Every year, we expect to see new design trends emerge, while others start to feel a little stale and dated. Sometimes we love the new trends, and sometimes we're a little intimidated by them, but kitchen trends in 2018 were undeniably chic. The trending materials, layouts, and shapes were less about the new and never-before-seen, and more about time-tested elements mixed with modern shapes.
The materials in kitchens saw a revival of antiqued and matte patina—think less ostentatious and more understated. Contemporary detailing was mixed with classic accents to create a fresh, yet timeless, feel, and traditional layouts were also revisited. Every last detail was well thought out to create a more seamless look.
1. Veined Marble
Denise Vasi's kitchen went viral online thanks to this statement-making floor-to-ceiling marble wall. White marble is classic, but in 2018, we embraced colored and black marble, as well as deeply veined slabs.
2. Backsplash Shelf
The first time we saw a backsplash ledge was in French designer Joseph Dirand's kitchen. Since then, we've seen the trend pop up more and more—and it's incredibly chic. Interior designer Jean Charles Tomas demonstrated this trend particularly well in this Paris apartment. If you can spare the upper cabinet storage, try this immediately.
3. Flat-Front Cabinetry
For years, shaker cabinets were all the rage, but in 2019, we saw flat-front cabinetry popping up in kitchens everywhere, often in very moody, dark tones. If you're considering a kitchen remodel, try this minimalistic trend.
4. Classic Hardware
Classic hardware is nothing new, but there is one way in which it was used differently in 2018—in contemporary kitchens. Where we used to see antique brass pulls with classic detailing in more traditional kitchens, in 2018, classic hardware and faucets were seen in contemporary settings—mixed with flat-front cabinets and backsplash shelves—giving kitchens a modern, yet timeless, look.
We've said it before: Terrazzo is making a major comeback, especially when it comes to larger, more colorful iterations of the classic Italian surface. We've seen it in flooring and tiles, but in 2018, we started seeing it as a countertop or backsplash finish, which gives a space a unique, colorful touch.
6. Integrated Appliances
Integrated appliances are all the rage in minimalist kitchens. Refrigerators and dishwashers are concealed behind cabinet doors, stoves are mounted in cabinetry, and in 2018, we saw this trend go one step further. In this kitchen by Catherine Kwong, even the knobs of the stovetop are integrated into the lower cabinets, giving the space a seamless look.
7. Matte Materials
In 2018, humbler materials were brought to the forefront. Where we previously saw glossy cabinets, brass, and glistening marble everywhere, 2018 saw honed marble, unfinished wood, and another popular choice: concrete. Used on flooring and countertops, concrete is a simple material that will stand the test of time.
8. Banquette Seating
In urban settings, kitchens are getting smaller, and in 2018, we saw multiple instances where kitchen islands were replaced by the next best thing: banquette seating—the dining solution that saves tons of space in a small room. Even in larger kitchens, we saw banquette seating mixed with a large island, providing tons of space to gather in the kitchen.
9. Timeless Finishes
Even though many of 2018's trends skewed towards a more minimal and modern approach, timeless finishes were celebrated. Classic wood cabinetry and antiqued metals were used in spaces that will feel timeless for generations to come.
10. Floor-to-Ceiling Storage
A classic kitchen layout is usually countertops mixed with lower and upper cabinets, perhaps with an island in the middle. But in 2018, we saw a new kitchen layout: one where one wall is devoid of upper cabinets, while another features floor-to-ceiling storage. The result is the same amount of storage (perhaps even more space), but with a more functional and aesthetically pleasing layout.
11. Built-In Sinks
Gone are the days of classic stainless steel sinks. Even farmhouse sinks were less coveted in 2018 than they once were. The new hot trend was a built-in sink. Whether constructed out of marble, stone, or concrete countertop, these sinks visually blend with the surface, creating a luxe, seamless look.