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Kitchen design trending toward smarter, warmer

A clean look is trending in kitchens for 2024, with a bonus if you use the Pantone Color of the Year, Peach Fuzz.
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The most functional, valued and essential room in your home remains your kitchen – a sacred space where family members regularly gather to prep food, enjoy meals and congregate socially. Considering its increased significance, it makes sense to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s new and different in kitchen designs, the pros agree.

“The kitchen is often considered the heart of the home. Staying updated with kitchen design trends ensures that homeowners will have a space that’s both functional and aesthetically pleasing,” Brad Smith, an interior designer and CEO of Omni Home Ideas, explains. “Making wise design improvements can also impact your home’s resale value and prevent the kitchen from feeling outdated or lacking modern functionalities.”

Diana Melichar, owner of Melichar Architects in Lake Forest, Illinois, says the kitchen has continued to evolve as a personal expression and reflection of homeowners’ lifestyles.

“As we spend more time living and working in our homes, we are reimagining how we dine in and entertain, and our personal, eclectic styles are showing through in our kitchen design selections,” she says.

So, what’s on tap in the kitchen of 2024? Here’s a breakdown of trends we can expect heading into next year.

“In 2024, we anticipate kitchens becoming smarter,” says Ginadi Feldman, CEO of Feldman Construction, a local custom-building firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. “From my experience working with clients in the Bay Area, more clients are requesting smart kitchens than ever before. This trend implies a stronger emphasis on kitchens as spaces for not only cooking but also for working, socializing and exercise. Picture integrative workstations, smart appliances seamlessly synchronized with your devices and versatile dining areas.”

Camie Anderson, an interior designer in Seattle, foresees cleaner kitchens in the months ahead.

“Homeowners will be looking to eliminate visual clutter by integrating built-in appliances to replace countertop appliances, including espresso makers, steam ovens and speed ovens,” she prognosticates. “Large luxury ranges with statement hoods will also be replacing cooktops and wall ovens as a nod to old world hearths.”

Upgraded kitchen faucets are anticipated, too, according to Danielle DeBoe Harper, senior creative style manager for Moen.

“Kitchen faucets are becoming more customizable to fit with any home aesthetic. From the handle design and variety of finishes to innovative touchless technology, I believe this heightened sense of customization will continue to evolve,” DeBoe Harper says. “And within the retro revival kitchen design trend, homeowners could lean more toward chrome, matte black, or brushed gold finishes to create a delightful contrast. Mixing metals in the kitchen to create a contrast allows people to bring subtle attention to the most used fixture in that room.”

Smith envisions more kitchens next year implementing open shelving, allowing homeowners to showcase their dishware.

“Will also see more smart kitchens that integrate the latest technology – from smart fridges to voice-activated lighting. Eco-friendly countertops, cabinetry, and appliances will be sought after, too, as homeowners increasingly gravitate to sustainable materials. And natural hues and tactile finishes will reflect the broader trend of biophilic design, with earthy tones and textures being popular,” notes Smith.

Melichar believes several key movements are afoot that will gain traction next year.

Homeowners are looking for color in their kitchens this year, says Diana Melichar of Melichar Architects in Lake Forest, Illinois.
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“The kitchen as a sterile and cold place is gone. Increasingly, homeowners are adding layers of color, textures and finishes, as well as warmer tones with bold pops of color that can add playfulness and focal points. Organic, saturated colors are particularly popular, such as inky blues, dark forest greens and charcoal greys that give a timeless feel and pair well with classic furnishings, natural accents and transitional cabinet lines,” she says. “Rich browns, saffron yellows and terra-cotta colors will be paired more often with neutrals, such as beiges and off-whites.”

Interior layering is another Melichar prediction.

“From decorative toe kicks and feet on cabinet bottoms to armoire-styled cupboards, we are seeing more furniture-like cabinetry in homes. Floor-to-ceiling cabinets and concealed small appliances are popular, too, and in-door fabric and metal mesh panels as well as stained glass are having a revival,” she continues.

Expect glossy finishes as an overly ornate design to take a backseat in favor of more natural and minimalist aesthetics, per Smith. And crisp white kitchens are slowly evolving out of this space, too.

“I foresee the decline of monochromatic kitchens and overly industrial-looking kitchens. The cold, sterile aesthetic doesn’t create that inviting of an atmosphere. That means we will begin you to move away from excessive stainless steel and opt for warmer materials,” says Feldman.

For kitchen inspiration, it pays to browse design magazines and websites, scour social media for ideas, and watch home improvement reality shows.

Warmer materials are making a comeback in kitchen design, says Ginadi Feldman of Feldman Construction in the San Francisco Bay Area.
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“Also, consider consulting with a kitchen designer or a design-build firm. Experienced professionals can help turn your ideas into a reality, implementing both aesthetics and functionality,” Feldman adds.

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