Designers predict the best kitchen trends for 2023
Connected to multiple rooms and a key for cooking and entertaining, most kitchens are located in the center of the house. This year, its relationship to surrounding rooms is leading many trends, but kitchen design is still about getting form and functionality that match your lifestyle. Here are the 2023 kitchen trends experts expect to see in the coming year.
1. Expand the kitchen’s reach
says Lauren Schulte, member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) and owner/designer of Monarch Kitchen Design Studio. Now, the kitchen design also includes spaces like a pantry, mud room, dining room, and half baths. This is in addition to other living areas that connect to the kitchen in open plan homes.
“Not that the space feels like one big extended kitchen, but rather that the spaces flow openly into one another with different functions and the areas blend together really well,” says Schulte. The connection of the kitchen directly affects its design. Continuous visibility affects how homeowners want the look and function of the kitchen in the larger space.
2. Wide windows
Windows will be a focal point in 2023, whether it’s refreshing an existing space or designing a new kitchen. “We can expect to see kitchens with huge window walls that open up or open into pocket walls, merging indoor and outdoor spaces,” says Meet Pahwa, a certified kitchen and bath designer with NKBA. “These windows create amazing, refreshing spaces with an influx of nature, daylight, and fresh air.”
Multiple trends are converging to make windows a design staple this year. To start, Pahua notes the enduring popularity of outdoor entertaining and adjoining kitchens. Secondly, whether visual, physical, or both, a connection to the outside is central to current trends such as lively design and modern organic style. Finally, NKBA’s 2023 Design Trends Report ranks low-e (or low-emission) windows and doors among the top three trends for kitchen sustainability. It’s not just picture-perfect windows, Andersen Windows & Doors predicts that pivot doors and white oak will be popping up in homes in 2023.
3. Double the efficiency
“Kitchen lovers see double,” says Tanna Edler, NKBA member and interior designer/owner of TANNA BY DESIGN. More activity in the kitchen causes homeowners to opt for duplicates of the fixtures and appliances they use most. “With more and more families cooking at home and many members working in the kitchen at the same time, adding a single second sink will be in great demand,” says Edler. NKBA’s 2023 trend research indicates that dishwashers and ovens are also common duplicates. Even dual islands—one for cooking and preparing meals, and another for work, dining, and family activities—may appear in homes, according to Edler.
4. Underwhelmed countertops
Say goodbye to bold stone patterns and dark granite. As more dramatic colors and rich woods enter the kitchen, expect countertops to brighten up the space. “The kitchen palettes are moving toward a muted, earthy tone, much darker and richer than before. The combination of strong, dramatic colors mixed with light natural woods will warm the spaces and give them what homeowners want from the organic vibe,” says Edler. And work surfaces change in response.
“Clean-looking countertops will be in muted soft shades and subtle finishes, devoid of the busy patterns of the past,” says Michelle Yuell, NKBA member and designer of Natural Domain Interiors. “These countertops work in a complementary way with the warmer wood cabinets that are re-emerging as another kitchen trend,” says Yuell. Specifically, these lighter surfaces are likely to be made of quartz or quartzite, which are non-porous, stain-resistant, and easy to maintain. Keep an eye out for sintered stone, too, which is a newer class of manufactured material with similar properties. The NKBA notes that it is gaining more attention as a countertop option.
5. Simple Closet Doors (Not a Shaker!)
Shaker-style cabinets are incredibly popular for their simplicity, but designer Kathryn Deutschlander, NKBA member and founder of CW Design PLLC, expects to see newer, but still simpler, cabinet styles in the kitchen. “Let’s face it: Your decorating style is going to change over the years. So why stick with a Shaker door style that doesn’t match the elegant dining room chairs and beautiful oval cherry table passed down to you from your grandmother?” she says. For a more contemporary approach, Deutschlander suggests Shaker’s style be more graceful and elegant. In spaces that are customized and visually connected, updated cabinet doors can make a big impact.
6. Touches of traditional style
With decorating styles like Americana and Cottage popping up in new ways, expect more traditional elements to return to the kitchen, too. “Now we crave a touch of the old-fashion look,” says Jake T. Galang, the certified kitchen and bath designer (CKBD) behind ILUSTRACION BY JAKE, CORP. For home designs that stray from flat-panel simplicity and ultra-sleek lines, “Now we want to see something familiar like beaded-interior cabinetry,” Galang says. “Makeup colors will be offered again, as well as custom cabinet doors and cab lids.”
This trend can be achieved in smaller doses as well. Pinterest predicts that a major trend in 2023 is finding “new ways to pay homage to old things” at home. The kitchen and its adjoining spaces will serve as a backdrop for bringing vintage and handcrafted pieces, from buffet cabinets to dinnerware to wall decor, into more modern homes.
7. Hidden storage and devices
Storage and organization are top priorities in kitchens. Early in the pandemic, homeowners simply needed more storage for utensils, food, and cookbooks. Now, it’s about creating solutions that keep kitchens organized while hiding clutter. “It’s what’s behind the doors and drawers that affects your life; these solutions will reduce clutter in your home and make it better,” says Deutschlander.
“People really have an organizational choice for the things they use the most each day,” says Schulte. And Schulte recommends stocking up on spices, baking sheets, pots and pans, and even hand towels and sponges. “This allows things that were once on the counter to find their place neatly inside the cabinet,” she says.
Similarly, homeowners are looking for solutions for countertop appliances, including under-counter blender risers and spaces for coffee makers and toasters that can be hidden by cabinet doors when not in use.
Storage rooms and built-in pantries are another popular way to keep storage out of sight. Built-in, paneled appliances fit right in with the trend, too, hiding stainless-steel refrigerators and dishwashers.
8. Field substitutes
Influenced by customization trends and the kitchen’s connection to the rest of the home, the team at Gaggenau anticipates that homeowners will look for alternatives to the range and vent traditionally found along the wall. Paired on an island, for example, cooktops allow the chef to converse more easily with others in the kitchen or adjoining rooms, perfect for entertaining or helping kids with homework before dinner. The same setup allows the chef to enjoy the outdoors in the windowed kitchen. Swapping the vent cover above the range for lower ventilation increases space.