re happy to report that granite continues to dwindle in popularity as it tends to date kitchen decor while making it appear a tad ordinary. Plus granite is super porous and could collect bacteria if not properly taken care of.
WHITE KITCHENS ARE OVER
While there’s no denying the timeless appeal of an ultra-bright white kitchen, there are plenty of fantastic alternatives to take in for a more rich and intoxicating look.
And it should go without saying that all white kitchens are much harder to keep clean on a daily basis, so why not consider bringing in some distinctive hues to create a more memorable kitchen.
SET A MOODIER TONE
Instead of bright optic white, consider setting a moodier tone in your kitchen with alluring and unexpected color to create a more rich and nuanced look.
From night watch, 2019’s dark and dramatic green tinged color of the year to earthier terracotta or even more vibrant tones, do consider adding a sense of elevated energy with colors that evoke emotion and a positive spirit.
Who doesn’t love the slick touch of matte finishes? And lucky for you, we’ve noticed showrooms chock full of matte cabinetry and appliances that while attractive, are ultimately much easier to keep clean and are certain to not go out of style anytime soon thanks to their forever-cool allure.
The antithesis to the tendency to go for all-white kitchens, black and moodier hued kitchen design ideas are sure to quickly add an elegant sense of drama to any home, are easier to manage, and are an elegant alternative to standard ivories.
As the times call for clean, symmetrical straight lines, we’re seeing grid motifs used as a lite nod to industrial styling everywhere in contrasting black for windows, doors, and cabinet legs.
SPANISH AND MOROCCAN TILES
Add an exotic note to your kitchen decor with intricately patterned Spanish and Moroccan inspired tiles and backsplashes for a much more substantial visual impact than say now common subway tiles.
MIX AND MATCH
Be bold with unexpected juxtapositions from cabinets to flooring to create a memorable, personalized mix exclusive to your home that won’t keep you trapped in one definitive design direction. Instead, explore expressive kitchen furniture with the freedom to experiment while adding a sense of play throughout.
THE END OF STAINLESS STEEL
Like any good interior design trend, there’s a point where you’ve seen décor elements all too frequently, everywhere. So bid stainless steel appliances, fixtures, and finishes adieu and go for pieces that are more simple in standard neutral tones or go wild with colorful and patterned elements for the ultimate in conversation starting statements.
BRIGHT STOVES AND HOODS
Though ranges and hoods can be substantial investments, our interior designers continue to opt for finds in surprising shades from cool and calming pastels to primary hues.
In a kitchen, less truly can mean more as the slightest upgrades can add more space for prep time and storage solutions. Stick with the concept of Hygge and be sure that surfaces are clutter-free, and think about alternatives for your upper cabinets from shelves to art – you name it.
For a modern contemporary home, consider updating your kitchen with clean-lined cabinetry and eliminate molding and heavy finishes and go for timeless straight lines to echo the pared back vibe throughout your decidedly minimal home.
As kitchen design call for clearing spots above lower cabinetry, opt for under the counter appliances like microwaves and the ilk to keep them out of sight as upper spots become more vacant.
Super cool and minimal to boot, Falmec’s Alba hood is probably one of the most innovative kitchen decor updates we’ve come across in ages. Slim, sleek, and easy to conceal, it makes for a great alternative to bulky prominent hoods.
Keeping with minimal kitchen design themes of late, we’ve seen our fair share of concrete backsplashes, countertops, and flooring as they’re great options for a budget-friendly kitchen and instantly lend the room modern yet industrial notes.
TALL COLUMN FRIDGES
Though you may not be in the market for a new fridge, there’s something refreshing about the more vertically extended options of late as they take up less floor space and lend a kitchen more visual impact than a standard height one ever could.
Popular in the 50’s and 60’s and revived in the 1980’s, Terrazzo surfaces are back on trend as Mid-Century Modern interior design continues to be the most sought-after design style of them all. Plus, Terrazzo surfaces will lend a playful punch to even the most stripped down of kitchens.
SMART KITCHEN REMODEL IDEAS
As technological advances continue to enhance our daily lives, it comes as no surprise that the movement finally made its way into our kitchens. From remote light controls to smart screen display fridges, there are plenty of genius updates to take advantage of for the best in kitchen design ideas.
GOLD AND BLACK
Timeless in appeal and sure to add easy elegance to any kitchen, black cabinetry and appliances finished with either gold or copper accents and hardware makes for a grand gesture in any kitchen.
A sophisticated alternative to bulky wooden open shelving, glass shelves are easier to clean, let light in, and look more luxurious than unfinished wooden ones.
Fast, safe, and aesthetically pleasing, induction burners utilize less heat in even the smallest of kitchens, helping to keep cool while cooking while surfaces remain safe to touch. Plus, these smart cooktops eliminate the need for an obtrusive range hood, clearing the way for endless creative design possibilities.
