2012 Kitchen Trend Update

I just offered a great info-packed seminar on Insider Tips to Outstanding Kitchen Design. My colleague, Bruce Roth of Sycamore Kitchens and More started the evening and covered kitchen trends, though his focus was more on structure/function trends. So as an addendum to the evening, I am adding some info on Aesthetic Kitchen Trends.

Design by Interiors by Donna Hoffman/Photo by David Van Scott

A word on trends:

Trends tend to start in city centers – NY, Paris, LA, London, Milan, Madrid – and then ripple out to the “provinces” (that’s 17th century French speak for…the suburbs). It can take as much as 10 years for a trend to move out to the burbs, where it will likely morph, adapt and soften once it gets there.  Add to this the fact that it can take about 10 years for a trend to grow and evolve. Trends don’t just start or stop – they slowly evolve. That’s the good news. The other good news is that more often than not, multiple trends develop and grow at the very same time. Clive Christian will likely not stop making his stunningly embellished provincially-kissed kitchens any time soon. Trends live side by side and break down along various percentage lines (11% of people today select kitchen style X); geographic lines (Macon, Georgia vs. Philadelphia vs. Bucks County vs. Seattle, vs Denver, etc.) AND – trends do of course break down across generational lines.

Here’ s look at just a few the trends gaining steam:


At the recent Architectural Digest Show in NYC, glass kitchens were present everywhere. Sleek and monochromatic sheets of thick opaque glass became the cabinets, became the counter tops – became the full story. The lack of ornamentation in these kitchens WAS the ornamentation and statement.  Don’t get it? Sure you do – that small square glass accent tile you have considered for your back splash is the great, great granddaddy-seed of this growing trend. Don’t turn your nose up until you’ve seen a back-painted glass back splash in any color under the sun. Very fresh for any dweller from city to suburb to seashore. In other words, elements of a trend may be more your steam than the full Monty.

Stainless Steel:

Yup – that’s right. Stainless steel has moved from the appliance to the counter top and to the cabinet as well. Fingerprint haters, this one looks like a heavy wipe down job.

Painted Cabinets Mixed With Stained Cabinets:

This trend continues.  Here in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Bucks County and Princeton – this one seems to be popping up by way of lighter painted perimeter cabinets (soft white) with accent islands in rich stained woods – although ebony painted islands are a hot item on the request list these days too.

There’s so much more to say about kitchen trends, but Alison my blog fairy will yell at me if this post gets too long, so here’s the take-away:  kitchens continue to grow in size (about 12% increase in the last 10 years); people want kitchens to be the hearts of the home and gathering spot still to this day.

In total, there is a growing simplification of embellishment gaining steam, but this trend is true of all of interior design trending today. But as I said to our packed house at our recent seminar – in the end, there is never any trend more important than…YOU. Be wise in design – design to what you love and you will love to live in the design.