It is that time of the year again!
All the interior design trends for 2023 are getting posted.
Every year I do my research early January and put together what I feel will be trending in Kitchen design for the upcoming year.
I then attend KBIS (The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) to see if the show’s displays agree with me.
Also, starting last year I stopped by the Designer Discussions podcast to talk about KBIS trends and this year I’ll be with them again the first week of February.
I feel 2023 is going to be the beginning of a direction change for kitchen design overall, so let’s jump in and see if you agree.
Many of you have probably heard the saying:
Everything old is new again.
This is what I feel will be directing kitchen design trends in 2023 and beyond.
I see many of the design features that were “lost” from 15 or 20 years ago will be reinstated in a fresh new way.
The past decade really focused on the white kitchen with bright white shaker cabinet doors, white/grey marble like quartz counters and white subway tile.
The standard layout was L-shaped with an island and included very simple details throughout.
Clean and simple was how this type of kitchen design was described.
Of course we saw trends such as floating shelves, mixed metals, light wood trimmed hoods and statement lighting layered over this popular kitchen, but overall the design was pretty basic.
But, I predict moving forward we will be looking to bring back more details and uniquness to our client’s kitchens.
No more cookie cutter design!
My Top 7 Kitchen Design Trends for 2023
1. Color on Cabinets
Color is always a great place to start when looking at trends.
Moving forward we will see a warming of the pallet.
White kitchens are not going away, but they will be sporting warmer whites like ivory, rather than the stark cool whites that dominated for the past several years.
I also see designers and clients embracing many different colors without any one of them dominating like the cool grey that was the go-to accent kitchen cabinet color for years.
Look for warm blues, greens, mauves, saffron, terracotta and even taupe to start showing up on all the kitchen cabinets in the space, not just on the island.
With this bold use of color, kitchen designers are going to have to study up on color theory to get it right.
Knowing how to successfully put together a complementary, analogous, tertiary or split complementary color schemes will be a useful skillset in the next several years!
Designers are also going to have to embrace wood stains again.
The warming of the pallet has been a reaction to more stained wood cabinets sneaking back into kitchens.
Look for medium toned and rich dark toned stains to reemerge as trending cabinet finishes.
And of course, they will be slightly different than the tones we saw 10 to 20 years ago.
2. Cabinet Details
This is something that kitchen designers did extremely well in the past.
Today’s designers will be customizing client’s kitchen cabinetry by including details such as corner posts, pilasters, stacked mouldings, door inserts, plinth arches, furniture kicks and aprons, or what I call applied ornamentation.
The difference here from the 90’s and 2000’s applied ornamentation will be restraint.
Back then we were including details that featured a lot of “hand” carving and over the top decoration that evoked a very Italian or French villa vibe.
The details for 2023 will be more classic with motifs echoing Arts & Crafts rather than Art Nouveau.
Cabinet door styles will also feature more details.
Again, we will not be seeing the raised panel door with applied moulding as a trend, but recessed panel doors with and interesting outside edge and unique interior sticking will be featured.
Door inserts made from metal or wicker to add texture will be popular.
In a few years, simple white shaker door kitchens void of any detail will really look dated.
3. Mixing it Up
This third trend is what will update today’s kitchens from those of the past.
The detailed kitchens we were designing decades ago tended to feature a single cabinet finish, the same metal finish throughout and a single countertop material.
Contemporary kitchens will be a stylistic mashup with 2 or 3 cabinet finishes, more than one countertop and mixed metals.
In the last few years, designers were including two different cabinet finishes in a kitchen but watch for 3 or even 4 cabinet finishes in a single kitchen.
This could include wall cabinets in one finish, base cabinets in another and a separate finish or color on the island.
A fourth finish could be applied to a specialty area in the kitchen such as a built in hutch or banquette.
Providing more than one countertop surface in a kitchen makes great sense from a functional stand point and adds interest to a space.
We will also be seeing the mixed metal trend getting even stronger as designers and consumer get more comfortable with this trend and push the boundaries on it even more.
This mixing it up of finishes will definitely produce some stunning kitchen designs in 2023.
4. Statement Countertops
With designers mixing more than one countertop within a single kitchen, we will be seeing the use of more statement countertops.
