What’s Cookin’? Kitchen Trends for 2024

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

Embrace the warmth of nature with the resurgence of wood in kitchen design, a trend dominating the scene in 2024. The preference for wood grain is on the rise, emphasizing an appreciation for the organic beauty and texture it brings to home aesthetics. Unpainted kitchen cabinets are making a comeback, with lighter wood finishes like bleached natural woods and white oak being the top choices. White kitchen cabinets remain popular but are shifting towards warmer tones like creamy taupe and off-whites, paired with wood accents for a cozy ambiance. The inclusion of orange and red undertones in wood cabinets complements the ongoing trend of earthy paint shades. Mixed-color cabinets, especially those featuring contrasting island cabinet colors, are a prevailing choice, offering a subtle way to introduce color. The modern-traditional style is gaining traction, striking a balance between contemporary and classic elements, ensuring a timeless and personalized kitchen space.

2. Beverage Centers

Kitchen trends are seeing a surge in the demand for dedicated beverage areas and increased beverage-centric storage. From elaborate coffee setups to at-home smoothie bars, homeowners are seeking more specialized spaces to accommodate their unique beverage preferences. Designers emphasize the integration of kitchen design with overall home architecture, expanding into larger spaces. This trend encourages the creation of dedicated bar spaces, allowing homeowners to optimize square footage for entertaining and aligning their kitchen with personalized lifestyle needs.

3. Backsplashes and Tiles

Timeless favorites like ceramic and porcelain tiles remain popular for their versatility and easy installation, while glossy surfaces are replacing matte finishes, creating striking contrasts. Mixing materials allows for unique combinations, with glass mosaic tiles and boldly colored subway tiles making statements. Natural looks with green tones are in demand, alongside backsplashes rising higher and stone tiles adding texture. Matching marble-look tiles for backsplashes and countertops offer seamless transitions, reflecting a harmonious blend of tradition and innovation in kitchen design for the year ahead.

4. Lighting

Homeowners are increasingly opting for energy-efficient alternatives like LED lights, which not only reduce energy consumption but also boast a longer lifespan compared to traditional bulbs. The LED revolution has brought innovative solutions, delivering bright, consistent lighting with remarkable energy efficiency. Sustainability in lighting extends to the use of recycled and upcycled materials in fixtures, contributing to a greener planet and infusing unique character into kitchen decor. Beyond efficiency, oversized chandeliers above dining tables and large pendant lighting above islands emerge as sought-after trends, adding a touch of contemporary elegance to kitchen designs.

5. Countertops

Quartz emerges as the undisputed favorite for 2024 countertops, surpassing competitors like quartzite, granite, sintered stone, and marble. Renowned for its easy-to-clean properties, remarkable stain resistance, and impressive heat tolerance, quartz continues to dominate kitchens. While traditional countertop edges such as bullnose, beveled, or square maintain their popularity, the emergence of waterfall styles adds a contemporary touch. Lighter countertop hues, often in honed or matte finishes, stand out as a prevailing choice, offering a harmonious contrast to cabinetry. This year’s kitchen aesthetic promises a blend of timeless elegance and modern sophistication.

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 outdoors as extra living space that can be used year-round.