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Rising Trends and Perennial Favorites of Kitchen and Bath Design

“Mindless habitual behavior is the enemy of innovation.”

—Rosabeth Moss Canter
Economist and Professor Harvard Business School


Technological innovation has advanced its influence on daily life. Its permeation into homes raises the demand for functionality, safety, and convenience over everything else. In the next few years, the kitchen and bath industry will see its color palette widen and a mature integration of artificial intelligence (AI) technology, making the developments innovators describe as coming attractions perform extremely well and at a lower cost than possible today.

Gone are the days of the plain white service kitchen. Homeowners want to feel connected to nature, so big windows are in, earth tones are greens and browns, soft, creamy whites, stainless steel and wood, accents, and islands remain popular. Also, in 2024, thousands more homeowners will implement smart appliances in their kitchens. Kitchen and bathroom remodeling investments are projected to top $173 billion this year.

Chances are prospects first come into contact with a business via its website. The website is where prospects see design ideas, catch a glimpse of the products a firm carries, and compare its work with their friend’s new kitchen. The first impression of an enterprise needs to be competitive – not merely up-to-date – attractive and easy to navigate.

Websites are information hubs, the premier place to showcase portfolios and products and display credibility through testimonials and market services. The smartest thing owners can do for their websites is to regularly post videos, photos, and editorial content and refresh their static content quarterly to be more educational and fun to navigate than a competing site.

An overview of kitchen remodeling trends

Given the advancements in technology we’ve seen in the past five years and the sophistication of social media, homeowners are discovering more about products online in much greater numbers than just five years ago.

With the increased use of social media by independent kitchen and bath businesses, the accessibility of learning about products through YouTube personalities and podcasts, and the sophistication of websites, homeowners are learning more than ever about products and services without stepping into a showroom.

Increased consumer awareness of humans’ impact on the earth is a thematic prelude to today’s homeowners’ desire to establish or broaden their connection to nature by implementing earth tones, sustainability themes, smart devices, alternative methods of cooking, drink stations, and functional, open spaces with larger islands in their remodels.

It’s all about green – green walls, backsplashes, cabinets, accents, and sustainability. It’s no wonder that green is a rising kitchen design motif, given the increased interest in recycling, upcycling, composting, energy-efficient lighting, and using devices that have less of an impact on the earth. According to a recent Houzz survey, 92% of homebuyers intend to utilize eco motifs and sustainable accoutrements in their kitchen designs.

Brushed gold faucets are in

For decades, polished silver was the front-runner choice for faucets. Silver has its place as a beautiful accent, though tastes have moved away from polished finishes for the subdued looks of braised and matte finishes. They perfectly complement the earthy looks now popular in kitchen remodeling motifs.

Gold is coming up big. In 2024, gold faucets are predicted to be the number one choice for new kitchens commissioned.

Since warm, earthy colors are in, gold is the perfect accent for dark hardwoods. It’s an attractive complement to hardwood accents, warm whites, yellows, and greens, which are increasingly popular in remodeling.

The predicted second choice is tied between stainless steel and black. Stainless steel is a perennial favorite, and perhaps it is the most common faucet color, but matte finishes replace the previously dominant polished finish since they don’t carry fingerprints. Black matte finishes rival gold as an exceptional look paired with inviting earthy colors that define the times.

Complementing spaciousness with backsplashes

Solid surfaces are the most popular choice for backsplashes. It’s easy to see why. They’re easier to clean than tile and complement the color blocking that’s become so popular in recent months. Natural themes, such as earthy tones with color pops of yellows and greens complemented by solid surface backsplash, celebrate open space with fewer lines.

It’s no wonder solid surfaces are the most popular choice for backsplashes – they’re easy to clean. Flat, groutless, low-maintenance surfaces are the prevailing definition of kitchen looks. This year, designs such as chevron, herringbone, and subway styles will also be popular design patterns.

