Traditional Kitchen Island

25 Best Kitchen Design Trends in 2018

Whether your current layout needs renovating or you simply want to refresh a tired colour scheme, now is the perfect time to plan your dream kitchen. But what’s hot in the world of kitchen design?

Kitchen design in 2018 is all about timber veneers, colour contrast, texture, metallics and the ongoing industrial look.

‘The tail end of 2017 has seen the emergence of more bold colours and textures in kitchen doors and this will follow into the new year. The mix of striking solid colours and woodgrains will continue to prove popular, whilst more industrial finishes like concrete will sit alongside these to really create interest in the kitchen. Consumers are increasingly looking for more variety and being braver in their style and colour choices.’

From colour to materials and appliances to aesthetics, take a look at the best kitchen trends of 2018.

1. Island Paradise

Kitchen-islands
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Kitchen islands are popular. According to the National Association of Home Builders, 80 percent of home buyers consider an island desirable or essential. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone. Consider your space to make sure you have enough clearance on all sides of the island. Design by Gregory Augustine.

2.  A Better Work Triangle

Better Work Triangle
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The island in this kitchen features a second sink to use for food preparation, creating a compact and convenient work triangle. Design by Gail Drury.

3. Traditional Kitchen Island

Traditional Kitchen Island
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For many homeowners, a basic island helps make a small kitchen feel larger and adds a much-needed work surface. Design by Candice Olson.

4. Hues of blue

image Hues of blue kitchen
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From cobalt blue to powder blue and teal, blue is the colour of the momentwhen it comes to kitchens. Darker shades of this versatile hue will prove to be the most popular. ‘Undoubtedly the biggest colour trend the industry has seen this year is the desire to have blue in the kitchen,’ revealsBA Components. ‘This bold and dramatic move is for those who are brave and want to make a statement within the home.’

5. Bold, vibrant colour schemes

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‘Vibrant colour schemes will continue to be popular for 2018 with a focus on both Scandinavian application – pops of bright colour – or complete maximalism –with colour clashes,’ says Matt Prall and Stephen Garland of Papilio. ‘The use of colour in the kitchen is extremely important and should reflect homeowners’ personalities and their needs. For instance, a space for cooking should be light and bright while spaces designed for entertaining could have a darker essence to provide a suitable ambience.’

6. Delicate pastels

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Pretty pastels present real design advantages and are a great way to inject a little fun into the kitchen, especially when used as co-ordinating or contrasting finishes,’ say the team at Schüller. ‘For those keen to create some individuality, yet not quite brave enough for the dramatic contrast of bold colours, then pastels are ideal partners for popular grey palettes and wood effect finishes. Used for highlighting and creating features, pastels in blue, yellow, pink and green can create a real wow factor.’

7. Handles are back

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The overall linear look with handleless doors proved very popular in2017’s kitchen, but according to LochAnna Kitchens, ‘handles are coming back’.

‘Think beautiful, ornate handles against modern cupboards and bright coppers/rose golds on shaker style kitchens,’ explains Trainor. ‘There is also a growing trend towards matching accessories and appliances to the rose golds and copper accents found in handles as more homeowners try to find alternatives to everyday stainless steel and black.’

8. Natural unpolished timbers and attractive veneers

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With homeowners more mindful about use of materials, we’re likely to see an increase in the use of characterful`veneers such as Pippy Elm & Walnut for 2018, predicts Papilio. ‘These materials add texture and intrigue to the kitchen and when working in a bespoke manner can be used for everything from statement wall veneers to unique cabinetry and shelving. The use of high quality wood to create statement rooms is going to be big.’

9. White Out

image White Out kitchen
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The all-white kitchen, adorn by modernists and minimalists alike, might be taking a backseat. Dana is noticing some people straying to the other end of the spectrum.

“White kitchens are always de rigeur, especially in modernist homes, but we are seeing many clients opt for black now too,” says Dana. “We recently even did a kitchen that was navy, which looked great.”