SINGLE LEVEL ISLANDS
Compared to their multidimensional counterpoints, single level islands don’t block light, increase prep space, and create an unobstructed conversation and dining area.
By sourcing deeper than average drawers you’ll make cooking and storage all the easier especially when they are placed in high traffic cooking areas, like next to your range.
Say goodbye to all too common farmhouse sinks and say hello to unique statement-making options that boast intricate designs, unexpected scales and materials, and stunning ornate fixtures for everyday opulence in this most used room.
And no, by that we aren’t calling for farmhouse related finishes and features for your kitchen decor. Instead, bring in touches of the abstract, unfinished, and natural in small doses for hints of semi-rustic, industrial notes.
Think about striking ways you can add unexpected elements in your updated kitchen such as arresting lighting fixtures, decorative add-ons, and surprising finishes and hues to make your kitchen decor unique to your home.
COVERED KITCHEN SINKS
Great for cleverly adding more prep and counter space instantly, sliding covered sinks also boast the double-duty benefit of concealing a sink full of dishes waiting to be cleaned.
TWO TONE CABINETS
Again with the purposely mismatched kitchen decor trend, consider using two complementary tones for walls and cabinets to surprise the eye with an instantly cool look.
Increasingly popular, customized banquette seating is a great way to bring family and friends together in this most commonly used room while giving your kitchen furniture a unique feature that could also increase the value of your home.
MIXED METALS AND FINISHES
For an off-kilter layered look that’s still rich and layered, combine different metals such as copper hardware, brass fixtures, and silver finishes for a more laid back however elegant statement.
Add life to your kitchen decor with striking patterned flooring and rugs that’ll lend a dynamic visual punch compared to a basic wooden or tiled floor.
TRADITIONAL ENGLISH KITCHEN
For a romantic take on kitchen design ideas, think idyllic English countryside kitchens and get the look with simple paint colors, planer materials, a strict focus on function, and paying attention to detail is good here – just don’t overdo it.
KITCHEN ISLAND STORAGE
With storage and function key concerns in any kitchen, take advantage of that space under your kitchen island design and think of clever hacks to make the most use of the space to better serve your needs.
By extending your countertop over the edge of your kitchen island, you’ll easily add extra space for seating more guests while eliminating the need for a table if you are short on space.
We’ve seen some terrific updates to stool styling to consider from mid-century-modern beauties to Hollywood Regency styles full of personality and everyday glamor.
EYE-CATCHING PENDANT LIGHTS
Make a statement with a conversation starting set of pendant lights as they’re perfect for adding ample lighting to wide open spaces.
COLORFUL GROUT KITCHEN REMODEL IDEAS
Go for the unexpected and select a distinct color for grout work as it’ll lend your kitchen decor a graphic kick and hints of needed color.
Because they look great, think of high-shine cabinetry as slick as the painted surface of a car or nail polish as a go-to option for a hyper-sophisticated kitchen.
KEEP WELLNESS IN MIND
For an overall feeling of wellness, keep things comfortable, bring in small plants and design elements from nature. And skip out on chemical products and opt for natural and organic ones instead.
Keep countertops clear of accessories and appliances for a clean, quiet look.
Though they require more care and have a shorter lifespan, wooden counters are an effective way to add warmth and character in any kitchen.
RUSTIC AND MODERN KITCHEN REMODEL IDEAS
By combining the two design styles you’ll easily create a rich and nuanced look in your kitchen that will be unique to your home.
TRENDS TO LET GO OF
Now that we’ve gone over the best kitchen remodel ideas, let’s look at the kitchen design ideas you should avoid for good reason.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – enough with using mason jars as drinking vessels. Sure, they’re great for storage and should be reused as much as possible, however, they’re highly immature for serving and low brow to boot.
Subway tiles may be timeless but they’re also beyond tired at the moment as you can spot them everywhere, from your local fast-food outlet to your neighbors home. Go beyond expectations and opt for tiles that are more unexpected to give your home a unique edge.
Are you really that in love with dusting that you’d rather keep your pots hanging and collecting and dropping dust in your kitchen? We thought not! So do take advantage of newer cabinetry boasting deep drawers and keep your airspace clear for an inviting and open look.
We know you live, laugh, and love in your home – don’t we all? So skip the redundancy and avoid having your home look like a Hallmark gift shop and opt for real, substantial art if you’re looking to make a statement.
A common mistake novice decorators make all too often is getting caught up in both themes and upcycling. And honestly, unless your cooking in a stable, there’s no need to bring the look into your kitchen.
Want to take guests back to the 80’s? If the answer is yes, stick to putrid brown granite. If not, opt for surfaces that are less dated, more timeless, and frankly, ones that are easier on the eye.