For example, the trend with kitchen styling, emerging warm colors, neutrals, earth tones, and muted colors are expected to rise in popularity. Ceramic tile is the most popular backsplash, while porcelain, stainless steel, and glass remain popular.

Elegant alternatives to marble countertops

Though beautiful and endearing, marble’s popularity is tapering in kitchen design simply because it is difficult to maintain. Marble surfaces require extra care to keep clean, so it can be cumbersome for larger families, especially those with younger children, to keep it in its best condition.

Quartzite is arguably as beautiful as marble and much easier to maintain. Although quartzite is porous like stone, it is easily maintained once it has been sealed. It’s attractive and faster to clean, making it an ideal replacement.

Granite and sintered stone are also gaining attention. Granite is a beautiful, less expensive alternative to marble, while the also chic sintered stone provides a silica-free alternative that is gaining positive notice.

What is sintered stone?

Sintered stone is a compound made from a mix of high-pressure and high-heat materials to create solid stone. It is an attractive alternative to quartz that does not involve chemical binding or silica for manufacturing.

Accenting the “wide open space” feel through cabinetry

Homeowners are opting to increase the flat space look of their kitchens with full overlay models because they’re easier to clean and offer a sleek, beautiful look. Shaker cabinets remain popular, though the details of their designs mean they take longer to clean. Tastes have shifted to the chicness of fewer lines, making cabinet surfaces easier to clean and giving spaces a more open feel.

Increasing storage capacity

Functionality is the kitchen feature par excellence. Storage is arguably the biggest concern for homeowners. There’s a demand for cabinets to provide more storage, push to open assessability, and intuitive design. For these reasons, floor-to-ceiling cabinetry and deep, lower cabinets are popular because they offer maximum storage. As in other kitchen areas such as islands and backsplashes, built-in charging stations are expanding the multifunctionality of these spaces.

Green is the biggest “in” color

Green cabinets, walls, and backsplashes – accents of green are everywhere in kitchens nowadays.

Why has green become so popular?

It was a featured pallet color at EuroCucina in Milan last year. Becoming a pallet color means that green will remain popular for years.

Green is a classic color in American homes. From the jade and pastel greens of the 1920s to the deep forest green of the 1930s and emeralds and mint preferred in the 40s, avocado and moss greens of the 60s and 70s, hunter green in the 80s and 90s, olives and taupe shades of the 2000s, and forest and emerald green that came back around to popular choice in the 10s through today – shades of green have had over a century of prominent inclusion in the most used room of home.

It is a terrific complement to the classic neutral colors that have long been prominent in kitchen design: black, white, gray, and tan.

Another reason is that green is a biphilic reference. Kitchens that enhance the user’s connection with nature raise interest among homeowners.

Wall-length windows and blocks of green color found on such principal features of a kitchen as cabinets or walls evoke the healing presence of nature.

Green is an indelible aspect of the earthy motif in trend. It is also a classic touch to pair with black, silver, blue, and traditional mostly white kitchens.

The evolving kitchen sink

Homeowners don’t just want bigger spaces – they want more from their spaces.

Multifunctionality is practically an unsung theme within the eco-smart trend. More and more kitchens will feature multipurpose workstations. What used to be a sink is now decked out with a fabulous array of accouterments.

Building off the grand theme of sustainability, their countertops come in noble materials such as granite and stone, both pleasing to look at and to the touch with less fuss as they don’t carry fingerprints to the degree polished materials do.

Smart sinks feature touchless taps, single basins, integrated chopping boards, drying racks, and built-in waterfalls, making them hygienic spaces where dishes can be sorted, stacked, cleaned, and dried.

Evolution and integration of smart appliances

By a percentage well over half and growing, Americans are participating in the effort to conserve energy and reduce the use of fossil fuels. Americans want their kitchens to be versatile. We want aesthetic beauty and multipurpose workspaces and multi-functional appliances.

