Let’s talk 2021 kitchen trends! After so many stayed home and stared at our kitchens all last year, a lot of us had lifestyle changes. Which ways are kitchen trends heading in 2021, what is dated, and what has staying power?
>Wait, are you looking for the latest? This post still holds true in 2022, but it’s been updated with allll of the things. Read about the 9 2022 Kitchen Trends You’ll Love here!<
When building, renovating or just freshening up your kitchen in 2021, your goals should be to find a balance between:
- What you truly love (the most important!)
- Which 2021 kitchen trends are timeless (also important)
- 2021 kitchen trends that are new and cutting edge. This is especially important when resale value is at stake.
Table of Contents
7 Kitchen Trends in 2021
The 7 trends I am discussing below are:
- Kitchen vent hoods
- Backsplash for 2021 kitchens
- Clever cabinetry trends
- The prep room idea
- Countertop materials
- Moody painted cabinets
- Wood cabinets
Seamless is in. We all know that mixing metals has been a thing for a while now, but in 2021 we are mixing paint colors and finishes. Wood is being used more again. Do any of these surprise you?
1. Ornamental Vent Hoods: Bigger is Better For Kitchen Trends in 2021
Vent hoods have been the focal point in kitchens for a few years now – minimal hoods just aren’t being seen as much. But in 2021, expect to see large, in charge, look at me vent hoods designs!
This is a design moment you don’t want to miss out on! Your hood could stretch the length of your whole countertop! It doesn’t have to necessarily be large to fall in line with the trend – your vent hood might be smaller, but with a unique eye catching design.
Be careful though- if you have visually heavy pendant lights in the kitchen, scale back on the hood design. Too many eye catching designs won’t allow your eyes to rest. No place to rest = chaotic.
2. Clever Cabinetry: Furniture Built In
Seamless is in! And just like built in panel front appliances that are trending, kitchen trends of 2021 will see more furniture pieces looking built in and being used as cabinetry. Think: built in antiques (for warmth), floor to ceiling glass cabinetry, or cabinets simply made to looks like built in hutch.
Clever storage is always a priority when making practical design choices, and a built in hutch can hide everything from a coffee station to your work from home necessities, while looking high end and unique.
Some homeowners are paying renewed attention to vintage in small doses! Using a vintage hutch adds personality, a warm wood finish, and character to an otherwise brand new kitchen.
Would you believe behind this lovely built in cabinet houses their subzero fridge and freezer? Amazing design choices!
3. Scullery / Butler’s Pantry / Prep Rooms
This still holds true in 2022 and will continue on into our next decade. Related: Read about 9 2022 Kitchen Trends here.
I was put off by this idea origianlly – thinking it was more of a status symbol than a trend. A second kitchen off the kitchen?? We’re going there? Two fridges for everyone? But then I considered how practical this space could work within lots of thoughtfully considered budgets.
A butler’s pantry isn’t necessarily a second kitchen and a status symbol. It can be a functional room or closet that allows the kitchen, which is often open to other areas, to remain clean and tidy. Similar to the mud room, which can work hard in all kinds of spaces and budgets- even a small prep room off your kitchen provides a functional spot to house essentials.
This could be as simple as a nook directly off the kitchen that doubles as your pantry with extra counter space. The idea is to have a house keeping closet within the kitchen, with space for utilitarian essentials and small kitchen appliances kept convenient but out of sight!
Or a scullery could be a whole elaborate large room, offering a second sink, a full fridge and some cabinetry for bulky appliances or other space hogging items. Lots of people keep a second fridge or freezer in the garage- the prep room expands on that idea but keeps it all neatly off the kitchen.
4. Countertop Materials
Trends in the kitchen through out 2021 will still see lots of beautiful marble, as there are plenty who truly do not mind the patina. Oftentimes kitchen specialists do not recommend using this stone, but it continues to be highly sought after.
