Top 12 Kitchen Trends

See how these hot kitchen design ideas can make your kitchen more beautiful, more functional, and better organized than ever.

1. Curving Shapes in the Kitchen

Designers are throwing curves into kitchens, breaking up the conventional straight and boxy look in soft new ways. Rounded kitchen sinks, curved faucets, bowed cabinetry, and curvaceous islands are changing the shape and feel of the kitchen's usually linear spaces.

On this island, a stainless steel cylinder holds the kitchen sink and rounds out the corner for a pleasant departure from the expected.

2. Mix and Match Styles and Materials

A dash of this, a pinch of that. Kitchen design ideas embrace a unique and sometimes surprising mix of styles for 21st-century kitchens. In this remodeled kitchen, exposed-brick walls mingle with modern stainless steel and an arch-shape smoky glass backsplash that's a little '70s. Such juxtapositions in materials, styles, and eras give the favorite room of the home its own brand of character and intrigue.

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3. Furniture Details for Kitchen Cabinets

Exquisite flourishes on kitchen cabinets and islands create the look of fine furniture. In this kitchen, take away the decorative brackets below the cabinets and the look is merely status quo. With the brackets in place, the cabinets appear grander. On base cabinets, furniture-style feet added to the toe-kicks give built-in pieces the look of unfitted cabinets, an increasingly popular look borrowed from Europe.

For more ways to add furniturelike details, see:

4. Incorporating Artistic Details

Adding unexpected details like artful imagery has made this once-humble farmhouse sink a fashionable option.

Even when retaining a country look in classic white, fine detailing like this pheasant imagery and molded designs brings a delightful look to an apron-front sink.

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5. Restaurant-Inspired Conveniences

Popularized by TV chefs and restaurant-based reality shows, features common to gourmet kitchens are becoming desirable amenities for at-home cooks too. Pot-filler faucets, for example, fill the bill for convenience as well as style.

Instead of toting heavy water-filled pots from the sink, cooks can simply fill 'er up at the cooktop. Integrated into the wall, this faucet shimmers against a backdrop of glass tile. Other popular gourmet touches that take their cue from restaurants include tall gooseneck-style faucets and glass-front refrigerators.

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6. Exotic and Colorful Countertops

Well-placed indulgences can transform a room. Such is the case with island countertops, which step out in showy surfaces and punchy colors that provide a wow factor in the kitchen.

The trend toward exotic and colorful plays out on this island, where glacial blue glazed lava stone shines against pale blue glass tiles on the column. More conventional surfaces such as quartz can also provide the all-important element of surprise when the color is bold and unexpected.

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7. Scaled-Down Kitchen Appliances

Small but mighty best describes a new wave of drawer-style kitchen appliances. Dishwasher drawers, usually installed in pairs, offer flexibility to run small loads. When the drawers flank the sink, as in this kitchen, the higher placement makes for easy loading and unloading.

Also on the pullout appliance front, warming drawers are making cold meals a thing of the past, and refrigerator drawers with kid-friendly accessibility are freeing up beverage and snack space in the main fridge.

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8. Tucked-Away Laundry Areas

Washers and dryers are finding new homes concealed in kitchen cabinetry. Although best-suited for a pantry (to reduce noise and offer a discreet place for dirty laundry), in some kitchens washers and dryers fit right into the core work zone. A removable toe-kick allows these built-in front-loading units to be pulled out for servicing.

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9. Open Shelving

An open-minded approach puts a light spin on kitchens, thanks to shelves that supplement or even replace upper cabinets. These bracketed shelves hung against beaded board strike a nostalgic note. But the look easily shifts to contemporary with stainless-steel "floating" shelves against a plain wall.

Along with everyday dishes, treasured collections are being put on display, bringing a decorative touch to a room that until recent years was all about function.

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10. Vintage-Look Kitchen Appliances

What's new is old with stoves and refrigerators. Remodeling purists who want to give their old homes a comforting connection to the past clamor for ranges that mimic cookstoves and paneled fridges that resemble iceboxes. Even real-deal appliances from the '40s and '50s are being called back into action in some kitchens.

There's one big difference with reproductions such as this range, though: They're fully loaded with modern conveniences. The return of vintage style also means a return to color in kitchen appliances. Available in colors such as bright red, cobalt blue, or soft yellow, vintage-inspired appliances bring focal-point color to the kitchen.

For more appliance ideas with vintage flair, see:

11. Custom Kitchen Storage

A place for everything in its place is the mantra for ultra-organized kitchens. Behind doors and drawers, custom-size shelves, slots, and trays cradle cutting boards, cookie sheets, knives, and more.

Pullout recycling bins, more efficient lazy Susans, drawers for stacking dishware, and other organizational features are so much in demand that you'll find units that can be retrofitted into your existing cabinets as well as options for new cabinetry. These little organizational extras add a great deal of function and are often what homeowners end up loving the most.

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12. Pendant Lighting

Lighting is eye candy for the kitchen, a sumptuous finishing touch. Hung as a trio, these shapely glass pendants provide a big sculptural boost in addition to being an ideal source of task lighting. The real beauty of pendants, whether they're miniatures hung above an island or bowl-style fixtures above a table, is they offer a chance to be creative and bring some drama with minimal effort and cost.

For stylish ways to add pendant lighting,

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