It’s possible to arrive home after a long day with a carload of groceries and turn on the lights inside the house from the driveway – and play the latest The Economist podcast, receive the evening’s dinner recipe for a Thai Basil Chicken stir fry whose vegetables are chopped and ready on the counter, and whose rice has just finished cooking upon entering the kitchen – all prescheduled and controllable by touch and voice command on a phone.

Access charging stations on either side of the island bar, beside the refrigerator, and behind the breakfast table. Stock up on energy that can power a house for months via a power generator tucked into the side of the house, which replenishes energy sources every day – on cloudy as well as sunny days.

Those remodeling a room in their homes, as well as new homebuyers, have become intrinsic to the movement towards Eco-Friendly measures becoming part of the homeowning experience.

Americans have moved further away from the era of noisy, energy-hogging appliances, and disregarding renewable resources and into the era of recycling, up cycling, and lower emissions.

Modern homes are equipped.

  • Upcycled lighting fixtures
  • Solar panel kitchen lighting
  • Integration with home automation systems
  • Quiet, energy-efficient, space-saving appliances
  • Recycling systems that turn food into energy for plants
  • Technologies that minimize carbon footprint, i.e. solar power appliances, composting systems to make fertilizer
  • Recycling stations

The kitchen as a learning center

With the advent of programmable refrigerators offering recipes and meal preparation and the media being saturated with the prevalence of cooking classes, kitchens can be stylized as culinary education centers.

Kitchens already serve as the meeting ground in most American homes, why not augment the experience of spending time in the most popular room in the home as a space where meals are prepared?


Virtual cooking classes

The home culinary world is transforming through virtual reality. Through VR, homeowners are to take cooking immersion classes. Why not learn how to make polish sausage or borscht?

With VR, the kitchen becomes a laboratory for learning and trying out recipes, while the refrigerator becomes an assistant, helping to plan meals and giving reminding when needed items are in low stock – or that there’s a social function in the backyard on Saturday so chips, salsa, wine, beer and soft drinks are needed for it.


Smart refrigerators

New features will include mobile leak detection alerts, menu recommendations, push to open functionality, electric power failure mobile alerts, and looks that blend seamlessly with the kitchen design. Modern refrigerators deliver maximum energy efficiency and a minimizing of upkeep, offering peace of mind for aging in place.


Light curation in dynamic households

Variable lighting styles from room to room are fundamental for households with lots of activity. From study light to cooking light to ambient light, homeowners need their lighting to suit their needs. One multipurpose room commonly has multiple light sources serving specific needs in a single setting.

Well-curated rooms often feature a mix of lighting techniques.

  • Ambient lighting sets mood and designates the parameters of activity
  • Accent lighting accentuates the beauty of paintings, furniture, bookshelves and so forth
  • Task lighting brightens areas where activities are performed, such as above island countertops and sinks and under cabinets

Sustainability is a grand theme of the 21st century. Increased environmental concerns mean recent innovations have supplanted long-term standards.

LED (light emitting diode) bulbs last 50 times longer than incandescent lighting, which has been phased out of production. Products and features promoting environmental friendliness and efficiency will continue to saturate the market.

Smart lighting is a rising standard in home remodeling. Features such as app and voice- controlled lighting are convenient, energy-conserving, and safer. Homeowners can turn lights in any room of the home on or off from anywhere.

Trending lighting ideas

Sculptural statements

Create bold expressions with light sculpting fixtures. Sculptured lighting creates or alters its focal point and plays a crucial role in setting the mood and highlighting the design of a room.

Try pendant lighting in wood, glass, or metal above dining room tables or breakfast nooks. Pendants are the perfect approach to creating a desired atmospheric effect for a special events, such as celebrating birthdays and holidays in the kitchen.


Wall washers

Highlight the contours of furniture and design elements in the kitchen. Wall washes attract by accenting different spaces in a room. They may be used to make a room appear larger and highlight decorative design elements. Add a bit of uniqueness to the kitchen with wall-mounted luminaries.


Rustic looks

Auburn, browns, yellows, and bronze provide coziness and are a classic-worn, enduring feature for kitchens.