On the other team is marble’s pretty but practical cousins quartz and quartzite, holding steady in the most popular category. Neither one are going anywhere in this decade and they are both great choices!
You will want to read all about my personal experience living with white quartz in this post.
Other countertop materials being used:
- Granite in smaller amounts than ever; still popular in flip homes, etc.
- Porcelain is actually on the rise. If you are not familiar this is a beautiful, almost translucent material. It can be tricky in kitchens though
- Soapstone is still getting lots of love and a high end option
My advice if you are using cool toned countertops is to find other places to bring in warmth. Warm is a big part of 2021 kitchen trends!
5. Slab Backsplash Is A Kitchen Trend in 2021
The slab backsplash trend is strong in 2021. Dramatic backsplash slabs with bold contemporary veinings or movement, rather than the last decade’s subway tile is part of the seamless kitchen trends of 2021!
The backsplash and countertop design can be the same, or you can mix quartz with a natural stone – just be careful to pick coordinating design choices of course. Think twice about using quartz that has a “faux” marble look and a real natural stone together. If one product is busy with pattern, pick the other to be a solid subtle color.
Tile brought all the way up to the ceiling is trending more than tile stopping half way. Although subway tile isn’t necessarily “dated”, it’s not being used nearly as often. Try other shapes and patterns.
6. Warm, Moody Cabinets and 2021 Kitchen Colors
I predict 2021 will see an even bigger shift towards the warmer color palettes. Trending kitchen cabinets are:
- warm gray with brass
- warm whites
For those interested in greige cabinets, you must read 17 Gorgeous Greige Kitchens (with 12 greige paint colors).
Just like mixing metals has been encouraged for a few years, freedom with cabinet colors is soaring.
Ways to bring in moody color to a kitchen in small doses:
- Use a colorful stove
- Blend two different shades of cabinetry for visual impact (bottom dark, top cabinets white)
- Warm greige island
- Use just one painted cabinetry in the form of a built in hutch
7. Wood Cabinets: Are wood kitchen cabinets really considered a kitchen trend for 2021?
Don’t think of the honey wood cabinets of the 80s and 90s, or that dark espresso finish everywhere!
Homeowners are looking at connections to their past, (perhaps because today’s times feel so uncertain?) and this is coming out in the form of natural wood used in the kitchen! Wood cabinets are being requested more than in the last decade, that is a fact.
Wood cabinets are always trending in different finishes, and this decade is loving wood looking like wood in its’ raw state, rather than being heavily stained. Wood cabinets can be used alone, but they are usually done in combination with painted or white cabinets.
Think of soft muted paint colors with wood cabinets that look natural, just lightly stained, or rift oak cabinets. Combined with a matte or satin finish, this looks sophisticated and upscale when layered along with painted cabinets.
Not quite ready to bring wood back (you know… the wood you just painted a decade ago) or for a moody greige kitchen, but you’re over the last decade’s all white kitchen?
There are multiple ways to do add interest in a kitchen with wood:
- Blend a wood vent hood, or wood trim on the hood, over all white or greige cabinetry
- Add a wood or vintage built in hutch
- Add natural wood beams to the ceiling or trim
- Use wood on the island with painted perimeter cabinets
The wood island with white perimeter cabinetry is not just classic, but can feel very interesting and gives “just another white kitchen” a whole new aesthetic.
If you’re concerned too much wood might date your kitchen, take care to do two things:
- Stay away from stains, gray finishes, or anything that gives the wood a cast other than the true color of the wood. Use a clear coat on top.
- Pair your wood cabinets with fresh white or cream to keep it bright. This could be a white or cream marble slab of backsplash or white quartz countertops, or white cabinets- something bright to balance out the wood and keep it fresh, instead of leaning rustic.
Kitchen trends for 2021 are all about bringing back the high end and the classic. The point of these 7 trends is to leave you feeling inspired for the projects you’re undertaking. I hope you found some ways to incorporate these ideas for your own kitchen!
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