Home Kitchen & Dining Kitchen design predictions for 2021 –

Kitchen design predictions for 2021 –


By Paul McAlary

I often see blogs and magazine articles predicting bold kitchen design trends. The reality of the last ten years has been that white shaker style cabinetry has remained the most purchased style cabinet. Countertops in Engineered quartz, granite or quartzite in light colors that resemble marble has accounted for the majority of countertops. And darker wood, and porcelain tile that looks like wood, along with luxury vinyl is similar colors, has been the predominate flooring choice for homeowners .

Of course there are exceptions, particularly in rural areas that lag behind suburban design trends, or cities where contemporary and ultra modern cabinetry is often used in high rises and condos. But kitchen design styles have been stuck in limbo for a long time. Bold today might mean a navy blue or a gray island. Predicting bold kitchen style changes has always been popular to write about by people less knowledgeable, and being completely wrong year after year never seems to phase these prognosticators.

Here are my more realistic predictions for where kitchen design is headed in the coming years:

  • There will be more variation in color and style going forward but only subtly. Countertops may get darker and darker island colors will continue to become more popular, but recessed panel door styles will rule for another 10 years and white and off white colors will still dominate.
  • The pandemic has changed how people research and shop for kitchens. Browsing the web, and watching HGTV is more popular and will remain so. Unfortunately many of us are delusional by nature and so the little information consumers gather often only empowers them to feel that they know far more than they do. This will create a widening gap between the better designs done by more talented professional kitchen designers and the work done by non professionals.
  • Over the next ten years this gap will become so extreme that at long last talented kitchen designers will begin to command the respect they deserve. Homes that are designed well sell for far more than real estate formulas predict and this reality will be one of the factors that drives better design being recognized going forward.
  • New Home Builders will also be forced to finally begin valuing good design. We see the beginnings of this now. For example, we have had several customers recently purchase Toll Brothers and other newly constructed homes only to rip out the poorly designed kitchens upon closing and install a better designed kitchen.

Sadly there will still always be a large minority of people that are immune to good design. But good kitchen design just being more recognized will be a major step forward for our profession.