Kitchen trends for 2021

Wendy S. Richards
Wendy S. Richards
Published on January 27, 2021

Planning a kitchen renovation? According to the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University, you aren’t alone. Home renovation and remodeling spending is expected to increase through the first quarter of 2021, at least.

Most DIY remodelers say they will concentrate the renovation dollars on the kitchen and bathroom, with 83 percent of them claiming high hopes that their kitchen remodel will increase the home’s value.

Here are some of the kitchen projects that they’ll be undertaking and the trends you need to pay attention to if you hope to sell your home in 2021 or beyond.

Kitchen cabinetry

If you’re going to remodel your kitchen with an eye to selling the home in the future, skip the raised panel or Shaker panel cabinets and opt for a smooth-front cabinet design.

In fact, minimalism is so in-demand right now, you might also want to consider forgoing handles all together, in favor of touch-release type of cabinets.

Ceiling-to-floor cabinets are expected to trend in 2021 as well. “… it’s becoming extremely popular to totally eschew the open shelving or no-uppers trend of years past in favor of wall-to-wall cabinetry,” according to the pros at HGTV.

Finally, while the stark white cabinet colors of last year are still popular, the trend is toward warmer colors, such as “…wine reds, deep greens and rich browns,” according to HGTV’s decorators.

Walnut cabinetry, for instance, is gaining in popularity, according to the folks at “It’s rich, dark color, fine grain and natural warmth are prized by makers for its feeling of instant luxury.”


While kitchens with granite and quartz countertops were among the most Instagrammable in 2020, many designers are touting marble for 2021.

“If there’s one thing that’s storming the style charts and shaking up interiors, it’s the return of marble,” according to design pros at Specifically, “… strongly veined marble, the busier the better for unmissable luxury and next-level style.”

Quartz took a huge leap forward in popularity last year and the experts at see a more specific surge in 2021: “… light-colored quartz will become the ‘it’ material.”

Kitchen flooring

Wood flooring and wood-look flooring in the kitchen has reigned supreme for the past decade and most designers agree it will trend even more in the new year.

The beauty of today’s technology allows for the look of hardwood in a waterproof, durable flooring, so necessary in a busy kitchen.

For a lighter, airier feel in the kitchen, designers with predict homeowners will turn to blonde-colored wood or wood-look flooring.

Kate Tyndall, with, agrees. “Lighter stains rule, and shiny finishes are out.”

Kitchen wall colors

The big paint companies will soon be out with their Color of the Year, but kitchen remodelers don’t seem to care. They have their own preferences, which include gray, white and off-white, brown and beige.

We’ve put together a sampling of some of the year’s most popular shades of these colors for kitchens.

Shades of gray to consider:

Gorgeous white:

Longing for a brown kitchen?

Shades of beige for your kitchen walls:

Kitchen lighting

When you shop for lighting for your 2021 kitchen makeover, keep an eye out for two styles:

According to a survey by Houzz, homeowners “… are showing interest in swing-arm and other sconce fixtures, which can add some adornment while providing needed task lighting around a sink or range.”

Pendant lights came in second on the list of Tap Warehouse’s Instagram kitchen trends in 2020. Especially if you have a kitchen island, consider adding drama, texture and color in the form of pendant lighting.

Kitchen Appliances

While stainless steel appliances remain popular, matte-finishes are gaining. This is no doubt due to both stainless’ high maintenance requirements and the attractiveness of the matte finish.

Graphite gray from Viking (see it here), Slate from GE (it’s smudge-proof!) and black stainless steel finishes all made headway in 2020 and experts predict they will gain in popularity.

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