What are the Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2020?

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What are the Top Kitchen Design Trends for 2020?

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ElleDecor.com’s interpretation of “updated classic.” Photo via website.

In a recent story, we talked about what the pros are predicting will be the top home design trends for 2020. As we were researching that article, we found so many references to kitchen design trends for 2020 that it was clear the topic warranted a closer look.

We’ve taken the same approach for this post that we did with the broader home design story, looking for multiple mentions of a single trend from at least two sources.

IN – Neo Traditional | OUT – Starkly Contemporary

HouseBeautiful.com called it “neo traditional,” while ElleDecor.com said “updated classic.” In our story about design trends in general, it was referenced as “grandmillenial style” by Elle Décor. Whichever way you phrase, pairing traditional elements with modern ones is having a major moment.

“Updated classic design for kitchens, amping up the glamour factor without making you feel oddly out of place having coffee in a bathrobe,” is how ElleDecor.com describes the looks. HouseBeautiful.com breaks down “neo traditional” as being “more traditional cabinetry and vintage lighting . . . mixed in with contemporary elements like clean slab counters and backsplashes.”

If you’re thinking all of this sounds suspiciously like “transitional style,” we’re right there with you. But the take-away of what we read seems to be that this new approach to transitional style is more intentional: a more thoughtful approach to blending elements from various eras.

new england kitchen design

ElleDecor.com’s interpretation of “updated classic.” Photo via website.

IN – Color | OUT – White-on-White Kitchens

After reading stories on ElleDecor.com, HouseBeautiful.com and TheSpruce.com, it became apparent that when it comes to the new decade’s take on kitchen design, it’s all about color. But the pros seem to be split on which tones will have the greatest impact as we move forward.

Both ElleDecor.com and TheSpruce.com talked about warm, natural colors pushing out stark white in the kitchen. “With natural materials and earth tones taking over, kitchens are following suit. Countertops are going dark, with natural woods like walnut coming out as big winners,” according to ElleDecor.com. “Warmer hues that remind people of the great outdoors like blacks, browns, grays, and beiges are on-trend in 2020,” says TheSpruce.com.

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Warm tones are where it’s at in kitchen design according to ElleDecor.com (photo) and TheSpruce.com.

On the other end of the color conversation were beachy hues such as ocean blue, aqua and green, so much so that both ElleDécor.com and HouseBeautiful.com used the same photo in their respective stories.


kitchen design 2020

No, this isn’t a mistake! This kitchen filled with beachy blues was featured in two different stories talking about kitchen design trends, although it appears that ElleDecor.com (left) punched up the saturation in the image more than HouseBeautiful.com.

IN – Bold Backsplashes | OUT – White Subway Tile

The color story continues in the kitchen design trends conversation with backsplashes. While it’s been some time since it seemed like a white subway tile backsplash was on every homeowner’s wish list, they have been slowly losing their one-look-fits-all appeal. All three of our sources for this story talked about big, bold, beautiful backsplashes being the thing in the new decade, with the emphasis on “big.”

“Large-scale backsplashes will continue to be popular, and the designs will get more elaborate and serve as art and focal points,” says HouseBeautiful.com.

Two of the designers quoted in ElleDecor.com’s story make the case for doing away with tile altogether, and opting for a slab instead. “A slab backsplash is so clean, yet adds the right amount of drama to a kitchen,” says one pro, while the other opined that “Extending the countertop material up the backsplash allows you to streamline the number of materials in a kitchen, creating a clean and contemporary look.”

kitchen design trends in 2020

A slab backsplash in Calacatta marble; photo via HouseBeautiful.com.

IN – Sleek Cabinetry | OUT – Overly Ornate Cabinet Doors

For of those of you who love a Shaker-style cabinet door, fear not: This cleanest of the raised-panel cabinetry options still makes the cut in kitchen design according to ElleDecor.com. The look that has apparently ended up on the “cutting room floor” is cabinetry featuring detailed carvings, corbels and moulding.

“Flat-paneled millwork with minimal detailing and fuss is the best way to let unique cabinetry materials really shine,” say HouseBeautiful.com, while a design pro on ElleDecor.com says, ““I’m seeing less and less crown molding used on the tops of the upper cabinets.”

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No, it isn’t lost on us that we’re showing a white-on-white kitchen in the same story where we say white-on-white is out. Don’t blame us. Blame ElleDecor.com (photo).