Want to update the look of your kitchen? Maybe you’re interested in remodeling your kitchen, or you’re building a brand new home. Or perhaps you just want to upgrade a few important details in your existing kitchen décor. If you’re freshening up your kitchen in any form, before you spend any money, it pays to get informed about the current kitchen design trends for 2016.
2016 Kitchen Style Trends
1. Transitional Style Kitchens
A transitional kitchen is one that incorporates elements that are both traditional and contemporary. Transitional was an important design style for kitchens in 2015, with many homeowners remodeling their kitchens to reflect this style. We expect to see transitional kitchens remaining popular in 2016.
2. Shaker Style Kitchens
“Shaker style” is a style that fits within the broader transitional style. It is a minimalist look that is more traditional than modern style, but shares some common characteristics such as clean, simple lines and an uncluttered appearance.
3. Contemporary Style Kitchens
In 2015, transitional style had a slight edge over contemporary style; however, according to the National Kitchen and Bath Association, contemporary style was surging in popularity and was a close second to transitional style in terms of demand. As 2016 progresses, we expect to continue seeing strong demand for contemporary style kitchens.
4. Traditional Style Kitchens Declining in Popularity, but Still Important
In many areas of the USA, the traditional style declined in popularity in 2015. There are pundits who have even been so bold as to declare “the traditional style is going away.”But is it really, truly going away? We think not.
On one hand, it would be unlikely for this trend to reverse itself as 2016 progresses. On the other hand, we see no evidence that the traditional style is dead; quite the contrary. There’s still plenty of demand for it, and demand is unlikely to completely disappear during this decade. We’ve come to this conclusion since we’re aware of many older homes that were built in the traditional style. We have to wonder, when owners of these older homes are in the market for upgrades, are they all going to bulldoze and build new contemporary style homes? We think this is unlikely. Surely some of them will choose to remodel instead.
If you’re a homeowner in search of style trend ideas for remodeling your own vintage home, here’s something crucial to be aware of: It’s more important for your home’s design to be harmonious than it is for your home to be upgraded with all the latest trends. For example, if you’re renovating an 1890s farmhouse, it doesn’t make any sense to remodel it with ultra-contemporary furnishings. It’s totally acceptable, and even desirable, for you to embrace the traditional style for the home’s new look.
It’s worth noting that multiple prominent manufacturers of kitchen faucets and fixtures have released new product offerings in the traditional category within the last year. This is an indication of how much demand does still exist for kitchen elements in the traditional style. It takes a significant amount of demand to justify the design and product development costs for new offerings such as these.
Demand for traditional style kitchen fixtures is driven in part by homeowners remodeling older traditional style homes. No matter what the current trends are, the style of a home still dictates what its furnishings should look like to a significant degree.
5. Farmhouse Kitchens
Farmhouse style isn’t anything new, but for 2016 it’s the au courant take on country style.
Kitchen Remodeling Trends for 2016
6. Gourmet Kitchens
Many homeowners want to stock their kitchens with all the amenities it takes to cook healthy, delicious gourmet meals. Those who are remodeling their kitchens are making space in both their floor plans and their budgets for these amenities.
7. Home Offices, Docking Stations and Work Stations in the Kitchen
In 2015, the National Kitchen and Bath Association reported that desk or home office space has been created in a majority of new kitchens being designed by their members — approximately two-thirds of them. This space is also likely to include a docking station for recharging mobile devices.
8. The Decline of the Traditional Kitchen Table
When remodeling older kitchens in 2016, many homeowners continue to replace their kitchen tables with other choices such as kitchen islands or additional counter space.
Among those who are choosing to keep tables in their kitchens, pub tables, tall gathering tables and counter height tables are trendy choices for 2016. These tables are characterized by their height; they are typically 36 to 42 inches tall, which is taller than the standard kitchen table height of 30 inches.
9. Open Floor Plans
Open floor plans aren’t new by any means; this is a mature trend that is still current for 2016.
Kitchen Color Trends for 2016
10. White Kitchens — White is currently the most popular color for kitchens, particularly for kitchen cabinets. Other popular kitchen elements include white kitchen tile backsplashes and white appliances.
11. Gray Kitchens — Gray is still a noteworthy color for every room in the home in 2016, but it’s an especially popular choice for decorating the kitchen.
12. Black Kitchens — Black is popping up in many kitchens, and many manufacturers are banking on black to be a noteworthy color for kitchens in 2016.
Kitchenaid is a manufacturer that’s betting on black as an up and coming color trend in the kitchen, as evidenced by their recent release of a brand new collection of black stainless steel kitchen appliances.
Since an all black kitchen would be dark and overwhelming, it’s ideal to pair the black with another lighter color, perhaps white, a pale shade of gray or a light grayish blue.
13. Blue Kitchens — A range of blues are currently popular in 2016, and they’re all workable for use in decorating the kitchen. Navy blue and lighter blues pair beautifully with white, gray or other colors to complete the look.
14. Color Blocked Kitchens — Two-tone and color blocked kitchens were trendy in 2015, and we expect to see them remain popular in 2016 as well.
