I’ve been consulting on lots of kitchen designs lately, like this kitchen in a new build by Kole Custom Home Builders in Franklin. I thought I’d share with you some of the latest in kitchen trends that you can incorporate into your own home.

1. Cabinets and backsplashes that extend up to the ceiling. Take your cabinets to the ceiling, rather than leaving a ledge to collect dust and dated décor. Even if the uppermost panels are faux (like they are in my own kitchen), it makes the ceiling appear higher and the room appear larger. Tiling up to the ceiling does the same — but you can’t do it when your cabinets don’t go all the way up, of course. While you often see backsplash tile only covering the area below the upper cabinets, it looks all kinds of fabulous to take it up to the ceiling.

2. Painted cabinetry. The most popular cabinetry in today’s kitchens are painted, not natural wood. The most classic choices include white, off-white and gray. Many homeowners are painting their kitchen islands a contrasting accent color, like charcoal gray, black or even blue or green.

3. Quartz countertops. Quartz countertops are becoming more and more popular. Because it’s an engineered stone, quartz slabs are much more consistent in pattern and color than granite or marble. My favorites are the ones that replicate marble, like the one in this kitchen. The light countertop color really brightens up a dark kitchen, and maintenance is a breeze.

4. Polished or satin nickel hardware and fixtures. We’ve been using brushed nickel since the early 1990s, and many of us are growing weary of it. It’s been the default metal finish for every bachelor pad over the past 25 years. The freshest version of nickel finishes include polished or satin nickel. Both are shinier than brushed nickel but not as shiny as chrome. These updated finishes tend to cost a bit more, so if you are trying to save money, purchase chrome hardware rather than brushed nickel.

5. Simple backsplashes. There’s no need for accent tile behind the range. In fact, a busy accent tile would have simply distracted from the simple beauty of this kitchen design. If you want a focal point for the kitchen, choose a fabulous hood for your range instead of an accent tile that will quickly date itself. A classic and timeless subway tile is all you need to complement a modern kitchen design. You can choose a gray grout to accentuate the tile shape, or chose a subway tile in colors of seaglass. Black subway tile with white grout is trending, as well.


Kristie Barnett is The Decorologist. She is an expert in residential color, staging and decoration and writes about all of those things and more on her blog at www.the decorologist.com.

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