Design trends are always evolving, but it is important for the kitchen designer to be on top of decor styles popular with consumers, not just with what the design world dictates.

Every year surveys are conducted by companies such as Houzz and organizations like The National Kitchen & Bath Association, to determine the most popular decor styles for kitchens. Both consumers and kitchen design professionals participate.

Every year I will look at these surveys and analyze them to understand what consumers are really looking for in their kitchen decor.

  • Are there decor looks that are becoming more popular?
  • Are there looks that are falling by the way side?
  • What is classic in the eyes of the consumer?
  • What decor styles should I be presenting to my clients?

When analyzing these surveys, it is not about finding the hottest look or what is the most trendy kitchen style for the year, but to determine what decor style consumers really want to include in their homes.

Here is what I found

The Top Consumer Kitchen Decor styles for 2020

Transitional

Kitchen design in the Transitional style. Transitional kitchen decor is the number one choice with consumers
Transitional Kitchen Design

This is the most popular decor style for kitchens reported by consumers. It is also a look that kitchen designers like to work with.

Transitional style is defined as the combining of Modern and Traditional styles in to an up to date look. This decor style for kitchens has been a popular one for the past several years.

It is a clean and serene look that works well in today’s homes.

It also is a style that many couples can agree on since it sits in the middle of two other popular looks. In essence, the best of both worlds.

The color scheme for a Transitional Kitchen is often neutral, pulling from the woods of traditional style and the simple color schemes of modern style.

Contemporary

Kitchen in the Contemporary decor style. This is a style that is defined as being popular at the moment.
Contemporary Kitchen Design

The number two most popular decor style for kitchens is Contemporary.

Contemporary decor style is defined by what is popular now, or of-the-moment design.

It can also be a decor style for kitchens that is popular in a particular area. Contemporary Kitchen style can be different from one city to another and even from one neighborhood to another.

Generally, this style can be both trendy and classic, appealing to many consumers.

Almost any color scheme can work, with white being very popular at the moment.

Contemporary is a style that is ever changing and evolves over time, so the kitchen designer needs to be watching for subtle changes. Many of the kitchen decor styles profiled here were once considered Contemporary design.

Modern

Modern kitchen design is gaining in popularity due to its clean and simple lines. This is a great example of a modern grey and white kitchen
Modern Kitchen Design

Modern decor style is inching its way up in popularity with consumers. It stands at number three on the 2020 list.

Modern is a style that evolved out of the Mid-Century Modern movement in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

It is a very sleek and sophisticated style that is best developed with very simple color schemes.

It works well in today’s homes, especially apartments and condominiums because of it’s nod to minimalism and clean lines.

It is a decor style that it easy to maintain due to its smooth surfaces with little to no applied ornamentation.

Traditional

Traditional kitchens will always be in style. They work well in larger homes with a lot of architectural detail. This two-toned painted traditional kitchen has dark wood floors in keeping with the details of this look.
Traditional Kitchen Design

It is quite unlikely we will see Traditional Kitchen decor style leave the list any time soon. It is a style that works well with many architectural styles from the past and many consumers are drawn to it’s classic lines.

Traditional decor can take many forms but is defined by details such as turned posts, ogee counter edges, raised panel cabinet doors and focal point hoods.

This style will almost always have dark wood somewhere, be it on the floor or in the cabinetry.

It portrays an elegant and timeless aesthetic and works perfectly in a large home with abundant architectural details.

Farmhouse

Farmhouse kitchens are very inviting and cozy. They are full of charm and often have subway tile backsplash.
Farmhouse Kitchen Design

Farmhouse style has been very popular in the last several years for new kitchens. It may be a style that will wain in the coming years but watch for subtle changes in this country look to keep it current.

It makes the list at number five.

Consumers are attracted to Farmhouse kitchen design because of its welcoming and cozy feel.

Color schemes revolve around white or vintage tones with matte black and wood accents. Subway tile, shiplap and apron front sinks are elements often seen in this decor style.

The style is brimming with details and is perfect for the collector due to its multiple display options.

Additional Popular Kitchen Decor Styles

This next set of decor styles are not in the top five but are still looks consumers are drawn to. Some of them are styles that fit well in homes based on location.

These last four looks are decor styles that kitchen designers should also be familiar with even if they are not the most popular looks in their area. You never know when you will get a request for one of these decor styles.

By knowing about these decor styles, the professional Kitchen Designer will be able to bring to life the dream kitchen of any client.

Let’s look at four more popular kitchen decor styles.

Coastal

Coastal kitchens are inspired by living near the water. This white and blue kitchen is a perfect example of Coastal kitchen design.
Coastal Kitchen Design

Coastal Kitchen design takes it cues from water side living. It is a look that is often found in homes near oceans or lakes.

Its casual laid-back style evokes vacation time, making it popular with consumers.

The details tend to be very simple and delicate with color schemes combining soft, light tones with accents often in blue.

Mediterranean

Mediterranean styled kitchens are full of detail and natural materials. Stone floors, stone countertops and brick walls are the perfect backdrop to the stained in glazed light cabinetry in this Mediterranean kitchen design.
Mediterranean Kitchen Design

Mediterranean style is a favorite of consumers who appreciate the decor styles around the Mediterranean Sea.

In kitchen design this translates into ornate designs often with carved wood accents, curved details and finishes with patina.

Products used in Mediterranean style are inspired by regional materials such as stone, wood, brick, plaster and hand-made tiles.

The proportions of this style are grand and work well in large scaled rooms.

Cottage

For a retro, vintage look choose Cottage style for the kitchen decor style. Bead board, glass cabinet doors and craftsman details are hallmarks of this style.
Cottage Kitchen Design

Cottage styled kitchens meet the needs of consumers looking for a vintage or retro look.

These kitchens include accents such as vintage hardware, light fixtures and accessories. When sourced from antique stores these accents give an authentic look to a Cottage styled kitchen.

These kitchens are also loaded with craftsman details such as bead board, plate racks and simple trims.

Cottage styled kitchens work well in both intimate cottages or large country homes.

Industrial

Industrial kitchen design is the edgiest decor style that makes the top kitchen decor style list. It is a substantial look that has roots in commercial kitchens, Great in a large space.
Industrial Kitchen Design

This last decor style is a look that appeals to edgier consumers.

Industrial decor style is inspired by commercial kitchen design and is a substantial style that can balance large pro-styled appliances.

It is a look that can lean high-tech or rustic and sometimes both.

Industrial styled kitchens work well in loft style spaces or new home construction with double height ceilings and walls of black framed windows.

These nine kitchen decor styles are looks that consumers are drawn to. As stated earlier they are not necessarily the trendiest or the hottest kitchen looks on the market, but are the looks that sell.

These are kitchen decor styles that consumers are asking for and purchasing.

Kitchen designers can benefit their clients by understanding these popular decor styles and by knowing how to include details to get the different looks. As the kitchen expert your clients will expect this knowledge from you.

This knowledge is the Art of Kitchen Design.

To gain more knowledge in the Art of Design as well as the Science and Business of Design, check out “The Beginners Guide to Kitchen Design” here. This course will give you the foundational learning you will need to practice as a professional kitchen designer.

Jan Rutgers is a professional Kitchen Designer with more than 25 years experience. She is the founder of VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN, where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design industry.

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