7 Kitchen Design Trends Set to Dominate 2016

Every year, renovating the kitchen reigns as one of the most popular home upgrades, largely because the cooking and entertaining space plays such a central role in day-to-day life. “It’s the heart of the home,” remarks Joe Maykut, a product manager with Sears Home Services. An expert in the industry, Maykut knows that since different homeowners have different needs and priorities, there’s no such thing as a single, right-for-everyone design. Rather, as he puts it, “The perfect kitchen for your neighbor may not be, and probably isn’t, perfect for you.” And yet, despite the fact that homeowners adopt a wide range of approaches to the project, Maykut affirms that going into 2016, a number of broad themes appear to be taking hold. Some emerged in previous years and continue to gain traction, while others are brand new and truly of the moment. Who knows whether these trends are going to last? We’ll find out as time unfolds. But for now, click through to see what renovation pros are predicting to be the hottest kitchen trends for the upcoming year.

This content has been brought to you by Sears Home Services. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

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  1. Pale Palette

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    Previous years saw the pendulum swing in the opposite direction, but for 2016, experts expect light, neutral colors to be, if not ubiquitous, then at least widely popular. A survey conducted by the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) supports the forecast, finding that today, "beige, gray, white and off-white are the most popular kitchen design palettes." Joe Maykut of Sears Home Services notes that for cabinetry in particular, white finishes are the most common, though "many choose to contrast light-color cabinetry with darker countertops, flooring, and accents."

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  2. Main Stage

    Kitchen-appliance-trends

    "Appliances are no longer an afterthought," remarks Maykut of Sears Home Services. "Today, by taking them into account from the get-go," he continues, "designers and builders are now able to incorporate appliances much more seamlessly into the overall kitchen design." In addition, as homeowners keep seeking lower utility bills, Maykut sees a continuing trend toward the deliberate selection of models with best-in-class efficiency. "People are starting to get it that the long-term operating cost of an appliances often matters more than its upfront purchase price," he concludes.

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  3. Steel, Still

    Stainless-steel-fixtures

    It's undeniable that trends come and go, but some manage to stick around for quite a while. "For at least twenty years," says Maykut of Sears Home Services, "stainless steel has been the preferred material for kitchen fixtures." Next year, he predicts no change to the status quo, but observes that more and more homeowners are choosing the added utility of deep-basin sinks and faucets whose sprayers detach for easy, targeted rinsing. "It’s primarily a matter of usability and practicality," says Makyut, but "it doesn't hurt that pull-out faucets are also pretty cool-looking."

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  4. Floor Fashion

    Kitchen-flooring-trends

    While the NKBA considers hardwood the trendiest choice in kitchen flooring, Maykut points out that for homeowners on a budget, tile and luxury vinyl tile are top favorites, and he expects those options to remain highly sought after in 2016. Still, he says, “There are many types of floors to consider, each with pros and cons.” To make the right choice, he recommends consulting professionals. An advantage of working with Sears Home Services is that it "brings the showroom to your home," he says, allowing you to "see the products in the setting where they would be installed."

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  5. A New Light

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    In step with so many other technologies, home lighting has progressed by leaps and bounds over the past decade or so. In 2016, Maykut of Sears Home Services expects kitchen design to more fully embrace the expanding menu of opportunities afforded by LED and other advancements. "Already, fewer clients are opting for traditional schemes dependent on a single, ceiling-mounted fixture," he says. Instead, people are choosing fixtures that make "a bold style statement," even while capitalizing on the convenience of unique new applications, such as under-cabinet lighting.

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  6. Counter Intelligence

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    Countertops are obvious to anyone who enters the kitchen and, for anyone who actually uses the space, a critical component of its design. That being the case, "homeowners often look for a material that provides the best of both worlds—that is, something that looks great and performs even better," according to Maykut of Sears Home Services. If next year turns out to be anything like 2015, Maykut speculates, then cultured or natural stone counters are likely going to dominate the marketplace, with quartz and granite competing to be the most commonly chosen material.

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  7. Make It Yours

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    Experts agree that personalization may be the fastest-growing trend of all. As Maykut puts it, "People are examining how they use the kitchen and renovating accordingly." For instance, a pet owner might include an island with built-in space for a dog crate, while an older homeowner might favor features that emphasize accessibility and ease of use. "It can be as simple as a charging station for mobile devices or something much more ambitious." To explore the possibilities, seek out a local contractor or go online to book a free in-home consultation with Sears Home Services.

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