Kitchen Cabinet Trends for 2016
15. Shaker Style Kitchen Cabinets — Shaker style cabinets are characterized by their simplicity. They are noteworthy for their lack of ostentation.
For those who want wooden cabinets, the Shaker style can be a great way to showcase the natural beauty of the wood. For those who prefer the clean look of a white painted cabinet, Shaker style cabinets are also a top choice. Either way, these cabinets tend to have simple recessed centers, and they are noteworthy for their lack of ornate mouldings.
This type of cabinet works well in just about any style of kitchen. It can look traditional, modern, contemporary, transitional or retro, depending on the hardware you choose and the other surrounding elements.
16. Frameless European-Style Kitchen Cabinets — This type of cabinetry is characterized by its lack of frame and easy accessibility.
17. Pullouts and Rollouts for Kitchen Cabinets — Decluttering is a hot trend in 2016. If you want to declutter the kitchen, pullouts give you options for getting organized and maintaining a clean, uncluttered look.
One example: In the past, you might have stored your kitchen knives in a butcher’s block knife organizer on the kitchen counter. In 2016, you can opt for a butcher’s block knife organizer that’s built into a pullout for your kitchen cabinet, so it’s no longer cluttering up your countertop.
18. The Addition of Lazy Susans in the Cabinets — It makes sense to install lazy susans in your kitchen cabinets to help you organize and find things in hard-to-reach places.
19. Open Shelving — Open shelving has its advantages; it eliminates the “out of sight, out of mind” phenomenon. Storing your treasures in the open can save you time because you won’t need to hunt around for things hidden behind closed doors.
We think this trend has its downsides, too. This is a trend for people who are consistently able to keep up with the dusting and straightening up around their places. If that isn’t you, think twice before abandoning the safety of your cabinet doors.
Trendy Kitchen Appliances for 2016
20. Cooktop and Wall Oven Combinations — Homeowners and home builders are embracing the wall oven in increasing numbers, as evidenced by the growth of this sector of the appliance market.
21. The Decline of Freestanding Stoves — Freestanding stoves have been hugely popular in the past, and they remain so in 2016. However, their market share is declining.
22. The Decline of the Side by Side Refrigerator-Freezer — While this is the most popular refrigerator / freezer configuration, it has been declining in market share in the recent past.
23. Freezer-on-Bottom Refrigerators — The new up-and-coming trend in refrigerators is the freezer-on-bottom configuration. While this configuration commands a minority of total sales, the sales volume is growing.
24. Wine Refrigerators — Wine is trendy right now, and wine refrigerators are a tangible reflection of this trend.
Wine cellars are currently popular with affluent homeowners who have sizeable wine collections, but an entire wine cellar isn’t necessary for the majority of homeowners. For homeowners who don’t hoard large quantities of wine, a wine refrigerator in the kitchen typically offers sufficient storage space. Most have sufficient capacity to store enough wine to satisfy casual drinkers who enjoy a bottle with dinner on occasion.
25. Steam Ovens — It isn’t unusual for food trends and kitchen trends to converge. The steam oven’s rise in popularity coincides with the recent trends for enjoying real food and consuming locally grown organic vegetables and produce.
Steam ovens are appealing to homeowners who frequently prepare rice, steamed vegetables, fish or other moist dishes. For most chefs, a steam oven isn’t an acceptable substitute for a conventional oven. It isn’t an option for dishes that need to be crispy or dry.
26. Double Appliances — There are homeowners who are installing multiples of the same type of appliance in their kitchens. For example, some homeowners are installing double dishwashers in their kitchens. As noted above, some also have wine refrigerators in addition to ordinary refrigerators, or steam ovens in addition to conventional ovens.
27. Smart Appliances — Imagine you look at your phone to check your latest text message. The text is from your oven. It wanted to let you know that it has just finished cooking your dinner. That could happen to you in 2016 if you decide to purchase a smart oven that’s wired with the capability to text, tweet on Twitter and perform other similar communication tasks.
Smart homes, in general, are predicted to gain traction in 2016. I personally won’t be jumping on the trend, since I like to do things old school. Plus movies like Minority Report and The NEt did a great job of illustrating some of the possible downsides to this type of technology. But please don’t let my lack of enthusiasm deter you from learning more about these ideas if you find them interesting. Our article about smart home automation has more details.
2016 Kitchen Countertops
28. Granite Countertops Still Going Strong for 2016 — Those of you who follow trends are aware that granite countertops have been popular for what seems like ages now. Some of the trendiest trendsetters have moved away from granite countertops, but the home building and home buying markets as a whole are still embracing them. As of mid 2015, the folks at Home Innovation were reporting that granite was gaining in popularity for kitchen countertops, at the expense of tile, laminates and solid surfacing. Even if this trend does happen to slow as 2016 unfolds, it’s a given that there’ll still be plenty of demand for granite in the kitchen.
29. White Granite Kitchen Countertops — White granite doesn’t always read as white; it often takes on a grayish appearance. This makes it an ideal surface for use by those who are embracing the gray trend, and also for those who are installing black or black-and-white kitchens. For more information about white granite, check out our article about the white granite trend for 2016.