Decades ago we were using a lot of granite on counters in a variety of patterns.
The industry then moved over to very plain countertops in neutral white and grey tones.
Watch for the return of strong patterns but with a difference.
This stems from the ability to manufacture unique patterns through manmade quartz and porcelain materials.
Watch for these strong eye catching colors and patterns accenting islands and as slab backsplashes.
The warming of the pallet will also see more wood countertops being used in contemporary kitchen design.
As you will see in trend #5 the wood counters in 2023 will celebrate the unique graining found in this counter material.
5. Organic/Natural Decor
A new decor style that cropped into kitchen design recently is called Organic/Natural.
It produces a harmony between man-made elements and the natural world, featuring woods, stones, glass and metals with eco-friendly products front and center.
I feel this is a new version of the “Green” movement of the early 2000’s.
For designers and consumers that are still drawn to a clean and simple look, organic/natural is the trend to embrace now.
The difference from the plain and simple white shaker kitchen and that of the organic/natural one, is in the celebration of the materials.
Organic/Natural includes such things as beautifully grained woods, interesting veined marbles, hand blown glass and “live” metals that will patina with time.
This trend will see designers specifying eco friendly materials as much as possible in new kitchens.
This trend will also compliment the warmer color pallet emerging.
6. Supporting Kitchen Zones
The pandemic showed everyone the importance of being prepared and began the trend for better designed pantries.
This trend will continue and expand to other supporting kitchen zones in 2023.
The ideal pantry will be a separate room large enough to accommodate additional functions such as a bake center, a breakfast zone or a coffee bar.
Pantry design will take cues from former scullery’s that were small rooms off the kitchen used for messy kitchen work.
Additional supporting kitchen zones that will be popping up in contemporary kitchen design include butler’s pantries, beverage bars and built-in hutches.
Designers began including these zones in kitchens a few years back, but they will be getting more attention, standing out as focal points in greatroom design.
7. Architectural Details
My last prediction for 2023 is the inclusion of more architectural details in kitchens.
The ceiling or fifth wall will be getting the attention it needs to support the more detailed kitchen designs being developed.
Watch for natural wood beams, coffered ceilings and intricate panel moulding designs to be featured on contemporary ceilings in kitchens.
Blank walls in the kitchen will no longer be left plain with designers again adding detail to them to balance the detailed millwork in the rest of the room.
Basic flat stock trim will also begin to look dated with more detailed casings and baseboards being specified to support the details in the kitchen cabinetry.
Also watch for more arches at doorways, cased openings and niches.
I noticed this in a few KBIS booths last year and expect to see it expanded on this year.
The square hard lines of kitchen architecture of the past decade will begin to soften, introducing curves and arches.
Looking Forward to 2023!
I must admit that I am very excited to see how designers will be interpreting these 7 trends in 2023.
It reminds me of the unique kitchens I was designing in the early 2000s.
It definitely is going to be an exciting time!
I’d love to hear your thoughts before I head down to KBIS in a few weeks. Please leave me a comment below.
Jan Rutgers has been designing for over 25 years. Developing functional layouts for every area of the home is her passion. She has designed more than 1000 kitchens in her career, learning valuable skills with each one!
Her experience in Kitchen Design, Millwork Manufacturing and Product Development has led her to create VESTABUL SCHOOL OF DESIGN where she educates and mentors people passionate about the Kitchen Design Industry.
Thanks Jan! Terrific trend report. I always appreciate your insights and contributions to the K&B industry.
I really feel a design direction change in the air. I guess we will see if the KBIS exhibitors agree!
Hi Jan, Yes I just completed a cream kitchen with a stained cherry island and a custom 10’ cherry hutch, & another design currently has the island mashed together with a Dekton countertop married with a walnut butcher block custom table abutting it. My 3rd design I just completed has soft cream cabinets with grey washed brushed strokes and a black glaze along the cabinet detailing the architecture on cabinet with a separate deep brown wood desk along the side so 3 cabinet colors total, 3 different quartz tops. I have 2 designs currently in development both incorporating faux wood beams on the ceiling one straight the other is in a pattern. It will be fun year!
Wow Brian, those kitchen sound fantastic. Would love to see pics once installed. Reach out and maybe we can do a blog collaboration. Thanks for sharing, Jan