Over the last 10 years, there were a few kitchen trends that undeniably dominated the decade. The ideal kitchen of the 2010s looked like something Chip and Joanna Gaines created in an episode of Fixer Upper: a huge, open-concept space with a functional island in the center. Backsplashes were big and often consisted of subway tiles with thoughtfully selected grout. White and bright countertops—made out of granite, marble, and quartz—were much preferred over those Tuscan earth tones popular in the early 2000s. As for appliances, brushed stainless steel stayed on-trend, with some people even opting for matte black. And who can forget all of that open shelving?
So, how will kitchen styles evolve in the 2020s? We asked a few interior design experts for their predictions, and you might be surprised by what they have to say.
The smart home trend isn’t going anywhere in the next decade and will expand further into the kitchen. “I predict that the biggest change won’t be in a wood finish or countertop, but with technology,” says Chicago-based designer Caitie Smithe from Walter E. Smithe. “Smart kitchens are the kitchens of the future.” Envision your kitchen as a place where refrigerators can tell us when food is ready to be pitched or specific items are getting low and need to be reordered, “since grocery delivery is the grocery store of the future.”
Gone will be the days where you physically have to turn on the oven, as Alexa will be able to do it for you. Then, you will get notifications on your phone or smart home hub when the oven is heated up and the dishwasher is finished. And, no more calculating cooking times. “Microwaves and ovens will cook foods with sensors rather than assigning a cooking time with the best of our knowledge,” predicts Smithe.
I predict that the biggest change won’t be in a wood finish or countertop, but with technology. Smart kitchens are the kitchens of the future.
Farmhouse kitchens were definitely huge over the last ten years, but from 2020-2030 we are going to see a more modernized aesthetic in kitchens. “Think clean lines and wood finishes, no carving or gratuitous decorations, very streamlined and minimalistic but with warm, thoughtful details,” says Smithe.
Another big trend in the 2010s involved lots of white tiles—including subway and hexagonal—sometimes patterned in herringbone or staggered layouts. However, according to Smithe the next biggest trend in kitchen flooring is going to be terra-cotta. But unlike what we endured in the early 2000s, this latest reincarnation isn’t going to be the least bit Tuscan. Instead, designers are going to use terra-cotta tiles to create more modern patterns, like herringbone.
Decreased Space, Increased Functionality
Huge kitchens have been incredibly covetable over the last decade, but in the next decade we are going to see a shift toward smaller spaces that are maximized in functionality. “Rather than spacious kitchens with multiple sinks and refrigerators, kitchens will get smaller with very thoughtful footprints that maximize the space,” says Smithe. “Younger generations are realizing that bigger is not better in home design and prefer smaller homes in general that are both beautiful and functional with no square inch unused.”
More Entertainment Room
If people do opt for a bigger kitchen, we are going to see a lot of that space utilized for entertaining. “More and more I find clients wanting to do away with a formal dining room in favor of a place to entertain in the kitchen,” says David M. Bazner, interior designer, David M. Bazner Interiors, LLC.
Open concept kitchens were undeniably the biggest trend of the 2010s. However, Noel Gatts, Founder of Beam & Bloom Interiors, claims that people seem to be gravitating towards kitchens that are a little more separate again. That being said, she points out that “being close to the action and having some counter seating will continue to be a must.”
Glass Apothecary Cabinetry
Glass apothecary cabinetry has always been popular in the bathroom, but we are going to start seeing it creeping into kitchens. “It is my favorite up and coming kitchen trend!” admits Gatts, who claims that the timeless incorporation of metal and glass is going to take over the open shelving trend. “We love that it allows light to filter through upper cabinets entry, and is a fantastic way to display everyday items without gathering dust on open shelving,” she says.
We love that it allows light to filter through upper cabinets entry, and is a fantastic way to display everyday items without gathering dust on open shelving.
Moodier Color Palettes
White and bright kitchens have been everywhere the last ten years, but that’s about to change according to Gatts. “White will never completely go out of style, as it’s a true classic, but we’re seeing a move away from all white and bright and into moodier palettes,” she says. “Wood tones and rich greens and blues are on the upswing, while elements of fresh white tile stone and countertops are going strong.”