And it’s no wonder people might be shying away from that all-white look, besides the stain factor, it can also be tricky to achieve.

“There are a few downsides to an all-white kitchen,” explains Chris. “Making all of the whites match each other—from cabinets, tile, paint, and more—is incredibly difficult. The whites need to be complementary and blend well together. Even if all the whites do match perfectly, sometimes this palette can result in a less interesting, flat looking kitchen.”

10. Hues You Can Use

image hues you can use kitchen design
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So what colors are on the rise specifically?

“White kitchens will always be popular, but we anticipate we’ll see less of the all-white kitchen this year,” Chris opines. “We are seeing two-toned kitchens and colors like navy, gray, and hunter green.”

Danny also says he only expects the range of colors to expand, “I personally think that the trend of white/dark kitchens will make an adjustment and we will start seeing more colorful kitchens like we see in Europe.”

While these bold colors can seem daunting, especially if you have resale in mind, there are plenty of ways to inject color into your space without investing in red tiles or emerald green cabinetry.

“There are ways to make a colorful statement without breaking the bank: using accent colors on staple kitchen accessories like teapots, KitchenAid mixers, toasters, and linens can really bring the space to life and add personality,” adds Chris.

“A fun backsplash always adds pizzazz to any kitchen,” recommends Dana.”Something in the blue family can add punch without being too loud, and patterned mosaics are always an artful option too.”

11. Goodbye Granite?

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According to a recent study by Houzz, granite has been on a three-year decline among homeowners.

“The small-scale texture of granite feels more dated than the larger scale texture offered by quartz and marble,” explains Chris. “People are willing to invest in their kitchens, so they will often choose higher-end materials like marble. Quartz is more durable than marble but looks very similar, so homeowners are able to get that high-end look without having to deal with the expensive upkeep of a material like marble.”

Danny Maman, the owner of Titanium Construction, agrees, “Granite countertops stain easily and are not as durable to the everyday wear and tear of a family using their kitchen. So people prefer the less expensive option (quartz) that is also much more durable.”

But plenty of developers are still reaching for the classic, despite its price (depending on where you live and how much is needed, anywhere from $40 to $100 per square foot).

“Calcutta marble continues to be a go-to for high-end developers and clients alike,” says Dana Sandberg, director of business development for construction management and contracting firm Best & Company. “Its gray veining is quite universally liked and is never too aesthetically controversial for resale purposes.”

12. Embrace the Dark Side

image trend design kitchen - Embrace the Dark Side
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Speaking of dark, while quartz and marble continue to reign supreme among countertop types, expect to see some experimentation.

“Marble and brass hardware are not completely out—and for a good reason,” explains Armann. “The crisp and modern combination continues to elevate drab kitchens, but now designers are playing with higher contrast combinations. Instead of Carrera marble, designers are opting for Nero Marquina.”

And this trend of moodier and darker kitchens goes beyond countertops.

“I anticipate seeing overall ‘darker’ kitchens thrive in 2018,” Armann predicts. “Darker countertops, matte black, brass hardware, and deep forest green and navy kitchen cabinets are paving the way.”

13. Beyond the Farm

trend design kitchen - Beyond the Farm
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While large, farmhouse sinks have been on the rise, our sources are noticing people opt for a more simple approach.

“Currently I am seeing a lot of farm sinks, but I think that the trend will slowly fade away this year and we will go back to undermount sinks,” shares Danny

Dana of Best & Co thinks the farmhouse sink fade also goes back to convenience.

“No more farmhouse sinks,” Dana begs. “They look great initially but you’ll get splashed all the time and they don’t wear well at all—grit and grime shows up too much against white!”

However, considering the rise in vibrant shades, your classic steel undermount sink just won’t do.

“I also think that we will start seeing the trend of stainless steel sinks fade away. Colors will be big this year, even for sinks,” Danny explains.