  • Wood is a perennial favorite for antique designs
  • Mounted copper lamps to ceilings with rope cords are becoming popular
  • Rattan lighting, with its natural look, versatile texture, and aesthetic beauty, is an appealing choice

Incidentally, copper has become a hot option due to its impressive, stately beauty and is being used especially in pendant, floor, and wall lamp fixtures.


Combined sources

Many homeowners are opting to provide warm and cool lighting for their kitchen. These can be mixed and matched for great effect, whether using bright, cool blue light for entertaining or family time or warm orange light during downtimes. Combined source lighting enables control of any light setting from one access point.


Outdoor lighting

Enhancing outdoor entertaining capability can augment the kitchen’s connection to nature and increase the home’s value. Try bollard lights leading from French doors to the garden, string lights to accent terrace furniture, and up-and-down lights to beautify the home’s edifice at night.


Dedicated work stations

Coffee shops and restaurant kitchens influence homes as liquor cabinets did centuries ago. The majority of homeowners – 60% at the time of writing – remodeling their kitchens are interested in having dedicated workstations.

  • Coffee bars with espresso machines
  • Smoothie stations
  • Snack concession
  • Meat prep
  • Vegetable prep

In some cases, such as smoothie stations and coffee bars, these workstations may be situated away from the main food prep area to better utilize the room’s available space.


Cook in a variety of ways

Heat induction cooking rages have a sleek glass surface, making the range nearly flush with countertops. Induction ranges are safer to use than gas because no flame is involved. It is safer and more cost effective than gas or electric heating as induction heats only the surface of the cooking material designed to be used with it and cools rapidly, making it a contributor to energy conservation.

Induction heat cooks faster because all of the electromagnetic charge from the coils is transferred directly to the surface it is heating. Therefore, there is no direct heat loss in the transfer, and it cools in seconds. Many new models come with built-in air fryers for a healthier way to fry food.


It’s all about the design

Space-saving pull-out appliances are all the rage. Two-door dishwashers to accommodate smaller loads and quick washes use less water. Pull-out refrigerators with added compartmentalization and multi-cook style ovens, all with the option to draw attention to the beauty of the design or blend into the background.


Connection to the outdoors

From Generation Z to baby boomers, outdoor motifs, such as kitchen remodeling, are enjoying rising popularity. Homeowners want their designs to create a seamless connection to the outdoors. Remodeling preferences are for artisanal craftsmanship to insinuate a uniqueness of design into the functionality of the space.

Wood accents are a clear front-runner and create nature-influenced designs. Perennial favorites oak and pine are seeing competition from white oak and walnut.

Sustainability is the theme within a theme when creating an outdoor-inspired environment. In fact, from products offered to products in demand, eco-friendly measures are a top priority in kitchen design. From environmentally friendly countertops to solar-powered lighting and design ideas that call for building around nature, recycled materials are hot since they minimize waste and energy consumption.

Energy-efficient outdoor kitchens featuring grills with remote access, outdoor refrigeration, custom-made pizza ovens, custom-made cabinetry, griddles, bar stations, outdoor fireplaces, and composting setups are luxury installations that respond to growing environmental concerns. In turn, equipping homes with modern technology increases the value of the investment, creating long-term savings for homeowners.

Bio-friendly eco designs are all the rage. Eco design brings homeowners closer to nature by integrating the structure of an environment around the contours of its natural surroundings both using and highlighting that micro area’s natural resources. Such designs enhance the experience of outdoor dining spaces and are serene, environmentally friendly, and aesthetically pleasing.

Bath remodeling trends

The name of the game in bathroom remodeling is smart design and personal touch. From smart toilets to smart tubs, AI has influenced bathroom design in a big way.

TV monitors in vanities, sound systems supplied by ceiling and wall mounted speakers, touch access on the tub sink and tub, and voice-activated for controlling the music and monitor play with simple commands.

