3 High End Kitchen Design Ideas That Are So 2021

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This post will inspire your own kitchen design ideas!

My husband and I had the opportunity to tour several award winning, luxury high end new construction homes this past January of 2021, and again in the fall of 2020. These were some of the very best builders in our area, putting their best foot forward. Both times we saw a repeated themes throughout the kitchen areas.

I am so excited to share 3 of my favorite ideas – the trends we saw again and again. I would say these are 3 big “of the decade” design ideas for your new kitchen below!

3 Big Kitchen Design Ideas That Say Luxury In 2021

Incorporating just one or two “of the decade” designs in your new kitchen can have a major impact.

And if you are working within the confines of a small kitchen and tight layout, taking a big idea and using a small aspect of it works just as well sometimes!

Kitchen Design Idea #1: The Built In Glass Hutch

It was quite common to find built-in china cabinets and butler pantries in kitchens built during the late 1800’s.

Fast forward to 2021, and we are now enjoying a refined version of that – but it’s not your grandmothers antique hutch!

oak wood cabinet in kitchen design idea

The hutch of today is an accent cabinet piece; not to be used throughout the whole space. It can incorporate glass and even mullion cabinet doors as a decorative accent to really stand out and nail the look!

wood built in glass hutch
via: Design Loves Detail

Although many of us still keep china, it’s not as common place, so these builtin hutches are being used as a display cabinet for your pretty everyday dining collections, barware etc.

built in hutch in a kitchen design idea
Via: Etsy

To really take advantage of this kitchen design idea, extend your built-in hutch all the way from floor to ceiling. If it goes with your style of kitchen, use thick crown molding, trim and furniture feet.

But it doesn’t even have to be all one piece – there are multiple ways to play on the idea.

a white built in hutch as a kitchen design idea
via: Lewis & Weldon via Home Bunch

If you have a mostly white kitchen, take the opportunity to paint your built in hutch a contrasting color – navy, black or an on trend greige – even if the rest of your kitchen cabinets are white. This kitchen design idea is right on target with the movement away from the all white kitchen.

Remember, the hutch is an accent piece. It should be different than the rest of your cabinetry!

a built in glass hutch in a kitchen
via: Kitchen Magic
a built in glass cabinet as a kitchen design idea
via: Amber Interiors
a navy built in glass cabinet in a kitchen design idea
via: Home Bunch

If you don’t have a wet bar off the kitchen, another way to incorporate this kitchen design idea is by turning the hutch into a beverage or coffee bar.

a glass wall of cabinets is a kitchen design idea
via: @monikahibbs

The color on the above hutch is Stoney Ground by Farrow & Ball; island is painted Strand of Pearls by Benjamin Moore

If you’re contemplating greige, you will love my post on 17 gorgeous shades for gregie kitchen cabinets!

Kitchen Design Ideas #2: White Oak Cabinets

White oak cabinetry is becoming a popular option in cabinetry construction. This soft wood look is going to be around for the next decade at least.

rift sawn white oak  kitchen cabiinets
rift sawn white oak kitchen cabiinets
via: CKF
 white oak cabinetry is a kitchen design idea
via: Park and Oak

You’re thinking, what kind of “new” kitchen design idea is oak wood? It’s always been around. But we’re not talking the honey oak stain from the 1990s- the wood for the 2021 is seen in its’ natural color and texture.

Specifically, quarter sawn and rift sawn white oak islands and cabinetry are popping up in the very latest designs. If you have no idea what this is you’re not alone- it’s not a common of a description like honey oak.

What is Quarter Sawn and Rift Sawn White Oak Cabinetry?

This terms quarter sawn and rift sawn white oak refer to the way the timber is actually cut to achieve a specific look. For both quarter sawn and rift sawn, the white oak is cut in a way that produces very straight linear grain patterns. 

Both ways are considered a luxury as it produces a lot of waste, and is therefore more expensive.

white oak cabinetry is a kitchen design idea

See those beautiful lines in this white oak cabinetry?

black and white kitchen design ideas with white oak island
via: House of Silver Lining
rift sawn oak kitchen island
rift sawn white oak cabinet in kitchen with black hardware
via: Studio McGee

White oak cabinetry with a clear or natural seal adds layers and warmth to a kitchen for a beautiful balance, regardless of the cut. This style is versatile and, depending on the finishes, can lend itself to coastal, traditional, or modern.

My personal favorite is pairing white oak cabinetry with a bright white countertop. Warmth is in direct opposition of the cold all gray kitchen or the sterile white kitchens we are trending away from, so it makes sense we are gravitating towards wood!

Kitchen Design Idea #3: The Hidden Pantry + Panel Ready Appliances

When we toured new homes in early 2021, we didn’t see as much stainless steel. Instead, we saw the trend of hiding appliances and/or hidden pantries in almost every new higher end or luxury build.

Appliances are going seamless by paneling them to look just like cabinets The appliance that is frequently not paneled is the beverage fridge- with the idea that it should be easy to find and accessible for guests.

hidden pantry and appliances in a kitchen
gray hidden pantry kitchen design ideas
via: McCormick Kitchens + Bath

A hidden pantry is really just a pantry door, disguised to look like a large panel of cabinets.

Generally speaking, turning an existing pantry into a hidden pantry is nothing complicated. Your cabinet maker will build out “false” cabinets and panels that will serve as the door to your (already existing in some cases) pantry.

a hidden pantry behind cabinet doors

via: CC & Mike

boy opening up a hidden pantry is a kitchen design idea

My son opening up a hidden pantry door in a kitchen disguised to look like cabinet doors.

hidden pantry in navy blue is a kitchen design ideas

The hidden pantry trick can still be done even if your cabinetry does not reach the ceiling. Below, a piece of trim is used across the top to keep everything flush.

white hidden pantry as kitchen design idea

via: CKF

The kitchen below has paneled appliances in the layout, and a few extra appliances were kept in the pantry.

The kitchen we toured below has paneled appliances in the layout, but a few extra appliances are kept out and accessible inside the pantry.

wood island and beams are kitchen design ideas
big white kitchen design ideas
appliances in a hidden pantry

Tour this whole Nantucket style home here!

kitchen design ideas like hidden pantry and paneled appliances

via: Bethesda Style

If you are working within the confines of a smaller kitchen, paneled appliances keeps everything streamlined. Without breaking up for the refrigerator, the dishwasher, etc. and having seamless cabinetry throughout, the kitchen will appear bigger.

Which Kitchen Trends Have Staying Power?

It is my opinion that we spend entirely too much time worrying about what will have staying power.

If you’re obsessing over perfect color of your island or the perfect hardware with the most staying power, I wouldn’t bother. Choose what you love and have loved for years, and that will last you for a good decade at minimum. Life is unpredictable. No need to try and plan a kitchen that will last you for the next fifty years!

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