The 6 Kitchen Design Trends Set to Dominate 2017

No longer a solely utilitarian space, today's kitchen plays host to a range of activities beyond meal prep and casual family dining. For Joe Maykut, Product Manager with Sears Home Services, there's no doubt: The kitchen serves as "the heart" of the home. Taken together, the kitchen's importance to the goings-on of everyday life and the continued popularity of open floor plans have thrust this room front and center in home design, a trend that Maykut views as unlikely to slow anytime soon. These days, he observes, "homeowners don't want the kitchen to look and feel different from the rest of the home." Instead, according to Maykut, homeowners are likely to further integrate the kitchen into both the design of the house and the life of the family, with kitchens taking on many "characteristics more commonly associated with other rooms." For all the details on the biggest kitchen trends expected to unfold in 2017, click right now!

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  1. Gray Scale

    Gray Scale

    It's no surprise that predominantly white kitchens enjoy enduring popularity. As Maykut says, "It's a timeless look that never goes out of style." Yet recent years have witnessed the emergence of another scene-setting neutral: gray. But while homeowners appreciate the simplicity and refinement of gray, its use hasn't extended much beyond living areas. 2017 may just be the year that gray finally "finds its way into the kitchen," Maykut predicts. Of course, gray spans a spectrum from subtle off-white to deep, rich charcoal. Though crisp and cool grays have dominated recently, Makyut anticipates "warm and natural" purple- or green-tinged shades to lead the way over the course of the coming year.

  2. Tuxedo Cabinetry

    Tuxedo Cabinetry

    According to Maykut, kitchen design typically adheres to a set of "unwritten rules." What's new is that homeowners have begun to pick and choose which conventions to follow and which to ignore. For decades, the norm has been for upper and lower cabinets to share the same style and finish. But in 2017, Maykut anticipates increasing numbers of homeowners to favor a more varied, less homogeneous approach, with upper and lower cabinets that complement one another without strictly matching. So-called "tuxedo cabinetry" isn't for everyone, Maykut admits, but for some, the two-tone, layered look hedges against the monotonous uniformity some cabinets project.

  3. Attention-Grabbing Tile

    Attention-Grabbing Tile

    Highly affordable and endlessly versatile, subway tile has waxed and waned in popularity over the course of its long, meandering history. But with enthusiasm for the material having reached a "fever pitch" in 2016, Maykut thinks 2017 may see popular taste swing in a dramatically new direction. In fact, according to Maykut, homeowners may start seeking out "the polar opposite"—that is, colorfully patterned tile, especially in non-rectangular shapes. Employed sparingly, perhaps as a backsplash or flooring accent, graphic and geometric-patterned porcelain tile offers, as Maykut puts it, "yet another creative way for homeowners to put a personal stamp on the room where they spend the most time."

  4. Mixed Metals

    Mixed Metals

    Conventional wisdom holds that to achieve a satisfying look in the kitchen, you must choose one type of metal and stick with it, ensuring consistency across appliances, cabinet hardware, plumbing fixtures, and lighting. Lately, though, Maykut notices homeowners eschewing the "matchy-matchy" philosophy of kitchen design in favor of a comparatively freewheeling, "anything goes" brand of style. In 2017, matte black may join copper, brass, and rose gold on the list of the most popular choices among metals, but above all, according to Maykut, "You're going to see mixes of different metals being used," in part to foster an intentionally dressed-down, casual atmosphere in the kitchen.

  5. Open Shelving

    Open Shelving

    Attention, minimalists! If the kitchen of your dreams contains the essentials, only the essentials, and nothing more, this may be the trend for you. Usually, homeowners try to make the most of every inch by lining the entire kitchen with cabinetry. That makes sense if you have a house full of people, but as Maykut points out, "not everyone needs all that storage" and "not everyone likes the look of wall-to-wall cabinetry." Under the circumstances, particularly in smaller kitchens, Maykut predicts that 2017 will find more homeowners "striking a compromise" between functionality and aesthetics by installing open shelving in place of wall-mounted cabinet uppers.

  6. Tons of Tech

    Tons of Tech

    Technology seems poised to transform pretty much everything, including the kitchen. Of course, we've been living in the digital era for decades, but according to Maykut, "we've only seen the beginning" when it comes to the seamless integration of technology into the home. A few years ago, Maykut remembers, "people were certainly aware" of the latest and greatest gadgets—things like ovens that could be operated remotely and refrigerators that could track inventory. For the time being, sales of Wi-Fi-enabled appliances still comprise only a sliver of the total market, but 2017 may prove to be a turning point. Maykut says, "This may be the year when all that changes" and the novel becomes the norm.

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