14. A Better Backsplash

trend design kitchen - a better backplash
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In search of some creative inspiration? Lean into a global, old-world style.

“This past year has seen a high number of kitchens using the countertop as the backsplash on the walls,” says Danny. “I think we will see less of that this year and more Spanish-style tiles in the kitchen and throughout the home. These trends are making a strong come back, and I expect to see a lot more of them this year.”

15. Mix and Match

trend design kitchen - Mix and Match
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Beyond bold color choices, designers are also being a bit more playful in they are put it all together.

“I think that with the trend of seeing more colors in the kitchen, we will also see sharper contrasts than before,” according to Danny. “For example, making the island cabinets a different color than the kitchen cabinets (which is very common now). Or perhaps extreme contrasts between the cabinets and the appliance colors in order to help incorporate a different look for the kitchen.”

As Chris explains it: “We see people experimenting with mixing different types of countertops. For example, perhaps the kitchen island serves as a showpiece and is a high-end material like marble because it is a place of entertainment, but the rest of the kitchen countertops are quartz. The quartz still has a high-end look, but is more durable and better suited for food prep.”

“The kitchen island can now act and look like independent pieces of furniture that does not have to perfectly match the surrounding kitchen,” Armann adds. “Modern farmhouse islands have transformed into free-standing vintage butcher tables and the marble waterfall island is now the Vipp matte black island.”

16. Finish With Some Drama

trend design kitchen - Finish With Some Drama
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One of the most exciting places to experiment: lighting. And our designers encourage you to keep going wild.

“Asymmetrical kitchen lighting has started gaining traction in 2017 and will continue to evolve over the next couple years,” shares Armann. “Instead of falling into the classic double or triple pendants above the kitchen island, designers are creating moments of drama by justifying pendants over to unexpected areas. By redirecting the eye with an asymmetrical pendant, the homeowner has the opportunity to create mini vignettes or highlight their favorite kitchen object.”

17. Hardworking islands

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Open shelving is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners able to make a statement in their kitchen by adding their own personality with small accessories and even deluxe food items placed on shelves. ‘It’s the perfect chance to add lots of greenery in a physical format with bright, airy kitchens providing the perfect setting for succulents and hanging Ivy, incorporating yet another important interior style trend,’ says Papilio.

The team at Kitchens International say floor to ceiling units with no plinths or space above the unit is a key design trend that will provide maximum storage in smaller areas. They add: ‘Open shelving with internal lighting produces a more living room feel and look to the kitchen and is becoming increasingly popular on islands.’

But hidden storage will be ‘more important than ever for hiding older cookware that you don’t want on display, ambient food and other bits and bobs that find their way into the kitchen,’ says Trainor from LochAnna Kitchens. ‘Internal drawers, pull out storage systems and tall larder storage will also be making their way into kitchens.’

18. Warm neutrals and gold accents

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‘Golds have been on trend for a while now but the move to combining them with browns and organic materials is going to be big for 2018,’ predicts Papilio. ‘Combining the use of neutrals, golds and organic textures makes for a warm environment with a slight seventies feel, hitting the mark in terms of both style and substance. The boho look is not only easily adaptable with other colours but also comes hand in hand with good quality and timeless design – something which a kitchen needs to present.’

19. Shaker style retains popularity

image of Shaker style retains popularity
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The shaker door is still a popular choice with kitchen buyers. ‘In recent years we have experienced a 16 per cent increase in shaker style doors sales,’ says Kieran McCracken from kitchen door manufacturer BA Components. ‘Shaker offers distinctive yet practical styling as many consumers opt for a traditional design with unicolour matte finishes being very popular.’

20. Shelving is making a statement

image of Open Shelving Rules the Kitchen
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Open shelving is becoming increasingly popular with homeowners able to make a statement in their kitchen by adding their own personality with small accessories and even deluxe food items placed on shelves. ‘It’s the perfect chance to add lots of greenery in a physical format with bright, airy kitchens providing the perfect setting for succulents and hanging Ivy, incorporating yet another important interior style trend,’ says Papilio.

