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Six Hot Kitchen Design and Décor Trends

By Fareen Effendi | February 29, 2012

Kitchens are fast replacing the family room as the most frequented area in most people’s homes, and as a result, the ever-changing trends reflect comfort, style, function, aesthetics and everything else in between.  This year, there are some new trends and some older ones with a twist – that reflect the changing lifestyles of people from many walks of life.  Here are six sizzling hot trends that have made it into many kitchens across America and globally.

decor trends

Kitchen decor trends. Image by j l t


Incorporating elements of green design into the kitchen is a hot trend that remains on the top of many homeowners’ list of renovation projects.  Using eco-friendly or recycled materials, bringing in energy-efficient appliances and incorporating natural sources of energy like solar panels or skylights are just a few ways to implement green design into a kitchen space.

Open Design Floor Plans

Spacious walk-throughs that allow ample visual access is the newest trend that dominates most buyers’ wish lists.  Aside from the standard granite countertop/stainless steel appliance must-have items, being able to look out from the kitchen into the main living space is fast becoming an important aspect for many home buyers.

Open plan kitchen design. Image by Autumnsonata

Bright, Vibrant Color

As is noticeably prevalent in many of today’s design TV shows such as Color Splash, color is everywhere – pushing out boring beiges from most kitchen décor. Splashes of vibrant hues of oranges, reds, pinks and brightshades of blue and green –draw attention to the busiest and most-frequentedspace in the home.  Decorative tiling, custom painted cabinetry, one-of-a-kind backsplashes plus accessories and fixtures – all add color-infused excitement.

Exotic, Dark Finishes

More and more kitchens are being built with the use of dark finishes, including cabinetry, flooring and countertops.  Where there was once a large number of sterile white in many kitchens, designers today are unafraid to venture into more natural wood and stone hues.  Not only do we continue to see dark granite countertops but there is an influx of dark design elements often paired with metallic or neutral elements to balance thepopular shift toward dark, exotic espresso finishes.

Brightly colored kitchen. Image by discopalace

Lights in Layers

Long before kitchen design was an industry of its own, lighting in kitchens would typically consist of functional illumination.  However in today’s kitchens there are several layers of illumination ranging from functional, to accent to – all easily incorporated given the myriad choices of lighting fixtures available.  Chandeliers, pendulum lights, under-cabinet recessed lighting and task lighting – all add aesthetic and functional design elements to the space while warming up the kitchen and making it more livable and cozy.

Bringing the Outside In

Design elements that bring nature right inside remain a hot trend in today’s kitchens.  This could be anything from stone backsplashes and tiling to custom-bamboo floors, natural waterfalls, ample greenery or countertops infused with the colors of nature. Kitchen designers now offer ample ways for homeowners to incorporate these hot kitchen design trends using recycled materials into their space, offering function and planet-friendly consciousness at the same time.

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