As the kitchen can often encourage the purchase of a new home, home builders are taking note of ways to provide more personalization in the space. Erin Hurley of Lita Dirks & Co., Nanette Pfister of Epcon Communities, Joe Bonura of JBJ Construction Group and Bonura Hospitality Group, and Tim Shearer of Ferguson Enterprises sat down at the International Builders’ Show to discuss the kitchen trends they're seeing for 2023.
Repeatedly, the four panelists agreed that while trends range drastically, the final decisions when building or remodeling are “all about the consumer.” Below are 11 kitchen trends emerging for 2023, according to Hurley, Pfister, Bonura, and Shearer.
1) Reimagined Islands. Often the gathering place in the kitchen, islands are taking on new shapes, curves, textures, and colors for 2023. “For production builders, it can be as easy as painting the island a different color,” Pfister said. Other trends include mix-and-match countertops, butcher block, patterned finishes, and additional seating options.
2) Unconventional Backsplashes. Bold slab backsplashes are trending in 2023, but so are unconventional and more cost-effective methods. Pfister said this includes the use of wallpaper and paint as well as only applying tile or stone as needed behind cooking surfaces.
3) Pattern and Color. The use of vibrant stone, patterned backsplashes, and multitone cabinet colors are adding personality and individualization to the kitchen. As people have spent more time at home over the past few years, there's a priority to make it better represent homeowners. "We're seeing more of consumers choosing what they want," said Hurley.
4) Warmer Whites. Stark, gallery-ready white walls and cabinets are taking on warmer tones as ivories begin to emerge for all surfaces, Pfister said. An example being Behr's 2023 Color of the Year, Blank Canvas, a soft warm white.
5) New Hues on Cabinetry. While green cabinets became more popular last year, 2023 brings new shades of blues. These blues are also being mixed with varying shades to create depth and customization. Warm woods are also on the rise and are being used to tone down brighter cabinet colors. Bonura joked, "Are you saying oak cabinets are back?" to which Pfister answered, "Yes, but in more natural matte finishes."
6) Detailed Millwork. Detailed cabinet faces and detailed vent hoods are both rising as popular asks. This trend can also be accomplished with upper cabinets being brought up to the ceiling or crown molding throughout the space, Bonura added.
7) Customizable Cabinetry Options. This trend is all about functionality and organization in the kitchen. "What we found as we spent time at home is that we needed our kitchens to work for us," Hurley said. Peg drawer systems, recycling centers, functional corner cabinets with pullout shelving, and vertical sleeves for baking sheets and pans are being used to make the space more efficient. Bottom cabinets are also being replaced with deep drawers.
8) Mix the Metals. To accomplish a lived-in, custom look, Pfister said, "Mix the metals!" From plumbing to lighting fixtures to cabinet hardware, it is now on trend to blend nickels, golds, blacks, and bronzes.
9) Layered Lighting. The use of recessed ceiling lights, uplighting, under-cabinet lighting strips, and pendants can create depth, Shearer said. Glass-paneled cabinets can provide additional glow with LED lights installed inside. The panelists also agreed that mixing warm bulbs in pendants with bright white LEDs for work zones is becoming more common, and a lighting smart control panel is helpful and trendy.
10) Bespoke Areas. On par with the recurring need for customization and individuality, nook spaces in the kitchen are taking on even more personality. Whether that's a designated bar area, customized pantry, or a personalized coffee cabinet, these areas are tailored to the homeowner's lifestyle and preferred design style, Pfister said.
11) Cooking Reclaimed. Rather than being the space that once collected dust, the kitchen is now a more active area of the home. To align with new habits and post-pandemic ways of life, appliances are becoming more functional and intelligent. Built-in multiuse appliances like ovens that are also air fryers and microwaves are rapidly growing in popularity. Column refrigeration as well as convertible drawer refrigeration are also in demand, the panelists shared.