What’s Cookin’? Kitchen Trends for 2023

Kitchen design trends, not unlike fashion trends, come and go every year, and some stay longer than others. The design world is moving largely towards an understated naturalism, though clean lines and minimalism remain popular as well.

1. Cabinets

White kitchen cabinets will still be popular in more classic kitchens, but warm-toned wood, two-toned and even playfully colored cabinets are on the rise. Unexpected pops of color on a kitchen island or a dramatic, custom hood standing out among upper cabinets create bold and eye-catching statements. Some take the opportunity to make their cabinets an art piece of sorts by choosing uniquely dimensional cabinets or cabinets with textures like fluting or beading. Cabinetry has also been trending towards a look that maximizes space, organization, and functionality by extending upper cabinets all the way to the ceiling. But some people are ditching upper cabinets altogether and instead opting for…

2. Open Shelving

If traditional cabinets are just not your style, then you may want to look at open shelving. Be mindful that it may take a little extra effort (and a little extra dusting!) to make open shelving work in your kitchen, but open shelves are more accessible and bring a certain charm to the space. Open shelving can replace all or some of the upper cabinetry in your kitchen and can be customized to work in any design style, whether you want to emphasize airiness, display décor, encourage minimalism, show off your killer backsplash, or play up your quirkiness. Whatever your design goals, open shelving may be your unexpected, modern solution.

3. Backsplashes

Backsplashes can make or break a kitchen, and the trends are headed toward color and natural textures. Subway tiles are always a classic style, but you can add eye-catching details with tiles in unexpected shapes, colors, patterns, and textures. Also on the rise? Whole stone slabs rather than individual tiles. Don’t be afraid to be bold; the backsplash is where you can really add character and personal flair to the space.

4. Lighting

Lighting creates the mood in any room, and the kitchen is no exception. This is one room where you will be spending a lot of your time, so it’s important to get the lighting just right. Soft pendant lights are always good choices for a cozy mood, while LED recessed can and undercabinet lighting is both efficient and bright enough to let you see what you’re doing while you make (or unbox) dinner.

5. Countertops

Countertops tie it all together. Marble is a timeless choice that gives you a glamorous look, but trends are headed towards high-performance materials that give a gorgeous finish without vulnerability to stains, like nano-glass. Granite and quartz remain favorites for the same reason, while butcher block and natural wood countertops have been on the rise as design trends are starting to see warm earth tones make a comeback.

6. Functionality

When it comes to today’s kitchen, buyers want functionality! Today’s buyer is savvy and very critical in terms of a home’s layout and the use of space. Custom organization solutions are on the rise, and homeowners want to ensure that every inch of space is thoughtfully designed and functional. They want a home that has a purposeful flow and doesn’t feel choppy, disoriented, or segregated as you move from one space to the next. Open floor plans between the kitchen, living room, and more casual eating areas still reign king to allow full sight lines and create a feeling of togetherness. This desire has also expanded to include a convergence of indoor and outdoor spaces. With the Cape Fear area’s mild climate, and following a period where many people were largely confined to their homes, more homeowners are embracing the outdoor as extra living space that can be used year-round.