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2020 Kitchen Trends: Budget Friendly Projects That Pop

Talking about kitchen renovations usually means planning out some big, fundamental changes – like your kitchen layout or kitchen cabinets. But between big projects, keeping up with smaller kitchen trends is a great way to freshen up your space. After all, you don’t need to gut your kitchen to give it a face lift. Sticking to smaller cosmetic projects is faster, cheaper, and less invasive, but can make a big difference; not to mention going a long way towards extending the longevity of your current look.

Update Your Look With Signature Lighting Fixtures

Swapping out boring bar-style pendants for unique, distinctive lighting fixtures is a great way to add personality and flair to your kitchen (from Home&Design)
Swapping out boring bar-style pendants for unique, distinctive lighting fixtures is a great way to add personality and flair to your kitchen (from Home&Design)

One of the hottest kitchen trends of 2020 involves what is far and away the easiest and most affordable project for any kitchen: updating your lighting with bigger, bolder, more interesting lighting fixtures. Regardless of your kitchen’s style, replacing generic lighting with statement pieces is always an improvement. Recessed lighting and undercabinet lighting still rule the court in terms of function. But unique pendants, sconces, and chandeliers have become a popular way to add personality to your space. A new lighting fixture won’t set you back and isn’t hard to install, but will have a HUGE impact on your kitchen’s finished look.

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Make Your Kitchen Sink A Statement

If you've always wanted to break the mold with your kitchen sink, 2020 is the time to try it, with bold, striking statement sinks on the rise (by Square Footage Inc.)
If you’ve always wanted to break the mold with your kitchen sink, 2020 is the time to try it, with bold, striking statement sinks on the rise (by Square Footage Inc.)

Kitchen sinks are also getting a lot of attention in 2020. They’re more difficult to swap out than a lighting fixture, but make a big change on a small budget. So what should you look for? The short answer is, look for kitchen sinks that are either really showy or highly functional – or better yet, both. From custom stone sinks to designer gold and brass or decorative fireclay, kitchen sinks are becoming a major statement piece. Look for ones that can act as a focal point of your space. To add function, many designers are incorporating a drain board into the surrounding counter top area (or even into the design of the sink itself) in order to give you more usable water-safe space.

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(Or At Least A Workhorse)

Workstation sinks are typically large, modern, stainless steel sinks paired with a variety of interchangable accessories designed to sit securely on the lip of the sink and add extra functionality and work space
Workstation sinks are typically large, modern, stainless steel sinks paired with a variety of interchangeable accessories designed to sit securely on the lip of the sink and add extra functionality and work space

If you’re not a huge fan of flashy sinks, you should still look for ones with added utility. More and more kitchen sinks are being designed with add-ons and accessories that add functionality to the sink itself. How so? The sinks are designed with a built-in rim; you can rest matching colanders, cutting boards, wire racks, and waste buckets securely inside the sink. Depending on how you use them, this can provide you with everything from hands-free draining to additional surface space – which is phenomenally useful in a small or busy kitchen. And since the accessories aren’t connected to the sink and can be stowed away when not in use (revealing a beautiful stainless steel sink underneath)? This is one trend I can only see getting more popular with time.

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If You’re Thinking Of Updating Your Appliances, Skip The Stainless Steel

According to one school of thought, appliances large and small should blend seamlessly into the rest of your cabinetry (by Wagner Cabinetry and Design)
According to one school of thought, appliances large and small should blend seamlessly into the rest of your cabinetry (by Wagner Cabinetry and Design)

Your major kitchen appliances are certainly less of an “accessory” than your sink or lighting fixtures. But there are two appliance-related kitchen trends this year that are big enough to be worth mentioning. The first? Many homeowners are refacing everything from refrigerators to dishwashers to range hoods so they match their kitchen cabinets. With the occasional exception, this trend results in kitchens where all the appliances are functionally invisible. Especially when done in a warm wood tone, these “hidden” appliances can make your kitchen feel more natural and inviting.

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From bold modern colors to an impressive resurgence of vintage blues, colorful appliances are becoming a popular way to make your kitchen design pop (by Karr Bick Kitchen and Bath)
From bold modern colors to an impressive resurgence of vintage blues, colorful appliances are becoming a popular way to make your kitchen design pop (by Karr Bick Kitchen and Bath)

The other school of thought? If you’re going to have appliances in your kitchen, they might as well stand out. From bold black refrigerators to bright vintage ranges, many people are using their appliances as statement pieces. Ranges and range hoods in particular are getting luxe upgrades. Paired with a bold backsplash, the whole range area is becoming a major design focal point of the kitchen. The point of agreement between these two appliance trends? Ditch the stainless steel. Sleek-looking but fingerprint-magnet brushed steel surfaces have reigned supreme for a long time now. But if you’re planning to replace your appliances in the near future, they probably aren’t the way to go.

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Go For Bigger, Bolder Backsplashes

Bold, distinctive calacatta marble has supplanted more subdued carrara in popularity, and is a particularly popular choice for large surfaces, like seamless backsplashes and accent islands (by Rocky Mountain Stone Co.)
Bold, distinctive calacatta marble has supplanted more subdued carrara in popularity, and is a particularly popular choice for large surfaces, like seamless backsplashes and accent islands (by Rocky Mountain Stone Co.)

Speaking of, backsplashes have been on every must-have kitchen trends list for the last decade. But as a homeowner, it’s a trend I’m always a little nervous about. What kind of backsplash is “trendy” has changed a lot since easy-to-install mosaic sheets first started getting popular. Case in point: the oh-so-trendy white subway tile of the last few years has markedly fallen out of favor. In its place, we’re seeing lots of bold, graphic tile and single-slab backsplashes. Brick or faux-brick accents are also common. In all cases, they’re almost always full-height and putting an emphasis on the area between the range and range hood.

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With a little thought and care, even one seemingly-simple, affordable update can totally revitalize your kitchen between major renovations. I particularly like these 2020 kitchen trends for this exact reason: they encourage you to go big and bold with one feature and turn it into a focal point that will help you see the whole space in a new light!