Our Favorite Kitchen Design Trends & Ideas

July 13, 2021

This modern kitchen incorporates exposed venting and brick walls to capture a perfect industrial look.

Check out some of our favorite design trends with staying power in 2020.

Painted Gray & Navy Cabinets

Painted white cabinets have dominated kitchen design in recent years. Many homeowners considered it to be an easy choice. White kitchen cabinets have a certain timeless quality and always brighten up the space. As a neutral color, they play well with cool, blue walls, green pulls and knobs, even warm yellow counters.

We will likely never stop seeing painted white cabinets go out of style. However, a couple of new color trends have started to pick up steam.

First, we have started to see a slight shift away from white, and moving toward gray. Gray shares many of the properties that people love about white, but in a slightly more subdued tone. Lighter shades of gray will never brighten up kitchen in the same way that white cabinets do. However, many come close, such as CliqStudios Urban Stone and Harbor paint color. As a naturally neutral color, gray also looks good alongside warm or cool accent colors.

Dark blue or navy painted cabinets have also started to make waves this year. Practically unheard of only one or two years ago, navy kitchen cabinets have really taken off! Many find the dark blue color to be an unexpected and classy color choice. While not as flexible as white or gray, navy cabinets work well with many styles of decor. Navy-color kitchen islands have been especially popular when paired with white or light-gray perimeter cabinets.

Quartz Countertops

Granite, by our definition, is timeless. It was here eons before anyone and will surely outlast us all. However, granite’s one great flaw is that it is a porous surface. Granite countertops must be sealed and re-sealed properly on a regular basis. If they are not, that spilled red wine could soak into it, and outlast us all along with the rest of that stone.

Quartz came to the rescue a few decades ago with with the promise of a solid, non-porous surface. It was all but impervious to stains and never needed sealing. At the time, however, quartz left many unsatisfied in the style department. But boy, how times have changed! Today’s quartz truly delivers in style, design, and flair. Modern manufacturing techniques have allowed the creation of solid quartz counters with designs that mimic the flow and movement previously only seen in granite!

Glass Doors

Chances are your grandmother had some type of a hutch or cabinets with glass doors in the upper or wall cabinets. You may remember how she displayed her fine china or collectible figurines. Well, even though fine china and collectible figurines are a rare find in modern households. Grandma was onto something with those see-through doors.

Yes, glass doors do put whatever’s inside on display. Your fine and not-so-fine plates, bowls, and cups will be seen by all. However, glass door cabinets are also the perfect middle ground between solid cabinets and floating or open shelves. They fool the eye be giving an impression of a much more open space. Yet, keep everything protected inside. This means you get the benefit of a more modern, open look, without the constant dusting of exposed shelves.

With Mullion glass doors and quartz countertops, this kitchen blends contemporary and traditional styles.

Hiding Accessories & Appliances

Minimalism, or at least its spirit, has found its way to the kitchen counter. Modern lives are cluttered enough; our kitchen counters shouldn’t be. Toasters, coffee makers, mixers, blenders, cutting boards, and even microwaves are moving off the counter top and into specialty cabinets. Many are finding new homes inside of a small “appliance garage,” that tucks all those indispensable modern conveniences neatly away when not in use. (Which is, let’s be honest, the majority of the time.)


Shortly after the artists and bohemians began reclaiming warehouses and factories in the 1970’s and 1980’s, industrial design started to be embraced by the wider design world. The appeal of wide open floor plans, high ceilings, and tall windows is easy to understand. However, it was more than that — these industrial spaces embraced the bare essence of the materials used in their construction.  These formerly working spaces had little use for frilly, soft design elements commonly found in residential spaces. This unapologetic use of brick, concrete, glass, steel, and exposed plumbing provided a refreshing change. And yet, it provided the perfect counterpoint to either traditional or modern furniture.

In the past few years, we’ve seen bookcases pop up that are made of simple wooden planks and cast iron piping, sitting next to a traditional, over-stuffed armchair. Former warehouse carts are being cleaned up and re-purposed as coffee tables. Just like other rooms of the home, more and more elements of both traditional and industrial design will enter the home kitchens space. A coming together of the best of both worlds!  We’re already seeing this as traditional shaker style cabinetry, is being topped with concrete counters, combined with a farm sink, and topped off with a tall, goose-neck faucet that would be home in any commercial kitchen.

What styles have you seen start to emerge this year, or which do you think will start to really take off in the coming years?  Tell us in the comments!

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60 pages of photos and information on cabinet styles, storage options, specialty cabinets and accessories, and a remodel planning guide.

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