To kick off National Kitchen & Bath Month, the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) has released its 2024 Kitchen Trends Report.
According to data from the surveyed designers, islands, dedicated beverage areas, layered lighting, and green and gold accents are trending, while white cabinets, dining tables, and noisy appliances are declining in popularity.
"For many consumers, the kitchen is really the focal point of their house—and it's often the most-used room in the home," says Pamela McNally, senior vice president of marketing and digital at the NKBA. "NKBA’s Kitchen Trends Report reveals new and emerging design preferences from true industry professionals. What's more, there are really interesting lifestyle insights about how kitchen design, relative to the rest of the house, is impacted by how and where we gather.”
See below for nine key findings from the report.
1. Increase in islands: About half of designers say clients are opening their floor plans to feature eat-in kitchens with maximized islands. In addition to being used as a gathering place, a work surface, and a dining table, the island serves as a design focal point in the kitchen, with 43.8% of respondents selecting the kitchen island as the top place for a statement color.
2. Bring on the beverages: Whether for wine, coffee, or smoothies, nearly 60% of this year’s survey respondents say dedicated beverage areas within kitchens will be popular.
“Beverage centers are rising to the top of desired items to include in a kitchen,” says Elizabeth Valentina, CEO of Nar Design Group. “Beverage centers now include coffee/tea service, water dispensers, under-counter refrigeration, and frozen goods storage for smoothies, shakes, and acai bowls, which have become a big part of what people commonly consume.”
3. Wood over white: While white cabinetry has been a staple in kitchens for years, designers now say that wood cabinetry is making a comeback. When asked about popular kitchen color trends, wood was cited by 28% of respondents, outpacing white, which was cited by 26%.
4. Nature-inspired hues: When asked about color trends for the kitchen, green was the top answer, capturing 32% of responses, while pink, peach, coral, and salmon received the lowest amount of responses with 3%.
“The color green is still going strong in design in general, from walls to cabinets to tile,” says interior designer Julee Ireland. “I have traveled to Spain, Portugal, and Italy to the design and tile shows this year, and it’s shown in every collection as part of the color palette, which tells me it’s here to stay for awhile.”
5. Going for gold: Looking ahead to the next three years, 49.5% of respondents identified gold as the top metallic for kitchen faucets, taking the lead over stainless (48%) and black (45%). In particular, matte (63.9%), brushed (54.3%), and satin (48.9%) finishes will be the most popular. Similarly, respondents reported gold, bronze, and copper as the most popular finishes for lighting fixtures (54%) and sinks (18.5%).
6. Lots of lighting: According to the report, designers will use multiple layers of lighting to support different functions: ambient lighting to create different moods (84.7%), decorative statement lighting (80.2%), and nighttime lighting for safety and aesthetics (69%).
“The kitchen is the best room in the house to show multiple layers of lighting,” says Jeanne Chung, principal at Cozy·Stylish·Chic. “We incorporate task lighting above work areas such as the island and sink area. Then, we also add LED strip lighting to supplement the countertops around the perimeter of the room. Toe-kick, under-counter, and in-cabinet lighting sets the mood with warm, dimmable, ambient lighting.”
7. Quiet qualities: The kitchen is as quiet as it’s ever been, with designers eliminating noisy appliances and banging cabinet doors. When looking for new dishwashers, 64.5% favor an ultra-quiet model, while 40.6% are ditching the noisy trash compactor for standard pullout receptacles. Soft push-to-open cabinet technology remains popular, with 43.3% agreeing that homeowners are enjoying this clean approach to hardware.
8. Savvy storage solutions: More than 50% of respondents are looking for walk-in, butler, and built-in pantries for more space and function, while stand-alone and open shelving options come in at less than 15%. Additionally, 37% of homeowners want cabinets with customizable drawer dividers and partitions.
“Storage is more important than ever with so many customized options,” says Vicky Serany, co-founder of Southern Studio. “The priorities typically include large, deep drawers, pantry cabinets, spice storage, trash and recycling centers, and open shelving.”
9. Nutrition needs: With a growing focus on nutrition and healthy eating, 78% of designers say homeowners want more refrigeration space with better flexibility to accommodate healthy lifestyles, and 68% want appliances with integrated cooking functions like air frying and steam cooking.