The team at Kitchens International say floor to ceiling units with no plinths or space above the unit is a key design trend that will provide maximum storage in smaller areas. They add: ‘Open shelving with internal lighting produces a more living room feel and look to the kitchen and is becoming increasingly popular on islands.’

But hidden storage will be ‘more important than ever for hiding older cookware that you don’t want on display, ambient food and other bits and bobs that find their way into the kitchen,’ says Trainor from LochAnna Kitchens. ‘Internal drawers, pull out storage systems and tall larder storage will also be making their way into kitchens.’

21. The industrial look develops with heavy metal and concrete effects

image concrete-heavy-metal-kitchen
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Look out for industrial style features such as concrete effect finishes – Kitchens International says the trend for concrete-sprayed doors or concrete effect doors will continue to grow – as well as black grip ledge handles and open style metal frame racks for storage and eye-catching features.

‘An ongoing shift towards individuality in today’s kitchen design, the latest fronts, finishes and solutions become instrumental in creating definition and individuality,’ says Schüller. ‘With heavy metal, even storage is coming out of the cupboard and when features unite with function, you create kitchens with purpose.’

22. Accessible, multi-user kitchens

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‘An inclusively designed kitchen is intended to offer independence to less able or wheelchair users, whilst at the same time being suitable for all other users in the household,’ explains home specialist association KBSA.

With multigenerational living on the rise, the growing need to accommodate for different users, whether that’s ensuring enough space has been allocated to create a turning circle for a wheelchair, heights of work surfaces and workflow, has been noted as a key design requirement.

Multi-user kitchens for those abled-bodied and less abled is an increasing wish for many homeowners with huge advances in moveable worksurfaces, appliances and tables,’ reveals Kitchens International.

23. Multiple ovens

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‘People are engaging in much busier lifestyles these days and it makes sense to cook multiple dishes simultaneously, particularly people who are big on entertaining,’ explains Papilio. ‘Multiple ovens can even create a statement look as shown here, where three eye level Gaggenau ovens have been placed in tall wall cabinets to contrast with the original stonewall.’

It doesn’t stop at ovens either. ‘We’ve also had requests for multiple dishwashers, washing machines – just to ensure that there’s always enough room for the various demands of running a family home!,’ they explain.

24. The rise of the smart kitchen (all at the push of a button)

image The rise of the smart kitchen
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‘Smart appliances are developing at a rapid pace and anyone considering installing a new kitchen in 2018 should really not do without a boiling water tap – seen as a necessity in today’s living; wifi ready appliances – allowing us to control our kitchens from afar; and steam ovens and vacuum drawers – this makes cooking quicker, easier and contains the flavour in the food,’ say Kitchens International.

Meanwhile, Papilio note an interest in ‘integrated music and lighting that can all be controlled via one central hub, as well as a call for iPads installed for recipes and work surfaces with integrated mobile phone charging’.

In particular, the Amazon Dash button and Google Home have become ‘essentials’ in the kitchen, enabling homeowners to order products, play music, set reminders or find out recipes at the touch of a button or the sound of a voice.

A must have is the Zip Tap – now the world’s most advanced drinking water appliance. ‘The Zip HydroTap transforms ordinary water into a form of the clients choice, all via one tap,’ says Papilio. ‘This essential and smart addition to any kitchen provides pure tasting boiling, chilled and sparkling water at the push of a button.’

25. Faux marble and stone worktops

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‘The latest material we’ve seen a surge in for kitchen worktops is Neolith. A well thought-out range of finishes to suit the modern worktop requirement and also very practical, unlike the recent marble trend,’ says Papilio. ‘NeoLith’s revolutionary manufacturing process uses 100 per cent natural materials, extreme heat, and intense pressure to produce the most durable surface material available in the market today. The range includes finishes in silk, satin, river washed and polished.’

 

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