1. Soft, muted color palettes. Good news if you’re already thinking about switching up your color scheme: Kitchen colors are changing, according to interior designer Jane Lockhart. Though white motifs will still dominate, everything from cabinets to backsplashes will be done in less saturated tones. “Charcoal, grays and even neutral pastels like pale blue, pale green gray and tinted whites are the new alternative to the standard white,” she says. She also foresees kitchens sporting lighter wood tones, including walnuts, whitewashed woods and white oak in rift grain.
Bold primary colors, on the other hand, will be placed on the back burner. Interior designer Gail Drury says they’re definitely out as accent colors. “Drier colors will become popular,” she says. “Muted blues and greens and pale yellow pastel will be used as accent colors.”
2. Smart spaces. Get ready for a hi-tech makeover. Both Lockhart and Drury predict more kitchens will have designated spots for smart devices next year. “Look for areas with hidden charging stations to store devices like phones and tablets so that they are always operable, at hand and charged,” Lockhart says.
Drury says the quintessential 2016 kitchen will focus on convenience for families on the go via accessible smart appliances. “I expect kitchens full of state-of-the-art appliances, from steam ovens to built-in coffee machines to wine coolers.”
4. Metal range hoods. One of last year’s biggest trends was metallic finishes, be it copper, brass or bronze. However, homeowners went with small helpings of metal, primarily using faucets, pendant lights and cabinet pulls to incorporate this raw texture.
In 2016, metal will assume a more dominant role in kitchen aesthetics and trump wood as the range hood of choice. “Wood mantle hoods are being replaced with metal hoods or ones that are a combination of wood and metal,” Drury says. If you’re planning to follow suit with next year’s fixation on neutral color tones, a metal hood can introduce a burst of contrast into your kitchen.
6. A new kind of tradition. While it’s no surprise that present-day kitchens are embracing simple design, Lockhart expects traditional spaces to hop on board too. “Even traditional kitchens may experience a slightly cleaner feel with bold lines and less fussy details,” she says.
But Lockhart says it isn’t the end of traditional design as we know it. It just means homeowners will opt for fewer frills and more calculated, strategically placed details. “Traditional designs will always remain popular, but future renditions will be more deliberate with an emphasis on key elements like hoods, islands, cabinet crowns and so on,” she says.
7. Texture-on-texture contrast. It’s time to reimagine contrast in 2016. Drury says variations in texture will rule, rather than traditional methods of contrast. “Strong contrasting designs are being replaced with more texture-on-texture designs,” she says.
It won’t be about mixing and matching textures, though. Instead, designers will reposition the same texture in different patterns throughout the kitchen. “The same exact stone can be finished three ways and combined in the same space,” Drury says. “The difference is very subtle but at the same time makes a statement about attention to detail.”