Unless you live in a pristine castle, there’s no need to have overworked cabinetry in any home. And with today’s calls for minimalism and clean, straight lines, we’d suggest skipping out on cabinetry with heavy looks as they’ll instantly add bulk to any kitchen decor.
Although these honestly have a pretty decent look, we see them all too often giving them a common, basic feel. But if you insist on say a chevron backsplash, keep it minimal by going tonal.
Because nothing dates a home more than cherry-toned wood, we suggest steering clear of the material in every room as it’s too traditional and common to consider.
BAR HEIGHT TABLES
Great for a bachelor pad or dorm, less so for an elevated home. Skip the bar height trend and stick with tried & true scales for a more timeless feel.
Because they really do look cheap, we’d suggest skipping out on those popular contact paper hacks for backsplashes, cabinetry, and appliances because people can tell, especially when the entire room starts peeling away. As you can see, it takes more than a mix of trends and kitchen furniture updates to rejuvenate a cramped, and unappealing kitchen space especially when your current kitchen decor is dark and outdated, and lacking personality.
Sometimes there’s just one big impetus behind a kitchen remodel and kitchen renovation ideas: maybe your growing family can’t fit around your breakfast table, or your two-oven family stuck with an ineffective one-oven kitchen, or your kitchen is simply an eyesore.
As often there are a lot of little factors that add up to the call for a total kitchen renovation. Maybe you’re dreaming of a kitchen that matches your colorful, eclectic tastes, which may differ from the tastes you may have had when you first moved in. Or maybe you’re looking to open up your kitchen to the rest of the house for an open floor plan. Whatever the case, we suggest turning to a professional kitchen designer to help you create a way to get everything you want in your dream kitchen.
And though we’re not suggesting adding more space, instead think of ways you can open up and reconfigure your kitchen. Think about removing a wall that separates your kitchen from your formal dining room, followed by custom cabinetry to flow through both spaces and help blend them together seamlessly. And why not spruce up your existing eating area to create a more sophisticated formal dining room if possible? Though you may have to sacrifice aspects of your kitchen decor to create room for a walk-in pantry, or a new breakfast nook, think of ways to create a smarter traffic flow for cooking, entertaining, and dining.
Maybe you want a more colorful, vibrant backsplash, or a complete kitchen remodel featuring a variety of different types of tile in a myriad of shapes and sizes. All said and done, the possibilities and design directions are endless so do experiment and take risks – have fun with your kitchen remodel ideas, what do you have to lose?
At the start of the design process, create an extensive questionnaire for yourself to answer to better understand your kitchen and living habits. And since most homeowners frequently entertain and cook elaborate meals in their kitchens, think about upgrading your kitchen with multiple appliances to allow for extra prep functionality, better clean up capabilities, and to provide plenty of brilliant firepower for large gatherings.
Intelligent details, imaginative design, and space-expanding conveniences will make any kitchen easier to use and easier to clean up with spaces that would ordinarily go to waste given a new purpose and put to work for the long run.
Here’s what to ask yourself before you begin a kitchen remodel:
For those considering an elevated kitchen renovation—or really any renovation—these ten questions will make your life—and your interior designer and contractor’s life—easier. By having these ten questions answered before you call your contractor, you’ll be able to have a more productive, streamlined experience.
- What is your goal?
Are you planning to sell your home in the next few years? Are you intending to upgrade your home for that sale? Or are you simply seeking to make the best of your kitchen decor?
- How long do you plan to live in your home?
If you see yourself living there for only a few years, you should probably consider a different type of renovation, something that’s maybe not as expensive or something that’s more timeless and traditional in your favored aesthetic. However, if you’re going to be living there longer, then naturally you’ll be spending a bit more to design something that sings to you.
- Do you have children?
If you do, where are you going to store everything out of their reach? Resilient, easy-to-clean materials, are ideal for kid-friendly kitchen ideas.
- Do you have allergies and health issues?
If someone in your family suffers from asthma or other breathing issues, consult your contractor and have them avoid high-gloss lacquers and urea and phenol formaldehyde.
- Will you be residing in your home during your renovation?
If so, keep in mind that it will add to the lead time and construction duration, as well as adding to the level of protection and cleanliness that needs to be maintained during the renovation process.
- What is your budget?
Answer this question for yourself so you can better understand what amount of money you can spend comfortably. It’s crucial to be honest with the experts you hire about what that number really is.
- What have people in similar homes accomplished?
Getting to the answer of ‘Can I do it?’ is helpful in beginning the process.
- What can you remove to open up your kitchen?
Ask yourself and your contractor about exploring every possibility to make the best use of your kitchen remodel.
- What’s behind those walls?
You do need to keep in mind that every kitchen has concealed utility risers that will ultimately limit the amount of room you have to work with.
- When can you get started with these kitchen remodel ideas?
Because a well-planned project is a well-executed project, take your time to properly to plan every move you make during the kitchen renovation process.