30. Quartz Kitchen Countertops — While quartz has a small percentage of the total overall market share for kitchen countertops, the demand for quartz counters is growing. This is definitely a trend to watch for 2016 and the years ahead.
31. Butcher Block Countertops — Wood countertops command a significantly smaller percentage of market share than their natural stone counterparts, but interest in them is currently increasing.
Best Kitchen Sinks for 2016
32. Trough Sinks — A long trough style sink could be just the right look for those whose kitchens incorporate an industrial aesthetic.
33. Granite Kitchen Sinks — Home Innovations has reported that, as of mid 2015, sales of granite and stone kitchen sinks were increasing at a more rapid rate than sales of any other type of sink material. It’s worth noting that this organization reports statistics relating to construction of new homes. We interpret this to mean that strong sales of granite sinks in 2015 is likely to result in a proliferation of new homes on the market featuring granite sinks in 2016.
34. Single Basin Kitchen Sinks — In 2016, we’re witnessing a comeback in demand for the single basin kitchen sink. Home Innovation reports that SFD installations for this style of sink have been steadily increasing over the past decade, having climbed to 20% up from 5% by mid 2015.
35. Enameled Cast Iron Kitchen Sinks — In the recent past, these sinks suffered a brief decline in demand, with the low in demand happening around 2009 and coinciding with the recession. By all appearances, they’re making a comeback in 2016, with rising sales driven by new residential construction projects.
2016 Kitchen Flooring Trends
36. Hardwood Flooring in the Kitchen
In many areas of the USA, hardwood flooring is currently more popular than tile flooring in the kitchen.
37. White Washed Hardwood Flooring
Lighter white washed hardwood floors look fantastic with many of the 2016’s trendiest color palettes.
38. Espresso Brown Hardwood Flooring
In the past decade, dark espresso brown has been a trendy color, and it has been a popular color choice for hardwood flooring in kitchens. This has been a trend with major staying power; it was noteworthy in 2008 or so, and as of late 2015, some homeowners were still installing espresso colored elements in their kitchen remodeling projects — including flooring, kitchen islands and accents.
We urge caution in jumping on this trend at this point in its life cycle. By all appearances, espresso flooring is still quite popular — but it is inevitable that this color will eventually decline in popularity. When it does, anyone with espresso colored hardwood floors will be faced with the choice between modifying the color if possible, ripping out a perfectly good floor that still has plenty of life left in it, or maintaining and decorating around a floor that looks dated.
Additionally, espresso floors tend to require constant attention to appear clean and dust free.
39. Gray Hardwood Flooring
Gray is trendy right now, and there are gorgeous examples of new gray finishes for hardwood flooring popping up all over the place. However, the same logic applies. In another decade or so, the gray trend will likely be passé. When you decide whether to embrace the gray trend in your current kitchen flooring for 2016, please take into consideration how soon you’ll want to redo your floor; design accordingly.
40. Blonde Hardwood Flooring
If you want a light blonde colored hardwood floor, look for maple wood flooring, red oak flooring, white oak flooring or something similar. These are all fantastic choices for complementing the trendiest looks in current kitchens for 2016.
41. Satin Finish for Hardwood Flooring
If you don’t have a strong preference for which finish to apply to your hardwood flooring, you might want to try a satin finish. Satin is both practical and beautiful; it hides footprints, dirt and scratches and it’s pleasing to the eye. It’s been trendy for quite awhile now, and we expect the trend to carry over into 2016 and beyond.
42. Outdoor Kitchens Still Trendy for 2016
The popularity of outdoor kitchens is a carryover trend from previous years that is still going strong for 2016.
So that’s the scoop on 42 of the top kitchen trends we’ve uncovered for 2016. We hope this list gives you some helpful insights into what home builders and homeowners are prioritizing in their kitchens, and gives you actionable ideas you can use if you want to remodel or decorate your own kitchen for 2016 and beyond.
- At the Home Innovation Website — Data Hot Off the Spreadsheets! Latest Builder Practices Reports Now Available
- At the National Kitchen and Bath Website — Contemporary Kitchens
- At the Moen Website — New Belfield™ Faucets From Moen Feature Traditionally Styled Detailing for a Rich, Timeless Aesthetic in the Kitchen.
- At the American Standard US Website — DXV Luxury Portfolio Expands with Contemporary Bath Fixtures, Traditional Kitchen Bridge Faucet
- At the Flooring Girl Website — Staining Hardwood Floors Gray
- At the Flooring Girl Website — Hardwood Flooring Trends
- At the Masterbrand Website — Design Your Room: Trends
- At the Improvenet Website — 7 Kitchen Cabinet Trends to Watch in 2016
- At the Grand Designs Live Website — Hot Kitchen Trends for 2016
- At the Kitchenaid Website — New Black Stainless Steel and Traditional Finishes From Kitchenaid Offer Endless Design Possibilities
- At the Masterbrand Website — Frameless Cabinets
- At the General Electric Website — Get Tweets From Your Oven
- At the Furnishing America Website — Counter Height vs Standard Height Tables
At the Choice Australia Website — Steam Ovens