kitchen with dark lower cabinet and white uppers
Dark lower cabinetry pairs with light uppers: Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

Homeowners are embracing bold colors, choosing purposeful spaces and leaning away from quartz in favor of natural stone in their kitchens, according to a panel of interior designers speaking at 20×20 Story: Kitchen Styles, Finishes and Materials for the Coming Year at the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS). 

The panel, comprised of interior designers Nar Bustamante of the Nar Design Group, Jeanne Chung of Cozy Stylish Chic and Christopher Grubb of Arch-Interiors Design Group Inc., shared their experiences with clients and identified common trends they are seeing, and are likely to continue through 2024. 

Demonstrating these trends with a portfolio of recent projects, in a lightning-fast, 20-second-per-slide format, the panelists explored kitchen trends that see homeowners drilling down on design details, rethinking the functional opportunity of the kitchen, and taking advantage of a central space at home to promote creativity and self-expression. 

In addition to bespoke metal accents, slide-out, toe-kick, banquette and hybrid open/closed storage, lighter woods, split plumbing fixtures, layered lighting and integrated breakfast eating space, these are some of the top kitchen trends for 2024. 

Bolder colors 

All-white kitchens are out, with warmth and personality taking precedence in the heart of the home.  

“The kitchen is a space that has to reflect personality,” which means bold and statement-making colors, says Chung. 

“It’s an easy add with paint or wallpaper, easy to change out later on,” says Chung. 

“Customers are leaning into darker cabinetry,” says Grubb, and are often using dark tones on lower cabinets, with contrasting uppers in a lighter color. 

Knee space under the kitchen island 

Space underneath an island is functional for seating, but also represents an area that is an often-forgotten focal point in a kitchen. 

Bustamante says that homeowners are getting creative with “curves and stone foot ledges.” 

Seamless paneling 

Homeowners are looking to “keep things clean and integrated,” says Bustamante, which is where flat, seamless paneling comes in.  

“You don’t want your kitchen to jump out at you,” he says. 

This applies to cabinetry and to flat-paneled appliances. 

Wood countertops 

grey kitchen with butcher block counter
Butcher block counters offer additional prep space: Adobe Stock

The sultry richness of exotic wood countertops, like marine-grade wood, is a lure for homeowners, according to Chung.  

“They bring warmth to a room where you typically have a lot of cold surfaces,” visually, says Chung. 

They are not heat resistant but are otherwise durable and food safe. 

While less exotic than marine-grade wood, butcher block counters are making a comeback, according to Chung, and serve a dual purpose, by introducing warmth and increasing usable prep space. 

Choosing natural stone over quartz 

While quartz has been the darling of kitchen materials for several years, more and more clinets are turning to natural stone, according to Grubb.  

He’s seeing a move towards porcelain in flooring, especially with oversize tiles. Homeowners “like the dramatic size,” he says. 

Rolling chef stations 

Mindful of fostering an indoor/outdoor connection, which is often extended from the kitchen, homeowners are looking for ways to transport their prep easily when they want to dine al fresco. 

A butcher block workstation on wheels offers “versatility to carry a workspace outdoors,” says Chung. 

Sliding backsplash 

This trend makes the kitchen more functional for home cooks, by offering smart storage in an ideal location for prep, particularly for spices. 

“People love to have spaces at arm’s length while they are cooking,” says Chung. 

Back kitchens 

Homeowners still love the open-concept floor plan, but don’t love having their prep on display when entertaining, which is why back kitchens are becoming more popular. 

The back kitchen is an adjacent space, similar to a scullery, where unsightly prep is tucked behind the main entertainment space. 

Mixing fixtures 

For greater variety and visual texture, Grubb sees homeowners choose fixtures in the same finish family but mixing styles and sizes. 

Also trending, according to Grubb, is oversize, long hardware. “I think it’s more dramatic. It adds a linear quality,” he says. 

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