Kitchen trends are generally pretty slow to change – after all, a major kitchen renovation is no small investment. But as kitchens increasingly become the social hub of the home (and one of the top features buyers are looking for), differences in taste, technology, and other trends become more pronounced from year to year. And since upgrading a kitchen is such a long-term commitment, it’s important to know what kitchen trends are on their way out, and which ones are here to stay.
1. Black Countertops
One of the most prominent 2014 kitchen trends is the steep rise in popularity of black countertops. Toward the end of 2013 these started to become a hot, must-have item on many homeowners’ wishlists, and the trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. What material they should be made out of, though, is still really up for debate. Black granite is still a popular choice with homeowners looking to upgrade to stone for the first time, but many homeowners and designers alike are starting to turn away from granite because it can be very high-maintenance, not to mention expensive. Unless you have your heart set on stone, consider opting instead for a synthetic material, like a composite quartz or granite. These are more affordable, easier to maintain, and have a more consistent appearance.
2. Open Shelves Or Glass Fronted Upper Cabinets
For years, homeowners have shown a preference for increasingly open kitchen spaces: big, open floor plans that connect to a great room, integrated dining areas, and so on. But perhaps the biggest 2014 kitchen trend goes a step farther, opening up the kitchen by removing the upper cabinets entirely. While hefty cabinets are great for storage, they interrupt the line of sight, visually closing off a kitchen no matter how perfect the floor plan. This year, prepare to see cabinets replaced by open shelves, glass fronted (or doorless) cabinets, or even no cabinets at all. This look both offers better visibility and feels more personal, turning everyday items like glassware and dinnerware into decor items.
3. Tall, Slab Backsplashes
Freeing up the space over the counter means that in 2014 kitchen backsplashes are trending bigger and taller than ever. While even five years ago tile backsplashes hovered around 4 inches high, that number has been steadily growing. This year, expect to see backsplashes that go all the way up to the ceiling, and that are as wide as an entire wall. Last years back-painted glass backsplashes are still popular, particularly with a more modern style, but backsplashes made of a single slab of stone like marble are going to become more common. This offers a much lower maintenance way to get real stone into your kitchen than the traditional counter tops, and means it’s possible to showcase a more unique piece of stone without worrying so much about inconsistent patterns or veining.
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4. Large, Industrial Style Statement Lights And Sconces
Eliminating upper cabinets also leaves a lot more room to focus on lighting fixtures. Toward the end of 2013 kitchen lights started trending bigger, and this is definitely a look that’s here to stay in 2014. Turn-of-the-century industrial style warehouse lights are especially popular (as part of the larger trend toward salvaged and industrial kitchen decor) and work well over the kitchen island, but consider adding unique, industrial style sconces or swing arm lights in place of upper cabinets. These lights have amazing character and personality, and because they’re typically adjustable, they make for great task lighting, too.
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5. Old Fashioned Farmhouse Style (With A Reclaimed, Industrial Twist)
In 2013 there was a strong emphasis on the professional style kitchen – not just culinary grade kitchen appliances like the range and range hood, but even the kitchen sink and faucet. 2014 kitchen trends are leaning to a slightly softer, more traditional farmhouse style kitchen, but with a twist. Big stainless steel sinks are being replaced by more classic fireclay or porcelain farmhouse sinks, and those professional quality appliances are being paired with more rustic touches, especially reclaimed wood. Reclaimed farmhouse items (like barn beams and barn doors) are becoming hugely popular statement pieces that go hand in hand with reclaimed industrial items (especially lighting) to create a kitchen with a slightly earthier look and feel.
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6. Bold, Dark Colors And Rustic Metallics
White kitchens reigned supreme in 2013, but while this trend isn’t precisely going out of vogue, it does seem to be losing a little steam going into 2014. By and large 2014 is going to be a year for bright, bold colors in the kitchen, rather than the light neutrals we’ve been seeing in years prior. Dark, assertive reds, blues, copper or brass finishes, browns, and even black are becoming quite popular, for paint on the walls and cabinets as well as smaller accents like the backsplash. For those who favor a slightly less intense look, neutrals are also making a good showing this year. Gray in particular is being used to create a slightly more formal look that bridges traditional and modern, especially when paired with an intense black and white contrast.
7. White Kitchen With A Twist
That said, if you aren’t quite ready to give up on the white kitchen, don’t worry. While the white-on-white look is starting to be pooh-poohed by some designers as too cold and sterile, many homeowners are still attracted to this style and are finding new ways to make it work in 2014. In fact, despite the move toward bolder, darker colors, white kitchens actually pair very well with a few of 2014s other most popular kitchen trends. White cabinets paired with black counter tops or other black or gray accents create a striking, formal look, while white paired with reclaimed wood and industrial fixtures is iconic of the kind of farmhouse style kitchen that’s really going to be popular this year.
8. Darker, Matte Finished Hardware
Maybe the most basic of any of the 2014 kitchen trends is actually one of the most surprising: chrome, steel, and other reflective metal finishes are actually losing popularity. Even stainless steel appliances are starting to lose a little ground, but mostly this trend is smaller-scale, focusing on items like the kitchen faucet, cabinet hardware, range hood, and lighting fixtures. Swapping to a matte finish like brushed or satin nickel will do the trick to quickly update your look, but if you’re feeling bold, brass, antique gold, black, and oil rubbed bronze finishes have a warmer look that’s even more desirable, and very popular this year.
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9. No More Traditional Work Triangle
It’s probably been drilled into your head already to look for the best, most energy efficient appliances you can find. But one major 2014 kitchen trend is actually to look beyond the typical, standard kitchen appliances. As more unique appliances hit the market – like refrigerator drawer or double dishwashers – and the kitchen becomes a more multipurpose family space, the conventional kitchen work triangle is starting to disappear. Instead of the conventional kitchen range-sink-refrigerator spacing, homeowners are starting to focus on customizing the layout of their kitchen, making space for cooking, entertaining, homework, and more to ensure the kitchen is a friendly place for the whole family. In terms of appliances in particular, that means choosing, spacing, and placing them to suit the way the kitchen is actually used.
10. Smarter Kitchen Storage
Last but not least, if you’re planning on remodeling your kitchen in 2014, storage needs to be at the forefront of your mind. Especially if you’re going to eliminate your upper cabinets, it’s crucial to take into account where you’re going to put all your displaced items. Pantries are becoming an increasingly important selling point for a kitchen, but smaller-scale storage is just as important. Installing pull out shelves in lower cabinets to make items more accessible, squeezing pull out cabinets into any unused spaces, and even incorporating permanent drawer organizers, spice racks, or other innovative features make a kitchen much more functional without any major changes to the style.
Which of these kitchen trends are you most looking forward to? Are there any you’ll miss from last year? Let me know in the comments!