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Kitchen Design Trends

Kitchen (and bathroom) design trends are important to pay attention to if you are considering a renovation or new build. This is different than what is "trendy."

For instance, imagine after admiring your neighbors honey oak cabinets for years, you excitedly installed honey oak cabinets in 2000.

Even thought the trend lasted a strong decade, it was over. Way over. And it wasn't coming back.

The past decade saw homeowners installing white kitchens in droves. This trend is now considered "out" by many. I include myself on this list (for many reasons). The exception today would be how appropriate it is to the home and how it is designed. Take for example the two kitchens below. Both would be considered "white" kitchens.

The top kitchen by has more character and nuance. The bottom kitchen by Studio McGee (there is nothing "wrong" with it!) is starting to look too bright and sterile in contrast. Studio McGee is AMAZING, this kitchen is probably almost 10 years old. It is exactly what I was advising clients back then who were convinced of an "all white look with weathered gray floors." Black soapstone and light to medium natural wood floors were great compromises.


But trends change. Today, the top kitchen has a fresher, organic and more current feel that is more desirable than the bottom kitchen. It is also more difficult to place a date on the top kitchen because it doesn't follow the "white kitchen" trend to the letter.

Even though trends have historically lasted 10-15 years, I don't believe that quite holds up today. With social media and access to so many style ideas, trends are changing faster than in previous decades.

This is important to note for many things, such as resale value of your home.

I had a client remodel his kitchen in 2012, knowing he was planning to sell within a couple years. Back then, I strongly advised him to install white cabinets even though they weren't his favorite. In this situation, he needed to consider the resale value more than his preference. I remember the call I got two years later. Everyone who looked at his home complained about the kitchen, they wanted white cabinets. The house stayed on the market much longer than it needed to and they eventually dropped the price. The new owners ripped out the entire kitchen and replaced it with white cabinets. This was not only regrettable for my client, for obvious reasons, but also from a waste or sustainability standpoint. It was a $50,000 kitchen, and new, but it looked "dated."

However, now, over 10 years later in 2023, I would not advise white cabinets in the same situation.

So, what is the solution?

What would be ideal is if people took the time really hone in on their "style" and what is appropriate for the architecture of their home. By doing so, this will create more timeless designs that have major staying power.

I used the honey oak example because everyone understands that these cabinets screams 1990s and nobody wants them, because they're “dated.” Likewise, there are new trends right now that no matter how much the client tells me they will love it forever, I know that they will not. Eventually the new thing will become old.

You’re probably thinking, “but I thought you said that timeless design was possible?”

Yes, sort of.

It's complicated.

It might be more realistic to say that some choices will absolutely have more longevity than others. If you understand what you really love AND what is appropriate to your home, this helps even more. THEN, if it is all designed flawlessly, you are in even better shape to love your space for the long run!


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Meet Christa

Ever since I can remember I have been fascinated by interiors. When I was very young, I used to draw floorplans on napkins at restaurants and always wanted more Legos (Barbie? No, thank you. But I'd have gladly redesigned her Malibu Mansion). And when my friends came over to play "house," all I did was find ways to redecorate and knock out walls.


I'm not so young anymore, but I still love interiors. And I can't remember what I did yesterday, but I still remember exactly what my Aunt Susan's cabinets and wallpaper looked like in 1984.  

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