While they’ve been hiding in the shadows of early adopter use for over a decade, around 60% of toilet installs will now be smart bathroom design fixtures. Everything from bidet capability to heated seats, self-raising and lowering seats, and changing stations are becoming standard features.


Bathing in the connection to nature

As sustainability is a crucial motif in 21st-century home design, eco-friendly fixtures are also rising in bathroom remodeling. Intelligent energy and water-conserving faucets and showers. Regarding aesthetics’ role in bathrooms envisioning new bathrooms, there is an increase in demand for natural materials, such as stone, wood, and granite, for bathtubs. Homeowners opting for luxury are placing built-in shelves for toiletries, towels, books, and candles.


Creating the home spa feel

Tech is transforming bathing into a personal spa.

Tubs featuring jet streams, smart temperature, screen control for accessing music and shows, product dispensing shelves, and towel storage within easy reach, escalate bathing from relaxing moments to a sublime experience.

Today, a bath can be a quick dip or an emulsion in a full-fledged wellness center with the therapeutic benefits of hydrotherapy and aromatherapy. Homeowners can voice activate mood lighting to curate a luminescence suited to how they feel.

The naturalistic theme extends from the kitchen into the vanity setting. Organic materials, such as wood and stone, and plants are adoring modern bathroom design. Combining natural elements with sophisticated features creates a peaceful aesthetic that naturally relaxes and uniquely stimulates the imagination.


The luxurious touch of color

The bathroom is being reimagined as a living oasis with potted plants flowers and hanging gardens. Cool blues pinks and greens are in vogue for bathroom design. Softer color such as pastels create a feeling of openness and relaxation. Live greenery not only freshens the air but also layers in a charming, calming ambiance.

Homeowners are also selecting mint and emerald touches to wallpaper to give the room an organic, forest-oasis-like ambience and push out the theme of connecting with nature and state- of-the-art technology.


Personalized lighting

Homeowners are curating their bathrooms with mood-enhancement lighting. Lighting can be specified to preference through voice commands that match the intended effect, such as by saying “work morning” during the work week or “lazy afternoon” on the weekend, set by the user to achieve the intended effect quickly.

Light curation goes much further than dimming and brightening with circadian lighting and pathway lighting. Circadian lighting follows the human internal 24-hour clock and is alterable by intensity, color, and stimulus tuning, all used to promote well-being. It’s a good idea to use cool light in the daytime to mimic the brightness outside. It’s also a better light for indoor activities such as cooking or reading.

At nighttime, it’s healthier to use warm, softer light. Low yellow light is easier on the eyes. Rooms backlit with soft yellow lighting when watching movies when the other lights are off take the strain from a monitor’s glare off the eyes. Pathway lighting, such as emanating from cabinet bases, makes getting into and out of the tub safer.

Embracing the present for future prosperity

Modern kitchen and bath design benefits from the outpouring of recent AI advancements.

Aesthetic preferences call for multifunctional space in the kitchen and Zen-like atmospheres in the bathroom. Eco considerations and comfort are priorities in both areas of the home and are the grand motifs of design trends.

We will see the continued marriage of vintage and ultramodern tastes creating bold, personal statements in American homes. In these homes, comfort is surrounded by nature-inspired settings, and the home itself is a testament to environmental conservation and healthy living.

Independent kitchen and bath firms should demonstrate their insight into the future of home remodeling on their websites and in their showrooms, through the products they offer and services they provide.

These efforts help elevate customers to new heights in home remodeling as more homeowners take environmental concerns to heart and opt for the latest tech innovations to enjoy the most pleasurable home life.

The kitchen and bath industry is a resilient and highly nuanced economic juggernaut that shows signs of becoming an even bigger influence on home remodeling trends in the decades to come.

—SEN Design Group


Contact us to learn how to master strategic planning, sell more product into every job, leverage industry-specific tech developments, Good-Better-Best selling, and other smart kitchen and bath design implementations at one of SEN University’s esteemed in-person schools and online business courses.